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18 July 2007updated 27 Sep 2015 5:44am

The only woman in Ealing Southall

Affordable homes are a Green priority, not endlessly cramming in new “executive” flats

By Sarah Edwards

The by-election was called on 28th June, the day after the funeral of Piara Khabra – who had served as Labour MP for the constituency for 15 years.

Given the very short timescale for the election – a major disadvantage to less well resourced parties – our campaign has been going well, with very good feedback on the streets.

Some of London’s leading Greens have been out to help us – including Assembly Member Jenny Jones, and compared with the confusion of the other parties in Ealing, things have been going smoothly.

The Greens offer a welcome respite to the extraordinary political opportunism of the other parties.

The area is natural territory for us. One of the key local issues in this election is the threat of over-development in the borough. The government is forcing thousands more flats to be built, causing
concern about the impact on green spaces, pressure on local services and increased traffic.

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Affordable homes are a Green priority, not endlessly cramming in new “executive” flats. To address the housing shortage, we would also bring some of the 700 000 or so empty homes around the UK back in to use.

Our campaign launch on Tuesday 10th took place in Old Hanwell, this location was chosen to highlight the threat to the borough’s green open spaces. A decision on the proposal to build seven storey blocks
of flats overlooking the canal and the Brent River Park is awaited.

A wide range of issues are coming up in the campaign. Opposition to the war in Iraq has been highlighted by us and some of the other parties, though Greens are the only party to have opposed the war from the start. Crime has also come up quite a bit in the other parties’ campaigns, but we are the only major party to have policies that would tackle the root causes, instead of just promising to be tough on people who commit crime.

Ealing hospital’s application for Foundation status has stirred up debate about public services – again, we are the only major political party to reject privatisation of any of our public services.

Only the Greens have been giving prominence to climate