Greenwich and Woolwich Labour Party

Greenwich and Woolwich Labour is a diverse and active party, campaigning on the issues that matter to Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton, Woolwich and Plumstead. If you want to get involved and make a positive difference to your area, meet us, join us and get in touch.

Latest stories

Dear resident,

It has been the privilege of my life to have represented the people of Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich, Blackheath and Plumstead as your Member of Parliament for the past two years.    

 Matt Pennycook

In that short period of time, I have helped over 5,000 residents with advice and support on issues including disability entitlements, overcrowded housing, planning, business rates, parking, debt, and funding for complex medical conditions. 

I have also helped protect and promote local charities, voluntary groups and services which residents depend on and that change lives, from those providing support for children with special needs and their families to those assisting vulnerable migrants and refugees.       

I have fought to defend our local health services and for improvements to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I’ve campaigned for better public transport links across the constituency. I’ve fought tooth and nail for improvements to Southeastern train services and for their replacement by TfL in 2018. I've opposed education funding cuts that will have a devastating impact on our local schools. I've worked alongside community groups to press for a clean, green Enderby Wharf cruise liner terminal. I've opposed plans for a Silvertown Tunnel. I've worked hard to ensure that if we’re to have an IKEA in Greenwich it’s sustainable and actively promotes public transport use.

In Parliament, I have established the first ever All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution and have campaigned for more ambitious measures to clean up our toxic air. I’ve fought against the closure of Woolwich barracks. I forced the Government to change the law to levy bigger fines on rogue landlords. I’ve championed the environment and have been a strong advocate for renewable energy and a more rapid transition to a green economy. 

Many of the decisions I've had to make have not been easy ones, but I have always voted from conviction for what I believe to be in the best interests of all those I represent.  

At stake in this election is the type of country we want to be.

Like the majority of those living in Greenwich and Woolwich, I voted ‘Remain’ on 23 June 2016. Moreover, I campaigned tirelessly across the constituency to persuade others to do the same. I am still frustrated and saddened by the outcome of the referendum and I still believe that continued membership of the EU would be in our national interest.

I accept the close but clear referendum result. However, I do not accept the extreme and damaging hard Brexit that the Tories are pursuing. They alone decided to walk away from the single market — a decision that puts local jobs and prosperity at risk.

For the past ten months, I have been fighting:

  • for the maintenance of barrier-free access to the single market;
  • to retain all the rights – workers’, environmental and human – we currently enjoy as members of the EU; and
  • for a close and collaborative future partnership with the EU 27.

In the months and years ahead we face the battle of our times over the form that Brexit will take and against a vision of Britain devised by the hard right of the Tory party. That is where the focus and energy of all internationalists and pro-Europeans must now be. That is where my focus has been, and where it will remain if I am re-elected as your Member of Parliament on 8 June.

Theresa May has opportunistically called this General Election in an attempt to secure a landslide

majority that will allow her to push through Brexit at any cost. In seats like Greenwich and Woolwich, where the Tories came second in 2015, May will be hoping to secure a win by splitting the progressive vote.

I hope I can count on your support to ensure that doesn’t happen.

 

Best wishes,

Matthew

Why I'm asking the residents of Greenwich and Woolwich to re-elect me on 8 June.

Dear resident, It has been the privilege of my life to have represented the people of Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich, Blackheath and Plumstead as your Member of Parliament for the past...

gwlp_ge17_campaign_starts.jpg

Matt Pennycook was greeted by Greenwich & Woolwich Labour Party activists from all over the constituency at a campaign meeting held at Charlton House this week. 

Teams have already been out on the doorstep and if you like to get involved in the campaign please get in contact with your local branch

Campaign gets underway to re-elect Matt Pennycook

Matt Pennycook was greeted by Greenwich & Woolwich Labour Party activists from all over the constituency at a campaign meeting held at Charlton House this week. 

Department of Education sign

There's gathering crisis in education as funding is cut says Matthew Pennycook. 

Footage of a child with learning difficulties, sobbing as the teaching assistant they worked with for the past three years is let go, or the extra pupils being placed in already full classes, are unlikely to make the 6pm or 10pm news. If media coverage ensures that the crisis in our NHS is at the forefront of the public’s mind, the crisis in our education system, while less visible, is no less an issue of concern. Make no mistake: our schools are heading for a very real budget crisis.
 
Last year, more than half of secondary schools overspent. The situation is so dire the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that by 2020 schools will be worse funded than at any time since the mid-90s. Let’s be clear, the Government's promise to maintain school funding per pupil in cash-terms during this Parliament will inevitably lead to real-terms cuts in our schools. Indeed, analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has shown there will be at least a 7% real terms reduction in per-pupil spending between 2015-16 and 2019-20.
 
What’s more, the funding problems facing our schools are likely to be made worse as a result of plans to introduce a new National Funding Formula. Greenwich Council Officers do not yet have all the information that they require to complete a full assessment of the formula’s potential impact locally (frustratingly, the Department of Education are providing information in dribs and drabs), but early analysis suggests that our local schools are going to need to budget for funding pressures in the region of 10–15% over the three years from 2018/19. That is going to place an incredible strain on local education provision.
 
Headteachers will scramble to save money in every way possible while fighting tooth and nail to keep delivering a quality education to local children. But in the course of my regular visits to local schools, many School Leaders have candidly told me that there is not much left to cut. As the demands on our schools grow, my fear is that the dedicated people that work in them will become so demoralised that they start to think about walking away – exacerbating a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention that is already having a huge impact on teaching and education standards.
 
Listening to Government Education Ministers you would be forgiven for believing that they have everything under control. The Department for Education (DfE) told the NAO that mainstream schools can cut their “workforce” (i.e. teachers) by £1.7bn over the next three years and that £1.3bn+ of savings in “procurement spending” are possible (i.e. everything other than teachers). There’s just one catch, they have to date provided no detail as to how all these savings are possible. What it all adds up to is this: schools are going to run out of money and the only government plan for solving it is baseless optimism.
 
The priority for education should be policies that will enable every child to reach their full potential and the investment to make that happen. We need a world-class education system for all our children, not just the privileged few and an education budget that is protected. That’s what I’ll continue to fight for in the weeks and months ahead.

Funding crisis in education

There's gathering crisis in education as funding is cut says Matthew Pennycook. 

More Stories >

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.