What would I do if elected?

My short answer is a mixture of campaigning principles and doing everything I can to rethink how we can get all local people acting together.

Core to my politics is two things: reverse how everyone has been ignored. Second, find ways to make local politics and decision-making democratic, public and as open as possible.

They aren’t really policies. But such is the widespread mistrust and lack of faith everyone has in local councils and mainstream parties, we have to start with key principles that underpin a different approach to local politics.

As per my flyer (see my profile statement), I will campaign to overturn and stop all future undemocratic LTNs in Islington. I’d ensure none are brought into Bunhill (even though strong rumours suggest otherwise).

This would mean a borough-wide referendum campaign including a properly funded public debate, with proposals from all sides, and public access to all surveying and data. Only then, depending on the result, can we all move forward. All of that can only happen if we have sufficient support behind it. Hence, my next point.

I will establish a high profile local presence with regular monthly open meetings moving around the ward to different locations for everyone to attend. It’s key that whatever issues people have — housing, crime, litter, planning, tenancy issues and so on — are all discussed and debated in public. I will end the private, behind-closed-doors discussions that takes place among ‘experts’ and lobbyists who seldom present their ideas for public scrutiny.

It’s essential that everyone knows what others are faced with, and that we can collectively agree on the best approach to solving them.

It’s only through building strong community connections between everyone can we ever begin to put public pressure on the council to do what we want. For example, we need regular meetings with all housing and tenant associations, and others, discussing the same issues in unison.

I also see it as part of my job to expose the inner workings of the council and make it public. Including much of its impenetrable bureaucracy and regulations. I will expose their ‘club’ operating behind closed doors — block voting to the endless lobbying — ensuring we all see it for what it is.

An excellent example of how to do this is from Claire Fox, who recently joined the House of Lords as Baroness Fox of Buckley. Her ‘Inside the Lords‘ YouTube videos are compelling viewing, unpicking its inner workings, its staid politics, and the many attempts to thwart the democracy of the elected House of Commons.

Alongside that, I’ll also produce a regular Bunhill Ward local community newsletter, with contributions from anyone who wants to write for it, create letters and so on. Apart from the many issues we face, there is also so much to like about the diverse population of Bunhill and our surrounding Islington borough. A newsletter would help reconnect many local people who have for a long time had their voice taken away.

There are many more things to be said, but hopefully, these ideas give you a flavour of what I would do to change things for the better.

Email me martynperksbunhill@gmail.com with your ideas of how we can kick-start local democracy in Bunhill and Islington.

Out campaigning in Bunhill with Peter and Ken.

  

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