Name: Stefan Mrozinski
Area Standing (Constituency): Tottenham
Signed The Positive Youth News Haringey Pledge: Yes
Responded To Online Hustings: Yes – Response Below
Politicians always attack our youth centres when making cuts, what would you do to protect them?
Youth centres are very important to our local community in Tottenham. They give young people structure in their lives, providing a place in which young people can take part in constructive activities and meet with friends. Labour and Lib Dem councillors in Haringey who think youth centres are “easy cuts” are therefore very short-sighted.
But I won’t lie to you. The deficit (which was created on Labour’s watch) does need to be cut, because if it’s not cut then our generation (and yes at 29 years old, I am part of your generation), will still be paying it off as we approach retirement. I want public money to be spent on education, the NHS and other public services, not interest repayments running into hundreds of millions of pounds each year! Public spending therefore has to be reduced in certain areas.
But to address your question specifically, I think we need to look at sensible efficiency savings to youth centres and also consider whether cuts can be made elsewhere to the council budget – for example to councillors’ allowances.
Do you think the Duggan case has made it hard for the community to trust the police?
There is no reason for the people of Tottenham not to trust the local police. I met with some of them at Tottenham police station a few weeks ago and they are here to help all of us. But if anyone has genuine concerns then they should raise them through the appropriate channels.
Young people are the lowest voters, what can you do to increase voting participation?
I actually think a lot is already being done in this area. I even attended a hustings with other candidates at Haringey Sixth Form just the other week (you should ask David Lammy why he did not attend!). Students were engaged and I expect a large number of them to vote. At the end of the day, young people need to take responsibility for their lives and voting is a key part of that.
Do you support votes at 16?
No, I think 16 would be too young.
Do you think it is fair that there is a different minimum wage if you are under 18?
Setting a slightly lower level has made it easier for employers to take on young people as employees – and that fact should not be forgotten. However, I do support a higher minimum wage across the board and I strongly support the London Living Wage because hard work should be rewarded with fair pay.
The affordable housing being built in Haringey is not affordable, why is this allowed?
The problem comes down to insufficient supply. We therefore need to build far more across London and the Conservative Party is committed to doing this. Under Labour house building fell to its lowest levels since the 1920s. New houses are now being built at the fastest rate since 2007. We also need far more shared ownership schemes so that young people can get a foot on the housing ladder.
Why have you chosen to stand?
There are far too many people in politics who don’t come from ordinary backgrounds. This means they cannot understand the concerns of ordinary people. There are also a significant number of people in Parliament who are poorly qualified and lack sufficient life experience. I want to change that. You can find out more about me here:www.voteforstefan.co.uk . I also think the Labour Party has taken Tottenham for granted for too long. We need change.
When are we going to see real jobs not just supermarkets or sales?
Jobs in supermarkets and sales ARE real jobs – and my mum used to work in a supermarket, so don’t knock these jobs and the people who do them. But if you want more jobs and better jobs, I would urge you to vote Conservative. Just look at the facts. When Labour came to power in 1997, unemployment stood at 2 million. When Labour left office, unemployment stood at nearly 2.5 million (a 23% increase).
Under Labour youth unemployment also increased by 45%. By contrast, the Conservatives have helped create 1,000 jobs a day since 2010, created 3,450 apprenticeships in Tottenham since 2010 and have promised that you will not pay a penny of income tax on the first £12,500 that you earn. The Conservatives are the real workers’ party!
Do you support the knocking down of Broadwater Farm estate?
I support regeneration of the estate but those who live on the Broadwater farm estate must be suitably rehoused / compensated.
Do you think prison needs to be tougher?
Yes, particularly for those who have committed serious offences. But rehabilitation is also important. A significant number of prisoners have problems with alcohol and drug addiction and often lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. Prison should not be easy, but there is also no point locking people up and then releasing them only to commit more crime because they lack the necessary skills to build productive lives.
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