Steve speaking with a volunteer from a local charity at a community showcase day in his constituency.

Steve spent over a year on Labour’s front bench as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and has a strong record of strengthening local communities by giving them more power. In 2014, he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to local government.


The Conservative Government has cut Croydon’s funding twice as hard as the average cut to other councils. Steve has repeatedly spoken out against this unfairness and called for more funding for vital local services such as housing, cutting crime, and street cleaning.


As Leader of Lambeth Council, Steve oversaw dramatic improvements in local services while keeping council tax down with no increase at all for four years. He improved street cleaning until the local streets were judged among the cleanest in London, led negotiations for the new Streatham Ice Rink and Leisure Centre, and was involved in upgrading local libraries. He also helped set up Streatham Common Co-op to give local people more say over improving Streatham Common and the Rookery.


In 2023, local charities and community groups asked Steve for help after Croydon’s Conservative Mayor slashed their funding. In response, Steve launched a petition calling for fairer funding to stop community groups closing down.


Steve said:
“Croydon’s local charities and community groups support thousands of people each year. They clean up litter, support mums and children, and care for the elderly. The Conservatives are wrong to target our community with massive cuts and closure.”