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Council election manifestos: Greens want to restore Camden’s community centres and libraries

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 May 2014

From left to right: Baroness Jones of Moulescoomb, Nicola Hart, Sian Berry, Jane Walby, Matt Johnston, Tom Franklin, Maya De Souza, Lucy Oldfield and Ben Van der Velde.

From left to right: Baroness Jones of Moulescoomb, Nicola Hart, Sian Berry, Jane Walby, Matt Johnston, Tom Franklin, Maya De Souza, Lucy Oldfield and Ben Van der Velde.

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The Green Party is trumpeting restored investment in community centres and libraries as one of its key pledges among its 2014 local election manifesto.

On Tuesday, the party launched its manifesto at Highgate Newtown Community Centre, in Bertram Street, Highgate, and pledged to give all necessary funding to reverse cuts and prevent any more closures of libraries or community centres.

Camden Greens also pledged to introduce free or subsidised street-by-street insulation of homes to every Camden resident to reduce energy bills, while increasing skills and local jobs.

In the manifesto, the Greens outline plans to set up “Town Teams” to support and develop every town centre and area.

The party insists it would also ensure that Camden Council builds genuinely affordable homes and will not allow “buy-to-let or buy-to-leave sales” on council land.

In addition, the party pledges to “increase informed public engagement” with the council by allowing communities to put forward motions, ask for a vote and ask questions to the cabinet.

As part of its environmental agenda, the Greens would fund a “citizen science” pollution monitoring project in every school, every year.

Sian Berry, Green candidate for Highgate ward, said: “Green candidates across the borough are pledging to make the funding of vital community services our top priority if elected on Thursday, May 22.

“The effects on the ground of the drastic cuts made to these local services are clear to communities all over Camden.

“The funding for Highgate Newtown Community Centre has dropped from around £500,000 several years ago to just £100,000 per year, with the intention that eventually it will be left with no subsidy at all.”

Key pledges:

- Reverse cuts to community centres and libraries

- Introduce a street-by-street home insulation programme

- Fund “citizen science” projects in every school, every year

- Refuse all “buy-to-let or buy-to-leave sales” on council land

- Increase community engagement with council bodies

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