The four candidates contesting Town ward on Hammersmith and Fulham Council tell GREG BURNS why they think they deserve your vote in the ballot on Thursday. The by-election is for the seat held by Tory Stephen Greenhalgh, council leader, who resigned to become deputy mayor for policing at City Hall.
Pictured L-R: Andrew Brown, Ben Coleman, Paul Kennedy, and Andrew Elston
ANDREW BROWN, Conservative
“Over the past six years Hammersmith and Fulham’s Conservative council has made great progress, reducing council tax by 3 per cent five times, putting more police on the beat around Fulham town centre and making our borough cleaner and greener with the introduction of same day refuse and recycling collections and improving our parks, with the borough’s first ever Green Flag awards.
“Nevertheless, there is still much more to do to make Hammersmith and Fulham and Town ward an even better place to live and work.
“If elected, my focus will be on tougher action on the problems of noise and anti-social behaviour at pub closing time, getting our streets even cleaner, improving choice for parents when choosing a school, finding more parking spaces and fighting NHS bureaucrats to protect Charing Cross and Chelsea and Westminster hospitals, ensuring both keep their A&E departments.”
BEN COLEMAN, Labour
“This election gives residents a chance to send the Conservative council a message about their wastefulness, stealth taxes, police cuts and the closure at Charing Cross Hospital.
“These are tough times but the Conservatives are wasting £70m on new town hall offices in Hammersmith, £12m employing 69 ‘consultants’ and £5m a year on council propaganda.
“They even splurged £7,000 on a Monday afternoon booze-up for the chief executive.
“This money should be used for frontline services and tax cuts.
“Yet the Conservatives have imposed nearly 600 new stealth taxes, including on parking, waste removal, elderly care and even using a personal trainer in local parks.
“The Conservative/Liberal Democrat government’s planned closure of Charing Cross Hospital’s A&E will increase waiting times at Chelsea and Westminster. It must be stopped.
“Fulham residents also need more trains on the Wimbledon line, more police, more affordable homes to buy, or rent, and more support for small firms and local shops.”
PAUL KENNEDY, Liberal Democrat
“I am the only candidate who lives in Town ward – or even in Fulham – and came second to the Tories here in 2009, and in 2010 with more than 1,100 votes.
“Trained as a scientist and lawyer, I have lived with my family in Barclay Road for 22 years, and my children have attended Lady Margaret School.
“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to speak up for my community in Town ward, and to campaign on issues affecting me and my neighbours, such as traffic, crime, planning, schools, housing and the environment.
“The other 16 councillors in Fulham are Conservative, which has led to plenty of patronage but no local accountability. But, as I am the main challenger to the Tories we have a real chance to break their stranglehold.
“People are telling me they want an independent local voice for their ward.”
ANDREW ELSTON, UKIP
“If you knew how much the European Union already controls our council and locality you would vote UKIP. The EU is the number one local threat. I would speak up on this as a UKIP councillor, others are restricted by their party.
“I was born in Fulham and grew up here. Many people know Fulham is a lovely place but local people are concerned at high business rates, crime, taking a back seat to developers, parking and transport difficulties. A
"All these issues are also affected by our EU membership. They matter to UKIP. We will champion these local concerns. Defend Fulham, Parliament and our evolution as the UK. We can have a bright, independent future. Join us and support us, it is time."