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.

No step closer to step-free access for West Hampstead tube station

Many local organisations have been pushing for step-free access to West Hampstead tube station over the past few years – even if opinion diverges on what the solution should be. It was therefore disappointing, as local residents association WHGARA pointed out recently, that West Hampstead was not included in the recent batch of stations to […]

It was 56 years ago today, Decca said the Beatles couldn’t play

On a very cold New Year’s Day in 1962 the Beatles arrived in West Hampstead for their audition at Decca Studios. The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein had several record shops in Liverpool and had a meeting with the marketing people at Decca. They told Dick Rowe – Decca’s A&R (Artists and Repertoire) manager – about […]

Mt Rushmore

From Kilburn to Mount Rushmore: The story of Gutzon Borglum

It’s Thanksgiving in America, so what better time to dig into the link between Kilburn and the man behind one of the most iconic landmarks in the US. American artist and sculptor Gutzon Borglum lived and worked at Harlestone Villa in Mortimer Road, Kilburn from about 1897 to 1902. The property was later renumbered as […]

Luxury retirement development ‘can’t afford’ to pay for affordable housing

West Hampstead is facing yet another large-scale property development. It’s the third proposal to redevelop the site at the former Gondar Gardens reservoir. The history of the previous proposals have been well documented on these pages, but what really caught our eye about this one was that it offers no affordable housing either on-site or as […]

How rich must you be to afford “affordable” housing?

After many people – including West Hampstead Life – made a fuss about the lack of affordable housing provision in the Liddell Road scheme, Camden promised that the 156 West End Lane scheme would meet the 50% affordable housing quota by floorspace. The development, which was given the go-ahead by the planning committee on Thursday, […]

Liddell Road school to open with spare capacity

Liddell Road has a new name. After much careful thought and consideration it has been renamed, wait for it…, “Liddell Place”. Someone suggested an alternative, but for some reason Camden didn’t like it. Where’s Liddell Road? It’s the former council-owned light industrial estate just off Maygrove Road that’s being redeveloped to house an infants school […]

Residents concerned over Beckford School road closure plan

Camden Council has announced plans to implement a temporary road closure near a primary school in West Hampstead, angering many local residents. There are public meetings to discuss the proposals this Thursday. The affected area is around Beckford School on Dornfell Street. Camden’s proposal is to close Broomsleigh Street at the Mill Lane end at […]

Crime tops the agenda at upcoming public meeting

This Thursday, local councillors will host an Area Forum (aka: public meeting) at the Synagogue Hall in Dennington Park Road. Crime is top of the agenda. The meeting starts at 19:00 with the main business from 19:30. Last night two suspects were arrested in Broomsleigh Street following a moped-related stabbing that had taken place earlier […]