Thu

Nov

1618:08

MEET THE CANDIDATES – SF and Conservatives

 
On November 21, the Municipal and Regional elections are being held across Denmark. More than 360,000 internationals are eligible to vote. Up until the election, we will publish Q&As with the mayoral candidates in the Copenhagen Municipal election. Sadly, we don't have space to cover the five regional elections, or the contests in the other 97 municipalities around Denmark. But we hope that these answers will offer insights into how the parties think

Sisse Marie Welling – Socialist People’s Party (SF)

What is the biggest challenge facing Copenhagen today?

Air pollution in Copenhagen, which kills 500 residents every year, is clearly the biggest challenge. We can have good daycare centers and nursing homes, but if we die or get sick from breathing, there’s something wrong. We need to ban wood-burning stoves as well as diesel cars, and spend even more on bicycles, pedestrians and public transport.

What can City Hall do to reduce gang crime?

We have to stop people before they even join gangs, and we must be tough on those who are gang members and make trouble. Young people need to be taken off the streets by extending the opening hours of our clubs and ensuring that there are more clubs for young people age over 18. If we want to eradicate gangs completely, I believe we should remove their biggest source of income: cannabis. We will legalise cannabis and hash and introduce state-authorized dispensaries.

Are climate and environmental issues highly prioritized at City Hall?

We do an insane amount for the climate at the City Hall. Unfortunately, we are very restricted by laws passed by Parliament. If they gave us more leeway, we would introduce road pricing in Copenhagen and ban diesel cars and wood-burning stoves.

READ MORE: VOTE! Everything you need to know about the 2017 local elections

What can be done to make Copenhagen a better city for businesses and entrepreneurs?

We made it easier for international companies and the self-employed to gain a foothold in Copenhagen by establishing the International Citizen Centre. In addition, we would like to create even more offices that self-employed residents can use as a base.

What can be done to better support the city’s most marginalised citizens?

Marginalisation often begins in childhood, and therefore it is important that we reach out to more at-risk children. By offering them more support in their education, doing more outreach in healthcare, and ensuring free access to recreational activities, we can help prevent children from becoming homeless or experiencing other social challenges later in life. Marginalised residents need greater access to free healthcare. We will also build more legal injection rooms in neighbourhoods around the city, and make sure that there are more homeless hostels.

READ MORE: International voters don’t know their rights

What are your party’s ambitions for the next four years?

My biggest ambition for Copenhagen is that we address the situation in which many ordinary citizens are unable to afford to live in the city and where green areas have become a luxury. We are going to build more cheap homes, as well as housing for students and the elderly. We need more nature in the city if we want to get our air quality under control so we can breathe properly.

sf.dk/kommunalvalg/koebenhavns-storkreds

 

K¯benhavns Konservative VÊlgerforening

Jakob Næsager – Conservative People’s Party (Konservativer)

What is the biggest challenge facing Copenhagen today?

The biggest challenge is to prepare Copenhagen for the future. The city is growing by 10,000 inhabitants a year – we have grown by 100,000 over the past ten years, and expect to grow by another 100,000 inhabitants over the next ten. It is therefore important that there are enough homes, schools, daycare and sports facilities for all Copenhageners. The infrastructure must also be prepared for the future. We have to bury traffic underground. We need more Metro lines and a harbour tunnel for car traffic, which will provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists and local traffic.

What can City Hall do to reduce gang crime?

In order to address gang crime, we must break up the parallel societies. We must integrate everyone through the labour market and sports associations. Anyone who receives unemployment benefits from the municipality must be prepared to work and give back to the municipality that is helping them. Integration in the labour market is the solution to abolishing parallel societies.

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Are climate and environmental issues highly prioritized at City Hall?

We want Copenhagen to be CO2 neutral by 2025. We want to be environmentally friendly, so it is important that the municipality uses renewable energy, not only for heating, but also to power the municipality’s electric vehicles. We also need to protect ourselves from climate change, and the threats posed by rising sea levels.

What can be done to make Copenhagen a better city for businesses and entrepreneurs?

It is expensive to operate a business in Copenhagen, as well as inconvenient, because of the many traffic jams and the lack of parking for company cars, employees and customers. We will make it both easier and cheaper to start and run a business in Copenhagen.

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What can be done to better support the city’s most marginalised citizens?

Many of Copenhagen’s homeless are foreigners. It’s the responsibility of their home country and embassies to take responsibility for their compatriots. The municipality must help Danish homeless with housing, and out of possible substance abuse.

What are your party’s ambitions for the next four years?

In the next four years, Copenhagen will be cleaner and better prepared for the future, with far better infrastructure, and with metro reaching out to all the districts.

kbh.konservative.dk

 

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By Peter Stanners

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief. Occasional photographer.

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