21 days to go: Focus on Eltham

Eltham has done badly out of Labour rule. We have experienced massive tax rises without seeing any improvement in our day-to-day lives.




The issues for Eltham are: -

· In 2003 the secondary schools achieved the lowest results in London at GCSE, below Tower Hamlets or Haringey.

· The one hospital is a mess with ward closures and gaps in the finances.

· Our police stations are part-time, with only a dozen officers to cover the area.

· Council tax rises above the rate of inflation leave pensioners struggling to meet their bills.

· Connex have gone, but once again Labour forgot to plan a replacement.

Eltham Conservatives are largest group from the area and we are committed to making sure local residents get the services they want and expect. Given the huge amount of extra tax we pay, we deserve better and we will argue for the highest possible standard without the spin that goes with that goes with them.


Spencer Drury - Conservative Candidate for Eltham

Spencer was born in Woolwich, South East London in 1969 and lives in Eltham with his wife Liz who is having a rest from her career as a journalist to look after their two children, Kate and Arthur.

Spencer's father was a local veterinary surgeon who died when Spencer was 11 years old. Spencer attended the local independent School, Colfe's on an assisted place and went on to get degrees in Politics/Economics and Britain in the European Union.

He has worked as a Betting Shop Manager, Customer Services manager and for the Office of Fair Trading but in 1996 he discovered a passion for teaching and started work as a teacher at Kemnal Technology College in Footscray. He returned to Colfe's as a teacher of Economics nearly four years later, shortly after the birth of Kate. Spencer is currently Head of Year 10/11, in charge of guiding students through their GCSE years.

His achievements as a teacher include the fact that he taught the first ever students to get A* grades at Mathematics GCSE at Kemnal and in 2003, 3 out of 5 of his Business Studies GCSE students were placed in the top 5 nationally (out of 61,000 students).

Spencer was elected as a councillor on Greenwich Council in 2002 and his son Arthur was born shortly afterwards. He loves rugby and plays for the Old Colfeians fourth XV most weekends, where his sense of honesty and fair play is often commented upon.

Spencer has lived in Eltham since 1995 and his family are delighted that he has been chosen as its Parliamentary spokesman. He understands only too well the problems facing the Eltham constituency.

Spencer's Experience

Spencer became actively involved in politics ten years ago. In South East London, the issues remain public services. Spencer's experience as a state school teacher means he knows the system and feels passionately that it is being used to help central government reach their targets rather than purely for education.

As people's incomes rise, they opt out of state schools or move closer to better schools and pay for private health insurance: this must indicate that the system is not working.

As a teacher, Spencer has experienced Labour's spin on inclusion, but his experience in the classroom was that students who would have previously been excluded for their behaviour were staying, making it harder to teach the majority who wanted to learn and making the school environment much less safe.

The exam system is in chaos; there does not seem to be an agreed plan for the future, with each new report promising radical change. Unfortunately, this situation does not seem limited to education. Each area of our society is suffering from poorly thought through change – in the constitution, hospitals, the armed forces and too many others.

As an Eltham councillor since 2002, Spencer has been involved in a number of campaigns around the ward aimed at improving the quality of people's lives. He is very concerned that the government is proposing to increase business rates, as so many of the shops on the High Street and local shopping centres will be driven out of business. Already, too many shops are vacant, boarded up and covered in graffiti.

Spencer believes local communities must be given the power to control their own destiny. At present government interferes in our lives daily, but seldom manages to improve them. People must be given the power to make their own decisions.