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  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.”
“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.”