Campaign notebook puts our key seat candidates in the hot-seat, first up Anna Turley, our candidate in Redcar answers the questions...
Why do you want to be the MP for Redcar?
I want to be the Member of Parliament for Redcar because people here deserve so much better and I want to stand up and fight for the town I live in. Redcar has been hit so badly by this coalition, with youth unemployment, brutal cuts to local public services, and is seeing a growing reliance on foodbanks for families to survive. Our current Lib Dem MP has voted for everything the Tories have asked of him and people here are suffering. Redcar needs a Labour MP to fight for our area and put people first. Using my background and experience in tackling child poverty and social exclusion under the last Labour government, I am determined to do that.
What do you like about Redcar constituency?
The Redcar constituency is a really lovely and diverse place. From the golden sands and coastal views from the village of Marske, to the fishing boats at the South Gare in the shadow of the steelworks. From the industrial areas of Eston nestled beneath the hills and overlooking the Teesport to the spectacular early evening lights of the Wilton chemical works, our area is full of history and character. We have a proud industrial heritage, with steel forged in Redcar helped build the modern world from Canary Wharf to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Redcar is a great seaside town with a lovely beach, a lively town centre, and plenty of good walks along the coast or the nearby North Yorkshire Moors.
What is the number one issue on the doorstep?
The lack of jobs is the number one issue for me on the doorstep. In particular long term youth unemployment. People worry about how their kids will ever find work or be able to stay in the area. High levels of unemployment have meant the consequences of the coalition's welfare cuts have been brutal for people who simply cannot find work, or can only find insecure work on zero hours contracts. This has driven up dependence on foodbanks. We need investment in good jobs, training and apprenticeships to ensure every young person in Redcar has the chance to fulfil their potential.
What is the key to a successful campaign?
Hard work! And it has to be all year round. Losing Redcar in 2010 proved that no seat should ever be seen as 'safe' and no vote should ever be taken for granted. We owe it to people to serve them all year round regardless of electoral cycles, and to work day in day out to stand up for their interests and show we are the only party that is on their side.
Who is your political hero?
Of course it has to be Mo Mowlam! She was an inspiration to any woman interested in making a difference through politics, but for me it was the way she played an amazing role in one of Labour's greatest achievements - bringing peace to Northern Ireland while at the same time was just 'our Mo' to the people of Redcar. She was always around and active in the constituency and loved by everyone here.
Anna Turley is the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for Redcar. To help Anna win visit http://www.anna4redcar.org.uk/volunteer and volunteer.