3 January 2017
We were delighted to have Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader of the Green Party, visit
the North East in December. She spoke first at a public meeting in Durham on
Thursday 8th on what the city would look like if it really met all of people's
needs. Her key point was that a Green Industrial Strategy is a vital part of
ensuring we can have a stable economy with proper jobs and vibrant independent
local businesses. Only this kind of economy will support a resilient, much
more equal society as we tackle the climate and ecological crises.
The Durham Greens are now preparing a Durham Future City Plan as an
alternative to the flawed ideas that the County Council are still pursuing of
road building, allowing huge building on the Green Belt for executive housing
and out of town retail or business parks. [Link to Durham Future City Plan
Caroline was then interviewed by the BBC for the Sunday Politics programme
particularly focusing on air pollution from traffic and our policies for
reducing this major cause of ill health and early deaths in all our cities and
Her first campaign event on Friday 9th also focused on air pollution from the
terrible traffic congestion in Durham city. She was shown around by Sarah Thin
and Jonathan Elmer who are standing in Neville's Cross as Green Party
candidates in this year's county council elections. The Northern Echo then
interviewed Caroline for a feature article.
Her next visit was to the village of Warden on the river Tyne near Hexham,
which was flooded in 2015 by Storm Desmond. She heard from local people about the impact of
the flooding while looking round the village seeing how they have recovered
since then, after the Boatside Inn and several houses were flooded.
Tynedale Greens including Wesley Foot, local Green Party candidate, had lunch
with her in the Boatside Inn and talked about our campaigning for natural
Finally, she came to Newcastle for an informal meeting with members. We had a
wide-ranging discussion, covering questions about getting an electoral pact
for PR, how we work for progressive alliances, how we strengthen our work on
social justice issues like homelessness, precarious work, food bank use and
campaign for our solutions like basic income, how we involve more people in
the battle to stop the open cast coal mining planned for Druridge Bay in the
run up to the Public Inquiry at the end of May and how the NHS Reinstatement Bill
is progressing in parliament and much more!
We look forward to another visit to the North East from Caroline and also from
Jonathan Bartley, our other Co-leader, this year...