Local elections 2022: Barnet parties set out their stalls

Hendon Town Hall

Hendon Town Hall - Credit: LDRS

With just weeks left until the local elections on May 5, campaigning is under way across Barnet.

We spoke to the main parties about their priorities as they compete for seats on the council. 

Conservatives 

Conservative councillors and candidates in Brunswick Park

Conservative councillors and candidates in Brunswick Park - Credit: Conservatives

The Tories launched their “A Barnet Fit for the Future” manifesto on April 11, saying they will build on their record of low taxes and delivering of great services. 

Cllr Dan Thomas, current leader of Barnet Council, said: “We promise that Barnet will keep council tax lower than all our neighbouring boroughs, while maintaining weekly bin collections, investing hundreds of millions in social care, building new parks, and much more.

“In this manifesto, we build on our track record with a broader ambition for a cleaner, greener borough that is truly fit for the future. That’s why we’ll be making £1 billion in infrastructure investments, opening new parks, and giving £5 million to community projects.

“With the Conservatives, you pay less and get more. Our manifesto sets out how.”

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The party is pledging no development on the green belt, 40% of new homes affordable, no low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), upgrading CCTV and a continued support to high streets.

Green Party

The Green Party is standing at least one candidate in every ward in Barnet, to give all residents an opportunity to vote Green. 

A spokesperson said: "We are appalled by Barnet's lack of commitment to the environment. 

“Barnet is one of only four councils in London that has not yet made a climate emergency declaration.”

The Greens say they oppose the expansion of the North London Waste Authority's incinerator at Edmonton, and want Barnet to do more to tackle waste, including the reintroduction of domestic food waste collections. 

They support the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to the whole of London and want to expand cycling lanes in the borough. 

They also accuse Barnet Council to miss targets for “affordable” housing.

“We need to take urgent action to improve air quality across the borough, especially near our schools, and we must have better public transport and active travel options to reduce the need for private car use."

Labour

Labour candidates for Golders Green Karen Walkden and Sue Waller

Labour candidates for Golders Green Karen Walkden and Sue Waller - Credit: Labour

Barnet Labour has announced its local election manifesto “The change we can achieve together”.

Their top five pledges include rebating residents the 1% Conservative council tax hike, protecting the green belt, investing in more CCTV, protecting weekly bin collections and increasing the number of affordable homes built affordable homes. 

Cllr Barry Rawlings, leader of the Barnet Labour group, said: "Locally, Barnet’s Conservatives have refused to declare a climate emergency and failed to take climate change seriously with little action to date. 

"We want to ensure sustainability and communities are at the heart of everything the council does, future proofing our borough, safeguarding our environment, and protecting our green spaces and biodiversity for the generations to come.

"One of our first priorities if we win the election will be to focus on getting the council to get the basics right: weekly waste collections, regular street sweeps, crack down on dumped rubbish, faster and better repairs of roads and pavements, and more efficient services so we are not costing you more.” 

Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem candidates for East Fincheley (l-r) Julia Hines, David Noble and Sachin Patel

Lib Dem candidates for East Fincheley (l-r) Julia Hines, David Noble and Sachin Patel - Credit: Lib Dems

Barnet Lib Dems say they are focusing their fight on the areas where they already have champions in community, including Finchley East and Golders Green, with the environment at the core of their manifesto.

They say their priorities are founded on the idea of a green, clean, safe and healthy community, focusing on managing crime, improving the high streets, promoting energy-efficiency in homes and improving education.

Gabriel Rozenberg, leader of the Barnet Liberal Democrats Group, said: “We believe that the Liberal Democrats have a part to play in a future administration in Barnet.

“We think that we need to give climate change the focus that it deserves. We want to see a proper strategy for tackling climate change. 

“We want a zero-waste approach to food and drink, alternative sources of energy, good green spaces that we could be proud of, bringing back brown food waste bins and making cycling safer across Finchley. 

“The liber democrats are the only party really speaking up for the  importance of   building a network of cycle lanes.”

Other candidates

Also standing are Marcin Jozef Nocek (independent, Colindale North), Lisa Nicole (Women’s Equality Party, Edgware), Brian Joe Ingram (Independent, Garden Suburb), Debbie Brazil (Women’s Equality Party, Golders Green), Franca Oliffe (independent, Hendon), Richard Hewison (Rejoin EU London, High Barnet), Kay Lauer (Women’s Equality Party, Mill Hill), Brendan Donnelly (Rejoin EU London, Totteridge), Ben Rend (Rejoin EU London, Underhill), Olivia Vincenti (Women’s Equality Party, West Finchley). 

A list of candidates for each party can be found on the Barnet Council website www.barnet.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/elections/local-government-elections-5-may-2022/local-elections-statement