I am seeking selection as a Labour candidate for the 2016 Great London Assembly elections because I am just as passionate about London today as I was when I arrived here three decades ago as a child. Now with my own children I want to help build a city that is better, fairer and safer for them, their peers and for us all. I believe in the Labour movement, it has framed my life and I know that with a Labour London Mayor and Majority Labour Assembly we can use Labour values to tackle inequality and fight against injustice. By using the power of social values, we can transform London into a city where we harness the potential of all our residents, creating a city that is unrivalled in its ambition and success.
I have a strong record of delivering real change in local government. I have campaigned and delivered on issues such as health, education, transport, community safety, housing and the environment. In real terms this means delivery of twenty extra police officers on the streets, over £2 million pounds invested in CCTV; recycling rates improved by up to 40% from annual best of 7% in 2006; much needed support provided to local community organisations; fund raising £65,000 to promote team building and citizenship in young men from my ward; securing over £1.5 million funding for the local youth centre and much more.
I helped Labour retain control of the council in the 2010 local elections. I won my council seat with an increased majority in a ward that was a Respect party strong hold. In 2006 I was chosen to lead a fresh campaign in a ward that was renowned for its “community tension” and strong anti-feeling around a government backed development programme, a major housing crisis and high unemployment and crime figures. This combined with anti-war sentiments and the fall out of corruption case involving ex Labour councillors made this a very challenging campaign from the outset. I lead a strong grass roots local campaign to address these issues. My hard work got the desired result; the community grew to know and trust me and I served as the ward councillor for two terms.
We have suffered a shocking defeat at the general election, I am ready to work hard to make sure we win the 2016 London elections. In order to do so we need to examine and change the way we conduct our politics, re-engage the grassroots, create new platforms to connect to those who do not traditionally support us and maximize new opportunities with those who participate in the upcoming Labour Mayoral and Leadership selection processes. I believe I have the knowledge and expertise to contribute to moving Labour forward in 2016. I have worked on engaging the disenfranchised and most vulnerable in our communities and have developed unique networks of support across business, community groups, third sector organisations, religious groups and constituents across London which has given me an unparalleled level of grassroots support and trust. I believe I can use these networks effectively to increase turnout at the polling stations and the Labour vote.
As an elected official, I have always been committed to being accessible to my constituents, hosting regular surgeries, walkabouts and making myself available for constituents to raise their concerns and queries. My priority is and will remain maintaining communication and accessibility and building new relationships. I will ensure that I remain fully accountable to my constituents and the party.
Representation from the minority communities remains scarce in regional and national politics. I am proud to be a British Bangladeshi and a British Muslim. However I remain concerned at the lack of role models for a generation of disaffected young people in an era where there are many groups trying to marginalise, disenfranchise and radicalise for a plethora of different aims. I am in a strong position to help open up dialogues, address concerns and play a pivotal role in bridging the disconnect to the mainstream having spent a number of years working on these issues with a range of groups.
The London Assembly has an under representation of minority communities overall and a notable absence from economically weak minority groups. I can help work towards ensuring that the Assembly’s Labour group is better reflective of the needs of all Londoners and I believe I can help rebuild the trust that we have lost in some of our heartland communities. I have the skills and experiences necessary across all communities to reengage the electorate on wider issues such as the economy, housing, a living wage, childcare, education and transport. With an unrestrained tory government promising more cuts on our public services which will hit the poorest of London the hardest, I have a shared background and have a very personal affiliation with these Londoners and will be at the forefront of fighting these ideologically driven ill-founded cuts.
As I have done so already I am committed to working closely with a Labour Mayor’s office, the Labour shadow government, local authorities and other statutory and voluntary organisations to get the best deal for London and its citizens. I have the energy, commitment and vision to serve the city, the Labour party and London’s communities and I hope to gain your support.
As an elected official, I am committed to being accessible to my constituents, through social media, walkabouts and by hosting regular surgeries. My priorities would remain maintaining communication and accessibility, striving for a better Tower Hamlets and building new relationships. I will ensure that I remain fully accountable to my constituents and the Labour Party.
Thank you for your support.
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