Greens split on student housing

Rival candidates have slammed the Green Party for circulating “contradictory” campaign literature in Oxford colleges.

Leaflets pidged to students include opposition to “blanket quotas in Houses in Multiple Occupancy” in a list of pledges by Green candidates for City Council.

But the Green Party manifesto promises “no concentrations of HMOs” and every current Green councillor voted this year for plans to deny planning permission for new shared housing, if it breached a local quota.

The flyers are signed off by Adam Ramsay, candidate for Carfax ward, and Sam Hollick, a Christ Church student seeking to represent Holywell.

The two wards contain the vast majority of Oxford colleges.

St Anne’s finalist Robin McGhee, who is standing for the Lib Dems in Holywell, claimed that the leaflet “directly contradicts their stated policy on the issue”.

He said: “The sole reason they are saying it is because they are now trying to win votes in student areas.”

Labour candidate for Holywell Alex Harvey defended the council’s quota policy as “the right balance” between supporting students and local families, and attacked the Greens for distancing themselves from it.

He commented: “The Green Party has always said they supported this policy in their leaflets in East Oxford. The fact they are now saying the opposite to students is hypocritical and wrong.”

Both Hollick and Ramsay told The Oxford Student that they oppose the Green-backed current HMO policy and would vote against it, should they be elected.

Ramsey said that he had personally campaigned against them in the past in other parts of the UK.

However, a Liberal Democrat source said that the leaflet implied it represented party policy, and that it was “odd for someone so opposed to HMO caps to be campaigning to join a group that has made this a big part of their platform and all of whose councillors backed it”.