Let local people make the decisions says Green candidate for Brent North
- Credit: Archant
It was reading the Brent & Kilburn Times which prompted Scott Bartle to join the Green Party and stand for Brent North, where he lives.
“Your job moved me to put myself forward and stand and go for councillor, said the 32-year-old psychologist. “You are all reporting on politicians not doing what they said they were going to do. You do it week in week out and that’s the most important role of journalists to hold these politicians to account.”
Born and raised an only child in Truro, a former mining town in Cornwall, the 32-year-old left school with no qualifications at the age of 15 to start work: “Because it was an area of high deprivation, most of the jobs were only seasonal so I’ve probably done most of the jobs under the sun.”
A scandal in his local NHS hospital in 2006, it emerged people with learning disabilities and mental health problems were being abused which made him seek an education and qualifications. He said:
“My best friend was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 15. In areas of high poverty, all those horror statistics you hear about like one in four people have mental health problems really come true.
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“I focused on psychology and human rights because I know that human rights are a powerful tool that you can use for the public sector to illicit change. I don’t like injustice on a general basis and felt that was somewhere I could make a difference.”
He joined multiple campaigns including Amnesty International, mental health charity Mind and civil liberties group Liberty but always alongside his job, which is currently a psychologist within the NHS working with people with learning disabilities.
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With his experience of working with marginalised groups he was drawn to the Green Party for its values, standing for Mapesbury soon after joining. “Initially I was going to stand as an independent but read the core philosophies of the Green Party and found that it fitted my beliefs. I ended up getting the highest vote for an individual green candidate across Brent.”
His desires for the constituency are married to his party’s policies.
“We have an unsustainable unethical financial system characterised by boom and bust and the focus on targeting the poor and demonising and marginalising them when you’ve got the rich avoiding paying tax or funnelling the money out of the country into the pockets of investors elsewhere,” he explained.
“This is the money we should be using, this tax dodger money, to fund the service which help raise people out of poverty like the libraries and the Stonebridge Adventure Playground which gives children hope and a place to go.”
He added: “The key underpinning issue that really gets me is the political system which is so mired in corruption and scandal. You can never sit down and think is there going to be a day when this will change? They never listen, they never apologise but say they’ve been cleared by this person or that but continue going for things.”
People don’t vote because they no longer have any trust, he said.
“We have strong polices on how to make elected representatives more accountable, for example, if 20 per cent of the electorate agree, we can let people challenge local council decisions, so when the local council are making all those cuts we’ll match the strong feeling out there and challenge that.
Scott says that this week you will not be voting for him, you will be voting for a Green government and he will give up his job to work for the electorate.