On Saturday, May 18, Labour party members in the Lewisham Deptford constituency will select a candidate to stand for the area’s Parliamentary seat in 2015. The party released a shortlist of six women aspiring to succeed the retiring MP, Joan Ruddock, who has been in Parliament for the area since 1987.
East London Lines has profiled the six women chosen to potentially lead Lewisham Deptford after the next General Election. We asked them why they thought they were right for the job and how they would solve important local issues.
Councillor Janet Daby began her career as a Social Worker, before progressing to a management role. She is a Councillor for Whitefoot Ward in Lewisham, as well as a Cabinet Member for Community Safety and is the Black and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) Officer for Lewisham East.
Daby is from the Lewisham Deptford area and said she feels very much at home in the constituency. Her overall goal as a politician is to improve the quality of life for those living locally. The key local issues Daby wants to address as a local MP would be support for families and young people, welfare reform and the economy.
“I feel that due to my own background experiences, knowledge and involvement, …ability to move up in terms of management, and leadership qualities that I know about a lot of social issues and social problems that people in society maybe aren’t as aware of.”
Listen below to hear more about why Daby is standing for election, what sets her apart from the other nominees, how she will tackle key issues and her approach to the reduction of services at Lewisham A&E and maternity ward.
Councillor Vicky Foxcroft represents high street bank workers for Unite the Union. She is a Local Councillor for Brockley Ward and Chair of the Labour Group. Before becoming a Councillor, she was Women’s Officer of the constituency, Trade Union Officer and Campaigns Officer.
Foxcroft has lived in the Lewisham Deptford constituency for the last 12 years and is actively involved with campaigns throughout the borough. The key local issues Foxcroft wants to address as a local MP would be halting the reduction of services at Lewisham Hospital, and building more homes and schools to address shortages of affordable housing and a lack of primary school places within the borough.
“The reason why I’m standing is because I’m local, I’m passionate about the area, and …lots of local people asked me to stand, because they know that I’m not afraid to stand up for the needs of Lewisham Deptford.”
Listen below to hear more about why Foxcroft is standing for election, what sets her apart from the other nominees, how she’ll tackle key issues and her approach to the reduction of services at Lewisham A&E and maternity ward.
Paula Hirst is currently the Director of Urban Development and Regeneration for Mazars. She has worked in the regeneration industry for nearly 15 years, but also has experience working with local and regional government, the voluntary sector as well as construction and engineering.
Hirst was born in London, and lived in the constituency for four years after finishing university. She is standing for election because she believes the area needs both an experienced and credible candidate to represent its interests in Parliament and a strong, respected local figure. Hirst noted three key issues she would address as the local MP: unemployment due to the economy, the quality of housing and private rented properties and tackling crime and the fear of crime.
“I’ve spent the last 15 years working to create change to deliver and make a difference on the ground. And I believe that that experience of delivery will both attract new voters to the Labour Party, will increasingly engage more people in politics and will help us get back into Government in 2015.”
Listen below to hear more about why Hirst is standing for election, what sets her apart from the other nominees, how she’ll tackle key issues and her approach to the reduction of services at Lewisham A&E and maternity ward.
Councillor Catherine McDonald had experience working in business and politics before becoming local Councillor for Livesey in Southwark, where she is Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care. McDonald was also employed at the National Audit Office and worked in Westminster as an adviser.
As a Southwark councillor, McDonald’s ward borders the Lewisham Deptford constituency, and she says that the areas share many of the same issues she already works with. She also believes that her experience working in Westminster sets her apart from the other candidates. Key issues McDonald would address as a local MP are opportunities for young people, reform housing and private rented properties, stopping the closures and reduction of services at Lewisham Hospital and regeneration.
“I think that in life it’s so unfair that some people have to face all sorts of barriers to try and achieve the kind of thing that they want to do, whilst other people have it easy. And I want to break down those barriers.”
Listen below to hear more about why McDonald is standing for election, what sets her apart from the other nominees, how she’ll tackle key issues and her approach to the reduction of services at Lewisham A&E and maternity ward.
Florence Nosegbe is a Local Councillor in Brixton Hill Ward in Lambeth, as well as a Deputy Cabinet Representative for Tackling Violent Youth Crime.
Nosegbe said that the ward she represents in Lambeth shares many similar issues with the Lewisham Deptford constituency. She has also worked with young people in the area and has been part of the campaign to help fight cuts in services at Lewisham Hospital. As a local MP, Nosegbe said key issues for her to act on would be creating jobs to stimulate the economy, bringing in investment to develop affordable housing and better regulating of the private rental sector.
“I think it’s really important that we have politicians that are representative and reflective of the community… But equally, I know that [with] some of the work that I’ve led on and my track record, I’ll be able to hit the ground running in Lewisham.”
Listen below to hear more about why Nosegbe is standing for election, what sets her apart from the other nominees, how she’ll tackle key issues and her approach to the reduction of services at Lewisham A&E and maternity ward.
Mendora Ogbogbo is currently the Managing Director of Parli-training Ltd, where she trains others how to campaign on a range of national issues, amend legislation and develop policy. She said her work in this area has given her extensive knowledge of Parliament.
As the local MP, Ogbogbo would look for ways to develop a creative industrial strategy to encourage small scale enterprise to thrive, and create jobs to spur the economy. She also would encourage new housing development in the constituency, to offer more affordable and quality homes for residents.
Ogbogbo was unable to comment for East London Lines, but she provided our reporters with her background information.
Reporting by Dennis Funk and Victoria Galvin