What do you think about the availability and cost of housing?

One of the main problems facing people in Britain today is the availability and cost of housing. Many people have told me that they are really struggling to buy or rent a property in the current market. They are anxious about the risks of losing their home and the lack of security in their leases. Many parents are worried also about the ability of their children to find and afford somewhere to live when they become adults.

Labour is committed to building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 if we form the next government. We will also regulate the private rental sector by banning ‘letting agent fees’ on tenants and legislating to make three-year tenancies standard for those who rent their homes in the private sector. We’ll act on unpredictable rent rises too by putting a ceiling on excessive rent increases during the period of these longer-term tenancies. I believe that a more stable rental market will be good for both tenants and landlords.

I’d like to hear what you think and about your current housing situation – whether you own or rent. I would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete this survey below and let me know what you thinking about housing in your area.


Corby demands fair funding for healthcare

Today I spoke in Parliament to demand fair funding for healthcare in Corby, highlighting a recent report from the National Audit Office that says the town is the worst funded area of England for healthcare.

The report, which can be read here, shows that Corby receives £186 less per person per year than the allocation that NHS England says it needs. It is officially recognised by the NAO as the worst funded area of England for healthcare.

It is totally wrong that health services in Corby are being starved of funds. How can it be right that people in Chelsea or in Kensington in West London are allocated £694 per person extra a year for health funding? Corby Healthcare is doing a good job of managing with limited funds in some areas, such as the new Urgent Care Centre, but other services are having to be cut back.

The problem is even more acute than the National Audit Office suggests because the allocation decisions do not take account of population growth. Corby is a fast growing town with the highest birth rate in England.

I am calling on the government to fund Corby Healthcare at the target amount next year. We are not asking for a rebate for underfunding in previous years, although that would be welcome, but it is a basic question of fairness that Corby should be funded according to needs.

In the coming months I will be asking local people to join my campaign for fair health funding and together we will demand that the government listens and ends the injustice of filling the coffers of health commissioners in wealthy areas at the expense of Corby. Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Busters: cut your energy bills

bill busters

I am working with Corby Borough Council, Electric Corby and the Corby Telegraph to organise an event that will help you lower your utility bills.  We have all the main energy firms coming – including EDF, British Gas, Eon, NPower and Scottish Power, along with Anglian Water, uSwitch, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and more.

This event is free and is taking place 10 – 3pm on Friday 3 October in James Ashworth Square.

I really hope you are able to take this opportunity to come along and get practical help for lowering your bills or switching suppliers.

If you cannot make it on the day but are still interested I will be collecting the contact details of all the firms and making those available.

Finally, I would also recommend that you come along bring a copy of a recent energy bill so that you can speak to your current provider to see if they can get a better deal, and also speak to some of the other firms who will be there on the day to see what they have to say.

Please fill in this short form to let me know you’re attending.

How are reductions in public services in rural areas affecting you and your family?


Rural areas make up a large part of my constituency and I am always keen to keep in close touch with residents in the villages. Yesterday I launched my Rural Survey and went door knocking in Easton on the Hill, Collyweston and Kings Cliffe to speak to people about issues such as rural bus services, GP waiting times and policing. I will be out in other rural areas over the coming weeks but if I don’t get the chance to knock on your door I would still very much like to hear your views and experiences.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey below and tell me about how reductions in public services in rural areas is affecting you and your family.

Rail fares to rise again

rail fares v2

It has been announced that regulated rail fares will increase by 3.5% in 2015.

This rise could add another £259 to a Corby to London season ticket. David Cameron has already allowed train companies to sting passengers with inflation-busting fare rises of over 20%, so these further increases are another blow to working people in Corby and East Northamptonshire.

We can’t go on like this. A Labour government will cap annual fares on every route and enact the biggest railway reforms since privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers.

I am also campaigning for service improvements and cheaper car park prices at Corby station.

Findings of my police and crime survey

Thank you to all those who participated recently in my policing survey. I had around 500 responses and it is really interesting and useful to hear the views of local people. The key findings are:

  • 95% of people support my campaign to retain an operational police station in Corby;
  • 94% of survey respondents feel that PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) have had a positive role in making the town safer;
  • However, 70% of respondents feel that the police presence and visibility in the town is insufficient at present. Many people commented that they thought that too many police patrols comprise officers in vehicles, rather than ‘walking the beat’;
  • 72% of people think there is a link between the quality of street lighting and levels of crime;
  • The top three areas that you wanted as priorities for the police were: crime prevention, addressing anti-social behaviour and stopping assaults and violent acts. In addition to this, many people raised concerns about traffic problems and parking issues in several areas of the constituency.

I will be sharing these findings with the police to let them know what you think. The high level of support for my campaign to retain an operational police base in Corby will really help to show the strength of feeling on this issue.  Already the campaign is having an impact. The Police Commissioner has made a public statement that there are no immediate plans to close Corby Police Station.  I am pleased to have provoked this reassurance but if you look carefully at his words it is clear where his future intentions lie:

  • Land has already been purchased at Kettering for a new police centre to serve Kettering and Corby in terms of CID and emergency response services;
  • The Commissioner is counting on savings from downgrading Corby in his financial plan;
  • Some suspects are now being transported to Northampton to be charged and held in custody.

Very senior police officers have stated clearly to me that Corby Police Station will close in the future. There is talk of a much more limited, alternative provision in the town but a ‘front desk’ is not the same as having a proper operational police station.  It is not acceptable for Corby to become the largest town in the whole country without a proper operational station. I will keep campaigning for the truth about plans for Corby Police Station and will press for the Police Commissioner to properly share his plans and consult with local people.

ASDA surgery on 22nd August

On Friday 22nd August I will be holding a constituents’ surgery at the ASDA store in Corby. I will be there between 5 – 7pm and will be happy to meet with you and talk through any matters of concern.

All constituents are welcome and no appointment is required.

Andy Sawford Asda poster 22Aug14 .doc2-page00021