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  Leading the change for Lewisham  

Leading the change for

Lewisham is a fantastic place to live. Our strength is our people and they are the way we overcome our challenges.

After 14 years of Tory austerity, Lewisham is facing hardships like never before. The Tories are more interested in tax cuts for millionaires than helping with the cost of food and heating.

Years of Tory misrule has left our housing unaffordable, our school children hungry and our people cold in their homes. ​ We can change the way we respond here in Lewisham. Yes, we need more funding. Yes, we need a Labour Government in Westminster. But there is much more we can do right now, and more we can do to prepare for the new leadership that is coming across the country. I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people across our community. What I’ve heard is deep loyalty to our borough, and a real pride in our ability to come together and be the change that we all need. I brought together a taskforce from across the borough to respond to the Cost of Living crisis, harnessing expertise to support our most vulnerable residents. I changed the way the Council uses technology so we can better respond to each crisis as soon as it happens. I fed children in schools and still kept the council’s finances stable during difficult times. Now we need more of that energy, focus and innovation at the Town Hall. We need to be ready to get to the head of the queue for infrastructure investment when the Labour government comes. Our people will help us with that opportunity - but we need the innovation, determination and leadership to start that right change now. My offer is to lead that change in Lewisham.

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  My Mayoral Priorities  

 Bringing the change that’s coming to our country here to Lewisham too. 

A future we can be proud to leave our children

I will create a Young People’s Commission as an umbrella organisation to support the next generation.

I pledge to stop food insecurity for our young people and abolish long term hunger. One in three children in Lewisham live in poverty. When I visit schools and speak to young people they tell me they experience hunger, and that is why I implemented the free school meal policy in the borough. I was one of the first Finance Leads in the country to do this as there is direct relationship between hunger and learning. It affects life at home as well, where there is too often a choice between heating and eating.   ​ My priority is to create a Young People’s Commission to fundraise, coordinate and build support for young people, creating a sign-posting hub where they can find the help they need easily. ​ As a mum of two, I understand how to support the next generation through uncertain times. Lewisham’s schools are improving but there is much more we can do to equip our children to achieve their potential.

Kickstarting a local

Green Revolution

I will create a retro-fit housing team to insulate Lewisham’s homes

We are in a climate emergency and we aren’t moving fast enough to respond. Electricity and heating represents twice as many emissions as transport, it is by far the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas and it is time we made our homes energy efficient. Good insulation can reduce carbon emissions of an average home by 0.6 tonnes a year. ​ My priority is to set up a retrofit housing team in the council to enable more residents to insulate their homes. We will prioritise Green Funding for all new buildings, providing homes that are nicer to live in, cheaper to run and better for the environment. As Mayor I will support wider London measures of traffic reduction, cycling and active travel.

Delivering decent homes

everyone deserves

I will end unsafe living conditions in our borough and clear damp and mould from our housing stock

We are in a housing crisis in Lewisham. Tory economic policy and the cost of living crisis have had a devastating impact on tenants in our borough. Residents are living in squalid conditions and it is outrageous that they wake in up damp, mouldy, draughty homes. 17 percent of our council-owned social housing does not meet minimum standards, that is a statistic we must be ashamed of.   ​ We can do more for council tenants and for private renters too. We will crack down harder on rogue landlords and use the full force of the law to bring them to justice. I will provide more supported living homes, and create partnerships to regenerate and our housing estates and improve our town centres.

Unlocking Jobs & Opportunities

I will establish a new programme of paid internships to help people into rewarding careers

Lewisham Council is the biggest employer in the borough and we should lead by example in giving our young residents a leg-up into good jobs and supporting women returning to the workforce.   As Mayor I will establish a programme of work experience placements for six months or more to give the next generation greater opportunities. We are a dormitory borough, providing a low-paid workforce in other boroughs in London but we can give our residents the experience needed to apply for skilled jobs. As well as working with existing employers to implement the scheme I will work to seed new industries like green skills and gaming so we have more high quality jobs right here in the borough. We have a large number of fantastic small business already here, but we can dare to do better and bring in the exciting new jobs that this next generation is looking for

Tackling the

Mental Health Crisis

I will create a Mental Health Commission to lead innovation and fix our mental health crisis

The pandemic exposed all health inequalities in our society and savage Tory cuts continue to make it worse.  Our borough is living the legacy of Covid, with social exclusion, unemployment and the cost of living crisis exacerbating an already critical mental health situation. Waiting lists for mental health services are the longest since records began and many conditions remain undiagnosed and untreated. This means opportunities are missed to intervene before an individual crisis occurs. My priority would be to lead a new Mental Health Commission for Lewisham to lead on new initiatives here. We can learn from other boroughs like Islington, which has provided training for staff at Barber Shops to create awareness of mental health. I would also push our NHS partners to improve their offer for Lewisham.

Better Transport Connections for our Borough

I will bring the Bakerloo Line to Lewisham and work hard to promote active and sustainable travel connections

Lewisham is the only inner London Borough that is not on the tube, we are missing opportunities every day and that is unacceptable.   An investment in a Bakerloo line extension represents the biggest return on investment than any other development project and we must provide realistic alternative to car use to improve air quality in our borough.   A Labour government provides a great opportunity to sweep away years of delay on this stalled project. Lewisham deserved better.   My priority would be to get Lewisham at the head of the queue for infrastructure investment when the new government gets in.

My Story.png

My Story

My story is the story of a Labour family. Here in Lewisham, so many families, just like mine, have arrived from elsewhere and woven their histories into the story of our borough. 
I am the only child of a single mother, the first of my family to go to university and the only one to ever to be elected into public office.

My family settled in London a century ago after fleeing persecution in Ukraine. My great-grandfather sold socks from a handcart to provide for his family while putting down roots in this country. In the sixties, my Mum became the first female shop steward in her trade union, successfully challenging her employer for the right to wear trousers at work. As a young Londoner, I was a part of Red Wedge and a community of Labour activists through the 80s.

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