There have two incidents recently that have stood out. One was a conversation with a fairly prominent member of the local Labour party who stopped me in the High Road to tell me that the people of Wembley weren't ready to receive the 'environmental message'. I pointed out that the environmental message in my campaign was linked with social justice policies that would make absolute sense to local people. He ended up taking leaflets from me and pressing one into the hands of an acquaintance who happened to be passing.
The other was someone who said he had supported the Labour Party all his life but was now totally disenchanted. He said he had been following what Greens had been saying and that he was impressed by the cool commonsense of Caroline Lucas. He now intended to switch to the Greens in the by-election.
We still have a long way to go of course but we are fighting the by-election on positive policies that will make a difference to people's lives:
1. OUR PLANET Climate Change is a huge threat to human life. We will work to strengthen Brent’s Policy.
We will press for a Schools and Climate Change Conference to explain the issues and take action
2. DECENT HOMES FOR ALL
Free insulation for all homes that need it, reducing heating bills AND Co2 emissions.
Reduce housing lists by building affordable homes and taking over abandoned empty houses.
3. USEFUL WORK AND FAIR WAGES
Encourage green industries into the regeneration areas to create green jobs.
London is too expensive for many people. We want a London Living Wage of £7.45 minimum for all Council employees. We will persuade other employers to take similar action.
4. LOOKING AFTER OUR CHILDREN
Half of our children who live in poverty don’t qualify for a free school meal. Every child should get a free hot and healthy school meal every day.
We are against giving away schools that WE pay for to private sponsors and have fought against the ARK Academy. Existing academies should be returned to the community sector where voters have a say in running them.
We support the building of a new community secondary school in South Brent.
5. OPEN AND HONEST CONSULTATION
Council consultations on the ARK Academy, Wembley Masterplan and care charges have left people feeling ignored. We are not asked about major projects such as the Civic Centre which will replace Brent Town Hall.
We will fight for open and honest consultation and policies.