Green candidate wants Newham to be place ‘everybody can afford to live’

Green Party members from the borough were out in force as the party launched its campaign for the Ci

Green Party members from the borough were out in force as the party launched its campaign for the City and East constituency in the May's London Assembly elections - Credit: Archant

Social housing and Boris Johnson’s “follies” were at the fore as the Green Party launched its campaign for the coming London Assembly elections.

Its candidate for the City and East constituency – which comprises Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets and the City of London – is Rachel Collinson, entrepreneur and chairwoman of Newham Green Party. She joined supporters across east London for the big unveiling.

The party’s increased vote in last year’s general election, its work in the Assembly advocating civil partnerships, the living wage, low emissions zones and an increase in the cycling budget were among successes trumpeted – but the primary concern was homes.

“I’m standing as the Green Party candidate for City and East in the London Assembly elections because I want east London to be for all people, not just the rich and powerful,” Rachel said.

“I’m not a landlord, I don’t take donations from big developers and I’m not in the pockets of any big companies. If elected I will create more community land trusts and social housing for Newham, so it can be a place where everybody can afford to live.”

She also focused on the proposed construction of an £800m complex in Tower Hamlets that critics say will deny neighbouring residents sunlight.

“The controversy surrounding the planned development of Bishopsgate Goodsyard is a perfect illustration of what is wrong with London’s urban planning system,” she said.

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“Boris Johnson is ignoring the wishes of local residents. A strong Green Party voice within the London General Assembly is crucial for redressing the mayor’s follies.”

The issue is central to the party’s intention to build a “healthier, happier, greener” city, as Green AM Baroness Jenny Jones helped to get across.

“East London has a vibrant and growing community of dedicated Green Party supporters, and you can be sure they’ll be making their voices heard loud and clear,” the 2012 mayoral candidate said.