Of course in practice to put together all the detail and come up with a sharp and concise manifesto isn’t easy.
It’s also hard to come up with a manifesto that suits both local and Parliamentary elections. Green Party policies need to be realistic and credible. We need to set out what we would do if we were running the Government but also what we would do if we were running the Council under a hostile central Government.
During 2014, the Campaigns Group, which meets monthly, decided on four priority areas. These themes allow us to show how the Green way is both practical and more progressive than other parties.
- The local economy – we support sustainability, not growth in consumption; we support local and independent businesses over multi-nationals so money recirculates in Sheffield. We want to reduce inequality in incomes.
- Good public services – we think the health service, adult social care, libraries, public transport, waste disposal, road maintenance and other public services should be publicly owned and not run for private profit. We oppose privatisation and contracting out of services. We oppose austerity.
- Housing – we need more housing and it must be affordable but we also want to improve the standards of housing, for instance through energy-saving insulation. Helping families on low incomes goes hand-in-hand with tackling climate change.
- Transport – investing in affordable public transport is a big factor in improving air quality. Roads and pavements are for all transport users: for cycling and walking as well as cars.
To have as much input from members as possible, we held a training and policy brain-storming day on November 8th at Nether Edge Bowling Club. About 50 people spent the afternoon thrashing out how national and local policies would work and debating what should be our priorities. We followed this up with a more detailed discussion at the Campaigns Group and we hope to finalise it by the end of January.
If you have views on what you think is most important we include in our manifesto, please contact Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07981 860 662.