Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/346/5752
Fighting For Decent Homes
ON 10 June, Londoners are voting in European elections, choosing a new London mayor and a new Greater London Assembly (GLA).
Roger Shrives, Lewisham
Lewisham Socialist Party councillor Ian Page is Socialist Alternative candidate for the huge GLA constituency encompassing both Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs.
On the same day, there will be a by-election in Lewisham council's Evelyn ward following the resignation of a Labour councillor. Now Lewisham Socialist Party has selected Jess Leech to stand as our candidate in that election,
Jess lives and works on the ward's biggest housing estate, Pepys estate. Her three children are or were attending the local primary school, and Jess has been active locally on housing and community issues.
Jess says: "The average household income in communities like Evelyn ward is £8,000 - £9,000 a year. So defending good quality but low-cost homes for working class families should be a priority but Lewisham council recently sold off 145 two-bedroom flats on the Pepys to private property developers to be turned into luxury accommodation!"
Ian and Jess and the Socialist Party opposed this sell-off. Ian Page says
"If I'm elected to the GLA, I will oppose all such transfers to the private sector - they are just aimed at making huge profits for private property developers. Particularly at a time of massive housing shortage, that's criminal."
Jess also says:
"Two years after the last council election, there is still no secondary school for Deptford and a number of young people at Deptford Park school have no place in a Lewisham school." Ian comments: "Jess and myself have been fighting alongside parents in Lewisham for properly funded education for every child not one based on selection and SATs tests."
New Labour are calling the 10 June batch of elections 'Super Thursday' but they are worried about getting their vote out across London. In Lewisham Labour used to consider Evelyn ward a safe seat but they have lost the last four by-elections they have stood in, including the Telegraph Hill ward to Socialist Party councillor Chris Flood just before Christmas!
Jess stood as an independent with two other housing activists in the 2002 election and gained a very respectable vote of over 15%. We hope to do even better this time.
If you want to help the campaign for Ian in the GLA or Jess in Evelyn ward, contact Chris Moore on 020 8988 8777.
In The Socialist 8 May 2004:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis