Website screenshot of Cherwell Labour’s 3 point plan for tackling the cost-of-living crisis
Number 1

Tackling The Cost of Living Crisis

There is currently no bigger issue than the fact that hundreds of families in our constituency are choosing between heating and eating. Tackling this issue is the most pressing challenge facing us after 13 years of Conservative government.

Having knocked on thousands of doors across the area, this huge worry is the one that keeps local people up at night.

Preventing folk from starving and freezing is the greatest immediate challenge we face from 13 years of Conservative failure.

Living standards have steadily decreased over the years of Conservative rule. But the jumps in inflation caused by the Conservative’s reckless handling of the economy means that this has become an urgent crisis. As a councillor for one of the most deprived wards in the country, I was given daily reminders of this in my casework.

As Labour group leader, I pushed the Conservatives running Cherwell to start taking urgent action as early as Summer 2022; ahead of people turning on their heating in the Winter. Labour in Cherwell forced the Conservatives to agree to a food emergency motion, with warm welcome venues set up and food vouchers sent out to the most in need.

We’ve had enough of words from our MP. With a track record of delivery, I promise action as your Member of Parliament.

Sean Woodcock with Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves MP
Number 2

Fixing Our Broken Housing Market

The importance of having a place to call ‘home’ cannot be over-estimated. Having stable accommodation improves health and wellbeing, is good for the local economy and the educational outcomes of our children.

But the single biggest strain on people’s finances in this cost-of-living crisis is paying for the roof over their heads. We’ve become used to seeing houses built across our area. Yet rents keep going up while the housing waiting list gets longer.

There is no way around fixing the housing crisis without building more homes. The Conservatives have abandoned housebuilding and so it falls on the next Labour government to deliver.

But homes need to be genuinely affordable and they need to be supported by proper investment in infrastructure and local services.

Locally, as Labour group leader on Cherwell, I have pushed for more affordable housing in the Local Plan, to match Oxford’s 50% on new build sites.

And we delivered a Tenants’ Charter for Cherwell, to improve standards across the area, in spite of opposition from the local Conservatives. Because renters need protection from landlords who go missing when repairs need doing, but do not when it comes to increasing the rents.

The next Labour government must redress the balance to protect tenants.

Sean Woodcock speaking in council
Number 3

Tackling Climate Change

The Climate Emergency is the biggest crisis facing humanity. Tackling it is not only essential but also an opportunity for us to reshape our economy for the 21st Century.

We are uniquely positioned, with our links to the automotive industry and proximity to universities in Oxford, to take a global-leading role in this industry.

Locally as leader of Cherwell Labour, I have helped drive the agenda to get change through locally. This includes bans on the council’s use of single-use plastics in its operations, the phasing in of peat-free compost and the 2019 declaration of a Climate Emergency.

We’re being held back by the sticking plaster politics of the Conservatives, who are too scared of being labelled ‘woke’ to take the urgent action we need.

Sean Woodcock at an NHS action day in 2018
Number 4

Protecting and enhancing NHS and social care

Unfortunately 24 hours in A&E is no longer just a TV programme; it’s the reality of the NHS under the Conservatives.

The Horton Hospital, where I was born, has ambulances queuing outside it while people sit in the corridors waiting for beds. This is not the fault of the brilliant NHS staff who we applauded during COVID. It’s down to the Conservatives.

Meanwhile our social care system is under-resourced and under-valued, with carers like my Mum feeling under increasing pressure to do more, in less time and for worsening pay and conditions.

When I was a young child, I had a serious heart condition that required emergency surgery. Without the NHS, I would likely not be here. It is, rightly, the Labour Party's proudest achievement. 

That's why I've always fought for it. 

Locally, I’ve campaigned to protect our NHS for nearly a decade and served on the Horton Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee that condemned the permanent downgrade of the Horton Hospital’s maternity unit.

We need a new health and social care system that ensures the right care is delivered, at the right time to the right people.

As your Labour MP, I will always put our NHS first.

Banbury for Europe membership card
Number 5

Being honest about Brexit

I joined the Labour Party as a passionate and proud European. I campaigned for Remain and supported a second referendum. I make no apologies for either.

But those votes were lost and, as painful as it is, rehashing old arguments about in or out gets us nowhere.

That doesn’t mean that we accept the status quo. It is obvious now that the Conservatives' Brexit deal is not working. Queues at Dover every Bank Holiday and Half Term are a visible symbol of the mess we are in. Businesses across our area are battling increased regulation and costs when trying to trade with our closest neighbours.

This is bad for business and it’s bad for Britain.

As your MP, I’ll push for a closer relationship with our European friends and allies, that does away with the damage done by the Conservatives.