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An Interview With Claudine Letsae, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate For Erith and Thamesmead

What is your background?

I have a background in nursing, social care and housing law and live in Thamesmead. I now work in the housing sector.

Claudine Letsae (centre)

Has this work affected your political outlook?

When I started working in the housing law sector I was unaware of the hardship that people experienced accessing advice and assistance in defending their rights.

Since the changes to welfare and the introduction of the bedroom tax and subsequent changes to legal aid there has been a doubling  of people seeking advice in advice centres but resources have been constrained by the cutting of funding and changes to legal aid. In Greenwich like other boroughs of a number of advice centres have closed including the Greenwich Law Centre and remaining centres have had to work with less income but increased demand.

I have been politically engaged but and have never thought until now that I can stand to make a difference. The extreme circumstances have forced me to think if I don’t then who is to stand for the people I have assured over the last few years?

Have you always been a member of the Green party?

I joined the party at the last election after having previously voted for the Liberal Democrats when they failed to keep to their promises, in particular on tuition fees. The Green Party was my natural party as its core principles are addressing the issues that other parties seem uninterested in addressing.

What are you three priorities for Erith and Thamesmead?

  1. Engaging fully in the development issues in the borough and saving our green spaces.
  2. Addressing the changes that are being made to access to our NHS provision by introduction of rationing by the back door by the Clinical Commissioning Groups.
  3. And a key priority is addressing homelessness in the borough.