Bethnal Green and Bow sits between the City of London and Canary Wharf, and is just a stone's throw away from the Olympic village. Yet despite being at the heart of London’s engine room, our area faces many challenges and far too many people are being left behind under this Conservative Government.
As MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara is working hard to improve the lives of all residents and for our community. Please click on the links below to see some of the work she has been doing to tackle the many challenges residents face in Bethnal Green and Bow.
Discover more about my recent campaigns
On 23 June Britain decided on whether we continue our membership of the European Union. Rushanara, alongside the majority of the Labour Party, believed that we are stronger, safer and better off by remaining in the EU. This referendum was one of the most important moments in our country’s history and Rushanara along with many in Tower Hamlets campaigned over many months to remain a member of the European Union.
Rushanara voted against triggering Article 50 after the Prime Minister was forced to put legislation before Parliament. Since the referendum, Rushanara has been campaigning inside and outside Parliament to avoid a 'Hard Brexit' that this Conservative Government is intent on pursuing.
Having received a large number of complaints over a number of years from social housing residents of Circle Housing Group, and several other housing associations, Rushanara has recently been busy in Parliament and in the media to ensure the correct regulation of housing associations is in place.
Rushanara has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning, and London, Gavin Barwell MP, to strengthen the Government’s regulation of housing associations and ensure local accountability and control is not further eroded as well as make the argument to other parliamentarians and in the media of the need for local accountability of housing associations to be strengthened.
Fair Funding for our Schools
The Government is threatening to take much-needed cash from successful local schools. Local pupils will suffer if Ministers get their way. Rushanara Ali is calling on the Government to think again on its new ‘national funding formula’ which will take money from London schools, including here in the East End, and give it to other schools elsewhere.
In Parliament, Rushanara has pointed out that schools in the borough have seen real improvements, with local pupils gaining better exam results. These advances would be put at risk if budgets are cut, meaning fewer teachers and classroom assistants, less support for special needs pupils, and larger class sizes.
Rushanara says ‘Our schools have some of the greatest needs in the country. It is dangerous and unfair to cut cash from our local schools. I will continue to campaign for fair funding for Bethnal Green and Bow schools. Local young people deserve the best possible start in life.’
The best route to wealth, health, and happiness is rewarding and interesting work. But the world of work is changing. As the economy changes, so will the kinds of jobs people do, and the skills needed. In the future, our children will need new technical and scientific skills. That means an increase in apprenticeships, in skills and training, and investment in further education.
Labour is committed to full employment, with a decent job for everyone who wants to work. In Parliament, Rushanara Ali has argued that jobs must be protected, especially after the UK leaves the EU. Many people in the East End of London rely on the City for their employment. Not just people working as traders and bankers, but also all the trades that rely on the City: cleaners, cabbies, caterers, software engineers, security guards and a million and one other types of work. These jobs must not disappear when Brexit happens.
Rushanara says ‘Labour will invest in skills and training, in new apprenticeships, and in rewarding jobs in the digital economy. We will campaign to soften the blow of Brexit, so that we protect British jobs and businesses.’
Living Wage of £10 an hour by 2020
When the previous Labour Government introduced the national minimum wage, millions of workers on £2 an hour, or even less, won an immediate pay rise. Since then, poverty pay has been outlawed, and employers must pay a minimum wage to their staff.
The next Labour Government will go one step further, and introduce a National Living Wage. By 2020, we aim this to be £10 per hour. This means that if you work, you will be paid enough to live on. No-one in work should also live in poverty.
Labour will also crack down on exploitative zero hours contracts. These contracts mean that workers have no guaranteed income, can be made to come into work at a moment’s notice, and sidestep the laws on holiday pay and leave for parents. We will force unscrupulous bosses to give their employees proper legal contracts, and stable, secure jobs.
Rushanara says ‘No-one in work should have to worry about being able to pay the bills and put food on the table. Labour’s new Living Wage will mean that work pays for everyone.’
Support for Carers
Across Bethnal Green and Bow there’s an army of people providing care for their relatives. Husbands caring for their wives, or wives for their husbands. Parents caring for their children with special or complex needs. Children caring for their disabled parents, or grandaprents.
This work is hard, unrelenting and unrewarded. Often it takes place behind closed doors. More often than not, it means the carer loses out on opportunities for education, employment or leisure. The charity Carers UK says that carers save UK taxpayers £132 billion every year.
Labour will recognise the fantastic role played by carers in our society by investing in training and rewarding them for their hard work.
With around five million people in Somalia in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Rushanara is calling on the Government to urgently come to the aid of those malnourished and at risk of meeting their daily food requirements due to a prolonged drought in Somaliland and Somalia.
Thousands of leaseholders across Tower Hamlets have been sent bills for as much as £40,000 for works to their properties which Tower Hamlets Homes – the Arms Length Management Organisation responsible for the properties – has insisted are paid within twelve months. For huge numbers of residents, these bills are simply unmanageable in such a short space of time.
In June 2013 Barclays announced it would be closing 250 UK accounts held by money-transfer companies who deliver remittances to families in developing countries, due to concerns regarding a lack of adequate controls. Rushanara began the Save Remittance Giving Campaign calling on Barclays to reverse its decision and asking the Government to throw a lifeline to families in developing countries by co-ordinating action between government and financial regulators to secure a long-term solution.
The Conservative-led Government’s failed economic plans have seen unemployment and youth unemployment in particular increase across the UK.
Too many young people in Bethnal Green and Bow are struggling to find jobs while they look across at the richest square miles in the world.
The Government’s decision to radically restructure the NHS without a mandate from doctors or patients shows how out of touch they are.
I believe that a safe, strong and stable borough will lead to a more thriving local community where we all feel secure, but this Government is cutting funding.