Wednesday, 20 May 2015
As their membership and confidence grows Stoke Greens meet to plan their future campaigns.
Following a positive showing in the local and general elections members of North Staffs Green Party met for the first time last night.
The party stood candidates in most wards across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle and stood candidates in all three city constituencies and in Newcastle and Stone.
The meeting took place at the Chancellor's building on Keele University campus and saw members discuss the party's performance in the elections and make plans for future campaigns.
Sean Adam, who stood as a parliamentary candidate in Stoke North said the seven thousand votes the party had gained across the region gave it a 'responsibility' to continue speaking up for local people who share their views.
Campaign organiser Matt Maddocks described the party's performance at the election as a 'success' pointing out the number of candidates who had placed well and in the target to win ward of Weston Coyney the Greens took 15% of the vote.
Although none of the parliamentary candidates managed to retain their deposits they increased the number of votes they gained, giving, Mr Maddocks said, 'more people than ever before the chance to vote Green.'
The meeting also celebrated the success achieved by Sam Gibbons in joining fellow Green Wenslie Naylon as a member of Keele parish council.
Several members spoke about the positive experience they had had taking part in the election and welcomed the participation of students at Keele, saying they suggested the party had a strong body of future activists, candidates and voters.
In a discussion about the coalition formed by City Independents leader Dave Conway with the support of the Conservatives and Ukip following Labour's loss of control of the council Jan Zablocki, who stood for the Greens in Weston Coyney said the new group needed to put forward a convincing 'vision' for the city's future.
This, he said, needed to address issues such as using transport hubs to integrate bus and train travel around the city, providing covered walkways to attract shoppers to the town centre and investing in social housing and a municipal renewable energy scheme.
Many of these things could have been achieved, he said, had the previous Labour administration not wasted money on projects like the new Civic Centre.
Green Party members, he added, wanted to see a 'new council offering a new beginning' and would be watching closely the actions of the coalition.
Over the year ahead North Staffs Green Party will be working herd to engage with local communities, supporting community campaigns and working closely with charities and arts groups.
This will include supporting local and national campaigns against austerity run by the North Staffs People's Assembly.
A North Staffs Green Party spokesperson said the meeting had been 'hugely positive' and had 'given members an opportunity to contribute to a meaningful debate on our policies.'
Since the election the Green Party has gained a further five thousand members, this the spokesperson said 'shows we are gaining strength and credibility as a political force.'
He added that over the next five years the Greens in Stoke would be 'working hard to speak up for the growing number of local people who share our goal of advocating positive political and social change.'