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Hendon’s independent candidate will be the ‘voice of the residents’ UK News

Independent candidate Franca Oliffe wants to get back “to the grassroots” and be a “residents advocate” if she wins a seat on Barnet Council next week.

Standing in Hendon, a Tory stronghold, Franca has pledged to be a voice for residents whose concerns she feels are being ignored.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Franca said the controversial Hendon Hub scheme – a council-led plan to build student apartments and facilities for Middlesex University at The Burroughs – was one of the factors that encouraged her to stand for election on May 5.

Claiming the council had not listened to residents’ views on the development, she said locals might have supported a project that would not ‘overdevelop’ Hendon and improve the area.

“My job as a freelancer is to challenge decisions and make sure we make good decisions for Barnet and the Hendon area,” Franca explained. “I want to make noise and shake things up, and ask ‘why are we doing this?’

“I think it’s really important.”

Part of her job would be to hold the council accountable for its spending plans to ensure residents get their money’s worth, she said.

Franca thinks advice sometimes gets ‘blown away’ by focusing on the ‘massive picture’ and neglecting day-to-day concerns that affect residents. She explained: “One person said, ‘I just want a few extra bags to help me out’ because she is volunteering to collect litter. For them, it would be a huge difference.

Now retired, Franca previously worked as a deputy director in the legal department of the Metropolitan Police. Having worked for the Met, she says she understands the importance of diversity and how different communities function.

“I’m a group of men,” Franca said. “But I really want to make some noise and work for the community.”

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This notice was published: 2022-05-02 06:00:00

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