As election time approaches, it is useful to know which political parties and individual candidates intend to safeguard our marshes if elected this May. Save Lea Marshes has approached a number of electoral candidates in Hackney and Waltham Forest, requesting that they sign the following green pledge to protect our vital local green spaces, including the marshes:
“IF ELECTED I PLEDGE TO PROTECT GREEN SPACES IN WALTHAM FOREST/HACKNEY. I WILL WORK TO PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY, TO ERADICATE THE USE OF PESTICIDES WITHIN THE BOROUGH AND ENSURE THAT ALL RESIDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO WILD GREEN SPACES CLOSE TO HOME.
Green spaces are not a luxury, affordable only during the good times, but fundamental to our individual and collective health and well being. Our environment IS our community.”
So far, the electoral candidates for the Green Party in both Hackney and Waltham Forest, the Trade Union Socialist Coalition in Waltham Forest and the Liberal Democrats in Hackney have all fully signed up to this pledge. There are 19 Green Party candidates in Waltham Forest who you can find here, the list of TUSC candidates is here and Green candidates for Hackney is here
The Green Party manifesto for Hackney includes a commitment to oppose “the development of damaging new buildings and large scale events on Hackney Marshes” Furthermore, they pledge to “ensure that council contractors are not allowed to spray with glyphosate, which is used indiscriminately at present and is bad for people’s health” and also recruit a full time biodiversity officer for the borough.
In Waltham Forest, the manifesto for the Liberal Democrats includes the following crucial commitment:
“We will use our open spaces to provide more wild areas and encourage biodiversity and keep Leyton Marshes & Wanstead Flats free from further development.”
The Liberal Democrat manifesto in Hackney describes how the present council “rides roughshod over local people’s wishes. The recent council plans to take new green space on Hackney Marshes to construct a car park for a cricket pavilion is just one example” and includes the following commitments to our green spaces:
“We will rebalance the use of Hackney’s parks and Hackney Marshes in particular away from large and noisy commercial concerts and towards fewer, smaller community events.”
“We will appoint a biodiversity officer to make sure that the council pursues a sustainable and consistent and “listening” environmental agenda across Hackney.”
All of the commitments relating to the environment in their manifesto can be read here
In Hackney, there will also be mayoral election for the position of directly elected mayor. Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Simon de Deney has signed up to our green pledge. Independent candidate Mustafa Korel has signed up to our green pledge and all the specific commitments we recommend to preserve areas under threat from the present administration, including North Marsh, East Marsh, Mabley Green as well as adopting our practical measures to improve the dreadfully polluted the River Lea. You can read the list of these commitments in full here
Green mayoral candidate Mischa Borris has signed our green pledge, endorses all the environmental commitments made in the Green Party manifesto and has just published a vital statement supporting our campaign against the construction of an unnecessary 68 space car park on Hackney Marshes.
All candidates are free to get in touch with us, sign up to our green pledge and work with us on drafting appropriate manifesto commitments to safeguard our marshes and local green spaces. We will publish the details of who signs up to what on this page!