Camden elections: Battle for Belsize, Highgate and Hampstead wards

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Camden's four main parties tell us their priorities come the elections on May 6 - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Belsize Park and Highgate are set to be two major Camden battlegrounds during the local elections.

On May 6, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats hope to slug it out for Belsize Park, while the Greens hope to win a greater share of Highgate where they have one councillor and Labour has two.

The Ham&High asked the four main parties what their priorities are and where they are looking for a shock win.

They have not all completed nominations yet so candidates are not listed.

Conservatives

Conservatives Oliver Cooper, Steve Adams, and Aarti Joshi standing in Belsize Park

Conservatives Oliver Cooper, Steve Adams, and Aarti Joshi standing in Belsize Park - Credit: Conservative Party

The Tories have hopes for South Hampstead and West Hampstead, but Belsize Park is one to watch as Cllr Oliver Cooper is moving there from his "safe seat" of Hampstead Town.

The party said: "On issue after issue, Camden doesn’t listen. Whether it’s closing schools or closing roads, under Labour, Camden isn't listening and isn't working.

"Camden has the most fly-tipping in the country – so Camden Conservatives will restore weekly bin collections. 

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"The O2 and Murphy’s Yard are threatened by skyscrapers – so we’ll use new powers the council has to ban high-rises in low-rise areas.  

"Crime in Camden is back above pre-pandemic levels – so we’ll open new police bases and make better use of CCTV.

"While Labour and Lib Dems councillors bicker endlessly about national issues, Camden Conservatives don’t. 
"We solve local problems and together we’ll make Camden listen."

Green Party

Green Party standing for Highgate: Sian Berry, Lorna Jane Russell, and David Stansell

Green Party standing for Highgate: Sian Berry, Lorna Jane Russell, and David Stansell - Credit: Sian Berry

The Green Party is hoping to increase its opposition in the Camden chamber with shock wins in Highgate and Primrose Hill.

Among the top priorities are holding the council to account, ensuring that new developments deliver for the community, improving Camden’s estates with better heating and lower bills,  and ensuring that the streets are safer and healthier for everyone.

Sian Berry said: “I am delighted to be joined by Lorna Jane Russell and David Stansell in Highgate as I stand for my third term as a Camden councillor. 

"This year we have a really strong team, and we look forward to campaigning hard and hopefully electing more Green councillors to the council across the borough.”

Labour

Labour candidates Sagal Abdi Wali and Danny Beales  out and about in Camden Square

Labour candidates Sagal Abdi Wali and Danny Beales out and about in Camden Square - Credit: @DannyBeales

Camden's Labour councillors and candidates are asking that residents "put their trust" in them to lead the council for a fourth victory and another four years. 

"Through continuing our record of the biggest council house building programme in a generation, a focus on delivering more local jobs and apprenticeships, a new climate investment bond, supporting older residents left isolated by the pandemic and helping our children catch-up from lost learning through new opportunity centres. 

"These are just a few of the ambitious areas of action we are proposing if re-elected in May."

Liberal Democrats

Belsize Park Liberal Democrat candidates Matthew Kirk, Judy Dixey and Cllr Tom Simon with Luisa Porritt

Belsize Park Liberal Democrat candidates Matthew Kirk, Judy Dixey and Cllr Tom Simon with outgoing leader Luisa Porritt - Credit: London Lib Dems

At the last local election, one seat in Belsize came down to only nine votes between the Lib Dems and the Tories.

Boundary changes could mean it will be an even closer contest this time around.

The Lib Dems said they will focus their campaign on their record of action on issues that matter to residents.

These include fighting for Abacus Belsize Primary School to gain a permanent home; working hard to improve waste collection in the area "given the Labour Council’s neglect of northwest Camden"; and challenging the developers of the O2 Centre and the 100 Avenue Road site in Swiss Cottage.