A year ago today I was selected as your Labour parliamentary candidate. And what a year it has been!
The highlight for me has been the privilege of supporting so many people in communities across Hove and Portsla...de who are working hard to make their neighbourhoods better. I’m not just talking about people already involved in politics, but residents making a positive difference to our society.
From campaigning for a children's road crossing in South Portslade to better investment in public spaces in Mile Oak, and from community clean-up’s in Vale Park to grass cutting in Hangleton - our constituency is buzzing with people trying to make our daily lives that bit safer and more enjoyable. Getting to know them, working alongside and learning from them, and hopefully contributing towards their success has been wonderful.
During the gruelling selection process to become your candidate I made a pledge that my campaign would be the most energetic and impactful ever seen in Hove and Portslade. Since then I’ve undertaken the biggest listening exercise ever seen by the Labour Party here, achieving over 4,000 logged conversations with people at their homes in the last six months alone. The community campaign office is now up and running at 99 Church Rd and is used by my fantastic campaign team and other community groups too.
I’ve tried my best to understand the serious challenges facing our city and our public services, that’s why I have spent time work shadowing police. It’s also why I visit so many entrepreneurs and small businesses here too, so I can hear first hand how I can advocate for a better economic environment for job creation locally.
When I hear widespread concerns I have tried my best to articulate them with power whilst simultaneously working towards a solution - such as with our refuse and recycling crisis where my visible ‘Green Rubbish’ campaign was backed up by actively helping neighbourhoods and apartment blocks solve their immediate problem.
I hope that my style of campaigning has given you a good idea of what kind of MP I aspire to be: community focussed, serious about understanding problems and delivering solutions, and someone who enjoys being with residents and working alongside them - in an accessible and responsive way.
On top of all that it’s been hugely fun too!
With less than 11 months until the general election you can expect much more of this from me plus a great deal more. I will continue showing you how I will use the position of MP, should you elect me, to push for better policies to tackle my three local priorities: challenges for young people and youth employment, better support for small businesses and the self employed, and workable solutions to our housing crisis and those facing exploitation in the private rental sector.
If you feel it’s time to make a difference too then come and join my in the battle to make a difference here in Hove and Portslade - send me a message and I’ll put your talents to best use! All the best, Peter