On Friday Conservative candidate Resham Kotecha, accompanied by Southwark Councillors Jane Lyons and Michael Mitchell, visited the Charter School to address around 70 sixth formers about the general election. Resham spoke for some 10 minutes about the importance of young people engaging in politics before responding to a lively Q&A session.
“I am a great believer in getting younger voters involved and wanting to vote in elections. More than anyone, it is their lives and livelihoods that will be affected by the UK’s having an ongoing long-term debt and by other government policies that will be determined over the next 5 years”, Resham stated.
Resham then answered a range of questions from the enthusiastic audience, including questions about the economy, education, immigration and health.
Questioned about whether she agreed with reduced government spending over the last 5 years, Resham replied, “In principle, yes, because we had to mend the excesses of the previous Labour administration. However there have been a few very harsh decisions which have affected some in particular walks of life for whom I have a great amount of sympathy The overriding priority has been to achieve a more solid and healthy economy which will grow tax revenues and provide the services everyone wants and needs.”
Asked about immigration, Resham said she was unhappy with the anti-immigration rhetoric used by all parties. “I’m a child of immigrants, and I know only too well how hard they tend to work. We just need to be sure that those who come to our country are doing so for the right reasons, and we should be able to say ‘no’ to those with criminal backgrounds or dubious motives.” On health, Resham pointed out that one only has to look at Wales, where Labour has been governing the NHS, to see that they really can’t live up to their promises for the Health Service in England. Resham added, “I have just been in hospital, and we are fortunate to have the NHS as it is; the Conservatives have ring-fenced spending, and we’ve given an extra £1 million to provide extra GPs in Southwark.”
Resham’s visit to Charter School follows the announcement by the Prime Minister on 9th March of the success of the School’s bid to open an inclusive community co-ed non-faith secondary school on the Dulwich Hospital site in 2016, which Resham is clearly delighted about. At the time she stated, “It's a great result for Dulwich and for the Charter School and we congratulate the Charter team.”