Heidi Alexander – Labour’s Candidate for Lewisham East

PROUD to nominate Heidi Alexander for re-election as The Labour Party Candidate for Lewisham East🌹
Truly a candidate that has dedicated years to #Lewisham & #Catford

For her full election Pledges see www.heidialexander.org.uk

Vote Heidi Alexander ✅ #GE2017 on June 8th 2017

£40,000 to live alone in London, new research finds

The 2017 ‘Rent Affordability Index’ research, carried out by nested.com, shows that the average salary for a singleton to live alone in London has soared to more than £40,000/yr, and a family of four need an income of more than £75,000/yr

The research shows that London is the 11th most expensive city in the world to live in, based on a square footage alone, we however know utilities and goods and services tend to be much, much, higher in UK and London in particular.

The report continues to identify that an individual earning The London Living Wage of £9.75hr would need to work 12hrs, every day of the year to reach this income threshold. 

When looking at city comparators across the U.K.- London unsurprisingly takes the stop spot, but what is shocking is the difference between London’s first place (£39,876.84) and 2nd  (£20,737.20) places is £19,139.64, almost 50% variance. 

Update: some have written to say that they disagree with this average rents for their area. Consistently, but only anecdotally, said they’re higher, in London or otherwise. That aside, this blog is focussed more about the loss of the life stage of living by yourself, whether as a transition army between professional sharer and starting a family, but equally about the financial trap individuals, who may have had a relationship breakdown, but can not afford to live alone. This will disproportionately affect women, and those less economically active.

In January 2014, Land Registry figures showed average house prices across the whole of England and Wales were £168,536, but in London the average was £409,881 (143% higher than the England/Wales rate). This house price gap has been growing ever larger, with London experiencing 10.9% growth over the last year, compared to 4.2% across England and Wales.

The same picture is apparent in the private rented sector, with the the England rental rate runnings at £665 a month in January 2014, compared to £1,516 a month in London (128% higher than the England rate). The differential in local authority rented property is less exaggerated but still significant, with average rent across England running at £79 a week in 2012/13, compared to £99 in London (25% higher than the England average).

London Weighting is not the answerUnison’s Bargaining Support Unit undertook a review for 2013/14 into London Weighting across seven sectors, this ‘top up’ is pitiful compared to the cost differential.

But what can Lewisham do?

Next week I’ll be attending my new role on Lewisham’s Poverty Taskforce, alongside Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trust for London, looking   This came off the back of work I undertook in my Lewisham Councillor Scrutiny role, 

The Committee will be pursuing the following issues:

  •  Tackling in-work poverty in the borough
  •  Tackling out-of-work poverty, namely for pensioners relying on state pensions
  •  Tackling poverty prevalent amongst young families struggling with a
    combination of housing and child care costs
  •  Ensuring residents are proactively informed about legislative changes that
    could impact both positively and negatively on their income and general
    financial welfare
  •  Staying up-to-date on legislative changes and advise on appropriate changes
    to the Council’s work accordingly.

2017 ‘Rent Affordability Index’

Table 1

Table 2


Join me in #Catford campaigning for the NHS

Saturday is The Labour Party’s national campaigning day to defend ‘Your NHS’. 
Locally, we’ll be reminding Catford’s residents that the NHS is only safe in Labour’s hands.

Join me campaigning on Catford/Rushey Green doorsteps – we’re meeting at the SMALL Costa Coffee on Catford Broadway at 1pm!

If you’re not from Rushey Green, Catford – sign up to find out more from your local Labour Campaign Team: 

January Fare Rises #FareFail

AN EARLY & COLD morning start in #Catford campaigning for The Labour Party.

Under the Tories, fares have faced a year on year inflation-busting rise. London under Labour’s Sadiq Khan has:
 Frozen TfL fares until 2020
 New Hour Hopper Bus passes
 Introduced the Night Tube

Politics is about choices, this is Labours

 

Thought: No More Left & Right?

‘Politics in Britain is changing’ says think tank –  8 new tribes exists made up of both left & right parties.

Full research here: http://opinium.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Dead-Centre-British-politics4_lr.pdf

A quick sweep of each tribe:

(8%) Democratic socialists: Pro-immigration, pro-welfare state, pro-redistribution of wealth, internationalist outlook.

60% Labour : 2% Conservative
85% Remain : 3% Leave
48% Corbyn : 30% Neither : 15% May
Mostly middle to upper classes living in urban areas or in Scotland and Wales.
60% female
66% middle to upper class : 34% working class
Supportive of: staying in single market after Brexit, progressive taxation
Against: NHS privatisation, reducing net migration
(5%) Community: Redistribution of wealth, scepticism of business and capitalism. More closed off view of Britain and broadly anti-immigration. Describe themselves as centrists.

50% Labour : 12% Conservative
47% Remain : 39% Leave
36% Corbyn : 26% May
The working class in Northern England and the Midlands
59% female
Supportive of: banning zero-hours contracts, reducing net migration
Against: NHS privatisation, building nuclear power plants
(11%) Progressives: Open, internationalist and inclusive view of Britain, comfortable with immigration. Belief in the welfare state, balanced view towards tax and the economy.

50% Labour : 22% Conservative
74% Remain : 12% Leave
43% May : 24% Neither : 19% Corbyn
A scattering of professional groups across the UK
55% female
63% middle to upper class : 37% working class
Quite high employment
Supportive of: staying in single market post Brexit, progressive taxation, mansion tax
Against: NHS privatisation, grammar schools
(7%) Swing voters: Mixture of views. Support an equal, multicultural society, internationalist outlook, hard stance on benefits, support a low tax economy. Describe themselves as centrists.

37% Conservative : 33% Labour
51% Remain : 31% Leave
High numbers (17% – 21%) do not vote
51% May : 19% Corbyn
A scattering of demographic groups spread across England outside of the capital
61% female
Supportive of: banning zero hours contracts; benefits claimants to do compulsory work; mansion tax; progressive taxation; government should grow the economy and provide public services
No strong opposition to any policies
(6%) New Britain: Open capitalist economy, pro-immigration, pro-single market, supportive of a low tax economy. Business friendly, internationalist, compassionate view of society.

56% Conservative : 32% Other/Did not vote
66% Remain : 26% Leave
53% May : 24% Corbyn
Younger successful professionals, many of them managerial, living in London
62% Male
Supportive of: deficit reduction, low tax, NHS privatisation, staying in single market after Brexit
Against: progressive taxation, re-nationalising the railways
(7%) Free Liberals: Strong faith in the market, little interest in socially conservative ideas. Strongly pro-business, the most opposed to the welfare state. The most personally optimistic. Describe themselves as right-wing.

58% Conservative : 27% Labour
62: Remain : 32% Leave
61% May : 22% Corbyn
Young, mainly male, professionals living in London
79% Male
75% middle-upper class
Supportive of: benefits claimants to do compulsory work, NHS privatisation, deficit reduction, building new nuclear plants
Against: re-nationalising the railways
(26%) Common sense: Don’t think of themselves as having particularly strong political opinions, despite supporting similar policies to the ‘Our Britain’ segment. Clear preference for low tax economy, opposition to immigration.

62% Conservative : 15% Labour : 13% UKIP
59% Leave : 34% Remain
71% May : 17% Neither : 5% Corbyn
Older Southern Englanders, either advanced in their careers or retirees
53% Female
Supportive of: reducing net migration, benefits claimants to do compulsory work, changing human rights law, new grammar schools
Against: staying in single market after Brexit, proportional representation
(24%) Our Britain: Closed perception of what Britishness is. Anti-immigration, government should put Brits first at all costs, broadly isolationist in outlook. Describe themselves as centrists.

38% Conservative : 37% UKIP : 19% Labour
80% Leave : 11% Remain
59% May : 24% Neither : 7% Corbyn
The older working class and retirees, living mainly in Northern England and the Midlands.
52% Female
Supportive of: reducing net migration, changing human rights law, benefits claimants to do compulsory work, banning zero-hours contracts
Against: staying in single market after Brexit, NHS privatisation
A fuller picture can be seen on the Opinium website.

WASPI Campaign: for Women’s Pension Equality for those born in the 1950s


As a ‘younger’ man, a member of the Labour Party, and a Local Councillor: I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with #Lewisham’s WASPI (Women Against State Pension Age Inequality) @WASPI_Campaign campaigning for Women’s Pension Justice for those born in the 1950s
Women born on or after 6th April 1951 have been unfairly affected by the changes to State Pension Age in 1995, and 2011. Many have been pushed into financial hardship and shockingly most were not informed of the changes until two years before retirement, making financial planning for retirement near impossible.
If you’d like to support the campaign you can take action too:
http://www.waspi.co.uk/action

#FairIsFair #PensionEquality

“I, James-J Walsh hearby swear to undertake and to hold the office of Councillor of Lewisham

"Salus Populi Suprema Lex"

“Salus Populi Suprema Lex”, which means (roughly translated) “The Welfare of the People is the first great Law”.

 “I, James-J Walsh hear by swear to undertake and to hold the office of Councillor of Lewisham representing the constituents of Rushey Green Ward to the best of my abilities.”

My most heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers that helped make this a reality – and most importantly the people of Rushey Green in trusting me to represent their interests at the heart of our communities democracy.

I owe a lot of people a lot of thanks, especially those who came door knocking, gave words of encouragement, and kept me going.

Especially big thank yous to Tom Willetts Rebecca Packwood, Roy, Jim, Jamie Milne, Rosalind Hardie Bridget Prentice Sukkanya Siva and most importantly Heidi Alexander MP for her leadership, wisdom and uniting our constituency in our common endeavour to deliver the best for the Peoples of Lewisham East.

Congratulations to everyone who fought in elections this year, my running mates John Muldoon & Helen Klier, Mayor Steve Bullock and all the rest of my Lewisham Labour Colleagues – let no one say we rested on our laurels, we worked incredibly hard and the electorate have rewarded us for it.

And good luck to my European comrades, and I look forward to especially seeing Seb Dance representing me and 8 Million other Londoners in Europe!