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Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward confident of strengthening Labour control in election

12:00 22 April 2014

Cllr Sarah Hayward. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Cllr Sarah Hayward. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

Council leader Cllr Sarah Hayward believes the Labour administration can strengthen its overall majority, after four years of investment in the face of government “persecution”.

Cllr Hayward, 39, who hopes to continue leading the council if her party is re-elected, is hopeful Camden residents will recognise the council’s efforts, in the face of £163million government cuts between 2010 and 2018, at the ballot box.

She told the Ham&High: “We’ve faced the biggest cuts in local government history. In that backdrop of almost persecution from the government, we’ve managed to do some really groundbreaking things.

“We’re building more council homes than any other authority in the country, we are a living wage employer, we supply 25 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds and we are refurbishing more than 50 schools and children centres. We have delivered a lot to the people of Camden.”

The King’s Cross councillor, of Leighton Road, Kentish Town, believes her party’s hardline opposition to HS2 and its campaign to repeal the controversial bedroom tax will win favour with Camden residents.

She was selected as leader in 2012 after the resignation of Cllr Nash Ali and has pledged to alleviate the pressure of the government’s welfare reforms through building new council homes and lobbying for caps on private rent.

But she believes the biggest threat to all parties in Camden is “apathy and antipathy” from the electorate.

“The vast majority of people from all parties are decent people trying to make a difference in their communities,” said Cllr Hayward.

“But I absolutely understand why people see stuff like that [Maria Miller expenses row] and their blood boils with anger and they think we’re all the same.”

Top three pledges:

- Build 6,000 new homes

- Provide a breakfast club in every school

- Create 1,000 apprenticeships for young people

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