Green Councillors are different to most other council members. Greens come from all backgrounds and bring a wealth of experience to the job. Many run their own businesses or have done so in the past, so realise the pressures that are put on to small and medium sized enterprises. I co-founded and ran a large retail operation with branches all over the country, so I have a good insight into the problems now facing our post-Covid high streets.
Many other councillors have come from academia or the various public sectors or just from the same background as the people they represent. I was born to a working family in East London and grew up in South East London/Kent where I attended a secondary modern school in the 70s.
But the one thing that has driven us all to take on the job of a councillor is a desire to make the world a better place for everyone and a willingness to fully represent and work for the people who have put their faith in us by giving us their vote.
The Green Party doesn’t operate a party whip. We always remember we are there to represent the people who voted for us, and we will always put people before party.
As a District Councillor, I’ve seen first hand how local government can work against the interests of our communities rather than for them.
Party dogma is the main reason for this with councillors being fiercely whipped, especially by the Conservative leadership. This has resulted in some frankly bizarre outcomes with residents and council tax payers bearing the brunt.
The Green Party doesn’t operate a party whip. We always remember we are there to represent the people who voted for us, and we will always put people before party. Green councillors are free to vote how they see fit, which has resulted in far better outcomes for residents.
For example it only took one Green County Councillor, working across party lines, to secure 20MPH powers for local councils as part of the ’20 is plenty’ initiative. Of course other parties now claim credit for that great achievement, but we don’t mind, as long as our communities benefit.
But it’s on climate change that Greens really lead the way. While we’ve welcomed other parties into the climate awareness fold, they often still don’t get it. They don’t see environmentalism as literally a global issue, preferring to compartmentalise and focus only on their own operations.
Of course that’s important, but in the midst of an emergency we have to tackle the problem at all levels, not just those that conveniently and comfortably coincide with other priorities such as exponential growth.
For all these reasons and many more, voting Green brings positive change for our communities and our planet. Change that’s needed now, before it’s too late.