Rachel Collinson

party: Green Party
constituency: West Ham

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How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

This is a REALLY important question. I feel that the rights of citizens have been trodden into the dirt when it comes to privacy. Acts like the RIPA can be misused grotesquely, as they have here in Newham, with the council making over 1,000 requests to snoop on communications of their tenants and employees. I would vote to repeal this act, oppose secret unaccountable mass surveillance, pressure the government to follow human rights judgements on the retention of private data and surveillance, oppose the privatisation and sale of private data, and encourage government to adopt open standards. And - net neutrality, FTW. Green MEPs have been fighting hard for this in the EU parliament.

The right of parents to remain with their children in hospital has been established for over forty years. How would you ensure carers of people with dementia are equally welcome in hospital?

organisation: John's Campaign

By joining up health and social care. Instead of having two departments (NHS and local councils) fighting against each other, they would be one and the same organisation. I would support the NHS reinstatement bill together with free social care, and the profit motive playing no part in either.

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

Sounds only sensible, yes.

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Absolutely. We want to see more regulation of the private housing sector, with, for example, an assured 5 year tenancy protecting tenants from huge rent rises.

Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, but we'd go further than that, ensuring the building of 500,000 new social homes and preventing the sell-off through right to buy.

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes - we'd essentially abolish mortgage interest relief for landlords, raising £6 billion a year, all of which would go into creating new social homes on brownfield sites and through reclaiming empty properties.

To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Only in exceptional circumstances supported by legal frameworks.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, absolutely; this is a Green Party manifesto commitment. We'd go further than this, however, and prevent housing market speculation driving up the cost of housing. To do this we'd look at bringing in Land Value Tax, reform council tax to ensure that large and empty properties are fairly taxed, eliminate mortgage interest relief for private landlords, and create 500,000 new social homes. This would make sure that the housing market serves ordinary people and not investors.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

YES! This is one of the biggest problems we have in Newham and the Labour council's weird preference for luxury flats here over decent social housing has gone unchallenged for decades. This is exacerbating our social divisions and now means that 1 in 2 Newham residents live in poverty. One of the main reasons I got into politics (reluctantly)!

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

Yes, absolutely. We aim to decriminalise the purchase of drugs for personal use and would set up a commission to look at the feasibility and impact of legalising cannabis; potentially boosting the economy and bringing in billions of pounds to the treasury as well as freeing up police time to concentrate on real crimes, while at the same time treating addiction as a health problem not a criminal one.