*Published in the Barking and Dagenham Post 06.10.21

Last week was Labour Party conference and some of the central themes were work, fairness, and security – making Britain the best place to grow up and the best place to grow old in. This is an important message for areas like my constituency of Dagenham and Rainham, where in Barking and Dagenham we have one of the youngest populations in London, and in Havering we have the oldest.

Over the course of the week colleagues spoke about opportunity, and creating skilled work in Britain again, focused on manufacturing and technology. These national priorities are reflected in our own priorities as work starts on the film studio at Dagenham East, and London’s three historic markets are relocated to Dagenham Dock. The Thames Freeport area also brings with it job creation and will put our area at the heart of trade in London.

As investment in Dagenham grows, creating new jobs for local people, the vital role of the labour movement also grows. The Conservatives have ushered in an employment model that means a race to the bottom on the backs of working people which is why Labour has pledged to end poverty wages and the insecure work that blights millions of lives.

Work should provide not just a proper wage that people can raise a family on, but dignity, flexibility and security. Better pay and more secure work is good for workers, good for businesses and good for the economy. We have a proud history of fighting for workers rights in Dagenham and in the coming months I will be in discussion with local trade unions, developers, organisations such as Ford and the City of London Corporation, and working people, to ensure that ‘levelling up’ isn’t just a soundbite and reaches every corner of our community across Dagenham and Rainham.