On 7th May the people of this country went to the ballot box and delivered a clear success for the Conservatives. This result was mirrored here in Dartford. To everyone that cast their vote for Labour; thank you. We are sorry that we were unable to deliver the result you wanted.
In the run up to the election we spoke to over 7,000 local people on the doorstep. Our parliamentary candidate Simon Thomson fought a passionate, positive and engaging campaign. There is no doubt that many people wanted to see change in our town and our country. However, more people chose the Conservatives over Labour to deliver it.
Later this month the newly elected council in Dartford will begin a new term. The Council will have tough choices to make. Be they on how we continue to fund our services in the face of unprecedented cuts, to reversing the decline of our Town Centre or how we deal with our Borough’s shameful level of child poverty. Where we can, we will seek to support the Council but we will also scrutinise and oppose if we feel the choices being made are not in the best interests of our community. Both before and during the campaign, promises were made to the people of Dartford and Labour will hold the administration to account if they do not make good on those commitments.
In those early hours of Friday morning Dartford lost some dedicated and hard-working Labour councillors and to them we give our profound thanks. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Geoff Prout, who has led the Labour Group in Dartford which such dedication and distinction. Geoff worked harder than anyone to build a better and fairer community and his contribution to our town cannot be understated. Councillors Catherine Stafford, Steve Doran and Dave Baker served their communities with dedication, passion and commitment. They can all be proud of their time as Labour Councillors and we hope that they will return in the future.
Although the result of the election was a disappointment, there are many reasons to be hopeful. The campaign reinvigorated our activists and also inspired a new generation of supporters. In many places we fielded a new generation of council candidates who fought fantastic local campaigns. We have seen an increase in our membership and more people than ever decided to play an active part in our movement.
Our party will never stop working for social justice, fairness and prosperity. Our challenge now is to make sure that Labour is seen as a force for those values in Dartford and in the country. To rise to that challenge we will need to do things differently. There are changes that we will need to make. However, we have risen to the task before and we will do it again. A strong Labour party, rooted in our local communities, can be a force for good in Dartford. We start work today.
On 7th May the people of this country went to the ballot box and delivered a clear success for the Conservatives. This result was mirrored here in Dartford. To everyone that cast their vote for Labour; thank you. We are... Read more
May 7th was a disappointment for many in Dartford. Clearly we have much to do over the next five years. Well done Simon Thomson for an inspiring campaign, and to our 7 local councillors who will be keeping the flame alive. Commiserations to unsuccessful candidates. Most of all, thanks to over 13000 people who voted Labour.
Labour held on to its core vote; but failed to break through; in the process losing Council seats won in by-elections since 2011. We're particularly sad to lose Labour leader Geoff Prout from Princes ward; and Simon Thomson would have been an outstanding MP.
Here's the parliamentary result, from the council website:
|Gareth Alan Johnson||The Conservative Party Candidate||25670||48.97%||Elected|
|Simon Tobias Thomson||Labour Party||13325||25.42%||Not elected|
|Elizabeth Eirwen Jones||UK Independence Party (UKIP)||10434||19.91%||Not elected|
|Simon James Beard||Liberal Democrats||1454||2.77%||Not elected|
|Andrew Danny Blatchford||Green Party||1324||2.53%||Not elected|
|Steven Thomas Uncles||English Democrats - "Putting England First!"||211||0.40%||Not elected|
Labour councillors are now:
May 7th was a disappointment for many in Dartford. Clearly we have much to do over the next five years. Well done Simon Thomson for an inspiring campaign, and to our 7 local councillors who will be keeping the flame... Read more
Simon Thomson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Dartford met with Southeastern's MD David Statham yesterday - as part of an event organised by Dartford Rail Travellers Association.
Simon said “It was a useful meeting and I was keen to raise the issues many long suffering Dartford commuters have raised with me – particularly the cramped conditions on trains and the shortage of carriages. It’s clear that as a result of the Conservatives failure to invest in our railways, Southeastern simply doesn't have enough rolling stock. If elected the MP for Dartford I will work with the DfT to support Southeastern's request for more rolling stock.
We need more 12-car train services through Dartford to get our increasing number of commuters to work and to get Dartford moving again.
I also raised the issue of poor communication and the lack of information provided when there are problems. I’m clear that it’s not the fault of the front line staff who do their best in difficult circumstances. I believe more support needs to be provided by Southeastern management so that staff can keep passengers informed. I was pleased to hear that Southeastern are investing how this can be improved – I’ll be keeping a close eye on progress.
Dartford needs a MP that is going to stand up for commuters and raise the issues that matter to you. If you choose me as your MP on May 7th, that’s exactly what I’ll do.”
Simon Thomson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Dartford met with Southeastern's MD David Statham yesterday - as part of an event organised by Dartford Rail Travellers Association. Read more
The Labour Party in Dartford today launch their manifesto for the local elections on May 7th. The manifesto – “Changing Dartford Together” sets out Labour’s new plan for Dartford following twelve years of Conservative rule in our town that has seen the town centre fall into decline, new affordable housing stalled and the local economy neglected.
The manifesto is headlined by six key commitments that a Labour Council in Dartford will deliver to make our borough a more ambitious, more prosperous and fairer place to live for everyone.
If elected on May 7th, a Labour Council will:
Put Pride Back In Our Town Centre – Labour will take steps to attract new businesses and put pride back into Dartford by investing in the appearance of the town centre.
Rebuild Lowfield Street – Labour will say goodbye to Tesco and set out a new vision for the future. A new Lowfield Street can be a centre for housing, new community hubs and a revitilised night time economy.
Tackle Dartford’s Housing Crisis – Labour will deliver a minimum of 200 new socially rented homes – more than the Conservatives delivered in twelve years- and work to deliver more affordable housing and stand up for private renters.
Clean Up Dartford – Taking Action on Litter- Labour will launch a new plan to clean up Dartford and introduce stricter enforcement against those who litter and engage in fly tipping.
Protect the Weekly Waste Collection – Labour will raise recycling rates while protecting the weekly waste collection. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will not ask residents to choose between good services and protecting the environment – we’ll do both.
Put Working People First – Dartford only succeeds when working people succeed. Labour will invest in jobs and the local economy.
The manifesto can be read in full by visiting www.dartfordlabourparty.org.uk/2015
Geoff Prout, Leader of the Labour Group said
“Although Dartford is in many ways a success story, it is not equally so for all. Many feel that they are missing out on the opportunities and wealth that others take for granted.
Dartford Labour understands that many people are facing huge challenges, and need the council to take a proactive role in sharing our prosperity more fairly. That’s what a Labour Council in Dartford will do”
Jonathon Hawkes, Labour Councillor in Stone said
“The Conservatives have failed our town centre and failed local residents. Dartford needs a new start. Local people have told us their priorities – a better town centre, action on litter and more affordable housing. Labour has listened to residents and that’s why on May 7th we’ll be changing Dartford together.”
Geoff Prout is Shadow Leader of Dartford Borough Council. He can be contacted for further comment on 07944 680864
Jonathon Hawkes is Labour Councillor for Stone and can be contacted for further comment on 07917 696820
“Changing Dartford Together” is Dartford Labour’s manifesto for the local government elections to be held on Thursday 7th May 2015.
The Labour Party in Dartford today launch their manifesto for the local elections on May 7th. The manifesto – “Changing Dartford Together” sets out Labour’s new plan for Dartford following twelve years of Conservative rule in our town that has seen the... Read more
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.
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford
Dartford only succeeds when working people succeed - that's Labour's message for the General Election. Read more