SIAN Berry, the new Green councillor in Highgate, may be finding life busier than it ever was since winning her seat at the Town Hall in May. Being on your own, a sole councillor at the council can be exhausting, to which her predecessor Maya De Souza can presumably testify. Yet, Sian, photographed with Natalie Bennett, has told colleagues she wants to take on even more work with a run for City Hall at the next London elections.
She doesn’t mean another tilt at the mayoralty and a repeat of her efforts in the 2008 London elections, but a role as an assembly member. There are potentially two ‘list’ seats available – if the capital keeps supporting the party in the way it has – with Dame Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson set for pursuits elsewhere.
If she is showing such interest, you would think the Greens would be foolish to ignore it. A little extra profile – and being a London Assembly member, we have seen, is what you make of it in terms of taking that chance – would help grant her greater recognition. Face on the local TV news more, a few quotes in the Evening Standard and so on. All of that certainly wouldn’t hurt the party’s attempts to cement its defiant foothold in Highgate where they have foiled Labour’s local desperation to exchange what is a split ward for a return to a clean, red sweep. Some might say Sian is already well known, having stood for the mayoralty and been one of the party’s principal speaker, a rather faffy word they once used instead of leaders. She used to bag good press too, including at least one soft-lit feature about young meteors, in which she thoughtfully looked at fallen leaves for the Independent while Johann Hari reminded us of the time she wigged up as Premiership WAG for anti-4×4 campaign. But what’s interesting is that her little break from the Green Party means she can have a coffee in the courtyard at conference without new members – marked out here in Birmingham with ‘first timer’ stickers – stopping for selfies.