Alan Whitehead MP

Member of Parliament for Southampton Test

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That's it! The last hustings is now done and dusted (well done to Richard Taunton's 6th Form College for organising) and we've only got a week to go. 

For anyone who hasn't managed to get along to a hustings, I just wanted to let you know about my stance on a few key issues that I've been working on over the last few years.

Over the last five years I’ve campaigned alongside and worked with my Labour colleagues to bring about change and taken part in some important debates on issues that have shaped our country. I have always used my time in Parliament to get the best for our city, and to make sure Southampton people benefit from the national decisions that are made. I’ve worked  hard on socially progressive issues, and I wanted to give you a snapshot of some of the votes I’ve taken part in over the last parliament. These are the kind of issues I would hope to be focussing on again if re-elected on 7th May.  

Climate Change

This year I was proud to have been given a Green Ribbon Award in recognition of my work in this area. As one of the co-authors of the Climate Change Act, I have worked tirelessly to hold the Government to account on its failed promise to be the “greenest government ever”. I have strengthened the Energy Bill (which encourages renewables), backed a moratorium on fracking, strongly opposed fossil fuel subsidies and worked with Labour colleagues to formulate our energy efficiency plan.

 

Housing

Over the last five years I have worked with my Labour colleagues to improve housing standards. I personally introduced a Private Members’ Bills to try and force landlords to make their homes warmer and safer for tenants and which sought to improve the quality of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). I have also campaigned with Southampton Labour councillors for mandatory licensing of HMO properties, which has now been introduced in areas of the city. Furthermore I've campaigned for greater protection for renters and for better quality across the city.

 

Equal Marriage

I am extremely proud to have voted for equal marriage. I am glad that in Southampton and throughout the country, many gay men and women are now able to celebrate and confirm their relationships with their friends and family by getting married and are treated equally by the law.  

 

Further education

I believe passionately that everyone in Southampton should have access to further education, regardless of their postcode or background.The government don’t seem to agree with me though, which is why I’ve campaigned alongside the Southampton sixth form colleges and the Shadow education team for fairer further education funding. 

I have also always strongly opposed and campaigned against tuition fees. 

 

Right to recall

I backed Zac Goldsmith’s amendments to the Recall Bill which would give constituents the power to recall a misbehaving MP. Unfortunately the majority of MPs voted against the amendments, which I think is a real missed opportunity. I believe  that MPs should be accountable to their constituents more than twice a decade.  

 

Lobbying Bill

Whilst I support transparency for campaigners and lobbyists, the terrible bill that the Government rushed through Parliament makes the situation worse and doesn’t hold lobbyists to account. I voted against this bill every step of the way but despite our best efforts we have been left with a badly drafted and ineffective Act.


Labour would scrap the Act. We will do what Cameron and Clegg didn’t and consult with charities and campaigners about how to ensure transparency in our elections while protecting freedom of speech.  

One week to go!

   That's it! The last hustings is now done and dusted (well done to Richard Taunton's 6th Form College for organising) and we've only got a week to go. 

David Cameron’s copy and paste letter from Tory HQ is quite out of touch with the realities of Southampton.

It is not only breath taking that he wants to take credit for investments in the city that are down to the hard work of the council, but he is clearly unaware that the great recovery he is talking about hasn’t reached the kitchen tables of people in Southampton. The truth is that people are £1600 worse off a year in this city than they were in 2010 and that this is the first Parliament since the 1920s where people’s living standards have got worse. He ignores the fact that food bank usage in Southampton has skyrocketed due to the implementation of mean-spirited policies such as benefit sanctions and the bedroom tax; that our NHS services in the city are in crisis because of a lack of investment; and that people in the city are struggling more than an ever to find an affordable place to live.

 

It’s clear that he is now relying on smears about Labour and the SNP to revive his fading hopes of remaining in Number 10; Labour has repeatedly said that there will be no agreement or coalition with the SNP in Government.

 

But there is one thing he is right on: that the choice at the next election couldn’t be clearer. It’s a choice between the Tories’ failing plan and Labour’s plan which is based on a simple truth: that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed. And this is why Labour will offer a better future: for living standards, for the next generation, and for the NHS.

My response to David Cameron's letter to Southampton

David Cameron’s copy and paste letter from Tory HQ is quite out of touch with the realities of Southampton.

Alan Whitehead, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Test today welcomed the publication of Labour's Green Plan, which sets out an ambitious strategy for fighting fuel poverty, bringing down energy bills, tackling climate change and creating a million green jobs. 

Nine years to the day since David Cameron hugged a husky, Labour have committed to making energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority; driving forward tough domestic and international action on climate change; making the UK's electricity supply virtually carbon free by 2030; and planting new woodlands.

Speaking on the day of the manifesto launch Alan Whitehead said:

"Since 1997, I have campaigned tirelessly on environmental issues and I hope to continue this important work if I am re-elected on 7th May. I am extremely proud of Labour's record, but also of our ambitious Green Plan which will create new green jobs in our city and make Southampton homes warmer and cheaper to heat. 

 

Labour will develop the green economy, address climate change and help those in fuel poverty, but all the Tories can offer is empty rhetoric and broken promises. People won't forget that David Cameron said he would preside over the 'greenest Government ever' before he rowed back and told ministers to 'cut the green crap'.


I believe that addressing environmental challenges is a matter of fundamental social justice and that building a fairer society means tackling climate change and protecting nature. Labour's ambitious Green Plan will make a real difference to our environment and, together with our manifesto, it provides a blueprint for a more equal society
."

ENDS

Notes for editors

1.Labour's Green manifesto can be found here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/labourclp328/pages/339/attachments/original/1429517150/150419_Labour_Green_Plan.pdf?1429517150 

2. Dr Alan Whitehead was one of the architects of the Climate Change Act 2008. He has been on the bill committee for every major piece of energy legislation. He is chair of Parliamentary Renewables and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) and sits on the Environmental Audit and Energy & Climate Change select committees.

3. For more information please contact Rebecca Williams on 02380 231 942 

A Labour government will make thousands of homes in Southampton warmer and cheaper to heat

Alan Whitehead, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Southampton Test today welcomed the publication of Labour's Green Plan, which sets out an ambitious strategy for fighting fuel poverty, bringing down energy bills,...


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