19 April 2018
Greens have pledged they will continue to hold the council to account if they achieve their goal of electing more Green Party councillors in Camden on 3 May.
Green co-leader Caroline Lucas today joined current Camden Councillor Sian Berry and other Green candidates to launch their manifesto for the next four years. The launch took place in Highgate, outside Haddo House where residents are working with local groups to create a garden and community orchard.
Sian Berry, who is standing to retain her seat in Highgate Ward says:
“As a single Green on a council dominated by heavily whipped Labour councillors following the party line, I’ve had my work cut out. But I’ve held the council leadership to account, helped make sure they spend our money wisely and spoken up clearly when things go wrong.
“As well as representing Highgate, I’ve shed light on Camden-wide issues like fire safety, repairs and major works, got the real numbers on their regeneration schemes released, helped stop council tax being charged to our poorest residents and kept up the pressure on cleaning up our dangerous filthy air.
“We face the clear threat of a one-party state in May, and more Greens on the council are sorely needed. Our candidates and members are working so hard in this campaign to make sure our principled opposition and accountability continues for the next four years.
“Voters in Highgate, in particular, are so important in this election for Camden. Here we have a clear choice between three hard-working Greens or three Labour councillors to be make-weights in a huge majority.”
Key policies in the party’s 2018 platform include:
Reforming Camden’s Community Investment Programme (CIP) so that all new housing developments are planned with residents at the helm from the start, and giving residents control over their future with a ballot for all estates facing demolition.
Reversing cuts to youth services, and helping local groups apply for the Mayor of London’s new £45 million Young Londoners Fund, which Sian recently won during the Mayor’s budget process in City Hall.
Cleaning up our air with stronger action locally to cut traffic, and developing a workplace parking levy that makes employers pay a license fee for parking spaces they provide, to discourage and reduce commuting into our borough and raise funds for better streets and cycle routes.
Holding a proper independent inquiry to ensure accountability for what went wrong at Chalcots. And across the whole borough, providing full transparency so that all residents can see the fire risk assessments for their council homes.
Giving citizens a stronger voice in council decision-making, by reforming Full Council meetings and how committees work, so that residents can put forward motions and ask questions directly to the cabinet.
Bringing apprentices into the council’s Living Wage policy, from which they are currently excluded.
Research has shown that councils without strong opposition generally provide worse value for money. The Electoral Reform Society estimates the cost to the public of councils with weak opposition as being £2.6 billion a year.
Transparency International has found that a council dominated by one party “creates a situation where there is much reduced accountability: the actions of councillors are not subject to the degree of scrutiny and criticism that would otherwise be provided by the opposition party.”