Nick de Bois is MP for Enfield North, and Secretary of the 1922 Committee.
This Saturday (sign up here!) over 100 battle-hardened Conservative activists and Grant Shapps our Party Chairman will join me in Enfield North, to take the fight to Labour. As a candidate, I fought to represent Enfield North three times. First in 2001, and again in 2005. It took a decade, but eventually on Thursday 6th May 2010 I was elected to serve as one of Enfield’s three MPs. That day was one of the proudest days of my life. The media may be obsessed with the hurly-burly of the European elections, but the local elections are equally important and we should fight them just as hard.
Our message is crystal clear. Labour have been a dead-weight on Enfield, torpedoing small firms, and hurting the job security of working people. Only a strong team of Conservative Councillors will battle to keep your Council Tax down and help all our local businesses to create jobs. Despite strong opposition, Labour whacked our local shops and high streets by pushing up parking charges – a stealth tax that has hit our poorest shoppers and pensioners the hardest.
Adding insult to injury, Labour refused to give discretionary business rate relief to some parts of our borough that really needed the extra help.
Finally, Labour are neglecting large swathes of the constituency, investing heavily instead in their Labour stronghold of Edmonton and Ponders End.
Enfield Conservatives have a credible plan to repair this damage. We are one of the first local parties to pledge to reduce the number of councillors, and by doing so cut the cost of politics. For too long, it has been clear that three councillors are not needed for each ward. The job can be done easily by two – and in the process save at least £880,000 per council term. By reducing councillors in Enfield, we would help keep taxes and parking charges lower, and have more money to spend on Enfield’s public services. We understand the public’s desire to see less spent on politics, and have a plan to do something about it. Enfield’s Labour Party are the same old defenders of the status quo, and of course their own jobs at the same time.
Nationally, Conservatives are investing in Enfield too. Enfield was one of the first boroughs to open new academies, with Kingsmead School launching in September 2010, swiftly followed by Free Schools – we now have three in the constituency. Two of these were launched by Michael Gove in the face of unnecessary hurdles and obstructions from Labour councillors who are ideologically opposed to them, but were eventually forced to recognise their popularity. A change in council control in May would mean more opportunities for free schools and academies with warm support, not hindrance, from a new Conservative council.
We have a huge fight on our hands in Enfield, and we need your help. So join us this Saturday with Grant Shapps, Conservative Future, and the @RoadTrip2015 team, for campaigning, and then curry and drinks in the evening. I’ll see you on the doorstep.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up on Facebook so we know numbers!