Hampstead Garden Suburb: Anti-CPZ party does a shock U-turn deal
AN independent group of Hampstead Garden Suburb residents planning to stand in the elections have made a shock allegiance pledge to the Lib Dems. The six candidates were due to run against Tory councillors in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Golders
AN independent group of Hampstead Garden Suburb residents planning to stand in the elections have made a shock allegiance pledge to the Lib Dems.
The six candidates were due to run against Tory councillors in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Golders Green on an anti-controlled parking zone ticket.
But in a last-minute U-turn they have announced they will return all private donations and support local Lib Dems instead.
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Gary Shaw, who organised the campaign with other members of the Hampstead Garden Suburb residents' association, said: "Last week the Liberal Democrat Party announced that its policy for the local elections in May would be to withdraw the northern section of the scheme and to reconsult all affected people.
"We felt that in those circumstances, rather than fight for the same votes, it would be better for us in the independent campaign to support a party which was prepared ahead of the election to announce a policy which was vertically identical to ours.
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"We will be leafleting homes in the Suburb, explaining to those who do not naturally vote Liberal Democrat why they should do in this election."
The independents' campaign has been gaining momentum in the run up to Tuesday's announcement.
Marc Sinden, son of actor Sir Donald Sinden, was due to run as a candidate and Suburb resident Jonathan Ross had backed the campaign.
The Lib Dems said they were "delighted" this support would now be behind them.
Majorie Harris, who has stood in six ward elections, said: "I am quite surprised but very pleased.
"We have said that we will ask all the roads affected again. But we won't let the wishes of the few overtake the majority. If there is one road that is against in a wider area we would have to consult to reach an agreement.
"There has been no formal agreement with the independents. I have always said that there is more to what a local council does than one issue.
"We are concerned with libraries, council tax and so on. We are not a single issue party - we care about more than the CPZ."
But Tory councillor John Marshall said: "What they are promising is no different to what Barnet Council is doing.
"We will be asking residents how they find the CPZ in two months.
"It is not for me to judge why people do things but perhaps some of them may have Liberal inclinations.
"The Liberals were rather slow to have any comments on the CPZ and have only done so just before the local elections. They are rather Johnny Come Lately."