Green party candidate Jeremy Caddick on the May 3 city council elections
During last year's county council elections I was talking to a voter and, as you might imagine, I asked him whether he would be voting Green.
“But of course,” he replied, “it’s the future.”
Greens are the future. Time and again we see the other parties waking up and adopting policies that the Greens have been proposing for years. Introducing a deposit scheme on plastic bottles to reduce deadly pollution in our oceans is just the most recent example. Greens naturally think into the future, rather than being trapped in the political short-term.
Here in Cambridge, the city council has turned its attention to air pollution. Particularly in the city centre there are worrying levels of pollutants. For a long time Greens have been saying that the only way decisively to tackle this is to turn our backs on noisy and dirty diesel powered buses and embrace emission-free ways of getting around our city. We need to be ambitious about any future light rail system. We need to be determined in compelling the bus companies to look at electric buses, as Transport for London has – our new Cambridge and Peterborough mayor has powers to franchise bus services. We need to be energetic in facilitating electric car clubs to enable residents to drive in a clean and sustainable way. And we need to be imaginative in taking our efforts to promote cycling and walking around our community to a new level.
Cambridge is already leading the way in area such as cycling. We need to make it even better.
Having Green councillors acts to shake up the tired old battles between the other parties and to bring a refreshing independence and new ways of thinking.
We already have one Green councillor, Oscar Gillespie, who has been working hard to stir things up by challenging the council’s complacency over sustainability, over its care for the most disadvantaged in our community and over its stewardship of our beloved market. Most recently he has been investigating reducing waste by adopting alternatives to disposable plastic cups in the city centre.
We are working hard to get more Green councillors elected. If one can make such a difference, think how much more we could do with three or four (or eight or 12...). We are fielding a full slate of candidates in all of the city’s wards and we look forward to serving our community into a bright (green) future.
This year’s elections
Local elections take place on Thursday May 3 for 15 of the 42 seats on Cambridge City Council.
This represents one per ward, plus an additional councillor in East Chesterton following a resignation.
We asked the leaders of the parties contesting the elections why voters should consider them. Labour has eight candidates standing for re-election, while the Lib Dems have one.
Elections are also being held in South Cambridgeshire District Council and for parish councils in our area. There are no elections to the county council this year.