13 October 2016
Green Party Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley, together with Green Party Mayoral candidates Deyika Nzeribe and Tom Crone, officially launched the Party's campaign for next May's elections in Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region with a vision of “Doing Devolution Differently”.
Speaking in front of Green Party members and members of the local media at the Party's launch event in MediaCityUK, Jonathan said: “It's a really great privilege to be here and it's fantastic to be with Tom and Deyika, who will be formidable candidates. We're living in very fluid political times and I am really optimistic that we're going to see some great campaigns over this coming seven months, and a very strong, powerful Green message being sent.
“We believe in a proper devolution of power and control, and a transition of wealth to accompany it. That is the only way to liberate ourselves from the climate crisis that we are all facing. We are the party that is facing up to the future, we are the party that is providing 21st Century solutions to 21st Century problems”.
Setting out his campaign themes, Deyika Nzeribe, Greater Manchester's Green candidate said, “It's my great pleasure to be here today, standing as Green Party candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester. As you know, Greater Manchester is at the forefront of the Government's plans to devolve powers to the regions. Although Manchester is one of the richest cities in the country, it also has one of the highest levels of child poverty and some of the poorest public health in the country. Alongside that, three of the ten Councils in Greater Manchester are amongst the most deprived in England.
“I’ve been a temp for a few years now, working in both large and small companies. I’ve seen the instability that large numbers of people go through. I’ve seen the struggle, the grind and the hardship. I’ve seen it and I’ve lived it.”
“Although this version of devolution is definitely flawed, it does present an opportunity to address and influence some of the major issues facing Greater Manchester. These are, primarily, its development going forward, the widespread deprivation, and it's the chance for some real, practical action to address climate change issues. With some thought and progressive action, we should be able to regenerate Greater Manchester in such a way as to provide meaningful jobs whilst addressing our environmental and our health concerns.
“The Mayor position should be a campaigning role which reflects the needs of the people: the NHS; clean, green jobs; sustainable economic development; housing; better education; the environment; encouraging a real living wage; and pushing back against racism and xenophobia. These are all areas the Mayor should be campaigning on. We can do devolution differently, and as the Green Mayor, I will.”
In his speech, Tom Crone, Green Party Candidate for the Liverpool City Region, said: “Jonathan spoke about what the Green vision is, what Green ideas are, and I see my role as the Green candidate for Liverpool City Region as talking about how these can be applied on the ground. We need a thriving, jobs-rich local economy, but one that contributes positively to the environment. There are so many job opportunities in renewables, in the low-carbon economy, and this is what I'll be focusing on in the campaign. I'd like to make sure that people coming out of education in the City Region are equipped for the low-carbon economy, ready to go into those jobs that are so desperately needed.
“Unfortunately, the local Combined Authority is already making decisions that run counter to this. They’re investing in a logistics academy in St Helens, trying to get people to work in road freight, which is a fundamentally unsustainable industry. It demands that we carry on consuming at high rates and importing and transporting things, rather than focusing on the circular economy, on local production, which is absolutely sustainable for a City Region.
“Another thing we need is a sustainable transport network. The Transport Department in the City Region seem to be stuck in the 20th Century. Everything that's happening is about road widening, building new roads, even through country parks which are used by local residents. Finally, I think it's important to remember that green spaces are massively under threat in Liverpool City Region, and they're something I'll continue to fight for. There have been a lot of plans to sell off green spaces to housing developers but these have always met with fierce resistance from the community, supported by us as Green Councillors, and most of the spaces have been protected.
“A Green vision for Liverpool City Region will address the bread-and-butter issues that everyone cares about, providing jobs and housing, encouraging business and tourism, but it'll make the region a cleaner, more environmentally sustainable place.”