According to 38 degress, over 7000 people across the country were out leafleting and talking to members of the public about the deal and the impact it's passage could have on our public services and basic rights.
London Green Party Campaigns Officer Dave Plummer - who was raising awareness in his local area of Lewisham (pictured above, centre) - said:
“The TTIP national day of action is all about filling a huge communications gap in British politics. Very few politicians are talking about this new trade deal simply because they know its provisions are so unpalatable: if passed it could lead to the privatisation of our prized NHS and give corporations the right to sue governments, undermining workers’ rights.
“But if the government and opposition won’t talk about this deal, there’s nothing to stop campaigners and members of the public from getting out and about and spreading the message. That’s what this day of action is all about – building a national conversation and letting people know about a deal that, despite having a potentially big impact on all our lives, is largely being negotiated behind closed-doors. I am proud to be a member of one of the only political parties, the Greens, actively campaigning against TTIP and have been thrilled to see the huge number of people that took part in Saturday’s day of action.”]]>
Long-term Newham resident, Jane Lithgow, has been named as the Green Party candidate standing for the Beckton by-election which takes place on 11th September.
Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London said:
"Jane Lithgow, a Beckton resident, will bring a strong Green voice and fresh thinking to challenge Newham's one-party council.
"When Greens are elected, we make a difference: pushing for energy-efficient homes to cut bills and climate emissions, persuading councils to become Living Wage employers, making streets safer by reducing local speed limits.
"Even one Green makes a difference!"
Ms Lithgow commented:
“If elected as councilor I will make housing a top priority. It has been saddening having to watch Newham’s Labour Council forge ahead with huge property developments which have only served to benefit big businesses and investors, rather than Newham’s residents and the people who need housing the most.
“Many people living in Newham have been unfairly affected by reductions in housing benefit and I see daily the toll that this takes on families and individuals. I would fight for affordable housing in the area and stand-up to developers whose sky-rise developments continue to push-up the price of properties in Newham, forcing residents out of the borough they call home.”]]>
Photograph courtesy of Kaihsu Tai.
The Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to charge a number of undercover officers for forming sexual relationships with women during their deployment, due to insufficient evidence. The CPS had been considering charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office, and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
The CPS determined that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers.
Responding to the new Jenny Jones said: “The CPS has looked at the evidence put together by the police investigating the police and decided not to charge any undercover police officer. I find this decision quite staggering and it will damage trust in both the CPS and the police. The CPS appears not to have looked at the use of sexual relationships as a systematic tactic used by a group of undercover officers during their deployment and that concerns me.
“We have heard time and again from senior officers that such relationships are completely unacceptable and yet today’s decision by the CPS means these officers have escaped being held to account.
“One of the victims of these officers said she felt as if she had been “raped by the state”. Unfortunately today’s decision by the CPS means she, and the other victims of undercover police, will be denied justice. I hope the CPS will reconsider its decision and puts these cases before a jury. I urge the Mayor of London to lobby the DPP.”]]>
Croydon’s Green Party Co-Coordinator Shasha Khan has achieved a crucial milestone in his fight to protect a 400 acre wildlife reserve from becoming the site of an incinerator.
Shasha Khan with Green Party MP for Brighton Caroline Lucas campaigning to stop the incinerator back in 2009.
Croydon Green Shasha Khan is pleased to announce that his claim for a judicial review on the decision to build an incinerator on Beddington Farmlands has been accepted. The trial date has been set for October 9th 2014 at Royal Courts of Justice at The Strand
The long running campaign to prevent an incinerator from being built in South London received a blow earlier this year when Sutton Council formally approved a planning application submitted by Viridor for an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) on a 400 acre wildlife reserve called Beddington Farmlands.
Croydon and Sutton Green Parties have played a pivotal role campaigning against the incinerator since it was proposed in 2008. They argue that the UK has already been warned by the European Commission over its reliance on incineration instead of job-rich reuse and recycling, with 80 incinerators already earmarked for the UK. As incinerators need waste to feed stock to operate profitably, stagnation in recycling rates would be inevitable if the scheme went ahead. In addition, concerns have been raised that the plant will add to the cities air pollution. Currently over 4000 Londoners a year die prematurely due to air pollution, with London already in breach of the nitrous dioxide health regulations set by the EU.
Shasha Khan has also disputed evidence provided by Viridor to the Councillors approving the scheme. Contrary to the assertions of the proposers, evidence shows that the cost for piping means that the facility is extremely unlikely to provide any heating for the local area.
Speaking ahead of the trial, Shasha called for support on the day: “I urge as many supporters of the campaign to join us outside the High Court on the first morning of the trial.”]]>
Darren Johnson warns that right-to-buy will end up hurting the people it is meant to help. Photograph of the De beauvoir estate in East London courtesy of Fin Fahey.
Green AM and London Assembly Housing Committee Chair Darren Johnson has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to lobby for Right-to-buy to be scrapped, as new figures reveal one third of council homes lost are in London.
Official figures show that whilst sales have jumped by a third nationwide since last year, local authorities in London accounted for 33% of exchanges – the highest percentage since the quarterly statistics became available in 2006-07.
Right-to-buy was a flagship policy of the Conservative prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who launched it in 1980 to allow social tenants to own their own homes, resulting dramatic reduction in housing stock available for let by councils.
The recent report from the Department for Communities and Local Government suggested that increased sales over the last year, especially in London, may in part be the result of increased discounts available to tenants looking to buy their council-owned home:
“In March 2013, the government further increased the maximum discount available for tenants living in London boroughs to £100,000.”
Darren Johnson, Green Party member of the London Assembly, told the Guardian that Right-to-Buy was “a disaster” for London, where 948 council homes were sold to tenants over the quarter.
He said: “A lot of council homes sold today will be in the hands of private landlords tomorrow. Fewer low-rent homes will drive more low paid people out of inner London. The mayor should lobby for it to be scrapped, and for councils to be allowed to borrow to invest in building many more.”]]>
The Green Party’s momentum in Lambeth continued yesterday as the Greens came within just 18 votes of beating the Conservatives into second place in the Knight’s Hill by-election.
The result represents a further improvement on May’s local elections, and reflects the Green Party’s growing national vote share.
In May the Green Party finished 85 votes behind the Conservatives in Knight’s Hill and second overall in Lambeth. In 2010 it came last in Knight’s Hill.
Labour won yesterday’s by-election with the votes of fewer than one in eight Knight's Hill residents despite a huge push. The Lib Dems finished in fifth place.
The Green Party's by-election candidate Chris Hocknell said: "I want to thank everyone who voted Green. It was wonderful to receive such a warm reception from local residents and an endorsement of what the Green Party stands for. There is a clear growth in support for the Green Party both locally in Lambeth and nationally, as more and more people see what the party stands for and how it presents a clear alternative to the three big parties.
Convenor of Lambeth Green Party Jonathan Bartley said: "Fewer than one in eight people in Knight's Hill cast their vote for Labour in this by-election. This should be a serious concern to the self-styled co-operative council. Once again it shows that Labour's council majority has much more to do with a broken electoral system than any real mandate from local people."
Under a proportional system based on May's council elections the Greens would have had 10 seats on Lambeth Council. Labour would have had an overall majority of just 4 seats.]]>
The people of London showed up in force to call for an end to the violence in Gaza. Estimates say over 100,000 people attended the national demonstration, which had a strong London Green Party presence.
The London Green Party had a strong presence at the national demonstration for Gaza which took place in London on Saturday, August 9th.
Green Party Leader and Camden resident Natalie Bennett was one of those who spoke at the rally. She said:
“It is important that maximum pressure possible is put on Israel to end the bloodshed that has claimed more than 1,800 Palestinian lives, at least 80% of them civilians.
“Gaza has been subjected to 28 days of vicious, deadly bombardment, its people living in fear and almost unimaginable stress and pressure. The medical system is close to breaking down, essential infrastructure has been smashed, and, as the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said, its institutions have been subjected to ‘criminal acts’.
“Everyone on the streets in London and around the world will be contributing to the growing international pressure for not just a effective ceasefire, but for the commencement of negotiations towards a permanent peace. We cannot allow this cycle of violence to continue.”
The Green Party is calling for the UK government to cease all military co-operation with Israel.
London's Green MEP Jean Lambert, who has deplored both Israeli incursions into Gaza and Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel, has written to Foreign Minister Philip Hammond to voice concerns over the UK Government's arms sales to Israel.
In the letter she said: “I urge the UK government to do everything it can to bring about a cessation of violence [and] to immediately suspend all current sales of arms and related equipment to Israel.”
Over the past three weeks, London has held the biggest demonstrations for Gaza in the world, twice mobilising over 50,000 protesters. This Saturday’s demo was the largest to date, with some sources estimating over 100,000 were present.]]>
Local Green Clare Phipps calls for Lewisham Council to make good on the pledge the Labour Mayor was elected on, to give the borough a 20mph limit.
Residents in Stondon Park and Brockley Rise have started an online petition calling on Lewisham Council to make their roads safer.
Since March 2014 alone there have been four major car accidents on the Stondon Park Road in SE23, with an 18 year old cyclist taken to hospital with leg injuries as recently as June.
Campaigners have been told by the council that the engineers will not be considering any alterations to the route until the autumn, after which they will decide on how best to proceed.
Clare Phipps, Lewisham Green Party's Safer Streets spokesperson, said,
"Residents of Stondon Park and Lewisham as a whole deserve to be able to walk to the shops, cycle to work and take their children to school without fearing their journey will end in hospital or worse.
"It's great to see residents uniting on this issue. But it is very concerning to see the council's laissez faire response, making poor excuses to avoid dealing with the issue with the urgency it requires. The Labour Mayor was elected on a pledge to give all borough roads a 20mph limit - now it's time for him to ensure that they are enforced."
You can sign the petition here: http://is.gd/ssppetition]]>
Green Cllr Caroline Russell on BBC Breakfast discussing the first anti-idling measure of its kind in the UK. Image: Robin Klassnik
The policy was first proposed by Cllr Caroline Russell but was dismissed earlier in the year by the Labour-led Council as "political posturing". Despite this, the council have now decided to support the measure which could help reduce the number of deaths due to air pollution in the borough - currently 200 a year.
Speaking in the Islington Tribune, Clean Air in London award-winner Caroline said: “It is encouraging to see the council finally taking a more active approach to reducing air pollution with their ‘don’t be idle’ campaign to educate drivers about the need to switch off vehicle engines when stationary."
The Highbury East Councillor added, however, that more needs to be done by the council to tackle the borough's worryingly high pollution levels:
"Addressing engine idling is just one part of the jigsaw, we also need to reduce the need to travel by car and promote active travel: walking and cycling.
"Labour is also still refusing to call for Islington to be included in the Mayor's ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) from 2020. This would be a long overdue and welcome step towards a full ban on diesel and a healthier, diesel-free city.”
Editor: Please note this article was edited on 6/8/14, removing the word "police". Apologies for the error.]]>
Jenny Jones, seen here questioning the Met Commissioner in 2013, has long been campaigning on behalf of the deceived women
The information was provided to Jenny Jones, who sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, in response to a written question to the Mayor of London. Jenny has campaigned for decades to shine a light into the murky world of undercover policing.
The Met Police has today agreed to comply with a High Court judgement and reveal whether two men had relationships with women while working as undercover police officers. The officers are known by the aliases “Jim Sutton” and “Bob Robinson”.
Responding to the new Jenny Jones said:
”After three years of legal battles it really is time for the Met to stop wasting public money fighting these women, who have suffered at the hands of undercover officers. The Met may have agreed to name two undercover officers but what about the other women who were deceived by undercover police?
“The recently announced public inquiry into undercover policing means that the truth is going to come out. Instead of continuing with this expensive legal battle the Met should learn the value of an apology. If they want to rebuild the trust that has been damaged then they should come clean, accept that mistakes have been made and give the women the answers they deserve."]]>
In an open letter to coincide with the Green AM's visit, Richmond's branch of the London Cycling Campaign told Darren: "It’s a real shame that there’s so little positive news we can offer you."
The letter criticised both the Conservative-led council's and TFL's attitude to cycling: "The recent tragic death of Henry Lang, at Richmond Circus" they said "is a reminder of just how far there is to go." Darren's visit included the Kew Foot Road junction with St John's Road where 40 year old Mr Lang was struck by a dust cart.
Green Assembly member Darren Johnson has called for the Mayor to ensure funding is available to improve dangerous junctions across London, including those in Richmond and Islington, where he is pictured above (third from right) with campaigners.
Darren's visit also took in a dangerous junction on the A316 at the exit from London Scottish Rugby Club car park between Richmond Circus and Pools on the Park. In their letter, Richmond LCC commented of the road:
"Richmond Council will tell you that the A316 is part of the ‘Transport for London Road Network’ (TLRN) and is therefore not something that can be sorted out by borough engineers. If they say that, you could always ask them why [their failed] Mini-Holland bid money was spent on the A316 rather than – for example – making the two lane highway through the centre of Richmond a nice place for families to arrive by bike."
"Richmond Cycling has spent enormous effort to try to help councillors and council engineers understand what might encourage cycling, but our appeals have fallen on deaf ears: Twickenham is going to carry on being a great place to drive through, and a terrible place either to arrive by bike, or to get through by bike."
Darren has repeatedly urged the Mayor as Chair of TfL to increase the cycling budget in TfL’s ten-year plan to ensure that cycle safety and better road design is fully funded across London. He added: "Every year that the Mayor dithers and delays over safety improvements, the more casualties we have at London’s dangerous junctions.”]]>
Rough sleeping has risen by 64 per cent in London over four years, and of those one third have been seen sleeping rough in previous years.
London boroughs do all they can to house Londoners seen sleeping rough, but the waiting list is growing and there are not sufficient resources in place to cope with rising numbers.
‘No Going Back’, a report released today on rough sleeping by the London Assembly’s Housing Committee, found that funding cuts are stretching resources and there is often a serious shortage of accommodation for people moving on from emergency hostels. Also, support services offered to former rough sleepers can be inadequate or even inappropriate.
Darren Johnson (right) pictured on the London Assembly website meeting Hammersmith hostel staff and their CEO
Rough sleepers often have complex needs, where they suffer from mental health problems as well as being alcohol or drug-dependent. This year alone, 74 per cent of homelessness projects across the UK have refused access to people whose needs were too complex.
Across the capital there are good systems in place to support vulnerable Londoners, but when it comes to rough sleepers, too often the support services can’t meet their needs, making it all too easy for those people to fall through the gaps.
Many homeless patients are discharged from hospital, often without their housing or underlying health problems addressed, resulting in frequent re-admissions. We’ve also heard how homeless people are 31 per cent more likely to receive benefit sanctions, mainly because they failed to attend a JobCentre Plus interview.
When homeless people do not receive the support they need, too often they have no option but to return to the streets.
During a visit to a hostel in Hammersmith and Fulham, we heard how St Mungo’s Broadway, the council, local police and health services were finding ways to resolve budgeting boundaries that would otherwise prevent them from offering tailored services to those who need it most.
With funding cuts putting pressure on the system, borough connections clauses that restrict access to services and more people returning to the streets, London needs a plan that will provide support to rough sleepers where they need it. We must not solely rely on the determination of key-workers to drive tailored projects in each borough to tackle the issue.
It’s time the Mayor took a strategic approach to homelessness in London. He must support cross-borough collaboration and ensure the right services are available where vulnerable Londoners need them.
No Second Night Out (NSNO) – the Mayor’s homelessness initiative has seen some success in addressing the needs of new rough sleepers, but one third of the people picked up by NSNO workers are returning to the streets. Simply put, not enough is being done across the capital to ensure rough sleepers are prepared to make the transition into settled accommodation.
The Mayor needs to take a lead on rough sleeping and ensure boroughs work together more effectively to meet rising demands. He also has a role to play in enabling greater flexibility within JobCentre Plus and NHS services so that homeless people can fully benefit from these systems.
If we are going end to rough sleeping in London, we must address the needs of those who continue to fall through the gaps of support services. In such a wealthy city, no one should be sleeping rough.
‘No Going Back. Breaking the cycle of rough sleeping and homelessness’ is available here."]]>
Now that the last traces of election day paraphernalia have been tidied away, I have the rather unusual, but exciting, challenge of being a sole opposition councillor on Islington Council or "the only Green in the village" as I gather I'm called by my 47 Labour colleagues.
Like many of the other first-time councillors, I've been thrown in at the deep end: tangling with IT, deciphering which emails are for info and which are for action, meeting with residents and large numbers of council staff and working out who does what and how they can help. I dream about an empty email inbox but fear that it is an unattainable fantasy.
Cllr Caroline Russell, second from left, with family and friends at the inaguaration ceremony in Islington Town Hall, as pictured in the Islington Tribune
Councils are often seen as rather remote and many are unsure what elected councillors actually do apart from respond to grumpy emails about potholes or dog poo on pavements. I've been elected at a really tough time, when councils across the country are bearing the brunt of fierce government cuts and Islington is particularly hard hit despite increasing inequality and a growing need for services. As a Green I believe passionately in social justice and am determined to play my part in ensuring that the needs and interests of residents are protected.
As a newbie there are two main elements to get to grips with: being a ward councillor and being the sole opposition councillor in relation to the council and formal council business. Labour are perfectly friendly, but with none of the usual party group mechanisms in place I'm only too aware of my sole councillor status. I have no group office, no dedicated staff support and, while I get to sit in the opposition leader's seat in the council chamber, I get no opposition leader allowance. Without a single council colleague to share it out with, the volume of paperwork I face can be somewhat daunting.
Throughout history the idea of a lone figure trying to be heard against the chorus of an overwhelming majority and seeking to overcome all but insuperable odds has often been romanticised. But frankly as I go about my daily work the reality seems rather more prosaic - especially at 8am, pre-coffee. I know that change can begin with just one voice, but it takes a movement to ensure it happens. I think that is how I see myself - just one Green voice but part of a council that has the ability to enact positive changes.
There is rightly considerable interest in how the formal scrutiny process will work with the super-majority regime. One legacy from Green cllr Katie Dawson's time during 2006-10 is the change in our constitution which allows a sole councillor to propose motions un-seconded. However, calling in decisions requires five councillors, and, while I'm sure Labour colleagues will be scrutinising the work of the executive, whether I will ever find five to help call in a decision is another question entirely. The assumption that 47 councillors can't work as a homogenous group and are likely to split into factions seems pretty wide of the mark - they look cohesively whipped to me.
There have been moments when I've felt like I have a bit part in Yes Minister. I find I can ask officers absolutely anything and they will provide me with an answer. However, the one question they cannot answer is "what question should I be asking you?" So, I'm just two months into the role and only beginning to see the shape of the challenges ahead. I'm hearing from residents from multiple communities and hope I can help improve people's live with a safer, healthier, greener ward where drivers of poverty and inequality are tackled effectively. This is an incredible opportunity and I'm grateful to everyone who voted Green and helped get a Green voice back on Islington council.
Camden Green Party, including newly elected Camden Green Councillor Siân Berry, campaigning for more 'Space for Cycling'.
Camden and London Green Parties have called for more space to be created for cycling, walking and buses by removing private motor traffic from Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road.
The party issued the call in its response to Camden Council's West End Project consultation which closes this Friday.
Camden Council plans to spend nearly £30 million on the West End Project, with the stated aim of making Tottenham Court Road and Bloomsbury safer and more attractive to residents. Part of the plan will see the removal of the one-way system on Tottenham Court Road, limiting usage of this busy and heavily-congested street to buses, pedestrians and cyclists until 7pm. Two segregated cycle lanes will also be installed on Gower Street.
Members of Camden Green Party, supported by their newly elected councillor Siân Berry, have been closely monitoring the consultation process. They believe the council could go much further in creating a genuinely cycle and pedestrian-friendly zone in the heart of central London. The party has tabled amendments to the consultation that would see cars removed completely from Gower Street and the two segregated lanes proposed for the road widened.
Sian Berry, Green Party Councillor for Camden said:
“The project as it stands misses the opportunity to build a much more ambitious shift towards cycling, public transport and walking on this crucial route through some of Camden’s most important public spaces and economic centres. We believe Camden should be planning boldly for the transport mode share we need in future decades, rather than making piecemeal adjustments. This only results in a poor provision of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists – the transport options that are helping us to reduce congestion on our roads.
"Although the project is taking steps in the right direction, the amendments we are proposing will do more to reduce air pollution and benefit shoppers, office workers, visitors and the local student population, as well as thousands of residents."
Caroline Russell, Green Party Councillor for Islington and Local Transport Spokesperson for the Green Party added:
"Redesigning Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street could play a fundamental part in making London a more liveable city where active travel and public health are prioritised.
Camden Council should be ambitious in ensuring this scheme brings about major improvements for central London and creates streets that are safe, pleasant and convenient for residents, workers and visitors whether they walk, cycle or take public transport.”]]>
The Mayor of London today published the ‘London Infrastructure Plan 2050’ in which he set out his priorities for the capital’s infrastructure over the next half century.
The plan refers to the Mayor’s proposals to build a £700m Thames river crossing at Silvertown, an £2 billion inner London orbital road tunnel and a further package of river crossings, all of which would be tolled.
The Mayor has called for “strong political support...to push [the infrastructure] projects through from the beginning". The Green Party's Darren Johnson, a member of the London Assembly elected to scrutinise the Mayor's decisions, has responded by arguing that cross-party support will not be possible whilst the plans remain a car-centric vision for London.
“It is vital that we build consensus around much-needed public transport schemes which will benefit millions of Londoners. But the Mayor is completely deluded if he thinks he will be able to create consensus around the hugely polluting, disruptive and expensive road-building schemes he is proposing. The plans by the previous Mayor for a six-lane Thames Gateway Bridge were successfully opposed by local people and campaigners and the project was cancelled in 2008.”
“Instead of learning from that debacle, the Mayor is pushing for the kind of road-building projects which belong back in the car-dominated 1960s. Rather than channelling time, energy and public funds into these wasteful schemes which will worsen air quality yet further, he should be investing in public transport and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.”]]>
Green Assembly Member Baroness Jenny Jones with London Green Shahrar Ali campaigning for cleaner air in London.
Mayor Boris Johnson's attempts to combat London's illegal pollution levels, to be introduced as late as 2020, by charging a small number of cars entering a limited area of central London have been criticised by the Green AM who has successfully persuaded the London Assembly to take steps to widen the "ultra low emission zone"
The Mayor of London is proposing that, in addition to the current congestion charge, there should be a levy of £10 on diesel vehicles entering London's "Ultra Low Emission Zone" (ULEZ) from 2020 onwards. Over a quarter of cars are now diesel, but they account for 60% of NO2 emissions across London.
However, the Mayors plans have been criticised by Greens in the London Assembly, as figures show that the ULEZ only covers 7% of the main road network which is due to be over the NO2 legal limit in 2020.
A motion proposed by Jenny Jones to the London Assembly giving all boroughs the chance to opt in to the Mayor's 2020 Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was recently passed unanimously. The Assembly will now recommend that the Mayor consults all London boroughs when deciding the reach of the ULEZ, rather than restricting it to the current boundaries of the London Congestion Charge Zone as was previously envisaged.
Although boroughs will not be obliged to ask for inclusion in the zone, it marks a significant milestone for our Councillors outside central London who have been campaigning for their boroughs to be included in the ULEZ.
Jenny commented: “It is one of the biggest scandals of our age that 4,300 people a year in London are dying prematurely as a result of poor air quality.
“The Mayor is right to target diesel vehicles as a major health hazard but we need action on them immediately, not 2020. Also, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in central London is too small to have any significant impact on the majority of diesel vehicles in London, which is why we need the Mayor to allow all the inner London boroughs to join the scheme if they want to.”]]>
Lambeth Greens Jonathan Bartley and Cllr Scott Ainslie (back row, left) during their successful campaign to save The Glebe sheltered housing. They are hoping to replicate their victory in Leigham Court
Sonia Winifred stood down as it emerged that she was not legally allowed to occupy the seat as an employee of the council. Despite the error - which will cost residents of a local borough already hit by cuts an extra £15,800 - Labour have reselected Winifred to stand.
Jonathan Bartley of Lambeth Green Party, who are also contesting the seat, said: “People are noticing an arrogance about Labour in Lambeth. Unrepentantly standing the same candidate again sends out the message that Labour are complacent and believe they can get away with anything.”
Green candidate Chris Hocknell, an energy and environmental consultant for the built environment, also criticised the attitude of the Labour run council: “Greens are the only alternative here in Knights Hill. We need a distinctive voice on the council to stand up for local residents, not another person to rubber stamp what the council is doing.
“The best decisions are made collaboratively. Whether about housing policy, waste or council tax, what Lambeth Council does should reflect the concerns and interests of local residents. My pledge is to make sure that this happens for local people.”
One of Chris's key pledges is to defend Leigham Court Sheltered Housing, which the council wants to knock down and redevelop against the residents wishes. Green Lambeth Councillor Scott Ainslie was elected in May to represent St. Leonard's ward following the successful campaign to save the nearby Glebe sheltered housing community.
Speaking in the Guardian, Chair of Lambeth Greens Jonathan Bartley said:
"It has become abundantly clear that it's all about fulfilling targets. It has nothing to do with taking account of the wishes of residents, the actual state of the buildings, or the significance of the architecture. The council is moving towards a medical care-based model of old-age, rather than a social model, geared towards putting people in little boxes and charging them for extra services they don't need."
Speaking to This is Local London, he added:
“Lambeth council have treated these old people as income units to be shifted around like capital. Some of them have talked about chaining themselves to railings to stop this happening.”]]>
With Eid taking place today, London Green Party Councillors would like to wish London’s Muslim Community Eid Mubarak. We’re keenly aware that this summer's hot and muggy weather will have made Ramadan an even more difficult experience than in previous years. Eid 2014 will therefore be a day of great celebration.
At this time we firstly want to celebrate the contribution that the Muslim community make to London. This Eid, as always, will see Muslims donate millions to charity, and that Zakat will make a huge difference to communities both here in London and internationally.
Secondly we’re minded this Eid to consider the plight of those in Gaza. The plight of Gazan Civilians is extremely harrowing and it is our sincerest hope that this Eid can bring an end to the bloodshed and a step towards a a more peaceful time ahead for the people of Gaza.
Scott Ainslie, Green Party Counillor for Lambeth
Siân Berry, Green Party Councillor for Camden
John Coughlin, Green Party Councillor for Lewisham
Caroline Russell, Green Party Councillor for Islington
In order to combat the capital's housing crisis, Mayor Boris Johnson has set the target of delivering 55,000 "affordable" homes by 2015 (a target that he is expected to miss, for the second time). To achieve this target, London developments competing for planning permission need to contain an average of 50% homes that will be on the market at "affordable" rates.
Left, the luxury lobby of One Commercial Street, marketed to wealthy City workers. Right, the side-alley entrance reserved for affordable housing tenants. Photographs: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
The Guardian investigation found that developments are increasingly attempting to circumvent the resulting social mixing by creating separate entrances (dubbed "poor doors by papers in the US, where the trend began) for less affluent residents. Even lifts, bicycle storage spaces, rubbish disposal facilities and postal deliveries are often segregated in the "two tier policy" for new apartment blocks hitting the market.
Guardian journalist Hilary Osborne reported: "At one building bordering the City financial district, wealthy owners accessed their homes via a hotel-style lobby area, while social housing tenants enter through a side door in an adjacent alley alongside trade entrances."
"In marketing information for another development currently under construction, would-be residents have been promised that the affordable homes will have a separate entrance, no access to car or cycle parking and that post and bins will also be divided."
"As in New York, there are concerns that it is leading to increasingly divided communities."
Greens in the London Assembly have consistently pushed for better housing provision for ordinary Londoners, whom Green Party politicians describe as getting merely "the crumbs" left over by rich investors.
Green AM Darren Johnson commented in the Guardian's report: "This trend shows contempt for ordinary people, and is about developers selling luxury flats to rich investors who don't want to mix with local people."
He added: "The mayor and councils have been turning a blind eye to this for too long, they should simply refuse applications that have separate facilities or that refuse any affordable housing on this basis."
Jenny Jones AM criticised Boris Johnson for allowing Coca-Cola Great Britain to sponsor the FreeSport programme for the next two years. This follows his decision to allow McDonalds to sponsor the Schools clean-up program.
Jenny recently asked Boris Johnson in a written question “In the middle of an obesity crisis, how can you justify allowing McDonald's, an organisation associated with highly processed, high fat, high sugar and unhealthy foods, to host their 40th year anniversary at City Hall?
Jenny Jones said: “The Mayor has a track record of linking up events involving children with companies promoting products with lots of fat and lots of sugar. As Mayor, Boris Johnson is meant to be promoting healthy lifestyles, but instead he is potentially adding to the queues at doctor and dentist surgeries. Free Sport is great, but you need to keep it sugar free.”
I can see why Co-ca Cola and McDonalds want to get direct access children at these events in order to sell more and make bigger profits, but I don’t understand why Boris Johnson is helping them do it. We are in the middle of an obesity crisis and he has a responsibility for public health in London.]]>