Green Manifesto 2010 Local Living
The quality of our lives depends a great deal on the quality of our local services. None of us wants to travel miles to go to school or to the doctor. Services must be accessible.This means they must be easy and affordable to reach by public transport – and within walking distance in urban areas. It also makes environmental sense to have good local services. Less travel means less carbon.
We all live in local communities of one sort or another. Our communities are where we take action when we want to do things, when we want to change things, when we want to make a difference.This is why the Green Party believes that issues should be decided at a local level whenever possible. Decentralise and relocalise. Trust citizens to make the change.
Key services must be free at the point of delivery.The Green Party believes that we should pay for these services with a taxation system that promotes fairness and rewards behaviour that’s good for society and good for the environment.
The Green Party will reverse the trend towards the liberalisation, privatisation and deregulation of public services and utilities. Services must be easily available to everyone who needs them.The poor and the vulnerable suffer most when they are far away or too expensive, but we are all affected by the undermining of the social fabric and common culture that good public services represent. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in particular has been a giant scheme of outdoor relief for private contractors, equivalent in folly to buying your house on a credit card. We would end it.
The Green Party opposes the trend towards bigger schools, hospitals, councils and prisons, and more centralised surgeries and Post Offices. Many so-called efficiency savings are bought at a high social cost: isolation, inaccessibility, impersonality, remoteness.They also make our communities less able to cope with change. Communities and services must be on a human scale. Size matters. Quality local services are much more important than having a phony choice between a number of distant ones.
Lewisham Deptford candidate Councillor Darren Johnson prevents social service cuts
Greens have campaigned hard to highlight and oppose any attempts to cut services to vulnerable people within Lewisham. In 2007, they managed to get £1.8m of cuts reversed and persuaded the Mayor to reject the same proposals in 2008.
A Green MP in Lewisham Deptford would have even greater influence in fighting cuts.
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