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Islington Lib Dems defend ‘simple’ manifesto that’s just 384 words long

Ahead of local elections, party that controlled the Town Hall up until 2010 insist they are ‘confident and determined’ to succeed

09 April, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Islington Lib Dems launch their election campaign

THE Liberal Democrats have defended issuing a local election manifesto of only 384 words, ahead of their quest to win back council seats in Islington.

Borough-wide elections will be held on May 3, four years after Labour’s landslide victory which saw the Lib Dems lose all of their 11 seats in the council chamber.

It was a result in stark contrast to the party’s control of Islington Council up until 2010.

Labour have come back with a 15,000-word document as part of their campaign to be returned to power next month.

But the chairman of the Lib Dems insists the party is “confident and determined” to succeed, despite producing a shorter set of pledges.

Nick Wakeling said: “In this day and age we need to keep messages simple and succinct. People are busy, they have lives to lead. Instead of a huge tome we are clear on our core priorities.”

Mr Wakeling added that “less than a handful” of residents would have read the 50-page Labour Party manifesto, adding: “There’s a virtue in being succinct and absolutely clear on what our priorities are.”

The Lib Dems’ main priority is to build 1,000 social rent homes and say they will do this “by building on disused sites, together with a proper repairs programme to bring existing council homes up to a good standard”.

They also pledge to “clamp down on moped and knife crime through an increased police presence across the borough, together with better access to youth services to counter the influence of gangs”.

When asked why another priority for them was to install pollution monitors at schools when the council was already implementing this, Mr Wakeling said he wanted to see them installed in front of every school.

Party chairman Alain Desimer said the manifesto was created by Lib Dem members who have spent months campaigning in the borough.

He added: “We are confident and determined to be re-elected. People in the borough want a change. We’ve had a positive reception on the doorstep from locals for two reasons: they are fed-up with no opposition in the council, and too many things have happened in the last couple of years where Labour hasn’t consulted people.”

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