Reasons to Vote Green on May 5th
When elected Green councillors pledge to:
Promote Localism The Green Party is committed to developing local economies and empowering local people. To this end we would encourage the development of individual town initiatives and the drawing back of the present central executive cabinet in favour of more locally based decision making bodies with input from local councillors and local people. Local people know what is best for their areas and must have a real say over new developments. They should be able to say no to polluting industries, fracking, and unaffordable housing built by exploitative developers – all to the benefit of investors rather than local people. Local people would be able to identify derelict sites and buildings and ensure satisfactory solutions were found quickly. Local people could quickly identify sites for allotments and local food growing.
Take Green energy seriously We would press for all public buildings to be fitted with solar panels and for new public housing to be built to PassivHaus standards, meaning that fuel bills could be as little as £20 per year. We would ensure that the council used a green energy supplier for all its buildings. Retro-fitting of insulation to the housing stock will be encouraged to prevent fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
Aim for zero landfill Recycling and re-using should be made easier and people and businesses should be encouraged to reduce their use of packaging and non-recyclable items.
Encourage better transport and safer streets Our roads are choked with private cars because public transport is not easy to use. We would work towards greater availability and integration of buses and trains. We would encourage more 20mph streets, without speed bumps, and safer cycling routes designed by cyclists.
Make Tameside healthier Tameside is not one of the healthiest areas of the country and growing inequality is exacerbating the situation. From central government we would demand changes in the tax system so that the rich pay more, those with less can enjoy some dignity and the Council can protect care services, community facilities and leisure and green spaces. The present council has come up with a plan to “save” some swimming baths from closure but more scrutiny needs to be given as to how this will come about. Many families in Tameside are now struggling to cope with the changes to social security. Tameside Council offered to pilot Universal Credit and should now commission an enquiry into how this bungled scheme has affected our residents’ health and how many are suffering hunger as evidenced by the rise in food banks. More effort will be put into improving air quality in the borough by traffic restrictions and curbs on polluting industries, thus helping to make residents and particularly children healthier.
Scrutinise the Greater Manchester Combined Authority This new body covering the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester has been given extensive powers over: health; planning, housing and regeneration; transport; skills and training and culture. It takes over many of the powers of central government but with even less democratic accountability.
Press for Divestment We will continue to demand that the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, based in Droylsden and chaired by the Leader of Tameside Council, give up its investments in fossil fuels and ensure the fund has no links to tax havens or unethical concerns.