In the run-up to the General Election on December 12, we are giving all the candidates in the two Oxford constituencies to opportunity to tell you, the electorate, why you should vote for them

Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party candidate for Oxford East

It has been an honour to represent Oxford East for the past two years. I have tried to ensure that local peoples’ voices are listened to in Parliament – taking up concerns with Ministers and in the media, and dealing with 10,000 constituent cases last year.

This has included repeatedly raising concerns about a ‘No Deal’ or extreme Brexit- which would be so damaging for our universities, manufacturing (not least BMW Cowley) and NHS. I have campaigned for a public vote between a new Brexit deal, and ‘remain’ – and have made clear that in that vote, I would campaign to remain.

While the current government has been arguing internally over Brexit, the climate crisis has continued. Labour’s Green New Deal incorporates a pathway to de-carbonisation by 2030, creating a million new clean green jobs. I am proud of how Oxford has led the way on renewable energy and climate activism – but this must be reflected across the country. I want to continue to campaign against the expressway, and for the electrification of east-west rail and the re-opening of the Cowley Branch Line to passengers, as well as investment in cycling infrastructure.

The high cost of housing in Oxford is another major concern. Homelessness is increasing and rents rising, while wages stagnate. Labour would build 150,000 council and social houses a year by the end of its first parliamentary term, and institute a renters’ rights revolution by enforcing new minimum standards for rented homes. Labour would also introduce a Real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour and safeguard workers’ rights – ensuring all have proper access to sick pay, maternity rights, and protections against unfair dismissal. For those who are already retired, we would work against pensioner poverty, compensating WASPI-generation women and protecting the free TV licence for over-75s.

Oxford’s NHS is struggling. When I found out that the PET-CT Cancer Scanning Service at the Churchill was to be privatised, I campaigned to keep the service running in the Churchill hospital. I am standing for re-election so I can continue to fight for our NHS. Labour will properly invest in our NHS, including £1.6 billion a year for mental health, re-introducing training bursaries for nurses, and properly supporting our NHS staff with real-term pay rises year on year.

My son attends our local primary school in Rose Hill, and my daughter attends the local co-operative nursery – so I’ve experienced first-hand the closure of Oxford’s children’s centres and the strain placed on local schools. 80% of our schools are now worse-off than they were in 2015. As your Labour and Co-operative MP, I will continue to fight for our local schools, ensuring proper funding, and that our teachers are paid what they deserve.

Since 2010, public services have been cut while taxes paid by the top 5% of earners and profitable companies have been reduced. By cancelling those tax cuts we can release desperately needed funds for our public services, from our NHS to education, and policing to social services.