I have lived in this area and been a part of our community for 30 years. I chose to get involved in local politics to make a positive difference. I am proud to live in Haringey, proud to have raised my family here and am now incredibly proud to serve our community.
It has become increasingly clear to me that the Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council have been too fast to talk our area down and too slow to put together an alternative sensible, strategic and relevant policy platform for local people as we fight against this Tory government.
I am someone who cares passionately about social justice and I was very proud to have been appointed as Haringey’s disability champion earlier this year. But the truth is that I cannot put that passion into practice on the Lib Dem benches.
I look at the Lib Dems in Haringey and I don’t see a party committed to delivering for local people, tackling inequality or furthering social justice. I know I share this experience with so many local people right across Haringey.
I have therefore concluded that I can no longer sit on the opposition benches as a Lib Dem heckling from the sidelines and failing to provide a positive alternative vision for the future for the people of Haringey.
I now believe that the best way to make a difference and deliver for the people of Crouch End is to join the Labour Party.
I’ve been inspired by the leadership and vision of Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London, representing the very best of an open, tolerant London where everyone can succeed. So many people in Crouch End and across Haringey will know how much this matters in the wake of the EU referendum result.
Furthermore, I’ve also been impressed by what Labour are doing in Haringey, taking tough decisions to move the borough forward and setting out a positive vision for the future. I’ve also witnessed the energy and commitment of my fellow Crouch End councillors Jason Arthur and Natan Doron as well as our colleagues in neighbouring wards like Hornsey and Stroud Green. I know my fellow Labour councillors are good, honest, hardworking local people who always put the interests of the community above petty politics.
I have worked closely with my colleagues Cllr Jason Arthur and Cllr Natan Doron in Crouch End. I watched them fight an honest and open campaign in 2014. They made pledges to the people of Crouch End that were rooted in their experience of what matters to Crouch Enders. And they’ve made considerable progress against those pledges. That’s the kind of politics I want to be a part of.
I’ve also worked with other Labour members on council committees and developed a close and effective working relationship with the Leader, Cllr Claire Kober.
I acknowledge that having served as Leader of the Lib Dem Group on the Council from 2014-2015, this decision may generate more chatter than most. I want to be clear that my decision to join the Haringey Labour Group is made with the people of Crouch End at the forefront of my mind. I tried as Leader of the Lib Dems in Haringey to build a strong opposition, focused on representing not just a narrow few but all of Haringey and in the end, I found little support in the Liberal Democrats for doing things differently.
I will be getting to work immediately as a member of the Haringey Labour Group, with Cllr Jason Arthur and Cllr Natan Doron, to make Crouch End and Haringey a better and fairer place.
Cllr Sarah Elliott, Crouch End Labour