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Green Party seeks candidates for upcoming Council elections

Author: 
John Freeman
Lancaster's Green Party is urgently seeking serious candidates for the forthcoming Lancaster City Council elections (5th May 2011).

“Many Green Party members work full time or have young families, so we are struggling to find enough people with spare time to devote to being a City Councillor," Emily Heath, who has been a Green Councillor for the last 12 years, told virtual-lancaster.

"It is a four year commitment, requiring about 6-8 hours per week for attending meetings, reading agendas and emails, and dealing with issues in our wards. We would love to hear from anyone who isn’t yet a Green Party member but who supports our aims and is willing to get more involved.”

“Elected Greens have made a big difference to this area," she continues. "We have achieved lots of visible improvements in our wards (eg. play areas, road safety, green spaces, community centres), changed the Council’s priorities (climate change is now a top priority, for example), held officers and other parties to account, and won some significant victories such as saving the Storey Institute and Indoor Market and funding for local arts and voluntary sector organizations.

"It would be a great pity to throw away the hard work that many people have put into winning 12 city council seats over the last 14 or more years, for want of willing candidates this time.”

Being a City Councillor is a great way to serve your local community and help to shape the future of our district. Incentives include a basic annual allowance of £3,300, plus a laptop with broadband, carer’s allowances, and lots of training opportunities. Councillors with special responsibilities (such as cabinet members and committee chairs) put in more time but get additional allowances of up to £6,530pa.

Candidates must be over 18, EU or Commonwealth citizens, on the electoral register anywhere in the Lancaster District, and not employed by the City Council.

“There are lots of big issues for Councillors to get stuck into," adds Gina Dowding, Chair of North Lancashire Green Party," such as reducing the district’s greenhouse gas emissions, redevelopment of the Canal Corridor, St Georges Quay and Morecambe Prom, protecting greenfield sites, implementing a district-wide 20 mph speed limit in residential areas, and securing new land for allotments.

"The City Council’s budget is in pretty good shape at the moment, but if cuts are unavoidable in future years, we need as many elected Greens as possible fighting to defend things like services for vulnerable people.”

• Please contact Emily (emilyATheath.greenisp.org, 01524 380169) or Gina ginadowdingATbtinternet.com, 01524 841645) if you are interested in becoming a Green Councillor.

• Lancaster Green Party Official Web Site: www.lancastergreenparty.org.uk
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