I’ve always been interested in people and the campaign to win back Bermondsey and Old Southwark has allowed me to meet some stars across the constituency.
On Friday my team was out around Southwark Bridge Road in SE1 where I met Martin. Martin was angry about the impact of the local fire station closing and wants to see Labour win again in May to ensure our emergency services are better protected. I also met Calil who wanted to discuss the future of care services and was shocked that Government plans continue to restrict access to essential support and will force older people to sell homes to pay for vital care.
On Saturday we were out near Long Lane in the morning where Unite workers raised their concerns about low pay and the coalition’s attack on their employment rights. At lunchtime we reached The Blue on Southwark Park Road, SE16, where community safety was raised as well as older people raising heating bills as a big concern.
Later Saturday afternoon I joined volunteers out off Tower Bridge Road in SE1. A former postal worker raised his concerns about the coalition selling off Royal Mail and the future of the post service. I also spoke with residents about council warm, safe and dry works which have generally been received well. I also spoke with Maureen who can’t forgive the local Lib Dem MP for introducing the bedroom tax. She pays an extra £20 per week and is sadly looking to move home.
Sunday morning I was in my own ward in SE17 and spoke to Tracy who was angry. She voted Lib Dem in 2010 and feels tricked. She’s in the ‘Lib Dem never again’ camp now! I also spoke with Kingsley who was worried that five more years of Cameron and Clegg will undermine his son’s opportunities. He told us he’s praying for a Labour win in May!
I joined more volunteers, including students from Queen Mary University in the afternoon around Lower Road, SE16. Christine told me that she’d waited 18 months to have a knee op and was in constant pain and couldn’t get out much. She blamed the coalition for scrapping the policy that meant she’d have been treated by now – and said how hard it was to even get to see her GP.
With my team of volunteers out across Borough, Walworth, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe speaking to 1,000 people a week it is a privilege to meet so many fantastic locals and have the chance to serve this community if I win on 7th May.