2015 promises to be an exciting year, and hopefully a year of real change for Broxtowe and for the Green party.
The general election in May will be the first time there has been a real break away from traditional 2 party politics with real hope that the Green party surge will continue to massively build on our current representation in Westminster.
The Green party has more than doubled its membership across the country and that is reflected here in Broxtowe too, there is a real sense that together we can change politics for good.
Across the UK we are within touching distance now of the Lib Dems and UKIP in membership terms, polling ahead of the Lib Dems in opinions polls and regularly finishing ahead of them in actual by elections. This started in Newark with my own campaign back in June and repeated itself in Clacton and again in Rochester.
We now know that the Green party is becoming the party of choice for more and more people and especially amongst young voters who are disenfranchised by the traditional parties and want a new way of working.
People want a fairer society that looks after those who are in need and narrows the gap between the haves and have not’s. Austerity has crippled public services and been devastating to so many people who played no part in the economic crisis created by the banking industry and greed.
There is a huge opportunity for the Green party to get our message out loud and clear that we are not a 1 or 2 policy party but a party of real change. A party that will build a better society by introducing not a minimum wage but a living wage that enables people to live decent lives. We will protect the NHS unlike the current coalition and the previous Labour governments who both introduced and grew the privatisation of the NHS. We will give what the Lib Dems promised but failed to do and that is education free from tuition fees and a re-nationalised and affordable rail system. These are radical proposals but they are also achievable with a new way of politics that is not beholden to any particular group in society.
The “traditional” parties have taken us too far in the wrong direction for long enough and are worried the Green message is getting through resulting with refusal to allow Natalie Bennett to be heard in the leaders debates, Labour setting up their own specific unit to tackle the Green surge and almost complete media blackout.
They still try to say change is not possible but more and more people are seeing it is, and the Green party is offering that change.
The first step to that change is with each individual vote that is cast, as with each Green vote the change comes quicker.
Locally we also are able to make a huge difference this year with borough and town elections taking place on the same day as the general election.
Broxtowe has suffered one of the highest spending cuts inflicted by the coalition government on any authority in the country at over 6% in a single year and this will compound the already drastic cuts faced by the area.
Labour controlled Broxtowe borough council continues to fly in the face on public opinion by making decisions to build on green belt land, encourage the Oxylane development by bringing it back for a third time despite meaning the almost certain closure of local and accessible leisure facilities in Kimberley and Eastwood and pursuing a tram feasibility study in Kimberley again despite it being rejected just weeks ago by the council and before we have learned the lessons of Beeston and even know if there is genuine support from the local community.
As with national we need change in local politics too, a change where people’s views are listened to and we have real consultation and act in the interests of those we represent and not the parties we represent. Green party councillors are never whipped to vote one way or another they vote in the interest of the people who vote for them.
In Kimberley the fight to protect the local chapel without support from resident is being spearheaded by Green Councillor Kat Boettge and this is just one example from many of how Green councillors support communities.
In May we have the chance to make that change both locally and nationally so let’s continue to increase our membership and get our message out and wake up with a better society on May 8th .