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Bonkers Blog May 2017

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18 May (Part 1) - What have they done? Lab v Con in E & T

With the election being slow to start in the Erith and Thamesmead constituency and facing a dearth of election material it may be helpful to publish this achievement comparison of the two most likely to win candidates.

Teresa Pearce - Labour

• Campaigned relentlessly for the DLR to come to Thamesmead. It’s been announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, so she’s now pushing for it to extend to Belvedere.
• Teresa has been pushing for a lift at Erith Station, this is now supported by Bexley Council and other stakeholders and designs have been agreed so it’s nearer than it has ever been before.
• Teresa is currently challenging the Department of Transport on their attempt to reduce our train services to London terminals.
• Fought and won increased service on the 380 bus route during peak times.
• She fought to keep ticket offices open at Erith and Belvedere when they were on list for closure in 2012.
• Has got TFL to agree a new bus route that will link Woolwich Crossrail to Abbey Wood Crossrail then up through to Bexleyheath. Provisionally named as new route 301.
She has also got them to agree a route to link Belvedere station with Belvedere village. TFL are now also reviewing the route 422 after customers reported concerns about the service.
• Led for Labour on the Housing and Planning Bill, which resulted in government dropping some of the worst aspects of it such as the “Tenant Tax” which would mean that social tenants with a total household income of 40k would have to pay a market rent.
• Worked with local community groups to push the regulation of HMOs (homes of multiple occupancy) to the top of Bexley and Greenwich councils agenda.
• Teresa moved an amendment in Parliament to make sure that all rented homes are “fit for human habitation” but the Government voted it down
• Raised in parliament at PMQs that the board of Gallions had voted for it’s chief executive to receive a non-contractual redundancy pay-off of £397,000. The board were all subsequently sacked and new governance put in.
• Arranged a free legal advice surgery to assist people who live in leasehold or shared ownership properties
• Co-sponsored a proposal to end rip off letting fees and worked with cross party group to end “Revenge Evictions”.
• Changed Labour’s policy on housing to suspend the right to buy whilst we have a huge shortage of social housing.
• She campaigned to stop GP’s using only 0845 numbers which are expensive to call from a mobile. Now all E&T surgeries have an alternative local number.
• Launched the Every Child A Lifesaver campaign to support her Private Member’s Bill to make emergency first aid education compulsory in all state-funded schools. Sadly was “talked out” by backbench Tories.
• Set up a Campaign Group for women with epilepsy who have taken the drug Epilim during pregnancy which can harm unborn children. Teresa got the NHS and drug company to increase the warnings on drug packets and launch a toolkit for GPs, pharmacies and other medical professionals to make sure women are warned.
• Set up a parliamentary campaign group for suffers on Lyme Disease after meeting Belvedere family whose daughter has suffered for many years due to misdiagnosis.
• Worked cross party on the issue of Air Quality and helped push it to the top of Sadiq Khan’s agenda.
• Recently forced NHS England to reverse their decision to stop 2nd stem cell transplants. This happened after joining with local mother who had been denied treatment.
Other Issues
• Ran a jobs fair at Belvedere Community Centre. Almost 400 people attended to meet with employers such as Lidl, Asda, Barclays, Met Police, Crossrail, City Airport and Hovis.
• Worked on the Scrap Metal Bill that helped drastically reduce the damage to communities caused by metal theft from railways, telephone cables and drain covers.
• Teresa took petition of 1,440 local people to Parliament to stop the plan to build flats on Erith’s Riverside Gardens, the plans were then dropped.
• Teresa stood up for the poorest consumers in Erith and Thamesmead by supporting a motion to introduce caps on the amount that payday and doorstep lenders such as can charge for credit. As member of Treasury Select Committee helped changed the rules for firms such as Wonga to make it fairer.
• Fought the Legal Aid changes and took part in sponsored walk to raise funds for local law Centre.
• Worked with Law Centre to change the way Job Centre advertised “self employed” jobs forcing applicants into insecure work.
• One of the first MPs to raise the issue for the WASPI in 2011 by tabling a motion in Parliament and sponsoring a Commons debate. Teresa has continued to press for this and for the Labour manifesto to include a commitment to compensate those affected.
• In five years on Work and Pensions Select Committee, Teresa championed the rights of pensioners, the low paid and the disabled.
• Was the originator of the idea for the Robinson Crusoe/Alexander Selkirk signpost in Erith.
• Assisted two young people from Erith and Thamesmead pitch their business to Sir Richard Branson in Virgin Pioneers competition which they won.
• Part of the “Save Abbey Wood Post Office” campaign and took a 1,000 signature petition to the minister.
• Worked with local councillors across the constituency to tackle anti-social behaviour.
• Worked in 2015 with small group of rural MPs to get new law “The Control of Horses Bill” which made three major changes to animal welfare laws and dramatically shortening the time before abandoned horses can be rescued from over two weeks to just four days.
Edward Baxter - Conservative

• Muddled the town of Bexleyheath with the borough of Bexley.
• Referred to Erith as Edith.
• Councillor on Westminster City Council.
• Deputy Cabinet Member for City Management and Transportation.
• Member of Policy Unit at Conservative Central Office.
• Member of the James Committee for Taxpayer Value in 2005.


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