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Greens have done ‘nothing’ for Brighton, says Labour councillor candidate

Labour’s candidate for the St. Peter’s & North Laine ward by-election, Tom French, has slammed the Green Party, for having done ‘nothing’ for the city.

The Greens are anxious to retain the St. Peter’s & North Laine ward, which is up for grabs following Keith Taylor’s election as an MEP to replace Caroline Lucas, who is now an MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Prior to Keith Taylor’s departure the Green Party had 13 councillors, as have the Labour party, while the Conservative Party are close to majority on the council with 25 candidates, therefore making the by-election extremely important.

Mr French, a University of Sussex student, is just 24, but he has launched a lively campaign and soundly slammed both the Conservatives and the Greens, who have elected Lizzie Deane for the by-election.

Of the Greens, Tom French said on his Facebook page: “For years the Green Party has dominated this ward. We’ve had 13 Green councillors, and now we’ve got a Green MP. But what have they achieved for Brighton? What have we got to show for it? The answer: Nothing.

“I don’t disagree with their values, but the fact remains: They’ve failed to tackle the big issues, they’ve failed to provide decent opposition in the face of Tory cuts, they can’t even agree amongst themselves let alone work with other parties, and worst of all; they oppose almost every policy going but have no solutions themselves.”

While with regard to the Conservative led council, he said: “Brighton is a radical, diverse and progressive city. We love it, and we want to improve it. We share common values: a belief in fairness, equality, and opportunities for all; regardless of wealth or background.

“But we’re saddled with a Tory council and a ConDem government; making devastating cuts to our schools, colleges, universities and SureStart. They’ve failed to deliver the affordable and sustainable housing we need, or improve the social housing we’ve got. Our transport and parking systems are beyond a joke; more suited to Victorian Britain than the 21st Century.”

The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are yet to announce their candidates.

Both Lizzie Deane and Tom French are on Twitter. Follow the links to view their accounts.

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Posted by on May 27, 2010. Filed under Green Party,Labour. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

23 Responses to Greens have done ‘nothing’ for Brighton, says Labour councillor candidate

  1. Luke Walter

    May 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Considering that Labour has been the ‘Official Opposition’ on the council since 2007, if Labour’s candidate is unhappy with the way the Opposition has failed to scrutinise the Tories effectively, then perhaps he needs to look at those in his own party.

  2. Dan Wilson

    May 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    For the first time in nearly 25 years we have a Conservative Council in Brighton and Conservative Prime Minister. That’s seriously bad news for our City, especially as we are starting to see the level of cuts coming to Brighton.

    The Green refusal to cooperate with Labour, and the Green “Blame Labour” approach, as ably typified by Luke (it’s a well worn record now Luke!), is no longer a valid argument or useful. The deck has been shuffled and both Labour and Greens in Brighton and Hove need to review the default position and, frankly, start building bridges.

    Yes, scrutiny is valuable and a council by-election should focus on robust debate. Tom asks the right questions. The Greens should answer the question, not dismiss it.

    Labour and Greens need to learn to cooperate. And quickly.

  3. Jamie Kinniburgh

    May 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I think Toms point about the fact that the Greens can’t even agree amongst themselves on many issues is indicative of their inability to provide real leadership OR opposition in Brighton. As with the LibDems, the Green Party tries to be all things to all men (or women) and has the luxury of never having to make a real decision. Good Luck Tom!

  4. Southcoastgirl

    May 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Luke, as a green party member I would have expected you to come up with something positive and tangible that the Greens have actually done for the City. But in fact I think that you have just proved Tom’s point with your negative, ‘do nothing’ comment.

  5. Alexander Craven

    May 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Well, I disagree with the Greens’ values. Their brand of deep ecologism rejects industrial activism, modern civilization and the most basic human rights.

    Most reasonable academics hold the view that only economic growth can lift the poorest out of poverty. But they reject economic growth. They reject it because it doesn’t tie in with their agrarian view of the world.

    Such is their hatred of progress that even their policies on climate change reject accepted, modern science. I think that says it all.

    I think it’s now time for Brighton to reject them.

  6. seagall

    May 27, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    That’s rich coming from Labour who, unlike the Greens, have actually had the chance to run the council and not do anything (which they took).

  7. Allie Cannell

    May 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    It would be very easy to argue that the it is very difficult to do much as the 3rd party on the council but i can think of several things Green councilors do to represent their consituents.

    I have only been following local politics for a few months but after the last council meetings I was struck by how quiet Labour were in the council whilst Jason Kitkat was almost thrown out of the council chamber becuase he objected so much to what the Tories were doing! I have also seen some of the many campaigns he has run in his ward, protesting against Primarks anti-social delivery times, and a great video showing what Preston street needs, a campaign that seems to be having an effect now.

    I am continually being invited to community events by Vicky Wakefield-Jarret and the Hanover councillors organised a meeting attended by 500 people to get people’s views about parking proposals!

    At Keith Taylor’s goodbye party we heard how as soon as he got elected he drew up a proposal to rejuvinate the open market to the shock of the other sleeping councillors at the time, sadly it is owned by the leader of the Tories so nothing happened, but they’ve kept plugging away and it looks like 10 years later something might be happening.

    Each month the Green councillors have to report back to the local party members what they have been doing and I’m always amazed at how much they’ve been doing!

    It makes me question whether I could be a Green councillor as its quite a challenge to keep up with everything they’ve been doing!

  8. Westside Steve

    May 28, 2010 at 9:11 am

    @Dan Wilson
    Dan, you are being misled by your Labour friends on the council.

    Earlier this year the Greens offered cooperation on the council budget but it was turned down by LABOUR – not Greens.

    The cynics would suggest that Labour’s refusal to play ball was about Labour wanting to curry favour with the council Tories so that they could keep their ‘official opposition’ status on the council – which brings in extra money – rather than share it with the greens – but I ‘m sure that would be most unfair to believe ;-0

  9. Cllr Jason Kitcat

    May 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Labour have a lot of gall speaking out in this way, when their councillors have voted WITH the Tory administration on a wide number of issues from forcing in the cabinet system early, councillor allowances and NHS privatisation.

    Green councillors spent months offering ways to work with Labour on the last council budget to block the cuts, but they refused to talk to us. It became clear why – because the Tories were offering Labour another year of official opposition status (and the extra money that comes with it) to keep quiet.

    Despite being in opposition Greens have plenty of successes to point to, for example a few in my ward (Regency):

    * We managed to get some remedial work taken on Preston Street after a 2 year campaign with traders there;
    * We forced the council to reconsider its approach to rent increases for seafront traders;
    * Greens have been instrumental in getting bars and pubs to empty their bottles and bins at reasonable hours for residents;
    * We forced the council to go back to residents over development plans for East Street – they had completely failed to consider their needs;
    * Greens helped to establish a residents association for the Old Town area;
    * We won a freeze on license fees for farmers and street markets (Tories planned a 10% rise);
    * We played a key role in defending the Old Royal Alex’s historic buildings from demolition.

    Many more wins are here:
    http://www.brightonhovegreens.org/localsites/bh/brighton-and-hove-green-councillors.html

    Greens continue to offer a positive approach to improving this city. I think voters will take note if other parties don’t want to step up with their own competing visions.

  10. Paul McCrystal

    May 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

    the sooner the greens are wiped off the face of the earth the better. let’s start with this one.

  11. Westside Steve

    May 30, 2010 at 8:08 am

    @Paul McCrystal
    Nice talk, Paul McCrystal! It’s your kind of intolerant clap trap that needs wiping off the face of the earth.

  12. Liam

    March 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    This is an interesting debate.

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