Why Lewisham East matters to me

Young Mayor launch 2009

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

As a former councillor and now as an MP, I work 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 I am very proud to represent our community in Parliament.

Life in Lewisham East is relatively comfortable for some but for many others, things aren’t so great. As your MP in Lewisham East, I am prioritising the following areas of work:

  • Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour – 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.
  • 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.
  • A better deal for Lewisham on the trains and buses – many people in this part of London rely upon public transport to get around. Ultimately, we need to bring the tube to Lewisham but in the meantime we need more trains and better bus services.
  • 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 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. Teenage pregnancy rates are also some of the highest in Europe. 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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