Matt J. McLaren

Matt J. McLaren

My name is Matt McLaren and I’m asking for your vote to represent Winchmore Hill on Enfield Council in the election on 5th May.

Our votes can change this failing Labour Council without endorsing the Conservatives and their appalling misconduct at the heart of Government or their plans to bulldoze the Green Belt. Enfield Labour’s recent Local Plan and the Conservative Governments proposed ‘Developer’s Charter’ would give the green light to developers on this.

I live on Green Lanes, between Meadowcroft Road and Eaton Park Road, and I'm standing to represent Winchmore Hill because I want local people to have a Councillor they can actually trust to have the courage of their convictions, just like Cllr Dinah Barry who’s represented Winchmore Hill on the Council for the last 8 years.

When Dinah saw first-hand the failings of Enfield Labour after a new Council Leader was installed, she took the hugely courageous step of calling out the dictatorial attitude and misconduct of that regime – stepping away from the party she loved and forming a new independent group on the Council, Community First. This was true leadership which demonstrated real integrity. I absolutely applaud both Dinah herself and all her Community First colleagues for their bravery and sacrifice in doing this.

The Community First group, which Dinah herself leads, now includes Liberal Democrat and Green Councillors. It is continuing to show real leadership – such as their recent call in of Enfield Labour’s decision to make the Fox Lane LTN permanent.

We applaud the approach of Community First, with Lib Dem Cllr Ayfer Orhan working constructively with Green and independent colleagues. As such Enfield Liberal Democrats have formed a partnership with local independents for the upcoming elections – Together for Enfield – working with popular local independents to stand on a clear platform of restoring local democracy and empowering local residents.

Dinah has been enormously supportive - both of my mission to ensure residents of Winchmore Hill will continue to be properly represented on the Council, and of the Together for Enfield project overall.

When the partnership was launched, and with Enfield Lib Dems confirming that newly elected Liberal Democrat Councillors will continue Community First’s practice of allowing group members to vote as they each feel best serves their residents, Dinah said: ‘I am delighted that people in Enfield will have the opportunity to elect councillors who will be free to vote with their consciences in the interests of their residents. At present, councillors in the other groups invariably follow party lines and vote together.

Of course, Enfield Labour take the opposite approach – bullying and suppressing their own Councillors should they even begin to speak up for local residents. Thankfully, even Labour themselves know they have no chance in Winchmore Hill now.

Bearing all this in mind, this election in Winchmore Hill looks to be a straight up contest between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives – so I’m asking local former Labour supporters to please lend your vote to the Liberal Democrats this time, to stop the Tories from winning here.

The approach of Enfield Conservatives contrasts hugely with the bravery and integrity shown by Cllr Dinah Barry, Lib Dem Cllr Ayfer Orhan and fellow Community First Councillors.

Local Tories have repeatedly failed to condemn the manifest failings and moral bankruptcy displayed by the current Government – despite numerous repeated calls from local residents who have lost loved ones to whom they could not say goodbye during the pandemic (myself included).

Enfield Conservatives are also all over the place on another conscience issue – the Edmonton incinerator. The plans to hugely expand the monstrosity that’s already there (for which Enfield Council recently admitted they have failed to conduct any kind of impact assessment regarding the effect of its emissions on the air quality of our borough) threatens to pump toxic micro-particulates & dangerous nitrogen dioxide emissions into the lungs of vulnerable families living in Edmonton to heat the homes of rich incoming homeowners in Meridian Water. Yet Conservative Councillors actually voted for the new incinerator when the North London Waste Authority met in December. Liberal Democrats are united in believing these plans are an utter disgrace and must be stopped!

Over the coming week, I hope to talk to residents more about what I want to achieve for Winchmore Hill and why it’s imperative the Conservative Party doesn’t benefit from Enfield Labour’s troubles (not least the Government’s planning reform proposals dubbed a ‘Developer’s Charter’ which – in combination with the Labour Council’s recent Local Plan – could see local green spaces bulldozed with no means for local residents to object, potentially including the open space around Sainsbury’s).

However, I am much more interested in listening than talking. So, if there’s an issue you’d like to raise with me or a question you want to ask, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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