2013 is an incredibly important year for Tottenham, presenting a number of challenges and opportunities. We must insure that we invest in all of Tottenham, both its infrastructure and its people. My priorities reflect this need.
This year a number of the coalition government's most devastating cuts begin to bite - bedroom tax, the benefit cap, the scrapping of legal aid. This makes 2013 a year for campaigning and a year for solidarity. My priorities show my committment to fighting these cuts.
1.Secure the money and jobs we need to regenerate Tottenham
2.Supporting riot victims and helping them move on
3.Calling for a change in the law to stop betting shops taking over our High Streets
4.Demanding reforms of the Police and the IPCC following the death of Mark Duggan
5.Campaigning to keep services for old and young alike
6. Supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs
The above will never be an exhuastive list. As ever, there will be issues that are not mentioned below that will take on importance at points during the year. However, the six points below are the key issues that I will be campaigning on over the next while.
1. Secure the money and jobs we need to regenerate Tottenham
Unemployment continues to be persistently high in Tottenham, especially among young people. It is therefore vital that Tottenham is an area that is growing, regenerating, and adapting to the demands of London as a global city.
I worked hard to ensure regeneration in Tottenham continues to look forward, while maintain a community focus. I oversaw the launch of the Tottenham Plan, a £28m regeneration fund secured from the GLA.
I held a jobs fair
at White Hart Lane in and later supported National Apprenticeship Week events at the same venue. I hosted the North London jobs summit at Tottenham Town Hall with David Miliband in November.
I met with government ministers and key stakeholders to ensure that Tottenham benefits from large-scale infrastructure. I have set up the APPG on CrossRail Two after successfully calling for a debate at Westminster Hall
I have been asking questions of the Treasury and Department for Transport about why the government decided not to electrify the Gospel Oak – Barking line.
I will continue to ensure all Tottenham residents benefit from the jobs and investment that regeneration will bring.
I will continue to scrutinise the government’s plans to tackle unemployment and draw attention to the failure of the Work Programme.
I will continue to stand up for Tottenham in Parliament and at City Hall to secure the funding Tottenham needs to develop.
2. Supporting riot victims and helping them move on
Almost two years after the riots, a number of residents’ lives continue to be impacted by riot damage. Residents and businesses have faced inordinately long waiting times for claims to be processed.
I continued to make representations to banks and insurance firms to secure payment holidays on mortgages or expediting claims and my office continues to work closely with residents who are still suffering from the effects of the riots, such as former River Heights residents.
I secured a debate in Parliament on the need to reform the Riot Damages Act, highlighting the failures of loss adjustors and insurance brokers and the slow pace at which compensation has been disbursed.
My office will continue to be their first port of call for any difficulties they experience.
I will be meeting with the Independent Review of the Riot Damages Act and ensuring local businesses and traders have the opportunity to provide evidence to the review. ________________________________________
3. Calling for a change in the law to stop betting shops taking over our High Streets
The high streets of Tottenham continue to be a target for bookmakers, many of whom are using loopholes in planning regulations to take over empty high street properties.
I spoke in Parliament on the devastating effect that betting shops are having to our High Streets and the need for tougher planning regulations. I tabled an Early Day Motion calling for an improvement to safety and security standards for betting shop workers.
I hosted the launch of Stop the FOBTs, a campaigning organisation seeking to limit the profitability of FOBTs.
I organised for a member of my office to attend a Movement for Change training weekend with the founders of Stop the FOBTs.
I campaigned against the opening of a Tipico Store on Green Lanes, which had it been successful, would have been the ninth betting shop on one 300 metre stretch of Green Lanes.
I will continue to press for a change in the planning class of betting shops so that every new betting shop has to be accompanied by a successful planning application.
I will continue to work with residents to send out the message that when it comes to betting shops and payday lenders, Tottenham is not open for business.
I will extend this campaign to the prevalence of payday lenders, who are targeting communities such as ours and charging exorbitant fees.
4. Demanding reforms of the Police and the IPCC following the death of Mark Duggan
Almost two years after the death of Mark Duggan, it is important as ever that a full and open hearing takes place in order to establish the events that lead up this tragic happening. Doing so will provide the closure the Duggan family deserves, and signify a step forward for police and community relations both in Tottenham and at a wider level.
I met commissioners from the IPCC on several occasions to discuss the Duggan investigation as well as their general performance as the Police watchdog.
I spoke in Parliament on the need for a public inquiry into the death of Mark Duggan, and have received assurances that this will happen.
I have attended regular meetings of the HMIC review into the police use of stop and search.
I have continued to be in contact with Duggan family and their lawyer to provide any assistance I can throughout the case as well as attending a series of pre-inquest hearings.
I successfully called for a change to the Police in Crime Bill which would compel police officers to respond to questioning from the IPCC.
I will continue to monitor the outcomes of the Duggan inquest and support the family throughout the process.
5. Campaigning to keep services and building community resilience
Tottenham residents are bearing the brunt of the recession and the coalition government’s cuts. It is important to focus on supporting residents, the public services, and charitable organisations that support them, at the same time as drawing attention to the damage that cuts are causing to society, especially our young and old.
I successfully campaigned campaigned against the closure of Tottenham Police Station and ensured it maintains a permanent, 24 hour presence on the Tottenham High Road.
I campaigned against the closure of Whittington Hospital, speaking at a rally attended by over a thousand North Londoners
I challenged the government on their decision to pilot the benefit cap in Haringey and raised the matter with the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions.
I also made sure we focused on supporting those who need it - I hosted a Benefit Cap forum, providing advice to Tottenham Residents affected by the pilot.
I will challenge the government’s decision to abolish legal aid, starting with a debate in the House of Commons on 27th June.
I will continue to support residents who are being impacted by the benefit cap and ensure we are as prepared as possible for the transition to Universal Credit in Autumn.
6. Supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs
The current economic one is a challenging one for small businesses, many of whom are bearing the brunt of decreased lending, a drop in consumer spending and an increase in the costs of running a business. Thriving small businesses are key to a thriving economy, boosting employment and ensuring our high streets are dynamic and competitive.
I invited traders to the House of Commons where they met with the Federation of Small Businesses.
I hosted workshops from companies such as Goldman Sachs and Google
offering free training and advice to small business owners.
I will continue to identify and raise the concerns of small businesses both in Parliament, and with business representative organisations.
I will work with public, private and third sector organisations to ensure that small business owners and entrepreneurs get the best advice and support available.