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Diversity is good for democracy, it forces those in power to take note and to listen to sometimes inconvenient truths

13 April, 2018

• PUTTING personal political preference and party tribalism aside, what really matters in a local election is how well the elected councillors represent the concerns of constituents.

And Councillor Caroline Russell, from the Green Party, is setting an example here. She is tirelessly engaging with our community, listening carefully to residents’ concerns, supporting neighbours and making very positive and constructive contributions that make a difference.

She attends most meetings or sends some­one to represent her. In my experience, she has provided a lot of support and practical advice when dealing with the myriad of council departments who don’t want to listen to people.

Her interventions have helped residents to achieve tangible improvements on our estate. Contrast this with our two other (Labour) councillors and you will understand why I feel well represented by Cllr Russell.

One of the others declared she wants to focus on the Turkish minority, thus directly snubbing the non-Turkish majority and has barely been seen since.

The other does sometimes turn up to meetings. But instead of listening to what people have to say, she is trying to persuade residents to adopt the council’s ideas when they clearly want something else.

Or she does a party political broadcast instead of listening to residents’ concerns about new safe cycle parking spaces costing more than a parking permit for a car.

It is time the Labour-led council stopped dirty attacks on the only opposition councillor for doing her job well and started listening to people instead.

Cllr Russell is the proof that diversity is good for people and democracy. It forces those in power to take note and to listen to sometimes inconvenient truths. Or why else are we seeing such a dirty campaign against her.

Highbury Quadrant, N5


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