13 April 2018
Islington Green Party kicked off their election campaign this week with 10 key pledges, focussing on what a group of Green councillors would do if elected.
Greens campaigning in Highbury
The headline pledges are:
In 2014 Islington elected only one opposition Councillor, despite 46% of voters voting for parties other than Labour. Caroline Russell, as the sole opposition Green Party Councillor, has worked hard to get the voices of all residents heard. Caroline has successfully:
With more Green Party Councillors, Islington Green Party would build upon Caroline’s hard work and prevent Islington becoming an unaccountable one-party state. In 2014 the Green Party came second in over half of all Islington wards (nine) and came second across the borough by securing almost 20% of the vote. The Green Party are best placed to provide an opposition and bring a better balance to the council.
On making the council more accountable Caroline said “I don't think our council systems and processes are set up for such a lack of balance with just one opposition councillor. The last four years have seen some awful examples, including where the chief executive has invited all councillors to a meeting to discuss emergency budget cuts, only to uninvite me saying it was a Labour group invitation. I’ve also faced council lawyers wrongly trying to gag me over speaking out on the closure of Fabric nightclub."
"I’ve focussed on bringing residents and campaigners to join me in the Council Chamber. I’ve helped residents across Islington bring their issues to the Town Hall to raise attention and get action: Barnard Park football pitch, Sobell Centre, Parkview Estate, Highbury Quadrant Estate, Sotheby Mews Day Centre to name a few."
Greens campaigning with local residents against destruction of Sobell Centre sports hall and Barnard Park football pitch
"Residents tell me repeatedly they feel unlistened to by the council, if I’m re-elected, I’ll push for webcasting of meetings so residents can help check what the council is doing more easily and keep pushing the council to allow residents’ voices to be heard early enough in any project to be able to contribute and make a difference. I very much hope I will have Green colleagues to help with all this”.
On the council’s status as a bad landlord, Green Party candidate for Finsbury Park Nafisah Graham-Brown said “Across the borough the council is late with the regular seven-yearly repairs”
“We can reveal from a Freedom of Information request that 39% of estates in Islington have had delayed repairs, at least by a year. In some estates like the St Luke's Estate in Bunhill, the Shaw Court Estate in Tollington and Parkview Estate in Highbury there are blocks where repairs have been delayed by three years or more. Adding to that, residents are not updated about these delays or expected timescales well enough.”
Greens joining residents campaign against damp homes on the Park View estate
“The uncertainty and delay is frustrating for residents and there are concerns that delays mean eventual repairs are more expensive. Furthermore, we’ve found too many residents living in damp, poorly heated homes. We need to see the council communicating better with residents about delays to their repairs, delivering cyclical maintenance on time, and finding a solution to condensation, black mould and damp homes.”
On tackling air pollution Green Party candidate for St George’s ward Natasha Cox said, “Our filthy air is making us unhealthy and making breathing problems worse. As a parent I’m acutely aware we need to act now to protect the health of our next generation. In too many instances Islington Council has ignored Councillor Caroline Russell’s calls for action and only more elected Greens can make a difference.”
“Children and older people should be able to make local journeys safely and conveniently on foot and by bike. We need proper investment in protected cycle lanes, low traffic liveable neighbourhoods and reductions in extortionate cycle parking costs. Making our borough safer for walking and cycling will clean up our air and make our borough healthier.”