2015

2015

Record of Policy Statements (RoPS)

Zero Carbon Homes and Passivhaus Standards

Green Party Conference notes:

  • The government cancelling the introduction of Zero Carbon Home Standards in 2016
  • The negative impact this will have on householders at risk of fuel poverty in new housing
  • The missed opportunity to reduce carbon emissions in new developments
  • The loss of income to the local economy as a result of these lower energy efficiency standards, as householders’ income is spent paying energy bills rather than in local shops and on local services

Green Party Conference believes:

  • That under the principle of ‘localism’ councils can determine their own standards on land that they own if those standards comply with UK Building Regulations
  • That the internationally recognised ‘Passivhaus Standard’ offers an alternative to the UK’s diminished energy efficiency ambitions for new-build housing
  • That the Passivhaus standard complies with UK Building Regulations and can deliver heating bills of less than £100/year for the average three bedroom terrace

Green Party Conference agrees:

  • To call on all Local Parties to campaign to specify Passivhaus Standards on all buildings on Council-owned land and as a condition of sale on any council land

Passed Autumn 2015

Solar Photovoltaic Feed In Tariff cuts

Green Party Conference notes the Conservative Government proposals to cut the Feed In Tariff for Solar Photovoltaics by 87%. These cuts will mean a catastrophic reduction in the amount of solar panels being installed, leading to significant job losses and putting our modest 2020 EU Renewable Energy targets at risk.

Green Party Conference calls on the UK Government to enter talks with the Solar Industry to agree a plan that delivers a sustainable future for the solar industry (e.g. Solar Trade Association’s Solar Independence Plan) and also puts us on a path towards 100% Renewable Energy in the UK

Passed Autumn 2015

Plane Stupid Activists

Plane Stupid activists occupied Heathrow Airport on 13 July 2015, less than two weeks after the Airports Commission recommended a new runway at Heathrow. Heathrow Airport is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. The science confirms that greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced from present levels to tackle climate change. In addition, Heathrow Airport is a major cause of illegal and deadly levels of air pollution in London. Local residents also suffer serious health impacts as a result of noise pollution and sleep disturbance.

Conference instructs GPEX to include and publicise an item on the Green Party website supporting the 13 Plane Stupid climate activists who on 13 July 2015 took non violent direct action at Heathrow Airport. Their trial is from 18 – 29 January 2016 at Willesden Magistrates Court.

Passed Autumn 2015

Liverpool activists

The Green Party condemns the custodial sentences given to 5 political activists in Liverpool on 17/09/2015 for the occupation of the old Bank of England Building, and calls for the immediate release of the 4 still in prison. The 5 were part of a larger group (The Love Activists Merseyside) who occupied the long-empty building in April of this year, opening it up to feed and shelter the homeless. All 5 were given 10 weeks for the charge of “breach of an interim possession order,” (Trespass) with one receiving a further 3 weeks for obstruction. (One of the 5 activists has had her sentence overturned on appeal.) Of the 4 still inside, 2 have no previous convictions, and 1 was homeless before entering the occupation. 2 of those sentenced are in young offenders institutions. At the time of the protest, both Liverpool Green Party and Natalie Bennett came out in support.

The Green Party recognizes that these sentences are completely disproportionate, and set a very dangerous precedent for any who would protest against the austerity policies of the current government. We note the similarities in the recent treatment of those evicted from the Ark Homeless Camp in Manchester, who could also face custodial sentences, and the Sweetsway housing occupation. We reiterate the support for Non Violent Direct Action outlined in our Policies for a Sustainable Society.

This motion binds the Green Party to release a press statement against the custodial sentences given to these 5 activists, and in support of all those being criminalized for being homeless, and being involved in activism to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Passed Autumn 2015

Green EU campaign

Conference notes:

  • That the Queen’s Speech in May announced that a Referendum will take place by the end of 2017.
  • That the EU Referendum Bill is currently being debated in Parliament.
  • The Green Party has a long standing policy of wanting a referendum on EU membership, remaining in the EU, and pushing for major reforms.
  • The European Union is in urgent need of reform to make it more democratic, sustainable and accountable.
  • The Green Party is an internationalist party. We believe in working across borders to solve the shared challenges we face.
  • The recent members survey stated that 78% of members consider the UK’s membership of the EU ‘a good thing’ while only 6% think it ‘a bad thing’.
  • That Green MEPS use their position in the European Parliament to make EU institutions more democratic and accountable – and to vote against damaging policies which harm workers and the environment.
  • That the Green Party has been at the forefront of the fight against damaging free trade deals – including TTIP.

Conference instructs:

  • The Green Party to run a distinct Green campaign in favour of the EU in addition to cross-party campaigning. The Green campaign should highlight our support for an EU which, among other things, helps protect workers’ rights, tackles climate change and promotes peace.
  • GPEX and elected representatives to use the referendum campaign to highlight the major reforms we need to the EU, and to bring about a better understanding and engagement among members of the public of how the EU works and how they can influence it, including through the election of MEPs
  • GPEX and elected representatives to work together with Green Parties in other EU countries and other partners to build the campaign for real reform in the EU both during the referendum campaign and after.
  • GPEX and elected representatives to look at forming campaigning partnerships with grassroots organisations, like-minded politicians and others.

Passed Autumn 2015

Car maker cheating

Call for criminal prosecutions, an independent inquiry and maximum compensation to be sought from car makers for cheating on diesel emissions tests

Conference is outraged by the revelations about the secret software installed in diesel cars by Volkswagen, intended to deceive regulators and give lower results during air pollution emissions tests than when the cars are driven in the real world.

The Transport and Environment organisation in Brussels has described this scandal as ‘the tip of the iceberg as similar disparities exist for other manufacturers. For new diesel cars real emissions of nitrogen dioxide are now typically five times higher than during tests.

The potential effects on public health of this deception are shocking. In the UK, as many as 60,000 early deaths, and in London nearly 10,000, each year are caused by air pollution. [2]

Conference applauds Client Earth for taking legal action that has meant the Government has had to make new air pollution plans. The long-term work of Green Assembly Members in London has also led to plans for a new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for the city, which is due to start in 2020.

However, the new revelations mean the effectiveness of these plans are in doubt, as vehicles that claim to meet the standards clearly do not. Many of the assumptions behind new policies have been made a mockery of by cheating car makers.

Conference calls on our Leader and candidate for London Mayor to call for :

  • criminal prosecutions of those involved in a fraud which has undoubtedly cost lives.
  • a genuinely independent inquiry, ideally a Royal Commission, to be set up immediately, to test all vehicles, investigate and report within two months on the scale and extent of the deception and the difference in emissions from those reported across all models sold in recent years,
  • an independent testing process to be set up for all ongoing vehicle testing,
  • the Government and Mayor of London to immediately reassess plans for the ULEZ and the new national Air Quality Plan, adding new measures to reduce traffic and pollution to within legal limits as soon as possible, as required by law, and
  • the Government and Mayor of London to seek maximum compensation from car makers to cover the cost of making new plans, these new measures, lost tax revenue, and the cost to public health.

1. http://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/vw%E2%80%99s-cheating-just-tip-iceberg
2. http://healthyair.org.uk/twice-as-many-deaths-caused-by-air-pollution-in-london/

Passed Autumn 2015

Housing First to address the Homelessness Crisis

In the UK, the transition from street homelessness to independent living for those with complex needs often resembles a ‘staircase’. This can involve: initial contact with outreach workers or day centres; a move into direct-access hostels; a further move into second stage or specialist hostels (relating to support needs); progression to semi-independent or shared accommodation; and ultimately (once deemed ‘housing ready’), taking an independent tenancy, with or without floating support. Access to the initial stages of the staircase for those with substance use or mental health problems is usually dependent on engagement with treatment services (‘Treatment First’), and further progress requires demonstration of improvements in their substance use and mental health issues. This approach has enabled large numbers of homeless people with multiple and complex needs to attain independent living successfully. However, for some it has been neither a successful, nor an attractive, route out of homelessness.

Passed Autumn 2015

Bite the Ballot and voter registration

Conference supports the Bite the Ballot initiative to engage and inspire 18–24 year olds to register to vote before the 20th April deadline.

Conference instructs GPEx and elected members to do all they can to promote the initiative and ensure that as many people as possible have a chance to have their say in the 2015 General Election.

Passed Spring 2015

First Past the Post and Proportional Representation

GPEx and the leaders of the Green Party will work with other interested parties to replace the First Past the Post voting system with Proportional Representation as soon as possible, and to call a new PR election as soon as possible to more fairly reflect the opinion of the electorate.

Passed Spring 2015

Retain the Independent Living Fund (ILF)

The Green Party notes with regret the High Court ruling (8th Dec 2014) that closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) was lawful. 18,000 disabled people stand to lose funding that enables them to live and work independently in our communities.

The Green Party resolves to support the retention of the ILF and implores all Green Party MPS elected in May 2015 to work to reinstate the ILF if it is officially closed on 30th June. The Green Party resolves that all devolved funding should be ring-fenced and maintained at existing levels (as a minimum) to allow for an easier transition back to ILF as it currently exists.

Conference tasks the national party with creating a basic briefing for candidates in order that they can raise this issue as part of the 2015 General Election campaign.

Passed Spring 2015

Save Aderonke Apata and end discrimination of LGBTIQ asylum seekers

As in the press this week, the recent case of Aderonke Apata shows that the UK asylum process is still systematically discriminating against LGBTIQ people. Aderonke was refused asylum because she has a child and has had a relationship with a man and therefore was seen as lying about being a lesbian.

Asylum procedures do not understand LGBTIQ lives and patronise and dehumanise asylum seekers. Aderonke was forced into submitting explicit films and photos to ‘prove’ her sexuality.

We call for Aderonke to be granted asylum.

We also call for GPEX to call for an immediate moratorium on the deportation of LGBTIQ refugees until the recommendations of John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, and his report are properly acted upon.

Passed Spring 2015

NHS Reinstatement Bill

The Green Party will campaign to restore fully the NHS as an accountable public service providing health services free at the point of delivery by reversing 25 years of marketization in the NHS by abolishing the purchaser-provider split, ending contracting and re-establishing public bodies and public services accountable to local communities. The Green Party supports the ‘NHS Reinstatement 2015’ Bill proposed by Professor Allyson Pollock et al.

Passed Spring 2015

Demand and Supply Management in the National Health Service

Demand management will be maximised through prevention of illness and appropriate care of the chronically ill. Demand for hospital services will be managed through the best use of community services and through caring for patients as close to home as is safely possible.

Education of patients will be used to limit demand on healthcare services. National campaigns will encourage people not to automatically seek healthcare with self-limiting conditions like common cold, cough, sore throat, diarrhoea and vomiting, and flu-like illness. Information will be available to help people self-manage these conditions, and to recognise when they should seek help. There will be a strong message to discourage the practice of going to work, or to any other social situation, when a person is suffering from a contagious illness such as flu-like illness.

Because of the escalating cost of healthcare there will always be insufficient funds to meet expectations of patients. This necessitates rationing. Where necessary this should be open and democratically accountable, rather than arbitrary and unfair as it is now.

Passed Spring 2015.

Private Healthcare

The Green Party is opposed to private health provision in principle, Greens are opposed to a transfer of resources away from the public health system which is available to all. While private health insurance still exists, it should be a taxable employment benefit where offered.

Passed Spring 2015.

Opposition to ‘third way’ health reform

We actively oppose and seek to reverse any public service health policy reforms which lead to:

  • a two- or multi-tier health service with uneven standards and service provision,
  • further disconnection of the service from public accountability – via local, regional or national government,
  • the undermining of a fully integrated NHS, publicly funded and committed to high quality universal provision with free services at the point of use, or
  • creeping privatisation.

Passed Spring 2015.

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