Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a West Wickham mum, a Bromley councillor and the Labour education spokesperson on the council. I have lived in the constituency for 20 years. I have two children, the eldest at university after state schooling in the constituency and my youngest is still at a state secondary school here. My husband is a local GP. I have worked in the public sector, the NHS, community development and for Save the Children in Bangladesh on a street children’s project and then at a community hospital. I trained as a barrister and worked for the Crown Prosecution Service and presently run parenting courses. I am standing as the Labour Party candidate in Beckenham because I believe in fairness, equality and taking care of people. I believe the majority of people in Beckenham agree with these values.
What do you like most about Beckenham?
The reason we moved here is because of the sense of community, which is what we wanted for our children. There are many communities in the constituency; Beckenham itself, Eden Park, West Wickham, the Chatterton Road area and a growing one in Copers Cope. People get together and make things happen; the campaign to Save Beckenham Library which I fully support is a great example. I am always grateful that I live in an area that is part of London but has the countryside on its doorstep.
What would you change?
Often people move into the area because of the schools. Our local schools are being decimated by cuts leading to teacher and classroom assistant shortages with parents being asked to provide funds for books. This has to change and as your MP, I will vote to reverse cuts and fund our children’s education properly.
What other local issues are important to you?
It is shocking that local people have to wait so long for routine operations or a GP appointment. I know a resident who had to wait in pain for two years for a hip replacement. The Coalition real term cuts have made healthcare inaccessible for too many people. It is our NHS and as an MP, I will work to protect and rebuild it.
We have to act on climate change now! It has be a consideration in everything we do. I fully support our young people who have led the way in opening our eyes to what will happen if we do not act.
The high level of rents and the lack of affordable housing in the area is a problem. Just like the children of many residents, my children will not be able to afford to live nearby because of this. I am opposed to leaseholds and want to see them abolished. I believe all residents in a block of flats should own it and not pay excessive charges to a maintenance company.
Why should Beckenham residents vote for you?
It’s time we had an MP who cares about all of our residents. I have a track record for fighting for those who need it, whether that’s for a pensioner who needs a social care package, a child living in a damp home that aggravates their asthma or a local business that needs time to pay their rates. I care about what happens to my community and will be an active MP who takes on local issues to get the best result. I stood as the Labour Party candidate in the 2017 General Election and came second with the third party over 11,000 votes behind. Beckenham needs an MP to fight for all its residents. Place your trust in me.