General Election - Green Party - Jonathan Chilvers - The Leamington Observer

General Election - Green Party - Jonathan Chilvers

Editorial Correspondent 24th May, 2017 Updated: 26th May, 2017   0

SINCE 2013 I’ve been a county councillor in Leamington. I’m a strong voice for my local area and holding the other parties to account. I’ve pursued positive, pragmatic solutions on things like air quality, fair wages for young people and a decent infrastructure to go with all the new houses.

So many people are fed up with politics because it feels like they have no control over decisions that affect their lives. This hopelessness breeds fear and division. Good politics is showing people that change is possible and finding practical solutions that bring people together. We can choose to do things differently.

My three priorities for Warwick and Leamington are:

1) An economy and environment that we are proud to hand onto our children.

2) Fighting Theresa May’s irresponsible Brexit and giving the public a final say on a Brexit deal.

3) A housing market in reach of ordinary people.

We need to live within our economic and environmental means. With proper management we can do that and not leave schools, hospitals and older people’s care in crisis. The Conservatives have irresponsibly chosen not to beef up HMRC tax evasion teams or to join EU neighbours in a financial transaction tax which would bring in billions and curb financial excesses. Labour failed to show they are serious about the nation’s finances.

We also need to live within our environmental means. We are gobbling up the finite resources on our planet to try and keep growing our economy. If we’re going to proud of what we hand on to our children we have to do things differently. The plastic bag charge has shown in a small way that we can change what we use, but the Conservatives have explicitly chosen not to do the same with the millions of throw coffee cups we use every day.

We would use less energy if we built high quality housing, but instead the Conservatives chose to relax regulations after listening to big construction companies with both eyes on profit. The Green party would properly invest in insulation and renewable technology that will deliver the jobs of the future rather than listen to the dinosaur energy and oil companies stuck in the past.

The Greens are the only party that are serious about putting aside irresponsible short term thinking and planning sensibly for our children’s futures.

On Brexit, Warwick and Leamington voted remain and Chris White voted remain, but since then he has weakly and meekly gone along with Theresa May’s irresponsible Brexit. He’s voted against guaranteeing the rights of existing EU nationals and against a parliamentary vote on the final deal. We risk a bonfire of regulations on our rights at work and environmental protections as well as falling off an economic cliff.

Warwick and Leamington need a strong voice in parliament on Brexit that is not shackled by insipid party loyalties. I will be a strong opposition voice holding the government to account. The Greens would give people a say on the final brexit deal by holding a ratification referendum. This would include an option to stay in the EU.

Millions of us would love to own our own home, but are priced out of the market. If wages had gone up by as much as house prices since 1997, the average person would be earning on average over £40000 per year. No wonder things feels out of control.

The number of people renting has doubled since 2003 and they now pay over 40% of their income to their landlord – not leaving much to save up for a deposit. Those that do manage to buy are often left with large 30 year plus mortgages.

The Greens will create a level playing field for first time buyers who are competing against landlords who are given tax breaks on their mortgages. We will also break up the powerful construction companies who often cut corners and want to see prices carrying on going up.

It is possible to build good quality housing that people can afford to buy. However, the Conservatives irresponsibly have not challenged the big companies whose interests don’t match those of the rest of us.

With Labour struggling and Chris White confident of keeping his seat every vote for me is a vote to hold the government to account on the economy, Brexit and housing. I will stand up for Warwick and Leamington with a consistent, strong voice. Vote Green on June 8.

Jonathan Chilvers

Green Party

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