(A Greener London is on the agenda following local elections. Credit: Pexels)
With the 2018 local elections just around the corner, keen voters are happy to see that the environment remains a prime concern in political parties manifestos, reports Leanne Cresswell.
On May the 3rd, voters will take to the polls for the very last set of elections before the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union. In recent weeks, it seems that Southwark residents have been left impressed with manifestos delivered by political parties such as Labour and Liberal Democrats, who are both fighting for leadership.
A priority that Southwark residents are delighted to see in both parties declarations are the promises for a greener environment. Although Southwark has the best recycling rate in inner London, Labour claims to end single-use plastic in the council, halve it in the borough, and introduce water fountains to reduce plastic bottles, whilst the Lib Dems are keen to introduce a recycling-for-cash scheme in partnership with local shops.
Southwark local resident and keen environmental activist, Conor O’malley said: “I’m extremely happy with how the council has dealt with issues regarding the environment over the past few years, but with that being said, there’s still a lot of work to be done. I think that the Lib Dems recycling-for-cash scheme is an interesting concept and will definitely motivate more people to take action.”
When asked about the vision of a greener borough, Labour leader of Southwark Council, Peter John highlights the accomplishments that the borough has already seen in recent months.
“Southwark is greener than ever. We have more award-winning Green Flag parks than ever before and the highest in central London. Despite government cuts we have kept the streets clean, recycling rates high. More people are walking and cycling to get around which of course cuts the amount of pollution in our air, which improves overall health.”
He goes on to say: “We will play our part in tackling climate change, so that future generations can live in a cleaner, greener Southwark.”
Nature conservation is also on the agenda for both voters and political parties. Southwark is home to more than 50 sites of importance for nature conservation and nature reserves. Favorite parks, including, Kennington Park, Burgess Park, and Dulwich park are amongst the many that Labour vow to protect and make accessible to all.
Amy Irons, a local resident and dog walker in Kennington is basing her vote on the protection of the parks around her. “I love nature and it amazes me that my borough is full of spectacular scenery! Dog walking is my job, so on most days, I tend to spend a big portion of my time walking the animals around my local parks. Having such protection makes a huge difference in making my job and other peoples leisure time enjoyable. I would like to see the security on these places continue.”