I asked Greenwich.co.uk readers to send me their questions for the main parliamentary candidates. Nick Raynsford has answered your questions below...
If asked to list the achievements during your time as MP of which you are most proud, what would they be?
1 The transformation of public transport in the area in the last decade, with the Jubilee Line at North Greenwich, DLR extensions to both Greenwich and Woolwich town centres, a hugely improved river bus service, a much better bus network, and improved reliability of the trains – a world away from the lousy service provided by Connex in the late 1990s.
2 Helping to get the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula underway, with the new Greenwich Millennium Village, and the transformation of the Dome into the O2, now the most successful live music venue in the world.
3 Helping to attract high-quality higher education institutions to the borough, including Trinity Laban and Ravensbourne College, and the University of Greenwich’s move into the Old Royal Naval College.
Do you agree with Gordon Brown’s comment (2nd TV Leadership debate) that MP’s should have no extra jobs and consultancies while holding Parliamentary office?
I agree with the Labour Party manifesto commitment that in future all MPs will be required to seek and obtain approval for any outside paid appointments (as I have always done) and should not work for lobbying companies (as I have never done).
Do you think you were representing your constituents wishes by endorsing the move of John Roan school to a location in the blast zone of a gas holding works?
The proposed move of the John Roan School was backed by the governing body and the council and I tried to ensure the new site was as large as possible and was to be built to as high as possible a standard. Ultimately the council and the school decided not to take the new site due to delays in starting work because of the presence of the gasholder, a decision I respected. I am now working hard to ensure an early start is made on rebuilding and refurbishing the buildings on the school's current sites.
Do you think that Britain wants another 5 years of Gordon Brown?
I am clear about what Britain does not want: a return to the destructive policies of the Thatcher era of the 1980s, which could well result from the election of a Conservative government.
Does your party support the Olympics in Greenwich Park given it would entail long closures of this vital amenity and potential damage to this World Heritage Site, not to mention the obscene cost, lack of legacy and transport problems?
Inaccurate and misleading stores put out by those such as Andrew Gilligan – who falsely claimed that the Olympic events could lead to the destruction of avenues of trees, or that the park could be closed for up to five years - have contributed to vocal opposition to the Olympic equestrian events by a small minority of local residents. As MP for the area, I have talked to a large number of local residents over the last few years, and found that most of them warmly welcome the fact that Greenwich will be hosting six Olympic events in 2012, including the equestrian events in Greenwich Park.
What was the last book you read?
Richard Reeves’ biography of John Stuart Mill, author of the classic Nineteenth Century treatise “On Liberty”
Are you representing your constituents by insisting that the plans for the Market be pushed through?
Would it be democratically acceptable for a Bristol based quango to force upon Greenwich a market redevelopment that is unwanted by the people or their elected representatives in the Council?
The decision has been a matter for Greenwich Council as the local planning authority, and now the Planning inspectorate. I chaired a consultative stakeholder group which considered options for improvements to the market over a two-year period. The scheme that was eventually proposed by Greenwich Hospital and recommended for approval by Greenwich Council’s planning officers would have safeguarded the long-term future of the Market. As councillors voted to reject the scheme it is now to be decided by an independent planning inspector, who is accountable to an elected politician, the Secretary of State.
I'd like to know what the candidates would do about the Blackwall Tunnel closure, and what their views are on two-way traffic through one 1/2 of the tunnel.
Although the work to make the Blackwall Tunnel safer needs to take place, Boris Johnson chose to do it just after he had cancelled plans to build the Thames gateway bridge, which would provide an alternative cross-river link. Doing the work without any alternative in place has caused massive and unnecessary dislocation and inconvenience.
Do you support reform of the voting system?
I support the Alternative Vote system which retains the constituency link – a very important feature of the current system – but also ensures that no candidate can be elected without securing broad support across their constituency.
How would Greenwich be different in five years time if you, and a Labour government, are elected?
In five years' time, I hope to see Crossrail at an advanced stage of construction with the Woolwich station on its way to being opened (Only Labour has fully committed to Crossrail at Woolwich), the regeneration of Greenwich and Woolwich as a whole continuing apace, and everyone benefiting from the inward investment that a very successful hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games will bring.