RACHAEL
BLAKE

4South Yorkshire

My Home, Our Community


︎

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Updates & Messages to you

24/01/2022

THANK YOU


Thank you so much to all those members who have let me know they have voted for me, have helped with my campaign and the Unions and CLPs for their nominations and support.  Thank you to everyone has been in touch since the hustings as I couldn’t attend due to Covid – like many it hasn’t been mild but getting better every week.



Members have asked me how they can get donate to my campaign.  This is a campaign to elect a Labour candidate so I know it’s the rules that campaigns cost but I would rather everyone donated to the campaign when our candidate is taking on the opposition or support one of our many community groups who are doing an amazing job to tackle child poverty, which is all too prevalent in many of our communities.  

All candidates have taken different views on this which is their choice; but my choice has been to keep costs to a minimum and direct  offers to donate to  where they are needed most.  It’s how I have worked for over 37 years and how I would work if chosen as your candidate and integrity and sticking to my values and beliefs isn’t  just for elections  or selections but just the way I am – something I believe generates trust and support from residents.

I was really  pleased to speak in support of  the motion at the Doncaster full council meeting on 20th January on buses and whilst there has been a lot of discussion on how we improve our buses and ownership, for so many people using the bus isn’t an option and usage in many areas in South Yorkshire is low and our focus has to be on making the bus, or train or tram if available, the best option and therefore their first option.

My last email has gone out today – you can read it on the link below giving members the opportunity to make history in South Yorkshire.


It’s 48 hours until the ballot ends so please do encourage other members to vote so we can have a turnout that is reflective of our membership across South Yorkshire.

Thank you for reading
Very best wishes
Rachael












 ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Who I am


I made South Yorkshire my home over a decade ago – it’s where I brought up my two children; where I am a councillor, and cabinet member, and where I volunteer in my community.

Whether I am organising community events or chairing a Health and Wellbeing group,

I love South Yorkshire.


I love its friendliness, its warmth, the difference of the towns and cities and villages and its history and heritage.  

And I don’t think it gets the recognition that it deserves and I want to change that. 



︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎Read more about who I am here.








 ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ My Policies



A Fairer and More Co-operative Economy for All


South Yorkshire is home to over 68,000 businesses from some of the largest companies in the world to the local family run shop. The role of the South Yorkshire Mayor is to help create the conditions that enable economic growth in all four corners of South Yorkshire, ensuring that no one feels they have to leave the county for lack of opportunity.

But, an economy is about more than just money – it’s about community and solidarity, ensuring that prosperity and opportunity is available to all. I will work with businesses, co-operatives, trade unions, and more across South Yorkshire to make sure prosperity and opportunity is the right of all people, not just a privileged few.


My Pledges


·      Work with stakeholders across the region to implement the 20-year strategic plan created by current mayor Dan Jarvis. This excellent plan will “mean by 2041 the South Yorkshire economy will look very different, with an extra £7.6bn GVA, 33,000 extra people in higher level jobs, reduced income inequality and improved wages by over £1,500 for the lowest paid, and a net zero carbon economy.”
·      Create a trade union advisory council to ensure the strongest voice for workers has a seat a the table.
·      Establish a co-operative commission, and work with other local leaders, particularly Tracy Brabin in West Yorkshire to champion co-operative values.
·       Support the creation of more credit unions and give every school child in South Yorkshire a credit union account.
·      Provide funding for community co-operativesto be able to take over empty shops and premises, enabling local people to benefit and communities to be revitalised.

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎




Public Transport and Active Travel


Put simply, public transport is not good enough in South Yorkshire – it’s not reliable, it’s not frequent enough, it’s too expensive, it’s not accessible enough and it’s not integrated. It isn’t clean enough, green enough or good enough to make it the first choice for residents to get about. 


My Pledges


·      Continue the work of the current mayor and leaders to make public transport more accountable to the SYMCA with us setting the timetable and the system we want and the bus companies providing the service our communities need –not the profit the privatised companies want.
·      Work with residents as they have done in Greater Manchester to bring our buses back into public ownership.
·      Alongside Dame Sarah Storey, invest in active travel making our region more accessible and healthier at the same time; improve and extend our cycle paths; create better walking routes not just for employment but for leisure as well.
·      Improve information about public transport, make it more accessible; replace our disgusting bus shelters; provide more seating at bus stops; invest in indicator boards so everyone knows when the next bus is; increase the number of electric buses and make them available on routes across south Yorkshire
·      Work with other Northern leaders and Transport for the North to get the funding that we need to make our transport system as good as those in London and the south east.
·      Invest in more accessible better ring and ride services; have more assistance for older people, and people with dementia at train stations.

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎





South Yorkshire vs the Climate Emergency


Whilst climate change may be a global problem, important action can still take place at the local level. I will take a holistic approach to the environment, ensuring that creating a greener South Yorkshire is at the heart of everything the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority does.


My Pledges


·       Introduce a South Yorkshire Community Green New Deal where residents get together and decide how they want to tackle the climate emergency – not just planting more trees but funding repair shops for example to prevent things going to landfill. This will involve a pot of money for local community groups tackling climate change, and the creation of a South Yorkshire Community Green New Deal network, allowing knowledge and best practice to be shared across the region.
·       Ensure that the fight against climate change will be a just transition. We cannot leave communities and people behind. I will work with local authorities, trade unions, co-operatives, and businesses to make sure every community in South Yorkshire benefits from a greener world.
·       Support and invest in renewable community energy schemes. This will create green jobs and bring local communities together.





︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎






Involvement and Inclusion


From my first job as a student nurse, I learnt how important it is to listen to what people want and involve them in decisions that matter to them.  My experience as a staff nurse on a gynaecology ward set a course that I have followed ever since – I believe that people are the experts of their own experience, and the role of public services is to support and work with them, not to do to.

I am passionate about asset-based community development and believe all our engagement should follow this model – celebrating what is good and strong in our communities, not what is wrong.  Too many of our communities for years have been told that they are a problem and the strengths and assets that they have are ignored.  Too many people in South Yorkshire, feel that the Labour party isn’t their party, and I will change this.  My way of working isn’t anything new – it’s what I have been doing for all my working life and for the last 6 years as a councillor.

My pledges


·      Go to where people are already meeting and talking – Labour group meetings; community meetings; social clubs and the welfare at least twice a year and have street surgeries at least once a year with every Labour councillor in South Yorkshire.
·      Produce a quarterly newsletter that is sent to every member in South Yorkshire, talking about the work Labour is doing in South Yorkshire, and explaining how what you have told me, and what our communities have told me has influenced my work.
·      Hold an open meeting every quarter for anyone to attend – virtually to increase attendance.
·      I will work with minority communities, faith groups, and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community across South Yorkshire, making sure they have a voice at the table.

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎

 






A Safer South Yorkshire


Many people in our communities do not feel safe; they complain about not seeing enough police officers which we know have halved since Tory austerity. Furthermore, sadly, Covid-19 has seen an increase in domestic abuse and for some people they don’t feel safe in their own homes or in their communities. Whilst safety isn’t a direct in the remit of the South Yorkshire Mayor, there is still lots the next mayor can do to create safer communities.

My pledges


·      To see how the Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner can work better together to get the police officers and response from 101 that our residents need.
·      Include relationship training/advice about what is a healthy relationship as part of the apprenticeship training.
·      Reward those employers who prioritise all aspects of health and well-being.
·      Work with the LEP to ensure all workplaces have access to support and advice for those living with domestic abuse.









︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎






For The Culture


South Yorkshire has a strong cultural heritage. Our theatres, music venues, sports clubs, museums, and more have produced some of the world’s biggest stars. Unfortunately, culture in South Yorkshire is often overlooked, and many of our venues have been struggling as a result of the pandemic.

My Pledges


·       Work with partners to introduce a culture voucher for 14–18-year-olds, that can be spent at cultural institutions in South Yorkshire, whether that be the local rugby league club, or one of our many world class theatres – wherever they choose. This will support venues across the region and directly invest local money into these institutions.

·       Make South Yorkshire a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) hub, working with institutions across the region to enable the networks of talented people already working and creating in South Yorkshire to be the best they can be.







︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎






Skills and Training



Lifelong learning and access to training and re-training shouldn’t be a nice to have – it should be available to all whatever age.  Our unions offer fantastic training opportunities, and we should expect everyone to have these same opportunities. I benefited from going to night school to get qualifications and learn skills for life and it was affordable – this should be the norm in South Yorkshire and beyond!

My Pledges


·      I will work with the world class education institutions across South Yorkshire to ensure everyone, whatever their age has access to the skills and training they need.
·      Create local community partnerships brining together employers, the LEP and communities to ensure the skills training on offer matches the needs of the wider communities.




︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎









︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Endorsements


 

   


︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎ Contact Me



︎


︎

︎