Chris Priest tells us why he is standing and what he pledges to do as a Labour councillor in Tudor Ward
Labour’s Chris Priest is fighting the by-election as a real alternative to the Tories and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners, who have had things to themselves in Kingston for too long.
Chris has represented neighbouring Canbury Ward as a councillor. He served as a primary school governor for 18 years, and also as a member of the Borough police consultative committee.
In May, Labour won two seats on Kingston Council, beating two long-standing Liberal Democrat councillors.
Chris says “With Tudor voters’ support, I will join with those Labour councillors to strengthen our voice for a fairer and better Kingston. I will use my experience to be an effective councillor from day one.”
Chris’s priorities for the council are:–
Housing – providing decent homes that are affordable for all – both to rent and to buy.
Transport and traffic – reducing congestion and improving air quality by ¬¬promoting walking, cycling, public transport, home working, and school and workplace travel plans.
Schools – ensuring that there are enough school places for all, as near as possible to children’s homes, and that standards continue to rise.
Fair pay – pressing for the council to become a living wage employer (accredited by the Living Wage Foundation). Paying a living wage boosts incomes, helps to cut the benefit bill and makes sure people feel rewarded for the important work they do.
Listening to residents – improving communications between local people and the council, and the way that residents are consulted. When changes are proposed, ensuring that all those affected are heard, not just those most likely to benefit.
Chris added “In May, Kingston’s voters removed the Liberal Democrats from controlling the council. This was clearly due to their record of failure during the previous years – which included serious failings in the council’s child protection service, and failing to plan properly for enough places in local schools. And in spite of this, they were charging local residents the highest council tax in London.
“As a result, the Conservatives now run Kingston – which this by-election unfortunately cannot change. Only a Labour voice can be effective in holding the Conservatives to account.
“Four years ago, the Liberal Democrats put the Conservatives into government. They’re still there, and the Liberal Democrats are still keeping them there.
“A Lib Dem vote is a wasted vote for anyone who wants an alternative to the Conservative-led coalition government. Labour is the clear alternative to the Tories and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners.”
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