Update 2019 – The Greens have had mixed fortunes since 2015 when I wrote most of the information below. We did very well in the 2015 General Election and then had a loss of votes as many voters voted Labour instead due to their new leader Jeremy Corbyn.
However, in 2019 there was another huge surge of support for the Greens, as more and more people started to see us as the only party truly committed to tackling climate change. In the 2019 local elections we gained the largest number of new district and town councillors we’ve ever had. In the subsequent EU elections we doubled our number of MEPs.
The Greens continue to be a real force for change in national and local politics and we hope to be able to further influence government policy with more MPs after the 2019 General Election
One day we shall have a Green government running the country but in the meantime look at what Greens have achieved in local government, either by being the majority party in power such as in Brighton and Hove or by influencing local councils in situations where, for example, they hold the balance of power. The following are just a few examples of achievements brought about in the last few years.
Brighton and Hove: 98 key achievements in 2 years including:
A Living Wage above the minimum wage level for all the lowest paid council workers and in over 80 private sector companies
In education the best ever GCSE pass rates this year ata time when national rates are falling
Kept all children’s centres open with early years provision judged outstanding by Ofsted
Maintained the council run Youth Service
Key transport improvements and recreation green spaces with much of the funding coming from external grants saving council tax payers money e.g. Brighton and Hove is the least car dependent city outside London and has 20mph limits in residential areas.
Best ever results in helping young people back into work or training with only 6.6% of 16-18 yr. olds not in employment , education or training.
More than 500 empty homes back in use
More than 400 new affordable homes and 256 in the pipeline
No eviction of tenants on the grounds of en arrears caused by the bedroom tax
Awarded £2.5 million by the Homes and Community Agency to help fund a £9 million council scheme of 95 extra-care flats for older people
An extra £1 million towards homelessness services
Improved re-cycling rates by up to 70%
Installed solar panels on council buildings to cut energy bills
Cut council rising costs and reducing council’s carbon footprint
Protected funding to voluntary organisations
Kept open all their libraries and building another one
Attracted £650 million of EU funding to support creative industries with local economic partnerships in their strategy for high value, low carbon jobs
Helping to reduce energy bills for people through the Stroud Target 2050
Loan Scheme – cheaper, more flexible than the government’s Green Deal scheme. Loans of up to £10,000 from council capital reserves and a charitable investor.
Investing £12 million to improve the energy efficiency of gas in the coldest council houses by buying back its housing stock from the government with a cheap long term loan from the Public Works Board.. This will be paid for by the feed in tariff and renewable heat incentive. New local jobs will follow with this investment.
£100,000 to invest in local food production for all. Vast improvements in re-cycling. See www.stroud.gov.uk/recyclingvideo
Warm Front Project – 9000 homes filled with cavity wall insulation and 18,000 with loft insulation. Over the last 2 years reduced heating bills by an average £150 pa and created 200 local jobs. Saving = £45 million pa.
Green Party scheme to set up Norfolk Energy Services Company thus reducing energy bills, creating jobs and helping tackle climate change.
Guaranteeing new income streams for the council through surplus energy sold to the national grid
Green County Councillors were the only members to vote against the 2016 budget which imposed millions of pounds worth of cuts to local services, including the closure of all the children’s centres in the county. We were the only party to propose a fully costed alternative budget that would have maintained all services, as we do every year. Green councillors in Oxford City eventually negotiated additional funding for the children’s centres that allowed them to remain open beyond the closure date being imposed by Oxfordshire County Council.
Successfully forced Oxford University to conduct a full Environment Impact Assessment on the construction of the residential blocks built on Pool Meadow. Labour controlled city council is now tasked with making sure the process including wide consultation, is properly carried out. The height of the buildings may yet be reduced
Campaigned to re open the Oxford Community Hospital
Resisted local schools to be run as Academies by private concerns
Opposed the privatisation of Leisure Services
Saved council energy bills by better insulation schemes and reducing council costs
Promoted waste food collections, allotments, green ebergy suppliers, local farmers markets and Fair Trade policy from Council suppliers
Ensured the provision of affordable housing with all ne housing developments having at least 50% affordable housing
Established the provision of a Climate Change Officer team
Introduced a large range of Green initiatives in East Oxford including a Car Club, Solar panels, Farmers Market and many low carbon projects
Expanded bus services and cross ticketing between companies
Increased the number of cycle racks and improved bus lanes