Green Party Manifesto for 2019 General Election

The Green New Deal – Unleashing a Green Economic and Social Revolution.

This is a comprehensive ten-year plan ambitious enough to tackle climate and ecological breakdown at the scale and speed set out by science.

It will deliver a fast and fair transformation of our economy and society, renewing almost every aspect of life in the UK: from the way we produce and consume energy, to the way in which we grow the food we eat, and how we work, travel, and heat our homes.

This will be a combined investment of over £100 billion a year in the Green New Deal, with an additional investment in Universal Basic Income. Through this investment, we will provide new opportunities for everyone to work and live more sustainably and more securely.

more at https://campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto/#gnd

Remain and Transform

A People’s Vote to decide the way forward on Brexit, in which the Green Party will campaign for remain. A commitment to realise the full potential of the European Union to lead the fight against the Climate Emergency and to improve the lives of workers, low income families and refugees.

more at https://campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto/#rat

Growing Democracy

Replace the First Past the Post system for parliamentary elections with a fair and proportional voting system. We are champions of the Good Systems Agreement, a cross-party commitment to democratic reform brokered by the Make Votes Matter campaign group.

Create a fully elected House of Lords. Members will be elected for a maximum of ten years with half of the house being elected every 5 years.

Give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote and have a say on their future. We will also allow people to stand for Parliament and all other elected offices from the age of 16, offering support to elected young people so that they can combine their duties with studying. We are proud to march with the inspiring Youth Strike activists against climate chaos and know the passion and wisdom young people can inject into our policies.

Require all political parties to report the diversity of their candidates, so that progress in selecting more women and minorities to contest Westminster and local government seats can be monitored.

Protect the BBC, reinstate free TV licences for over-75-year-olds and tighten the rules on media ownership so no individual or company owns more than 20% of a media market.

Back a Citizens Convention and citizens assemblies to examine further ways to strengthen democracy, including developing a written People’s Constitution and Bill of Rights, and ensure the proposals come before Parliament. This will enshrine genuine democracy at the core of our political system, making sure that ultimate power will always rest with the people.

more at https://campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto/#gd

The Green Quality of Life Guarantee

Delivering Secure Incomes and Secure Homes

Restoring the NHS

Unlocking Education

Restoring our Nature and Countryside

Tackling Discrimination

Preventing Crime

Ending The War On Drugs

Transforming our Relationship with Animals

more at https://campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto/#qol

The New Deal for Tax and Spend

Simplifying Income Taxes

Making Big Business Pay Its Fair Share

Supporting Small Business

Ending Wasteful Spending

More at https://campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto/#tas

Our General Election Campaign starts here: Diana Toynbee and Ellie Chowns say “Yes to Europe, No to Climate Chaos, Yes to a Fairer Britain”

Diana Toynbee and Ellie Chowns are our Parliamentary candidates. Here is our Manifesto

Diana says: “I’m delighted to be giving voters in Hereford and South Herefordshire a chance to vote for a fairer greener society. We all want a healthy, safe future, but our public services, democracy and countryside are under threat and real action is long overdue.

I’m a practical, realistic person – I understand the issues and am determined to support our economy and protect our quality of life.

I’m very proud to be receiving so much encouragement from local people. They’re telling me that more than ever we need a Green MP in Westminster championing what we care about.

I want to speak for you in Westminster, and work with others for fairer politics. You can be confident that my experience, understanding and energy will make me an excellent MP.”

Please click here to donate to Diana’s campaign

Contact Diana at diana.toynbee@greenparty.org.uk

Ellie says: “I’m delighted to be the Green candidate for North Herefordshire.  It’s time for change!  The old political system is broken, and we need some fresh Green thinking.

I’m standing because I believe North Herefordshire deserves better. We need an energetic MP with strong local roots, strong principles – and a record of getting things done.

I’m proud to have served my local community as a Councillor and as an MEP.  But I know that the big decisions that shape the future of this country are made in Westminster.  If we want to change politics in the UK, we have to change our government.

Bill Wiggin has been the Conservative MP for this area for 18 years, but he’s failed to represent us effectively.  It’s clearly time for change – and with my record of winning elections I’m the best-placed candidate to challenge the Tories here.

Greens success in Herefordshire proves our positive and practical ideas appeal to people across the political spectrum. We lead the political fight against climate change. We’re clearly and strongly pro-Europe. And we’ve always worked for a fairer Britain.”

Please click here to donate to Ellie’s campaign

Contact Ellie at ellie.chowns@greenparty.org.uk

Be In It to Win It:

Register to vote. Registering is easy: follow this link with your National Insurance number to hand. Register by midnight on 26 November. If you don’t have a NI number or you can’t register online, call 01432 260107 for help. And, make sure everyone you know is registered to vote!

Want a postal vote? If you’re not registered yet, you’ll need to register by 5pm 26 November. If you’re already registered, you need to fill in this form and hand it in or post it to Hereford Town Hall by 27 November. If you’re already registered and working away, studying at Uni or ill you can apply for a proxy vote. Here’s the link to the forms: these need to be handed in or posted to Hereford Town Hall by 3 December.

ELLIE CHOWNS RE-SELECTED AS NORTH HEREFORDSHIRE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE

North Herefordshire Green Party selected Ellie Chowns as its prospective parliamentary candidate at a constituency meeting in Leominster last week.

Dr Chowns, of Canon Frome near Ledbury, the mother of two teenage sons, first contested the North Herefordshire seat for the Greens at the 2017 general election. Later the same year she won a Herefordshire Council by-election with a large majority in the formerly safe Conservative ward of Bishops Frome & Cradley.

She told her selection meeting: “I pledge to work with all others of goodwill to build an alternative to the old-style politics that has failed us all. Politics today alternates between stalemate and crisis due to selfish agendas and short-sightedness.

“We need to look to the future and think about what sort of world we want to create for today’s young people. That means building a sustainable, locally-rooted economy that provides decent jobs and homes for all, and helps small businesses thrive.

“It means creating a fair society and strong communities, with proper investment in the NHS, education, social care and public transport. And it means protecting the environment on which we all ultimately depend.”

Dr Chowns added: “The Green Party offers a fresh, honest approach to politics: principled opposition, constructive solutions, and a willingness to look for common ground. In these times of upheaval, more Green voices of reason are needed at all levels.”

A message from Ellie Chowns

THANK YOU so much for your support, your activism, and your votes. I feel really proud of what we’ve achieved in North Herefordshire. We got 5.5% of the vote – one of the highest Green vote shares nationally, and more than three times the national Green average of 1.6%. Although we lost some votes, the decline here was much lower than nationally, and of course we saved our deposit! The Green vote was squeezed hard everywhere by the growth in the Labour vote. Of course I am sad that the Green voice hasn’t been heard strongly enough in this election, since our messages on climate change, on wildlife, on Trident, on voting reform and so on are still not getting the attention they deserve. But I am also very pleased that so many Green ideas have been adopted and promoted by Labour, with such great success!

In North Herefordshire – a very safe Tory seat – Labour came second with 18.9%, a completely unprecedented result for them. All credit to Jeremy Corbyn and Labour for proving everyone wrong. I’m amazed that Theresa May thinks she can continue as PM having shot herself in the foot so completely; and I am horrified at the thought of her coalition of chaos with the reactionary DUP. Heaven knows what the coming months will bring. But I can promise this: I will continue to stand up for Green principles and ideas; I will work to hold Bill Wiggin and the chaotic Conservatives to account; and I will certainly stand in more elections!

It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to represent the Green Party in this election. Locally we have run a fantastic, high-energy, high-visibility, high-quality campaign. We’ve been a credible, effective opposition to Tory cuts and hard Brexit. We’ve offered an inspiring vision of a better, greener future: investment in public services, serious environmental protection, and an economy that works for everyone. And today’s results show, yet again, that we urgently need political reform so that everyone’s vote counts.

Now more than ever, Green voices in politics are needed. If you’re not already a member, please consider joining the Green Party. Thank you again to everyone who helped with this campaign. You have been BRILLIANT!

On tactical voting – General Election 2017, note date

There has been much debate locally and on social media about tactical voting and progressive alliances. Greens have stood down in quite a few seats nationally where there is a clear challenger to the Tories, but this has not been reciprocated by other parties apart from in Brighton.

There is no clear challenger in Hereford and South Herefordshire. Labour came third last time, beating the Liberal Democrats who came fourth only just in front of the Greens. Jim Kenyon has muddied the waters and seems to be taking a ‘none of the above’ vote, probably some of whom voted for UKIP last time. Labour, Lib Dem and Jim Kenyon all say they are best placed to beat the Tories. This basically means the votes will split and Jesse Norman is likely to win. It’s annoying, but it’s reality. It’s a similar situation in North Herefordshire, although without such a strong independent candidate.

We urge you to explain to your friends, family and neighbours that the next best result for both seats would be a really strong Green vote. It sets us up for next time – and local elections in 2019. It builds our credibility, and gets our issues on the agenda.

Voting tactically for another candidate isn’t going to beat the Tories here because the vote is splitting. It would be a wasted vote in Hereford. Every Green sympathiser who votes elsewhere actually weakens the Green message.

If you genuinely want parties to work together to beat the Tories and change the voting system, Greens are demonstrably more committed to this than others. A strong Green vote promotes this more strongly than one for more partisan parties. And Labour don’t even want electoral reform yet, which would change the whole political climate overnight.

Difficult days, but let’s hang in there. We are needed. And we need every vote. Please don’t lend it to others – you won’t get it back.

“Defend Herefordshire”, say Greens

Green Party parliamentary candidates issue an eve-of-poll warning that Herefordshire’s future could be at stake if voters fail to “rein in” the Conservatives.

“Today’s Conservatives have forgotten how to conserve, they are failing to look after what is best about our county,” claim Diana Toynbee and Ellie Chowns. “Current Tory policy could lead to the decline and break-up of Herefordshire as a self governing county.“

“Only the Green Party fully embraces the ‘small is beautiful’ concept where local communities retain control and where ‘big’ doesn’t necessarily mean better,” the Green challengers say in a statement.

The biggest immediate threat facing Herefordshire is the Conservative government plan to abolish grant funding to local councils by 2019 and force them to rely solely on Council Tax and Business Tax, they say.

Herefordshire with its relatively sparse and older population could be absorbed by a bigger authority based in Worcester or Birmingham. Deep funding cuts planned for school budgets could lead to the closure of some village schools, further impacting on the character of rural communities.

Added to this, the looming shake-up of parliamentary constituency boundaries will mean a large rural area of Herefordshire and three of its market towns (Kington, Leominster and Bromyard) will be transferred into a new constituency with Ludlow and South Shropshire.

Ellie Chowns said, “Brexit also means more uncertainty. While it gives us a welcome opportunity to reform farm subsidies, we need to safeguard vital environmental protection legislation and do far more to conserve nature and improve animal welfare. Last year’s State of Nature report [1] painted an alarming picture of worsening conditions for wildlife”

Diana Toynbee, the Hereford Green candidate and Ellie Chowns for North Herefordshire say: “We urge all thinking Conservatives to support us – we are the natural alternative to the Conservatives in Herefordshire. If elected we will put our hearts and souls into opposing the damaging changes facing our county. Herefordshire has a prosperous green future with the right policies in place.”

NOTES

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/14/one-in-10-uk-wildlife-species-faces-extinction-major-report-shows

“More than one in 10 of the UK’s wildlife species are threatened with extinction and the UK’s most endangered creatures have plummeted by two-thirds since 1970, according to a major report.”

The abundance of all wildlife has also fallen, with one in six animals, birds, fish and plants having been lost.”

Stand up for what matters in North Herefordshire

I’m campaigning on four key issues here in North Herefordshire.  I believe we need to:

  • Reverse the devastating Conservative cuts to local services;
  • Rethink how we treat the environment;
  • Remodel our economy so that it works for everyone;
  • Reform our broken political system.

1: Reverse cuts to local services

Our local services have been cut back to the bone over the past 7 years.  Herefordshire Council’s budget has been slashed by more than a third (£70 million over the past 6 years), with more cuts to come.  This has had terrible impacts on vital local services such as libraries and road maintenance, and on voluntary sector organisations such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Hereford Carers Support.  And what’s worse is – our own MPs have consistently and repeatedly voted for this over the past 7 years.

We’ve also seen big cuts to school budgets.  My own sons’ school in Ledbury is losing £600 per pupil over the next few years. Fully 99% of schools are facing per-pupil funding cuts.  This is absolute madness!  We should be investing in our children before anything else.

These cuts have been driven by the discredited ideology of austerity.  What that really means is: tax cuts for the wealthy, and cuts to public services for everyone else.  We are all the poorer as a result.

Public services are an investment in making life better for all of us.  Tax should not be seen as a burden – it’s simply how we pay collectively for things that we all want but can’t buy individually, like safe streets and healthy communities.

2: Rethink how we treat the environment

We’re lucky here in Herefordshire to live in such beautiful surroundings.  But we’re kidding ourselves if we think everything’s fine on the environmental front.  The warning signs are all around us.  2016 was the hottest year on record, as was 2015, and 2014.  In fact, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century, and our planet hasn’t been this hot for 115,000 years.   The Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2040.  There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that this warming is due to human activities.  Time is running out for us to change course.  We have to wean ourselves entirely off fossil fuels and move to a 100% renewable, zero carbon economy.

Biodiversity is also under threat.  60% of British species are on the decline, and 15% are threatened with extinction.  Sadly, farming is the main cause – so this issue is particularly relevant in Herefordshire.  Greens are calling urgently for an Environmental Protection Act – not least because many of our current environmental protections derive from European law and, as the Environmental Audit Committee said recently, there is a very grave danger that Brexit will be an excuse for watering them down or removing them altogether.

3: Remodel our economy so that it works for everyone

The economy should serve society, not the other way round.  Everyone should have the right to a decent job with decent pay, and a decent warm house to live in.  But we’re a long way from this.  The median wage is lower today than 10 years ago, and 6.2 million UK jobs (about a quarter) pay less than the Living Wage.  Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 1000 people in the UK increased by 14% last year, and the richest 1% own more than 20 times the wealth of the poorest 20%.  Greens would change the tax and benefits system to reverse these damaging trends, because greater equality is better for everyone.

Wages are low in Herefordshire, but house prices are relatively high, so we have a real problem with affordability of housing – we’re the second-worst in the West Midlands.  We also have one of the highest rates of fuel poverty too.  Greens would ensure that all homes are properly insulated, and make sure that all new homes are built to the highest environmental standards – creating thousands of new Green jobs.

4: Reform our broken political system

Currently, a small minority of voters in a few dozen marginal seats determine what sort of government we get.  It’s a recipe for complete complacency in so-called ‘safe seats’ like North Herefordshire, and so it’s not surprising that many people here feel disillusioned with politics.  We need a political system where everyone’s vote counts, and where MPs work full time for their constituents – unlike Bill Wiggin, who spends one day a week managing hedge funds in tax havens.  We need and deserve independent voices in Westminster, standing up for their home areas and holding the government to account.

North Herefordshire is the 46th safest Tory seat in the country.  It’s a place where the Conservatives, to be honest, take the electorate for granted.  It is not a key marginal, so it simply doesn’t make sense to vote tactically here.  Instead this is a place where voters can and should vote for what they believe in.  Greens are the fastest-growing party locally: we have more council seats than Labour and the Lib Dems put together, and we doubled our vote in 2015.  Every Green vote counts – it strengthens our message and demonstrates the depth of public support for the things that really matter: strong public services, care for the environment, an economy that works for everyone, and a political system in which everyone’s voice is heard.

On Brexit…

Dr Ellie Chowns, our candidate for North Herefordshire writes…

I campaigned for Remain on the streets of Ledbury and Hereford last year, and I believe that Brexit is a serious mistake.  It will cause many years of disruption to our economy, will limit opportunities for our children and young people, and is highly likely to undermine vital environmental and social protections.

Brexit was sold to the British people under false pretences.  Theresa May is now steering us rapidly onto the rocks of a hard Brexit, following someone else’s map, with her only concern being keeping herself at the wheel – no matter what the consequences for the country.  Meanwhile the vast majority of Conservative and Labour MPs have fallen into line (against their previous better judgment), citing ‘the will of the people’ when the truth is the country is split down the middle.

Greens believe that a hard Brexit would be immensely damaging, and is in no-one’s interest.  We will be campaigning vigorously over the coming two years to ensure that any Brexit deal includes a guarantee against erosion of social and environmental protections.  We also believe that the British people should have a say on the final deal: we are calling for another referendum in 2019 on the terms of the final deal negotiated by the government – with one option being to reverse Article 50 and stay in the EU.

If Brexit goes ahead, there may be one silver lining for Greens, and for Herefordshire – the opportunity to reform agricultural subsidies.  UK farmers currently get over £3 billion per year via the EU; in fact, subsidies make up more than half of farmers’ incomes.  Greens agree that the agriculture sector deserves public financial support – but it should be conditional on farmers contributing to public goods, rather than simply payment for owning land.  We would change the system so that subsidies would instead pay farmers for positive actions such as enhancing soil and water quality, protecting wildlife, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving animal welfare, managing flood risks, creating decent jobs (including encouraging new entrants to farming and horticulture), and producing healthy and affordable food.

Ellie outside Parliament - let's put her in it!

Vote for What You Believe In – response to Polly Ernest, Hereford Times Letters 5 May

I sympathise with the desire of Polly Ernest (‘Get together’, HT letters, 5 May) and many others to see progressive parties unite around common ground and fight to oppose counterproductive austerity, growing inequality, environmental threats and extreme Brexit.  Indeed, the Green Party has been leading the push for electoral alliances against a deeply unfair voting system.  That system delivered a fragile Conservative majority in 2015, based on only 24% of the electorate’s votes, which led us into the instability of the Brexit referendum and now back, again, to another election.
Greens have been calling for months for Labour and the Lib Dems to discuss electoral alliances to secure reform of our broken political system – and we’ve put our money where our mouth is by standing down in key marginals like Richmond Park.  But the other parties simply haven’t reciprocated.
In any case, electoral alliances are only really relevant in marginal seats where an alliance can unseat the Conservative – and where it is a genuine agreement between parties, not one just standing down and losing its democratic voice.
In Herefordshire several candidates could claim to be best placed to beat the Conservatives.  For example, the Greens have more councillors than the Lib Dems and Labour put together; we more than doubled our vote in 2015; and we are the only opposition party to have gained seats nationwide in last week’s local elections.  But the fact is, neither Herefordshire seat is a ‘key marginal’.  Instead, this is a county where voters can and should vote for their own principles, and for the candidate they think has the ability and the integrity to represent them most effectively in Parliament.  This is not the time or place for tactical voting, but for voting for what you believe in.
For me, that means voting for someone who will campaign with all their might for investment in public services, protecting the environment, helping the local economy thrive – and holding Westminster accountable.
In the longer term, Greens will continue to work hard – looking for common ground with others – to reform our broken political system so that everyone’s voice counts equally.
Ellie Chowns

Ellie Chowns on BBC Question Time

Ellie Chowns, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for North Herefordshire, will take part in BBC Midlands Election Question Time on 30th May.

Then programme will be broadcast from 2245 to 2330 on BBC1 and is recorded from Birmingham Ormiston Academy. It will include a panel of five regional political leaders plus a studio audience of around 70 people.

Dr Ellie Chowns and Gareth Williams, Managing Director of Fownhope-based Caplor Energy, with one of the latest solar photovoltaic panels

Government failing on energy say Greens

North Hfds Green Party candidate Dr Ellie Chowns slams ‘incoherent and inconsistent’ government energy policy

Dr Ellie Chowns, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for North Herefordshire, this week called on the government to ‘put its money where its mouth is’ on renewable energy.  Visiting successful Fownhope-based solar business Caplor Energy, Dr Chowns praised the vision and dynamism of the renewable energy sector, but strongly criticised the government’s incoherent and inconsistent policy.

Dr Chowns said: “Businesses like this are the engine of our future economy and are vital to help us deal with climate change and fuel poverty.  Our energy system is creaking at the seams and simply isn’t fit for purpose in the 21st century. The government is dragging its feet on modernisation, and we’re still waiting for the energy strategy they promised to publish by the end of 2016.”

“It’s clear that we urgently need a major shift in how we generate and use energy in order to meet our national and international climate commitments. The vast majority of fossil fuels must be left in the ground in order for us to have any chance of avoiding climate disaster.  We should be aiming for a 100% renewable energy-based economy by 2050, while at the same time tackling fuel poverty and investing seriously in energy efficiency.  But current policies mean we’re going to miss our 2020 renewables target (1).”

Council figures show that Herefordshire homes are less energy efficient than the national average, and Herefordshire has one of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the country (2).  Half of the houses in Herefordshire are suitable for solar PV – but only a tiny percentage have actually had it installed.

Said Dr Chowns, “The transition to a green energy future is being hindered, not helped, by incoherent government policy.  Business needs consistency so that it can plan and invest for the long-term.  Instead, the weak leadership of the Conservatives on energy and climate change has created serious instability for the sector, made worse by Brexit-related price hikes.  Warm words aren’t enough; it’s time for the government to start walking the talk on building a green economy fit for our children.”

Photo: Dr Ellie Chowns and Gareth Williams, Managing Director of Fownhope-based Caplor Energy, with one of the latest solar photovoltaic panels

Ellie’s campaign gears up

The first 10 days of the campaign have been busy!  I’ve been out campaigning in Ledbury and Leominster during the week, as well as at the Hereford River Carnival, the Spring Greens Fair, and the Big Apple Blossomtime festival over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Meanwhile we’ve designed, printed, and distributed our first leaflets and posters, and made dozens of signboards – which are already being put up by supporters all around the constituency.  Volunteers have phoned all of our local Green Party members, too, mobilising activists.

We’ve got an ever-expanding calendar of campaign events, which you can see here.  There are Campaign Action Days every Saturday all around the constituency:

  • Ledbury: 6 May
  • Leominster: 13 May
  • Kington: 20 May
  • Bromyard: 27 May
  • Ledbury, Leominster and Kington: 3 June

These are a great way to meet fellow Greens locally and help spread the word by working together.  Do get in touch if you can come along and help.

Herefordshire Greens will also be hosting two ‘Big Green Conversation’ events during the campaign:

  • Weds 24th May: ‘Why Equality is Better for Everyone’, with Martin Wilkinson from the Equality Trust. De Koffie Pot, Hereford, 7.30pm.
  • Friday 2nd June: ‘Europe and the Environment’, with Jill Hanna from the European Commission.  The Burgage Hall, Ledbury, 7.30pm.

All are welcome to come along and discuss these key political issues in an informal, conversational atmosphere.

There will be election hustings in Leominster on Friday 12 May at 7pm, and in Ledbury (date tbc) – a good opportunity to grill the candidates on the issues you care about.

I’ll post weekly updates here on the website, but for daily updates please follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter – and help spread the word!  Thanks for your support.

 

Diana Toynbee (far left) and Ellie Chowns (far right) congratulate 6th Form Green election candidate Anna Ricks (right) and her campaign manager Lily (left)

Sixth Form Students inspire hope

Hereford Sixth Form students from three political persuasions inspired a crowd of attendees at De Koffie Pot this week with their hopes for the future.

Mock Election candidates Anna Ricks (Green) and James McClelland (Communist) were joined by Campaign Managers Lily Andrews (Green) and Henry Jenner (Labour) to talk about their recent election campaign, what they had learnt, and their hopes for the future of politics.

They then joined in discussion at tables for a serious of topics including ‘What are the top worries for young people today?’, ‘What do we feel positive about?’ and ‘How do we engage young people more in politics?’.

Organised by Hereford Green Party but open to all, Big Green Conversations cover a wide range of political and ethical topics and take place every fourth Wednesday at De Koffie Pot at Hereford’s Left Bank. They are a relaxed, participatory and sociable event to which all are welcome.

Organiser Rob Hattersley said ‘These students were truly inspiring and a credit to their college and to Herefordshire. They understood the issues and although they had concerns for the future they also gave us a lot of hope.’

Top issues raised were not surprisingly tuition fees, student debt and poverty, and the need for better paid jobs in Herefordshire. Young people were also concerned about increasing division in education between schools who compete instead of co-operate, and a high-stress academic system which has implications for mental health as well as undervaluing vocational skills. They did however express real hope for the future of politics, with student Anna Ricks (Green) saying: “It seems that things need to get quite bad for people to get involved, so now we are seeing more young people engaged because it suddenly seems really important.”

Anna added: “We really enjoyed the evening. We felt very welcome and it was great to see older and younger people discussing important issues together and understanding each other.’

Henry Jenner, Labour supporter in the mock election added: “This is a great event which I’d recommend others to come along to, whatever party you support. In our election we actually found we had more in common with each other than we had thought.’

The mock election was won by Labour’s Adam Hill with 136 votes, second was Green Anna Ricks on 64, and third James McClellend (Communist). The Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates, who could not attend the event, came fourth and fifth respectively. It is run most years at the college with Labour winning last year as well, and the Greens the year before that.

To engage more young people in politics, the students suggested lowering the voting age to 16, and proper political education for all from an early age, both of which happen to be Green party policy. They also warned older political activists against trying to be too clever with social media! “It has to come from us”, they argued.

Green Parliamentary candidates Ellie Chowns (North Herefordshire) and Diana Toynbee (South Herefordshire) also attended the event and ended the evening congratulating the students for their inspiring input.

Ellie outside Parliament - let's put her in it!

Calling Green supporters in North Herefordshire!

This General Election is a great opportunity for us to raise our voices against damaging Tory cuts and a risky hard Brexit – and to campaign positively for our vision of a thriving green economy, fair politics, and proper investment in public services.

We’re planning an action-packed campaign including Action Days in all the market towns, leafleting across the constituency, and a busy schedule of meetings and visits all over North Herefordshire.

Can you help?

We really do need all hands on deck!  Please get in touch if you can help with:

  • Displaying a poster in your window – and/or a roadside signboard
  • Leafleting and canvassing – either alongside an Action Day in a town, or as part of an evening bike ride in the more rural areas, or simply in your own time in your own local area.
  • Getting the message out in other ways – please send me suggestions for groups I should talk to, events I should attend, and great local initiatives (community projects, green businesses etc.) that I should visit and learn about.

Get in touch by emailing ellie@greenherefordshire.org.uk, or use the contact form here.  Let’s send a message to the Tories: they shouldn’t take North Herefordshire for granted!

Support Ellie’s Crowdfunder

Ellie is the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for North Herefordshire in the 2017 General Election.  She’s local, energetic, and principled – and she’s determined to challenge the Conservatives on their damaging cuts and the risks of hard Brexit.

Ellie stands for a positive vision of how our county and country could be: a caring society that invests properly in public services; a fair economy that provides decent jobs and homes for all; action on climate change and protection for nature; and an honest politics where everyone’s vote counts.

Help Ellie and the Greens send a message to Theresa May and the Tories – they shouldn’t take this constituency for granted!

Please chip in to Ellie’s campaign in whatever way you can.  THANK YOU for your support!

By making a donation you confirm that you are eligible to make political donations in the UK (i.e. that you are an individual registered on a UK electoral register) and that this donation is not made for or on behalf of any other person.

Please note that any donations over £50 have to be declared to the Electoral Commission along with the name and address of the donor.  Anonymous donations over £50 cannot be accepted.

Promoted by Ellie Chowns, North Herefordshire Green Party, 11a Canon Frome Court, Canon Frome, Ledbury HR8 2TD.