Local elections 2014: Swiss Cottage

Swiss Cottage is one of the four council wards that make up “Greater” West Hampstead. The others are West Hampstead, Fortune Green and Kilburn.

Swiss Cottage is a geographically large ward that encompasses South Hampstead and bits of Primrose Hill on the other side of the Finchley Road. The majority of voters are in South Hampstead though. It’s the safest of the four local wards.

In the 2010 local election, voters elected three Conservative councillors: Roger Freeman, Andrew Marshall and Don Williams. All three were incumbents.

What’s the scoop?

The Tories have a comfortable majority here and it’s hard to see anything upsetting that. This is the only ward locally that had a UKIP candidate in 2010, though he fared badly (he was also standing as UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn). The Lib Dems had a couple of strong active candidates in 2010 and leapfrogged Labour to finish second, but expect Don, Andrew and Roger to all retain their seats come the counting.

Who’s vulnerable?

None of them. Andrew polled the fewest votes of the three last time but was still 559 ahead of the Lib Dems’ Nick Horton in 4th. 

Candidates in their own words

Candidates are listed in the order their parties finished in 2010

Conservatives

Roger Freeman: I’ve represented Swiss Cottage since 2006. My focus is on the matters that concern local residents, resolving issues with street cleaning, housing and leaseholders, parking and traffic. I’ve worked closely with the Safer Neighbourhood Team and am Vice Chairman of Camden’s Planning Committee. Long standing Governor of a Camden secondary school. @RogerJFreeman

Andrew Marshall: A councillor for 20 years, I’ve represented Swiss Cottage since 2002. As Deputy Leader of Camden in the previous Conservative-LibDem administration, I spearheaded the new Academy, secured three years of zero council tax increases, improved protection for conservation areas and reformed parking policies. Improving Finchley Rd for pedestrians is a priority. @AndrewIMarshall

Don Williams: As a Swiss Cottage councillor and Cleve road resident, I know Swiss Cottage is a lovely place to live. I have fought against noisy premises, dirty streets, high taxes, sub-standard council housing and an unresponsive Council while promoting a clean environment, better policing, more schools, better parking and rejuvenated high streets. Please share your views. @DonSwissCottage

Liberal Democrats

Chris Butler: Chris moved to London 3 years ago for work. Like many young people, Chris understands the problems of being stuck in the private rented sector and wants to stand up for those struggling with rogue landlords, and campaign for more affordable housing.

Andrew Haslam-Jones: I have lived in the area for almost two decades, and am married with a young son. I’m a lawyer with a business degree and a small business owner. I’m keen to use my experience to make sure that residents are best served by their council. @andrewhj

Jill Newbrook: I have lived in Swiss Cottage ward for the past 40 years, and have seen many changes, not least the disappearance of the small independent shops. Though we still have a few “open all hours” general shops, we need to encourage the small specialist entrepreneurs.

Ben Nunn: Ben has been involved in community activism and local politics since moving to Camden. He is a passionate campaigner for social justice and improving residents’ access to public services. Ben volunteers for a care charity in Camden and, for his day job, campaigns for improvements in the NHS. @BenNunnUK

Simon Pearson: Simon has lived in Camden for 32 years. His son went to Swiss Cottage School and his wife works in special educational needs. Simon is standing so he can pay back to the borough for the support he has received over the years and to work to mitigate the effects of HS2.

Gretel Reynolds: Gretel has been a member of the Labour party for a period of 10 years. Gretel has participated in many door knocking and telephone canvassing sessions, discussing with constituents the issues that matter most. She looks forward to meeting those in Swiss Cottage she hasn’t yet met and campaigning further!

Green

Tom Franklin: Tom Franklin has moved from the Labour Party to the Green Party due to his belief that global warming is the greatest danger facing society. He can often be seen cycling around the area. At a local level he supports better public transport and cycling provision to serve the community and reduce carbon emissions

Helen Jack

Sheila Patton: Sheila has lived in Camden for 41 years and has campaigned on social justice issues for many years and is particularly involved in the campaign to protect the NHS. The Green Party is the only party if you want to hold the Council to account and have proper questions asked of officers and Cabinet Members.

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