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Labour’s Val Shawcross sets out vision for Bermondsey & Old Southwark

With the general election campaign now under way, Labour candidate Val Shawcross has published her list of priorities for Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

Val Shawcross AM
Val Shawcross AM

Last week incumbent Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes published his 12-point list of local pledges. Now his Labour challenger Val Shawcross has responded with her own list of a dozen priorities for the constituency.

Ms Shawcross, who has represented Lambeth and Southwark on the London Assembly for the past decade, was selected last summer as Labour's parliamentary candidate in the renamed Bermondsey & Old Southwark constituency.

"The proof of an MP is whether they care enough to fight for you – even against their own party if they have to," says Val.

"I believe that the people you represent are more important than anything else. Simon Hughes's Lib Dem council is serving the most vulnerable people in this community extremely badly and yet he takes no action to try and sort out the mess.''

Val Shawcross says that, if elected, these will be the 12 key issues in her first term as MP:

Regenerating town centres & markets. "We need more action to get the Elephant and Castle regeneration project moving and to support local shopping areas and markets like East Street and The Blue."

Action for local jobs. "Our MP should be marshalling support for local labour, training and apprenticeship schemes to give unemployed youngsters a decent start up experience for their working life. Labour is pledging to make sure that youngsters under 24 get full time, education, training or an apprenticeship."

Better facilities for youngsters of all our communities. Youngsters deserve a universal right to youth service activities and sports. We all benefit when youngsters have something constructive to do with their time.

Build more affordable homes. "Housing waiting lists are far too long due to political dithering in the Council. Southwark people want a chance for their children to buy or rent a home in their own community. The MP should be pressuring Southwark Council to tackle its housing crisis and put together a proper programme for decent homes standard work. Instead they spend millions on a new office and don't even apply for funding from the Government for decent home works when it's available. Southwark Council's housing crisis is of the Liberal Democrat council's making but typically the current MP looks for someone else to blame."

A fair deal for leaseholders. "As the MP I will champion their cause against the council and other freeholders who manage properties badly and hit leaseholders with exorbitant annual service charges and massive repair bills."

Green spaces matter. "Our urban population needs green spaces for children to play in and to keep our environment pleasant, quiet and clean. Southwark should protect more of its green land, including the greens around Council estates."

• "I will fight inappropriate development and planning proposals where the public interest is clear."

• "I will press agencies to crack down on nuisance street drinkers and drug users causing fear and distress amongst local resident, especially at hotspots around Waterloo and Borough. Many street drinkers would benefit from rehabilitation and repatriation services."

• "We will give a better deal for the elderly. Labour is pledging to end the postcode lottery for care for the elderly to ensure that everyone who needs it will be given good quality social care in their own homes by creating a new National Care Service."

• "Protect community run festivals and events which are too precious to be thrown away as so-called 'efficiency savings'. The Event in Southwark Park will always be supported by a Labour MP and a Labour council."

• "Support churches, mosques and voluntary groups which work to build peace and safety in our community. I believe in the equality of all people and the need to build understanding and good relations in our community."

• "I will walk my talk – living in the constituency, using public transport and the same public services that everyone else does. I will never take donations from big business and only expend what public money I need to provide a first class and accessible advice and constituency office for my constituents."

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