Councillors join protest against puppy farms

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ON the 26th July all three of our Farnley & Wortley councillors and two other Green Party members joined a protest organised by ‘Boycott Dogs4Us’ against the Dogs4Us shop in Bramley. A disturbing Panorama documentary about puppy arms was aired on 16th May. In this documentary there was footage of dogs been kept in small wooden boxes.

Additionally some of you may remember on the 16th February we had a vet’s assistant on Armley Town street who was convicted of keeping animals in underground cages.

 

Cllr David Blackburn hands Greenpeace Anti-Fracking letter to council

Leeds Greenpeace meets Cllr. David Blackburn

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On Tuesday 19th April  Cllr. David Blackburn met Leeds Greenpeace and passed their letter to the council. The Green Party remains committed to campaigning against fracking.

 

 

Green Party at Kirkstall Festival

Thousands of people enjoyed a day in the sunshine at Kirkstall Festival yesterday and Leeds Green Party were there with the Party fundraising coconut shy. With a slight twist on the traditional game, the coconuts had the faces of several well known politicians attached to them. This proved a real incentive as people queued to express their dislike and have some fun in the process.  For the full story click here

Leeds Green Party formally launches Manifesto and announces a full slate of candidates for council elections

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The Leeds Green Party formally launched its 2014 local election manifesto Towards a Green Leeds today, and announced their first ever full slate of 33 candidates. The launch took place at 1pm at the front of Leeds Civic Hall. Green Group Leader Cllr David Blackburn launched the manifesto along with a number of the candidates and party activists.

Cllr David Blackburn said of the news:

 “As Leader of the Green Group it gives me great pleasure to be able to say we are fielding a full slate of candidates this year, and we have an excellent manifesto to show what a Green run council would look like. If people want a real alternative to business as usual politicians, they can now look to vote Green right across the Leeds area. Locally, nationally, and in Europe we have polices that put people and the planet first, and when elected you’ll see our councillors working hard for you all year round on issues that matter and not just turning up at election time asking for your vote”. 

The manifesto sets outs a vision of a sustainable and fairer future for the city of Leeds and what the citizens of Leeds could expect if the Green Party formed an administration. As well as typically green issues like the local environment and better waste management,Towards a Green Leeds includes the Leeds Green Party’s policies on issues like community safety and crime, education, health and social care, housing, the local economy and transport. The full manifesto is available under Policies on this website.

Towards a Green LeedsOne of the key targets for the party is to obtain a third councillor in the Farnley and Wortley ward, recapturing it from Labour. Council elections since 2010 and recent canvassing suggest candidate Terry Wilford is on track to join Ann and David Blackburn the current Green councillors in that ward. Terry Wilford said of the election:

“I am looking forward to the chance to join the hard working Green councillors in Farnley and Wortley to help improve the lives of the local residents. As a local man who lives in the ward I am as keen as the local people to make sure the area is a pleasant place to live and if elected will do all I can to achieve that.” 

With a candidate in every ward there is an opportunity on 22nd May to vote for something positive and different to the three main parties. The manifesto shows how Green policies can make huge improvements to people’s lives. Joe Salmon, candidate for Headingley said:

“The public have finally got a genuine alternative to the self serving politicians and political system they’ve been let down by for far too long. This is the first step in genuinely addressing challenges posed by the economy, environment and globalisation in a sustainable fashion”.

As well as aiming to increase the number of Green councillors across Leeds, it is hoped the full slate will help boost the Green Party vote in the European Elections and elect a Green MEP for the Yorkshire and Humber region.

 

First or Worst Bus?

 

First Bus LeedsCllr David Blackburn (Farnley & Wortley ward) of the Green Party has received many complaints from local residents about the bus services they endure, and shares their desire to improve the buses in Leeds. Cllr Blackburn said of the issue:

“We continue to take up the many complaints about the bus services operated by First Bus, particularly the Nos. 4 and 42. In the meantime, First Group, the owners of First Bus have successfully made a bid of approximately £390 million a year over 13 years for the West Coast Mainline rail franchise (London Euston to Manchester & Glasgow). In our view it is a pity that First did not use some of that money to invest in the bus services they run. This, of course, comes from a company who actually had a passenger strikes on its First Great Western train services due to their unreliable services.

Cllr David Blackburn

Cllr David Blackburn

 Here in West Yorkshire (the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority) Metro has come up with proposals to take over the full bus network in West Yorkshire. They would be able to set the level of fares, including multi journey tickets, set the timetables and services and would decide which operator runs the services (similar to how bus services are run in London). Of course, the bus operators are opposed. We understand the proposals will go out to public consultation some time in October, and we would ask all those people who are dissatisfied with the current services to write to the Traffic Commissioner during the consultation.”

Cllrs. Ann & David Blackburn have also written to the US born Chief Executive of First Group, Tim O’Toole, inviting him to spend a day with them living the First Bus “experience” in Leeds and meet some of his disgruntled customers.

Ann Blackburn reselected as Local Elections candidate

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas with Ann Blackburn (right)Farnley & Wortley Green Party has reselected Ann Blackburn as your  Green Party candidate for the Local Council Elections on Thursday 5th May 2011.

Ann Blackburn is 57 years old and is married to David Blackburn. She has a grown up son and step-daughter. Originally from Armley, she has lived in Farnley for 28 years and worked in the area previous to that time. Ann was elected to Leeds City Council in 2002 and had represented the Farnley & Wortley area since that time. She is Leader  of  the Council’s Green Group.

A Message from Ann

It is now just under nine years since you elected me as one of the Green Councillors on Leeds City Council. During that time we have been able to achieve many things, but there is still much more to do. To me being a councillor is not just about attending meetings, but doing things in the community, and over the years I and the Green Party team have worked hard tramping the streets leafleting and door knocking in all weathers. You can be assured that as long as I am physically able I will be out at the front doing the same and trying to do my best for the people of our communities.

I ask you to support me on Thursday 5th May 2011 so that I can continue in my efforts to benefit Farnley and Wortley as a whole.

Other Farnley & Wortley Green Party Candidates

The Farnley & Wortley Green Party have selected the following people as their candidates for the Local Council Elections in May:

Armley Ward Jane Morrison

Bramley & Stanningley Ward Kate Bisson

Kirkstall Ward Morgan Tatchell-Evans

Pudsey Ward Irene Dracup

Green Party Candidates in other Leeds Council wards

Adel & Wharfedale Paul Marchant

Beeston & Holbeck David Smith

Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Peter Exley

Chapel Allerton Colin Noble

Crossgates & Whinmoor Ben Goldthorp

Guiseley & Rawdon Colin Avison

Harewood Patricia Capstick

Headingley Christopher Foren

Hyde Park & Woodhouse Robert Simpson

Roundhay Paul Ellis

Weetwood Martin Hemingway

Please support a Green Party candidate in the May elections. More Green Councillors working hard for you around the year means a better, cleaner, more sustainable Leeds.

Inaugural meeting of city wide Leeds Green Party

Leeds GreensThe Inaugural Meeting of the Leeds Green Party took place on 24th February 2011 at the Leeds Civic Hall.

The Farnley & Wortley and Headingley parties continue to exist and retain their autonomy, but the new city wide party will act as a membership branch for those members without a local ward party and help new local ward parties form should they wish.

The Inaugural Meeting saw the election of the new Officers, some final amendments to the constitution, and the start of the process towards setting up a bank account. The new party is now able to concentrate on the coming elections and campaigning. The next meeting will take place after the Local Elections.

The Leeds Green Party elected Officers are:

Coordinator & Chairperson: Andrew Pointon (Farnley & Wortley Green Party)

Fundraising & Events Officer: Jane Morrison (Farnley & Wortley Green Party)

Local Party Contact: Martin Hemingway (Headingley Green Party)

Membership Secretary: Kate Bisson (Farnley & Wortley Green Party)

Nominating Officer: Ann Blackburn (Farnley & Wortley Green Party)

Secretary: Chris Foren (Headingley Green Party)

Treasurer: Wendy Selina (Headingley Green Party)

For more information contact either Martin Hemingway (0113 2749159) or Andrew Pointon (0113 2718717)

Formation of new city wide Green Party

At a full meeting at Leeds Civic Hall on 5th October, members of the Green Party in Leeds agreed to the formation of a city wide party.

Proposing the motion Cllr. David Blackburn (Farnley & Wortley) said that a city wide party would provide a forum for members living outside the active branches, and could provide support for the growth of new ward parties with the City.

Supporting Cllr. Blackburn, Martin Hemingway from Headingley Green Party stated that the branch would not replace the current branches, but would provide the focus for growth of the party in the City.

He said “At the moment we have three political parties that have betrayed the country, a Conservative Party imposing cuts that are not necessary, a Liberal Democrat Party that has abandoned every principle to outdo the Tories in its cuts agenda, and a Labour Party that is proposing all kinds of things that it failed to do during thirteen years of government.”

In their first detailed report to members since the agreement to support a Labour Administration in Leeds, Cllr. Ann Blackburn (Farnley & Wortley) said that some of the measures asked in the agreement were already being delivered on. The review of the future of City of Leeds School had been done resulting in the school staying open, and the biggest energy efficiency scheme in the country was in the planning stage, and would bring energy savings across the city, as homes were insulated for free. The scheme would create hundreds of ‘green jobs’ at a time when unemployment was been used again as government weapon.

Contact for the new party is 0113 2790336 – mobile 07930 116395.

Cllr. Ann Blackburn

Greens’ agreement with Labour Group means free insulation scheme for Leeds

On 27th May at the Leeds City Council Annual General Meeting the two Green Party councillors voted with the Labour group’s 48 members to enable Labour to form a new minority administration to run the Council.

Cllr. David Blackburn, Green Party spokesman on Fuel Poverty and Climate Change today welcomed the Green Party’s agreement that has enable Labour to take control in Leeds.

A key element of the Green Party’s agreement with the incoming Labour administration is to secure funding for a free insulation programme for all private households in the Leeds Council area.

It is estimated that this programme would cost around £30 million over a three year period, but half these costs would be met by energy utilities under their Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obligations.  Around 90,000 homes would receive free loft insulation or cavity wall insulation saving a minimum of £100 per year off their energy bills.  This would put around £8 million back into the local economy each year and the value of those savings would rise as energy bills rise.

Cllr. David Blackburn said:

“This programme would create 200 new jobs and save 48,500 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions whilst cutting residents’ energy bills.

The Greens and Labour will work together to identify the capital resources necessary to make this scheme a reality over the coming months.  It is anticipated that this programme will commence in 2011-12 and will enable the Council to hit the previous Government’s target on insulating every loft and cavity wall by 2015.”

This proposal is based on a similar free insulation scheme that was successfully proposed by the Green Party in 2007 in Kirklees.  The programme there has insulated over 50,000 homes and has won several awards.