Charlie Dewhirst: Why Hammersmith needs change

A guest post from Cllr Charlie Dewhirst, the Conservative candidate for Hammersmith.

Many residents in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush are unsatisfied with the way Labour are representing their constituency at both a local and national level. Why? When Theresa May called the snap general election in April I knew this was our chance to make real change happen for this excellent area I have served as local Councillor for the past seven years.

I know there are difficulties and so, like Theresa May stipulated so firmly in her manifesto speech, I am not afraid to tackle them head-on. But local residents deserve better. Labour have held onto power here through a campaign of fear and uncertainty, which they continue to pursue even though formal complaints have been made against them for breaching regulations and wasting Council money on misleading political propaganda. Simultaneously, the Labour Council are failing on almost all of their responsibilities and therefore failing the people who need help the most.

Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush deserves security and stability, not fear and uncertainty. Having spoken to thousands of residents on the doorsteps over the years, I know I can be the person to deliver it if I am elected MP.

Having grown up in Yorkshire, I wasn’t interested in party politics at an early age. I studied at Edinburgh University and moved to London shortly after graduation to pursue a career in sports, starting in sports journalism. Like many young graduates, I settled in West London, and together with my peers, experienced the shortage of affordable housing here first hand.

In my mid-twenties, I realised that I wanted to make a change, and followed my head and heart to the only party which I felt could deliver it: the Conservatives. I was enthused to be elected as Councillor for Ravenscourt Park in 2010, whose residents I have proudly represented since, fighting on their behalf on a number of local campaigns: the Hammersmith flyunder; speaking out against Labour’s proposed abolition of Council housing in the Borough; and fighting for the retention of the most basic local authority services like weekly refuse collections.

I worked for UK Sport for a number of years, the organisation responsible for delivering British success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and was thrilled and honoured when I was selected as the Conservative candidate for Hammersmith for the first time in 2015, securing the largest number of votes ever achieved by a Conservative candidate in the constituency. I now work for England Rugby, and I’m still balancing work around my campaign. I believe that sport can be such a force for social change in our community, with fantastic initiatives from organisations such as QPR in the Community Trust, which I recently visited at Loftus Road. I’m proud to support our local sports teams for the invaluable work they do effecting social change.

That is why I am seeking election as MP. It is my priority to ensure that everybody who needs my help the most will receive my fullest support if I am elected as MP; whether that is through affordable housing; adult social care; or community cohesion. I got into politics to make a positive change to my community, and after seven years as a local Councillor, I believe I can give a strong voice to local residents and their concerns in Parliament.

We are faced with a crucial decision at this election: a strong and stable government with Theresa May; or the chaos and uncertainty of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. I believe that I can deliver the stability that Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush so desperately needs both locally and nationally, and we can make our area an even better place to call home.

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