I’ve spent months talking to people across the constituency and listening to their views about the changes they want to see. I’ll put your priorities at the heart of everything I do. They include:
Protecting our NHS
I owe the NHS more than I can ever say. It saved my daughter’s life and gave me my voice. But despite the hard work of its amazing staff, years of under-funding has left the NHS struggling to cope. We see it locally. Our local hospitals have among the worst waits for cancer treatment in the country and Barnet has some of the worst waiting times for access to mental health treatment anywhere in England and Wales. And I’ve lost track of the number of local residents who tell me they struggle to get an appointment with their GP. People struggle to even get appointments for some listed specialisms at hospitals serving the community. It’s just not good enough. As your MP, I will fight for the NHS, for proper funding and stand up for its dedicated staff.
Getting more bobbies on the beat and investing in our police
Over the last nine years, the Government has imposed deep cuts on the police. Nationally, the police budget has been slashed by over £1 billion and police numbers have fallen by over 20,000. And the result? After years of falling, crime is rising and many people tell me they are worried about anti-social behaviour. Here in Hendon, the police cuts have hit hard. Our neighbourhood policing teams have been halved in size and the specialist teams that support them have been cut. As a result, officers are overstretched and cannot commit as much time as they’d like going out on patrol. I’ve been out on patrol with local officers. They do a great job-but they need much more help. As your MP, I’ll fight to get more investment in the police, to reverse the police cuts and to get the police the support they need to help keep us safe.
Investing in our children’s futures
Our children’s futures are so important. But the Conservatives have put them at risk by cutting the money schools get for each pupil. Nationwide, 9 out of 10 schools have seen their per pupil funding cut in real terms. And in Hendon, local schools have seen their funding per child cut by an average of £250 a year in real terms since 2015. I’vevisited local schools and talked to parents and teachers across the community. They’ve told me that their schools are struggling to cope and that a growing number are having to lay off staff, cut back on activities or put off investment. I have also heard that some families are finding it increasingly difficult to access the specialist services-like support for those with Special Educational Needs and Disability-that they desperately need. Unfortunately, rather than standing up for local schools, Hendon’s Conservative MP has supported the cuts. Hendon’s families deserve so much better. As a parent, I know how important good schools are for our kids’ happiness and future. As your MP, I will fight to make sure get local schools the funding they need.
Investing in good housing for all
Decent housing should be a right, not a privilege. Yet today in Barnet, 3,000 children are homeless. Spiralling rents mean that even those in good jobs are struggling to afford decent housing and in some cases face sub-standard accommodation or poor treatment by their landlords. Sky-high house prices mean that a whole generation is being forced to give up the dream of home ownership. And social tenants are all too often being treated as second class citizens. Meanwhile, big developers are ignoring local residents’ concerns, failing to invest in sufficient infrastructure to support developments and not providing enough affordable and social dwellings. It’s just not good enough. I will campaign for more social and affordable housing, both through government taking more of a role in building social and genuinely affordable units and through placing more obligation on developers. I will fight for better rights for tenants, for measures to ensure rents are affordable-including rent controls-and, critically, to give local residents a far greater say in developments.
Fighting against No Deal Brexit and for second referendum
However you voted in the referendum, I’m sure you’ll agree that the Government has made a huge mess of Brexit. The country is more divided than ever. The Government is completely stuck. And time is running out. We need to come together and we need a resolution. Our local Conservative MP has said that he thinks Brexit must mean a “complete divorce" from Europe. The No Deal Brexit he is advocating would be a complete disaster for Hendon residents. Many would lose their jobs and the country would wind up poorer and humiliated. That’s not what people voted for. And I'm disappointed that he's refused my invitation to debate his position here in Hendon. I believe we need to break the deadlock and give the people, not politicians, the final say. That’s why I support holding a confirmatory referendum. And if there is another referendum, I will campaign for the UK to remain.
Taking on prejudice
My father is a Holocaust survivor. Like many of you, my family knows first-hand the impact of prejudice and hate. That’s why I’m determined to take on antisemitism wherever it’s found. This is not just a political issue-it is a moral one. Labour needs to do more to tackle antisemitism and address the concerns of the Jewish community. I will keep fighting for the party to take the strongest action. And I’ll always stand up against Islamophobia and racism and stand in solidarity with the victims of all prejudice. Anti-racism is at the heart of who I am as a person. As your candidate, it will be my highest calling.
Fighting for an economy that works for all
A strong economy is vital for building a fairer society. But the reality is that the economy is not working for most people. Working people are suffering the longest pay squeeze in 200 years. Millions of people are trapped in a cycle of low pay and precarious work. Even when people get a degree or higher qualification, they often can’t find a well paid job. Meanwhile, thanks to benefit cuts, one in four children in Barnet is growing up in poverty. We need change. I will fight for better standards of living and more help for working people through higher wages, more support for working families and for more investment in the economy to drive the creation of more good jobs and for more rights at work. I’ll also fight to keep your bills down, supporting nationalisation of some key utilities. And while Labour will provide more investment for our public services and to create new opportunity in our economy, we’ll also fight to ensure that taxes don’t rise for most people. 95% of people will see their taxes remain the same under Labour.
Sorting out rubbish, fly-tipping, parking and streets
One of the most fundamental jobs of the council is to get the basics right-collect rubbish, keep the street cleans, ensure roads and pavements are maintained and safe and make sure there’s enough parking. Yet Barnet Council has failed to do this time and time again. Cuts to rubbish collection and street cleaning and the removal of council skips have meant that many households have not had their rubbish collected regularly and have fuelled an epidemic of fly-tipping. Pavements are in poor condition and roads are full of potholes. And because the Conservative council has allowed developments to be built that don’t have enough parking spaces, too many residential roads have wound up being used as parking lots by non-residents. Residents have raised these issues time and time again. But the local Conservative MP hasn’t lifted a finger to sort out the problems. It’s just not good enough. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected as your MP, I’ll work night and day to hold the council to account and to force them to take action to address these issues.