Wednesday 19 February 2014

A Residents' Manifesto For Hammersmith and Fulham

Me summing up at last night's 'A Residents' Manifesto
for Hammersmith and Fulham' public meeting
I believe that local politics can be done differently and think it is critical that residents have an opportunity to influence what their council does right from the start and irrespective of their usual party political preference. So last night, around eighty members of the public attended an open manifesto meeting which took place at Holy Innocents Church, Hammersmith.

Lord Andrew Adonis kindly chaired the meeting and residents were given the opportunity to tell us what they want to happen or ask about how we might get things done. It was a very good meeting. Residents were there with views from across the political spectrum and they gave us suggestions on a wide range of subjects. Those included: how to re-structure the Council to ensure that all future administration's have to listen; saving local hospitals from the Tories’ planned bulldozers; a wide range of housing suggestions; stopping local parks from being sold off; halting the cosy hospitality and planning culture the current administration has with property developers; delivering excellent schools; efficiency and tax and much more. My colleagues and I took extensive notes.

I support some of the things the current Conservative administration has done. We will keep the things that work and halt those that don’t.

If you have a policy proposal or suggestion on what you would like to see our council do over the next four years then please email me here.

All proposals will go forward to the policy groups which are chaired by members of the Borough’s shadow cabinet. They will submit their conclusions to H&F Labour’s costs-benefits team who will reconsider everything and make sure every policy that makes it into the final manifesto is fully costed and fits within the Council’s current budget limits. We will publish our manifesto at the beginning of the local election campaign.

Andy Slaughter MP (Lab) kindly attended and ran through why he was opposed to a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

It was great to have the support of Lord Andrew Adonis. Lord Adonis is respected from all sides of the political divide as one of the leading public policy thinkers in the country. He headed up the Number 10 Policy Unit under Prime Minister Tony Blair and went on to be minister of state for education and transport.

As well as talking about academies and free schools, HS2 and other important initiatives, Lord Adonis ran through Hammersmith and Fulham Labour's five early pledges. Those are:

Save our hospitals.The Conservative council plans to demolish Charing Cross Hospital to build flats for overseas investors. Labour will block this and defend our hospitals.
Cut Council Tax. Conservative councillors are wasting millions on propaganda, overpaid officials and new Town Hall offices while introducing nearly 600 stealth taxes. Labour will cut waste, cut Council Tax and put more money back in people’s pockets.
Homes for residents, not overseas investors. Conservative councillors approve more new homes for overseas investors than local people. Labour will reverse this and ensure homes are built that residents can afford and support social and private tenants
Defend neighbourhood policing. Since the last election the Conservatives have cut police by 32 and slashed the safer neighbourhood teams. Labour will put police back on the beat.
Put residents first, not property speculators. The Conservative Council puts property speculators first and ignores residents. Labour will give residents a real say with new powers.

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