Ham&High in-depth analysis: candidates quizzed by community (part 9)
PUBLISHED: 11:47 30 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:57 07 September 2010
8) Why do you spout so many promises and then when you get there do absolutely not one of them? GL: We are not promising anything apart from ring fencing NHS and foreign aid spending. I am very proud of that because that is a priority for us. We will re
8) Why do you spout so many promises and then when you get there do absolutely not one of them?
GL: We are not promising anything apart from ring fencing NHS and foreign aid spending. I am very proud of that because that is a priority for us. We will revise the job tax that labour are putting in place, the rise in National Insurance which businesses have already said will lose 57,000 jobs. At the moment people cannot get the drugs they need on the NHS. People have to get them for themselves and they are penalised. That is why we are not over promising because we want to deliver exactly what we promise. Within 5 months of being in government we will carry out a financial review and have a clear plan of where we want to tighten the budget. SCORE = 0
JS: I don't agree that this is what we do. We campaigned against Iraq and were vilified for it but I think we were right.
We campaigned for the Ghurkhas and were laughed at, yet in the end we were successful. As a housing lawyer my job is results' driven. I know what success is and that's what I aim for. I've campaigned locally for the NHS and police. SCORE = 0
NB: I don't think that's true of my party with the three local candidates. We haven't had the opportunity in terms of Parliament yet. I hope we'll be able to show how we're different if we're given that opportunity. SCORE = 0
FD: I ask people to name one promise that I've made but not kept. I promised we'd have a new University College hospital and as Health Secretary I kept that promise. I campaigned outside the Whittington Hospital when the staff were excellent but the building was a dump. When I got in a lot of money was invested in the Whittington and now most of its buildings are modern and up to date. I'm not a party poodle and I honestly can't think of one promise I've not kept or not tried to keep. You can't always manage to do what you want to do. SCORE = 0
9) When you're chasing votes it could be easy to overlook the business voice. But given the importance of the commercial sector to the economic recovery in Camden and elsewhere can you tell us what you think the key issues for business in Camden are?
GL: It is difficult for small business with the rates and difficulties in parking and competing with chain stores and we are committing to giving them as much help as possible. I know how hard it is for a small business and we want to support them. If you look at the amount of posters with me on them in all the shops in Camden you can see that they recognise I am the candidate to support them. SCORE = 4
JS: I'm a business person myself. I've been self-employed for 10 years and I understand about the pressures- particularly at the moment during a recession. I think we've got to sort out the banks to make them lend to small and medium sized businesses. Tax payers' money has been used to bail them out and yet they're not lending.
Business rates need to be under the control of the local economy so that they can respond to the needs of the local economy.
I've also campaigned to stop the Northern Line closures. There's no need to close the Northern Line at weekends and after 10pm during the week. SCORE = 4
NB: We want to re-open the post office and reduce corporation tax to 20 per cent for small businesses by increasing corporation tax for large firms by two per cent: from 28 per cent to 30 per cent. SCORE = 3
FD: One of the key issues for businesses anywhere is getting the banks to supply them with capital. The high and rising rents in the area are a major problem, as are problems of parking and access. It's important big businesses make an effort to recruit local staff. SCORE = 3
10) I receive complaints from residents over dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog owners. What would they do about this growing problem, if elected?
GL: There is legislation in place to deal with this. Certain breeds of dogs are already banned. We need to seriously look at dog owners who cannot keep their dogs under control to see if they are fit to be owners. SCORE = 1
JS: I know there's been some really good work done in Brent and Camden, training young people who've got dogs how to look after and manage them and I support that. I agree there is a problem, walking around I see it myself. SCORE = 1
NB: I think what we need is not so much new laws, but to ensure that the laws and regulations are enforced. If there's a problem, we need to make sure that the police and council act before the problem escalates and someone gets injured.
We need to educate people to ensure that they know what they're taking on when they get a pet. SCORE = 3
FD: The police need to make more concerted efforts to tackle people who use their dogs to menace people and the council and housing associations should take action as landlords against tenants who persistently menace people with their dogs. SCORE = 3
11) Where do you stand on the drug Khat? Should it be made illegal?
GL: We need to have a clear drugs policy. If a drug is harmful to people then we have a duty to regulate it. I don't know this drug at all but if it is harmful then is should be controlled. I am an ex policeman and I think the governments handling of cannabis has just confused everyone. It just showed how confused and incompetent this government is regarding a clear drugs policy. SCORE = 3
JS: I don't know a massive amount about the issue. I know it's extremely controversial within the Somali community. I would want to take advice from people who know more about it than I do before I reach a conclusion. I do know there are problems with people who over use it. SCORE = 2
NB: Our policy on all drugs is that we would treat them as health issues rather than criminal issues. We'd introduce a health commission to work out a way forward with that philosophical foundation. We believe in an evidence-based drugs policy and I don't believe there is evidence to make Khat illegal. SCORE = 1
FD: People with drug problems should accept that they either have a health problem and should join with officialdom in trying to do something about it or they go into the criminal justice system. Khat is clearly a problem within the Somali community. Some members of the community want it banned and others don't. The question is whether banning it in our locality would make the situation better or worse. SCORE = 2
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