Housing and the young left out in the cold in battle for Vauxhall

By Ahmed Shooble
December 7 2019, 18.25

Liberal Democrat Vauxhall candidate Sarah Lewis believes local issues have been neglected in the constituency and has criticised the way other parties have treated the concerns of residents.

Ms Lewis, 34, believes young people and local council housing issues have been overlooked in the last three years and residents want immediate change.

She also believes allowing residents to speak and drive their own priorities is the only way to instigate a change in focus back to the community.

Ms Lewis said: “The residents are what is at the heart of this. I do not subscribe to the top-down approach of the Conservatives and the Labour party.

“People are crying out for change. We have had a Labour-run council, a Labour mayor, a Labour MP for 30 years and I think people are looking for something different.”

Ms Lewis recalled walking through Fenwick Estate not understanding why the council was demolishing council homes and was forced to understand this through those it affected the most.

Ms Lewis said: “The reason I stepped into campaigning in the first place was because of housing. There are a load of people living here with a wrecking ball over their homes.

“If we don’t prioritise people having homes local people can afford, the community will go and that is absolutely at the heart of what needs to be sorted out here.”

When canvassing, Ms Lewis hears the same grievances brought up from most local people: their home and their children.

Ms Lewis said: “I met a 65-year-old mother of two who has lived in the same Kennington Park Estate flat for 20 years. She wanted to move to a bigger home for her children but given Lambeth council’s waiting list I told her this wouldn’t be easy.

“She then told me she wanted to move as she felt the area was not safe for her 16-year-old and admitted she is sure he is running into trouble with local gangs and it will only end badly.

“I want to make sure that I am freely sharing my platform with everyone in the constituency.

“I want to make sure that absolutely everyone in our community has a voice because right now they don’t.”

Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.

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