Labour MP for Erith & Thamesmead

Teresa Pearce MP

Archive for April, 2009

what a difference a year makes 4

Posted on April 30, 2009 by Teresa Pearce




  Can it only be a year since Boris became Mayor of London?

  ….. It seems like a lifetime ago.

 In that year we have seen:

  • The “letting go” of Sir Ian Blair as police chief
  • A rise in public transport fares averaging  6% overall – higher than the rate of inflation
  • Three year freeze on bus expansion program
  • Environment budget reduced by £139k
  • The Greenwich Waterfront Transit Scheme cancelled.
  • Mayor’s decision not to proceed with the Thames Gateway Bridge.
  • Failure to provide leadership over police mishandling of G20 protests
  • 2/3rd cut in funding for London Cycle Network
  • Dropping of £25 emissions charge for gas guzzlers and Western Extension of congestion charge.
  • Abandonment of 100 public spaces program.
  • Planning for new transport schemes abandoned: Cross River Tram; DLR extension Dagenham Dock; Croydon Tramlink, Oxford Street tram; large number of step free access tube schemes

My biggest complaint about Boris is that he has cancelled any real investment in the infrastructure of our patch for the next 15 years.Without freedom of movement that comes with accessible transport you don’t have the opportunity to access anything else.

I am interested to know what you think is his worst decision. We have another 3 years of this and if in 12 months this is what 1 Tory in London can do, imagine what it would be like with a government full of them!

No more Conways….. 4

Posted on April 21, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

plugThe news that MPs allowances and expenses are to be overhauled is very welcome. Sadly it may take a long time for public confidence to be restored. That said, however, the proposals are sensible and in keeping with the way other public servants are paid. The key proposals ( which can be read in more detail on the BBC link below) are that:

1) The second home allowance is to be scrapped and replaced by an attendance allowance linked to actual attendance in parliament.  This is very good news as one of the things that had attracted most criticism was that an MP could use the allowance to buy a second home and then also benefit from the capital gain on that property.

2) The items known as the “John Lewis” list ( such as linen, sofas, TVs and even bath plugs!) that have caused so much press interest will no longer be paid.

3) Outer London MPs will no longer be able to claim the accommodation allowance of £23,083 but will have a London supplement added to their salary of around £2,900, thats more than enough for a Zone 1-6 travel card!

4)  MP’s staff will now all be employed directly by the House of Commons with standardised contracts. Not only will this give transparency and security to MP’s staff but it should put a stop to the confusion some MPs seemed to have in deciding if someone was actually a researcher or a nanny!

5)  All items must be receipted even small items under £25.

These measures are welcome and long over due. An MP’s constituents have to pay their own commuting and private expenditure and as our representatives MPs should do the same.

a very sad day.. 3

Posted on April 18, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

I expected to be getting up today both nervous and excited. I did nt expect to be feeling deeply deeply sad.

Todays hustings meeting has been cancelled after it was found that the box containing the postal ballots had been interfered with.

The regional office have put out an official statement and I am not ,under the code of conduct ,allowed to comment on the process. I can however make a personal statement which is this.

After many months of hard work by myself and other members of the party it is a huge disappointment that we can not finalise the selection of our candidate today.

During the many weeks of activity and speculation in the media our members have been quietly getting on with what they do best, using their common sense and experience to distinguish the things that matter from the things that dont.

I had nothing to fear from the postal votes or from the hustings as I had done my work and counted my supporters and I believe that today would have given us the result to prove my projected figures right. I am sorry for myself, the members and the other candidates who have played by the rules that this affair is now far from over.

Public service or private profit? 5

Posted on April 13, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

postieI give you two scenarios:-


1. A company run for private profit which benefits from little regulation and pays massive salaries and bonuses and indulges in aggressive tax planning which deprives the rest of us of the tax revenue that should be paid towards schools and hospitals.


2. A loss making public service that has had its most profitable parts cherry picked and tendered out to private companies. An organisation that provides a universal service no matter where you live in the country that is often a lifeline in rural areas and one which the vast majority of the public wants and needs.


Now which one would you think is worth public investment?


Astonishingly the government opted to save the first one, RBS, which made losses TEN times larger than the second example, The Post Office.


The current idea of selling off a stake in the Post Office is said to be to “modernise” and to inject “confidence, experience and capital”. Excuse me for thinking the world has turned upside down but would these be the same private investors that now hold their hands up at the current financial crisis saying “who knew? No one saw this coming”. The same private investors who milked the system when the money flowed and threatened to leave the country if regulation or fair tax was mentioned? The same private investors who the public distrusts so much they would rather go on TVs Dragons Den asking for investment than approach a bank? It’s a truly uncharted territory we enter when there are plans to part privatise the Post Office but RBS is taken into public ownership.


Lets not look to sell off part of the Post Office lets look instead to see ways it can build its business model. For instance currently the Post Office account is only used to receive benefits and pensions. Why? Open it up to be a “real” bank account a “peoples bank account” when you can get other monies such as occupational pensions and salaries paid in and from where you can pay your direct debits. A banking account system used by the public and owned by the public. Rather than RBS a banking account system that will profit the few and funded by the many.


Given the current financial crisis that our banking and business sector are in I think they are the last people we the public should be looking to for advice and or expertise.


These are the sorts of issues I have campaigned for in the past and in the present, not just something I am promising for the future in return for your backing. It is my delivery on the things that matter that led both CWU branches affiliated to Erith and Thamesmead to nominate me in the current selection process.


Flexible working? Comments Off on Flexible working?

Posted on April 12, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

The loophole in legislation that allowed for tips to be included in the minimum wage rate is  now at last in the process of being closed ( the consultation is under review with BERR ). But in the hospitality industry there is another practice that needs looking at. That is the frequency in which waiting and bar staff are issued with a “zero hours” contracts. Employers say this gives flexibility which means insecurity! Staff on those contracts can work a 40 hour week but the following week a 5 or even a zero hour week. How can someone have any sort of financial security or stability with that sort of contract? Also how is someone expected to apply for a mortgage or anything which requires proof of earnings when your contract only guarantees “zero” hours?

This need legislating against urgently as the current legistation is not strong enough given the frequency with which ” zero hour ” contracts are issued by “flexible” employers.

small business – “time to pay” Comments Off on small business – “time to pay”

Posted on April 09, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

Government today released the figures showing the number of local business that have benefited from the “time to pay” scheme which allows businesses to delay VAT, Corporation Tax and other taxes to help them with short term cash flow difficulties.

Figures for taxes deferred in Bexley are 230 cases amounting to £4 million deferred in total and in Greenwich  180 cases amounting to £2 million deferred.

HMRC have always operated a “time to pay” policy but the government have streamlined it and made it more easy to access.

New Sports facility in Thamesmead- building starts in May 2009! 1

Posted on April 07, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

To be build of the site of Thamesmead Town FC. The new facility will provide a cutting edge designed sports pavilion plus indoor activity rooms with social facilities for the use of all residents of Thamesmead.

There will also be all year round floodlit  pitch , and a floodlit Multi Use Games Area available.

The scheme also features enhanced parking and access to the site, as well as improved spectator facilities for supporters and members of Thamesmead Town FC.

Vic Grimes, Trust Thamesmead’s Chair, commented: “I’m very pleased that we now have all the funding in place and work is to start on a project which will provide a step change in sports provision in Thamesmead.

“None of this would’ve been possible without the solid support we have received from Bexley Council’s Members and Officers during the past four years.”


Although Bexley Council is currently Tory controlled it is clear that the work begun by the Labour councillors prior to 2006 election put this project on the road.


A short play for today in one Act. 1

Posted on April 01, 2009 by Teresa Pearce

Place : Main bedrom
Time: 7.50 a.m.
Teresa ( sitting up in bed) : Paul , I was thinking that today I should really clean the house.
Paul ( getting ready for work) : But you have so much to do today you wont have time.
Teresa: Well I think its really important to get this place looking nice. I want to put fresh linen on the beds and get everything tidy.
Paul: Well that would be very nice.
Teresa : If I get that done this morning, in the afternoon I can do a lovely roast dinner for when you get home.
Paul ( smiling broadly, eyes shining) : Well now you mention it , it would be great to have some home cooking.
Teresa ( jumping out of bed and running out of the room) : April Fool!!!

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