I’ve spent months talking to people across the constituency and listening to your views about the changes you want to see. I’ll put your priorities at the heart of everything I do. They include:
Fixing the housing crisis
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 appallingly, being forced to live in terrible conditions and being ignored by Barnet Homes. 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'll bring change. Labour will take strong steps to fix the housing crisis. We'll build 1 millions new, genuinely affordable homes and will bring inn the biggest programme of council house building inn a generation. We'll bring in stronger rights for tenants and leaseholders, rent caps and measures to give local residents a say over redevelopments. And we'll end rough sleeping. We'll take strong action to tackle the housing crisis and ensure all have a decent home.
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.
I'll bring change. As your MP, I will fight for the NHS, for proper funding and stand up for its dedicated staff. Labour will undertake the largest programme of investment in the NHS' history to reverse the damage the government has caused. We'll set up a national care service, to help families struggling to afford social care for their loved ones and will abolish prescription charges. And we'll end the threat of privatisation and higher drug bills.
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 21,000. 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. The Conservatives are offering gimmicks that will not even reverse the cuts.
As your MP, I'll bring change. 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. I'll fight for police cuts not just to be fully and permanently reversed, but for additional officers and staff to be hired. And I'll support Labour's plans not just to tackle crime but to address its root causes, through investment in youth services to help provide support for young people at risk of going off the rails.
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 Barnet, local schools have seen their funding per child cut by an average of £380 a year in real terms since 2015. I’ve visited local schools and talked to parents and teachers across the community. You’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 (SEND)-that they desperately need. Meanwhile, students continue to face a huge debt burden that puts off many attending university. Unfortunately, rather than standing up for local schools and young people, Hendon’s do-nothing MP has supported the cuts.
Hendon’s families deserve so much better. I'll bring real change. 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. Labour will undertake the largest investment in schools and education in a generation-sustained funding, not one-off gimmicks like the Conservatives. And we'll go further. We'll set up a National Education Service, to ensure that all receive the support they need at every stage of their educational journey. We'll offer 30 hours free nursery a week for 2-4 year olds, will open 1,000 Sure Start centres to help all children get the best start in life, will properly fund further education and we will invest in the right help for people with pecial Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). Moreover, for students, we will scrap tuition fees.
Sorting out the Brexit mess by giving the People the final say
However you voted in the referendum, I’m sure you’ll agree that the Government has made a huge mess of Brexit. Boris Johnson's bad Brexit deal would cost us each over £2,250 a year. Our do-nothing supports that terrible deal and has said that he thinks Brexit must mean a “complete divorce" from Europe, despite the fact that our community voted overwhelmingly to remain. He's ignoring your views. And I'm disappointed that he's refused my invitation to debate his position here in Hendon.
We need to sort out the Brexit mess the government has created. I believe the best way to get this done is to give the people, rather than the politicians, the final say. That's why I support holding a Final Say referendum -a People's Vote-on any deal. 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 - my 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. I will work hard every day to earn the trust of every community on this issue. 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. Too many people are struggling to make ends meet. Working people are suffering the longest pay squeeze in 200 years. Millions of people are trapped in a cycle of low pay, zero hours contracts and insecure work.
Even when people play by the rules, get a degree or higher qualification and work hard, they often can’t find a good job or afford to get a place of their own. Meanwhile, over 40% of children in Hendon are growing up in poverty after housing costs are taken into account.
I'll bring change. Labour will bring in a genuine living wage, raising it to £10 an hour for all. We'll bring in lower bills by running utilities for people not profit. We'll bring in greater rights at work, work towards a 32 hour week, will get rid of zero hours contracts and will invest in our economy to help boost growth and get the economy moving. We'll also take strong steps to build an economy that is not just fairer, but works for the environment (see below). 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 income tax and National Insurance remain the same under Labour.
Tackling the climate crisis
We face a climate crisis. We need to act now, before it is too late, both for our sake and the sake of generations yet to come. The current government has done little to address the problem. But Labour will. We've committed to ambitious targets to get to zero net carbon emissions. And we've developed practical and ambitious policies to make them a reality. Among other things, Labour will introduce measures to insulate all 27m homes in the country to dramatically cut their carbon footprint. We'll increase wind farms at sea by 700% and install solar panels on 1.75m low income homes to reduce their carbon footprint and cut their bills. We will bring about a revolution in the use of electric vehicles. We will establish a National Transformation Fund to help fund the transition to a zero carbon economy. And we will launch a Green Industrial Revolution which create over 450,000 good jobs.
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 our do-nothing MP has barely 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.