The Wales Green Party stands for an agenda which puts the protection of people and planet above greed and corporatocracy. From equal pay to climate change to the plight of the honey bee, the common thread running through our manifesto is a commitment to developing strong communities, the need for social and environmental justice, and a pledge to take action to achieve this.
In the latest Welsh Barometer Poll, Greens are showing at 4% in SWE. This means with just over 2% more of the vote under the proportional system, you’ll be sending a Green from SWE to the Senedd.
Wherever Greens are elected, things get done. In Ireland, Scotland and across the European continent, Greens have been at the forefront of justice. From the banning of bee killing pesticides to the cap on bankers’ bonuses, Greens have been the frontline of successful ecological politics, and we are ready to bring that energy and commitment to Wales.
In the 5th richest economy in the world, poverty should not be tolerated. A succession of governments has barely made a dent in abolishing poverty in Wales. Greens will use EU money for the purpose for which it is intended, and lift our poorest people out of poverty.
The Wales Green Party will put the well-being of future generations at the heart of our programme. We will reduce your fuel bills, cut pollution, and keep wealth in our local communities.
Greens know that we cannot afford to lose our biggest employers such as Tata Steel (1500 people) Admiral Insurance (450 ), and PHS Group in Caerphilly (700 in Wales). We will help them to innovate with energy efficient measures, funding for research and development, apprenticeships and reduced business rates.
In South Wales East, Greens support community groups, such as the United Valley’s Action Group, to end open cast coalmining and other polluting industries. We will increase monitoring of air pollution, and raise penalties for local councils who fail to deliver improvements – because cleaner air means healthier people, and healthier people reduce the cost to the NHS. It’s joined up thinking. It’s Green thinking.
Wales needs to build thousands of houses every year. If we build to carbon zero standards, fuel poverty will be the nightmare of the past. But housebuilding needs to be strategic and sensitive. In Caerphilly we are supporting local groups to save meadows for the sake of 600 houses. In Newport we support the Glan Lyn brownfield settlement for 4000 houses. We probably don’t need both. It’s about joined up thinking.
We will promote the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and work for the development of 2 further lagoons off the coast of Newport to bring in sustainable jobs and energy supplies. We have the tides, we have the manpower, and of course we need the energy. Low carbon energy is the future, and with cities in Texas, Germany and across the world going 100% renewable, we know it’s the way forward.
Greens will spend more on public transport such as the South East Wales metro. We will abandon construction of the overpriced M4 relief road and use that £1billion+ to enhance healthier travel options, such as safe cycling networks and pedestrian friendly routes.
We will continue to support free local transport for pensioners and extend free transport and bus passes to younger people to help form low carbon travel habits.
Lets face it. Wales is not going to meet its own binding carbon reduction targets if we do what we have always done. We have to invest, we have to be bold, and we have to join up our thinking.
Greens have heard the cries of hard pressed commuters whose wages are not going up whilst almost everything about them is. So we will reduce tolls on the Severn Bridge, and give concessions to drivers who live and work in the close vicinity, and who drive low emission vehicles.
And what about our Older People? I instigated the OPM to pave the way for a less – stressful older age. Simple, but important adjustments to our public spaces – such as covered places to sit and rest, and lots of public toilets. These things make the difference between a staying at home or having a life. The OPM manifesto is online right now. Developments such as Friars Walk do not properly cater for our fastest growing demographic, and the needs of older people should be actioned up front, at the planning stage.
Let us not forget that this day is the 5th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, which created a toxic wasteland for humans and wildlife alike. A disaster still unfolding as attempts to contain the radioactive waters teeter on the brink of failure, and 22 million square meters of radioactive waste pile up in – would you believe – in black plastic bags, waiting for a miracle which will never happen. To suggest that a new generation of unproven, untested, and hopelessly expensive nuclear reactors is the way ahead for Hinkley C or Ynys Môn is a fallacy of the greatest magnitude. We have abundant resources for alternative energy and the means to create alternative employment. What is required is a coherent and credible strategy underpinned by a vision, which details the kind of society we want for the future, and not one which creates even more mountains of toxic waste.
Greens will eliminate tuition fees for Welsh students studying in Welsh universities. We will legislate for a truly proportional and fair voting system for the next Welsh local government election, and all other elections, and lower the voting age to 16. Importantly we will encourage NGOs, charities and trade unions to critically evaluate every speck of government policy.
Greens really have the edge on policy in this election. We have some big challenges too. But most of all we have the kind of candidates prepared to work hard at scrutinizing laws, with the imagination to think outside the box, and the guts to bring lasting and measurable change to Wales.
The Green Surge of 2015, together with previous election results, indicate we can get enough votes this time to win 3 regional seats, so if you want to dump rhetoric and see some action, vote Green on May 5th.