Brent Green Party launches local election manifesto, backing air quality, lido, library – and toilets
- Credit: Martin Francis
The Green Party is hoping to win its first ever council seats in Brent with a focus on air quality.
Brent party chairman John Mansook told the Brent & Kilburn Times public health and air pollution are reaching crisis levels and aren’t being adequately addressed by the current council.
“Brent Council has essentially failed Brent,” the 34-year old sports coach and Queen’s Park candidate said.
“It’s not just higher traffic levels from the big chains brought in to replace small businesses – it’s also cars idling outside primary schools and a lack of protection of our green spaces.”
The party launched its campaign in Brent earlier this month, promising voters an “effective opposition” to the current Labour-led council.
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It contrasts this with the Tories, the second strongest party in the borough, who it claims in its manifesto “are more concerned with scrabbling for allowances than representing constituents”.
The Greens did worse in 2014 than in 2010, dropping their share of the vote from 6 to 4.5 per cent.
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But Mansook is encouraged by the numbers of people he has spoken to who say they are fed up with the status quo.
The borough’s green spaces “are one of Brent’s major assets” and the party promises a raft of actions in relation to improving air quality in the borough.
These include campaigning for Sadiq Khan’s “ultra low emission zone” to extend to boroughs beyond the North and South Circular and for TfL’s cycle hire to be brought to Brent.
The Greens insist Labour’s use of the term “affordable” for new housing developments is “dishonest”. Green candidates promise to “actively campaign for genuinely affordable social housing” and not to “allow developers to wriggle out of Brent and GLA guidelines.”
On education, the Greens oppose further academisation of schools and say they’ll campaign against the construction of the proposed Ark Primary Free School on the Wembley Hill Road.
If they won opposition seats, the Greens would pressure the council to reopen the Gladstone Park Lido and Neasden Library. But they’re also concerned by a lack of public toilets, vowing to campaign for cafes to allow passers-by to use their facilities for a small charge.
The party is putting forward 17 candidates across Brent’s 63 seats.