The Dispatch is taking part in a project to boost voter engagement
Voters in Edmonton Green say housing, crime and the environment are the biggest issues influencing their vote in the upcoming local election.
The Dispatch spoke to voters at Edmonton Green Shopping Centre ahead of May’s local election, as part of a project funded by the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF). The PINF Impact Fund seeks to boost democratic engagement in specific communities and better understand the needs of local residents in those areas.
Two online surveys are being run by PINF for residents in the Edmonton Green and Lower Edmonton wards, which aim to find out more about local levels of democratic engagement, and are now open for people to fill in (links are at the end of this article).
In February, ten voters spoke to the Dispatch about their priorities for the election on 5th May, which will elect a new council administration at Enfield Civic Centre. Four people mentioned the cost of housing and homelessness as among their biggest concerns, another four mentioned rubbish collections and the general state of the local environment, and three also mentioned crime. Other issues highlighted include parking, pollution from Edmonton incinerator, and the proliferation of gambling venues.
Jay Jyawarden said crime and anti-social behaviour was “the main issue” for him and said he wanted to see “more police on the streets”.
Lydia Henry said there was “waste everywhere” on the streets which “always used to be clean” in years gone by. She said: “In the green space just outside the station I always see rats, even in daylight.”
Lydia said she was also concerned about housing. “It is so difficult for young people”, she said. “My son is 22 and I would like him to become independent but even though he is working he can’t afford it – it’s about £700 just to rent a room.”
Tony Antonio agreed that “housing is too expensive” but said he didn’t know what could be done to tackle it. Trueman, who did not give his surname, was also worried about homelessness. He said: “There are so many homeless people. I don’t think enough is being done about it. Nobody should be forced to live on the street.”
Finally, Jeremy Cowley raised the issue of gambling venues and said: “You’ve got William Hill, Paddy Power, and a casino slot machines place, all within five minutes.”
Dispatch readers living in Edmonton Green and Lower Edmonton are being encouraged to share their thoughts on the upcoming local election and the democratic process. Eligible voters in Edmonton Green should head to forms.office.com/r/7qvMs26biX and voters in Lower Edmonton can go to forms.office.com/r/ViwLTvSqDR.
The survey will take about five minutes to complete and all questions are optional. After completing it respondents can enter their email address for a chance to win £250 for a charity of their choice. This email data will be securely stored separately from the responses and deleted at the end of the project.
For more information about the PINF Impact Fund: