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JIM THORNTON (independent)

PUBLISHED: 20:04 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:56 05 October 2010

JIM THORNTON (independent)

POPLAR & LIMEHOUSE

JIM THORNTON (independent)

THE great thing about being an independent is that I am not told how to vote by the whips. Therefore I can listen to my community and develop my views based on their input.

The Economy: The economy is balanced on a knife edge. What matters most is 'all round' confidence and a belief that the debt will be reduced within a reasonable timeframe. We need a tougher regulatory framework to stop short-term profiteering.

Increasing National Insurance contributions is a disincentive, as an employer, to taking on more staff. A better option is probably 2.5 per cent on VAT.

Crime: We need to think seriously about the number of people we lock up and whether there are better ways of discouraging criminal and anti-social behaviour. We need to be looking at supporting a multitude of simple, community-based schemes that provide real alternatives to a 'career' in crime.

Public safety: I am impressed by the work of organisations like London Citizens and the initiatives they are taking to bring about a sense of community. I would want to identify all such initiatives and give them the support they deserve and actively look out for opportunities to support new ones.

Health: Doctors and nurses tell me they are fed up with constant change. We need to listen to those on the 'front line' and give time for the many changes to settle down, so that we can take considered decisions about the best way to deliver free healthcare to all. Rationing, mental health and loneliness are all problems we need to consider seriously, as these are problems that we have to address in our communities as well as with the resources of the Government.

Education: I am well aware, as a governor of two different schools, of the tensions in education. We have to do everything we can to support teachers, to ensure they have the right protections and accord them a higher status within the community.

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Jim Thornton (independent)

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