Democracy in Islington is in trouble. Whatever party you normally support, an electoral system that gives one party 47 out of 48 of seats on the back of 60% of the vote can't be right. That is what happened in Islington in 2018.
As we are seeing at the national level with Boris Johnson's Conservatives, huge majorities lead to poor decisions. Governments become complacent and forget to listen to voters that put them there.
Sadly, Labour in Islington has also forgotten how to listen. On 5 May, we have a chance to change that.
The Islington Democrat manifesto presents an alternative vision for Islington, one based on more than a year of careful listening to the residents of this borough.
In our campaigning, we are focusing on three areas where time and again people have told us that the Labour Council is letting them down:
- Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs): we support well-designed measures to promote better air quality and quieter roads, but Labour has bungled the implementation of LTNs and created unhappiness across the borough. We are proposing an alternative approach, based on proper consultation with residents and exemptions for the disabled, carers and other essential users.
- Rubbish and Recycling: Islington has a poor record on recycling and we are seeing worrying increases in fly-tipping across the borough. We have well thought-through ideas to improve Islington’s record, drawing on measures already successfully implemented in the three London boroughs with Liberal Democrat administrations, where the recycling performance is amongst the best in the capital.
- Crime and anti-social behaviour: across Islington, people are telling us they are afraid to walk home at night. The former Labour Mayor said that the Council had failed to tackle knife-crime. Victims say their voices are not heard. We have ideas for working with the police to improve safety on our streets and to reverse years of cuts to youth services.
Our detailed policies on these issues can be found in the manifesto, as well as policies on the cost of living crisis, the climate emergency, green transport, air quality, housing and the urban environment, health and social care, minorities, and supporting local business. We conclude with a call for Islington to become the most welcoming borough in London for Ukrainian refugees.
Our aim is that May 5 should mark the end of the one party state in Islington. We believe our manifesto offers a practical plan for holding the Council to account in opposition as well as a prospectus for a different type of administration in Islington in the future.