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Greens aim to “become political party” in council vote

May 29, 2009

Bristol’s single Green councillor says the June 4th council elections give his party a real chance to become a proper political party on the city council.

Charlie Bolton, who represents Southville, is currently the only Green on the council. But his party are hopeful of winning in a number of other wards, particularly Ashley and Easton.

Getting a second councillor would make a big difference to the party. Charlie Bolton said: “If we have more than one councillor, we become a group, we can sit on committees and can second our own motions. Basically, we’re treated as a political party rather than me being treated as an independent.”

His other hope is that the election produces a hung council. He said: “We might end up holding the balance of power and we would use that to get significant concessions, particularly on the budget.”

Green priorities are, as you would expect, environmental. They want to see more action on tackling climate change and improving public transport in the city.

On transport, Charlie wants to see a big local transport authority, similar to the capital’s Transport for London body. The council voted to set one up some months ago, but Charlie is concerned the plan is grinding to a halt.

But given that the other parties all cite transport as the number one issue in the city, and the Lib Dems also put climate change near the top of their agenda, is there any point voting Green?

Charlie Bolton is adamant there is. He said: “I’ve been doing politics for about 20 years ago. I started when the Greens got a huge vote in the European election in 1989. All the other parties rushed along and adopted green policies.”

“But then I look at what has happened to climate change in the UK and emissions have slowly trundled up. The other parties talk the talk but they need to walk the walk.”

“That’s why we need Green councillors and that’s why people should vote Green: to force them into action.”

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