Local Election (3rd May 2018) - Candidate Roundup

The local election is coming up on 3rd May 2018. Get involved, find out more about the candidates before you vote. 

I asked on Twitter for local candidates to email me their statements, no more than 500 words per ward per party. These are the statements I have received.



Tom Simon (Liberal Democrats)

Tom Simon Liberal Democrats Hampstead Mums

I grew up in Camden and have lived in Belsize since 2004, currently on the Chalcots Estate with my partner and our little boy. I was a Councillor for Belsize before (2009-14) and would love to serve the local area again. I’m one of the founders of Abacus primary school and was vice-chair of governors there until 2016. I also helped set up the post office in Budgens on Haverstock Hill and worked with the Winch to keep Belsize Community Library open when the Labour-run Council threatened to close it.

Looking ahead, our aims include:

  • funding extra police officers to protect our community from moped crime, knife crime and burglaries
  • promoting measures to improve air quality, particularly around our schools
  • fighting against inappropriate developments, such as 100 Avenue Road
  • holding the Council to account on the Chalcots evacuation and the following works
  • reviewing Labour’s inflexible waste collection policy, scrapping the garden waste charge and improving street cleaning


Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrats)

Luisa Porritt Liberal Democrats Hampstead Mums

I am standing because I want all young people to have access to the same opportunities I did. Thanks to our EU membership, I benefited from having the freedom to study and work in France during my mid-20s. I do not believe anyone has the right to take away such opportunities from future generations. That’s why I joined the Liberal Democrats and am proudly standing for them in Belsize. We are the only consistently pro-European party, fighting for an optimistic and open future for your children.

Brexit is already damaging our economy, with jobs moving overseas, inflation rising and the pound falling. I want both the private and the public sector to benefit from a healthy, stable economy, that will enable all young people to pursue their dreams. The only way we can do that is by stopping Brexit. By voting for us on 3rd May, you have a great opportunity to send a message that our young people deserve a rethink on this momentous decision.


Ben Newman (Liberal Democrats)

Ben Newman Hampstead Mums Liberal Democrats

I’ve lived in Belsize for nearly a year now and it’s a wonderful area that I would be proud to represent on the council. I became involved in politics when I campaigned with the Stronger In campaign during the referendum. This energised me politically and I decided to turn my lifelong passion for politics into action and join Tom and Luisa on the excellent Belsize Liberal Democrat team.

One of my primary focuses has been on the terrible crisis of homelessness and rough sleeping in our borough. Camden once had a good record on homelessness, but recently the number of rough sleepers has skyrocketed. We would tackle this crisis by building 700 new homes at social and affordable rents and we would also invest in the addiction and mental health services that many of those sleeping rough desperately require.

My passion for local politics and my determination will help me represent you on the council and help us to build an even better community.



Steve Adams (Conservatives)

Steve Adams Conservatives Hampstead Mums Local Election 2018

I’ve been embedded in Belsize Park’s community for decades, working from my office on England’s Lane for 30 years. I’m married with three children who have grown up locally, and my whole family loves our neighbourhood.
I want to use my architectural skills to protect Belsize from inappropriate development and encourage investment. I work with local residents through a local Conservation Area Advisory Committee to preserve the local area. I’m self-employed and becoming a Camden councillor will allow me to put back even more into our community. My professional work relies on communication and mediation, as well as competent management and leadership: all skills that I will bring to the role of councillor to help serve our community.
All of NW3 is under pressure from over-development, rising crime, dirty air, and even dirtier streets. As your councillor, I would be committed to putting more police on the beat, making our streets and air cleaner, and preserve what makes Belsize special.


Kirsty Roberts Hampstead Mums Local Elections Conservatives 2018

Kirsty Roberts (Conservatives)

I’ve been a Camden resident for over 20 years: including 13 of years living in NW3 and over
6 years as a councillor for Hampstead. I’m keen to work for the worst-off in our community and further afield. As a councillor, I was Camden’s Mental Health Champion and worked on tackling substance abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking. I want to return to Camden Council because I see so much going wrong: from the botched cuts to bin collections to the impending disasters of 100 Avenue and CS11. Belsize residents need community champions that will stand up for them, and I’m committed to giving you my all.
I work as a project manager on large infrastructure projects, which means I am highly organised and spend much of my time hounding people for what they need to deliver to me: a very useful trait when dealing with Camden Council at times! Whether it’s restoring weekly bin collections, putting more police on the beat, or fighting against over-development, I’m dedicated to making sure Camden delivers for residents of our community.


Leila Roy Conservatives Local Elections 2018 Hampstead Mums

Leila Roy (Conservatives)

I’m a French citizen and I live locally with my son Anton. I’m disabled and a long-time council tenant, and I’ve served you as one of your councillors since 2014. I helped to open Abacus Free School, after Anton couldn’t find a state school place locally. Abacus is now an outstanding school, and I’m proud of what we’ve done with teachers and local parents.
I’ve been involved in a number of other campaigns: from opposing the 24-storey tower on 100 Avenue Road to stopping another Tesco opening on Haverstock Hill to supporting Chalcots residents through Camden’s ham-fisted evacuation last summer.

Belsize has a unique village feel, and I want to ensure it keeps the charm that makes it such an amazing place to live and work. If re elected, I will carry on speaking up for residents on schools, housing, helping those with disabilities, and much more.


Hampstead Town

Liberal Democrats

Linda Chung, Will Coles and Andrew Haslam Jones are your Lib Dem candidates for Hampstead Town. Everyone can vote for three LibDem candidates on 3 May. In 2014, we came a close second in Hampstead Town and your vote for us will not be wasted.

Our area is famous for being lovely and leafy and we want to protect and enhance it.

We want 20 extra PCs and community safety officers across the borough, both to help combat the rise in knife crime and to deter and respond to moped crime, street robberies and burglary.

We know you share our party’s longstanding concern for the environment.  Reducing pollution is one of our priorities: we want 760 new electric car charging points and to build 25 “pocket” parks across the borough.

It is unrealistic to change the Council’s waste contract to return to weekly collections (many residents are getting used to the new system). Instead, we want the Council and Veolia to be more flexible and responsive in dealing with residents’ differing needs.  LibDem councillor, Flick Rea, negotiated a reduction in the garden waste collection fee for older residents.  We want to abolish it completely.  

We want the Council to work with Camden NHS to fund dementia care nurses in the community.  This has been tried and works elsewhere in London.  It helps patients to stay in their own homes and frees up spaces in hospitals.

We are opposed to Brexit.  We know it is causing anxiety to our friends and neighbours from other EU countries who had no say in their change of status.  We continue to campaign for their rights and for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal.

We have a great team standing in Hampstead Town Ward, fully involved in the community:

Left to Right: Will Coles, Linda Chung & Andrew Haslam Jones (Liberal Democrats)

Left to Right: Will Coles, Linda Chung & Andrew Haslam Jones (Liberal Democrats)


Linda Chung (Liberal Democrats)

was a councillor from 2008-14, needs no introductions.  She continues to work tirelessly and effectively for the community across a whole range of projects: with NW3 businesses to support our local shops; maintaining the quality of our street environment; and on a community land trust for affordable and key worker housing. She was governor of a local primary school and knows the importance of involving parents in all aspects of a child’s learning and development.


Will Coles (Liberal Democrats)

is a PhD researcher at the University of London. Will is passionate about improving educational opportunities for children and young adults in Hampstead. Having grown up in the Shropshire countryside, he will also campaign tirelessly to preserve our green spaces and to improve air quality in Hampstead.


Andrew Haslam-Jones (Liberal Democrats)

is a solicitor and business owner, lives in the heart of Hampstead, knows what it is to bring up a family here and is involved in several community groups covering planning and our environment, the protection of our heritage and local business.If you need more information or want to tell us what you think, please contact us on HampsteadTownLibDems@gmail.com or follow us on:

Twitter: @HampsteadLDs

Facebook: fb.me/CamdenLibDems

Our full manifesto is available on our website: www.camdenlibdems.org.uk


James Slater (Labour)

James Slater Labour Hampstead Mums

I’m James Slater, one of the three Labour candidates for Hampstead Town ward. As a 19 year old, I would be Camden’s youngest ever councillor.

I’m sure high-quality schools are at the top of the agenda for many Hampstead parents! Across Labour-run Camden, school inspection results are reaching record highs. In 2017, every Camden state primary school was rated either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, as were all five of our children’s centres. 97% of Camden students study at a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ school; ranking within the top 3 councils nationally. Education continues to be a key priority for Camden Labour, and having just gone through the school system in my hometown of Bradford, I would like to be a part of ensuring Camden’s education system remains high quality.

Another key issue is crime and the safety of our community. It is clear in Hampstead that the rise in crime is being caused by cuts from the Conservative government both to the council and to the Metropolitan Police. Since 2010, Camden has lost nearly a third of its police force – that’s 229 fewer police officers and 91 fewer PCSOs. While Mayor, Boris Johnson closed Hampstead’s Police Station against the protests of local residents and stripped the community of a key asset. 

Only Labour have responded on crime issues with a costed and thought-out policy. We have invested £2.9m into our police teams to tackle antisocial behaviour, which will increase by £540,000 this year to combat rising crime. This involves using council money to hire more officers to respond to hotspot areas and have an increased public presence. While we are campaigning across London for the police cuts to end, we realise we have to take action ourselves. In addition, Camden Council recently established the Youth Safety Taskforce to work with local partners to improve safety within our communities. We want every young person to grow up safely in our borough with access to all the opportunities Camden has to offer.

We are also working to provide a better future for the next generation. Under Labour leadership, Camden Council has established itself as one of the largest local authority house builders in the UK, delivering 664 new homes in the past five years and we expect to complete another 200 by the end of 2018. Camden is the first borough in the country to challenge itself by adopting ambitious new pollution limits in line with World Health Organisation guidelines as well as introducing fines for engine idling in a bid to clean up Camden’s air. Plus we are working to mitigate the effects of Brexit on EU citizens locally and guarantee their rights. Labour-led Camden has set up a cross-party Brexit Working Group to listen to local citizens, which, if elected next month, we would work closely with.

Sue, Sunny and I have spoken to thousands of local residents over the last few months and are ready to stand up for Hampstonians in the Town Hall. So please use your 3 votes for 3 strong local Labour voices on the 3rd May.


Cllr Oliver Cooper (Conservatives)

Oliver Cooper Hampstead Mums Local Elections 2018 Conservatives

I live on Flask Walk, and having lived locally for a decade, I’m honoured to represent Hampstead on Camden Council. As your councillor, I’ve led the push to restore weekly bin collections and forced Camden to introduce fines for fly-tipping (a policy Labour originally derided as “Oliver Cooper’s big stick” before adopting it!). Thanks to Conservative councillors’ work, many roads have been spared the cuts to bin collections, but we need to restore them to all residents and double fines for fly- tipping to make them a serious deterrent. I also launched a campaign to install 2,000 electric vehicle charging points – with 75% of the cost being covered by a grant from government – to help us all tackle air pollution.

The job of a councillor is also about getting involved locally. I’ve volunteered on many local projects, from spending countless Saturday mornings working on the community garden outside the Royal Free to monitoring air pollution levels near our schools. I’m the chair of Camden’s Resources Committee and use my expertise as a professional economist to scrutinise Camden’s finances to preserve front-line services and keep taxes low.

By re-electing me and my Conservative colleagues, you’ll be providing a strong opposition to the Labour-run council: coming up with ideas for a cleaner, greener, safer Camden and standing up for Hampstead.


Maria Higson Conservatives Hampstead Mums Local Elections 2018

Maria Higson (Conservatives)

Working in the NHS and being a governor of the Royal Free Hospital, I’m really committed to better public services, especially improving health and social care. I live on Fitzjohn’s Avenue and I see the impact of increasing traffic and over- development on air pollution. That’s why we need more electric car charging points in the borough and we’re pushing to plant more trees on local streets to tackle the problem.
I volunteer at two homeless shelters, where I am proud to work with inspirational volunteers and help people in crisis turn their lives around. As a liberal Conservative, I passionately believe in direct social action to help the worst-off. As a private renter, I am all too familiar with the difficulties of renting locally and will do my utmost to ensure Camden works to improve the quality of the private rented sector.

Oliver, Stephen, and I are strongly committed to hiring more police, reducing air pollution, and making our streets cleaner. As local residents, we’re also determined to give you a voice and make sure Hampstead is heard.


Stephen Stark Hampstead Mums Local Elections Councillor 2018 Conservatives

Cllr Stephen Stark (Conservatives)

I’ve lived with my wife and son in the heart of Hampstead village for 12 years and I’ve been privileged to represent Hampstead as one of your councillors since 2014. I run my own business in Hampstead, so I’m on hand to meet residents and see what happens as I go about my daily life. All of Hampstead’s Conservative candidates live in the ward – while only one of the nine other candidates does – meaning we understand the issues that matter to residents. I’m especially interested in planning, conservation, and the environment. I use my skills as a chartered civil engineer and party wall surveyor to fight for residents against unwanted developments.
I’m a New End School governor, sit on the Safer Neighbourhood Panel, and work with the Hampstead Forum to direct funds to local projects. I’ve worked with residents to resolve issues from tackling fly-posting on Flask Walk to initiating Camden’s map system to track basements.

If re-elected to serve you, I would continue to give you the great service locally that you’ve come to expect from your Conservative councillors.


Frognal & Fitzjohns

Marx de Morais (Independents for The Movement)

Marx de Morais Independents for The Movement ANTI BREXIT Hampstead Mums

Over the last few years, I became one of the most active Pro-European campaigners in Camden. The BBC said about me “once an enthusiastic member of the Conservative Party” and there we are. Our neighbourhood deserves representatives who are willing to listen and speak out for our children’s future. It was with this in mind that recently I stepped down as a Tory candidate, unhappy with their increasingly backward views, right shifting politics and Brexit ideology. Frognal & Fitzjohn’s has now perhaps the most prominent Tory Brexit local councillor candidate in the whole country. Elections are about having a real choice but Labour’s position on Brexit is similar to the Tories and neither the Greens nor the Liberal Democrats are running active campaigns in our homeward. Votes for Tara Patten, Stephen Cameron and myself  will send a very clear message to both the senior Tory and Labour politicians that we in Frognal & Fitzjohns disagree with their policies on the single market and customs union and that we want to have a final say on the negotiated Brexit deal; it does affect us locally. Apart from the economic question, we should not forget the benefits of free movement in Europe. Loosing this now, mean we will lose it for our kids' generation. They will not anymore be able to move, work or live wherever they wish. This election is our last chance to have a say.

I’m also fully focused on local issues and the Ham & High commented that I have “an abundance of hope for the future”. I set up urban gardening projects and cooking classes for local kids, supported local youth services and art projects (such as the “What is Christmas about again” installation on Hampstead High Street) and campaigned actively to protect our architectural heritage.

A very actual issue is the air pollution in our schools. On most of them in Camden, it is on an illegal level and I believe we should not accept this. I will continue to call for pupils managed vegetation air pollution barriers at our schools. Experiences have shown how effective such projects are and how positively they affect the health of our kids. Let’s work together ‘for all our children, not just the many’. As well we talk much about refuse bin collection, I believe recycling is a great thing and we should educate our kids about that. But we need to be sure our recycling services runs smooth and that we don’t face missing collections. If we have in mind that 32 % of our bin men are EU-Citizens, we can imagine how our streets will look like after a hard Tory Brexit. One more reason to stand up locally against that divisive Brexit politic.

Whom the parents in Frognal & Fitzjohns wish to vote for, is up to them and I do not want to dictate them what must be their own and private decision. But I would please them to have an open mind for all the candidates on the ballot paper and think well whom would represent the Hampstead way of thinking best.


Tara Patten (Independents for The Movement)

A mother's job is 24/7, there are no weekends or bank holidays, you are a mother every second of every day for two decades and counting. This can sometimes seem a thankless job and juggling a career as a full-time Mum, managing a home, being a good partner and hopefully finding your own meaning can be a lot to handle. Wouldn't it be great to have a community representative to support you, to voice your concerns, to clean up your streets, to show that women are truly remarkable humans capable of handling an enormous amount of tasks and still look Fabulous?

I'm Tara Patten and I am an entrepreneur and your voice! You have heard the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" which means that it takes a community of different people positively interacting with children. Let's ensure that your children experience and grow in a safe environment. It does not mean an entire village is responsible for raising your children, it means the people in your village should guide our next generation to being kind, considerate, critical thinkers. Our future is in their hands so it's our responsibility to raise them right and set the best example we can. Each child has their own unique personality and a vote for the Independents for The Movement, Marx de Morais, Stephen Cameron and I will broaden the debate on the local matters affecting all our futures.


Stephen Cameron (Independents for The Movement)

I am passionate about the issues of pollution and the environment. My experience and motivation have grown because I became a beekeeper in 2010. As a beekeeper, I am very much concerned and privy to the intricate balance of nature. I stood at the House of Parliament calling for the ban on neonicotinoids: knowing that the UK government were ignoring the growing EU evidence that warned of the consequences of the widespread use of this potent insecticide. As an engineer, I also understood that the use of carbon fuel in vehicles and the dangerous toxins released could not continue in our cities. I use the London Bike scheme wherever I can, a hybrid car which rarely moves from the drive and solar panels. My wife and I are avid gardeners and we turn our Hampstead garden into an organic garden, free of pesticide and artificial fertilisers.

I have been privileged to have worked with DEFRA for the farming scheme and understand the principles of sustaining our environment with set aside and good land management of trees: with effective tree pruning to sustain strong tree growth and reduce disease. Farmers and gardeners continually work to keep nature as diverse as possible not keeping at bay but balancing the need of the environment with diverse flora selection. As part of our work, we are re-establishing ancient fruit trees into an area where orchards used to exist in the 18th century.

For the last two years, I have been running a neighbour direct action campaign against drivers leaving their engines running. A small group of neighbours in the South End Green and Belsize area produce small leaflets to drivers and warn them of the consequence of fines but more importantly of the effect on children in nearby schools. At last Camden, in no small part to my campaign, have started to employ enforcement officers.

I am working tirelessly to encourage Camden to have ALL their NSL parking enforcement officers issue fines and information leaflets: not just their environmental enforcement officers. The problem needs to be enforced across the borough continuously, not just in hotspots.

I love the Heath and enjoy the pond swimming throughout the year and have worked hand in hand with the Corporation of London to have an apiary in Highgate Wood: with a specific purpose to educate everybody about the importance of diversity in our green spaces. If you wish representatives to ensure Camden is managed wherever possible sustainable, respecting the need to provide our next generation with a healthy environment, than the Independents for The Movement, Tara Patten, Marx de Morais and I will raise their voice for our neighbourhood.


Gospel Oak

Stephen Crosher (Liberal Democrats)

I have two young children in Camden state schools and believe that the Lib Dems represent my values more than any other party. The Lib Dems value diversity and support minorities, they are the party of equality in education and of equality in opportunity. They are also the only party that is committed to fully remaining in the European Union, and I must admit that I’m extremely angry at both the Tories and Labour for their various levels of support of Brexit. Their support for Brexit means taking away my children’s rights to live and work in 27 other countries, it potentially limits their opportunities throughout their lives.

I’m also very pleased that Camden Lib Dems have included 6 out of their 10 priorities that directly improve the lives of young people locally, including policies on parks and play facilities, air pollution, youth services, community safety officers and improving walkability and provisions for cycling to school, which my kids both love to do.


Judy Dixey (Liberal Democrats)

Having been a Governor of a local Primary School, I am very aware of what good the Lib Dems were able to do with the introduction of the Pupil Premium.  It made a huge difference in our school.  A Liberal Democrat for a number of years, I am inspired by the values of openness, of tolerance, of equality – and not giving way to the voices of the powerful.  In my employed and voluntary work, I champion equality of access;  I led a charity working with and for blind & partially sighted people in collaboration with deaf, deafened & hard of hearing people to ensure access, particularly to the arts, also fighting for decent access for audiences and participants during the London Olympics. Additionally I volunteer for charities supporting the elderly and the homeless.

In 2016, I campaigned to Remain; working together with other countries is vital.  We Lib Dems recognise the benefits of being in the EU and will continue to press for a referendum on the deal


Matthew Kirk (Liberal Democrats)

I am delighted to have a daughter in reception at one of our excellent local primary schools.  I believe more needs to be done to bring all our secondary schools up to the same standards.  Education and young people are at the heart of Lib Dem values and policies.  I am particularly proud of two areas.  We should not be worried for our safety and that of our children when we leave our homes.  A coordinated approach is necessary to beat both moped robberies and knife crime and the current focus must lead to lasting change: with improved youth services, youth workers in casualty departments and more intelligent use of the Council’s CCTV network as just some examples.

Dementia affects entire families, as I know only too well from my mother’s illness.  We pledge to introduce a team of Admiral community nurses who have dramatically improved the lives of sufferers and their families in the London Borough of Sutton and elsewhere.




Catherine Hays (Liberal Democrats)

I moved to Camden 22 years ago from Brooklyn and with my EU citizen husband have raised two children in the Camden Square area. They are now young adults and would like to live and work at some point in their careers in the EU; Brexit is taking away that right. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that is committed to fully remaining in the EU. 

One Labour candidate selected for my ward is a committed Leaver, so the idea that the Labour Party does not have Leave supporters among its ranks and would instead defend Camden against the damaging effects of Brexit is grossly misleading and hypocritical of the local Labour party to assert otherwise. This is one of the reasons why I decided to stand. 

As a community activist with over twenty years’ experience in professional consultancy and voluntary service, I chaired my local neighbourhood association for 16 years working with my neighbours and council officers to make our area a better place to live. One issue that families and residents are talking about now is their deep concern over air quality and what this means for children. The shocking fact is that all day, every day, pollution on many of Camden’s busy roads is at levels that harms health, and in many cases violates legal limits. Children, along with the elderly, are the biggest victims of air pollution. 

We can do more. You may have seen my brief letter in the Camden New Journal which you can read here.  Installing charging points all over Camden, of which there currently are none in my ward, would encourage more car owning residents to switch to electric.  I believe this is one concrete step that can be taken, although I recognise that we should all be walking, cycling and using public transport whenever possible. 

The Camden Lib Dems have put families at the heart of our policies, including promoting digital resilience to families by supporting confident digital parenting, raising parents ‘and children’s ability to stay safe online. I believe this is an issue of our times for mums and families.