8 April 2019
Exeter Green Party welcomes the decision of Exeter Liberal Democrats to join our call to stand aside in the city council elections in the Newtown and St Leonard's ward. This comes in the wake of the Save Clifton Hill Green Space Campaign announcing it intends to put up an independent candidate to fight Labour.
We feel it's important that the community comes together to challenge the complacency of Exeter Labour Party and support the independent candidate who is standing on a platform of protecting the city's green spaces, combating climate change and ensuring communities are genuinely consulted before major council decisions are taken. It's disappointing that Exeter Conservatives don't seem to be able to put their differences aside at this time and join us too.
Campaign organisers say they will stand on a platform of “protecting the city's green spaces, combating climate change and ensuring communities are genuinely consulted before major council decisions are taken”. Greens say this is consistent with their own policies.
The local Green Party have backed the aims of the Save Clifton Hill Campaign to fight Labour’s plans to sell off the Clifton Hill Sports Centre land for housing development and opposed the sale of the Exeter ski slope. Last month Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, put a motion to the full Council calling for the ski slope to be saved by removing it from the planned sale.
Cllr Musgrave said:
“We are challenging Parties to stand down here because this is an exceptional situation. We need to unite against Labour’s disregard of residents, their real concerns, and its running down and selling off of community facilities.
“However, this decision to stand aside is subject to the Lib Dems and the Tories doing the same. We need to ensure the independent candidate is best placed to strike a blow against Labour’s complacency and mismanagement and this can best be achieved if they have a clear run.
“Not only do the aims of the Save Clifton Hill Green Space Campaign chime with Green Party policy, we are also keen to challenge and break down the one-party-state that Exeter has become. My own actions on opposing the way Labour has handled the Clifton Hill issue are on record, and Greens are happy to back this campaign, providing other Parties do the same.”
Tom Milburn, a longstanding and popular Green Party candidate in Newtown and St Leonard’s, said:
“I’ve been the Green Party candidate here for many years so standing aside has been a difficult decision. However, given the outrageous behaviour of the Labour Party councillors here in Newtown & St Leonard’s it is the right thing to do, at this time. We need to show what real community cohesion looks like.”
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