Dartford only succeeds when working people succeed - that's Labour's message for the General Election.

Over the last year I’ve spent a lot of time knocking on doors in Dartford listening to people and their concerns. I’ve seen first hand that many local people are still struggling to make ends meet. I’ve also seen they’ve not given up on hoping for a change.

We need real change in Dartford and real change in our politics. We need to take action on the cost of living crisis. It cannot be right that under the Conservatives the rich are getting richer while we all pay more in taxes. It cannot be right that the Tory top down re-organisation of the NHS has meant that nurses and doctors are struggling with ever increasing workloads and lack of support. It cannot be right that after 5 years of a Conservative led government, the next generation is faced with being worse off than their parents. I think it is time for change and a better plan.

Dartford needs a better deal. Last week, Labour announced five pledges that are at the heart of our plan for a better future. It’s based on a simple idea: that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. That’s as true in Dartford as it is in the rest of the county. The five pledges set out a clear vision about what type of society Labour wants to create - a fairer, more equal, more prosperous society.

· A strong economic foundation: Labour will balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS.

· Higher living standards for working families: Labour will freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8 and provide 25 hours free childcare a week.

· An NHS with time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. Labour will join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

· Controls on immigration: People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years and Labour will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.

· A country where the next generation can do better than the last: Labour will reduce tuition fees to £6,000, and guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and deliver smaller class sizes for 5, 6 & 7 year-olds.

As your MP, I’ll work hard every day to help restore pride in Dartford and make sure that everyone benefits from our town's revival.


Simon Thomson


Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford

NEWS

Tue 17 March, 2015

Labour's plan for Dartford

Dartford only succeeds when working people succeed - that's Labour's message for the General Election.

There has been a very good response to Dartford Labour Party's Town Centre survey, with some clear threads developing.
The launch of the survey was delayed as a sign of respect following the tragic death of Councillor John Muckle.
It has therefore been decided to extend the closing date until the end of September.

Click here to access the online survey

NEWS
TOWN CENTRE

Thu 18 September, 2014

Town Centre Survey update

There has been a very good response to Dartford Labour Party's Town Centre survey, with some clear threads developing.

On Saturday 16th August, Dartford Labour will be working with local unions to highlight Labour's policies on job security and low pay and connect with voters.

We will be talking to the residents of the Temple Hill Estate. listening to residents views and concerns for their local area, as well as Dartford as a whole.

If you'd like to join, then get in contact, either beforehand, or turn up on the day.

We will be meeting at 11am at Temple Hill Square

I, and the Dartford Labour Party team, look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

NEWS

Thu 14 August, 2014

Dartford Labour campaigning together for a better deal for working people

On Saturday 16th August, Dartford Labour will be working with local unions to highlight Labour's policies on job security and low pay and connect with voters.

"These figures show that Mr Johnson has no cause for complacency. We need a recovery that benefits everyone and the Conservatives are just not delivering that for Dartford."

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Dartford residents are still facing an unprecedented squeeze in living standards.

For them and many others, the local MP's complacency about the local economy (column July 31) will offer no comfort. While Labour welcomes the fall in the Jobseekers Allowance claimant count for 18-24 year olds, the truth is that the outlook for people in Dartford is far from rosy.

While inflation stood at 1.5% between May 2013 and May 2014, regular pay only increased by 0.7% during the same period. This represents a real terms pay cut for working people in Dartford.

On average, working people are now over £1,800 a year worse off under the Conservatives and the number of people who want to work full-time but are stuck on part-time hours is at a record high.

These figures show that Mr Johnson has no cause for complacency. We need a recovery that benefits everyone and the Conservatives are just not delivering that for Dartford.

People in Dartford need action on the cost of living, not spin, and the truth is that Mr Johnson has voted to raise VAT for Dartford residents while at the same time giving millionaires a tax cut.

The Conservatives have done nothing to help local people struggling to make ends meet.

Our young people are also being hit by the ever spiralling costs of housing. According to a recent report from housing charity Shelter, 26% of working people aged 20-34 were living at home, with nearly half of them stating the reason was because they could not afford to rent or buy.

This is the shocking result of this Government's failure to deal with the growing housing crisis

We need to build more affordable homes in Dartford and that's why Labour have announced a Help-to-Build scheme where bank loans to smaller housebuilders would be underwritten in order to unlock the finance needed to get them building.

 

Simon Thomson

Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford

NEWS
FAMILIES

Thu 07 August, 2014

Letter to Dartford Messenger: MP has no cause for complacency

"These figures show that Mr Johnson has no cause for complacency. We need a recovery that benefits everyone and the Conservatives are just not delivering that for Dartford."

"The planned extraction of shale gas has caused widespread controversy and is set to hot up with ministers starting the bidding processes to start operations."

Read the full Dartford Messenger article

NEWS

Wed 06 August, 2014

Dartford Messenger: A fracking war of words has broken out in Dartford

"The planned extraction of shale gas has caused widespread controversy and is set to hot up with ministers starting the bidding processes to start operations."

"Labour’s parliamentary candidate Simon Thomson accused council leader Jeremy Kite and MP Gareth Johnson of "keeping residents in the dark" on the issue."

Read the full article at News Shopper

NEWS

Mon 04 August, 2014

News Shopper: Dartford politicians clash in heated debate over fracking

"Labour’s parliamentary candidate Simon Thomson accused council leader Jeremy Kite and MP Gareth Johnson of "keeping residents in the dark" on the issue."

Simon appeared on Channel 4 News to talk about the new Garden City development at Ebbsfleet

View the video clip from Channel 4 News

NEWS

Sun 03 August, 2014

Channel 4 news: Compensation for 'garden city' neighbours?

Simon appeared on Channel 4 News to talk about the new Garden City development at Ebbsfleet

Put minds at rest and rule out crossing

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Many people in Dartford will be dismayed at another delay from this government over the decision on the location of a new lower Thames crossing (Messenger, July 17).

Building a new crossing at Dartford would have potentially devastating effects on levels of pollution and congestion in our town, and last week the Government had the chance to rule Dartford out as a potential location.

What we got instead was more delay, more uncertainty and the threat of another crossing still hanging over us.

Over the last year the Conservative MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson, has had the opportunity to influence his chums in government and get it to rule out Dartford as a location. But he has failed. Two months ago, he was saying there would be a decision in the summer.

Now, his position seems hopelessly confused as he has to defend yet another delay. He claims he is against a new crossing at Dartford but doesn't want the government to rule it out. I'm calling on the Government to rule it out now.

More than a year after the consultation was launched, the prospect of another crossing at Dartford is still very much on the table and the Conservatives have done nothing to put local people's minds at rest.

 

Simon Thomson

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford

NEWS
TRANSPORT

Thu 31 July, 2014

Dartford Messenger Letter: Rule out Crossing

Put minds at rest and rule out crossing

"We need to treat our commuter services as a vital part of our transport infrastructure again. A Labour Government would review ticketing price structures and prevent rail companies from forever hiking the cost of peak services."

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Above inflation ticket increases, unreliable services and crowded carriages. No wonder surveys regularly put Southeastern Trains bottom of the pile for customer satisfaction.

Far too often passengers from Dartford experience unacceptable delays or shortened services on their way home.

And when delays and cancellations happen, Southeastern often leaves passengers in the dark with poor communication and meaningless explanations.

Not everyone who commutes from Dartford can afford the £411 for a monthly season ticket on the high-speed service from Ebbsfleet - so for those who have no choice but to use regular services, what can be done?

This Government's approach - making passengers pay a greater share of the cost of running our railways, through ever increasing ticket costs, is wrong.

Most rail commuters have no choice.

They need to get to work in the capital and have to pay the going rate for a ticket, along with finding the money or rising household bills, childcare and the monthly rent or mortgage.

We need to treat our commuter services as a vital part of our transport infrastructure again. A Labour Government would review ticketing price structures and prevent rail companies from forever hiking the cost of peak services.

We also need to think about how we can provide the most efficient integrated transport infrastructure for our town.

We are on the cusp of London, but get none of the benefits of being close to the capital. Dartford lies just outside the travel zones and Oyster cards are not accepted.

I would look to support future proposals for transferring the running of Dartford's services from Southeastern to Transport for London.

I believe that when it and other franchises do come up for renewal there should be three options on the table:

1) Returning the running of the franchise to the public sector.

2) Allowing a private no-profit company to take over the running of the franchise.

3) Secure guaranteed investment in infrastructure by offering extended franchises to operators with a record of consistently good levels of customer satisfaction.

What is clear is the Conservative's privatisation of our railways has largely failed.

I will work to ensure we have a government that sees our railways as a vital part of our country's transport infrastructure again.

SIMON THOMSON
Labour's parliamentary candidate for Dartford

 

 

NEWS
TRANSPORT

Wed 23 July, 2014

Letter to Newsshopper: Time for fare deal on trains

"We need to treat our commuter services as a vital part of our transport infrastructure again. A Labour Government would review ticketing price structures and prevent rail companies from forever...

Simon responds to two articles on Dartford Matters about Darent Valley Hospital Parking, and Southeastern's Poor Performance

View the full article at Dartford Matters

NEWS

Wed 09 July, 2014

Responses to Dartford Matters on Hospital Parking and Southeastern Trains

Simon responds to two articles on Dartford Matters about Darent Valley Hospital Parking, and Southeastern's Poor Performance

A petition has been started in Swanscombe to block a "ridiculous" trial scheme to switch off street lights in the area at night.

View the full article at newsshopper

NEWS

Mon 24 March, 2014

Swanscombe petition aims to halt 'ridiculous' street light switch-off trial

A petition has been started in Swanscombe to block a "ridiculous" trial scheme to switch off street lights in the area at night.

Talking about power cuts, garden cities and housing, mobile phone signals for rural businesses and taking children out of school for holidays.

NEWS

Thu 30 January, 2014

Studio Guest, BBC Politics Show, South East

Talking about power cuts, garden cities and housing, mobile phone signals for rural businesses and taking children out of school for holidays.

In an exclusive interview with Dartford Matters, Simon agreed to answer some questions mainly relating to his background, his previous association with the town and his hopes and aspirations for the future.

View the full article at Dartford Matters

NEWS

Thu 10 October, 2013

Dartford Matters Interview: Simon Thomson‚ Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford

In an exclusive interview with Dartford Matters, Simon agreed to answer some questions mainly relating to his background, his previous association with the town and his hopes and aspirations for...

DARTFORD Labour Party's new parliamentary candidate has branded the town's current MP "invisible".

 

View the full article at News Shopper

NEWS

Mon 07 October, 2013

News Shopper: New Dartford Labour parliamentary candidate Simon Thomson brands town MP Gareth Johnson 'invisible'

DARTFORD Labour Party's new parliamentary candidate has branded the town's current MP "invisible".  

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