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General Election Candidates

April 16th, 2015

Holborn and St. Pancras

Keir Starmer is Labour’s candidate for Holborn and St Pancras. Here is a message from Keir:

Keir Starmer, Labour's Candidate for Holborn and St Pancras

Keir Starmer, Labour’s Candidate for Holborn and St Pancras

I want to introduce myself as your Labour candidate for Holborn & St. Pancras in this election. I live in Kentish Town with my wife and two young children, and I have worked in Holborn for many years. Frank Dobson has retired, having served our local area as Member of Parliament for over three decades.  Frank has been an excellent, community-focused MP, and I promise to follow this example.

The son of a tool-maker and a nurse, I was lucky enough to go to university and qualify as a lawyer. Human rights dominated my work, and my most public role was as Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008 to 2013. Since I stepped down as DPP, I have been working with Doreen Lawrence on a central plank of Labour’s criminal justice strategy – a victims’ law – which builds on my experience in tackling violence against women and girls and child sexual abuse.

As a vibrant and diverse community, Holborn and St. Pancras reflects everything that is great about London. But I know that ever increasing inequality, inadequate housing and pressure on our local services caused by Tory cuts are very real issues.

HS2 is also a real threat. I have made clear that I do not consider that the economic or the environmental case has been made for HS2 and it would have real implications for our local community. If the scheme is to go ahead, I firmly believe that its main London terminus should be at Old Oak Common.

More affordable housing in London needs to be a national priority, and as your Labour MP I will work tirelessly to ensure this is the case.

This election will also determine the future of our NHS. The Tories can never be trusted with the NHS. Every vote for Labour is a vote to restore the NHS as a public service working cooperatively for patients, not a business run for profit.

This is a defining election and only Labour can deliver a fairer future for Holborn & St. Pancras.

To read more about Keir, and what he has been saying, visit www.keirstarmer.com

 

Hampstead and Kilburn

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Tulip Siddiq, Labour’s Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn

Tulip Siddiq is Labour’s candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn. Here is a message from Tulip:

I live in a flat in West Hampstead with my husband Chris, a short walk from my office on Kilburn High Road. My parents were married in Kilburn some forty years ago and I have spent my weekends campaigning here since I was 16, fighting to save our local hospitals, fire stations and post offices. This is the area that inspires me and that I want to represent in Parliament.

My politics are based on my experience of life in our area. I was previously a local councillor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities in Camden council; you can see a list of some of my roles in the local community further down this page. One of my main responsibilities in Cabinet was being in charge of our much loved community centres and libraries. In the face of huge government cuts, I worked with the community and library users to save our libraries for future generations.

Since being selected as Labour’s candidate for the 2015 General Election, it has been an honour to spend so much time with local residents. I have a team of fantastic volunteers and organisers, with whom I knock on doors and talk with residents about local issues and national political choices several times a week. As a team, we’ve been able to have more than twenty thousand conversations with locals in the last eighteen months. (If you want to join us, you’re very welcome at any time!)

Through these conversations and other channels, I have learned about many serious local issues that are causing concern. Wherever possible, I support or set up campaigns to tackle these issues. Even where all I can do is bring the issue to the attention of the right people (maybe apply a little pressure), it’s been fantastic where it works.

For instance, it is a testimony to the great work of many local campaigners that an ill-thought-out 24-storey building in Swiss Cottage was rejected. As another example, while we’ve not yet been able to stop HS2 completely, we’ve successfully fought for planning amendments and improved compensation for many Camden residents.

I grew up here and know the area well – I know we need a Labour Government to help it thrive.

To read more about Tulip, and her priorities for Hampstead and Kilburn, visit www.tulipsiddiq.com


Labour win St Pancras & Somers Town by-election

March 6th, 2015

Labour’s candidate for the St Pancras and Somers Town by-election, Paul Tomlinson, had a fantastic result on 5 March, winning with 72 per cent of the vote – ahead of the Conservatives with 12 per cent.  

Councillor Paul Tomlinson said, ‘We spoke to thousands of people during the campaign, discussing the issues that matter most such as HS2, the NHS and housing. People are extremely concerned about the impact Tory cuts from central government are having in Camden, but they recognise the difference a Labour council is making in difficult times. 

Paul said,I’d like to thank everyone who went out and voted for me on polling day. I can’t wait to get started, and am keen to focus on the massive issues of health inequalities in the ward.’

Keir Starmer, Labour’s MP candidate for Holborn and St Pancras said, ‘I congratulate Paul on a fantastic result. I look forward to continuing to work with him and the rest of the Labour team in Camden to make the case for the election of a Labour Government in May to save the NHS, build more homes, and address the cost of living squeeze many have felt over the last five years.’

Full results: 

Labour 1,481 [72.8%; +4.7%]

Conservative 243 [12%; +2%]

Green 213 [10.5%; -4.8%]

LD Zack Polanski 96 [4.7%; -1.9%]

Turnout: 20.7%

Majority:1,238


Continuing to make a difference in the face of severe Tory cuts

February 16th, 2015

Camden has been one of the boroughs most severely affected by cuts made by the Tory/Lib Dem Government. By 2017 our funding will have been slashed by half. Next year Camden will have had one of the highest cuts in the country.

With other growing social pressures in the borough, like cost of living rising and an ageing population, Camden will have to fill budget gap of £70 million by 2018.

We are already working hard to revolutionise the way we provide services so we can deliver them for less while finding new ways to generate additional income, such as the Night Time levy to pay for policing, and substantially reducing Town Hall costs. We also are lobbying the government for new powers to fine fly-tippers and introduce a Tourist tax to keep our streets clean.

Whilst the Tories are cutting taxes for millionaires, Camden Labour’s plans are focused on protecting the most vulnerable in our community and prioritising the things that make the biggest difference. We are providing:

– 25 hours affordable childcare, helping parents into work and careers

– extra support for mental health services including the launch of Camden’s first fund aimed at preventing mental ill health

– a better focus on preventing domestic violence, helping residents to live safer lives free from the fear of violence.

Camden Labour’s priorities have been demonstrated further by signing Camden up to the Ethical Care Charter to end poverty pay in the care sector, and by 2016 all direct and contracted workers for the council will be paid the London Living Wage. 

We will also continue our council house building programme, using Camden’s land to solve the housing crisis.  One-in-20 council house starts in the country are in Camden.

Camden has been keeping residents updated with plans to meet the financial challenge we face, and proposals were agreed by Cabinet in September and December. However, we already know that we need to prepare for further funding cuts beyond those already projected, including an estimated £20 million for 2018/19 alone.

This means some very difficult decisions need to be made, and if agreed by Cabinet in February, on Monday 2 March Full Council will consider a report which proposes that council tax is increased by 1.99%. If agreed, this would provide £1.7m per year to invest in services which could not be cut by central government like other funding can.

The sheer size of the Tory cuts to Camden means that we knew we could not consider ruling out increasing council tax to ensure that we are able to protect services for the most vulnerable people in our community. This would only be the third increase in council tax in Camden in the last 10 years and would work out at less than 40p per week for residents in a band D property. Those that can’t afford it will get the help they need to pay.

Tory/Lib Dem cuts are having a big impact on how we do things in the borough, but Camden Labour is determined to continue to protect those who need a helping hand by prioritising those services which will make the biggest difference.


Labour candidate chosen for St Pancras and Somers Town by-election

February 4th, 2015

Paul Tomlinson has been chosen by local members to stand for Labour in the St Pancras and Somers Town by-election. The by-election has been called for Thursday 5th March, following the death of Labour councillor Peter Brayshaw.

Paul has lived locally in St Pancras and Somers Town Ward for many years and is active in the community. Paul has strong links with his local Tenants Association and has a strong record campaigning on local issues as well as representing tenants.

Paul is committed to working hard with the current Labour councillors Roger Robinson and Samata Khatoon to represent local residents. Paul cares passionately about improving community safety and delivering good local services to tackle high inequality in the area. He is committed to opposing HS2 and will fight to get the best possible deal for local residents on affordable homes and local jobs if the government forces its plans on Camden.

Paul said ‘I am pleased to have been selected by local members and now look forward to speaking to as many residents as possible before the 5th March. I want to hear from them about the local issues which matter most.’


Council grants for community festivals protected

January 22nd, 2015

Camden Council will provide £35,000 of grants to support community festivals over the coming year.

Due to heavy cuts from the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government, Camden Council has had to find savings of £73 million over the next 3 years. However, following a Cabinet meeting in December 2014, £35,000 will continue to be made available as grants for community festivals in Camden. All community festivals that receive a grant will also receive a waiver of all non-statuary fees and charges.

Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Culture Cllr. Abdul Hai said:

“Despite the savings of £73 million that we have to make over the next three years we have protected this money because we recognise that community festivals have an important role to play in helping community cohesion.”