Just wanted to say thank you very, very much to all of you who have helped out in the last few weeks and all of you who voted for me on May 6. The result was obviously very disappointing but I don’t think that it reflected our work locally and we did get the smallest swing in Medway.
It’s been a real privilege to be your MP for the last 13 years and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved.
The Labour government has delivered huge investment in Medway since ‘97. In education – with the new Mid Kent College, the universities at Medway and Sure Start centres. In health – with the Walk-In Centre on Canterbury Street, the Healthy Living Centre in Rainham, the Will Adams Treatment Centre, extended opening hours for GPs and waiting times down to a maximum of 18 weeks. In police – with crime down by 20% in Kent since ‘97, and down by 12% in the last year alone. And the Labour government’s brought regeneration work to our towns, with the creation of SEEDA (the South East England Development Agency) and our commitment to the Thames Gateway Scheme which has generated new opportunities for the area and, with it, new jobs.
I have also had the privilege of helping many of you on an individual basis – on benefits access, tax issues, CSA, and anti-social behaviour issues, and I’ve supported groups that you have been involved with, backing bids to access funds.
I hope that these are achievements which you will remember and, above all, I hope that these improvements continue in the future.
Personally, as a Gillingham and Rainham boy “through and through” I shall continue to care passionately about the future of our towns, and I shall always remain true to myself and my beliefs which are based on the values of fairness, equality and honesty – the bedrock of the Labour Party.
Thank you, once again, for all your support.
This is it everyone. We’ve knocked on doors, delivered leaflets, listened to the concerns of constituents…now it’s time to vote. This race is by no means a foregone conclusion: we need absolutely everyone to get out there and cast their vote.
If you have any time in the next 24 hours please contact us to help out. It will be your only chance to make a difference locally over who you want representing Gillingham and Rainham in the next Parliament.
If you value it, vote for it.
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for the Department of Children, Schools and Families, joined me yesterday to meet local people at the Dockside Shopping Centre. We were there to let people know about the key choices they face in this Thursday’s election.
The key imperative now is trying to get our message across and make people realise the difference Labour has made to people’s lives in Gillingham and Rainham.
As Ed told voters: “If people want to protect these improvements and continue them, they must get to the ballot box on May 6 and vote Labour”.
We still have thousands of leaflets to deliver before Thursday. If you have ANY time to spare please get in touch. We can do this but we need your help until the very last minute!
It’s been a foul day and I’ve been locked up inside doing stuffing, calling people, sorting leaflets, and I’m now ready for the last week of fighting! I want to ensure that we protect the huge gains we’ve made in Gillingham & Rainham since ‘97 and don’t risk them by letting the Tories or the Lib Dems in here. I just can’t even face thinking about us going back to the way things were in the 80s and 90s around here. We’ve got so much to fight for and I hope you will join us tomorrow, Tues, Weds and/or Thurs to get the message out. Only four days left!!!
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I helped celebrate the Kent Autistic Trust’s Big Lottery Fund grant yesterday which is going to support their two family support workers to continue doing their great work for 5 more years. This is really good news. It means that they can continue to help families in the best way possible – with advice, information and understanding, whenever they need it. KAT have day activities, advocacy services, living services, councilling. They are doing so much. You can find out more online at www.kentautistic.com.
Thank you to all for having me to the event. I really enjoyed seeing what you’re doing.
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My fantastic helpers will have to be up early in the morning again tomorrow, blowing up more balloons for street stalls we’re having tomorrow. If you fancy a chat about any local issues – or national ones – come down and find me. I’ll be in Twydall Lane at 9.15am and Rainham Shopping Precinct at 10.30am. Do come down!
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I had a great visit this week to Age Concern, Gillingham. They’re doing really good stuff there – providing lots of activities as well as essential services for older people in the area. I really enjoyed seeing around and speaking to lots of people about key national and local issues. Thanks to all there for having me – I hope I didn’t delay your bingo too long.
On a policy note, I want to point out what Labour’s achieved for older people – pensions tax allowance, winter fuel allowance, NHS patients’ guarantee – and it was brilliant to hear how these things have postivitely affected people’s lives when I was at Age Concern, and to hear how much they want to ensure that these things continue. We’ve taken 900,000 pensioners out of poverty! And Labour is offering more important things: the new National Care Service, re-linking the state pension to earnings (a link the Tories severed) and reviewing the Default Retirement Age. I hope that people will realise this and go out and vote for their futures on May 6th.
Please get in touch if you can help with campaigns at all this week. We’ve got lots to go out and more hands are always good!