Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Along with choosing councillors on May 22, Lewisham voters can also elect a mayor for the borough. This year there are six candidates gunning for incumbent Sir Steve Bullock's position. We ask what they all have planned.

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Sir Steve Bullock, Labour (steve4lewisham.co.uk)

Why are you standing?

It has been my privilege to serve as Lewisham’s mayor for the last 12 years and in that time many things have changed for the better not least the new facilities we have been able to provide with new swimming pools, libraries and above all schools being built.  But I have also been able to work with hundreds of groups and individuals who make Lewisham a special place through the voluntary work they do in many different ways.

We now face a very difficult time dealing with the effects of population growth and government cutbacks and as someone who has lived here for the last 38 years I want to go one working with my fellow citizens to get through this time and keep Lewisham as the special place I am proud to call home.

What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

The borough faces two huge challenges in the coming years – coping with the effects of the continuing growth of London’s population and managing the cut in spending imposed by thecoalition government on all councils.  The decisions we make over these four years will shape Lewisham for the next 20 years and we will need to work together as community to get them right.  As mayor I will lead that work but I will also want to work closely with and listen carefully to other organisations particularly the many community groups which make such a difference to Lewisham through their work.

While most of us have affordable homes, good diets and secure incomes, a growing number of our fellow citizens are increasingly finding they don’t have one or more of these essentials, and the root causes of this affects us all.  Over the coming years we need to make housing our top priority, building still more affordable homes and rooting out rogue landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector, develop a more comprehensive approach to food and nutrition and continue to work with credit unions, advice agencies and local employers to make fairness in personal incomes a reality for more people.

What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

We will not be able to protect every part of every service – we will need to innovate and look at new ways of delivering our public services whilst ensuring the vulnerable are protected. It would be wrong to rule out anything which can reduce costs but sustain services. However, we also need to be clear about our priorities and our principles. For us, those priorities are housing, education, the cost of living, jobs and growth, and supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.

All public services face huge financial pressures and we will need to work together To find ways to balance our budgets and still maintain acceptable levels of service. Nowhere is this more urgent than in health where Lewisham Council and the local NHS are already working together closely. Over the next four years, we will have to integrate many of our services so we can offer you the quality of service you expect.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

I will make increasing the supply of all types of housing my top priority.  That will include the council building at least 500 new homes itself but we will also intervene to help tenants of private landlords who are in too many cases being abused and exploited.  We will work with other agencies like Housing Associations and the Greater London Authority to secure further housing developments and look for additional sites that the Council can bid for.

We will go on looking at innovative ways of delivering the housing Lewisham needs through self-build and low-cost home-ownership schemes for first time buyers struggling to get on the housing ladder. We are working to unlock "stalled" large-scale schemes that could deliver thousands of homes quickly and identify brown-field and publicly-owned sites that could be developed. Labour will press developers to increase the proportion of genuinely affordable homes in new housing schemes and be prepared to look at all options to achieve this.

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young people in the borough?

Giving our young people the best start in life is something we all care deeply about. Labour is very proud of the absolutely outstanding performance of Lewisham’s primary schools, rated fourth in the country and significantly out-performing schools from wealthier areas. More of our secondary students are now getting five good GCSEs but we need further improvement from them and now need to encourage more of them into Higher Education. Equally importantly, we need to ensure a better vocational education offer.

Stability rather than a quick solution is the key in committing to providing for every primary and secondary schoolchild in Lewisham. That may mean larger and, where possible, new schools. Ideally, for Labour, these would be community schools within local authority control. Meanwhile, as the growing numbers of schoolchildren is a London-wide issue, the Council will continue to work with other boroughs to lobby Government to provide additional funding. 

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from your national party?

I am proud to be standing as the Labour candidate in this election and will continue to argue for my party to adopt policies which will meet the needs of Lewisham and its residents. 

National Political Parties have to develop policies for the whole country and take the needs of different regions into account but as mayor and as a local resident I have always put Lewisham first and if I am re-elected I will go on speaking up for Lewisham and London.  Lewisham is home and a place that I care deeply about – I will always put the interests of Lewisham ahead of personal or political interests.

 

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Chris Flood, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (tusc.org.uk)

Why are you standing?
 
I am standing to reverse the relentless onslaught on our living standards. The mainstream parties including UKIP all represent the interests of the rich and all agree on austerity. I was a councillor for Telegraph Hill in Lewisham between 2002-10, in that time I consistently opposed all cuts and privatisation and mobilised with the local community to protect jobs and services.

I led a campaign that saved 1,300 council homes from being sold off, voted to curb councillors allowances, campaigned to save Ladywell leisure centre and used my position to played a key role in the campaign that saved Lewisham A&E in 2009 when it was Labour that attempted to close it.

What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

I will be a campaigning mayor. I don’t accept that austerity is either necessary or inevitable. I will be campaigning to protect jobs and services from the Condem axe. The current Labour administration claims that it is opposed to what the Tories are but then wrings their hands and cry crocodile tears as they pass on cuts.

What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

I would be bringing to together workers and the local community to plan a campaign to fight for jobs and services and to set a budget that actually reflects the needs of people in Lewisham. I wouldn’t be asking for council workers to cut their own jobs and services like the present council want to.

As I said cuts are not necessary or inevitable. As well as stopping any and all cuts I would in fact invest in local jobs and services. Firstly I would look at the council reserves. Labour claim that they cannot use them as they are for emergencies. Well if having to make £95 million worth of cuts does not mean we have an emergency on our hands I don’t know what does.

But also as a campaigning mayor I would build amongst the local community to fight to win back the money that has already been stolen by the government through cuts. I would follow the example of Liverpool council who campaigned and won £30 million from the Thatcher government which then the used build homes and to provide jobs and services for the city.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

As in London generally there is a housing crisis in Lewisham and it is a disgrace. At the moment there are 18,000 people on the waiting list in Lewisham and the Labour council wants to build a pathetic 500. I would instantly embark on a huge programme to build the 18,000 home this borough needs. This would include a programme to refurbish existing homes that are in a state of disrepair and taking all unoccupied properties in the council stock.

I would also deal with the problem of sky-high rents in the private sector. As Mayor I would cap the amount of rent a landlord is allowed to charge at the level of average social rents. I would also introduce a council run lettings agency to make sure that landlords are making sure that all housing is well maintained and affordable.

I would also refuse to implement the bedroom tax in Lewisham. As mayor I would make sure that not a single person in the borough is evicted as a result of inability to pay. A council with a socialist mayor would through its full weight behind regional and national campaigns to have the tax scrapped altogether.

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young people in the borough?

Firstly I would put an end to the councils plans to cut funding for two youth centres in the borough. I would also stop the cuts to the Welfare and Attendance service which helps vulnerable stay and get back into education.

I would put an end to zero-hour contracts. I would make a £10 an hour living wage in Lewisham compulsory for all employers. It is disgraceful that businesses are exploiting workers and young people in the way that they are. I am a supporter of the Fast Food Rights campaign which held a protest in Lewisham just a few weeks ago.

I would also campaign for programmes of public works to help young people get jobs and training

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from your national party?

I don’t. I am standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition because I think that working class people desperately need a voice in politics. The big three parties all now share the same neo-liberal ideology and all think that working class and poor people should pay for a crisis caused by their big business mates. And UKIP are just the Tories on speed.

TUSC is putting up the biggest left of Labour challenge since 1945 and I am very proud to be part of that. It is hugely important that there are people in these council elections who are opposing all cuts and putting forward an alternative. I hope that TUSC is a step toward a new party of and for working class people.

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

John Hamilton, People Before Profit (peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk)

Why are you standing?

I grew up here (Hither Green, Catford) and want to make the world a better place - it seems logical to start locally. I have two children at our local secondary school, my partner is a midwife. I used to be a primary teacher but after staying at home with the children when they were young retrained as a heating engineer specialising in underfloor heating and hot water solar panels.

What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

Reducing inequality and reducing unemployment is the key to bringing prosperity and improving the sense of well-being in our community. I will end contracting out of public services and re-open the many valuable services like libraries, playgroups and children's centres. I will give support to small businesses, particularly manufacturing to employ local people and, of course, the housebuilding programme (see below) will get people trained and working usefully for the community and give people the dignity of a real job.

What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

Labour's Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals for hospitals, school buildings and streetlighting are a scam to give public money to banks and construction companies. Lewisham Hospital is still under threat from PFI debts as are Lewisham Council finances. I will challenge the legality of contracts which cost up to 12 times the initial private sector investment and seek to annul or renegotiate them as "odious debts".  Lewisham currently pays £26m a year on PFI interest payments alone! By repudiating these contracts we will avoid any need for budget cuts.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

Lewisham People Before Profit has already had a huge influence on the current Mayor's housing policy, and we commend Sir Steve for taking up our ideas. We stopped the council selling off council homes in 2012 through direct action and we proposed building new council homes for rent through a direct council construction team, something Sir Steve has also agreed. Our policies go further as we would compulsorily purchase homes left empty and refurbish them as social lets and any council homes sold under Thatcher's "Right to Buy" would only be eligible for owner occupation or social renting through the council, putting a stop to profiteering.

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young people in the borough?

Lewisham is bottom of the GCSE ratings for London Boroughs and I think we have to reinstate the services for young children and help those parents who are poorly educated themselves to instill a respect for the value of education in their own children. It will be a long haul, but as a former teacher myself I know the importance of the relationship between primary schools and families. The Tory "Free Schools" merely divert resources from the other schools in the area and should be opposed.

I have no confidence in Frankie Sulke, who has run the children and young people's directorate for over a decade. I know my view is shared by many teachers in the borough - she will have to go.

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from national parties?

Lewisham People Before Profit was formed by local people who had been actively campaigning on various issues.  We didn't trust any of the national parties and had no-one to vote for.  Even the six local Green Party councillors were siding with Labour in 2009  so we formed a local party of people who are not careerists and who have been active campaigners for job, housing, to save Lewisham Hospital and against privatisation and cuts. We hope other parts of London and Britain will set up their own local People Before Profit groups, but we don't seek to become a national party.

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Peter Lello, UKIP (greenwichukip.org.uk)

Why are you standing?

Like all of my UKIP colleagues, I am standing because I genuinely care about the UK, and everyone in it. We are sick and tired of seeing successive national governments and local councils continue with the same old failed policies. Whether Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, Green or whatever, these old parties have been around for decades, but nothing has changed; they keep making promise, after promise, after promise – yet things have only got progressively worse, especially for those ‘at the bottom of the pile’.

It is time for a REAL change, for a party and candidates who actually say what they mean and mean what they say. A party and candidates who will do what they say they will do. I truly believe that party is UKIP.

I, and everyone else in UKIP, do what we do for one simple reason: because we care about our local communities and want the best for them. This is why we also want to return the responsibility for decision-making to local communities.

What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

Any incoming mayor will need to work within the current government funding framework, and that means the ongoing cuts to council budgets. However, UKIP would undertake thorough reviews of council budgets and spending and identify areas of waste with a view to eliminating these.

The priorities have to be those things which really matter: crime & policing; education; housing; and front-line services, from bin collections and street-cleaning to essential social services such as care for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable. UKIP supports the NHS, and other emergency services, and we will fight to defend these essential services.

What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

It is not clear from council information whether the options have been fully explored in terms of opportunities for integration of services across Lewisham and neighbouring councils. Councils in other areas of London have seen significant benefits from collaboration to provide certain services, including customer contact centres as well as internal functions such as human resources, payroll etc. By combining forces with other councils in term of procurement and purchasing, as well as contract management with eternal suppliers, there may be opportunities for more cost savings.

This includes working more closely with local voluntary sector and charitable groups to identify ways in which they could contribute to the delivery of local services where there is no adverse impact on quality, but which might offer cost-savings for local taxpayers.

UKIP would also seek to reduce the number of council employees on ‘fat-cat’ salaries – 11 council employees earn salaries over £100,000 a year. UKIP believes savings should start at the top, not the bottom, with the council leading by example.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

UKIP believes that local people and those with genuine connections with the area should have priority in local housing. We will work to ensure they get this priority. We will continue and, where possible, expand the work done to date by Lewisham council to identify properties which have fallen into disuse and make these available for occupation once again.

A UKIP mayor, ideally working with UKIP councillors, would of course continue to explore the options for bringing more affordable housing to the Borough by talking with the various stakeholders including developers, the Department for Communities & Local Government, community groups and housing associations, etc.

The reality is that around 75% of all new-build homes currently get snapped-up by overseas buyers. Tackling this, and prioritising those people already in the UK, and with connections to the local area, is a major consideration.

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young people in the borough?

I would like to see young people receive better choices, earlier in their schooling, of either an academic or technical education pathway, with post-16 school-leavers in particular having a much wider range of options for technical and vocational training. At the same time, for those with the desire and grades to do so, grammar schools provide the best chance of a top-notch academic education while giving those from poorer backgrounds the greatest chance of social mobility. We also need to return to the concept of entry—level employment, where people accept and understand  the benefits of starting out ‘on the shop floor’ and then progressing upwards through an organisation on the basis of their growing experience and merit.

UKIP believes we should invest in our own people first – if we don’t believe in the next generation, and support them to do their best, how can they believe in themselves. IT’S TIME TO STOP TALKING BRITAIN – AND OUR YOUNG PEOPLE - DOWN!

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from your national party?

I’m not sure that I do. One of the reasons that so many people join UKIP is because of how much we all agree with the party’s policies. Despite much of the negative press and publicity around UKIP, I am one of the many openly gay members and Branch activists in UKIP and at London Region level, and spent several years as a Director, Trustee and Volunteer at London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. Over the same period I also spent 4-5 years as a member of the committee of volunteers who organised the London Pride march.

Along with many of my UKIP colleagues, I am genuinely Working Class, as well as being an active trade unionist and, until recently, a Branch Secretary, where I supported members in various issues including helping muslim members with issues around a prayer room, along with other workplace disputes including on disability and health issues.

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Simon Nundy, Conservatives (lewishamconservatives.org.uk)

Why are you standing?

I’ve lived and worked in Lewisham for over 20 years and have been watching the way Lewisham Council is run from the perspective of a resident, local businessman, charity volunteer, school governor and, of course, Conservative Party activist. Quite simply I believe I could do a better job and have spent a lot of time thinking about how I would do things differently.

What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

The five policy areas I have identified are financial management, education, housing, crime and small business. In practice I think I would spend most of my time, particularly in the first year, on financial management and the efficient delivery of services and on education. The other issues I would set the agenda and monitor progress but probably not need to be quite so involved in the day to day detail.

What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

There are, of course, already advanced plans in place so my first job would be to review these and make some choices. I think it is already dawning on many people that we’ve made large savings with relatively little pain because there was so much fat to trim in the first place. I believe there are considerably more savings to be made without cutting front line services. Hammersmith Council took over from a similarly spendthrift Labour administration and have cut council tax by 20% in 8 years whilst also delivering the required spending cuts.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

There is an enormous waiting list for social housing and many of those people have no chance under the current system of ever reaching the front of the queue or moving from their existing cramped flat to a larger flat or house. We do, of course, need to plan for additional social housing but there are a few specific changes in policy that I believe are necessary and should take precedence over crude numbers of units:

1. Bring the quality of older housing stock up to ‘Decent Homes’ standards and not just concentrate on the politically eye catching new developments.

2. Increase the local residence qualification period from 2 to 5 years to make the waiting lists fairer.

3. Make sure that there are more family homes in new developments rather than going for the maximum number of what Boris has styled ‘rabbit hutches’.

4. Make sure that what we do build is of a good enough standard to still be habitable in 20 years time. We are still repeating the mistakes of the past.

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young people in the borough?

I have pledged to ensure that all children are offered places at schools classified by Ofsted as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by 2018. To ensure this is possible I will embrace the free school programme and facilitate the setting up of new quality schools funded by central government. At the same time I will use whatever powers are available to me to speed up the reform or closure of failing schools and I will put in place a comprehensive and effective truancy programme to ensure that no children get left behind. I intend to be hands on and personally familiar with all secondary schools and all key education initiatives.

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from your national party?

As Mayor of Lewisham I would be responsible for the interests of Lewisham residents. That means that just as Boris will go into battle with Whitehall if he believes Londoners are losing out I would do the same whether it meant challenging the Mayor of London or the Government on individual issues. This is as it should be and is what would be expected by those in authority whichever party they belong to. I have had no criticism from my party for my opposition to the proposed downgrading of Lewisham Hospital and if I had then I would have been more than happy to ignore it.

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Duwayne Brooks, Liberal Democrats (duwaynebrooks.com)

Why are you standing?

I was born in Lewisham hospital 1974. I have grown and lived under a Labour leadership in Lewisham all my life. Throughout that time I have seen the joy in Lewisham eroded away by poor leadership. During the UK boom years, here in Lewisham we experienced the opposite; increases in deprivation, poverty, crime, youth unemployment, teenage pregnancies; the list goes on. Like many of Lewisham’s residents I feel after 40 years of a Labour-run council and 12 years of failure under this current Mayor, we need a change. A change that leads us to a safer, brighter Lewisham. A change that creates a Council that protects its vulnerable by putting its residents first. A change that creates a Lewisham that investors want to invest in. A change that brings back hope to those who feel they have nothing more to offer in life.
                          
I believe I can do all the above and much, much more. I intend to bring back some authority in this Borough and make this a safe place to live and raise a family. Consequences must be administered for irresponsible behaviour. I am the only person that can inspire our young people to want to achieve more, our mature and middle aged residents to re-train, and improve our poor GSCE pass rate. I will attract new investment, create new, meaningful jobs and bring back stability to our once joyful Borough. I will build new homes, and insist that developers allow 50% of new builds as affordable rents to long-term local Lewisham residents first.

I will bring you a safer, brighter Lewisham.

What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

To create a Council that supports its residents first. That means giving back to residents by providing the basics, which cost next to nothing to provide, but give us all peace of mind and a Council we can be proud of.

My manifesto describes the areas I’d like to fix, some of these include free play schemes for children; homes that are decent, affordable and for local people; 2000 new jobs and apprenticeships; a free furniture collection service to combat fly-tipping; and buy-one-get-one-free parking permits for pensioners.

What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

There are many ways to better manage the budget we have in Lewisham - starting with a long hard look at how we are spending already. One of the first things I will do is to cut the Mayor's salary, I am one of the people so if we are all experiencing cuts, it is only fair that I will experience one too. But this is just a start, there are many other areas that should be revised - the Cabinet, which offers no direct benefit to our residents, should be reduced and the savings redirected; the £45m spend on Agency staff and consultants at the Council; and the poor collection rates of Council Tax in Lewisham, which would have seen an extra income of several million pounds if it had been addressed and better managed to date, are just some examples of what you can expect to see with me in the Mayor's seat. Budgeting requires new and creative ways of thinking, planning and implementation, the redirection of current spend and the eradication of wasteful spend in our Borough.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

For the first time in 30 years we now have the money in Lewisham to build new homes. This money has been provided by the Government. Rather than be dictated to by developers and allow them to gentrify Lewisham as we have seen happen in places like Brixton, I will ensure that all new build developments have an affordable 50% share made available for local Lewisham people. Not all sold off plan in China.

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young people in the borough?

Due to poor leadership at the Council, we have had a decade of poor GCSE results. Lewisham would have been relegated every year under Bullock if we were in a league. Initially, I will set up a commission headed by the likes of Sir William Atkinson, that will report back after 6 months with recommendations on the necessary steps to improve the decade of poor GCSE results we have seen in our Borough. Both of our neighbouring Boroughs, Greenwich and Southwark, have seen huge improvements in educational attainment while spending less in this area. This demonstrates that the answer is not more money, but better spending of existing budgets and a realistic understanding of why our young people are failing, which is what my commission will aim to achieve.

I will also amalgamate the popular mentoring schemes that we already have in place that support and inspire young people and I will personally conduct an assembly at every secondary school in Lewisham once a year. Pupils need to know what I expect from them and how I am going to support them to be the best they can be.

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from your national party?

Local politics is my heart and soul. The national party has had to make difficult decisions that have been unpopular to bring this great country back to a solid footing. I may have to make difficult decisions too, because of the 12 years of decline, lack of leadership and waste of our Council Tax budgets in Lewisham, which we have all seen and felt. But I am a Liberal without doubt. Like you I believe in free speech, fair opportunity for all, jobs and housing for local people first, protecting our vulnerable and promoting respect for others in a crime-free environment.

What is important to remember is that local politics is exactly that, local. I am about Lewisham and will do what is best for our local people right here in this borough.

- Duwayne Brooks' response was received late due to an email error and added on the afternoon of May 13.

News Shopper: Meet the men who want to be Mayor of Lewisham at this year's elections

Mike Keogh, Green Party (lewisham.greenparty.org.uk)

Why are you standing?

My father's family lived in Lee since Victorian times. I have lived in  Lewisham most of my childhood and since returning from University in 1982. I have volunteered and worked here so have got to know this borough's issues, history, fellow volunteers and some council departments well. I have served as a Green Councillor between 2006 and 2010 and along with my colleagues gained respect for the thoroughness and dedication to our roles.


What will be your main focus if you're elected as mayor?

1. Tackling inequality - I will push for all local employers to pay at least the London Living Wage, and end to zero hours contracts and tough action on racism and discrimination.

2. Genuinely affordable housing - I will build new council and social housing, and push for rent controls to protect tenants from unaffordable rent increases.

3. Safer & healthier streets - I will reduce traffic to cut pollution and introduce a borough-wide 20mph speed limit, making our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

4. Standing up for local services - I will continue to stand up for local services; opposing the government's austerity cuts; and working with community groups to protect schools, health services, fire stations and provide proper care for the elderly.

5. Protecting the local environment - I will set up green energy co-ops, re-instate the tree planting budget and encourage more community gardens and local food growing.


What is your approach to finding the estimated £95m budget cuts required during your term of office?

Save money that is over-allocated and unnecessarily spent in a hurry  at the end of financial years. If a department does not need the money it should not argue for it. The savings can be spent on more essential 
services to protect the most vulnerable.  Look at ways to reduce those budget cuts by renegotiating Private Finance Investment interest charges or try to annul them.  Use council reserves if necessary to 'balance the books' to reduce the amount needing to be cut to as little as possible.

How will you tackle housing shortages in Lewisham?

I will dedicate vacant land that Lewisham owns to build social housing at 80 per cent, build new council and social housing, and stop the right to buy scheme within our borough. There need to be more focus on empty homes/offices which can be made into social housing use and support for housing co-operatives, both self-build, and enabling more people to buy existing properties by pooling their resources together and then adapting these into two or more properties within one building. I will demand that the Mayor of London increases the amount of social and affordable housing to at least 40% of all new house builds in our borough.

Lewisham Green Party have already made representations to the Mayor of London regarding the very low amounts of social housing planned to be made available at Convoy's Wharf (which amounts to a measly 15%!).  I would bring in a private landlords register and make it compulsory for all private landlords to sign up to decent housing standards, fair rents and ensure that all tenants have equal and fair access to private landlord properties, and introduce harsh fines when landlords fail to maintain these properties. 

What will you do to improve education and the prospects of young  people in the borough?

I am currently a School governor (Community) at Abbey Manor College, Pupil Referral Unit. Schools need more freedom to frame the curriculum around the needs and interests of the young people in the school.  I would emphasise the need for pupil-centred learning, which caters for different learning styles, interests and needs.  I will create more infant and junior schools to meet the need in the Borough so that all children can go to their nearest local school.  The Green Party would abolish student tuition fees if it was in power. 

In terms of the prospects of young people, I would use more Green building programmes to create jobs, including the installation of solar roofs on business and residential buildings wherever possible, and establishing a free insulation scheme which will create hundreds of local jobs and new training facilities.  I would set up training places for young people to work with local community groups to gain valuable work experience and also to bring communities together.  The Green Party persuaded Lewisham Council to adopt the London Living Wage, and I want to see every business in the Borough paying a London living wage. 

How do you, as a local Lewisham candidate, differ from your national party?

I am local and know the local issues. I have been involved in Wildlife, Nature Conservation, Environmental Education and training locally since the mid eighties. My early volunteering activities included helping run the well respected Lewisham Group of the London Wildlife Trust and as the BTCV Local Rep I worked in every nature reserve and park in Lewisham. I have been a keen member of the Local History Society and Council and am currently Chair of the Ladywell Society, acting Chair of the Lewisham Biodiversity Partnership and am very proud of my involvement as Vice-Chair of the Quaggy Waterways Action Group which has encouraged and promoted and delivered significant changes to our wonderful rivers in Lewisham. As Chair of Lewisham Environment Trust in the past I have also been involved in Lewisham Gateway, Convoy's Wharf and other matters in Deptford as it is full of real history and is the most multicultural place on earth.

It is this local work and volunteering in the whole of Lewisham that enables me to know about a lot of issues that residents are concerned with, from Convoy's, NewLewisham, Skanska and cycling accident hot spots to dog mess in parks and persistent damp in the corners of PFI managed flats.

- Mike Keogh's answers were received six days late and added to the article on the morning of May 14.

 

Comments (8)

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1:46pm Tue 13 May 14

sarfflondonbird says...

The last two are ones we don't need to vote for then doe we? if they can't be bothered to grace us with their answers to a few questions, why should we grace them with giving them a vote?
The last two are ones we don't need to vote for then doe we? if they can't be bothered to grace us with their answers to a few questions, why should we grace them with giving them a vote? sarfflondonbird
  • Score: -11

1:58pm Tue 13 May 14

MrsJ2012 says...

Chris Flood is living in cloud cuckoo land! Where exactly does he plan to get the money to build 18k new homes without cutting back on any Council services?! Does he not realise that central government are cutting Council funding every year?

Also, cap private rents at social rented level?! This will just increase the housing problem as private landlords won't bother any more if they can't charge enough to cover their bills!

And finally, he will refuse to apply the 'bedroom tax' - you can't mate, it's law!

Typical loony leftie - shouts about all the amazing things he will do but has no idea whatsover what he is talking about. Glad I don't live in Lewisham if this guy somehow manages to get in!
Chris Flood is living in cloud cuckoo land! Where exactly does he plan to get the money to build 18k new homes without cutting back on any Council services?! Does he not realise that central government are cutting Council funding every year? Also, cap private rents at social rented level?! This will just increase the housing problem as private landlords won't bother any more if they can't charge enough to cover their bills! And finally, he will refuse to apply the 'bedroom tax' - you can't mate, it's law! Typical loony leftie - shouts about all the amazing things he will do but has no idea whatsover what he is talking about. Glad I don't live in Lewisham if this guy somehow manages to get in! MrsJ2012
  • Score: 12

2:06pm Tue 13 May 14

Francis Sedgemore says...

The failure of Mike Keogh (Green) and Duwayne Brooks (LibDem) to respond to even-handed questions from one of the few remaining journalistic media in Lewisham displays a lack of respect for the local people to whom they appeal for votes. It is deeply depressing, I must say.

I was until this point considering giving Keogh my first preference vote, and Bullock the second. However, it looks as if I am left with no option but to vote for Sir Steve Bloke alone, even though I would prefer that this political veteran be put out to pasture with the thanks of a grateful borough.
The failure of Mike Keogh (Green) and Duwayne Brooks (LibDem) to respond to even-handed questions from one of the few remaining journalistic media in Lewisham displays a lack of respect for the local people to whom they appeal for votes. It is deeply depressing, I must say. I was until this point considering giving Keogh my first preference vote, and Bullock the second. However, it looks as if I am left with no option but to vote for Sir Steve Bloke alone, even though I would prefer that this political veteran be put out to pasture with the thanks of a grateful borough. Francis Sedgemore
  • Score: 2

3:49pm Tue 13 May 14

lehaneb says...

But DuWayne Brooks is there? I suppose answers were added after the others. Keogh's non-response has a good excuse I hope!
But DuWayne Brooks is there? I suppose answers were added after the others. Keogh's non-response has a good excuse I hope! lehaneb
  • Score: 3

4:04pm Tue 13 May 14

Francis Sedgemore says...

lehaneb wrote:
But DuWayne Brooks is there? I suppose answers were added after the others. Keogh's non-response has a good excuse I hope!
They were added later. Brooks initially sent only an election leaflet.
[quote][p][bold]lehaneb[/bold] wrote: But DuWayne Brooks is there? I suppose answers were added after the others. Keogh's non-response has a good excuse I hope![/p][/quote]They were added later. Brooks initially sent only an election leaflet. Francis Sedgemore
  • Score: 2

4:07pm Tue 13 May 14

Francis Sedgemore says...

FAO Mark, Sarah - please indicate edits and additions to online article. It is especially important in cases such as this.
FAO Mark, Sarah - please indicate edits and additions to online article. It is especially important in cases such as this. Francis Sedgemore
  • Score: 3

10:17am Thu 15 May 14

jeff onions says...

heard the bnp have a "full slate" for the european elections loll
heard the bnp have a "full slate" for the european elections loll jeff onions
  • Score: 1

2:28pm Thu 15 May 14

militant87 says...

Mrs J2012
Chris' will not allow any cuts. As the statement says Chris would look at the reserves and campaign to get the money back from the government. There is also the option of usng the councils prudential borrowing powers.

Its cloud cuckoo land to think we can just go on as we are.
Mrs J2012 Chris' will not allow any cuts. As the statement says Chris would look at the reserves and campaign to get the money back from the government. There is also the option of usng the councils prudential borrowing powers. Its cloud cuckoo land to think we can just go on as we are. militant87
  • Score: -1

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