Why Lewisham East matters

Lewisham East is a great place to live – I chose to make my home here 7 years ago and haven’t looked back since.

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As a councillor, I’ve worked with many of the people who make our community what it is – the Phoenix Housing Board, the Friends & Users of Staplehurst Road Shops, the Heathside & Lethbridge Tenants Association, the civic amenity societies in Blackheath, Lee and Culverley Green, the Southend Village Action Group and the Friends & Users of Grove Park Nature Reserve – I could go on!

I share the desire of these groups to improve the place we all call home and it would be a privilege to fight a General Election in our constituency.

Life in Lewisham East is relatively comfortable for some of us but for many others, things aren’t so great. In the last year local unemployment has nearly doubled and teenage pregnancy rates are some of the highest in the country. In parts of the constituency, average house prices are 10 times average incomes. Some of our town centres, such as Catford, are in desperate need of renewal and crime remains a very real issue for many people.

As your MP in Lewisham East, I would prioritise the following areas of work:

Making work pay – many local people, especially single parent families still find it hard to make work pay. Londoners need a Living Wage and action is needed across the private and public sector to make this happen.

Tackling violent youth crime – young lives are being lost needlessly on our streets and whilst there is no easy solution we need to support parents and get public and voluntary organisations working together better.

Fair funding for elderly care – year aft­er year, councils across the country are struggling to give older citizens the sort of care they deserve. The current funding regime is inadequate and must be reviewed.

Affordable housing – overcrowding in social housing is a serious problem locally, yet the private sector has not built the right sort of homes for Londoners.

Raising aspiration and expanding horizons – parts of Lewisham East are a 15 minute DLR ride away from Canary Wharf but for some kids growing up in the constituency, it might as well be another world. This has to change.

Reconnecting with the electorate – we have a fantastically diverse community but we must do more to reach out to those who feel disenfranchised . The BNP have minimal support in Lewisham East – let’s keep it that way.

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