Meeting with Greenwich Citizens at OneSpace

One of the very best parts of my role as Leader of the Opposition on the council, and now as our Parliamentary Candidate, is meeting the many community, residents and faith groups that work so hard for local people right across our area.

That’s why I was pleased to meet with representatives of Greenwich Citizens last night at OneSpace community centre in Kidbrooke, to learn more about their work across our borough.  We discussed a wide range of issues such as the potential of Community Land Trusts in tackling the challenge of affordable housing, local healthcare provision and my work to promote the Living Wage in our borough.

Matt Hartley meeting Greenwich Citizens

After a rain-soaked afternoon campaigning across Eltham yesterday, I’ll be out with the team all day knocking on doors today – and hoping for better weather!

Living Wage Incentive Scheme becomes council policy

Matt reading survey returns - for FbPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

This post first appeared on greenwich.co.uk here.

After four years involved in local goings-on in Greenwich, I have learned that we live in a borough with a particularly frustrating political culture.  With three Labour MPs, 43 Labour councillors and only eight Conservatives on the council, as a member of the opposition, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to get things done.  All eight of us on the Conservative benches have a solid track record of local achievements in our wards – but when it comes to the council chamber, I don’t mind admitting that the Labour Party’s huge majority can make the going tough. Continue reading Living Wage Incentive Scheme becomes council policy

New proposal to help tackle low pay in Greenwich

Woolwich Town HallPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

At next week’s council meeting I will be proposing a new Greenwich Living Wage Incentive Scheme to encourage employers in the borough to pay the London Living Wage, which could make a huge difference to thousands of residents at no extra cost to the council taxpayer.

While the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Greenwich has fallen by an incredible 39 percent since 2010, figures compiled for the London Poverty Profile show that more than one in five jobs in the borough (21 percent) are paid less than the London Living Wage (the amount calculated as necessary to earn enough to cover the basic cost of living, currently set at £9.15 an hour) – and I believe the council has a responsibility to do more to tackle low pay across the borough. Continue reading New proposal to help tackle low pay in Greenwich

Securing action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Fixed Odds Betting TerminalPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

I am very pleased to report that my amendment on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, which sought to toughen the council’s stance against their spread and improve its own signposting to gambling charities, was passed at last night’s council meeting.  This was a rarity – an occasion where we were able to put party politics to one side and agree what is absolutely needed on this issue, which is a united front from both sides of the council chamber.

It came at the end of a long council meeting which I’ve given a whistle-stop tour below. Continue reading Securing action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals