York Green Party

Green Cllr takes call to keep East Coast public to Brighton conference

19 September 2013

This weekend Green Cllr Andy D’Agorne spoke at the Green Party national conference in Brighton to call on the government to halt the planned re-privatisation of the East Coast mainline.

Speaking in support of the motion he explained the importance of a quality service to York. He also acknowledged the support for the campaign already stated by Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central and urged him to maintain pressure on Labour to join the Green Party in pledging to abolish the rail franchising system and return £1bn per year to the exchequer.

Cllr D’Agorne said, ‘In the last three years, the taxpayer owned East Coast Direct Operating Company has returned £640m to the treasury to reinvest in rail improvements.  To privatise East Coast now, with this excellent financial record, is reckless and ideological.’

He continued, ‘As Green MP Caroline Lucas has proposed in a private members bill, The Green Party would gradually return the entire railway network to public ownership as franchises expired, eventually saving £1bn every year in the subsidies currently provided for private companies, enough to cut rail fares by 20%. By reinvesting this money in the network, taxpayer’s money would no longer be spent subsidising shareholder dividends, but could be focussed on upgrading the network and improving the quality of service.’

The motion, which affirmed the Green Party’s opposition to the privatisation of East Coast, passed with a resounding majority in a vote by conference delegates.

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