In the first part of our new blog series highlighting Young Fabians standing for local government positions across the country, get to know Liam Martin-Lane, Labour’s candidate for King’s Cross ward in Camden.
Why are you standing to be a councillor in your local community?
I want the chance to represent ordinary people on the issues which matter to them. Be it delivering decent homes, helping with the cost of living or combatting anti-social behaviour, I want to show people that Labour is the party which can be trusted to help people improve their lives.
Tell us about the ward you are standing in, such as the biggest concerns on the doorstep and what makes it unique.
King’s Cross is one of the most diverse areas in the borough of Camden. Old street properties sit side-by-side from brand new flat conversions. Residential estates border retail hotspots, multinational companies are a stone’s throw from small start-ups.
There is so much going for the area right now, but I want to see that as many people as possible who live in King’s Cross have the opportunity of a better quality of life. The biggest challenges they face are insecure housing, high living costs and anti-social behaviour, and they deserve local representatives who are on their side.
How did you find the selection process, and do you think there are ways it can be improved to better support young members?
The aspect of the selection process I liked most was the opportunity to participate in a 6-week ‘Academy’ session, designed to develop your skills and introduce you to policy areas a local council deals with. I came out of those 6 weeks more knowledgeable and confident than before.
What do you hope to bring from your experiences within the Young Fabians into local government?
Ideas, ideas and more ideas! I admire the brilliant policy work which the Young Fabians do, often bringing a new perspective to longstanding challenges. Labour councils have done the same thing over the last twelve years, despite the Tories trying to squeeze them until the pips squeak.
If elected as a councillor, I’d love to contribute to the debate about how Labour can continue to deliver for people in an increasingly challenging world.
What would be your advice to Young Fabians who are considering standing for local government?
The best advice I can offer is to have a chat with a councillor or other elected representative you might know. Chances are they would have had similar questions to you before starting out for the first time.
Ultimately though, go for it! Local politics needs to hear a fresh perspective, and your voice is just as valuable as that of someone who has been in the trade for years.
How can YF members help your campaign between now and May?
We’re getting out the vote every Saturday between now and the election, and would be delighted to welcome any Young Fabians who want to join us! Feel free to drop me a message on Twitter, I’m @LML96_.
We’re close to three major train stations, you can spread the word about our plans for the future, and you get to try out some pretty awesome eat-out spots whilst you’re at it!
If you are a Young Fabian standing in the May local elections, please email our blog editor Jimmy at [email protected] if you’d be interested in being featured here on the blog.