The Green Party has a fairly strong support in many wards in Lambeth, narrowly missing out on a second councillor at the 2014 elections.
Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party nationally and standing in St Leonard’s ward in Streatham, told the Blog that the party is the only one offering “serious opposition and scrutiny” on the council.
“At the moment it is a one-party state and our Green councillor Scott Ainslie has been calling in and questioning decision after decision, such as over Cressingham Gardens estate regeneration,” he said.
Bartley said the party would be fighting the case of residents of the estates, and supporting their campaigns so that they have proper ballots on plans to demolish estates, are consulted properly on the future of their estates and have their final say in what happens to them.
The Green Party supports the People’s Plan for Cressingham Gardens – drawn up by professionals for residents – which, it says, would provide more truly affordable and social housing without estate demolition.
“The council has become complacent and is making the wrong the decisions and it’s making bad decisions,” Bartley said.
“We’ve seen that the council acted unlawfully over the consultation around festivals in Brockwell park.” [A council spokesman said the decision was not unlawful, adding: “This was a procedural omission relating to how the decision was published and communicated, rather than how the decision was made or the decision itself.”]
Bartley said that a Green voice on the council would “offer significant scrutiny to what Lambeth Labour is doing”.
The party wants to support groups, like Lambeth People’s Audit and its examination of council accounts, and to protect the borough’s libraries.
Bartley said that the Carnegie Library is a library in name only.
“We also want to Lambeth to drag itself up from being almost bottom in air pollution in London, we want it to end its incineration of waste and we want to see the 20 mph limit properly extended across the borough,” Bartley said.
He said that “Lambeth also needs cleaning up literally as well as politically – whether that be the fly-tipping that blights our streets or the deadly pollution in our air – and we will bring the change needed to end Lambeth’s reputation as London’s dirtiest borough.”