As we approach the election, voters will want to know what local issues are important to their candidate and I am delighted to have the opportunity to talk about some of mine.
Ealing faces several major challenges over the next few years that will rightly occupy the mind of the newly elected MPs for the area. Top of the agenda for me will be a number of transport matters.
We need to stop the further expansion of Heathrow airport, as pledged by David Cameron, if we are to avoid the unacceptable new levels of noise and pollution.
Crossrail is vital for Ealing and we must make sure that Ealing Broadway station gets an early upgrade when the programme is rolled out. We have been forced to make do with a station which is seriously unfit for purpose for far too long.
Improving the centre of Ealing, as well as Acton, is another key concern. Most of us agree that we need to revitalize our town centres but we must find a way to achieve that while maintaining the essential character that makes them such great places to live and visit.
My final thought is that one of Ealing's defining qualities is its green spaces. We must make sure that these are prized and protected."
At the next election residents of Ealing will be going to the polls with one thing on their mind – their quality of life.
Ealing’s residents tell me that they want to see the regeneration of their town-centres (both Ealing Broadway & West Ealing).
In the Broadway the recent rejections of the Arcadia proposals have rightly shown that whilst we want to see regeneration, it cannot be at any cost.
As Queen of the Suburbs we must give a reason for people to use the new Crossrail line to get off (not just get on) at ‘Destination Ealing’, with an excellent shopping experience that is complimented by our most famous landmark, Ealing Studios and not only a new department store, but a new cultural hub.
Ealing’s attraction lies in its appeal to families, professionals and retired couples alike. Its appeal is our open spaces and commuter links and so we must protect out green spaces such as Haven Green and Gunnersbury Park from developers who care only for profit and nothing for people.
We must also ensure that we provide a bus and train interchange alongside an improved Ealing Broadway station as part of the Crossrail plans.
For West Ealing, the regeneration plans for Green Man Lane and other nearby sites should not only provide improved accommodation but be part of the driving force for a West Ealing that is more than just pound stores.
Nationally I’ve seen the difference unprecedented investment in our children’s education and the NHS and I want to ensure these two public services are protected. Unlike my opponent, my party will prioritise the economy and climate change rather than focussing on repealing the fox-hunting ban.
Ealing faces three key threats at present.
Ealing is under threat from the recession and the Labour Government's appalling handling of it.
The Liberal Democrats want to get wasteful government spending under control and give the economy a boost by cutting taxes for lower paid people. It is crazy that people struggling to make ends meet who are paid little more than minimum wage get taxed.
Under Vince Cable’s tax proposals, no-one will pay income tax on the first £10,000 they earn, meaning tax freedom for millions of low earners and pensioners, while millions more get hundreds of pounds back in their pockets.
Ealing is under threat from the developers. Due to massive local campaigning the Arcadia skyscraper has finally been rejected, but we must remain vigilant against other proposals for schemes that would destroy our town centre and ensure that we seize opportunities for positive development like a proper interchange at Ealing Broadway station.
Finally, Ealing is under threat from our Tory Council, who are more interested in getting themselves re-elected with a £50 cashback, seen by many as an electoral bribe, than in safeguarding and improving facilities for the local community. You only have to think back to their recent proposal to sell off part of Gunnersbury Park for flats to know that they don’t take their duty to look after Ealing seriously enough.
We need a local MP who represents the views of ordinary Ealing residents to stand up to these threats on behalf of our community."