|From Right to Left - Councillor Andrew Cooper (Lead Candidate), Shan Oakes, Dr Vicky Dunn, Denise Craghill, Martin Hemingway and Councillor Kevin Warnes|
The Green Party has completed its selection of the 6 Candidates to go on the ballot paper for next May's European elections. Councillor Andrew Cooper who is the Lead Candidate on the Greens European List said,
"We have a strong and experienced team, with 2 Councillors, a former senior Local Authority Officer, an experienced fundraiser with a degree in European studies, a Teacher and former Leeds Councillor and the ManA ger of an Environmental Charity. It is encouraging to have such a committed team from right across the Yorkshire and Humber region. What is particularly pleasing is that we have 3 men and 3 women represented on our list."
In the last European Elections the Green Party were just 1.3% short of electing their first MEP losing out narrowly to he BNP who took the 6th seat.
"A lot has changed since 2009 which should work in the Green Party's favour" said Councillor Cooper,
"the BNP as an electoral force has collapsed and there is increasing cynicism about the 3 larger Westminster parties particularly the Liberal Democrats. Though UKIP has grown in support this will mainly be to the detriment of the Conservatives. UKIP are also not as strong in the North of England as the South and in Yorkshire and Humber they have only a couple of Councillors in North Yorkshire while the Greens have elected Councillors in Kirklees, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, York and Scarborough. As the European Elections are run on a list system this gives the Green Party a much better chance than a traditional 'First Past The Post' election".
"If elected I want to use the position of MEP as more than simply a one off protest against the old Westminister parties. I am keen to use this position to draw in more resources from the European Union to create worthwhile skilled jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector to give young people in particular a career they can build a life upon. In this way we can improve the insulation and heating standards of thousands of homes in our region. This will not just save people money but give them more to spend in the local economy and less to BIG energy companies. Our region is home to many manufacturing and export jobs. We have the significant ports of Hull, Grimsby and Immingham which depend on European trade. Greens believe passionately in supporting sustainable local economies but some trade will always move internationally. It is scandalous that the UK Government has recently diverted funding of over £200 Million of European funding away from the Yorkshire and Humber region to spend elsewhere. This come on to top of other funding cuts to Local Government. This is no way to rebuild an economy ".