Development today as if tomorrow mattered: Exeter Green Party launch manifesto for City elections

Creative new ways to develop the city and provide affordable housing whilst protecting green spaces and preventing urban sprawl are key themes in the Exeter Green Party manifesto, which has been launched ahead of the City Council Elections on 22nd May.

Greens say that if they win seats in the City Council they will challenge the Core Strategy, which calls for an additional 12,500 houses in the city by 2026, and campaign hard for the legal protection of Exeter’s remaining green spaces. Whilst acknowledging the need for new housing, Exeter Greens say imaginative ‘brownfield’ developments are needed instead. Converting some single storey car parks to housing is one example. They also call for new ways of delivering housing so it is genuinely affordable.

Andrew Bell, who is hopeful of winning a seat in St David’s ward, said:

“The Core strategy is essentially a developer’s charter, providing huge profits for large corporations. We want to challenge that and introduce new planning guidance that ensures opportunities for community owned and managed housing, such as Community Land Trusts, as well as further Council housing, which can guarantee genuine affordable housing to local people in perpetuity”.

Amongst other measures being proposed by Exeter Green Party are:

  • a Living Wage Mark for employers in the city that pay all employees at least the Living Wage
  • the introduction of a local currency for Exeter, following successful models such the Bristol Pound
  • a new Market Square as part of the bus station redevelopment which would ‘showcase Exeter’s multiculturalism and diversity’
  • making Exeter a 20pmh city
  • the immediate introduction of weekly food waste collections
  • decision making to be decentralised so local people are far more involved in decisions that directly affect them, particularly when considering the impacts of new housing.

Therese Canning, Chair of Exeter Green Party said:

“The Green Party is bringing creative thinking and positive solutions to Councils across Britain. Indeed, many ideas we first proposed a number of years ago are now being implemented. This demonstrates that the Green Party is the truly progressive voice in both local and national politics. We know that when people elect Green Party councillors, they like what they get and want more. This is why Norwich has gone from just one Green Party councillor a few years ago to 15 Green councillors today. We believe Exeter deserves the same and electing Green Councillors will help hold the Labour-dominated City Council to account and create a strong opposition.”

Exeter Green Party points out that they win on policies in Exeter. In Vote for Policies, an online poll set up for the last General Election and based purely on policy rather than Parties or personalities, Greens came top with 29% of the vote and Labour second with 21%.

See the full Exeter Green Party 2014 manifesto


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