UNISON backs Leigh Redman for Bridgwater

Leigh talks to us about his campaign and why he’s standing to be an MP

Leigh Redman with UNISON members in Somerset lobbying the council about funding cuts.

UNISON has formally nominated Leigh Redman as the union’s choice for Labour in Bridgwater and Burnham. We caught up with Leigh to talk about the realities of life in Somerset and what motivated him to want to be an MP.

Leigh, an ex-firefighter, and Fire Brigades Union (FBU) member is currently a Unite branch secretary representing over 3,000 public sector workers in Somerset.

Why are you running for Parliament?

I believe that an MP should be grounded in the community they represent, I believe the MP should be the voice of that community in Westminster. The current government are only interested in their rich friends and not the people they represent. I know I can do better for Bridgwater and Burnham and be the voice my community needs.

What have you learnt from being in a trade union?

Working together and being strong makes work places better and stronger. I love the comradery unions bring, I love how a good rep can drive the agenda, my union involvement has help make me be a better person building and strengthening my political perspective. I have learnt so much from being in unions.

It was under the FBU I got my union training, I started as branch rep and moved up from there, I finished as the last chair of Somerset Fire Service FBU working on the combination, a member of the national retained committee, equalities and more.

What would you say to public service workers voting in the next election?

You have a chance to make your working life better and make the services you work in more effective for the people you help, this government has ground down so many of our public services, locally there is nothing left to cut, in most cases after 14 years of Tory control councils are having to just support statutory services.

Our NHS is at breaking point, all that is left is a hollow framework where staff are forced to make dangerous decisions with no support.

The only viable option is a Labour government that can start to rebuild our country.

What issues do you particularly care about in politics / your constituency?

I am a massive advocate for people, it breaks my heart seeing how workers have suffered, families are not supported, waiting lists are appalling, care is suffering, everywhere the rich are getting richer because of this government. I will, if selected and elected work to rebuild on communities.

I have been engaged locally for many years, I am very vocal about Hinkley C, challenging and supporting. I am working hard behind the scenes to bring Gravity forward, both of these will be instrumental in the future development of our constituency, the development of the new centre for excellence for adult social care is in my division.

I believe the constituency is truly the working heart of Somerset and I will fight for the best every step of the way.

Read more about Leigh here