East Lincolnshire Green Party
I am so happy to have the opportunity this coming May to stand for election in the area in which I have lived for most of my life. I went to school in Boston. I was
the last year of girls to attend Kitwood Girls before it became Haven High. When I was a small girl, I spent most of my summer holidays with my family on the beach at Skegness, swimming in the sea and building sandcastles.
I still live in the area and I have strong family ties in the constituency. My family all work and live in Boston, my Mum works at the hospital and my Dad is the caretaker at a local school. Since having my three children, I have spent a lot of time volunteering at my local Children Centres: helping, supporting and advising parents with their babies.
I now run my own small business, from my home, manufacturing my own baby carriers. I also run workshops and consultations to continue what I started when I was at the children centres: supporting and guiding families and their little ones. I am also just returning to volunteering. This time at the local centre point, hopefully helping those who have fallen on hard times.
It is such a privilege to representing the Green Party at this election. A party that stands for the common good and believes that politics should work for the benefit of all, not just those who shout the loudest or have the deepest pockets. A party that believes in leaving behind a better world for our children and for our grandchildren.
Living and working locally, I know that local people want to see a change and they want to see politicians who do the right thing. I believe in real change that benefits people and the environment. Voting for what you believe in is never a wasted vote.
Press cuttings: Boston Target 21st March 2015
I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to represent my local Green Party for the constituency of Louth & Horncastle. I have been born & raised here, growing up in Maltby-Le-Marsh and attending Alford Primary School & Queen Elizabeth's Grammar school then moving on to take my A-levels at King Edward's Grammar school in Louth. As such I care deeply about the area and issues affecting our rural community.
I am currently taking a degree in in evolution & environmental studies part time through the open university. Environmental concerns have been of life-long importance to me, starting when I attended 'watch group' run by the wildlife trust when I was a child. I was involved in various activist campaigns as a student and went on to officially join my local Green Party about a year ago.
I also sew part time to support my two small children while I study. I am a single parent and have a thorough understanding of the hardships currently faced by working families. It is my aim to generate a more equitable society and improve life for the people of East Lincolnshire.
Press cuttings: East Lindsey Target 22nd March 2015
For more on the plans to reopen the old railway lines with a new transport system appropriate to a zero-carbon 21st century visit Zing~The Ultra-Light Railway
I was born and grew up on Merseyside during the economic recession of the 1980s. I obtained a degree from Kent University in Politics and Social Policy and I have Masters degrees in Social Research, Environmental Policy and Public Health. I moved to Lincolnshire in 2008 when I was appointed Deputy Director of Public Health for the NHS in Grimsby and I have been acting director of public health for North East Lincolnshire for three of the last four years. I immediately fell in love with the county and its beautiful environment and I now consider this area to be my home.
For me the Green Party has answers to the problems that other mainstream parties cannot or will not face up to. It firmly rejects the marketisation of healthcare which has been pursued by Labour and Conservative Governments with disastrous implications for health and the NHS. It supports the development of an integrated and regulated public transport system which will ensure that people across Lincolnshire should once again have decent public transport services at reasonable cost. Perhaps most important of all it is looking to break our dependence on carbon for energy which will have such disastrous implications in the future due to climate change by investing in new forms of energy and ensuring that our homes are much better insulated. The Green Party is also a party of its members and is not developing policies on behalf of wealthy corporations or individuals who seek to buy influence.
I live in Market Rasen with my partner, two step children and baby Winston. If elected I would campaign for improved public transport improvements in the Gainsborough constituency and more community health services which outreach into people's homes.
Until recently I was a public health director in a unitary council with some of the worst health inequalities in the country. It is a geographically isolated sort of area whose economy had been destroyed by 40 years of economic decline and neglect by central government. It was not hard to see that one of the most important issues for the social and economic regeneration of the area was transport. Beeching had cut its most important rail link in the 70s, bus deregulation in the 80s had left the area at the mercy of a single major provider that has quite simply cut routes and priced out a large proportion of the population, rail privatisation led to further cuts to services and overcrowded trains even though fares have risen far above inflation year after year. In addition there has been little investment in active travel so walking and cycling have remained very much a minority pursuit and the substantial benefits to health and well-being that come from active means of transport have not been realised.
The one transport mode that has received substantial investment is of course (no surprise here) roads. For more than half a century road transport has been seen as the panacea for an areaís ills. And despite the fact that time and again major roads have failed to bring the economic regeneration that was promised, government (central and local) remains as firmly wedded as ever to the notion that the route to economic prosperity is through ever more road building.
Thankfully the Green Party will offer a different vision at the coming general election. Amongst our proposals are an Active Travel Act, similar to one which was introduced by the Welsh government last year. This Act will ensure that active travel considerations are firmly built into the planning system. Therefore new housing proposals will have to ensure that there is access to public transport and good routes for walking and cycling. Much better urban design will ensure that the needs of pedestrians and cyclists are high priorities creating more pleasant and safer environments for walkers and cyclists. There will also be many more 20mph zones in our towns and cities. This will cut deaths and injuries on the roads and also persuade more people to take up active means of travel as fear of accidents reduces.
The Green Party will re-regulate the buses. Ever since deregulation in the 1980s there has been a continuous decline in the number of people using buses except in London which was of course exempted from bus de-regulation! Bus timetables currently serve the interests of the bus companies, not the interests of passengers and many routes have disappeared altogether whilst evening buses are now rare except in large cities. This makes it difficult for people without access to a car to obtain jobs away from their home towns.
Of course one of the most reckless pieces of government legislation in the last 30 years was the railway privatisation bill in 1993. This bill was pushed through a dubious parliament by John Majorís government in the 1990s despite the fact that British Rail had by that point become one of the most competitive and cost effective national railways in the developed world. Just as with the recent Health and Social Care Act this piece of legislation was pushed through Parliament despite the fact that almost all experts said that it would lead to a poorer and more expensive service which is exactly what has happened. Today the taxpayer provides a £4 billion annual subsidy to the railways, twice the figure pre-privatisation, and to add insult to injury around £200 million per annum goes into the pockets of railway company shareholders. In addition Britain has the highest fares in Europe, with fare rises above inflation in almost every year since privatisation. As with so many government policies of the last 35 years, railway privatisation has made some people extremely wealthy whilst leading to poorer and more expensive services for the population at large.
Fortunately the Green Party, unlike all the other parties is offering a solution to this. On Friday February 27th Parliament debates the second reading of Caroline Lucasís (Green MP for Brighton) Railways Bill. If successful this Bill would require the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises as and when they come up for renewal and would ensure that railway policies and services meet the needs of public and passengers rather than shareholders Unfortunately it will not become law this time as it will not get the support of the Government whilst Labour do not seem too sure what their policy on the railways is. But it has put the future of the railway industry firmly back on the map. At protests held at railway stations across the country on February 27th people are demanding that the railways are brought back into public ownership.
Finally in this blog I wanted to highlight the fact that climate change is likely to lead to the need for more radical transport solutions in the not too distant future. A friend in the East Lincolnshire Green Party has given this issue a lot of thought over recent years. He has a vision for an ultra light railway network which will require minimal energy to run and will be an opportunity to revive some of the community rail links that were lost in the post war era. If youíre interested in reading about this then go to Biff Vernonís blogspot and read up about Zing~The Ultra Light Railway.
Caroline Lucasís Railways Bill.
More from Geoff Barnes
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