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construction.JPGToday Chuka Umunna, shadow Business Secretary and Emma Reynolds, shadow Housing Minister, met with women from with the construction industry in London.  They were keen to listen to their concerns and hear how we promote women in the construction industry.

The big issue was of course how we get building the homes London needs, from finding sites to build in London to ensuring there is decent social housing for those in need.

We will make sure that at least 200,000 homes a year get built by 2020 – almost double the current level – by implementing the recommendations of the Lyons Review. It is only by building more homes that people’s aspiration for home ownership will be fulfilled. Our comprehensive plan to tackle the housing crisis will give local communities new powers to provide the homes they need, in the places they want to live.

We want a housing market that rewards the building of high quality homes rather than land banking and speculation. So we will introduce greater transparency in the land market and give local authorities new ‘use it or lose it’ powers to encourage developers to build.

Emma and Chukka also heard about the discrimination that women still suffer from in the workplace – especially in traditional male dominated fields like construction.

The next Labour Government will go further in reducing discrimination against women, requiring large companies to publish their gender pay gap and strengthening the law against maternity discrimination. Where there is evidence more progress is needed, we will enforce the relevant provisions within the Equality Act.

The Equality Act was brought in by a Labour Government in 2010.

Finally there was a strong feeling that apprenticeships were key to the future generation of women in construction

We will create more paths to success for our young people by introducing a gold-standard system of technical education and training, and the guarantee of an apprenticeship for every school leaver with the grades.

Every firm getting a major government contract, and every large employer hiring skilled workers from outside the EU, will be required to offer apprenticeships.

Promoting women in London's construction industry

Today Chuka Umunna, shadow Business Secretary and Emma Reynolds, shadow Housing Minister, met with women from with the construction industry in London.  They were keen to listen to their concerns...

Labour parliamentary candidates in key marginal seats have today written to their Conservative counterparts to demand they come clean over plans to strike a deal with UKIP, including London's Uma Kumaran.

It follows a letter from Andy Burnham MP to David Cameron, sent after George Osborne and Michael Gove both failed to rule out working with Nigel Farage’s party.

Here's a copy of the letter from Uma Kumaran sent to Bob Blackman:

Dear Bob Blackman,

I am writing to you following Andy Burnham’s visit to Harrow East and his letter to David Cameron, urging your party to come clean over its plans to strike a deal with UKIP.

During this week’s debate your party proved that it cannot defend its record, which is why it cannot win a majority. It is now clear thatthe Tories are preparing to do a deal with UKIP.

Repeatedly pressed, your Chancellor, George Osborne, and Chief Whip, Michael Gove,have failed to rule out doing a deal with UKIP.  David Cameron has himself frequentlyducked this question.

As Andy Burnham said; as someone who follows rather than leads their party, David Cameron knows that a deal with UKIP is what the Tory Party wants. A growing number of your MPs and up to half of Conservative activists are arguing for it. As you will know, local Tory parties are already striking deals with UKIP up and down the country and, of course, two of your MPs have already crossed the floor.

We know the terms of such a deal. Nigel Farage has said he would work with the Conservatives in exchange for “a full and fair referendum to be held in 2015”. David Cameron has said he would be “delighted” to offer this.

But the real terms of a deal would see the end of the NHS as we know it.

Your party’s Health and Social Care Act has increased NHS privatisation, and UKIP want to go even further.

Private providers have won a third of NHS contracts to provide clinical services since your party’s reforms. Nigel Farage has said he supports “an insurance-based system of healthcare”, while his deputy has warned that “the very existence of the NHS stifles competition”. UKIP’s ex-Tory MP, Douglas Carswell, has called for an “open market” in healthcare contracts.

This shared agenda will be the real basis for David Cameron’s decision to work together. His deal with UKIP is a poisonous proposition that would deny working people the care they rely on from a service they cherish.

It is now essential that the leader of your party comes clean about his plans.

Regards,

Uma

Uma Kumaran
Labour Parliamentary Candidate Harrow East

Uma Kumaran's Letter to Bob Blackman: come clean over plans for a Tory UKIP coalition

Labour parliamentary candidates in key marginal seats have today written to their Conservative counterparts to demand they come clean over plans to strike a deal with UKIP, including London's Uma...

Nowhere in the UK is the wealth gap more apparent, and the cost of living crisis more acute, than in London.  

Without a Labour Government this gap will widen with large parts of London being the preserve of only the very wealthy.

One of the most amazing things about London is our diversity – with different communities living with one another creating the vibrant London we all know and love.

Londoners know this and that’s why last year in the European and Local elections we had the best ever result for Labour in London – focusing on key issues like the cost of housing, childcare, protecting our NHS and tackling low pay.

There are 12 key seats in London.  If we win them we’ll be helping put Labour into Government.

Housing

Housing remains a top issue for Londoners as we see a growing gulf.  Renters rightly fear that rising house prices mean they will never be able to afford to buy a home.  They are left prey to rouge landlords, unable to put down roots.  

We have children growing up in overcrowded homes and there are half a million people in London on the housing waiting list.  Our city desperately needs more affordable homes, including council homes and family-sized housing.  

•    Labour will build the homes Britain needs by getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.

•    We will get a fair deal for renters with longer, more predictable tenancies and a ban on rip-off letting fees.

Childcare

Too many parents are being held back from employment, or from working enough hours to make ends meet, because the cost of childcare is simply prohibitive, or care is not available at the right times.

Current government policy in this area is not going far enough and doesn’t work for many parents. Maternal employment in London is 15% lower than in the rest of the country. And there is still too big a gap between the life chances of those who are born in less well off households compared to their peers.

Under the Tories, there are now 129 fewer Sure Start Centres in London compared to 2010.

•    Labour will introduce a ‘primary childcare guarantee’ giving all parents of primary school children the guarantee of childcare availability through their school from 8am-6pm.

•    In London, 72,550 3-4 year olds will benefit from Labour’s extension of free childcare provision from 15 to 25 hours, saving parents £1500 for each child.

•    We will expand free childcare for 3 & 4 year olds from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents – an increase in childcare support worth over £1,500 per child.

Cost of living and employment

London is an expensive city to live in.  From housing and childcare to transport.   However, since 2010, the number of Londoners paid less than a Living Wage has risen by nearly a third from 639,000 to 917,000.   

77,000 Londoners are now having to rely on exploitative zero-hours contracts and under the Tories 356,000 Londoners have seen their tax credits cut.

•    Labour’s plans to increase the minimum wage to £8 would benefit 111,000 Londoners.

•    We will freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter.

Make a difference to London and help us return a Labour Government: http://www.labourinlondon.org.uk/volunteer

Why London needs a Labour Government: A London for Everyone

Nowhere in the UK is the wealth gap more apparent, and the cost of living crisis more acute, than in London.  Without a Labour Government this gap will widen with...

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