A number of candidates are standing as independents, including Rachel Heywood who was a Labour councillor for 12 years, but is running as an independent in Coldharbour ward in this election.
In a statement, Heywood said that, although she believed in the values of the Labour Party, she did not believe that local residents “are adequately served by a Labour administration that appears to have priorities spectacularly different to theirs”.
Heywood said there are “huge discrepancies” in the number of council houses the council claims it is building and its returns to government, and that an “ethos of ‘command and control’ has shut down some brilliant local initiatives”.
Heywood said that Lambeth needs to “change the way we do politics and enter into new relationships with the communities we serve. There is a democratic deficit in this borough and we must seek to address it urgently.”
Standing for the central Brixton ward of Coldharbour, she has made what is happening there a central issue in her campaign. She told the Windrush generation rally of her concerns about future funding for the Black Cultural Archives and the state of Brixton Rec.
At a hustings organised by Lambeth People’s Audit, she said that she was “very concerned” about central Brixton. “I want to protect it. I want to see it respected. It is an amazing place with incredible people.”
There had been a loss of social housing and small businesses and a diminution of public services. “I won’t be running the council, but I would certainly like to influence what it does over the next four years. I don’t want to see Brixton disappearing.”
Independents in other Brixton wards
Women’s Equality Party
The party is running two candidates in the Brixton area, Janet Baker in the Brixton Hill ward and Leila Fazal in Ferndale.
Janet Baker told the Lambeth People’s Audit hustings that “We as a party look at things from a woman’s perspective”. The party was willing to learn and to listen and to work with other parties.
Nick Edwards is standing as Herne Hill Community & Libraries Campaign on a platform of environmental improvement; establishing a “parish council” for the area; and a return of all Lambeth libraries to full council funding.
Mark Chapman is standing as a Pirate Party UK candidate. He backs the party’s focus on evidence-based policy, on the internet and technology as something to be optimistic about and the underlying principle that society is best when knowledge is shared. He says he is standing “to encourage openness and transparency of Lambeth council”.
Independents in wards near Brixton include
THURLOW PARK: Robin Lambert, whose policies include a freeze on business rates, parking amnesties for shoppers, encouraging tech start-ups, and “building some public loos”.
STOCKWELL: Lisa Bainbridge and Steven Nally are standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on a platform of opposing all cuts and supporting all workers’ struggles against them and against privatisation. www.tusc.org.uk
STOCKWELL: Tadeusz Slaski is standing as Duma Polska = Polish Pride. His policies include: fixing broken CCTV cameras; increasing the number of parking spaces and reducing the resident permit prices; and free, specialised English language and vocational courses. polishpride.org/tadeusz-slaski