Greens choose Hove by-election hopeful

Posted On 23 Nov 2011 at 11:40 pm

The Greens have chosen a married Hove mother of two and party employee to stand in the by-election in Westbourne ward next month.

Louisa Greenbaum, 41, came within 250 votes of representing the ward at the local elections for Brighton and Hove City Council in May.

Mrs Greenbaum lives in the ward and works as a sustainable events organiser and, part-time, as a national conference organiser for the Green Party.

After being selected this evening she spelt out a change of tack from the Greens’ successful by-election campaign in Goldsmid ward in 2009.

Alex Phillips won Goldsmid on the back of a campaign for a new school for Hove.

Councillor Alex Phillips

Mrs Greenbaum said: “Hove is affected by a rise in the number of pupils entering primary school at the moment which will go on to affect our secondary schools in years to come.

“I know all about it as my youngest daughter is part of that intake.

“It’s a crucial problem that the Green-led council inherited when it came to power in May.

“While the demand is at primary level, the answer has to be in expanding Hove’s excellent and fiercely sought-after infants and juniors as there’s no money to build a new primary school.

“New schools are funded by central government, not local councils, and Brighton and Hove is not being given that money.

“Indeed, as everyone knows, central government funding is being axed all over the place and councils are having to deal with the consequences.

“However, we do have enough money to expand existing schools.

“When the pupil increase reaches our secondary schools, the problem will be tougher as places right across the city have been tight ever since the previous Labour-run council closed a secondary school in East Brighton five years ago without enough places to absorb the pupil numbers properly elsewhere.

“But the new issue won’t hit the secondary schools for five or six years and so there’s time to look at all the alternatives including the possibility of future government funding for a new school.

“That’s what the Greens are doing rather than over-reacting as soon as they came into power and before examining all the options.

“Meanwhile, I’m interested in seeing how the expanded primaries and the new school sites can be made to work best for our children and parents.

“Being both a parent and a councillor with the party in power would give me a tremendous advantage in knowing at first hand what needs to be done and then making sure it gets done, with the children and parents at the heart of any decisions.”

Louisa Greenbaum

Mrs Greenbaum said that traffic and road safety, particularly around school entrances, were also passions.

She said: “I wish my daughters could walk or cycle to school on their own, as they get a bit older, but the roads around the schools are just too busy and plagued with illegally parked cars.

“The new Green plan to roll out 20mph roads near schools will make a big difference.

“And illegally parked cars might finally be sorted out by the Green announcement this week of postal fines for illegal parkers who manage to evade parking enforcement officers.”

Mrs Greenbaum lives in Westbourne with her husband Ray and daughters Alma, 8, and Ivy, 6, who go to West Hove Infant School and West Hove Junior School.

After Mrs Greenbaum was selected Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “I’ve known Louisa for a while and, as a councillor, she would be a tremendous asset to Westbourne.

“She’s very much part of her local community, she gets stuck into many activities and campaigns – such as the successful campaign to prevent pole dancing at an inappropriate location such as The Portland public house – and she’s very hard-working.”

The by-election will take place on Thursday 22 December.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    I wish this lady good fortune in this by-election.

  2. Aaa Reply

    More pro-Green censorship from the editor

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