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Green Councillors for Calder Valley Town Councils

Monday, 11 May 2015

Calderdale Green Party has contacted the HebWeb to thank everyone who voted Green in Halifax and Calder Valley - and welcomes new members who've joined the Party since May 7th.

Well over 7,000 Calderdale people voted Green in the Parliamentary and Council elections on May 7th.

The "Green surge" means there are three Green Councillors in Upper Calder Valley Town Councils.

Penny Marrington and Dave Wardell will take their places on Todmorden Town Council and Elizabeth King, who topped the White Lee ward poll, will join Hebden Royd Town Council.

Through them - and through our evolving #TurnCalderdaleGreen plan - Calderdale Greens will build stronger connections with people and organisations in Calderdale who share our aims of creating social, environmental and economic justice - and making sure we have a safe climate.

Penny Marrington said, "I'd like to thank the people of Langfield for giving me the opportunity to work for Todmorden in a new Green way. I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas about how to make Todmorden an even better place to live in, and I'll always welcome your views on the things that are important to you."

Elizabeth King said, "Thank you to everyone in White Lee who voted for me. As a Green Party Councillor I will work hard for you and take every opportunity to promote and improve Mytholmroyd."

Dave Wardell said,

"Thank you to everyone who voted for me in Stansfield. I look forward to working for everyone in Stansfield and Todmorden as a whole bringing a Green perspective to the decisions of the council."

The #TurnCalderdaleGreen campaign focusses on:

  • defending and restoring the NHS
  • creating skilled green jobs in home insulation, renewable energy generation, sustainable affordable food growing, processing and sales, and low carbon building
  • making sure the 20s plenty scheme works in limiting traffic speeds, and streets are safer for walking and cycling
  • improving and integrating bus and rail services and making them more affordable
  • more work on flood prevention in terms of upland management and tree cover.
  • animal protection and welfare
  • fighting the so-called "austerity" measures proposed by the other parties and campaigning for improved services for those who need them.

Calderdale Green Party is now setting out plans for how both its elected and unelected candidates will continue to work with people across the area and campaign on these issues.

For the first time, people in Halifax were able to vote for a Green Parliamentary candidate, and 2.6% of them voted for Gary Scott - the constituency was held by Labour.

In Calder Valley, the Green vote for the Parliamentary Candidate Jenny Shepherd was nearly two and a half times bigger than in 2010. 2090 people voted Green, compared to 858 in 2010; in percentage terms, the Green vote rose from 1.65% to 3.9%.

Jenny Shepherd told the HebWeb, "This growth in the numbers of people voting Green gives us a good basis for starting to turn Calderdale green, by tackling the issues that people have told us matter to them.

"One of these issues is the undemocratic nature of the first past the post voting system.

"Nationally, over one million people voted for Green Parliamentary candidates, but only one Green MP was elected.

"Locally and nationally, more people would have voted Green if they'd been free of the pressure to vote tactically.

"That's why the Greens will continue to push for a fairer, more representative system so in future everyone has the confidence to vote for what they believe in."

The Green Party stood in a record 573 constituencies in the General Election. They won a 3.8% share of the vote overall, up from 2.8% in 2010, with 1.1 million votes cast for the party across the UK and MP Caroline Lucas retaining her seat in Brighton with an 11% swing.

And since May 7th, over 4,500 people have joined the Green Party of England and Wales.

Now the Green Party faces the task of helping to build an effective Parliamentary opposition to the Tory Government, which has a small, fragile majority.

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton and Hove, said, "The election results have served as a stark reminder that our political system is broken. The time for electoral reform is long overdue. Only proportional representation will deliver a parliament that is truly legitimate, and that better reflects the views of the people it's meant to represent."

She added, "But we must move forward today. While the campaign for electoral reform gathers momentum, those of us wanting to see a fairer, more compassionate and progressive politics must find new ways of working together, a new way to do politics – and put that into practice now.

"Unless we break free of tribal politics and work together to fight austerity, and promote crucial, common-sense climate policies, we're faced with an incredibly bleak political future. For the sake of all those who'll suffer most at the hands of the Tories, we must rethink our relations and recognise the importance of our common ground."

Thanks to the Calderdale Green Party for the above

See also:

HebWeb General Election section discussion, news and results

HebWeb News: Hebden Royd Town Council results

HebWeb News: Local Calderdale Council results