London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi: we still need answers on cuts to police and education

News Desk (15 June, 2017) Columnists

"I say to Theresa May that the people of Southwark have had enough when it comes to the austerity which is leaving our police under resources to meet emerging threats. That leaves our schools begging parents for cash to pay for essentials, or the squeezing NHS funding."

9366Florence Eshalomi, London Assembly member for Southwark and Lambeth

It’s over. The votes have been counted and now it’s back to work for our three outstanding MPs from Southwark.

I would like to offer my congratulations to all our Members of Parliament, it was a tough campaign but as they know all too well the hard work is still to come.

On Saturday 3rd June, the election campaign drew to an immediate halt when our city, our borough, faced a horrendous terrorist attack. I would like to use this opportunity to publicly express my deep shock and sadness at the events that took place. For the families that lost loved ones, and those who were injured, I am so sorry for your suffering. I would like to thank our brilliant police force in Southwark who acted quickly and with such bravery. Londoners will not give in and they will return to their daily lives – but for those who choose to serve and protect us- they face these and other dangers regularly and the way they acted, swiftly and boldly, is utterly commendable.  They have truly done us proud.

Our borough faced another tragedy in these past two weeks.  One of our children – 17 year old Abdirahman Mohamed was killed with a knife on Friday 2nd June in Peckham. Yet again we are faced with another life taken so early and so senselessly in our community. Across London knife crime has seen eight teenagers die this year alone. This truly appalling increase in violent crime cannot be allowed to continue and it is reassuring that the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is soon to launch his knife crime strategy so that we can tackle these atrocities and save other families the pain of losing a loved one.

With a new government, Southwark continues to be in an uncertain position. The election campaign did not address many of the salient concerns of the people of Southwark. The government have not addressed the need to invest in more police, they said nothing about rail devolution and improving the standard of the private rail companies. We did not get any answers over the proposed cuts to education funding in Southwark.

I say to Theresa May that the people of Southwark have had enough when it comes to the austerity which is leaving our police under resources to meet emerging threats. That leaves our schools begging parents for cash to pay for essentials, or the squeezing NHS funding.

I am still none the wiser over their plans to fund social care.

We have elected a super group of Southwark MPs who I know have had enough of the government’s excuses and will represent the people of Southwark against this continuing austerity. This election has left Southwark with more questions than answers – but I will work with our MPs  to fight for you and bring the government to account.

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