Victoria Groulef

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As the General Election campaign enters the final week former Reading West MP Martin Salter has written to thousands of constituents to ask them to join him in voting for Victoria Groulef to give the constituency back a strong, and effective MP rather than a party placeman.

Martin, who represented Reading West from 1997 until he stepped down in 2010, has come out of retirement to campaign for Victoria as he wants local people to have an MP who fights long and hard for their constituents. He believes that the current Conservative MP is more interested in personal advancement at Westminster than in speaking up for his constituents.

Martin has agreed to work with Victoria -- should she win the election -- to rebuild an efficient, responsive local constituency service.

Martin wrote, "I want an MP with passion and principles who will work for us all without fear and favour. Victoria will be that MP and I back her 100%. As ever, Reading West will be a straight fight between Labour and the Tories. I hope you will join me in electing Vicky on May 7th and give Reading West back the type of MP you deserve and have not had for five years."

Victoria said, "This week, the last of my three year campaign to earn support from all parts of Reading West, I'm fighting to be the independently minded constituency MP putting people first that Martin Salter was for over a decade. I have the passion and the principles, the knowledge and relationships, to stand up for Reading West, and I'm campaigning doorstep by doorstep, street by street, for everybody's support."

Drawing on his successful lobbying for funding to rebuild the Royal Berks and build a new hospital at Prospect Park, Martin has deep concerns about the long-term safety of the NHS in Conservative hands and is pleased that Victoria has already proved to be a champion for better health services.

Last year Victoria worked to save local NHS services in Southcote, collecting over 1,000 signatures to a petition to NHS England to ensure that resigning GPs stayed on at Circuit Lane Surgery and to keep the surgery in public hands. NHS England has acted on the petition and chosen a GP provider to run Circuit Lane Surgery, meeting the demands of local residents and Victoria.

As Labour's MP candidate, Victoria has campaigned against the building of homes on floodplains in Reading-- for instance, over the Kennet floodplain -- and piled pressure on West Berkshire Council to make their decisions about new home building in public rather than in secret. Victoria has raised awareness of the lack of understanding of relatively unheard of medical condition, which included a debate in Parliament noting her advocacy, and closely worked with local small businesses to produce Labour policies such as a small business rates freeze and cut.

Martin, who still lives in Reading West, served for 12 years as a Reading Borough councillor and deputy leader of the council before becoming an MP. He won three elections in a row and still has a large following in the town. He currently works for the Angling Trust as their national campaigns co-ordinator.

An MP with passion and principles who will work for us without fear or favour: Martin Salter asks former constituents to vote for Victoria Groulef

Victoria Groulef has today backed the announcement that a Labour Government would axe stamp duty for first-time buyers of homes worth under £300,000. The saving for first-time buyers could be as much as £5,000.

Shelter research last year showed that just seven homes for sale on the market in Reading could be afforded by a family on a typical income, while just six homes for sale could be afforded by a single person on a typical income. Shelter research shows a young family on a typical income would need to save 15.1 years just to buy their first home in Reading before any assistance was offered.

Victoria said, “Thousands of people are being priced out of buying their own home. Many young families are having difficulty affording to rent a place of their own. More and more, young people are going back to living with their parents to save for a deposit. This pledge to scrap stamp duty brings closer the dream of home ownership for many, many people in Reading.”

The doubling of the point at which first-time buyers begin paying stamp duty from £150,000 to £300,000 will be met by clamping down on tax avoidance, among other things.

A Labour Government would also give new buyers the option to buy half of new homes built in their area, having announced that work to build a million new homes during the next five years.

Victoria backs pledge to scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers

Victoria Groulef has today backed the announcement that a Labour Government would axe stamp duty for first-time buyers of homes worth under £300,000. The saving for first-time buyers could be...

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Victoria welcomes Labour’s health spokesperson, Lord Hunt, to a Southcote Q&A on health policy.

With so many of the residents taking part in the Q&A at Southcote Advice Centre heavily involved in the campaign to save Circuit Lane Surgery, discussion focused on the future of the local surgery.

Victoria said: “I asked Labour’s health spokesperson Lord Hunt to Southcote Advice Centre to hear about people’s health concerns and their fight to save their GP’s surgery. People often tell me that they feel like politics hasn’t got any of the answers to the big questions they’re asking. The community campaign to stop Circuit Lane Surgery closing is a huge example of politics saying something important to people about their lives. I’m proud that our community stands up and says that they care about each other’s care and health, and I wanted them to share their views with Labour’s health policymakers.”

Last year GP partners took the decision to tender with resignations with NHS England (their contract with Circuit Lane surgery). Soon after, Labour’s MP candidate Victoria Groulef and Southcote Labour Councillors held a public meeting at The Grange opposite the surgery. At that meeting, residents expressed concerns and asked for Victoria to collect signatures to a petition calling on NHS England and the Health Minister to take important action.

NHS England have since chosen a new GP services provider to run Circuit Lane Surgery on an interim basis, meeting the demands of the thousand-plus people who signed the petition for the GPs to stay at the surgery, for the surgery not to be taken over by any company for profit, and for local people to remain involved in decision-making.

With questions in yesterday’s event focusing on latest developments, the role of public NHS provision, and how residents can be involved in decisions, Lord Hunt learned about the local experiences of a reorganised NHS vulnerable to private provision over the heads of patients.

Victoria said, “I’ve got no doubt that our successful defence of their NHS surgery made the difference and helps people to feel like their voices will be heard and make a difference. I’m proud to have played a role alongside residents, and I hope to put our positive relationships to good use for years to come.”

Labour's health spokesperson comes to Southcote to discuss local issues

Victoria welcomes Labour’s health spokesperson, Lord Hunt, to a Southcote Q&A on health policy.

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From dirty seats to overcrowded carriages, constant delays and eye-watering fare rises, local commuters are being let down by a broken railway system.

Victoria Groulef has backed a practical plan for our railways which would freeze fares for a year, cap any future rises, and create a legal right to the cheapest tickets.

Victoria said: "There's rarely a seat, fares go up all the time, and trains are never on time. Commuters are being let down by this Government standing by as private companies impose eye-watering fares. Local commuters are paying through the nose for a service they tell me feels like a waking nightmare. A fare freeze for the first year and a cap on price rises would prove enormously helpful to local commuters."

Responding to the news that the Great Western franchise -- which runs through Reading -- has been handed the keys for a further four years, Victoria has raised questions about why Government ministers rushed through a decision favouring the sitting tenant while stopping the public sector from competing for the line.

Proposing a practical and better deal for hard-working, tightly squeezed passengers, Victoria has raised questions about why the current MP is not backing local people on an issue most affecting their everyday lives: "The MP did not even bother to formally give a view to his own Government on whether the Great Western franchise should be handed the keys. After five years of refusing to pick up the phone to the Transport Secretary to represent constituents, the current MP has shown that he's not prepared to do his job to help commuters get to theirs."

Victoria is also backing better disabled access to the constituency's stations.

Labour has also pledged to allow public firms to compete with private providers, so that they can take on failing private operators. A national body would also be created to oversee the railways and guarantee a strong passenger voice within our more publicly controlled and run local railways.

 

 

Victoria backs local commuters with long-overdue action on railways

  From dirty seats to overcrowded carriages, constant delays and eye-watering fare rises, local commuters are being let down by a broken railway system.


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