Gloucestershire Green Parties Manifesto 2017 for the Gloucestershire County Council Elections

15 April 2017

Gloucestershire Green Parties Manifesto 2017 for the Gloucestershire County Council Elections

11 April 2017

Greens elected to Gloucestershire County Council will defend communities, protect public services and cherish the countryside, towns and villages of the county. We will invest in clean energy and a low carbon economy, promote local food production and end secrecy around multi-million-pound contracts.

Dont Mess with our NHSOur plan for a Green Gloucestershire

  • Defend your Community
  • Protect our services
  • Cherish Gloucestershire

Defend your community

Where you live should feel safe: Greens will cut urban traffic speeds and support road design changes that make children - in fact make all of us - safer. We will improve public transport for commuters, shoppers and others to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Housing is a pressing issue for many: a Green County council will address this using the County Council’s own land to provide affordable homes. Greens will use effective flood mitigation measures to reduce risk to our towns, cities and villages while protecting our vital transport links.

Protect Services 

Greens will protect our care services and staff and bring services back in-house. Like the NHS, profit motives have no place here. We will review the County’s business support roles and corporate procurement practices to promote local job opportunities. We will prioritise services to those most in need, invest in prevention and resist cuts to essential services. We will encourage schools to remain in the local authority family and to work co-operatively for mutual benefit. 

Cherish Gloucestershire

The beauty of Gloucestershire is to be found in its countryside, its cities, villages and towns. Yet much of what we love requires protection from thoughtless development, increasing road congestion and the chaotic weather driven by climate change. Greens will meet these challenges head- on and provide a Marshall Plan for Gloucestershire, developing a low-carbon county to protect our economy, our countryside and our homes.

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Defend Communities

 

Traffic  

Our Roads are jammed, potholed and dangerous. We will bring in 20 mph limits which are proven to reduce road deaths on urban roads and will press our new Police & Crime Commissioner to enforce speed limits and stop pavement parking. We will press Highways for the redesign of dangerous road junctions and give cyclists and pedestrians dedicated space and priority. We will consider free bus travel for Gloucestershire residents.

Housing

We will encourage district, city & borough councils to adopt higher design standards for new housing to reduce running costs using renewable energy and better insulation. We will encourage insulation retro-fitting, protecting families from increasing energy costs. 

Flooding 

The successful natural flood management scheme (NFM) trialled in Stroud District will be expanded across Gloucestershire and its application considered to larger cross-county catchments.

Health 

 We will make Gloucestershire roads and streets safe to walk and cycle on and we will take action to reduce air pollution and the harm it does to our children and communities. We will reduce the harm of lifestyle diseases that have impacted on our families, reducing the life expectancy of our children.

Community

 - We will strive to retain leisure facilities and will work with communities to maximise use of these facilities. If changes to services are necessary we will consult widely and meaningfully with users to ensure the voices of local people are heard in the processes. We will work to increase the quality of our local environment, with less litter and noise, reduced air and light pollution and accessible green spaces. Everyone should live within walking distance of a natural green space. 

 

Protect Services

 

Public Services 

To feel safe we need to know our families will be looked after in times of need, that our communities will be cherished and supported. We recognise that investment in early years support benefits families by allowing them to manage and reduce the need for council support. Sure Start has proven benefits and we will consider how we can re-instate this much- loved service. As pressure is put on Adult Care, we will bring services back inhouse so care is driven by service not by profit.

Contracts  

We will adopt open-contracting so the pantomime of the Incinerator Contract will not be played out in court again. We will determine how services can be brought back inhouse as contracts end.

Economy  

We will instigate a major review of ‘Gloucestershire First’ with a view to promoting low-carbon and genuinely local businesses. We will also press our pension fund investors to consider keeping money within the local economy. To this end we will promote local bonds and review the debt reduction policy in the light of interest rates.  We will maintain the “living wage” and work toward agreement with staff unions that no one should earn a salary that is more than 7 times greater than the lowest paid full time employee (currently 13 times); press our contractors to also pay the “living wage” and  employ a new apprentice  for every £100,000 of any Council contract. 

Cherish Gloucestershire

 

A new Marshall Plan 

At the end of WWII the American Government responded to the urgent need in a devastated Germany by investing in rebuilding the shattered country – the Marshall Plan. It was far-sighted, visionary and much admired. Now we need such a plan to rebuild our carbon-dependent economy: we will develop such a plan for Gloucestershire.

End Incineration 

We will cancel the Javelin park Incinerator Contract. We will not use the air we breathe as a waste disposal services; we will not burn our natural resources; we cannot justify generating electricity that is dirtier than coal. Stroud is achieving recycling rates of 70%: we will replicate this across Gloucestershire with an aim to recycle 85% of waste. We will use national Waste Disposal over-capacity to procure treatment for the remaining fraction while we determine if Gloucestershire needs its own facility. We will work with business to provide local recycling sites reducing ‘waste miles’ and link recycling to local businesses.

Oppose Fracking

We will ensure that Gloucestershire is given the protection it needs allowing the County to oppose fracking.

County Assets

We will encourage schools and community groups to engage with growing food and learning how best to make use of it, to promote healthier lifestyles and better value for money. We will halt and review the sale of County Council land and buildings, working with tenant farmers to localise food production and supply and provide for allotments, community agriculture, recreation, leisure and accessible green space. Continued public use of redundant buildings by councils and communities will be given priority. We will use appropriate County sites and buildings for renewable energy generation and assist community-based schemes. 

Get Gloucestershire moving

50 years of road building has resulted in ever- increasing congestion and pot-holed roads while reducing choice if we wish to travel. Its now own a car or suffer infrequent buses, crowded trains or battle with a 42 tonne HGV armed with a bicycle. We will adopt a different transport strategy to provide real choice, clean air and safer streets.






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