Jon Cruddas: 'It’s vital for the health of democracy to focus on the local'
Jon Cruddas MP, Dagenham and Rainham
- Credit: Andrew Achilleos
So much of the discussion about politics these days seems to be who’s up, who’s down and dramas centred on Westminster – basically, a basin full of froth.
Surely what’s important are the things that touch people’s everyday lives. Yes, it’s essential to have a vision for the nation’s future and the policies to bring that about, but it’s vital for the health of democracy to focus on the local.
To work to help local people as best as you can deal with the problems when faced with authority, picking up issues of concern to communities. My take is that it is only through this far from glamorous side of being an MP or councillor that you can build the understanding to properly represent your area and people.
Each week I receive between 800 and 1,000 enquiries from local constituents.
These range from personal issues affecting them to planning concerns and cladding issues, the current contention around the introduction of Controlled Parking Zones across areas like the Rylands Estate, issues surrounding crime and anti-social behaviour and flooding concerns along Rainham Road North.
Working on these issues which massively impact the lives of people brings home to me the kind of policies that we need to improve lives and give people a fairer and better chance in life.
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I simply don’t accept that there isn’t the money to properly fund our schools, the police and the NHS, and to pay nurses, doctors, and carers what they deserve. It is a question of political priorities.
There’s a cliché that says all politics are local. I doubt that’s ever been more true.
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