I am a working mother and, for the past 5 years, have been a Labour Councillor in Maida Vale – where I went to school and grew up. I was drawn to Labour early in life and became a passionate advocate for social justice. I created history in 2014 by being elected against the odds - breaking a Tory stronghold since the 1980s. This led to the election of an all Labour Cllrs ward in 2018.
I have put my name forward to be Labour's candidate for the West Central constituency in the London Assembly. It is my home area. So far I am grateful to have won "supportive nominations" from my home constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Westminster North as well as from Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Chelsea and Fulham CLPs. I am awaiting the decision of the 5th CLP Cities of London and Westminster. Over the next 2 months there will be a hotly contested one person one vote of over 5,000 party members of the 5 constituencies.
To win a selection process I need to raise funds to print & post leaflets Labour Party members, to design and create imaginative and professional social media campaigns and to earn thetrust and win votes of Party members in October 2019 to become the candidate. If successful then I have to defeat the right wing, Brexit supporting Tory in May 2020 who is the current incumbent.
I’m directly involved in the co-operative / social enterprise economy as a Director of Paddington Youth Enterprises and firmly believe in the future for our communities being bottom up, not trickle down. I would seek for that to be the focus of my campaign.
As a Westminster City councillor I approve local funding of many projects. I have also operationally managed projects from scratch, using limited funding and staff – including overseeing the running of an over 50s social club. I work on front line event management of community events (Festivals and Social / Well Being sessions) & as a Befriending Coordinator for AGE UK - recruiting, training and supporting volunteers on a daily basis. In addition, I have also held the post of Community Centre officer at a local hub in Queens Park.
I now want to spread this knowledge and passion across a wider area of London. Sadiq has a huge ability to impact on housing, transport and policing. These affect everyone’s quality of life, the air we breathe and the wellbeing status of Londoners. But we need to shape the governance models used by promoting social and co-operative principles to ensure communities are empowered. I would call for TfL to adopt a co-operative governance model - ensuring customers and staff have a say in executive decision-making processes. I also want us to invest in renewable energy and cleaner public transport emissions - reducing pollution levels (including buses and taxis).
The Mayor has power to act on the housing crisis by creating cheaper rented council housing, regulating rip-off lease holds, poorly maintained social housing and levels of rough sleeping that is such a stain on our city’s soul. I would place as one of my highest priorities the need for vast investment in low cost rented housing and urgent investment in youth services / facilities. The epidemic of youth violence must be tackled in imaginative and well-resourced interventions.
I support plans for a small Tourist Tax charge on room occupancy eg £2 per person per night (similar to those used in 14 European countries and the USA) to raise up to £20 million per borough to invest in youth services, apprenticeships and for more and better police to stem the epidemic of knife crime and give London's young people hope. We also urgently need more and better social housing, rent controls on private rented property and reform of rip off lease holds.
We can only solve current shortfalls by making our highest priority as investment in people, especially youth. A Tourist Tax is an imaginative solution.
Nationally and internationally there is no "jobs friendly" Brexit. I support the Labour for a Public Vote campaign. There is no Brexit that will be good for the environment and food standards and there is no Brexit that is good for human rights, women and equality. There is no Brexit that is good for peace in Ireland and there is no Brexit that is good for our European comrades who live and work in the UK. There is no Brexit that is good for the NHS, its staff and patients. We need a Public Vote on what happens next and Labour need to campaign passionately to Remain.
I will work tirelessly to ensure a Labour and Cooperative gain in West Central and the election of Sadiq Khan at Mayor of London.