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Labour’s Alice Perry says “we need to fight for our community”

August 10, 2011

Alice is a governor at St Andrews primary school ... where she was a pupil herself

It’s polling day tomorrow (Thursday 11th August) in the St Peter’s by-election for a seat on Islington Council. Labour’s candidate is Alice Perry who was born and grew-up in the heart of our neighbourhood. She went to school here and still lives in a flat on the Cally Road a street away from her parents’ home.

On the eve-of-poll, Alice writes a heartfelt statement about why Islington needs to change.

“In some ways Islington has been transformed almost beyond recognition from the place where I grew up. But I remember, as a child, the days of going to a crumbling school and seeing good people struggling to make ends meet. While, I didn’t completely understand why at the time, it is clear to me that Tory policies caused this and I fear the same might happen again… and as before our community will be abandoned by the Government.

“When the Lib Dems ran the Council they tried to block free school meals, whilst spending taxpayers’ money on hanging flower baskets on Upper Street. The Lib Dems simply don’t see the borough’s inequality as a blight that must be tackled urgently. I am standing to be a Councillor because I do.”

“I do not accept that thousands of Islington residents should live in overcrowded housing. I do not accept that thousands of children should grow up in abject poverty in jobless households. I do not accept that someone on the Packington Estate should have a life 15 years shorter than someone in Putney. One of my political heroes Ken Livingstone has demonstrated how local government can be a powerful force for improving the lives of ordinary people. Islington’s Labour Council has the power to effect the changes that should have been made long ago.”

“One of my best friends went to Islington Green School. He left with no qualifications. He couldn’t hold down a job and got into trouble with the police. Then Labour’s New Deal paid for him to do an art course at City Lit. He then did an art foundation and a fortnight ago graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins. A world of career opportunities is now open to him. Labour made this possible. Labour policies transformed his life. Yet too many young people in Islington are condemned to a bleak future. Too many are not in education, training or work. The Conservative government’s policies are hitting young people very hard. As a councillor I would support practical solutions that counter this. I would support community schemes that aim to pull people out of the cycle of poverty that sees many trapped.”

“It is heartbreaking to see how my primary school classmates from poorer backgrounds have aged so much faster than have the children from middle class families. People’s lives are cut short from smoking, poor diets and inadequate housing. I am proud of the council’s excellent policy offering all primary school children a hot, nutritious, free school meal. I am proud that despite massive budget cuts Islington is building thousands of new homes.”

“I am standing as the Labour candidate in the ward where Boris Johnson lives. For the first time in 20 years it is a straight fight between Labour and the Tories. It is vital to send a strong message to the Tory-led government and the Mayor of London – that our community rejects their unfair cuts, which hurt the poorest the hardest.”

She concludes saying “we are living in scary, uncertain times. Right now, the riots throughout London and UK are terrifying. But our city has a future and that is why this by-election is important. We need to stand up for equality; we need to fight for our community.”

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