Sarah Jones has called on Croydon Central’s MP Gavin Barwell to fight for the people of the borough after the Labour candidate lost out in a narrow majority.
Mrs Jones lost out by just 165 votes to Conservative Mr Barwell in a sleep-deprived Fairfield Halls in a fiercely contested count.
The 22,588 votes Labour received is an example of the growth Labour have made in Croydon Central over the previous five years – having won just 16,688 in 2010 – and Mrs Jones feels Mr Barwell needs to act in the interests of the town’s people, and not succumb to the wishes of the government.
She said: “There are a lot of big challenges facing us over the next five years and Gavin needs to be the one who’s fighting for the people of Croydon now.
“Whether it’s the health service, Westfield, or the huge challenges people face in Croydon as an outer London borough – where the cost of living far outstrips the wages people have coming in.
“There are some real issues here people need to have dealt with.
“I wish him well but he needs to make sure he’s speaking for all those people and not just focusing on what happens in parliament. ”
The NHS has been a central figure in the Croydon Central campaign, with Mrs Jones being a passionate supporter of the health service, and she has urged Mr Barwell to build on the work of the proposed new £21million A&E.
While the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility is necessary, Mrs Jones feels the lack of manpower and quality of care are the underlying issues.
“There aren’t enough doctors and nurses to deal with the amount of people coming through and there are cuts to social care in the community,” she added.
“People are getting sicker because they’re not getting the intervention early on that they need because the care isn’t there for them when they come out.
“There are huge issues with the entire health environment that he needs to get to grips with.
“The Conservatives, if they do form a government have pledged to spend £8bn on the NHS, so I look forward to holding them to account on that.”