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Neil Puttick, Labour – Macclesfield – GE19 candidate

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We are providing all 39 parliamentary candidates across Cheshire the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.

We’ve asked the same five questions of each candidate, for the simplest comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.

In this article, we speak to Neil Puttick, standing for Labour in Macclesfield.

 



 

1. What is the main reason you’ve decided to stand in this election?

I am part of Macclesfield. I have made my life in Cheshire, so I know how it ticks. There is so much potential for Macclesfield to succeed.

Every day I get to meet people, businesses, community groups, charities. Their local knowledge, initiative and love makes Macclesfield. Now we need a representative in Parliament to match.

Since standing in 2017, people have told me we have a real chance to win for Macclesfield and finally get a voice for the area by working together.

 

2. Which local priorities would you take forward as our MP?

Investment in our communities is money well-spent. We can’t afford not to.

I have championed initiatives to bring community together – like ‘Playing Out’ in Macclesfield – a scheme to encourage children and families to play outside more (and often it’s a good excuse for a street party too).

In office, I would look to turn some of my experience working in council and communities and turn that into policies to boost community cohesion.

 

3. Which national priorities would you take forward as our MP?

In Macclesfield, we must take action on the mental health and care crisis. It can affect any one of us.

Personally, one of the most troubling stories of this campaign was being contacted by one of the leaders of the “Save The Millbrook Unit” (the East Cheshire mental health unit).

As there were no beds in Macclesfield when she was unwell, she was transported between the Wirral and then Chester, far away from her family and support.

It has been a difficult time for her. It’s clear that for all the claims to understand mental health from the Conservatives, locally people have been failed when they are at their most vulnerable.

That’s where Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan comes in. 

I will prioritise local investment in personal care so routine health problems do not become emergencies.

I met a nurse visiting older people in their homes.

She talked of how she only got to spend 10 minutes with each client, and how she wishes she was able to help families more with caring for their loved ones – how staff shortages mean she cannot take time off at Christmas.

Labour would ensure we take pressure off carers with free personal care and support nurses. This would relieve A&E too.

Community initiatives like Bollington Dementia Action Alliance offer help, but our volunteers need comprehensive support to take on the challenge. 

We must work to improve the justice system and community policing.

It was all too easy for the last government to take our area’s bobbies on the beat and close local magistrates and probation services that help people rehabilitate, and access to legal support if people need it.

Now we need those services back.

Community spirit is very important.

I have agreed to join the campaign to ‘Save our Silkmen’ and stop Macclesfield Town Football Club from folding.

Labour will bring money into grassroots football and smaller clubs, by taking 5% of Premier League TV money and investing it into other parts of the game.

 

4. What is it about your party and/or its manifesto that makes you proud to represent your party? Are there any manifesto pledges or commitments you’d like to see changed?

The Labour Party Manifesto for Real Change is a brilliant document because it is written by people from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences across our party.

In the same way I believe Macclesfield people are the experts who know what is best for our area, being part of the Labour Party – a social movement of more than half a million people – means we have a wealth of shared knowledge. 

I am particularly keen on: 

The Green Industrial Revolution – and its scope to prepare for the challenges ahead whilst tackling fuel poverty, addressing public transport issues

The NHS Rescue Plan – we can no longer run from crisis to crisis. The NHS needs a boost.

The North West Manifesto – Cheshire businesses are some of the most productive in the country. Labour will invest in North West infrastructure to catch up with London. 

 

5. Please tell us a little about yourself.

(ie: your background, your experience, your hobbies, your non-political interests)

I used to make large-scale community art and theatrical experiences, so I know it is important we have symbols showing the strength of our community and activities where we all get to hang out.

The Brick Project was about literally giving people a part of a street to paint – that together makes an artwork.

Our forest for the future initiative will plant a tree for every child born in 2020 to make it clear every person is important.

There is a real majesty to our natural surroundings in the Peak District and Cheshire Plains.

After years of working at Alderley Park and seeing the mist roll over the Cheshire countryside each morning, I would love to make a Weirdstone of Brisingamen theatre experience one day, based on the Alan Garner book set around Capesthorne, Gawsworth and Sutton.

If I ever do make it, I would involve rural communities, cyclists, walker and local artists to help.

I am still honouring all my Christmas engagements, despite the election.

That means donning the Christmas hat, going to community events, helping Father Christmas, running bingo for older folks and when required tidying and doing the washing up.

I am very lucky to be surrounded by experts: my partner is an academic in the new green economy.

My mum is an education specialist. My dad is a law professor. All of them, as well as all our new Labour councillors have helped me in my campaign.

I have a dog who feels very under-walked at the moment.

Wishing all your readers a happy Christmas and a fantastic 2020

 


Further links (as supplied by the candidate)

Twitter: @Puttick4Macc

Facebook fb.me/Puttick4Macc


 

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