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Green Party to target Lib Dem seats ‘up for grabs’ in Camden

Natalie Bennett in central London after she was elected leader of the Green Party. Natalie Bennett in central London after she was elected leader of the Green Party.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
10:13 AM

The Green Party believes it can increase its tally of one councillor by picking up the votes of disenchanted Liberal Democrat supporters.

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National leader and Somers Town resident Natalie Bennett, 48, believes those who are disappointed with the Lib Dems’ actions in government are “up for grabs”.

She said: “On issues like tuition fees and nuclear power and nuclear weapons, these were reasons why people were voting Lib Dem in the past, but these reasons don’t exist any more.”

Her party’s main priority is to reclaim all three Highgate seats, which it held from 2008 until the last elections in 2010, when only Cllr Maya de Souza retained her seat.

She believes the Greens can be proud of their achievements over the past four years, singling out their support for the London Living Wage, which is now paid to all directly-employed council staff.

Ms Bennett also highlighted her party’s opposition to High Speed 2 at a national level, in contrast with the three main parties.

She said it is more of a “nimby” issue for other Camden politicians, whereas the Greens “are arguing against it because it’s a bad project for the nation, as well as for Camden”.

Other key issues are air pollution, affordable housing and boosting funds for council services like libraries and adult social care in the face of ongoing central government cutbacks, which Ms Bennett said can be done by ending the “damaging” freeze on council tax.

“It’s very important to have Greens on the council asking tough questions and offering scrutiny, because we are the party that speaks up for the most disadvantaged people,” she said.

Top three pledges:

- More good quality affordable housing

- Extend London Living Wage to all council workers and encourage other Camden employers to do the same

- Tackle dangerous air pollution levels

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