York Green Party

York Greens launch Manifesto for the Common Good

22 March 2015

York Green Party launched its manifesto for the City of York council elections today in front of the Castlegate Young People's Centre in the city centre. The Greens will be putting up a full slate of 47 candidates in these elections.

Green Party candidates launch the election manifesto at the Castlegate Centre

Green candidates launch the manifesto at the Castlegate centre, saved by a Green budget amendment.

The 24-page manifesto's opening vision statement describes a city

  • in which politics is about ordinary residents engaging with decision making;
  • in which inequality is reduced and more and more people are paid at least the Living Wage, whilst small businesses are supported;
  • which invests in sustainable affordable housing and green jobs
  • where there is less traffic, better transport and better air quality
  • which lives within its natural limits avoiding over-development
  • and in which everyone has access to decent public services

York's Green Group leader, Cllr Andy D'Agorne, one of the two Green Party councillors standing for re-election in Fishergate ward says: "I'm proud of this manifesto. It sets out our full range of policies for the common good, from education and housing to planning and the local economy; from local democracy and financial management to social services and crime, anti-social behaviour and local communities. It also features chapters on energy, food, waste, transport and nature conservation, combining the Green vision for a fairer society and better local government with the need to plan for long-term environmental sustainability. I'm delighted to be launching the manifesto in front of the Castlegate Young People's Advice Service, which the Green Party's budget amendment has saved from closure."

Denise Craghill, York Green Party chair and lead candidate for Guildhall ward, added "The surge in support for the Green Party over recent months has been tremendous, both in terms of new members and positive responses on the doorstep. People are fed up with getting more of the same every time they vote and are ready for a different politics. This manifesto sets out some of our key principles and the steps we would take if in a position of influence after May 7th. As well as being hard working and accessible ward representatives, more Green party councillors will help to bring a new and positive politics to York."

Some key policies in the manifesto include:

  • A commitment to change the way the Council makes decisions so that residents can be far more involved including a return to the committee system, a new right for residents to question committees and full council, and moves to ensure that the majority of decisions on planning, the disposal of council property and other major issues are made in public by councillors, not behind closed doors by officers.
  • Directly invest in new Council housing and work with housing associations to increase the city's supply of sustainable affordable housing, whilst also making better use of existing stock
  • Encourage alternative approaches to increasing the supply of affordable housing including cooperatives, self-build and co-housing, for example the current Yorspace community-based bid for Oliver House which would create 14 new affordable homes alongside community allotments.
  • Prioritise prevention and early intervention in social services and public health policy. This includes additional support for mental health services and the appointment of a Mental Health Champion
  • Protect Children's Centres and restore services to young people including the Castlegate Centre
  • Review inequalities in swimming provision in the city and keep Yearsley Pool open
  • Keep all York's libraries open and keep up service standards
  • Work with the police and local residents and businesses to quickly deal with graffiti, litter and neglect which encourage further anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods
  • Argue for a Local Plan with sustainability at its heart and a realistic plan for less than 800 new dwellings per annum. Any plan must show how the city's infrastructure can cope without changing the whole character of York.
  • Oppose any fracking within the City of York boundaries and promote insulation programmes and renewables to reduce fuel bills and tackle fuel poverty
  • Support an independently chaired Congestion Commission that involves everyone in the city in tackling York's traffic problems and illegal levels of air pollution
  • Aim to provide an excellent city wide bus service including the trial of a free city centre service plus more frequent evening/ weekend services, an 'oyster card' system which combines cheaper tickets with flexibility
  • Protect and promote biodiversity in the City of York and formally adopt a Tree Strategy that includes protection, management, and planned replacement of the city's trees, as well as additional planting in keeping with the city's aim to plant 50,000 trees

You can read the whole manifesto on our website now.

Lars Kramm, the Green's lead candidate in Micklegate ward said "This manifesto is written against the background of the draconian cuts to local government services imposed by the Lib Dem/Tory Government and the lack of any commitment from Labour to reverse them. Green MPs will argue for the restoration of local government service levels and a devolution of powers to the regional and local levels. This would make it possible to properly rebuild local government services. However, even without that, we believe that with the political will and working openly and constructively with residents, a great deal can be achieved."

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