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Environmental concerns behind campaigns of independent candidates in Cambridge City Council elections



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A sense of frustration at the way the environment in and around Cambridge is being exploited is fuelling the campaigns of two independent candidates in the May 5 elections.

Monica Hone is an independent candidate for Coleridge and Jason Scott-Warren is as independent candidate for West Chesterton in the 2022 Cambridge City Council elections
Monica Hone is an independent candidate for Coleridge and Jason Scott-Warren is as independent candidate for West Chesterton in the 2022 Cambridge City Council elections

Jason Scott-Warren is standing for the first time as an independent in West Chesterton. Prof Scott-Warren is an expert in early modern literature and culture, and a research fellow at Gonville & Caius college.

“I was a member of the Labour party until recently,” he says. “While I respect many Labour politicians, I think the party as a whole lacks vision and is back to courting the Murdoch press and an ill-defined centre ground.”

Prof Scott-Warren has previously campaigned for Extinction Rebellion, and is well known in the city for his science-based concerns about climate breakdown.

He adds: “My manifesto is motivated by fear and anger – fear at the speed with which ecosystems are collapsing, and anger at the failure of government to respond with due urgency. We know that climate breakdown will hit the poorest members of our society the hardest. As the most unequal city in the UK, Cambridge needs to take the lead in developing strategies to repair both environment and society.

“We need to rethink our housing, ending low-grade, low-density building and moving to more centralised, amenity-rich urban living. We have to banish the growth agenda and learn to live within the limits of our water supply, protecting the river Cam from sewage, pollution and over-abstraction. We need ultra-cheap or free public transport, and local car-pool schemes, subsidised by a smart congestion charge on drivers who can afford to pay. Cambridge is a renowned cycling city which deserves state-of-the-art cycling infrastructure. And we should find new ways to green the city: less mowing, more trees and no herbicides.

Cycling infrastructure is an issue for many Cambridge residents concerned about transport issues
Cycling infrastructure is an issue for many Cambridge residents concerned about transport issues

“The Conservatives are committed to keeping car use at its current level when we should be empowering people to go car-free. Labour and the Lib Dems have dominated the city council for decades and have allowed growth to continue unchecked. If elected I would work closely with Green councillors, but I think it’s time to move beyond party politics and to call on a wider range of energies for change.”

Monica Hone, an independent standing in Coleridge, recently left the Green Party.

She said: “I’m running to highlight the water emergency caused by the unsustainable growth of Cambridge, something I have been campaigning on for over two years now. I feel it is not being taken seriously by the current council, the university or growth lobbying groups in the city.

“Despite DEFRA declaring Cambridge Water an area of serious water stress last July, and the Environment Agency calculating that Cambridge Water needed to make sustainability reductions of 22,000,000 litres per day to restore environmental health, Labour Councillors still believe they can deliver a medium level of growth, and as many as 9000 more homes than the government requires.

“The water emergency is still being ignored by Greater Cambridge Planning, and by councillors approving vast new developments like Waterbeach New Town and Northstowe. This is ecocide.

“People are tired of tick-box consultations, of having to choose a package of policies, of not having a voice.

“I have made it clear what I am standing on; the water emergency, protecting biodiversity, and resilient communities. I want to be free to listen to the communities I represent and to be their voice.”

Full list of candidates for West Chesterton:

  • Jean-Ann Bartlett - Conservatives
  • Sam Carling - Labour
  • Jamie Dalzell - Liberal Democrats*
  • Emma Garnett - Green
  • Michael Harford - Conservatives
  • Shayne Mitchell - Green
  • Shahida Rahman - Liberal Democrats
  • Jason Scott-Warren - Independent
  • Richard Swift - Labour**

* sitting councillor

** sitting Labour councillor Mike Sargeant is not standing for re-election

Full list of candidates for Coleridge

  • Monica Hone - Independent
  • Robin Nelson - Conservatives
  • Sarah Nicmanis - Green
  • Sam Oliver - Liberal Democrats
  • Anna Smith - Labour*

* sitting councillor

Find a full list of candidates for the Cambridge City Council elections here and a full list of candidates for South Cambridgeshire District Council here.



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