I am standing as the Green Party candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth by-election to give local voters the chance to vote for a party that offers real alternatives to the tired, discredited policies of the others.
I have lived and worked in Penarth for the last eight years and for several years have been actively involved in the community based environmental group Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) of which I am now Chair. My involvement with GPG has included organising the planting of the Community Orchard at Cosmeston and I am part of the small team that organises the very popular Penarth Local Food Festival.
My involvement with various community led projects has shown me that there is strong interest in community issues and a keen desire amongst people to work together to make the area a more sustainable and fairer place to live and work. There is also a growing awareness of the bigger picture and the fact that we cannot as a society continue to act as if we inhabit a planet of endless resources. At a time of growing social inequality and increasing costs of energy and food people are realising that ‘Business as usual’ politics has failed to deliver a fair and sustainable society.
While the political establishment insists that there is no Plan B, no choice but their damaging policies of Austerity, the Green Party offers a real alternative. People will argue that Green issues are irrelevant in these times of economic hardship; in reality Green policies are essential if we are to move beyond the current financial and environmental crisis.
Green Party policies would ensure a fairer society that meets everyone’s needs.
- A Green New Deal would create jobs in sustainable, clean industries such as renewable energy. Industries that would replace dirty, inefficient projects such as the Viridor Waste Incinerator at Splott that is shockingly being allowed to continue with construction despite being in breach of planning permission that should never have been granted.
- An economy working with nature rather than against it. There is no need for the proposed Severn Barrage mega project with its years of polluting, disruptive carbon intense construction to harness the energy of the tidal flow. There are cleaner, more sustainable, less environmentally hazardous ways to harness this energy source, such as tidal lagoons as supported by Friends of the Earth.
- Investment in sustainable public transport. Cleaner, safer streets for all users.In the absence of a joined up sustainable transport policy Cardiff and Penarth become increasingly congested. Air quality in some areas has been regularly in breach of legally binding European standards yet our local politicians do nothing.
These are some of the issues where Green Party policies would be a real investment in a fairer future. Most major financial institutions and
commentators now agree that the Coalition government policies are trashing the economy and causing ever greater inequality. Only the Green Party has the policies to address social and environmental justice and deliver a fairer society.
This election address was written by Anthony Slaughter, Green Party candidate in the Penarth and Cardiff South by-election.