With the General Election just a week away, we put questions to the MP candidates in Erith & Thamesmead.

News Shopper:


Age? 60, born in 1955.

Where do you live? Erith

Where are you from originally? Born Lancashire moved to London when I was 10 

Why do you want to represent this constituency? Because it's my home and I want to make it the best it can be. 

What local policy are you most passionate about? Housing. A decent stable home increases your life chances. The council flat I was allocated in 1975 was the tipping point that changed my life. With a safe, stable home I could build a life for myself and my family. It was a small investment that society made in us and we have repaid it through our taxes, hoping that others will be offered the same opportunities to flourish. But for people in the same position today there is no such ladder for them. The best they are likely to get is insecure temporary housing or short term private rented.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Honest, determined and dependable.

Who is your biggest hero? Aneurin Bevan the chief architect of the National Health Service.

What is your proudest moment? After a lifelong fear of water, learning to swim at the age of 53. 

News Shopper:


Age? Over 40! 

Where do you live? Halstead, Kent.

Where are you from originally? By the seaside in Essex.  I have lived in South London or the SE for almost all of my adult life. 

Why do you want to represent this constituency? Erith and Thamesmead is superbly located on the edge of one of the wealthiest and most successful capital cities on the planet but to capitalise on that opportunity needs far more serious investment in our infrastructure. As your MP I will bang on the door of every Government department to make sure we get our fair share of government investment. Crossrail, for example, needs to be extended so that it benefits the many, not the few. The arrival of two new housing zones is great but we need more GP’s, more heathcare centres, more schools and more good quality nurseries to go with them.

What local policy are you most passionate about? As a mother with three children I am passionate about continuing my fight to save the Belvedere Splash Park and protect the Thamesmead Crossways Gymnastics Club from eviction. Parks are essential to families, especially during the summer holidays, and Crossways Gymnastics Club is one of the best examples of a healthy community project in the area. It should be celebrated and encouraged, not closed down.     

Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate, positive & enthusiastic.

Who is your biggest hero? My biggest heroine is Queen Elizabeth 1st because she succeeded alone in a man’s world and, like Churchill, defended British sovereignty to the hilt and against all odds by defeating the Spanish armada.   

What is your proudest moment? The birth of my first child, Hannah, closely followed, of course, by being selected to be the Conservative candidate for Erith & Thamesmead! 

News Shopper:


Age? 33

Where do you live? Herne Hill

Where are you from originally? Bristol (via Australia) 

Why do you want to represent this constituency? Erith and Thamesmead has a great sense of community, one which any candidate before you would be proud to represent. Where I feel I and the Liberal Democrats are different to the other candidates and parties is that we sit right in the sensible centre ground of British politics. I want to bring the liberal principles of opportunity and prosperity for all, at the same time hardwiring fairness into our taxation system and running through it all environmental sensitivity with our five green laws. Only the Liberal Democrats can temper the worst excesses of Tory cuts and provide sanity to Labour spending.

What local policy are you most passionate about? I'm passionate about raising the personal income tax allowance to at least £12,500, cutting your taxes by around £400 a year. Lifting the poorest working families out of taxation altogether which I feel will have an impact on many of the people of Erith and Thamesmead. I believe that extending free childcare to all two year olds and the children of working families at the end of paid parental leave, will have a massive impact on supporting everyone in the area, helping residents return to work and support family life.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Working for you.

Who is your biggest hero? My grandmother, she held the entire family together and the impact is still felt today.

What is your proudest moment? Overcoming my dyslexia and getting my A-levels.

News Shopper:


Age? 56

Where do you live? Abbey Wood

Where are you from originally? Barbados 

Why do you want to represent this constituency? Because I live here, I know the local issues and am keen to resolve problems faced by residents and businesses in Erith and Thamesmead.

What local policy are you most passionate about? Ask a politician for one and he will give you 3. I can't pick one but I am passionate about youth unemployment, reversing unfair welfare cuts to the disabled and lack of affordable local housing.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Straightforward - committed - fair.

Who is your biggest hero? Stephen Hawking 

What is your proudest moment? Being the first in my family to graduate from University and watching my nieces and nephews doing the same.

News Shopper:


Age? 75 - but still going strong!

Where do you live? Live in Bromley

Where are you from originally? Gosport, Hants

Why do you want to represent this constituency? I want to represent Erith and Thamesmead because it is important to have a Green Party voice to challenge and be an influence for change.
My uncle Walter Griffiths who lived in Erith was a strong socialist influence  - so I wish to dedicate my standing as a Green Party candidate to his memory.

What local policy are you most passionate about? Combating the effects of austerity measures in the constituency such as providing more social housing, abolishing the bedroom tax and creating employment opportunities especially in renewable industries.

Describing yourself in 3 words: Idealist, ecologist, internationalist.

Who is you biggest hero? Caroline Lucas

What is you proudest moment? Achieving my MA in Cultural Studies at the University of Greenwich.

News Shopper:


Age? I am 51 years young.

Why do you want to represent this constituency? I have lived in Bexley Borough since I was four years old, schooled here, worked here and will probably die here, so I have used the services and understand the area. I was brought up in Welling in Kent. I have lived in Thamesmead for over 23 years, Abbey Wood for 11 years and currently reside in Belvedere. I absolutely believe you can only understand and represent local people and issues if you live there.  

What local policy are you most passionate about? I am most passionate about local affordable housing and improving mental health facilities.  

Describe yourself in 3 words: I would describe my self as Passionate, Fair and Tenacious.  

Who is your biggest hero? My greatest hero is Sir John James Cowperthwaite for Positive non-interventionism in Hong Kong. Guess what? He’s a Scot! Closely followed by Sir Winston Churchill and very nearly solving all our problems in 1909 with the peoples Budget, defeated by the Conservatives.  If he had got the Land Value Tax through, we would have no issues now with housing, economy or the EU. 

News Shopper:


Age? 59

Where do you live? Belvedere

Where are you from originally? Mother's womb

Why do you want to represent this constituency? Because I've lived here and stood in 2010 and enjoyed it.

What local policy are you most passionate about? A new river crossing. Taking advantage of crossrail benefits.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Lover of God.

Who is your biggest hero? Heidi Baker

What is your proudest moment? Receiving MBE from the Queen.

For your guide to the General Election in Bexley, click here.