Manifesto

This was our manifesto for the elections in May 2019. You can also download it as a pdf.

HEREFORDSHIRE GREEN PARTY – What the Green group on the Herefordshire Council stands for. 

Herefordshire Council plays a pivotal role in ensuring that Herefordshire remains a great place to live and work. Our four Green Party Members on the Council do their best to ensure that policies and decisions are soundly based, and strike a balance between people’s different needs and aspirations. We want Herefordshire to enjoy a thriving economy and effective public services, working in harmony with the County’s outstanding natural assets and protecting them for future generations. We will strive to ensure that public money is spent in ways that support residents’ long-term well-being. 

We believe the pragmatic response to austerity and today’s other challenges is to foster and build community resilience. We believe individuals and groups can be agents for change, and are not just passive recipients of services provided by the Council. 

JOBS AND LOCAL ECONOMY – ensuring the economy is fair and works for everyone. 

  • Balancing Council spending across Hereford City, the market towns and rural areas; 
  • Supporting local businesses and encouraging money to stay in and circulate within the county; 
  • Procuring goods and services from local businesses whenever possible; 
  • Supporting local agriculture and promoting sustainable farming; 
  • Working closely with local businesses as Business Rates become an increasingly important element in the Council’s finances; 
  • Encouraging businesses to take on apprentices, improve training opportunities and diversify their workforce; 
  • Promoting Herefordshire’s character and all its assets to encourage sustainable tourism; 
  • Favouring bidders for council contracts who have a good environmental policies, a minimum wage policy and a narrow pay ratio; 
  • Paying Living Wage Foundation wages to Council staff and ensuring the Council pay structure means no-one can earn more than ten times the pay of the lowest paid full time adult colleague. 

COMMUNITY – engaging residents and voluntary groups to play an active role. 

  • Developing and supporting the voluntary sector so that Council services can be better targeted; 
  • Encouraging residents to contribute to keeping Herefordshire a safe and attractive place through volunteering and their help to family and friends; 
  • Providing support for fundraising; 
  • Promoting and supporting the work of Parish Councils. 

TRANSPORT – making movement easier and safer for all and reducing pollution. 

  • Prioritising investment in public transport to support local and county-wide connectivity; 
  • Improving walking and cycling provision and public transport integration; 
  • Treating new road building as a last resort, not a first resort, in line with the Core Strategy; 
  • Abandoning plans for the Hereford ‘Southern Link Road’ and ‘Western Relief Road’; 
  • Developing school transport arrangements to achieve a marked reduction in private car trips; 
  • Investing in active and sustainable modes of school transport; 
  • Setting a 20mph speed limit in all residential streets in Hereford and the market towns, and supporting the Twenty is Plenty campaign; 
  • Making greater provision for electric vehicle charging points. 

HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT – more affordability and choice, reduced environmental impact. 

  • Promoting and supporting the building of affordable new homes and social housing; 
  • Prioritising the use of appropriate brownfield sites for development; 
  • Ensuring that local services can properly support local population growth; 
  • Investing in high environmental standards, including energy and water efficiency in buildings built on council land; 
  • Bringing empty properties back into use; 
  • Ensuring private landlords comply with their legal obligations;   
  • Prioritising the use of appropriate brownfield sites for development; 
  • Ensuring that local services can properly support local population growth;    
  • Supporting Co-Housing and Self-Build initiatives, and Community Land Trusts. 

HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE – helping residents stay healthy and independent. 

  • Supporting the community and voluntary sector to play a major role in keeping everyone safe; 
  • Improving services for vulnerable children, teenagers, adults and carers; 
  • Supporting the needs of people with disabilities; 
  • Caring for older people by supporting long-term independent living and high-quality continuing care; 
  • Strengthening public health measures and supporting early interventions to minimise the need for Social Services statutory help; 
  • Ensuring mental health services are given the priority they need; 
  • Encouraging healthy lifestyles (diet and exercise); 
  • Recognising the huge and well-documented benefits to health and wellbeing of trees and green spaces; 
  • Prioritising action to improve air quality. 

EDUCATION – making Herefordshire a great place to grow up and to study. 

  • Fighting for fair funding for local schools, youth services and children’s centres; 
  • Ensuring disabled and special needs pupils and students are given equal access to education; 
  • Prioritising the safeguarding of children and improving the care and opportunities for looked-after children; 
  • Supporting the development of Hereford University; 
  • Engaging schools and colleges with local democracy and the function of the Council; 
  • Supporting schools to ensure pupils fully claim the Free Schools Meals premium. 

NATURE AND COUNTRYSIDE – preserving Herefordshire’s natural beauty and food productivity. 

  • Opposing fracking and fossil fuel extraction throughout the county; 
  • Protecting green spaces in Herefordshire’s towns; 
  • Controlling the impact of intensive farming including broiler sheds and polytunnels; 
  • Supporting local food growing and allotment use; 
  • Supporting farmers to reduce run off, protecting water quality in our important rivers; 
  • Recognising the multiple benefits of trees, especially in urban settings. 

HERITAGE AND CULTURE – respecting and protecting the County’s past and its culture. 

  • Maintaining library, museum and archive services; 
  • Supporting museums, art galleries, libraries and churches to be flexible and resourceful; 
  • Supporting heritage attractions; 
  • Seeking good design for new building and for public spaces; 
  • Encouraging tourists and visitors to our county to explore its many attractions. 

ENERGY – tackling fuel poverty and climate change. 

  • Helping residents and businesses reduce fuel bills and to generate renewable energy; 
  • Promoting community-owned renewable energy installations; 
  • Reducing energy consumption across the council’s estate; 
  • Contributing to county efforts to cut carbon emissions. 

RESOURCES – promoting the prudent use of natural resources and manufactured goods. 

  • Favouring waste avoidance, recycling, composting and bio-digestion over incineration; 
  • Actively encouraging residents to give unwanted items to charities for resale and reuse; 
  • Working to reduce residual waste and targeting a 70% waste recycling rate by 2021; 
  • Exploring the introduction of weekly food waste collections in urban areas; 
  • Maintaining excellent recycling services (no charges or cuts in opening hours) to prevent fly tipping and make good use of waste; 
  • Reducing the use of plastics in council operations, and improving plastic recycling options. 

GOVERNANCE AND LOCAL DEMOCRACY – fostering open, accountable and visible local democracy. 

  • Encouraging cross-party co-operation and a meaningful role for all Councillors; 
  • Replacing the Cabinet system with a Committee system to allow balanced, evidence-based decision-making; 
  • Promoting wider public participation in consultations such as budget setting; 
  • Ensuring that councillors and officers follow a code of conduct based on the ethical standards in public life set out in the Nolan Principles, and that all determinations of complaints are publicly reported; 
  • Recording and webcasting all council meetings and encouraging public attendance; 
  • Co-opting experts, onto committees to provide professional insight and advice, including on the needs of disabled people; 
  • Keeping public services in-house wherever possible;  
  • Developing income streams in part compensation for losses in central Government grants; 
  • Keeping residents in touch with what the council does and the challenges it faces.