Basements, cycle superhighways and stinking toilets - Zac Goldsmith takes tea in Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 17:37 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:44 21 April 2016

London mayoral hopeful Zac Goldsmith meets local residents at the Coffee Cup in Hampstead

London mayoral hopeful Zac Goldsmith meets local residents at the Coffee Cup in Hampstead


Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith met a group of Hampstead residents as he popped into the Coffee Cup for afternoon tea.

81-year-old Anthea Ionides talks toilets with the Tory MP81-year-old Anthea Ionides talks toilets with the Tory MP

The Tory MP may have hoped for a quiet cuppa at the historic cafe in Hampstead High Street on Wednesday, but instead was bombarded with questions on the area’s main issues and gripes; from the CS11 cycle superhighway, need for more police, to the dangerous pollution levels in the area.

He was also brought up to scratch about the threat to Air studios from a basement development next door and the New End former nurses home saga.

As he attempted to address issues, he was interrupted by several supporters who wanted to snatch a ‘selfie’ or to chat.

But it was pensioner Anthea Ionides, 81, who stole the show as she approached Mr Goldsmith to talk about the experience of once using his environmentalist uncle Teddy Goldsmith’s stinking toilet.

A fan interrupts Zac Goldsmith for a selfieA fan interrupts Zac Goldsmith for a selfie

Teddy, who founded The Economist, was notorious for having a compost toilet which smelt terrible on his farm in Cornwall during the 1970s.

Mr Goldsmith agreed: “It really used to smell. He used to spray perfume down it but it made no difference.”

As he addressed some of the more serious local issues, he was asked by Heathside primary school headteacher Vanessa Remus what he was going to do about pollution posing a risk to schoolchildren.

The MP for Richmond Park said: “I am going to get very serious about air pollution. Its unacceptable. We believe around 10,000 people a year are dying prematurely across London as a result of air pollution. We have got to sort it out. We will do this first by cleaning up our buses. I can guarantee that every single bus in London will either be zero emmision or ultra low emision compliant. That is the minimum.”

The mayoral hopeful gets to grip with Hampstead's local issuesThe mayoral hopeful gets to grip with Hampstead's local issues

Next it was Hampstead solicitor Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who has been campaigning for more bobbies on the beat and started a crowdfunding campaign for Hampstead to fund its own police, who asked if Zac planned to put more money into policing.

Mr Goldsmith pointed to his commitment to protecting neighbourhood police and keeping officers on the street.

Read more details about Zac Goldsmith’s visit to Hampstead in the Ham&High next Thursday.

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