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[24/03/2015 | No comment]

Pledge CardLast Saturday, I joined Ed Miliband, the rest of the Shadow Cabinet and thousands of activists from across the country to launch Labour’s five pledges for the general election:

  1. A strong economic foundation: Balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS. None of our manifesto commitments require additional borrowing.
  2. Higher living standards for working families: Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8 and provide 25 hours free childcare a week.
  3. An NHS with the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. We will join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.
  4. Controls on immigration: People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
  5. A country where the next generation can do better than the last: Tuition fees reduced to £6,000, an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and smaller class sizes for 5, 6 & 7 year-olds.

 

[08/03/2015 | No comment]

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I recently held a well-attended public event with the City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, to give local residents from in and around the Woodgate area a say over proposals to develop Leicester’s Waterside.

People voiced their frustration at having to live with old industrial buildings that have been left vacant and derelict, especially around the A50. These blight neighbourhoods, encourage crime and antisocial behaviour and form a bad impression for people visiting the city.

When I was first elected, my office was on Frog Island, so I know the area very well. I’ve campaigned hard for the investment needed ever since and am pleased that the City Mayor has now made it a top priority, earmarking £26.5 million to kick start development.”

[06/11/2014 | No comment]

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I’m backing Action on Empty Homes, a great initiative run by the charity Action Homeless. It brings abandoned properties back into use to create affordable homes for people currently in hostel accommodation.It also generates training and employment opportunities, especially for people who have found it tough to secure work.

32 people have now been housed under this scheme and Leicester City Council have also stepped in to provide community support grants to help new residents buy furniture and other things they need to move in. I recently visited one of these properties on Harrow Road in the West End and met with the new tenant, Hanif Abdul Rahim.

You can read the Leicester Mercury coverage of my visit here and if you’d like to find out more about this fantastic project, you can contact Eilidh Kennedy from Action Homeless on 0116 221 1851 or by email at eilidhkennedy {at} actionhomeless.org(.)uk

[19/06/2014 | No comment]

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On Friday 13th I helped open Dartmouth Gardens, a fantastic new development of 28 affordable homes, built by Westleigh and East Midlands Housing with support from the city council and Homes and Communities Agency.

The development includes 2 bedroom houses, which are in really short supply in the city. The homes are all highly energy efficient and come with parking spaces, gardens and sheds.  The development created 108 jobs and 5 apprentices, many of whom were local people. 15 local businesses were also used in the supply chain.

Leoni and her son Emerson were the first to move in. Leoni said it’s made a real difference to her independence and her ability to bring her son up properly, in a safe environment.

Good quality, affordable housing is in really short supply in Leicester. More well thought out developments like Dartmouth Gardens would make a big difference to my constituents in future. You can read more about this in my Mercury column here.

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