LATEST: View David's leaflet to find out more about why he is standing and some of his policies.
Poplar and Limehouse is home to the great wealth of Canary Wharf - and also the 3rd highest rate of child poverty in the UK (behind Manchester and Birmingham). I believe government and MPs can do a lot more to increase the life chances of children, people and families living in Poplar and Limehouse and across the UK.
I have personal experience of this as I grew up in an area of high unemployment and poverty as a child. I was one of the lucky ones to break free to become one of the first UK internet entrepreneurs in 1994 - however many of my friends did not break free and fell into a life of unemployment and underemployment.
This lack of social justice inspired me to exit my first company in 2004 to focus on improving the lives of others. For example, I self-invested and innovated popup training academies developing the skills of people trapped in unemployment so they can move into worthwhile work.
With major parties moving further left and right, today I am standing as a centrist independent MP candidate for Poplar and Limehouse where I believe I can make a real difference in changing people's lives for the better.
Why focus on child poverty?
Focussing on eradicating child poverty also brings our attention to some of the root causes of it - namely unemployment, underemployment and low pay, high living costs and job insecurity. These are the issues of our generation where:
- Earnings have not kept pace with price increases, so those in lower paid jobs can only do better by increasing their hours
- Lack of genuinely affordable homes
- 1 in 5 jobs in London pay below the London Living Wage, including 50% of part time jobs – most carried out by women
How can we end child poverty?
The experts at Child Poverty Action Group believe that to improve the life chances of children, we must:
- Provide better support for families
- Ensure adequate family incomes
- Support young people's transition into adulthood
- Provide better homes and living environments
- Ensure high quality early education and care for all children
- Have an education system that works for all children
- Lower costs for families
However to deliver on these, we need centrist politicians focussed on creating a fair society because child poverty can be reduced through policy, for example we can:
National policy change:
- End the freeze on Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit and reinstate link between annual increases in benefit levels and inflation
- Ensuring government makes Universal Credit 'fit for families'
Work and pay:
- Commitments from employers to pay the London Living Wage, offer flexible, family-friendly working and support employees with their childcare needs
- An increase in the supply of affordable housing that is fit for families, not just 1-2 bedroom flats (defining affordability in relation to income levels, not market rates)
- Ensure we have a fair Private Rented Sector
Why stand as a centrist independent?
I wrote my book, #eSociety, with an aspiration to see a society where all people, regardless of socio-economic background, are empowered, enterprising and have equality of opportunity. I published the need for eSociety in January 2017 (available on Amazon).
However, there is a lack of centrist political parties and this has left moderate voters (like me) unsure about who to vote for and, often, voting for a party we don't truly believe in or not voting at all. With this in mind, I have taken a further step forward by standing as a centrist independent MP candidate as a new movement for change.
I have already stood as an Independent for a local council election in Portsoken, City of London, where 15% of people voted for me and will now be standing for Poplar and Limehouse where child poverty is the 3rd highest in the country.
How you can help
Make a donation to the campaign
With just over 82,000 voters in Poplar and Limehouse, help me raise £5,000 to cover the costs of campaigning, including leaflets and posters, to ensure every resident has the chance to see our campaign message and that they do have a choice to vote for a new candidate who can help increase the life chances and prosperity of children and people in Poplar and Limehouse.
Volunteer with the campaign team
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved in the campaign.
More about David Barker
My book #eSociety, part-autobiography and part-manifesto, serialises my journey and has already received 19 Amazon reader reviews. You can read the reviews here to see how people have responded to my story and passion for standing for election.
Work-wise, some of the projects and organisations I am currently involved with include:
- Trustee of Livery Schools Link: www.liveryschoolslink.org.uk
A charity promoting support for schools in the Greater London area by Livery Companies of the City of London and their members, helping to prepare young people for the world of work
- Board member of Aldgate Community Events: www.aldgatecommunityevents.london
A volunteer-led organisation, set up and run by individuals from across the area. ACE produces a diverse range of art and cultural events, programmes and activities in and around Aldgate
- Founder and Director of The Tech Centre: www.techcentre.com
I created The Tech Centre with a mission to help charities, social enterprises and people better use technology for social good.
Also please follow me on Twitter for latest updates on the campaign: www.twitter.com/d_barker
Thank you for your support!
David Barker, standing as a centrist independent MP in the June 2017 Parliamentary Election.