Green message close to home
GREEN politicians across Camden, Barnet and Haringey are delighted their spring party conference is being held in Finchley giving them a welcome election boost and only a couple of Tube stops to travel. The four-day conference starting on F
GREEN politicians across Camden, Barnet and Haringey are delighted their spring party conference is being held in Finchley giving them a welcome election boost and only a couple of Tube stops to travel.
The four-day conference starting on February 18 at The Arts Depot was originally scheduled to take place in Birmingham but was changed to London to give it a more national focus and to concentrate on the party's planned breakthrough areas of London and Brighton.
Speakers will include party leader Caroline Lucas, human rights spokesman Peter Tatchell with entertainment from comedian Alistair McGowan.
Camden Green party leader Adrian Oliver hopes the conference will fire up and inspire Greens in the borough. He said: "I am really pleased the conference is being held in north London and I'm sure there will be a good turnout.
"London is a key area for the Greens - we have a lot of members here as well as throughout the south-east of the country. We are definitely hoping to get more Green councillors elected in Camden and across London.
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"More of our activists will be able to go to the conference and get inspired.
"They have speakers and training events which are very inspirational and I think it will definitely help the Green party across north London."
The Green party has 13 councillors across London, including three in the Highgate ward of Camden, while Barnet and Haringey currently have none.
Camden was the first borough in London to field Green candidates in every ward in the 2002 elections and Islington followed suit in 2006. Haringey is hoping to do the same this time around.
Haringey Greens are excited at the prospect of welcoming the national party into north London and think it will give their campaign in the borough, particularly in Stroud Green, a real lift.
Green candidate for Stroud Green, Anna Bragga, said: "We are hoping to get Caroline Lucas elected as the first Green MP in Brighton and Darren Johnson has a real chance in Lewisham and Deptford. We are also expecting breakthroughs in Haringey because a lot of people want a fresh voice on the council.
"North London is a strong area for the Green party and there is a general feeling that the time has come for the party to win more power in the area."
Sarah Cope, who is also standing in Stroud Green, said: "I always go to conference and it is brilliant it is being held in north London. I will be speaking about a policy I am taking forward nationally about encouraging breastfeeding.
"The conference is a great opportunity to meet Greens from all over the country and it is a boost for Haringey Greens to have the conference so nearby.
"We are hoping to take a big group and get some others out canvassing with us in Stroud Green where we are focusing our efforts.
"Across London we want to get many more councillors elected and holding the conference here is a great boost to that effort."
o Other highlights at the conference, from February 18 to 21 at the Arts Depot in North Finchley, include discussions and debates with Will Hutton, Johann Hari and Kate Pickett.