Tory leader urges voters to think of bins rather than Brexit in Camden election
- Credit: Harry Taylor
Conservative leader Gio Spinella has admitted the party is fighting a defensive election, and has said having an election every year since 2015 has stymied the party’s attempt to look at issues.
Cllr Spinella, who has represented Frognal and Fitzjohns since 2010, is leading a party whose seats are in the crosshairs of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
If the results of the last general election are repeated in wards across Camden next month, the Conservatives would only keep three of the 11 seats they currently have. Adding to their woes, several long-standing councillors such as Roger Freeman, and former Tory leader Andrew Mennear are due to stand down.
Cllr Spinella admits the battle could be tough for the party.
“I think everybody knows this will be a defensive election for the Conservative Party in London, although I wouldn’t rule out a few surprises on polling day,” he said.
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“We’ve not had the time we’d have liked to prepare a series of proposals and policies, and find the people to take those policies to the voters.
“We’re fighting the fight that we can to defend our wards. As for the rest, surprises may happen.”
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Cllr Spinella also said Liberal Democrat aims of becoming the largest opposition party were “fanciful,” after the optimism at the Lib Dem’s launch last week.
One area that the Lib Dems and the Conservatives differ on is Brexit, and while Cllr Spinella was a remain supporter, there is a feeling that the issue may be one that could cause problem for them in remain-heavy Camden.
However when it comes to next month’s election, he believes that it should be bins, rather than Brexit that shapes people’s vote.
Tory candidates taking photos of waste on pavements around the borough has been common place over the last few months.
“It’s one service that’s universal for all residents. Not all residents will use social services, or have children who go to school, but everybody needs their waste collected.
“We think the solution from Labour isn’t suitable for Camden. We’ve got a high density population, with low storage space,. We’ve seen a rise in vermin and fly-tipping since it was brought in.
“We’d do what Labour promised to do, and bring back weekly collections.”