Greenwich Elections 2018

25 members of the Greenwich Green Party are standing for election on 3 May. Read on for profiles of the candidates fighting for a Greener Greenwich! 

See here for our Peninsula ward Manifesto 2018

See here for the National Green Party local elections Manifesto 2018 

Our Greenwich Borough Manifesto for 2018 is as follows:

Manifesto for a cleaner, greener Greenwich

If elected we will:

  • Reduce traffic by pushing for more public transport links, fighting bus cuts, building safe segregated cycle ways and by designing more walkable, uncluttered neighbourhoods.
  • Lobby the Mayor, Labour Group on the London Assembly and local planners to stop the Silvertown Tunnel – it will only bring more traffic including large lorries which can’t fit through the Blackwall Tunnel.
  • Push for the Cruise Terminal Planning Permission to be revoked. Revocation has been done before in other places and will require all parties to come back to the table. We want a world class clean cruise port with onshore power, or no port at all.
  • Push for greater scrutiny of transport and boats on the river, and greater controls for the Mayor to turn the worst polluters away. The limits for air emissions of ships are much lower than they are for cars and we know river traffic is expected to increase exponentially in the next few years.  
  • Extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to cover all of greater London.
  • Make sure money raised from big developments like the new IKEA is spent on air quality mitigation programs like planting trees, and make sure this happens in the communities that are affected worst.
  • Protect all Green spaces like the now at risk Greenwich Ecology Park. This award winning local asset and education facility is now at risk from developers who want to build three tower blocks being built so close to the park that they will shut out the sun and kill the ecosystem completely. That must be stopped.
  • Test air regularly across the borough, make this data available and issue warnings when necessary so that residents can take steps to protect themselves.
  • Seek out and sit down with every last community gardening and ecology project from Plumstead Common to Maryon Park and to the Community Gardeners in East Greenwich and ask them these two questions: what challenges are you facing and what do you need to continue and improve the essential work you do already.
  • Enshrine EU environmental law into UK law if indeed Brexit goes ahead. EU air quality laws are the strongest laws we have, they cannot be axed. Our climate doesn’t obey lines on the map; we have to tackle environmental issues together, across borders.
  • Invest in youth education and make environmental custodianship and responsibility a core part of any youth work. Explore the same ideas for other groups like seniors.  
  • When designing neighbourhoods make sure that all planting and all green space planning is done by trained ecologists. Cosmetic hedges do nothing for local wildlife, we need indigenous flora, planted and cared for properly.
  • Do away with the philosophy of ‘impact neutral’ in council planning. Our air is already polluted so neutral is simply not good enough. Projects must prove they can actually improve the environment if they want planning approval.

Greenwich Green Party Coordinator Dan Garrun says:

‘If you want to improve air quality, you need to focus on the major causes, which are cars and construction. To get people out of their cars we need better public transport, more and safer cycle ways and walk ways and a decisive end to the Silvertown Tunnel which will only push more traffic through our already choked streets.

Construction causes a huge amount of dust and heavy vehicle traffic so new shopping complexes and engineering projects must prove that they improve the communities they’re in to get planning permission, either by investing in Green building methods or by setting aside money for sizeable Green spaces. We do need new affordable homes, so we have to build significantly, but what we must do is make sure that the money from those developments is spent in the communities they affect the most. That money needs to be spent on encouraging more liveable areas that are easy to walk around and lush with biodiverse green spaces that will convert CO2 to Oxygen. It goes without saying that we need to protect every last blade of grass and tree we already have, so protecting at risk spaces like the Greenwich Ecology Park is incredibly important.

And it’s not only the Silvertown Tunnel; thanks to great work by No Toxic Cruise Port almost everyone, previously silent Cllr’s included, now agree that a cruise terminal with massive ships running off diesel engines all day long a is a terrible idea. Yet this is nothing new, residents spoke pout about all of this when the Labour Council approved it. That planning permission now needs to be revoked. Revocation is possible and has been done before but it will require councillors sticking their necks out – only the Green Party is calling for this to happen.

When we build we need to do away with this idea of ‘impact neutral’ as a good thing. Our air is polluted, our children are breathing in harmful levels of fumes and it shortening all our lives. So neutral isn’t good enough – big developments must give back more than they take.  A prime example of that is the new IKEA, yes they have a better model of business than most which isn’t saying much, but can you take your Billy Bookcase home on the bus? Of Course not. IKEA equals a ton of cars coming down Woolwich road and through the Blackwall Tunnel. A day of traffic for shoppers and a lifetime of coughing for residents. ’

Manifesto for a safer, more liveable Greenwich

If elected we will:

  • Tackle crime and anti-social behaviour by prioritising more funds for youth services, mentors and community support officers. It won’t be cheap, but we believe supporting people from an early age will pay us all back in future as they prosper.
  • Help people look after one another by improving resources, training and contact points for community initiatives to build information networks like chat groups and neighbourhood watch programs.
  • Launch a review of childcare services and pinpoint areas for improvements. Better childcare is key to improving opportunities for women and mothers.
  • Invest in social care for the elderly and create programs where they can invest their time and experience in community initiatives of their choosing.
  • Protect EU citizens at risk of Brexit, and indeed all other residents including African, Caribbean and Asian people at risk of deportation by this Government by setting up support hotlines and drop in centres to help them through all visa or settlement processes.
  • Launch a campaign for shops, and fast food shops especially, to sponsor bins and take charge of emptying them. Takeaway containers and soft drink cans litter out streets up and down the borough, we will find ways for vendors to benefit from getting involved – like free advertising on the bins.
  • Support, encourage and advertise community litter picks and update and provide more fly-tipping and litter warning signs. And catch and fine far more offenders, using that money to clean up the same areas.
  • Campaign for more public transport links and to put public transport back in government not private ownership. Protect at risk bus services and improve segregated cycle lanes and improve walking areas.
  • Examine incidents of ‘rat-running’ where traffic is spilling off main roads into suburban streets in places like East Greenwich and around Blackheath and look into the possibility of pedestrianizing many more streets.
  • Review rents for shops and keep it low and fixed in places like Blackheath Standard and elsewhere. Low rents allow shops to stay open and low overheads allow shopkeepers to take risks and offer a variety of services. That variety is exactly what draws footfall to high streets so affordable rent equals open shops and money circulating in the community.
  • Stop predatory shops, like betting shops or low overhead chicken shop franchises from dominating places like Plumstead high street and instead provide training, support and advice to encourage independent traders, cafes and restaurants.
  • Crack down on new developments avoiding obligations to ensure at least 35% of new houses are affordable homes. And make sure that is affordable for everyday people - rather than housing that has 'affordable' in the title but in reality, is anything but.
  • Crack down on rogue landlords putting prices up without just cause and introduce strict minimum standards to ensure houses are fit to live in.
  • As of 2018 there are 1,285 empty homes in Greenwich Borough Council. These should be turned over to those in need or used for vulnerable people like refugees which need help.
  • Support all NHS staff against funding cuts and fight for more local services, free at the point of use and not turned over to private companies.
  • Fight for schools and teachers by standing up against all academy programs so that our children’s education is kept in the hands of teachers and parents, not profit driven businesses.
  • Council accountability, make it mandatory to publicly provide information which is currently obscured or hidden, including the number of affordable homes being built and where money from big developments is spent.

Greenwich Green Party Secretary Matt Browne says that: ‘When we talk about creating a safer more liveable Greenwich it really boils down to building and protecting neighbourhood communities and the council actually providing the people in those communities with what they need to look after one another. Youth service cuts will result in more crime, cuts to elderly care will take otherwise capable people out of society, so reversing those cuts and finding new funds is incredibly important and will pay us all back down the line.

We need more homes, we want to build more homes, but we need to do that in a way that doesn’t suddenly swamp existing communities, bulldoze green spaces, overload transport or shoot rents up. So it’s important we keep a close eye on rents, population densities and protect existing communities.

We also need to keep rent for shops low and fix them for long periods because that will keep them open and able to compete with companies like the new IKEA. Other shops like fast food outlets that, whether they know it or not, contribute a lot of litter should be incentivized to provide bins and take responsibility. Maybe they could sponsor some of our litter picks?

Lastly, NHS staff and teachers, where do you start… we have outstanding teachers and utterly astonishing dedicated NHS staff who work themselves to the bone to keep our communities educated and fed. They must be listened to and it is our responsibility to fight tooth and nail to protect them and make sure they get what they need to do the jobs they need to do.’

 

Ward profiles 

Peninsula

 
See here for our Peninsula ward Manifesto 2018
 
Dan Garrun

I’ve lived in South London for eight years and I am very proud of my wonderful community. As the co-coordinator for the Greenwich Green Party I’ve contributed to many local projects, from working with schools and campaigning for clean air to protecting green spaces and standing up against cuts to the NHS.

I was privileged to stand as the Green Party candidate for the Greenwich and Woolwich constituency in the 2017 General Election and fought on a platform that called for more action on air pollution on the Peninsula. Alongside Peninsula residents I conducted an in-depth survey of air pollution levels and the results were shocking!

In my day job I’m a journalist, writing for websites and digital magazines about issues like transport, energy and healthcare.      

Email: Dan.Garrun@greenwich.greenparty.org.uk   Twitter: @DanHarryG

 

Matt Browne

My background is in planning and development and I am still angry about what I saw in that job - councils like Greenwich failing to stand up for residents and to manage development properly. It is the reason why I am standing for Peninsula as a Green; to deploy my planning experience and skills to stand up Peninsula residents, old and new, who have suffered as a result of the Labour group at Greenwich Council bungling planning decisions locally.

As Green representative for the Peninsula since 2016 I had led the Green response to local planning issues. I have also led a rolling programme of litter picks, to clean the streets Greenwich Council have failed to maintain and served as a committee member of Greenwich for Europe, helping to fight the Government’s plans for a hard Brexit.

Email: Matt.Browne@greenwich.greenparty.org.uk  Twitter:  @MattRCBrowne

 

Jenny Murphy

I am an archaeologist, currently completing an MSc course in Bioarchaeology whilst working for a heritage charity. Greenwich’s amazing history is a constant source of fascination for me.

As a keen wildlife photographer I am very concerned by the steady loss in the number and quality of our green spaces, and the damage this is doing to our environment. We all benefit from being close to quiet, green places where we can interact with thriving wildlife – and those are getting fewer and fewer. I have been supporting the amazing Friends of Greenwich Ecology Park in their fight against plans for a tower that would overshadow the park and harm the wonderful environment that thrives there.

Email: Jenny.Murphy@greenwich.greenparty.org.uk 

Blackheath Westcome ward

 
Jannet Mathers

 

I stand for democracy, the EU, the environment and our young people.

I have lived in this ward for the last 25 years, first in the Westcombe Park area and for the last ten years in Kidbrooke Grove. I was a school governor at both primary and secondary schools (including John Roan) for ten years. I am company secretary of a local homeless charity Bench Outreach, and I am a trustee of a grant awarding charity The JMT.

I believe we should have more devolved local government, so that local people can have more say on local issues. I will campaign for this.

I am a dual Dutch/British citizen and I passionately believe in the European Union, staying a member is better for our environment, human rights, consumer and workers' rights. I will do what I can to ensure we stop Brexit, and failing that, support EU citizens in getting settled status and campaign for the Council to offer support and advice too.

I have two black labradors, and can be seen in the neighbourhood on a daily basis. We love taking walks across Blackheath and in Greenwich Park.

 
Fiona Moore
 

 

I have lived in Blackheath Westcombe ward for over 20 years. I am a poet, editor and former senior civil servant, a walker (ideally up hills) and swimmer (in Charlton Lido and the wild).

I am standing for a Green Greenwich with clean air, social housing, green spaces and a Council that is accountable to residents.  

Vote for me if you want:

- An end to dangerous air pollution. We need a tough local plan, to include stopping two mega-projects: the Enderby Wharf cruise liner terminal (berthed ships spewing out nearly 700 lorries’ worth of diesel) and the Silvertown road tunnel (magnet for lorries too big for Blackwall).  

- A boost for social housing: refurbish, renew. In 2016/17 Greenwich had a very low score (8.3% of new builds) for social housing in London. How come Tower Hamlets (29%) and Lewisham (37%) did so much better?

- Green spaces respected and expanded. Let’s plant more trees and plan developments around mature trees. Save the Peninsula Ecology Park from being overshadowed by tower blocks which threaten biodiversity, from terns to dragonflies and bees. 

- A Council that’s accountable and listens to residents. Labour have had a majority since 1971. That’s 47 years of one party in power – not healthy, as shown by the way Labour override local protests on Enderby Wharf and other developments.

- Your local vote to send a national message to the Tories and Labour: we want to remain Europeans and have a people’s final say on Brexit!

 
Victoria Rance 

I am an artist, community education teacher and mother of three, and have lived and taught in the area for 26 years. 

The daughter of a shopkeeper I know how hard it is for local shops to compete with supermarkets and I believe our council should support shopping locally and small businesses by not increasing rates to unaffordable levels.

I have exhibited many times in Europe and know how important the EU is as a community for science, business and culture. Despite the Brexit vote I believe we are Europeans, and should continue to celebrate that as a council.

A long time member of Friends of the Earth, and more recent Green, I am adamant about protecting our wildlife and am a keen bird watcher and constant cyclist. 

If you vote Green we will fight for green spaces, better public transport, clean air and a healthier enviroment. 

 

Greenwich West

 

Dee Thomas

 

I am local to the area and commute daily by train in to the City of London - I work in bid management and negotiation for a technology company. 

I am committed to supporting public transport and taking action to improve air quality in your local area.  I am keen to introduce London Cycle Hire Bikes to Greenwich and to ensure we provide cycle routes that adequately protect cyclists.  As a Green, I will promote transparency in government and support the Green Party’s push for a #FinalSay referendum on Brexit.  

I believe in equal opportunities for all and will stand up to government on cuts to school and care budgets.   

Unlike the general elections, the local elections are about your local area.  Electing a Green council will enhance your local environment, and support your local community.  

I am proud to be standing for the Green party, we have a strong presence in Greenwich and are represented on the ballot paper across the borough. 

 
Robin Stott

Isobel Whittaker

 

Woolwich Riverside

 

Leonie Fleischmann

I am a lecturer in International Politics at City, University of London. As someone who researches and teaches about how individuals can create change in our world, I feel that I could help make our neighbourhood a better place.

Having moved south of the river last year, I was particularly shocked by the amount of litter around Woolwich Riverside. While by no means the only issue facing our community, I think the environment around us can make a massive difference to our quality of life.

Whether when rushing to get the kids to school on time; coming home dreary after a hard day at work; or taking a stroll when the sun finally shines, I want to make sure the area we live in is as welcoming and clean as it possibly can be. 

Caolan Byrne

I have been living in the borough for the past ten years, from Plumstead to Peninsula. In that time Our borough has been dramatically transformed, and whilst regeneration has undoubtedly done much good I feel that something has been lost along the way. A sense of community. And a little bit of the boroughs soul and identity. The current council have lost touch and they don’t care.

I’m standing for council because I believe we as residents deserve better. We deserve to be listened too. My child and every child in the borough should have the right to clean air. It’s shameful that 41% of 19 year olds lack level 3 qualifications. That we have a child poverty rating of 34%. We need housing that people can actually afford. Fancy glass tower blocks are not the answer to our citizens needs.

If elected I will fight against the cruise port and silver town tunnel. I will protect our environment. I will ensure existing residents are listened to in relation to new builds. I will fight to end inequality. I will fight to build a community for us. That we can all be proud of. Labour have had 47 years in power. They have failed us all. Vote Green and I promise to make a difference.

Sam Hefferman  
 

Eltham West

 

Matthew Stratford

 

I have lived happily in Eltham since 2013. 

As a local councillor, I will promote public health, community cohesion and improvements to our green spaces.

You should consider voting for me if:
* You believe that local councillors should live in the council they represent. I do, many others don’t. 
* You don’t care for Labour and Tory tribal politics. I think for myself. So should all councillors, but the record is there to be judged. 
* You think community facilities and local services are important. I stand for active, bang for buck investment. Prevention is better (and less costly) than cure. 

Local and national elections are different. The Green Party has only 1 MP today, but there are Green Party councillors on councils up and down the country. A vote for me is a vote for council measures to reduce air pollution, tackle plastic waste and littering, and to increase opportunities for everyone to be positively involved in the community in which they live.

 

Middle Park and Sutcliffe

 
Syed Tarek

 

I have lived in Royal Borough of Greenwich for ten years, and have been active on issues like education, employability and climate change. I put myself forward as a councillor candidate for the Middle Park and Sutcliffe ward as I want to make our community an even better place to live for today's residents and future generations.

Over the next four years, I commit to bringing this perspective to initiatives that:

1.    Connect local youths to employability solutions and create a network with employers to open up more apprenticeship opportunities. 

2.    promote the creation of more affordable housing solutions for young families entering the housing market, for our seniors and homeless citizens.

3.    provide safer streets across the ward and take initiatives to educate the youth on keeping the neighbourhood safe.

Educated to the doctoral level, I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Further Education and the Higher education sector. I am currently mentoring for the Prince's Trust to assist youth in getting into employment. 

I am excited to use my academic and professional knowledge within a community that I care. Together we can build a more affordable, sustainable, and vibrant community. Vote Green on the 3 May 2018.

Plumstead

Paul Roberts

I've been happily resident in Plumstead since 2013. I spent a significant amount of time working and walking around the area when working for Greenwich Council in 1999 and after years of renting and moving around London, when me and my family sought to buy a house, I suggested Plumstead as a suitable location on the basis of my positive memories of the place. It is now our home. I am proud of the area I live in and am keen to see that the assets we have locally protected and enhanced.

It is clear for instance that greater focus on the quality of the environment particularly in and around the High Street needs to take place. Improved planning and targeted interventions on upgrading unsightly buildings and shopfronts, pavements and roads are needed so that Plumstead becomes an attractive place to inhabit and visit. Having a High Street which encourages people to people stop, eat, drink chat and shop is important for any community and all effort should be made to facilitate that in Plumstead.   

Plumstead is a great place to live. We are at the edge of one of the world's great cities, the centre of which is easily accessible and will become even more so with Crossrail. Plumstead has great housing stock, a working high street with potential, great people and fantastic green space. Its time Greenwich Council realised that and promoted it.

Abbey Wood

Arthur Hayles

 

I went to John Roan School on Blackheath and have lived most of my life in Greenwich. I have degrees in sociology and philosophy. I have three children and five grandchildren. Now retired, I spent my working life in public service, first in the RAF and then in the civil service. My life-long commitment to public service and to Greenwich is what inspires me to stand as Green Party candidate for Abbey Wood. Apart from my family and politics, my main interests are philosophy, languages, literature, music and walking.

If elected, I shall work to improve air quality in Greenwich. Part of the answer will be the improvement of public transport to make it a more attractive alternative to the car. Another element will be the maintenance and improvement of our green spaces, which, like better public transport, are also beneficial in their own right. The provision of more genuinely affordable housing is another extremely important objective.

Finally, I will aim to listen to the people of Abbey Wood and work to address their concerns.

 

Woolwich Common

Keith Crowhurst

I have lived all my life in Greenwich initially in Charlton and then for the last ten years in Plumstead.

My parents both worked for Greenwich council my mum as a care worker and my dad as a dustman and road sweeper. In the late 1980’s I trained as a nurse at the Brook hospital and I qualified in 1990 and worked at both the Brook and Greenwich District until both were closed down. Over the years I have worked in health and social care many of these years in Greenwich.

I am passionate about the health needs of the local community and this is one of the driving factors In me supporting and now standing for the Green Party.


Thamesmead Moorings

Claudine Letsae

 

Shooters Hill

Ann Brown

 

Glyndon

Leonie Barron

 

Kidbrooke with Hornfair

Jan King

 

Charlton

Clare Loops

 

I stand for transparency in local government decisions, so that residents and businesses in the area have a real say in what happens to their area on the issues that are important to them.

Issues that I think are important in Charlton are: reducing air pollution through improved public transport and safe cycle and walking routes; keeping our public spaces clean and in good repair; investing in Charlton Village to address its deteriorating condition; and, making sure that new development creates housing that is truly affordable for residents and also provides different types of homes so that we have a choice, particularly for young people, families, and seniors.

I’ve lived in Charlton for over twenty years, raising a family here and also have worked locally.  I was a school governor at my children’s state primary school, serving as Chair.  I was elected to represent all primary school parent governors and sat on Greenwich Council’s education scrutiny committee.  I do not support the privatisation of our schools, health and social services.

I have worked in local government in both Greenwich and Bexley councils (currently at Bexley, having left Greenwich in September 2016) as a strategic planner, leading a team of planning policy, conservation, urban design, and sustainability officers.  I consider that this gives me excellent experience when considering issues about development and the environment, including our heritage, and also understand how to navigate to procedures and processes of the Council.

I am a longstanding member of the Green Party, including in California where I am originally from.  If elected to represent the people of Charlton ward, I will bring a strong ethical approach to Council matters and a positive challenge to a complacent Council that has been in single party control for far too long.  A vote for me is a vote for change.

Coldharbour & New Eltham

Philip Connolly

 

Eltham North

Nuala McGreevy  

 

I have lived in Greenwich for six years and am a passionate about protecting and building upon community cohesion throughout the borough. I am a mother of a one and work as a Programme Manager at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (campuses in both Greenwich and Lewisham) My job has a particular focus on nurturing potential and widening participation to Higher Education for all young people regardless of circumstance.

I have been a Green Party member for a number of years but was spurred to stand in the council election when viewing nurseries for my son. To hear childcare settings and schools talk about ways that they are trying to mitigate against pollution in the outside play areas really hit home. We need to take action to reduce air pollution in the borough NOT support further pollution generating initiatives!

Vote Green if you are committed to safeguarding the health of our children, protecting our green spaces, reducing pollution levels and holding a traditionally bipartisan council to account.

      

 

Eltham South

Helen Albrecht 

 

I am standing for the Green Party as I am convinced that only a radical turn towards sustainable lifestyles and business practices will allow for dwelling of our societies on this planet and safeguard our children's future.

The Green Party has a decade long commitment and experience in representing the required policies. My personal background is in music, teaching and law. As green councillor   I will stand for communication, clarification and cooperation among all layers of society in order to promote and to protect the common good.