15 September 2016
Greens select disability activist to contest Brockley by-election
Lewisham Green Party have selected Clare Phipps, a disability activist and Chair of the national Green Party, to contest the Brockley Ward by-election on Thursday 13th October. If elected, Clare will join the Green’s other Lewisham Councillor John Coughlin in working hard for the people and environment of Brockley.
27 year old Phipps, who analyses public health data as part of a PhD, said that she was “really chuffed” to have been selected in “a highly winnable seat for the Greens” and that she had been “waiting years for this opportunity” to fight back on behalf of residents.
Clare is a long standing Green Party member, and previously stood in the 2014 local elections, where she was a key part of the campaign to hold the Greens’ Brockley council seat and re-elect Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP. She was then elected to the national Green Party Executive, serving during a period which saw a quadrupling of the Party's membership and the successful re-election of Caroline Lucas MP in a General Election where over a million voted Green. She lives with her partner who is also her carer, and their two house rabbits. She is a keen cyclist and singer.
Clare suffers from a rare disorder known as idiopathic hypersomnia and has dedicated much time fighting for improved support for disabled people, recently appealing to the High Court to allow MPs to job-share, something she says would help more disabled people and carers stand for parliament. Her family have lived in the borough of Lewisham since Victorian times.
“People are feeling hacked off with cuts to public services, with dodgy landlords, and at the ruining of our beautiful neighbourhood as a result of fly-tipping and smoggy car fumes. Labour might talk the talk, but with all but one of the seats on our council currently in their hands, they have no incentive to walk the walk. Currently, the Greens’ Cllr John Coughlin is the only one on the entire council holding Labour to account. I think even Labour would surely agree that isn’t good for democracy?
“Residents can guarantee that I will do all I can to provide decent housing in Brockley, to clean up our air and local area, and reverse the cuts that have damaged so many of our local services: because I experience the same problems they do. On both sides of my rented flat are developments so neglected by the council that one has caused my bathroom to subside, with builders from the other regularly throwing rubbish in my garden. I have been fighting for months to get the social care as I disabled person my partner and I so desperately need. Every time I cycle through Brockley I see discarded furniture, and am stunned by the amount of traffic whizzing next to my handlebars. I won’t stand by and let the council do nothing - simply passing on Tory cuts - while ordinary residents suffer.
“Since moving to the borough where my family are from, and experiencing what it is like to feel like the council is just ignoring us, I have been waiting for an opportunity like this to come up. I was really chuffed when I was selected to represent the Greens because it is probably our most winnable seat in London right now.”
The Brockley Ward by-election was triggered when sitting Labour councillor Baroness Alicia Kennedy resigned.
If you can do anything to help the campaign please contact Lewisham Green Party on firstname.lastname@example.org
The election will take place on Thursday 13th October.