Kate Hoey, Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Vauxhall
The lack of genuinely affordable housing in Lambeth is something I deal with every day. From those on the waiting list (many of whom who will wait years to get an offer) to the many overcrowded families living in inadequate accommodation, the fact is clear that more housing is needed. Labour is committed to building over a million new homes. By the end of the next Parliament we will be building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale.
We are also committed to scrapping the bedroom tax, suspending Right to Buy to protect affordable homes for local people and ending insecurity for private renters.
Throughout my time as your local MP I have worked closely with our many Tenants & Residents Associations to deal with problems and issues relating to their landlords, whether they be Lambeth Council or Housing Associations. Most recently I won an Adjournment Debate in Parliament where I was able to publicise Hyde Housing’s appalling record on repairs and service charges as well as highlight our local campaigns against their decision to get rid of their Community Centres at Oval and Stockwell.
I have opposed and will continue to oppose the widespread demolition of housing estates with communities being displaced and the rebuilt homes not all for rent at social rent levels! I want to see the definition of affordable homes dramatically changed and enforced. As your MP I will continue to challenge the property developers and vested interests who are destroying our riverside cityscape, as I recently challenged those attempting to impose the folly of a Garden Bridge on us.
Too much of London’s air is so polluted it is toxic. Our air is estimated to prematurely kill nearly 10,000 Londoners every year. This is wholly unacceptable. I have been pleased to work with local schools and children to get all political parties to sign a pledge to really tackle this.
I have campaigned against additional air traffic over our heads with the resulting pollution, and have regularly lobbied Ministers to take firmer action on our air standards. I know that Sadiq Khan takes this seriously and hope that together we can make real improvements to ensure that we have a healthy environment.
I know that the EU referendum upset many people. I know that the result left some feeling anxious and depressed. Whilst we must respect the decision of the UK as a whole to leave the EU, I also respect and care deeply about the views and votes of the many thousands of people in Vauxhall who wanted to remain. In particular, I entirely appreciate the worries of EU citizens who live, work and contribute here – I am one hundred per cent clear that they must not lose their rights.
Before the Prime Minister triggered Article 50 to begin the Brexit process, I tabled a motion in Parliament to ensure the rights of EU nationals. I wanted this resolved by now to give people the reassurance that they deserve. I believed then and continue to believe that this should be the priority, and that if necessary we should grant those rights unilaterally as a sign of good faith. People should not be used as bargaining chips.
The Labour Party manifesto makes precisely that promise, and I wholly welcome it. I endorse the Labour plan to put jobs and the economy first and unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in the United Kingdom.
4. Local business
I absolutely back our local businesses in Vauxhall, and over the years have championed and supported them – we have some brilliant local high streets and businesses that add so much to our community.
Labour promises to reinstate the lower small-business corporation tax rate and introduce a package of reforms to business rates – including switching from RPI to CPI indexation, exempting new investment in plant and machinery from valuations, and ensuring that businesses have access to a proper appeals process – while reviewing the entire business rates system in the longer run to support small firms.
Our schools have made incredible strides since I was elected in 1989, and we can be proud of the high standards that they maintain. We are fortunate to have first class teachers and inspirational Heads who act as true leaders and look to put educational quality first.
I do worry about the cuts that the Conservatives plan, with Lambeth schools due to lose over £550 per pupil in 2018/19. Labour would reverse these cuts and ensure proper funding.
I have opposed tuition fees and voted against their creation and each subsequent increase. I am delighted that Labour is pledged to abolish them. We won’t break our promise unlike the Lib Dems.
You can see the full list of questions here