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Ham&High in-depth analysis: candidates quizzed by community (part 3)

PUBLISHED: 11:53 30 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:57 07 September 2010

7) How would you propose to protect major open spaces in urban areas such as Hampstead Heath from the adverse impact of surrounding development and from pressures for commercial use? GJ: Whenever there is an idea for the Heath the reaction is not just l

7) How would you propose to protect major open spaces in urban areas such as Hampstead Heath from the adverse impact of surrounding development and from pressures for commercial use?

GJ: Whenever there is an idea for the Heath the reaction is not just local but across the capital and I must give credit to the Hampstead Heath committee because they listen and when they consult it is a genuine consultation. They are always open to having meetings and answer residents concerns. SCORE = 0

EF: I do not think there is a threat to Hampstead Heath and I am not prepared to talk up the threat. But I have pushed for the Corporation of London to meet with Camden Council planning department to talk through the figures and help to discuss specific planning applications. We have got an amazing space. SCORE = 2

CP: I love Hampstead Heath and one of my favourite pastimes is to go running there - it is one of the things that make Hampstead so special. We need to make sure that absolutely nothing encroaches on it in any way because it is something which improves the lives of the entire community. It must be protected at all costs. SCORE = 2

BC: I think that Athlone House is a good example of how very effective local community pressure can be and we cannot under estimate how potential it is. It is very important that these kinds of movements are sustained and they enjoy proper sponsorship by local government. SCORE = 3

8) Can you make green loans available to everyone so they can do their houses up to save 80per cent of their carbon emissions?

GJ: Yes but not in a week. We have already made major inroads through the warm homes initiative and this is part of our whole strategy for ensuring that we meet our targets because homes are the greatest waste of energy in the country. It has to be acknowledged that in an area like this we have a lot of older housing and insulating homes will save energy, make people's homes more efficient and their lives more comfortable. SCORE = 1

EF: This is our commitment. All houses insulated by 2030. We have 36 months left to get this right or we will waste so much energy we might as well become the port of Kilburn. SCORE = 3

CP: This is in our manifesto - £6,500 per household to invest in insulation will be implemented on day one of a new Conservative government should one be elected. SCORE = 3

BC: We have a policy which states that everyone who wants it will be allowed to have their homes insulated. SCORE = 4

9) What action will you take to get more police foot patrols on the streets?

GJ: We have never had more police on the streets as we have now. The issue is not just the police, the other major benefit we have seen is the police community support officers. They have made a major difference to people in this area and one of the issues is fear of crime. More uniformed presence tackles the fear of crime and gives people confidence. If you look at crime figures in this area they have gone down. SCORE = 2

EF: If you have a local police station like Hampstead then it is much easier to do foot patrols because they have a local base and they do not have to drive and they know the patch. I am not prepared to have SatNav policing and as a local MP I would be looking to meet regularly with the borough commanders going through their targets and residents' targets. SCORE = 4

CP: Only about 10 per cent of Camden's 800 uniformed police officers are on the streets or able to respond at a given point in time. The reasons are paperwork and bureaucracy. It takes six hours to process an arrest and we need to cut paperwork and bureaucracy and get the police on the streets chasing criminals not in the office chasing paperwork. SCORE = 4

BC: I think the conversation about crime needs to be much more complicated. People feel it is the lack of bobbies on the beat that liberates criminals to commit crime but all the evidence suggests that is not the case. There needs to be neighbourhoods wardens and neighbourhood stewards to create the presence of public officials as the watch people of these neighbourhoods and one vital element of that is the restoration of caretakers and people with responsibility of the maintaining of the neighbourhoods which will transform a sense of security and safety and the sense their neighbourhoods are watched over. Corporate fraud like we have seen in the last two years is so powerful it can bring the entire economy almost to its knees. Bobbies on the beat are not going to make a spot of difference to the investigation of these kinds of crimes. One of the lowest rates of success in prosecution and conviction is that of sex offences, where generally speaking the offender is known to the victim. This not going to be solved by more bobbies on the beat but by committed and proactive investigations by the police. SCORE = 2

10) What steps are you planning to take to improve the level of understanding among planning officers of the geological risks of deep basements and the methods to protect neighbours that are included in the planning process?"

GJ: This is an issue that has arisen comparatively recently as far as the developments around Hampstead and Dartmouth Park are concerned but it has been going on in West Hampstead for many years with basements flooding and getting damp. This is one of those areas where we really need expert advice when it comes down to what we can do and that is what the council needs to get - a hydrographer. SCORE = 2

EF: We will start with a conversation, letters and if needs be we will shout and take legal action. My aim is to remove the Conservatives from the coalition on Camden Council because the Conservative with this portfolio has forgotten this issue and let residents down and as a result there are buildings under threat. SCORE = 4

CP: I have been campaigning against reckless basement excavations for the last few years. Partly as a result of that pressure the new Local Development Framework contains tighter rules and we need to continue to push and challenge officers to understand the reasons these damaging basements affect people. SCORE = 3

BC: Deep basements can't be regarded in isolation. Streets and neighbourhoods all need to be well advised and supported by planning experts and authorities about what the neighbourhood needs not just what the individual needs. SCORE = 1


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