Caroline Gavin

I moved to Cheltenham from London in 2004. I am proud to stand as a candidate for Charlton Kings – a place I’ve called home for 14 years.

This is a beautiful part of Cheltenham with excellent schools, views, amenities and connections. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are.

There are no food banks here.

All over the country, people are really suffering. Independent food banks have seen a rise of 88% over the period February to October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019*.

Personally, my own energy bills have shot up from £168 a month to £432 for no reason other than because the utility providers have the monopoly to provide this essential service, a service we used to own. Increases are even higher for those on prepayment meters.

Cheltenham is a wonderful place to live, but I know that many of you, like me, feel ashamed when our voting at every election sends out the repeated message that: we want the same way of life to continue, that we’re sanctioning what the Government does, that we condone the tax avoidance, the law breaking, the ‘old boy network’, the incompetence (no, Nadine, Channel 4 is not funded by the electorate); and it’s embarrassing.

I am also aware that a postcode can disguise severe financial hardship; many families around us are facing dire situations.

In the hardest of times, we as voters who are based in parts as green and fragrant as Charlton Kings have the chance to show that we are not ignorant to the suffering of others. We need to use our votes to let the people who work for us know we’re as disgusted as everyone else is.

We demand better.

* https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8585/CBP-8585.pdf

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