Bullsmoor by-election candidates make their pitch for votes

Voters heading to polls on Thursday to elect a new councillor to represent Bullsmoor at Enfield Civic Centre

The Bullsmoor by-election candidates, clockwise from top left: Tim Martin, John Dolan, Destiny Karakus, Isobel Whittaker and Christine Bellas
The Bullsmoor by-election candidates, clockwise from top left; Tim Martin, John Dolan, Destiny Karakus, Isobel Whittaker and Christine Bellas

On Thursday, 20th April voters in Bullsmoor ward head to the polls to pick a new councillor to represent them, following the resignation of Labour’s Esin Gunes last month.

The Dispatch invited each of the five candidates contesting the Bullsmoor by-election to write a short pitch to voters. They are presented below in the order they were received.

Registered voters will need to cast their ballot at their local polling station between 7am and 10pm on Thursday.

Tim Martin, Liberal Democrats

I’m standing as a candidate for Bullsmoor ward first of all because I think change is possible, and that the council won’t start listening to people unless more ordinary people in Enfield are prepared to play their part.

The Labour-dominated council believe they know best for the people of Enfield without needing to listen, and can take your votes for granted. For example, the decision to expand the Edmonton incinerator will make traffic and air pollution worse without benefiting local people. I don’t believe residents would have backed this change if consulted fairly.

The Conservatives are not providing a constructive alternative, only treating local issues as a chance to score political points.

Compared to the rest of Enfield, Bullsmoor ward has more children and young people and yet is suffering from higher rates of crime and fuel poverty. This is something we urgently need to address.

I believe that local people can already see sensible ways to tackle these issues, and that it would be my goal as a council member to listen to people and represent their views, bringing back democracy to the heart of everything the council does.

John Dolan, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

I am standing in Bullsmoor ward for election to Enfield Council as we live in one of the richest nations on earth and there is no need for anyone in Enfield to be cold, hungry or homeless.

There is enough money in our society to provide these things – but it’s in the wrong hands. We live in a capitalist society based on making private profits for the super-rich tiny minority. A democratic socialist society, based on meeting the needs of all, is needed.

The Labour Party was originally set up by the trade unions to represent working class people in parliament. They have changed and no longer do this – they now won’t even allow Jeremy Corbyn to stand as a Labour Party candidate! A major political party that represents and stands up for the working class needs to be built again by the trade unions.

If elected as a Bullsmoor councillor I would vote against budget cuts in the council chamber and – with the Enfield community – demand the restoration of money cut from Enfield by the Tory government, to reprovide much needed services. My top priority is to build council housing.

Destiny Karakus, Labour Party

I am passionate about making Enfield cleaner, greener, and safer. The Conservative government’s cuts to local police budgets have put our safety at risk, and I will prioritise creating a new community law enforcement team with 50 officers, along with investing in CCTV cameras and increased lighting on residential streets to make our streets safer from crime and antisocial behaviour.

Tackling fly-tipping is also a priority. Enfield’s Labour council has already invested in services to keep our streets clean, including a free bulky waste collection service and larger recycling bins for every household. I will continue to press council services to fine and prosecute those who fly-tip.

Opportunities for young people are essential for their growth and success. Growing up in Enfield I experienced first-hand the void of services and want to do everything I can to fill the missing support I saw growing up. The Labour council has invested over £1million into services for young people, including free holiday clubs and swimming lessons. I will work towards creating hundreds more special educational needs placements for children in Enfield, including opening a new school in Bullsmoor ward.

Vote Labour for a better borough where our community’s needs are prioritised.

Isobel Whittaker, Green Party

I have lived on Turkey Street for five years. I care deeply about our local area and the need to maintain our streets and public spaces so they are safe for everyone to use.

The council desperately needs Green voices to speak up for the environment, to put pressure on the council to divest from dirty energy, to speak up against the racist plans for an enormous polluting incinerator in Edmonton, fight against the plans to build on the Green Belt, to end the use of dangerous chemicals by the council on their property, ensure healthy safe food in schools, fight for the plight of disabled and destitute people in our borough and for dignity in social care, fight for genuinely affordable and safe housing, fight for sensible plans to manage traffic and make travel easier for everyone, speak up for our youth and give them hope.

I would work tirelessly on these and so many other issues which get ignored because of in-fighting, chasing quick cash and lack of vision. Vote Green for real change.

Christine Bellas, Conservative Party

I’m standing in the Bullsmoor ward by-election as I am passionate about Enfield. I’ve lived here all my life, I work here, I’ve raised my children here, and Enfield is in my heart.

Enfield Labour is letting down our community and residents deserve better. From council tax rises to increases in fees and charges, residents are paying more and getting less. That’s why I’m standing as a Conservative – to stand up for you.

It’s a disgrace that the Labour council has allowed levels of fly-tipping across Bullsmoor to reach epidemic levels. I will campaign for the return of weekly bin collections to tackle the rubbish on our streets.

I will also campaign against the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expansion that will spilt our community in two. Driving across Bullsmoor Lane will cost some drivers £12.50 per day – this will damage business and take hard-earned money out of residents’ pockets.

I am appalled that the council is cutting support to 270 low-income households in Bullsmoor ward and will fight this decision. The change is going to reduce council tax support by up to £1,455 per year.

If I’m elected I will work with the Conservative team to clean up Enfield, restore weekly bin collections and stop the Ulez expansion. I promise to work for you and support residents to access the services they need from Enfield Council.