Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 08:41 UK

Housing issues key to Hammersmith election battle

Conservative party leader David Cameron (L) walks with Shaun Bailey, Conservative party candidate for Hammersmith
David Cameron visited Hammersmith with Tory candidate Shaun Bailey

The new west London seat of Hammersmith looks set to be a key battleground for the main political parties - with housing issues high on the agenda.

Labour pledged to "return to building affordable housing" and the Conservatives said they "understand these problems" on housing.

The Liberal Democrats said: "Housing is a key local issue in the area."

The seat consists of parts of the old Ealing, Acton and Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham seats.

The constituency was visited by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron within the first week of their election campaigns.

'Have-nots'

The campaign by Labour candidate Andy Slaughter has focussed on what he said was "a threat of demolition" to around 3,000 council homes currently in the Conservative-controlled Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

He said that council homes, mainly in the Shepherds Bush area, had been designated as "not decent neighbourhoods" by the council.

Mr Slaughter said: "People are really seriously worried that over 3,000 good quality council properties in modernised mixed community estate are going to be demolished."

He pledged to "return to building affordable housing" and to "stop housing demolition proposals".

Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey said: "I understand these problems. I live through them."

"There's never enough housing. People are on the list for years," he added.

"I live in a two bedroom and have two kids. At some point that's going to be a major problem to me."

Liberal Democrat candidate Merlene Emerson said: "Housing is a key local issue."

"Housing and overcrowding leads to people having social problems and child poverty," she added.

• Candidates declared so far for Hammersmith are: Conservative: Shaun Bailey; UK Independence Party: Vanessa Crichton; Liberal Democrat: Merlene Emerson; English Democrats: Sepherian Gillard-Marshall; Green Party: Rollo Miles; British National Party: Lawrence Searle; Labour: Andrew Slaughter.



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