'We need more affordable homes' - Greens tackle four key issues at Cambridge City Council elections
We asked the parties and independent candidate standing for election to Cambridge City Council on Thursday (May 2) for their thoughts on four key issues.
Here are the Green Party answers.
By Oscar Gillespie and Mark Slade, Green Party
How do we protect Cambridge's special character as it grows?
Cambridge’s special character cannot be protected if we allow it to grow unchecked. More should be done to work with the county council to stop economic growth being concentrated in Cambridge but instead spread it across the county; encouraging businesses and investment to locate to alternative hubs. These economic hubs around the county then need to be linked by environmentally-friendly, affordable and convenient public transport.
What should be done about congestion? Would you approve of a congestion charge in Cambridge and/or a workplace parking levy?
The Cambridge Green Party proposed a workplace levy in 2016 and continues to support this option. It has also consistently called for a congestion zone. However, we recognise that this should only be introduced when an environmentally-friendly, affordable and convenient alternative to car travel is in place. This requires substantial investment into our public transport infrastructure. We must also reduce the necessity for travel by developing community hubs with shops and amenities for locals.
Do you agree there is a climate emergency and what can the council do to address it?
The Green Party has long campaigned to raise awareness of climate change; seeking to prevent it from escalating into an emergency since the 1970s. Now, it is an emergency and we need determined, radical action. The council needs to be showing leadership on this. All new developments in the city must be made to meet the highest environmental standards, including the modernisation of all council-owned buildings to maximise energy efficiency. It should also be exerting its influence over the future of the city’s transport infrastructure to ensure the greenest options are chosen. Finally, it needs to educate and provide advice for local businesses on the climate emergency and how to help Cambridge become carbon neutral.
How would you tackle the homelessness problem?
The lack of affordable housing and council housing is a shameful problem in the city. The city council has the power, but lacks the determination, to be much tougher on property developers who are failing to build affordable homes. The council should force these developers to publish their costs and deliver on their promises. Those who repeatedly fail to deliver, should be banned from future projects. We also need to reverse the damage caused by austerity; a huge factor for the rise in homelessness since 2010.
Read all the answers
Read all the party pitches for your vote at Cambridge City Council local elections 2019