Lib Dems rally against Labour’s “cliquey” council control

Pauline Pearce with leader Nick Clegg

Pauline Pearce with leader Nick Clegg - Credit: Archant

The Lib Dems are running on the theme of ‘More Power to You’ and oppose the Labour council’s “cliquey” behaviour.

Lib Dem candidate, Ben Mathis

Lib Dem candidate, Ben Mathis - Credit: Archant

Hackney Wick candidate, Ben Mathis, speaking on behalf of leader Ian Sharer this week, said: “We really feel that the council is run in a very centralised, opaque and almost cliquey way with ordinary residents shut out.

“We’ve seen this over and over in terms of planning policy, parking and the internal workings of the council that sees a Labour mayor ‘held accountable’ by his own appointees from his own party - so we want to bust that open.”

The group proposes the building of 12,000 new social-rented homes in the next 10 years, and scrapping the charge for each household’s first parking permit – paid for by a relaxation on controls on borrowing and funding from the affordable homes programme. Hackney Lib Dems also back the introduction of a Hackney Pound, hoping to “end the council’s bias against small business” and keep money circulating in the borough.

Apprenticeships are big news for the Lib Dems, pledging to creating more opportunities as well as improving maths and English training.

The group are also joined by ‘Hackney Heroine’ Pauline Pearce, famous for a video of her shouting at rioters during the London riots, who is standing to be a councillor in Dalston.

Stokey Local’s campaign against the building of a Sainsbury’s in Stoke Newington also takes the spotlight in their campaign, calling it “inspirational” and an example of unwanted planning schemes they pledge to tackle through “listening” to residents in weekly surgeries. They oppose developments like that proposed at the old Peacock’s site in Dalston, saying that its 15pc affordable housing isn’t enough.

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In schools, they back the Lib Dem’s national campaign to have all ?ve to seven year old children qualifying for free meals from September 2014.

With data taken from a YouGov poll, Hackney Lib Dems add that people with a Lib Dem MP are “almost a ?fth happier than people with a Labour MP.”