New member, Philip Hardstone, explains why he has left the Labour Party after 30 years and now believes the Yorkshire Party is the future.
I have recently taken what is for me a big decision and resigned my membership of the Labour Party in order to join the Yorkshire Party.
It is true that parts of Yorkshire consist of the most beautiful landscape imaginable and there is much to celebrate about my beloved home county but there are also parts of Yorkshire which represent awful decay, high unemployment, shortened life expectancy and low achievement. All due to a lack of investment by successive Westminster Governments.
I have always believed that for politics to be effective, decisions need to be taken as closely as possible to where people live and work. The Yorkshire Party stands on the progressive side of politics, its main aim being the creation of a Parliament for Yorkshire, similar to that enjoyed by the citizens of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Above: Philip is welcomed to the Yorkshire Party by leader Stewart Arnold.
Albeit I now live in Bridlington, as a Batley lad, I dare to dream of a thriving, healthy, environmentally clean, cohesive and inclusive Yorkshire for my three grandchildren to inherit. To achieve this dream we need greater control of our own destiny politically just like the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish.
I have attended my local Bridlington Branch of the Labour Party a couple of times but without going into detail, there is no attraction for me there. Sadly, the chaos caused by Labour Members of Parliament and the Labour leadership has pushed the chances of a progressive government in 2020 further away in my view and I cannot build the energy to work towards what feels like a hopeless cause, nor do I want to be a part of the infighting going along amongst Labour members.
Now that I am retired, have more time on my hands and free of the constraints of working for a local authority, I wish to dedicate more of my time to this cause. I realise that the fulfilment of this dream is a long way off but that's no excuse for not getting started.
With a professional background in community engagement, I have always believed that for politics to be effective, decisions need to be taken as closely as possible to where people live and work. I believe that the Yorkshire Party offers the ideal vehicle to achieve this ambition and look forward to meeting other members over time.
For me it's time to be positive and work for a positive cause on behalf of my fellow citizens of my beloved Yorkshire!