Bonnie Craven’s Sutton and Cheam 2019 General Election Campaign
Thank you for voting for Bonnie Craven in the General Election
Thanks you to over 7,000 of you who voted for Bonnie and the many people who helped with her campaign. Though we were not successful this time, we will be campaigning from the start of 2020 on some of the following:
Fighting to protect St Helier and Epsom’s Hospitals’ A&E’s and Maternity service from being downgraded and replaced by a smaller unit in Belmont
Continuing to fight against the proposed school being built on Rosehill Park
Campaigning to re-elect Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London and win the Croydon and Sutton London Assembly seat which is a close marginal between Conservatives and Labour with the Lib Dems in third place
Who I am:
Sutton and Cheam needs change, and needs an MP that lives in the constituency, and who people can really believe in. I went to primary school in Sutton and have also sent all four of my children to our local schools. I have helped our local Labour Party to be larger than ever before, and have what it takes to become Sutton and Cheam’s first Labour MP.
I am Labour to my core, having been raised campaigning for our NHS and public services. I am a committed socialist and trade unionist, and have been on the front line fighting to protect St Helier hospital from the Tory and Lib Dem closure plans.
With a degree in economics, I built a successful career in the City, rising to an Assistant Vice President at Citibank. But during this time I also volunteered in schools in Tower Hamlets to pay back for my good fortune. Then in 2004 I made the decision, as a single mother, to retrain as a primary school teacher. I completed this training based in a school in Cheam, and have taught at a variety of schools in this borough and beyond. I am now a trade union official for TSSA, organising transport workers on Southern, Thameslink, and Gatwick Express as well as other lines.
Sutton and Cheam Labour Party now have more members than all the other parties combined, and in the first week of this election campaign we have seen even more join us and become active. I was Labour’s candidate here in the 2017 snap election and on the back of a 51 day campaign our vote doubled and we got our best result here since 1970. This time we are planning to win. Local people like you recognise that since the coalition, the Lib Dems offer no alternative to Tory austerity. Only Labour will fight for our public services and your quality of life.
As a teacher who qualified to teach based at a school in Cheam, I know that education is under assault with cuts to school budgets, academisation, misdirection of funding to “free” schools and the increasing pressure on teachers and pupils through the constant measuring and examination they face. I campaigned against the academisation of our schools in Sutton, removing any local accountability and risking the long term future of our childrens’ schools. I also organised a campaign against the SPAG tests in my childrens’ school. I have lobbied hard against the SATs and am pleased that the endless examination of our children will be brought to an end, drawing a line under this damaging regime. I am also thrilled that a Labour government will bring schools back under local control, removing the risk of shady budgeting, and meaning qualified teachers are assured for all of our children.
I have been heartbroken to learn that children in one Sutton primary school were having the contents of their lunch boxes stolen by other hungry children. This is an absolute disgrace in the 6th richest country in the world.
One of the Sutton secondary schools now has to close at lunch time once every two weeks because they can no longer afford to pay for teachers to run a full timetable.
Families move to Sutton for our excellent schools. We are failing all of our children and our futures if we elect another MP who allows these scandals to continue.
I, like you, have been shocked to witness the growing number of rough sleepers in our town, especially on our High Street. House prices and rents are incredibly high in our town, and there is simply not nearly enough council or affordable accommodation. It is a disgrace that just 93 council homes have recently been provided in this constituency, despite posh tower block after posh tower block going up in our town centre. In the Hamptons there is a social apartheid. I would work with the Mayor of London to ensure the London Borough of Sutton builds an adequate number of new council homes, and bid for funding from central government to cover the immediate costs. In Sutton, one child in 60 will
be waking up homeless on Christmas morning. Behind closed doors, many families in Sutton are living in seriously over crowded conditions. I will also support a renters charter to ensure fair conditions for all who rent their home.
As a transport trade union officer I look after staff on the railway companies that serve Sutton. Access to good quality affordable public transport is vital to people living here to reduce reliance on cars and protect our environment. I am pleased we will be bringing our railways back under public control and curb our excessively expensive fares. As your MP I will work with the Mayor of London and Transport for London to bring Sutton into Zone 4, reducing our commuting fares for those working in London. I will also work to bring our bus services under the democratic control of the council to ensure routes are available when people need them.
I was raised fighting for our NHS. I have been involved in the campaign to keep St Helier Hospital and also support the campaign against the downgrading of Epsom hospital for a decade or more. Our last Lib Dem MP co-authored the Health and Social Care Bill 2012 – the very legislation being used by the Tory government to threaten the very existence of both of our local hospitals. Our Conservative MP Paul Scully, the Lib Dem MP in Carshalton and Wallington both endorse the process that will inevitably lead to the downgrade of both our local fully acute hospitals to little more than insignificant cottage hospitals. Only Labour campaign to keep these vital and well-used services for all who need them. There is also the issue of GP hubs, reducing the number of surgeries in the constituency. This increases the travelling distances and has impacted on the availability of GP appointments meaning people will be more ill when they finally get seen. It doesn’t have to be this way.
My Pledges to You
- With your support we can make history in Sutton on 12th December by electing our first ever Labour MP and ushering in a Labour government, ending the devastating cuts and austerity, forced on us by Tory and Lib Dem governments since 2010.
- Brexit: The Tories and Lib Dems gave us a referendum in 2016 without planning for both possible outcomes, and since then they have failed to deliver what the marginal majority voted for. Now under Johnson they threaten to crash us out without a deal and they will then hand our public services to Donald Trump. This would mark the end of our vital NHS. The Lib Dems wish to ignore democracy and disregard over half the country who voted for Brexit. Of course, for all their pledges, the Lib Dems could never deliver this since they would need to acquire over 300 MPs to form a government to do this. They have not ruled out working with the Tories again so this is likely to go the same way as their pledges on tuition fees. A Labour government would complete negotiations for a managed and sensible exit within 3 months, and then put the choice back to the people. This way people can vote to leave under those terms or remain. Given the divisions of the country, this represents the most pragmatic and sensible solution.
- Public services need protection from privatisation. I helped create Labour policy to end private involvement in our NHS, where £30bn a year is wasted on managing the so-called internal market. I will work with Angela Rayner to return academy schools to local control, and end the scandal of publishing houses raking in a fortune from publishing harmful and unnecessary exams for primary school children. I would also work to develop publicly employed banks of NHS and education staff to cut out agencies from our hospitals and schools, keeping more of the budgets for these essential services to provide for patients and pupils.
- Transport I have long been campaigning for the renationalisation of the railways. As your MP I will also campaign to have bus services run by the local authority and against the expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
- Housing I will push for an increase in council housing provision and speak up for tenants facing “regeneration” schemes where they live. I will also support the formation of renters unions, and back policies against unfair evictions. I will advocate for full and thorough investigation into the cladding on Chaucer and Balaam Houses as well as on St Helier Hospital. I would seek Fire Brigade advice on wooden frame construction properties such as the block of flats that were destroyed by fire on the Hamptons Estate in Worcester Park.
- High Street The immediate threat to our high street is Tory ideological austerity. As an economist I know the high street is vital to our local economy. 40% of retail properties on Sutton High Street are standing empty. I am pleased the incoming Labour government level the playing field for our shops by ensuring online companies pay appropriate tax. I have a plan to make our high street into a destination, bringing the arts into vacant units. Lib Dem/Tory Sutton recently closed both of our theatres. I will also work to support local businesses so that Sutton residents can work closer to home, improving the quality of life, and meaning that they shop on our high streets rather than online or away from home.
- Knife Crime We will ensure the police have the funding to maintain all local police stations and increase the number of bobbies on the beat. By bringing back Sure Start we will ensure all young families have the support they need to get children off to the best start in life, and follow this with proper investment in excellent education, delivering a National Education Service. All young people deserve a bright future, and by showing them that they are an important part of our society, and supporting them through difficult times we can end the culture of violence that is taking a grip on our younger people.
- Environment Our planet is dying and we must take urgent action to reverse the harm we have done to it. All public buildings should be fitted with solar panels and a Labour government will invest in a Green New Deal, creating thousands of new jobs and supporting development of on and off-shore wind farms to move towards zero net emissions. I oppose developments on metropolitan open spaces, and the sell-off of school playing fields and parks. I will also object to building on flood planes in Sutton. The Beverly Brook is overflowing on an increasingly frequent basis, meaning Sutton residents homes are being flooded.
Bonnie and all Labour candidates stood on a manifesto that promised real and radical transformative change for this country after 9 years of Tory and Lib Dem austerity
What Labour colleagues say about Bonnie
Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington and Chelsea. “I’ve known Bonnie for 5 years, and every time I have seen her she’s been campaigning, speaking out, or supporting others who are. Bonnie is enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She would be an excellent MP for Sutton and Cheam”,
Barry Gardiner, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade. “Bonnie has proven her commitment to improve life for everyone suffering under this government over many elections, standing in this seat in 2017 and increasing our engagement and vote share. She has lived in the constituency for almost 40 years, going to school here and sending her own children to Sutton schools. She will be the dedicated Member of Parliament Sutton and Cheam needs and deserves.”
Richard Burgon, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. “Bonnie did a great job in the 2017 General Election in Sutton and Cheam, and will do a great job as the Labour MP for the constituency when elected in 2019. A committed trade unionist and socialist, Bonnie has a great track record of putting Labour principles into practice and looking after her community.”
Laura Pidcock, Shadow Minister for Labour: “It’s fantastic to see a local grassroots activist like Bonnie standing to be the Labour MP for Sutton and Cheam. I know Bonnie has worked her socks off for her community and her union over many years, and we need strong principled voices like hers in Parliament. Help make that happen by supporting her in this election, and sharing her campaign on social media and on the streets. With a little hard graft, there’s no doubt we can win Sutton and Cheam for the first time and put a Labour government in Westminster.”
Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. “Bonnie is a committed Labour activist who I’ve known since I worked in the Health team. She is a qualified teacher and committed to help improve communities and achieve a fairer society. She will work hard for Sutton and Cheam and be a good Labour MP.”
Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Teachers have been on the front line of this government’s cuts and Bonnie has been leading the fight back, not just for those who work in schools, but for the pupils and parents who rely on them. We have to make sure that local people know that only a Labour government will give education the investment it needs, and that the Tories can only offer yet more cuts.”
John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor. “Bonnie is exactly the sort of hard working, campaigning MP we need to speak up for this community and win this constituency for Labour, and the people who live here.”