The Green Party in West Berkshire has come out of the election blocks with 18 candidates.
But it hasn’t set its sights on winning – just increasing its foothold at the district council to influence policies with Green policies.
It currently has three seats at the West Berkshire Council table and admits the party does not have ‘a monopoly on wisdom.’
“In multi-seat wards we are putting up single candidates,” explained campaign manager David Marsh.
“We don’t think we have a monopoly on all the best ideas. We are relaxed working with other parties – it makes for a better council. To us that seems closer to the idea of proportionality.”
It has also launched a manifesto for the local council elections in May – saying it will divest from the council’s £60 million commercial property portfolio and invest directly in West Berkshire, including social and affordable housing for local families.
The Greens also says in a ten point mission statement that it will improve public transport – and restore funding to Readibus.
Another pledge is to reopen Faraday Road ground in Newbury for use by football clubs and the wider sporting community.
Green councillors claim they will put a stop to the council wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of council tax payers’ money, to little or no effect, on the continuing LRIE ‘fiasco.’
“We will stop the sell-off of council-owned land to developers and initiate discussions with the Greenham Trust with a view to a partnership to manage the LRIE, revenue to be shared between the council and the trust,” it pledged.
In a list of ‘we wills’ it says it will:
‘Hold Thames Water to account and prioritise an urgent end to the dumping of sewage in our rivers and chalk streams. ‘
‘Do much more to protect our countryside, green spaces and waterways. We will continue to oppose the destruction of the countryside around North Thatcham and Wash Common.’
‘Bring landowners, developers and communities together to create bigger, better quality, and more connected spaces for nature.’
‘Provide a proper EV charging network across the district, with dedicated charging bays.’
And ‘improve kerbside recycling to enable people to recycle more items, such as plastic trays.’
Local council elections are on May 4 this year.