Being a councillor is no easy job!
The Conservative government has slashed funding for Merton Council. They have taken away £4 from every £10 spent on local public services such as schools, care of the elderley, libraries, rubbish collection, street sweeping and road resurfacing.
In such difficult times I definitely want Labour councillors who are prepared to stand up for the needs of the many.
Our Labour council has been able to protect services for the elderly and the vulnerable. They have also succeeded in starting work on a new leisure centre to be opened in the borough this Autumn. On top of this they rejected pressure to close the libraries, recognising that they are a place of enjoyment and learning at the heart of any community, providing a meeting place for groups and free access to the internet which is especially useful for those wanting to apply for jobs. They didn’t close them, they decided to rejuvenate them instead.
On 3rd May there are local elections. You have a chance to send a powerful message to this weak and divided Conservative government.
I'm grateful to all the candidates. They live locally, work hard and are committed to Labour values of fairness and equality. As a Merton resident, parent and teacher, and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Wimbledon, I urge you to vote for them. You can see their full profiles here.
With good wishes and thanks,
Here is what we promise for the next four years:
1) Make Merton a great place for families
With Merton's state schools now officially the country's best, we will continue to value our children’s education and open a new secondary school in the centre of the borough. We will complete the building of a new leisure centre, support our libraries, protect the Freedom Pass for older residents, and continue to work to bring AFC Wimbledon home.
2) Build more genuinely affordable homes
We will work with housing associations and the Mayor of London to build more new homes and establish targets for the maximum level of genuinely affordable council, social and London Living rents in house building schemes over the next four years.
We will look to introduce a landlord licencing scheme.
3) Protect you from Tory austerity
After 8 years of some of London's lowest council tax increases, residents know our instincts are to keep it as low as possible, and we will ‘
- continue to offer council tax rebates for low paid families
- fight Tory cuts to our schools and care services, and .
- defend our residents against a Tory hard Brexit.
4) Deliver a cleaner greener borough
We will drive up recycling rates and employ teams to fine those fly tipping and littering. Introducing the wheeled bin service will eradicate litter from split black bags.
We will continue to protect the fifth of the borough that is open parkland, and we will work with the Mayor of London on air quality initiatives.
5) Fight to save our hospitals
We will continue to campaign to save our hospitals from Tory cuts, including a blue light ambulance service and the accident and emergency service at St Helier, plus improvements to St George's.
6) Keep our neighbourhoods safe
We will campaign against Tory cuts to the Metropolitan Police, and for more police officers on our streets. We will work to stop the rise in violent crime, and continue to take action against street drinking and anti-social behaviour.
We will introduce 20 mph zones to improve road safety.