Battle to win the Highgate election begins in earnest

The race is on in Highgate for a seat on Haringey Council. Candidates from five parties have thrown their hats into the ring after the resignation of Lib Dem councillor Justin Portess

The race is on in Highgate for a seat on Haringey Council. Candidates from five parties have thrown their hats into the ring after the resignation of Lib Dem councillor Justin Portess. Candidates for the March 6 poll are fighting on everything ranging from policing and regeneration to cheaper childcare and the power to repair potholes. Ham&High reporter Tan Parsons profiles each of the candidates

Ralph Crisp - independent

Ralph Crisp has lived in Highgate for the last 32 years where he has raised his family with his wife.

He is currently chairman of the Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods Police Panel and if elected will fight to preserve the character of Highgate Village. He hopes to keep the post office, accelerate the regeneration of Archway Road, improve parking for patients at the Highgate Group Practice, and resurface the roads. He also wants to ensure Haringey's Greenest Borough Initiative uses lighting appropriate for conservation areas in Highgate.


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He said: "With a proven track record I argue in the best interests of all Highgate residents, without being hampered by any political affiliations.

"I am the only candidate who has been continuously active in successfully challenging the council and its policies for many years - in the press, at local area assemblies and in meetings with councillors and council officers."

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Sarah Mitchell - Green Party

Sarah Mitchell has lived in the area for seven years with her partner and they have a one-year-old daughter.

She has been a member of the Green Party since 2003 and is promising to fight for improved housing services, greater recycling facilities and subsidised nurseries if elected.

She said: "People think the Green Party is only interested in recycling but we are also focused on social justice. Unless people have a councillor who really listens to them it's very hard to get changes pushed through - and that is what I'm here to do."

Campaigning to keep the post office and for funding at Jacksons Lane Commnity Centre are also priorities for Ms Mitchell.

She is a co-founder of the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s and has participated in lots of peaceful anti-4x4 demonstrations.

She is also on the Maternity Services Committee at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.

David Heath - Labour

Mr Heath has lived in Highgate for 14 years and worked in business management for 24 years. He says he would bring business and finance skills to the table.

He said: "A Labour councillor would be more effective at getting things done by liaising with the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority.

"We will expand recycling to every council estate in 2008 and there will be more facilities provided in schools.

"In neighbouring Camden we have seen the Lib Dem-Tory government make a whole host of cuts to services including after school clubs, play centres, libraries and meals on wheels. These are services the poor and the elderly rely on."

Mr Heath will fight for the threatene Highgate Village post office and Jackson's Lane Community Centre.

David Heath - Labour

Mr Heath has lived in Highgate for 14 years and worked in business management for 24 years. He says he would bring business and finance skills to the table.

He said: "A Labour councillor would be more effective at getting things done by liaising with the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority.

"We will expand recycling to every council estate in 2008 and there will be more facilities provided in schools.

"In neighbouring Camden we have seen the Lib Dem-Tory government make a whole host of cuts to services including after school clubs, play centres, libraries and meals on wheels. These are services the poor and the elderly rely on."

Mr Heath will fight for the threatene Highgate Village post office and Jackson's Lane Community Centre.

Peter Forrest - Tory

Mr Forrest has lived in Highgate with his wife for 20 years, and was a ward councillor from 1994 to 2002.

He has promised to fight for more of Haringey's cash to be spent on Highgate, for greater co-operation with Camden Council and greater policing services.

He said: "This election is not about choosing a candidate in order to defeat Labour - it's about choosing the individual who will serve Highgate's residents the best.

"We pay the highest amount of council tax in the borough but the area is under-policed and does not receive enough funding for basic services like repairing pot holes. One of the first things I will do is meet the police's borough commander to discuss their priorities.

"I've remained active even while not in office - one notable success was when I intervened personally with Transport for London to ensure the pathway outside Highgate Tube Station was resurfaced.

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