Wed, 24 Apr 2019
WEST Berkshire Green Party feels that it is closer than ever to having councillors elected to represent the district’s residents.
The Greens are fielding a record 16 candidates for West Berkshire Council.
And although this would not be enough to take control of the council, the Greens feel confident that their policies are resonating with voters.
The party has not released a manifesto, but listed 10 reasons to vote Green instead.
Green Party agent and candidate for Wash Common ward David Marsh said: “We don’t think people read manifestos, especially for local elections.”
He added that the Conservative manifesto of 2015 had “absolutely no relation at all to what has happened”.
“We wanted to make our policies more accessible to make it clear as to what we will do if we get elected,” he said.
The 10 reasons include a plan to tackle climate change by declaring a climate emergency and working towards zero carbon emissions by 2030.
He said Green councillors would press to scrap the controversial £50 green bin charge and waste permit scheme by renegotiating the council’s contract with Veolia.
When asked how the council would account for the lost income if the green bin tax was scrapped, Mr Marsh said: “I think the money is there, it’s just a question of how you prioritise it and not wasting it.”
Speaking about Bayer leaving Newbury and the council spending £5.6m of public money on the stalled regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate, Mr Marsh added: “The Conservative record of being good at managing the district has been shot to pieces by anyone who has been reading your paper for the last four years.”
The Greens say they would work towards recycling a wider range of plastics and eliminating single-use plastics.
The party has pledged to provide value for money for council tax payers “through not wasting money and giving away land to developers”.
They will also oppose any increases to councillors’ allowances and have pledged safer roads and cleaner air, with better public transport, including more 20mph limits, especially near schools, and more cycle lanes.
The Greens have committed to investing in schools and providing headteachers with the resources they need, after losing teachers and assistants due to spending cuts.
Sustainable development and sport for all make up the final two reasons they say you should vote Green on May 2.
The party said it would seek to reopen the Faraday Road ground for the use of the footballing community and press for more sustainable homes for people who need them most. Opposition to the building of 1,500 homes at Sandleford is also a party mantra.
Mr Marsh said: “We think we have got really good policies we think people will like. We try to be positive and give reasons to vote Green and we think this is sticking with people.
“We’re really struck by interest in recycling and people asking why can’t we do more.”
He said that the campaigning reception was one of “disillusionment with national policies and I don’t blame them when you look at the mess the country is in over Brexit”.
“If you look locally they are very, very positive and supportive,” he said. “People are saying ‘I have never voted Green but I’m going to give it a go this time’. I just hope that they trust us and we will make a difference if we get elected.
“It’s kind of really exciting to feel we are closer than we have been to getting councillors elected.”
See the 10 points in full here.