Simon Kitchen is Deputy Chairman of Camberwell and Peckham Conservative Association.
Here in Camberwell and Peckham we’re in the midst of by-election fever! The sad passing of the Mayor of Southwark has sparked a third council by-election in as many months. The Mayor's distinguished career stands in stark contrast to that of other members of Harriet Harman's Labour Party. Only one year into their control of Southwark Borough Council and two Councillors have resigned, one after being convicted of housing benefit fraud, and another, the Cabinet member for community safety, facing trial for an internet offence, while a third has been suspended from the Group, for failing to disclose a conviction in the United States.
Despite the extraordinary behaviour of some of their Councillors, disastrous local policies which divert vital resources from social care to free school meals for parents who can afford them and a damning legacy of welfare dependency, Labour continue to romp home with stonking majorities in inner city areas like Camberwell and Peckham.
To win a majority at the next General Election we must be relentless in pinning Labour back and forcing them to fight for every single vote. The inner cities must not be a forlorn-hope (as Tim Montgomerie rightly pointed out last week) and the Coalition Government has a raft of policies from welfare reform to Free Schools that will transform the lives of people in places like Camberwell and Peckham.
It is crucial the Conservative Party gains the electoral credit for these improvements but to do that inner city Conservatives must have the resources to go toe to toe with the Labour machine. The current run of by-elections has left our association in need of some much needed funds so can you help by donating to our fighting fund before 7th July!
We have an excellent candidate for the latest by-election in Diana Atuona, a woman from Peckham who knows what Conservative Governments can achieve in the inner cities. Taking advantage of the assisted school places scheme and the right to buy, she got the hand up in life which young people under Labour never got. By donating you will be assisting a young and enthusiastic association that is taking the fight into Harriet Harman’s backyard, forcing Labour to fight for votes which for years they've simply taken for granted and ensuring the Conservative Party gains the electoral credit for its work in transforming the lives of our most vulnerable members of society.
Any donations can be made via a cheque payable to 'Camberwell and Peckham Conservative Association' and should be sent to our Deputy Treasurer, Oliver Wooller, at 30 Maude Road, London SE5 8NY. Your help is much appreciated.