Former finance chief to stand for Lib Dems

Party targets wins in north west of the borough and Belsize

Tuesday, 22nd February — By Richard Osley

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Janet Grauberg had a senior role at the Town Hall after Labour lost power in 2006

CAMDEN’S former finance chief wants a return to the Town Hall chamber after being named in the Liberal Democrat election team for May’s boroughwide polls.

Janet Grauberg will stand in West Hampstead where the party once held all three seats and it has declared a target territory again.

Residents are due to choose who runs the council for the next four years on May 5.

“It has been clear from the many conversations we’ve been having in West Hampstead that residents feel neglected and taken for granted by their Labour councillors,” she said.

“I will use my experience from volunteering in the community for many years to give local people the representation they need and deserve. With the council considering the proposal to redevelop the 02 Centre site later this year, it will be more important than ever to have councillors that can stand up for residents rather than toe the Town Hall line.”

Janet Grauberg with Elizabeth Pearson and David Elkan

She will be standing alongside fellow Lib Dem candidates David Elkan and Elizabeth Pearson.

Labour’s Peter Taheri is standing down in West Hampstead – he is moving to Suffolk to be a coroner – but sitting councillors Shiva Tiwari and Nazma Rahman will be up for election again and Sharon Hardwick completes their set of candidates for the ward.

The Lib Dems are also concentrating on Fortune Green and Belsize wards, where they already have seats in the chamber.

Tracey Shackle

Nancy Jirira who won last summer’s by-election in Fortune Green following the retirement of Flick Rea is joined on the Lib Dem candidate list in the ward by Tracey Shackle and Will Coles.

Fortune Green is currently a split rainbow ward shared between Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party. The latter gained its seat when the borough’s deputy mayor Lorna Russell defected from Labour and warned that the ruling party was not doing enough for the north west of the borough.

Cllr Russell is standing in her new home ward of Highgate in May, however, and the contest in Fortune Green is expected to be a straight duel between the Lib Dems and Labour.

Cllr Jirira said: “Last July, residents sent a clear message to the Labour council that they are fed up with not being listened to. I am proud to be standing up for our community in the Town Hall, particularly calling for action on Labour’s failure to resolve the rubbish crisis in Fortune Green and West Hampstead.”

Labour’s candidates in Fortune Green are Richard Olszewski, the current finance chief at the Town Hall, Marcus Storm and Lorna Greenwood, who lost out to Cllr Jirira at last year’s by-election.

The Liberal Democrat team in Belsize

The New Journal reported earlier this month how the Lib Dem group leader Luisa Porritt, a former MEP and London mayoral candidate, was standing down, citing work commitments which had changed over the last four years.

Her ward, Belsize, is currently split between two Lib Dems and one Tory. The two parties are now set to contest a fresh battle with the Conservatives’ leader Oliver Cooper now among the candidates there.

In Belsize, the Lib Dems field Councillor Tom Simon, Matthew Kirk and Judy Dixey. The Tories will have Cllr Cooper, Councillor Steve Adams and Aarti Joshi on the ballot paper.

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