12 priorities for a
fairer, greener & happier
On May 6th, Town, District and County Council elections will take place. Gloucestershire Greens set out below their 12 point priorities for a fairer, greener and happier Gloucestershire.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE GREENS MANIFESTO
Click here to read the PDF version of the below.
Gloucestershire Greens priorities 2021
1. good health for all
This year we have learned the importance of our own health and the health of our communities and has shown how years of Tory cuts and backdoor privatisation have damaged the NHS. We are proud to say that Greens have always opposed any corporate involvement in health-care
We were the first to call for local contact-tracing to contain the spread of Covid-19 and we would continue to push for our local experts to undertake this vital work.
We support the call for a 15% pay rise for NHS workers: the offer of just 1% is an insult to those who have given so much this year.
We would protect our local and community hospitals and support increasing the range of services they offer.
2. Education for the future
Greens will prioritise supporting young people who have lost so much during this past year both in terms of their education but also their friendships and opportunities to play and spend time outside.
We will encourage investment in early years provision for children and families in order to prevent problems arising in the future.
Green candidates have opposed the closure of Severn View Academy in Stroud and pledge to work with local families to ensure that provision for families continues on the site.
Gloucestershire schools will be encouraged to incorporate the appreciation of and learning about nature into their activities so that our children grow into ‘nature loving’ adults.
We will encourage all Gloucestershire’s schools to offer the new Natural History GCSE.
3. Safe streets and better public transport
A shift towards healthy and safe travel will benefit everyone, including those for whom a car is the only current option: less air pollution, less expense, less carbon, less congestion. Greens will ensure that the needs and safety of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are integrated into all new traffic schemes.
We will support 15-minute communities throughout Gloucestershire, enabling people to have access to all the services they need within a short walk or cycle ride.
We’ve worked across the county to reduce car speeds in residential areas but we need to go further.
Public transport is so poor that many people depend on polluting cars – we will invest in frequent, accessible, affordable public transport until the climate-friendly transport option is also the easiest and cheapest option.
We will encourage electric car clubs, provide safe cycle routes and secure cycle storage.
4. Business at the heart of community
The pandemic has shown us how much we depend on local businesses and how they are there for us when we need them. Although our individual decisions are important, the county council also has a big role to play in the way it spends our money.
We will support local businesses as they recover from the impact of lockdowns.
We will continue to lobby for our national policy of an extension of the business-rate holiday, reimbursed by central government, and for an increase in direct support payments.
We would grant a fixed and increasing proportion of council contracts to small and micro-businesses based in Gloucestershire.
5. Clean, Green jobs
Our proposals for a Green New Deal mean high-skilled, secure jobs in all our local communities.
As more and more jobs are automated and the move away from jobs in carbon intensive industries continues we will support people to retrain for the new jobs in more sustainable organisations.
We will support homeworking by improving broadband speeds and closing the digital divide between urban and rural communities to reduce the need to travel to work or school.
Our investment in health, care and education will create employment opportunities for those in these most important occupations.
6. warm homes for all
Greens know that a major investment in improving our homes would be a triple win: ending the scandal of winter deaths from cold, reducing fuel bills and carbon emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. This is a political priority for us at every level of government.
We support improving all homes at public expense to end the scandal of winter deaths and fuel poverty
We will look to using government grants to convert Gloucestershire’s homes to low-carbon heating systems.
We will aim to build new houses that produce more energy than they use.
7. Clean air: a human right to breathe
Councils have allowed pollution to lead to deaths and lung disease in urban and rural areas. We need a transport system that prioritises clean air and active travel for health rather than forcing people to depend on their cars for most journeys.
Investment in public transport, especially buses but also opening up local rail commuter routes like Stroudwater Station.
We will invest in a network of safe cycleways and footpaths across the county.
We will encourage and facilitate homeworking by improving broadband speeds in urban and rural communities to reduce the need to travel to work or school.
8. access to green spaces
During the pandemic we’ve learned how important it is to be able to spend time in nature, whether that is in our beautiful Cotswold and Forest countryside or in local parks.
Green Councillors will ensure that the Gloucestershire Tree Strategy is implemented, wildlife corridors are promoted and the area under nature protection is increased every year
Land owned by the County Council, including our ‘County Council owned Farms’ and roadside verges, will be managed to be nature friendly and to encourage wild flowers.
We will prevent landowners blocking public access and expand the network of footpaths.
We will work to ensure that Gloucestershire follows the example of Stroud Town Council in using only peat-free compost.
9. waste less, pollute less
Green Councillors will work to reduce unnecessary waste, and ultimately eliminate its inefficient, polluting and costly disposal by incineration. We will ensure that the waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle is central to Gloucestershire County Council planning.
We will encourage reuse and repair, invest in a network of local repair shops and enable the recycling of as many materials as possible.
We will encourage further reduction in the use of single use plastic, and promote packaging free solutions (such as purchase by refill).
We will encourage many more, successful community composting schemes such as the one in Bisley village.
10. planning for human scale
Planning policy has been driven by the needs of developers for too long. We will revolutionise planning so that it serves the people of Gloucestershire first.
We will support a housing first policy that enables the homeless to start afresh.
We need a review of town centres to turn them into flourishing social spaces rather than failing retail centres.
We will require that when developers are given planning permission it must include conditions relating to access to green spaces and link to public transport.
We will act rather than just talking about the need to end development in our flood-plains.
11. a caring county
Covid lockdowns have demonstrated how much strength there is in our communities and our extraordinary capacity to care for our neighbours. We need a similar commitment to be reflected in the way we fund and plan our care services.
Greens will work to improve the lives of those young and old who are vulnerable, disabled and are looked-after.
We will support local community provision in areas where there is poverty, loneliness, educational deprivation, digital deprivation, food and fuel poverty.
Green candidates have signed the Stroud Again Racism candidate pledge and will work to identify and eliminate racism and unconscious bias from Gloucestershire County Council.
We will support a shift away from drugs and towards social prescribing so that we can walk, cycle, ride, and dance our way to better health.
We will champion and support the excellent work being done by Stroud Refuge and increase funding for support and empowerment services for women and families whose needs have grown during the pandemic.
12. food and farming
We are blessed to live in a county with beautiful, rich and fertile land but for this benefit to be shared we need to encourage local food production and climate-friendly land management.
We will promote local food growing in Gloucestershire and support education programmes that increase nutritious diets.
We will aim to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, food poverty and the scandal of a wealthy country having a growing number of people relying on food banks.
We will promote community food projects which enable surplus to be shared and which connect communities more closely to their food supply.
We will work to support the amazing community food projects of which Stroud District can be so proud including the Freezers of Love, the Long Table, Stroudco Food Hub, Stroud Farmers’ Market and Stroud Community Agriculture.
We will stop the scandalous sell-off of the country farms and revitalise them as a route into farming for new entrants, combining this with training in sustainable farming techniques.
Our land is the key to locking in carbon and preventing a deepening climate crisis. We will assess the viability of Gloucestershire’s land to restore woodland, peatlands, and wetlands that maximise the use of land as a carbon sink.