Category Archives: Candidate for Manchester Central
It is shameful that Britain’s state pensioners, 2 million of whom still live in poverty, are effectively penalised for having savings or private pensions. Meanwhile, grandparents who provide childcare worth £3.9 billion a year, many spending three days a week caring for grandchildren, receive no recognition for their contribution to society. To make matters worse, over-complicated, intimidating, and humiliating means testing is so off-putting that pensioners are leaving up to £2.9 billion of council tax benefits unclaimed. The other parties have made a few token gestures to older people, but the Green Party alone is committed to making Britain a better place to age in.
The three Manchester parliamentary candidates: Gayle O’Donovan, (Central), Justine Hall (Gorton) and Brian Candeland (Withington) support the pledge.
This year, both the Local and General elections are likely to fall on the same date – May 6th – and, as we are a small party with limited resources, part of our strategy is to stand candidates in both elections in some areas of the city. A set of elections together like this pose a big challenge for Manchester Green Party but we are confident that with your support we can gain a seat on the local council for Hulme – giving us your vote in the local election will make a difference.
If you want to vote, make sure nothing stops you – ensure you are registered – http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
Being angry but not voting suits corrupt politicians just fine. They benefit from apathy and the show goes on regardless. So I urge you to turn your anger into action and vote for an alternative on May 6th – the only wasted vote is one in which you don’t believe in, a vote for the same old thing when you want change.
Gayle O’Donovan, Green Party candidate for Manchester Central in the coming general election, proposed to the Green Party’s spring conference in London that the Greens should support the Robin Hood tax campaign fronted by actor Billy Nighy (Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean) and supported by a large number of charities.
The Financial Transaction Tax would impose a very low tax on financial products such as stocks, bonds and derivatives but raise around £250 billion for investment in international development and climate change.
Gayle said: “This simple tax would have enormous global benefits and I was proud to be one of the proposers of a motion to the Green Party’s Spring Conference that the Greens should support the campaign.
“We have all watched as the banks suddenly get profitable again and start to award themselves huge bonuses, yet the rest of the world remains in financial turmoil. Aside from the urgent need to curb the bankers’ bonuses, there is a real opportunity to benefit those in most need around the world.”
Brian Candeland, Green Party candidate for Manchester Withington, who was also at the Party’s spring conference, added “The Green Party has been a long-time supporter of a tax of this nature; it’s good to see its growing support as more and more people realise the massive gap between the financial elite and the rest of us”.
- The Green Party’s Spring Conference is in London from 18th to 21st February.
- The motion was passed unanimously by the conference.
Manchester Green Party backs calls for the District Auditor to be called in to investigate the loss of £421,000 of City Council funds as reports from the last meeting of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) revealed an astonishing accounting error! Local Councils, using taxpayers’ money, fund “Marketing Manchester”, which is basically the PR machine for Greater Manchester and is known to have several objectives, the first ‘allegedly’ being to make money for a small but powerful elite of business people by increasing tourism and investment. Manchester Council was supposed to pay 35% Marketing Manchester’s costs, and another nine Councils were responsible for the other 65% between them. But since 2004…. wait for it ….. Manchester has mistakenly paid 65% and the other Councils only 35%, meaning that Manchester has overpaid £421,000. Our local councils did not discover this error for several years – what does this say about their service and the “due diligence” which is expected of them?!
To add insult to injury, at the AGMA meeting it was agreed that the overpayment would not be repaid. According to the meeting minutes, Labour’s Deputy Council Leader Jim Battle (who attended the meeting as Manchester’s representative) “kindly agreed to waive the overpayment,” and our elected representatives have now declared that they would not be asking for ANY of the money back! It is ironic, therefore, that Cllr Battle serves on the Leadership Group’s ‘Public Protection Committee’.
It’s one thing to lose £420,000 of council taxpayers’ money, but then not to bother trying to get it back once the error is discovered is an absolute disgrace. We are currently being asked to tighten our belts, with cutbacks expected to vital public services, etc. – we simply cannot afford to lose nearly half a million quid!
Manchester Green Party therefore supports calls for a thorough independent review to explain how this happened – even a fraction of this money could have been useful in Hulme, for instance, or other deprived wards in Manchester. £40,000 could go into the much needed play area in Shawgreen, for example. Why should Hulme residents suffer because of Labour’s incompetence? We all deserve better.