GREENS in Herefordshire made significant progress in the May 2015 General Election, not only saving their deposits for the first time, but with South Herefordshire boasting the highest percentage Green vote in the West Midlands region.
The full results were as follows:-
Herefordshire North result: Daisy Blench (Green) 3,341. Jeanie Falconer (Lib Dem)5,768. Jonathan Oakton (UKIP) 6,720. Sally Prentice (Labour) 5,478. Bill Wiggin (Conservative) 26,716.
Hereford and south Herefordshire results. Jesse Norman (Conservative) 24,844; Nigel Ely (UKIP) 7,954; Anna Coda (Labour) 6,042; Lucy Hurds (Lib Dem) 5,002; Diana Toynbee (Green) 3,415
DESPITE substantial ward boundary changes that looked set to benefit the Conservatives, Herefordshire’s 2 Green Party county councillors were re-elected with comfortable majorities.
Jenny Bartlett and Felicity Norman of Leominster were celebrating success today after a hard-fought local election campaign involving many hours of canvassing.
The results declared at the local election count at Hereford Leisure Centre were: Leominster West – Felicity Norman (Green Party) 682, Con 486, Lib Dem 174. Leominster East – Jenny Bartlett (Green Party) 748, Con 587, UKIP 264.
We had a busy and successful time at the Ross May Fayre. As expected many visitors were yet to decide how to vote, so our mini-manifestos were popular, helping voters from outside our constituency as well.
A trainee nurse grilled us about our plans for the NHS, a man seeking doughnuts was given directions, and a tall man who had earlier been blowing his own trumpet, tried to open negotiations about coalition.
The owners of a recently opened local café came and declared their support, and offered us the use of their premises as a meeting room.
All very positive!
The Conservatives say we must race to ‘balance the books’, and cut even more, but the Green party believes a better way of rebalancing the economy is to invest in public services and in protecting the environment, also the mark of a caring, civilised society.
I don’t want ‘the job finished’ if that means more of the precious assets we own in common will pass into private hands, leaving us mourning our libraries, care homes, public forests and post offices. Or that public-sector workers become ever more stressed and demoralised.
Herefordshire Council has cut hundreds of jobs since 2010, reduced library and customer service opening hours and has had to trim its budget again this year to cope with another ‘tough’ central government settlement. Bus services and tourism support which are vital for our rural economy are losing financial support.
Britain’s wealth is now concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. This is unhealthy, and I don’t accept that we must grow the economy before we can share it out more fairly. Over 5 million people currently earn less than the living wage – the Green Party would raise the statutory minimum wage to a living wage and increase it to £10 per hour by 2020, alongside practical measures to support small businesses.
We will change the tax system so that the really wealthy pay more, and will make it far more difficult for individuals and corporations to avoid paying what they owe.
In thinking about the economy, we can’t sidestep another crucial question – our one planet cannot support continual material and economic growth. Sound economic planning must take this into account, and facilitate a transition to a society that lives within its means
Voting Green will say you want a secure, resilient economy that works for the common good.
Do you want to be represented in Parliament by someone forced to put party politics above our needs, including voting for brutal cuts to Herefordshire council? This year you do have a choice – vote Green, for real change.
Austerity has created anxiety and insecurity, but we don’t have to accept this. Government shouldn’t use financial crises to undermine services and sell off our assets; the next parliament must re-balance the system to put nature and ordinary people before profit. Spending on people and wellbeing leads to happier healthier societies and is economically responsible.
Most politicians ignore the link between climate change and social issues. Only the Green Party is saying act now to protect the environment and create an economy that works for people, not just for big business.
Caroline Lucas, MP of the year in 2014, campaigned to tax casino banking, for reinstating the NHS, and to ban fracking. I share her values, and want to join her in Westminster to represent you and hold the next Government to account.
A vote for the Green Party next month says you care about your future, your children’s future, and the world we live in. We all share our one earth, and we have never been more interconnected. Movement of people around the world greatly benefits Britain; we must understand the causes of immigration, and manage it in a responsible, compassionate way.
We’ve had limited choice at the ballot box in recent years, many people voting for the least bad option – and look where it got us last time! This year, vote Green – for reinvestment in health, housing and education, a reformed EU, and a more equal, peaceful world. Voting for what you believe in isn’t a waste. Add your voice to ours, and demand government that works for the common good.
As far as we can tell, Leominster MP Bill Wiggin isn’t very bothered about the environmental impact of fracking in his constituency, according to this record of a vote on 26 Jan 2015.
As far as we can tell, Hereford MP Jesse Norman didn’t even express a view, although we would welcome clarification from him on this.