Croydon Assembly: Questions for Parliamentary candidates

The Croydon Assembly set up by Croydon Trades Union Council is a non-partisan organisation that is raising questions to all candidates at the 2015 General Election.

Housing 

  1. What action will you take to improve conditions in the private rented sector?
  2. Will you campaign for and support the building of new council homes in Croydon, including as ‘planning gain’ from the proposed Westfield development?
  3. Do you agree that the Bedroom Tax should be scrapped?

The environment

  1. Waddon flyover plan and air pollution. How would you stop this plan and ensure our money is invested in public transit, walking and cycling instead?”
  2. Do you agree that the provision of water to domestic premises and the collection and treatment of sewage cannot be left in the hands of the privatised water companies whose primary concerns are to maximise the returns to shareholders rather than to protect the environment and ensure a clean and economical supply of water to households? Will you therefore publicly endorse the call by Croydon TUC to candidates in this election to support the re-nationalisation of the water companies?
  3. Will you support investment in renewable energy and conservation?
  4. Reducing and managing waste – South London Waste Partnership incinerator. What will you do to put in place a more environmentally-friendly method of waste disposal and increase recycling rates in the Borough?
  5. Northdown Energy has obtained a licence to look for natural gas and oil in Croydon. Will you oppose granting permission for fracking in Croydon?

Health 

  1. It has been calculated that the NHS needs a further £30 Billion in funding by 20/21. Will you support the means to achieve this funding?
  2. Within this governments 5 Year Forward Review it is proposed that NHS England London Region will have to make savings of 4 Billion across London’s acute sector and that ½ Billion will come from South-West London alone. Will you support such cuts to the NHS?. Yes or no
  3. Leading Conservatives admit that the Health & Social Care Act 2012 was a total failure. Will you support the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 launched by Prof Allyson Pollock and Peter Roderick? Or if not will you support the alternative Clive Efford Bill?
  4. The Independent NHS Pay Review Body was set up to prevent the type of industrial action that has been taking place recently because this government failed to implement the review body recommendations. Will you give a commitment to support the NHS pay review body recommendations in the future?
  5. Will you support measures that give mandatory guarantees of safety and protection to whistleblowers in respect of their jobs?
  6. Do you support the Privatisation of the NHS? Yes or No.

Corporate Power etc 

  1. What will you do to stop tax dodging by the super-rich and big business?
  2. What action will you take against UK tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Jersey?
  3. Are you in favour of returning the rail system to public ownership?
  4. Are you in favour of bringing the energy companies into public ownership?
  5. Should profitable companies really be allowed to sack workers or should company law be changed to make promoting employment as important as increasing shareholder returns?
  6. When interest rates are low to borrow to invest is sensible. Do you agree?
  7. Do you support a wealth tax on the super-rich?
  8. Do you think every worker in London should get at least £9.15 per hour? (London Living Wage)
  9. What’s your view on banning zero hours contracts?
  10. Will you oppose any new laws that restrict legitimate trade union activities?
  11. Don’t you think it’s about time we stopped scapegoating migrants?
  12. What will you do to stop workers being exploited and wages being driven down?

Benefits, Pensions, Social Care 

  1. Will you commit to upholding the principle of Universal Benefits and safeguard benefits such as the winter fuel allowance, free bus pass, free prescriptions and TV licences if elected
  2. Will you commit to a basic state pension for all set above the poverty line  of £175 a week and increases in pensions linked to the best RPI, CPI, earnings or 2.5% if elected?
  3. Will you commit to supporting a national tax-funded Health and Care Service, free at the point of use, with home care available from local authority social services?
  4. Will you commit to tackling income inequality by: redistribution to the poorest households and ending the poverty trap through a Citizens Income; a more progressive income tax structure and increased corporation tax; a higher floor for wages and maximum earnings ratio of 10:1 within organisations ; an end to zero hours contracts
  5. Do you agree with us that we need a wider vision of learning and achievement?: A broad balanced and enriching curriculum; a national council for curriculum and assessment; coherent 14-19 qualifications framework.
  6. Do you agree with us that we need more time for teaching – not more tests? League tables replaced by national sampling; nurture professional respect and responsibility; a new approach to evaluating schools
  7. Do you agree with us that all children deserve Qualified teachers? All those teaching should be qualified or training to be so; every teacher should receive regular training; a strategy to recruit teachers that reflects the diverse nature of communities
  8. Do you agree with us that we need to end child poverty? Stringent targets to end child poverty by 2020; increase funding for high quality early years education; reduce youth unemployment; restore financial support for post 16 students to stay in education
  9. Do you agree with us that we need to end the school places crisis? Give Local Authorities back legal powers they need to plan and provide enough school places; ensure the Government provides sufficient funding; restore the role of the Local Authority as the democratic organisation responsible for education
  10. Do you agree with us that we need to mend a fractured education system? End approvals for free schools; allow all schools the right to return to the status of LA schools; stop enforced academies; return oversight of state funded schools to Local Authorities
  11. Do you agree with us that education should not be run for profit? Halt all further privatisation or outsourcing of education services and schools; end the marketisation of education; restore funding for high quality Local Authority services
  12. Do you agree with us that we need to invest in education? Commit to reversing the downward spiral of education funding; expanded programme of school building improvements; Post-16 funding crisis must be tackled and removal of asbestos

Democracy 

  1. Many believe that corporate and financial power dictate government policy rather than the electorate. Do you agree? If so, what are you going to do about it?
  2. Elections are supposed to be about democratic choice. But if the major parties agree on things like austerity, benefit sanctions, wage freezes and so on, where’s the choice?
  3. A recent report condemned the first past the post voting system as a lottery? Do you think that’s a fair comment? How could it be improved?
  4. Surveys show considerable disillusionment and alienation from the political system. Why do you think this is the case?
  5. The European Union is regarded by many as a bureaucratic, undemocratic organisation. Is that a fair comment? Should it be reformed?
  6. Representative democracy can leave voters without a sense of power and representatives who are not truly accountable. Is it time to have a more direct, participatory form of democracy?
  7. There’s precious little democracy in the workplace, with working people have little say about what happens to their jobs, wages and conditions. Shouldn’t democracy apply to the workplace too?
  8. Outsourcing and privatisation robs workers and consumers of democratic accountability. Do you agree?

Croydon Assembly 

Further information from croydonassembly@gmail.com

Croydon Assembly Environment Forum. Meeting Thursday 16 April. 8pm. Ruskin House, 23 Coombe  Rd.

Reconvened Assembly Saturday 6 June: http://www.croydontuc.org.uk/page_3135608.html

For flyer see CroydonAssemblyFlyer2Single

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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