Green councillors elected to West Berkshire Council on 2 May 2019 will have the following priorities:
1 A plan to tackle climate change
Green councillors will propose that West Berkshire declare a climate emergency and work towards zero carbon emissions by 2030, drawing up a detailed strategy as a matter of urgency for reaching this target.
2 Scrap the green bin tax
As the party that has led opposition to this tax on recycling from the start, Green councillors will seek to abolish it, along with the expensive and bureaucratic permit scheme, by renegotiating the contract with Veolia.
The green bin charge is the thin end of the wedge. It sets a dangerous precedent to charge residents for essential services on top of their council tax. Green councillors will oppose such measures.
3 Better recycling of plastics
West Berkshire Council should follow the example of neighbouring local authorities by recycling a wider range of plastics. Green councillors will work with the wider community to eliminate single use plastics.
4 Safer roads
Green councillors will press for reduced traffic speeds, including more 20mph limits in residential roads, especially near schools. We want more cycle lanes and to make walking a safer and more enjoyable experience.
5 Cleaner air
Green councillors will work to reduce traffic emissions, especially near children and elderly people, who are most at risk from fume-related illnesses.
6 Better public transport
Green councillors will seek to end the spiral of public transport cuts and expensive road schemes that merely shift traffic from one problem area to another.
7 Sustainable development
The Conservatives’ Local Development Plan is no longer fit for purpose. Green councillors will press for it to be redrawn, giving priority to sustainable, human-scale development and homes for people who most need them – affordable and social housing, rather than yet more luxury flats and “executive” homes.
8 School funding
West Berkshire schools have lost teachers, teaching assistants and other staff as a result of spending cuts. Green councillors will give our headteachers the resources they need.
9 Sport for all
Green councillors will seek to reopen the Faraday Road ground for use by the whole Newbury football community, and extend opportunities to participate in sport across West Berkshire.
10 Value for money for council tax payers
The council must stop wasting money, such as the hundreds of thousands spent on the failed London Road Industrial Estate court case, the legal and consultants’ fees frittered away in the Conservatives’ vain attempt to close eight libraries, and the huge amounts in effect given away to big developers for prestige schemes.
Green councillors will oppose any increase in councillors’ allowances.