Category Archives: Candidate for Manchester Central

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I keep getting asked my opinions on the Digital Economy Bill(now the Act), here is my general response……………….

The measures in the digital economy act to restrict internet access and block websites suspected of copyright infringement are not only a threat to internet freedom and due process, but will be completely ineffective at dealing with the problems they claim to solve.
It is shameful that at a time when MP’s are condemning the effect of corporate lobbying they have allowed the passage of a bill that has not only been entirely pushed for but partly written by lobbyists.
Furthermore the sight of a tiny minority of MP’s with obviously little knowledge of the issues debate the bill for a mere 7 1/2 hours, followed by a whipped vote and such a lackluster turnout by the two
opposition parties has likely disillusioned a generation with politics.

If elected I will fight to repeal the Digital Economy Act.

Manchester Green Candidates back Older People’s Pledge

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 Green Party’s pledge for Older People: 

– To end the over complex pension credit system and ensure a decent basic pension for everyone of £170 a week which would be linked to national earnings.

– Free insulation to help fight fuel poverty. 

– Free personal and nursing care for all older people. 

– Freedom for older people to work. 

The figure of £170 per week is calculated as the minimum required to keep the basic state pension above the official poverty line, according to the National Pensioners’ Convention, in its Pensioners’ Manifesto, which calls for a range of measures to improve conditions for older people.

The three Manchester parliamentary candidates:  Gayle O’Donovan, (Central), Justine Hall (Gorton) and Brian Candeland (Withington) support the pledge.   

Gayle O’Donovan said “After a lifetime of hard work and contributing to society, pensioners deserve better than having to scrape by on an inadequate state pension. It’s only fair that the basic state pension should be enough to live on.”   

Justine Hall said “As a young person I value the experience and wisdom of older people. We should end the default retirement age, so that people would have the freedom to go on working and contributing to society if they wished to, free from discrimination on the basis of age”. 

Brian Candeland added “The costs of personal and nursing care are something which many people worry about as they approach the later stages of their lives.  Scotland already provides free social care for all who need it, we should have the same provision in England.”  

The Greens have spelled out how the £170 basic state pension would be funded : 
There are roughly 12 million pensioners living in the UK and a further 1 million living abroad. Paying a single rate of £170 per week, and a couples rate of £300 per week, will cost £110bn per year. The current basic state pension, plus certain other specific pensioner benefits like Pensions Credits paid to those of pension age (which would become redundant if the basic pension rate was raised to the level we propose) costs £70bn. For the remaining £40 billion, the Green Party would abolish tax relief on pension contributions (£20 billion), and the national insurance rebate on employer and employee contributions to private pension schemes (£19 billion). The final £1 billion would come from increased income tax receipts from pensioners.

An evening with Mark Steel & friends in Manchester!

Sunday 25th April – starts 7pm The Dancehouse Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester

Proceeds go to these wonderful and very lovely Prospective Parliamentary Candidates:

Kay Phillips ( Respect Party – Blackley & Broughton )

Gayle O’Donovan ( Green Party – Manchester Central)

David Henry ( Hazel Must Go /TUSC – Salford & Eccles)

Tickets £10 are available online from
The Dancehouse Box Office. opening times. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 4pm-7pm (0161) 237 9753 or

Vote Gayle O’Donovan for Hulme and Manchester Central

As people are no doubt aware I am standing in the Local Elections on May 6th for Hulme, my home. In a local election, you vote for the councillors who work to deliver good public services for all people, to hold the Council executive to account, and to safeguard our interests and security. However, I am not convinced that our current Hulme councillors are doing this effectively. With the support of local residents, campaigners and Hulme Green Party I have been encouraged to stand. We really do need an alternative voice to the Big Brand Parties on Manchester City Council. And YES, we stand a good chance of winning, with your help. The Greens were just 50 votes away in Hulme in the last local election!

Here is an outlined map of the ward:
Some info on Hulme Ward……

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 Hulmegiving 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 –

By standing in the General Election (as well as the local one) I wish to give disillusioned people in the Manchester Central constituency the chance to vote for someone who is not in the Big Brand Parties – parties whose policies are interchangeable and tainted by scandal, cuts and corruption. The current voting system means that I am not likely to win a parliamentary seat in Manchester Central this time but we can win a council seat in Hulme so I urge you to give us you local election vote. If you really want to vote for one of the other parties nationally you are of course free to “split your ticket” by voting for different parties for either election. I’d understand that choice.

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.

Here is some information on Manchester Central Constituency – it comprises of the following local government wards: City Centre, Hulme, Moss Side, Ardwick, Bradford, Ancoats and Clayton and Miles Platting, Moston and Newton Heath.

Here is an outline map of the constituency:
And for more info….

Manchester Green Candidate proposes Robin Hood Tax motion

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.    

Ooooops, there goes half a million pounds!

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.