Today you can have real change

So we’ve reached the end of our General Election campaign 2010 here in Manchester Withington.

It’s been an exciting and eventful few weeks, packed full of visits to local schools and businesses and chats on the doorstep - we've been working tirelessly to get our message out to all constituents. We’ve also seen excellent performances from Nick Clegg in the leaders’ debates, which have served to motivate us even further in our pledge to get the Lib Dem message across here in Manchester Withington.

Now we reach Polling Day, and it’s over to you!

Nationally, it's all about the three parties. But here in Manchester Withington, it's a two-horse race - between the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

As your Liberal Democrat MP,  I have worked hard over the past five years to get the best deal possible for Manchester Withington.

In South Manchester, under the Labour Council, we have seen a decision to close Ewing School and the Burnage Walk-in centre. Labour talk about saving local services, but here, they are either responsible for closing them, or they have done nothing to save them.

I am committed to protecting local services here in Manchester Withington, and over the last five years I've done everything I can to fight for our area.

Here are a few of things I am committed to:

1. Protecting local services against cuts, it is vital our valuable local services are maintained and protected.
2. Fighting to get Manchester’s £82 million back , that should have been invested in the police to get us more bobbies on the beat
3. Fairness Agenda, four key themes:

  • Fair taxes: We will ensure no-one pays income tax on the first £10,000 they earn. 3.6m low-income workers and pensioners will be freed from paying income tax and millions more will have a tax cut of £700 a year. We’ll pay for it by closing loopholes that unfairly benefit the rich, a new tax on mansions worth over £2m, and ensuring polluters pay for the damage they cause.

  • A fair start for all our children: We will get every child the individual attention they need by cutting class sizes. We will spend an extra £2.5bn on schools, targeted at children who need the most help. The average primary school could cut class sizes to 20. An average secondary school could see classes of just 16.  At University level we will scrap tuition fees.

  • A fair future: a rebalanced, green economy: We will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs with a £3.5bn green stimulus and job creation plan in our first year in government, fully funded by cut backs elsewhere. We will break up the banks and rebalance the economy away from unsustainable financial speculation. And we will be honest about where savings must be made in government spending to balance the books and protect our children’s future.

  • A fair deal from politicians: We will introduce a fair voting system to end safe seats and make all MPs listen to people. We will ensure corrupt MPs can be sacked by their constituents and stop non-doms from donating to parties or sitting in Parliament. We will take power from Westminster and give it to councils and communities, with local power over police and the NHS

  • As Nick Clegg has pointed out again and again, neither he, nor me, nor any other candidate are the kingmakers – it is up to you, the people, to decide who you think is worthy of your vote.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that you can and will make a difference at the ballot box.

    Whatever else you do today, please make time to go out and vote – it is your democratic right, and I hope you believe and continue to believe in its power and influence.

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