Camden Town and Primrose Hill to become political battlegrounds in by-election

Camden Town and Primrose Hill are set to become political battlegrounds as the Town Hall confirmed a local by-election will be held on May 3 – the day of London Mayoral election.

The contest, triggered by Labour Cllr Tom Neumark’s resignation, comes just days before the new leader of the council is set to be decided.

Three of the man political parties have named their candidates, with the Conservative group set to decide theirs at the end of the week.

Green Party candidate Peter Lyons, a former teacher, said fears of overdevelopment in the area will take centre stage in the election.

He said: “I was very pleased by the planning committee’s decision to turn down the Hawley Wharf planning proposal, but now the council needs to ensure that developers know what we are looking for.

“Not more and more retail space, but space for creative and crafts businesses, which mean real jobs for residents, and multi-use buildings with housing that ensure that the area is safe at all times of the day.”

He added: “We very much need to address transport issues, but there’s plenty we could deal with in Camden Town and Primrose Hill for little cost.

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“We need to abolish the one-way system that lengthens journeys at huge environmental cost, and improve the provision for cyclists with a network of separated cycle lanes.”

The Labour Party has selected library campaigner Lazzaro Pietragnoli as their candidate for the election.

The controversial High Speed Rail 2 rail link, which is due to cut beneath Gloucester Avenue in Primrose Hill, and the council’s controversial eight per cent rent rises for council tenants are likely to prove big issues on the doorstep.

Cllr Tom Neumark is stepping down to spend more time with his wife, who lives in Washington.

For more on the four candidates, see next week’s Ham&High.