Southgate Green councillor Anne Brown had previously quit Labour, reports Simon Allin
A second Enfield councillor has joined the Green Party after claiming Labour and the Tories had failed to address “major environmental challenges”.
Anne Brown, who represents Southgate Green, announced she had joined the Greens at a full council meeting on Wednesday, 22nd September.
After quitting Labour in March, Anne joined independent opposition group Community First, which is made up of seven former Labour councillors who clashed with the current administration. She will continue serving as a member of Community First.
Cllr Brown’s move means the Green Party has gained two seats on Enfield Council in just over four months. Southgate councillor Charith Gunawardena – also a member of Community First – became the borough’s first-ever Green councillor when he joined the party in May.
Speaking during the council meeting, Cllr Brown said: “Neither of the two main parties has adequately addressed the major environmental challenges, and it’s time for a fresh approach to public services – and particularly environmental issues.
“I would like to inform members and officers that I have today joined the Green Party and will help Enfield Council as another Green councillor while remaining a member of the Community First group.”
Cllr Brown, whose announcement came during a debate on Enfield’s street scene, blamed the Tory government’s “draconian cuts” over “many years” for a decline in services provided by the council, but added that the current Labour council administration should give consultation and engagement with the public a “much higher priority”.
She also criticised the Conservative group for failing to mention the impact of the new Edmonton incinerator, pollution on the North Circular Road and other “vital issues” in their opposition paper.
The Green Party boosted its share of the vote in three recent Enfield by-elections, which all saw swings away from Labour. The next local elections, which will see all 63 seats on the council contested, will take place in May next year.
During the meeting, Labour and the Tories continued to clash over the state of the borough’s streets and environment.
The Conservatives accused Labour of losing control of the street scene, despite the reintroduction of free bulky waste collections this month. The Tories reeled off a list of concerns over fly-tipping, overflowing litter bins and overgrown verges, slamming the council over an appointment system still operating at Barrowell Green Recycling Centre.
But Labour councillors hit back, attacking the Conservative government for cutting councils’ funding and pointing out that the fly-tipping problem was also affecting other parts of the country. Criticising the closure of a recycling centre in Carterhatch Lane under a previous Tory administration, they insisted the council was already taking action to clean up the borough.