If elected to represent Carshalton & Wallington on 12th December, I will fight for local interests affecting the constituency now and into the future.
Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030 (July 2019) plans removing Acute care – A&E, maternity, paediatrics; intensive, cancer and coronary care – from Epsom Hospital, St Helier Hospital, or both, in favour of a new, central acute facility, most likely in Sutton.
Carshalton & Wallington has a growing population – and faces rising levels of dementia in its care homes. Yet over St Helier Hospital, the local LibDem and Tory machines have long acquiesced to or upheld a complicated succession of dubious plans, each more opaque than the last. For locals and NHS workers alike, that’s meant endless promises, consultations and delays.
LibDems, Tories and Labour are always 'saving' St Helier, and at a national level now promise untold spending sprees. Yet they, Boris Johnson and the South West London health bureaucracy think they can play the Three Card Trick and hype as a brand new hospital what is really only a 'new facility' ready in... 2025.
We deserve a new, transparent, and accountable politics of healthcare, and I will demand that.
We must plan ahead. Our population is growing, and set to continue to do so. St Helier Hospital is strained; so are trains and WiFi. Local broadband is also weak. Such new housing schemes as are being built – usually mean in scope and dear to buy – are also developed without regard to the accompanying need for school places and parking spaces.
Local residents deserve more and better bus and rail services: services that are less crowded and more modern, frequent and accessible. Residents deserve, too, an MP who'll fight for full, rapid and dedicated connections to Crossrail 2 and the Northern Line. Without ambition on transport, the constituency, already barely supported by GLA funds, faces an uncertain fate – particularly in relation to the high-tech employers it needs to attract.
Britain as a whole needs to erect millions of houses on the 90 per cent of our landmass that isn't built upon. In Parliament that case has never been made; meanwhile, Carshalton & Wallington suffer from GLA guesses that Sutton can, for 10 years after December 2017, find 738 homes a year on sites smaller than 0.25 hectares.
I will campaign FOR full public disclosure of all plans for property development, and AGAINST overloading our under-invested infrastructure.
Carshalton & Wallington needs excellence in all three kinds of education: mainstream academic, special needs, and vocational training.
Local schools and further education colleges have a fine record, and make the constituency a congenial place for families to live and grow.
However, the Borough is already short of 134 school places. In the face of this, LibDem councillors voted recently against the building of a new 1,200-place school at Rosehill, which was to include a unit for pupils on the autistic spectrum.
In 2018, Sutton Council was severely indicted for multiple failures in special educational needs.
That's unacceptable. Officialdom's patrician attitude to school places and special needs is of a piece with the LibDems' belief that they have a God-given right to rule, no matter what people think, or how they voted in the 2016 Referendum.
As a lecturer myself, I believe that each and every school and college student ought to get the best education that's out there, and nothing less.
It's glib to imagine that taxing Amazon, or even cutting business rates, will by themselves revive our High Streets.
In fact, boarded-up shops reveal a failure of imagination. Pubs in Carshalton & Wallington are wonderful, but there's a wider need for young and old alike to have something to do. The way forward is through the revival of culture, the development of innovative High Street services, and the firmer establishment of a local nighttime economy beyond the scope of Sutton as London Borough of Culture 2023.
It's great that the Cryer Theatre has reopened a big step forward, and needs building upon.
Drama, music, cinema and the Wandle river all have a part to play in making Carshalton & Wallington a draw.
Live, participative events could also do much to make our town centres more atune to 21st-century lifestyles – and 21st-century democratic creativity.
Who could be against good air quality, especially in an often Arcardian area like Carshalton & Wallington? The answer is that our oh-so-Green friends, the Liberal Democrats, mix environmentalist rhetoric with backing for a dubious waste incinerator at Beddington South.
That machine caught fire in July, and questions about the incident have been refused. Yet the incinerator has brought real pollution to local residents and schoolchildren – on top of that emitted by passing traffic.
All this, so that the Beddington's "Energy Recovery Facility" can, for Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton, supply the National Grid with power for 'around' 30,000 homes! That's peanuts.
Sweden has shown that burning waste can be done with little pollution. But incineration still isn't the ideal way to make cheap, reliable electricity. The ERF looks like a monument to LibDem double standards, irrationality and virtue signalling. There are better ways to dispose of waste, and better ways to generate energy.