Thursday, 7 July 2016

My 7 Priorities as Deputy Leader

Supporting Local Parties to win elections

Winning elections at all levels of Government is important to convey our ideas and to put them into practice. We need to value the people who work on the ground to make our Target to Win Strategy a reality. We also need to celebrate good practice and electoral success much more in the Party to build a culture of contesting elections professionally and to' demonstrate that we can win to a wider proportion of the electorate. Andrew has organised successful election campaigns in Kirklees for over 20 years. As a Target to Win Pioneer he will be a strong and informed advocate for those needing support for their election campaigns.

Giving a voice to the Regions

Some good progress has been made through the appointment of Regional Campaigns Coordinators to help build the capacity and capability of the Green Party at the local and Regional level. The Party needs a perspective in the Leadership Team that can speak with experience and authority from outside London and the South East. As a Councillor From Yorkshire with 17 years experience as a Local Cllr, Andrew is ideally placed to fulfil that role.

Involving members

An active political party needs to be able to respond quickly to changing events. We should also ensure we involve our Party bodies and members in strategic decisions as much as possible. The Green Party needs to avoid situations where our position on key issues are made by pronouncement. One very practical issue Andrew would pursue if elected as Deputy Leader is to initiate a consultation with local parties on 'Progressive Alliances' asking for views and opinions to feedback to relevant Party bodies so your views are taken into account.

Widening our reach.

The Green Party's support is often perceived as being white and middle class. There are some good examples around the UK where that stereotype is challenged due to dedicated work by local Parties but we need to do more. Andrew is already working closely with groups like Muslim Engagement and Development MEND to challenge Islamaphobia and the Governments ill conceived 'Prevent Strategy'. As someone who has been elected to an ethnically diverse area of Huddersfield Andrew has strong links to community organisations representing BME communities at the local and national level. We also need to show how we are relevant to the many communities who are suffering most from our deteriorating services. We need to demonstrate that Green policies provide workable solutions addressing the need for secure affordable housing, worthwhile rewarding employment and ensuring the people with the greatest needs have good support and good services.

The benefits of a Councillor as our Deputy Leader

The Leadership of the Green Party is likely to have a strong Parliamentary focus. As Deputy Leader and an experienced Local Councillor Andrew would provide knowledge of the impact of Government policy on the ground. Andrew will provide practical input based on the real life experience of implementing policy at the local level. Elected politicians bring an additional degree of credibility to our Leadership Team whether they are an MP or a Councillor.

Working with others to address Climate Change

Developing workable plans and policies to address climate change should be a top priority for the Green Party. As Deputy Leader Andrew would forge stronger relations with NGOs and businesses that share our objectives to build our credibility and provide a robust challenge to Government and other Parliamentary parties on practical action to achieve the Paris Climate targets and beyond. Andrew has worked for over 20 years in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector and has strong connections with key organisations.

'Progressive Alliances'

The idea of a Progressive Alliances is on the Green Party's agenda as a Strategy being considered in the run up to the next General Election, whether that is in 2020 or possibly much sooner. To be successful a Progressive Alliance will need to have a popular programme that can draw support across a large proportion of the population. It will need to have more broadly based policies than being simply about achieving Electoral Reform. If it is to have wide appeal we will need to demonstrate that Green policies can provide jobs, tackle climate change address poverty and provide secure and affordable homes. Acheiving policies which reflect Green Party values will need to be a key part of any deal. Andrew is a skilled and experienced negotiator who has delivered Green policies on the ground on a Council that has been hung for 17 years.

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