Shahkoofeh Shah

The conservative party have spoken exclusively to Le Nurb about their local role in this year’s general election.

Boris Johnson is fighting against the 4 other candidates running from Labour, UKIP, Liberal Democrats and The Green Party which could change the dynamics of this year’s elections greatly. Speaking to the Conservative Party about their policies regarding the young people of Hillingdon, this is what they had to say:

YOUNG PEOPLE AND CONSERVATIVE POLICY – LOCAL AND NATIONAL?

The Conservatives within Hillingdon Council have been working hard for the young people in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, and particularly the students at Brunel. Some of their achievements include:

  • Funding a person to provide community development based at Brunel, to support student life in Hillingdon

  • Ensuring better management of student housing around the university and in Uxbridge through planning and licensing

  • Working jointly with Brunel on the Hillingdon Festival of Education and Literary Festival

  • Ensuring that town centre policing extends to cover the university areas so that students are safe at night

  • Working closely with the university on economic development so that students have access to local job opportunities

The Conservative Party have been reforming the higher education sector to make it accessible to all, by removing number caps to ensure as many people as possible will get the opportunity to get a degree. They have also recently committed to introducing postgraduate student loans so that students are not disadvantaged financially if they wish to continue their study beyond their undergraduate degree.

They added: “Rent costs are understandably a concern for students. The only way to have affordable rent is to build more homes – with housebuilding now at its highest level since 2007 thanks to our long-term economic plan. Our Rent to Buy scheme also makes it easier for you to get on the ladder once you’ve finished your studies and are out in the workplace.”

In comparison with the policies of the Conservative party, Graham Lee will stand as the Hillingdon Green Party candidate in this year’s election, having been a member since 1999.

His policies include capital climate change and ‘say NO to HS2,’- I spoke to Ben Martin from Brunel Universities Green Party society about the role of the party in the 2015 general elections along with some of The Green Party goals in the 2015 elections.

Ben stated that “We have been really pushing for the increase in living wage and this is a really big policy of ours. Graham is an environmentalist first and foremost and we believe that increasing the living wage will change a lot for the area. There is a lot you can do with it."

When speaking to Ben about the parties plan to focus on improving student living and working hours, he also highlighted their desire for further student engagement in politics. He said "We want to get a great presence of Brunel students protesting about these issues, since the Green Party are the only ones doing it." A large part of these plans, both for work and protesting, involve further engagement with students, as Ben put it "We want to speak to students who are working and implement a zero hour’s contract for students who have to balance working life and university life. There isn’t really a student movement here and we are the ones who really do it in terms of our society at Brunel. It is about speaking to students on campus and asking them what they want!"

We want to be as active on campus, as it will show how serious Greens are even if we are not in power – we can still do a lot!.”

The Green Party society on campus is part of ‘London Young Greens and Green Universities.’ They aim to canvass and leaflet for other parts of London (and potentially Brighton and Bristol) as well as our own Brunel itself.