Record of Policy Statements

The Record of Policy Statements, or RoPS, includes motions passed by Conference or agreed by the Regional Council between conferences, which do not amend or overrule the substantial Policies for a Sustainable Society (PSS) but which are a short term response to immediate or transitory situations.

You can find the detail on all of our specific policies within each of the Policy Chapters on the right hand side of this page.

Policy statements are often passed as Emergency Motions at conference and tend to reflect the immediate political climate. Any statement more than a year old is likely to have been superseded by events, although in some cases they enshrine principles which persist.

Policy statements can never over-rule the PSS or the Philosophical Basis of the Party. RoPS are referenced by a number which indicates the year and order in which they were introduced. If they were introduced as an emergency motion then they are prefixed with an 'E'. If they clearly relate to a single chapter of PSS then they are prefixed with the chapter code, otherwise they are prefixed with 'PS'.

Selected Policy Statements will appear here as the policy section of our website is built up. 

Oppose Stonehenge Tunnel Plan

This Conference notes that the plan by the government and Highways England to build a new dual carriageway road and 2.9km tunnel within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has been unanimously condemned by all the leading British archaeologists and by UNESCO, because it would cause serious and irreparable damage to the World Heritage Site. We also note that the historical evidence of other road building schemes shows that they do not solve problems of traffic congestion, but rather shift that congestion from one place to another while encouraging further traffic growth overall, and that any increase in road traffic is directly contrary to the overwhelming imperative of reducing the emissions which are driving climate change. In this context, we need to conserve our future as well as our past.

We therefore strongly urge the government to abandon the present tunnel plan, and to seriously examine all other options to improve transport links in the area whilst avoiding any further damage to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. This examination should not be limited to alternative road routes, but should include more environmentally sustainable options for infrastructure investment such as improving the capacity of the London to Exeter rail line to carry more freight in order to relieve pressure on the A303.

Passed Autumn 2017

Reducing Plastic Waste

Conference notes that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has calculated that the weight of plastics in the ocean is likely to exceed that of fish by 2050, and that there's been recent campaigns and some limited action on microbeads, plastic cotton bud sticks, single-use beverage cups and drink bottles and drinking straws, but that far more needs to be done.

It calls on the national executive to campaign to reduce and end the environmental damage done by unnecessary single use plastics, both these products and others, and for our elected representatives to take what action they can to this end.

Passed Autumn 2017

Solidarity with Leeds UCU

Conference supports the Leeds University and Colleges Union (UCU) in their strike action on the 11th-13th October and calls on the Trade Union Liaison Officer on GPEx to send a message of support for their continued fight against changes by management.

Leeds University UCU voted for three days of strike action and to ask the national union to trigger the process of censure, then academic boycott of the University of Leeds. This is crucial in protecting academic freedom and the rights of workers, many of which are party members.
If you can please donate to their strike fund.

Passed Autumn 2017

Tyne & Wear Metro Rolling Stock Replacement

Conference calls on the Prime Minister and her government to:-
1: Support with a full government grant the urgent replacement of the Tyne & Wear Metro's present rolling stock.
2: That no PFI be attached to the funding for the urgent replacement of this rolling stock.
3: Ensure that the T&W Metro remains in community ownership and not have a privatization forced upon it.
4: Recognise that local public transport systems, such as the T&W Metro, powered by electricity, are vital to the future development of clean cities, and to prioritise grants for the ongoing refurbishment of both existing and proposed new electrically powered public transport systems.

This conference empowers the North East England Regional Council to inform the Government and local interest groups of the acceptance of this motion.

Passed Autumn 2017

Nobel Peace Prize and nuclear weapons

Conference applauds the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize committee to make its 2017 award to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons. It notes that 122 states have supported the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, following on the model of bans on biological and chemical weapons.

Conference deplores Britain's boycotting of the talks for the treaty and calls on the British government to join these talks as a matter of urgency, as the only way to ensure future security from the threat of the use of these hideous weapons of mass destruction.

Further, conference notes that Britain is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but is failing to live up to its obligations under that to work to rid the world of nuclear weapons. With the replacement of Trident now beginning, this is an ideal time for Britain to take the global lead in not replacing its nuclear weapons.

It acknowledges that some communities are heavily economically dependent on jobs from our nuclear weapons programme, and acknowledges that they need assistance to convert to useful, safe industries, so backs the proposal for a Defence Diversification Agency to work on an arms conversion strategy.

Passed Autumn 2017

The UK needs an Environmental Protection Act

 

Many of the UK’s environmental protections derive from EU legislation and leaving the EU will jeopardise these protections. Earlier this week Theresa May triggered article 50 beginning the process of the UK leaving the EU. Today the government set out plans for a Great Repeal Bill which seeks to enshrine all existing EU legislation into UK law, where appropriate.  These measures are not enough to preserve existing environmental protections or the right to environmental justice. Defra has noted that at least one third of EU environmental legislation will be difficult to transpose into UK law. In the years ahead we must ensure that leaving the European Union does not result in weaker environmental protections for the UK.

Conference instructs the campaigns team and elected representatives (where possible) to campaign for a new Environmental Protection Act which both safeguards and extends our environmental protections and the right to environmental justice.

Passed Spring 2017

Stop HS2

Given CH2M have withdrawn their contract bid and there have been a number of high level resignations in HS2, Conference calls on the campaigns team and (where possible) elected representatives to re-double campaigning and to unite campaigning of affected local parties in particular to halt HS2 and wanton destruction of precious habitat and biodiversity that it poses.

Passed Spring 2017

NHS - Accountable Care

With the publication of "Next Steps of the NHS Five Year Forward View" on 31st March by NHS England, conference:

1. Condemns government for failing to fund properly the NHS and failing to ensure there are enough staff being trained.

2. Calls on Campaigns Committee to continue campaigning for proper funding for the NHS rather than continuing with the present plan for 20% cuts.

3. Calls on government at all levels to properly engage with the public and health professionals to develop plans rather than simply forcing change.

 

Passed Spring 2017

Great Repeal Bill

Following the Great Repeal Bill announcement of 30 March 2017 GPEW states its belief that as the UK government has chosen its course of wholesale withdrawal from so many EU bodies it is the Government’s responsibility to introduce complete legislation to achieve its aim for due scrutiny and agreement by Parliament. GPEW rejects the Government’s proposals for sweeping new powers of secondary legislation and so-called Henry VIII clauses as fundamentally undemocratic and an attempt to sidestep parliamentarysovereignty. GPEW resolves and asks its leaders and spokespeople to condemn these proposals publicly, to challenge the proposals and to fight against them at every opportunity.

Passed Spring 2017

Defending Democracy

Following the decision of the Electoral Commission on 16 March 2017, which confirmed the rumours about election expense irregularities in the 2015 general election, this conference now urges the Green Party leadership as a matter of some urgency to initiate talks with opposition parties and radical organisations such as the People’s Assembly to defend democracy by organising a national campaign to demand by-elections in all constituencies where, according to the Electoral Commission these irregularities gave material advantages over other candidates. 

Passed Spring 2017

Client Earth's Call for a New Clean Air Act

The Green Party strongly supports Client Earth’s call for a new Clean Air Act which would:
- tackle sources of diesel;
- safeguard legal protection which could be lost in the event the UK leaves the EU;
- improve EU and UK law to enshrine the right to breathe clean air.


Further to Client Earth’s call for smog warnings during high pollution episodes: warnings should emphasise action to curb traffic rather than people’s everyday activities - the right of people to breathe clean air is paramount.

Following text quoted from ClientEarth:

"ClientEarth’s proposals for a Clean Air Act would:

- Retain the objectives under the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive as a minimum safeguard on human health;
- Adopt revised objectives based on World Health Organisation guidelines;
- Guarantee the public the right to access the courts to enforce its provisions, in accordance with the Aarhus Convention. The procedure must be fast, affordable, allow for substantive review of air quality plans and policies and provide effective judicial remedies, including fines.
- Consolidate the complex and disparate body of domestic, EU and international air pollution laws into one coherent and effective piece of legislation;
- Clarify the roles and responsibilities of national government, local authorities, the Mayor of London and the devolved administrations;
- Lay down a national framework for effective Clean Air Zones which phase out diesel and accelerate the shift to zero emission transport;
- Implement the UK’s pollution reduction targets for 2020 and 2030 under the Gothenburg Protocol and the newly agreed EU NEC Directive, in order to tackle trans-boundary air pollution;
- Ensure coherence with other relevant policies and legislation, particularly the Climate Change Act and planning guidance;
- Require national, local and city authorities to collect adequate information on air pollution – including data from a minimum number of air quality monitoring stations – and proactively provide the public with that information, including through smog warnings during high pollution episodes; and
- Require national, local and city authorities to take measures to reduce exposure to air pollution – particularly for vulnerable groups such as children, older people and those suffering from pre-existing health conditions."


Passed Spring 2017

Citizens' Income, Benefit Sanctions, Workfare, and the Living Wage

a) The GPEW expresses support for the TUC’s 2016 Welfare Charter which demands an end to the benefit sanctions regime, an end to Work Capacity Assessments, an end to compulsory work for-benefit-programmes (workfare), together with a high legal minimum wage, and ‘a non-means tested, non-discriminatory benefit payable to all, with housing costs met, allied with extensive provision of low-cost housing’.

b) The GPEW applauds the statement in the National Welfare Charter brochure promoted by UNITE Community, London Unemployed Strategies and the Unemployed Combine in 2015 which says; ‘We must explore ways of growing the numbers of people who support the principle of a minimum Citizens Income for all.’

c) The GPEW welcomes the intentions of motion C13 – 68/69 passed at the TUC in 2016, proposed by UNITE and seconded by USDAW, which opposed benefits cuts, sanctions and the system of Universal Credit and stated:-

Congress believes that the TUC should acknowledge Universal Basic Income and
argue for a progressive system that would be easier to administer, easier for people
to navigate, paid individually and that is complementary to comprehensive public
services and childcare provision.

The transition from our current system to any new system that incorporates these
principles should always leave people with lower incomes better off.’

d) The GPEW encourages local parties to:-
i) work with campaigns run by UNITE and other trade unions to challenge benefit sanctions;
ii) promote understanding and appreciation of the idea of Citizen’s Income amongst our membership and the general public by working with trade unions and with campaigns or think tanks that have put forward Citizen’s Income proposals, like the Citizens’ Income Trust, Royal Society of Arts, and Compass, and drawing attention to their web sites and literature. 

e) The GPEW’s living wage target, currently £10 per hour by 2020, should be uprated annually by the same percentage as the Living Wage calculated by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF).

f) The GPEW recognises the importance of the Living Wage as a long term policy which should be in place as long as it is necessary to supplement the important role of collective bargaining and to reduce the risk of employers keeping wages low in the knowledge that their employees would depend partly on state funds. We also recognise that a high legal Living Wage could enhance one ecologically important effect of a CI, that is the effect of encouraging a voluntary movement towards shorter working hours; the higher the hourly wage level, the fewer hours people need to work to achieve their desired income level, so that work-sharing through a shorter working week reduces the political pressure to ensure more jobs through resource-using economic growth.

g) The GPEW, however, recognises the urgent need for greater public funding to sustain adequate wage levels in socially important sectors which are under pressure from austerity budgets, such as social care work, cleaning in public sector buildings and various community services provided by the voluntary sector.

 

Passed Spring 2017

Frequent Flier Levy

The Green Party would replace the Air Passenger Duty (APD) with a Frequent Flyer Levy (FFL), which would vary depending on the number of previous flights taken by an individual. The Frequent Flyer Levy would be zero for an individual’s first outbound flight in each year and increase continually for each subsequent outbound flight.

Approved by GPRC 16 October 2016

Emergency Brexit policy statement

  1. While the Green Party deplores the Conservatives' irresponsible behaviour in calling a referendum without proper safeguards and without undertaking any prior planning for a Leave vote, we believe that the clear majority for a Leave position must be respected and that it is almost inevitable that Article 50 will be triggered.
  2. We believe that a Parliamentary vote is necessary before Article 50 is triggered and acknowledge that MPs whose constituencies voted to Remain have a local mandate to oppose the triggering of Article 50 in any parliamentary vote.
  3. The Green Party restates its commitment to direct democracy and sovereignty of the people, but we believe that to be effective and to avoid division and confusion direct democracy needs to be based on a participatory and deliberative process.
  4. We believe that our future is best served by staying as close as possible to the European Union;
  5. We strongly resist attempts to push the country towards a so-called hard Brexit which is little more than cover for those in the Tory party who desire a free market without any protective regulation. We will resist any attempt to race to the bottom on social or environmental standards, or to turn the country into a tax haven.
  6. The Green Party commits to working with environmental NGOs to protect and enhance existing UK legislation in the areas of environmental protection, climate change, and energy efficiency.
  7. We will seek improvements to areas of EU and Government policy where we have long been critical of EU policy, especially in the area of farm support.
  8. We support calls for a second referendum once it is clear what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is and when the British people are in a position to compare two real and possible futures for their country.

Approved by GPRC 18 October 2016

House of Lords Reform

This Conference supports the House of Lords Reform Bill introduced in the House of Lords by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Jenny Jones) on 26th May 2016, and (whilst recognising that the Bill may be subject to amendment during its parliamentary stages) instructs GPEx to fully support this Bill for as long as it continues to provide that voting in an eventual reformed House of Lords will be by elected members only and that those members will have been elected by an acceptably fair method of proportional representation.

Passed Autumn 2016 (as part of motion C8)

Opposition to The Government’s Prevent Strategy

The Green Party calls for urgent review of the implementation of the Prevent strategy and its implications for tackling extremism as well as preserving good community relations. We would pursue community-led collaborative approaches to tackling all forms of extremism and not allow the disproportionate targeting of the Muslim community as evidenced by Prevent in its current form.

Passed Autumn 2016

Opposition to the Conservatives’ Trade Union Act

The Green Party supports the right of working people to form and join free, democratic and self-governing trade unions, without restriction by employer or government. Our policies call for a legal framework which will enable workers to pursue legitimate trade disputes, with appropriate rights and protections in the law.


However, the Conservatives’ Trade Union Act seeks to hamper the ability of Trade Unions to improve the pay and conditions of workers, at a time when wages are already suppressed and inequality rising. It raises additional legal barriers to the right to strike, on top of what was already the most complicated legislation on industrial action in the democratic world. It also attempts to impose a range of needless new financial and legal burdens on Trade Unions.

The Green Party congratulates Caroline Lucas on her efforts to oppose this Bill during its passage through Parliament, and in particular her call for direct action to resist it following its passage into law.

The Green Party calls on the UK Government to repeal the Trade Union Act, and calls on Green Party members and supporters to lend their support to their Trade Unions as they take action to defy it.

Passed Autumn 2016 

Extending the HPV vaccination

 

Green Party conference notes:

The move to vaccinate adult men who have sex with men by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation is a welcome step in the right direction. However we join campaigners, including the British Medical Association, in calling for the HPV vaccine to be extended to all school age boys.

Passed Spring 2016 (see also PSS HE402)

 

Foreign policy and bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia

 

In recent months the Saudi bombing campaign, and the food, water and medicines blockade against  Yemen has intensified catastrophically.  The Green Party is very concerned about the effects of the war conducted by one of the world’s richest countries, Saudi Arabia, on one of the poorest, Yemen. We demand:

  • That Britain end the current supply of UN-banned cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia which are being used to bomb schools, hospitals and orphanages in Yemen. 
  • That Britain end all military assistance to the Saudi Arabia bombing campaign against civilians in Yemen and end all Royal Naval support for the Saudi water, food and medicines blockade of Yemen.

 Passed Spring 2016

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 :
a) criminal prosecutions of those involved in a fraud which has undoubtedly cost lives.
b) 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,
c) an independent testing process to be set up for all ongoing vehicle testing,
d) 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
e) 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)       a two- or multi-tier health service with uneven standards and service provision,

b)       further disconnection of the service from public accountability - via local, regional or national government,

c)       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

d)       creeping privatisation.

Passed Spring 2015.

Israel’s Ground Invasion

Conference condemns Israel's ground invasion, aerial and marine bombing of Gaza, and calls on Green Party and Green Party elected representatives to take what steps they can to put existing Green Party policy into action and to ensure that the underlying causes are addressed, acknowledging there can be no lasting peace without justice.

Such steps include:

Reiterating our calls on the UN, the EU and the US government to ensure that Israel complies with international law;

Supporting these calls by active participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. This campaign aims to put pressure on the government of Israel to end the Occupation and to give equal rights to Palestinians. The campaign asks individuals, organisations, councils and governments to refuse to deal with companies and institutions identified as facilitating Israel's military capacity, human rights abuses or illegal settlement activity.

In particular to demand that the UK government halts all joint Israeli/UK military cooperation and approval for all arms sales to Israel.

Passed Autumn 2014

Nature and Wellbeing Act

The Green Party of England and Wales, in response to the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB, commits to including a promise of a new Nature and Wellbeing Act in our General Election manifesto. We call on all other political parties to do the same.

This bill should include:

A long-term commitment to specific targets for nature’s recovery

The establishment of the Natural Capital Committee in law, to scrutinise the environmental impact of new laws, and propose new policies for incorporating the value (not just financial) of nature in decision-making.

An effective mechanism for creating a national ecological network – composed of numerous local ecological networks developed locally and to include the seas within UK jurisdiction, but to a high common standard

A system to encourage the local support for and targeting of action to recover nationally threatened species

Specific targets to ensure that people and especially children are able to connect to nature where they live

An amendment to Section 78 of the Education Act to include care for the natural environment in the curriculum.

Passed Autumn 2014

Stop TTIP

The proposed EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, will be a disaster for the UK and for the EU. Green MEPs have been at the forefront of campaigns to stop TTIP and have voted against it. There has also been opposition from US Greens.

TTIP negotiations are being conducted with barely any public or democratic input or oversight. Although other trade deals have been negotiated beyond the reach of public scrutiny, the scale of TTIP makes its impact much greater and the need for public, democratic oversight even more urgent.

Big business has had excessive influence over the negotiations. In the preparatory phase, of the 590 meetings which took place between the EU Commission and lobby representatives, 92% were with representatives of private companies.

TTIP will undermine the rule of law by establishing a parallel justice system if it includes the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS). ISDS gives powers to private arbitration panels to require compensation to private companies deemed to have suffered losses as a result of EU or national laws, with no recourse to appeal. ISDS will have a chilling effect on public policy, undermines democracy, and strengthens the power of private corporations.

The TTIP deal would lead to ‘harmonising’ of EU and US laws. This could lead to high standards in the EU or USA being lowered. This could have serious impacts on workers' rights, environment, animal protection and food safety standards, digital rights and financial regulation.

TTIP will make liberalisation and privatisation 'one way streets'. Returning public utilities, hospitals or waste collection to the public sector once privatised will be much more difficult or even impossible under TTIP. This represents a real threat to the NHS and other public services. Conference calls on the Green Party Executive, Greens elected to public office, and Green Party candidates and members to:

Support and sign the 'Stop TTIP' European Citizens' Initiative, which is launching in September, and which will require the EU Commission to take action if it receives one million EU signatures.[*]

Support and publicise the European Day of Action against TTIP on Saturday 11 October.

Call for MEPs and MPs from all parties to oppose TTIP

Advocate a fair and sustainable EU trade policy, based on the Alternative Trade Mandate coalition proposals.

[*] See http://stop-ttip.org

Passed Autumn 2014

Peace and Democracy in Ukraine

Conference condemns the diplomatic ineptitude and inaction which has allowed Ukraine to descend into death, division and devastation. We call on upon the UK government, and every member government of the UN security council to immediately call an emergency meeting of the UN security council. At that meeting a resolution should be proposed which:

Calls for an immediate permanent ceasefire

Calls for a peacekeeping force to be placed in areas at highest risk of renewed conflict

Calls for near immediate parliamentary elections, essential since the resignation of the last government

Calls for maximum international assistance for reconstruction, humanitarian and medical aid

Calls for UN monitors to ensure elections are free and fair.

Conference asks for GPEx to widely publicize this position, both nationally and internationally so that it gets the widest possible support.

Passed Autumn 2014

Occupy Democracy

Green Party Conference pledges support for Occupy Democracy.

Occupy democracy is a campaign for real democracy, to be launched by a 9 day occupation of parliament square between 17th October and Sunday 26th of October.

The purpose of the camp is to create a space that allows different groups and campaigns to make common cause.

The camp will be outward facing and solutions focused. Each day of the occupation will cover different themes, and provide a platform for prominent voices to broadcast an inspiring vision of the real alternatives to the current downward spiral of the politics of vested interests – the 1% - that have bought off our political system.

Passed Autumn 2014

Health and Social Care Act

The Green Party seeks to repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, and restore responsibility to the Minister of health to provide a comprehensive health service.

The Green Party seeks to repeal the right of the Minister of Health to close hospitals or hospital departments without effective public consultation.

Passed Autumn 2014

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The Green Party of England and Wales believes that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP),which aims at removing the regulatory differences between the US and the EU, is an assault on democracy. It would likely lead to the weakening of EU social and environmental legislation and ensure that new European legislation does not stand in the way of corporate interests. The Green Party will campaign against this agreement in order to protect legislation in areas such as environmental protection, workers' rights, health (including the NHS) and animal welfare and will make this issue a central part of its forthcoming European Parliament Election Campaign.

Passed Spring 2014

Making Corporations Responsible

To make corporations behave responsibly we must require them to have regard to fair remuneration for all workers and behave in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

We will do this by:

  • Changing company rules so that large and medium sized companies must take account of the environmental and social impact of their activities.
  • Such companies will be required to undertake an annual audit and provide a public report giving details of water and energy use, waste management, resource efficiency measures undertaken and the social and environmental impact of their activities.
  • The report would include information on any warnings or prosecutions for equality, diversity and environmental offences.

Passed Spring 2014

National Security Agency (NSA) and Snowden, Whistle Blowing and Surveillance

The Green Party of England and Wales believes that illegal mass surveillance must be opposed. The Green Party will campaign against such surveillance and will act to protect whistle blowers such as Snowden who oppose illegal intrusion by the state.

The Green Party of England and Wales believes Edward Snowden should be granted political asylum in a European Union (EU) state of his choice. The United Kingdom (UK) government must take joint action with other states to protect its citizens and companies from espionage and mass surveillance including a parliamentary inquiry into the national security measures that abuse the privacy of the public.

The EU must press for the immediate completion of negotiations on a data protection framework agreement for the law enforcement sector between the EU and the US, before considering future trade and security treaties.

The current Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), Passenger Name Record (PNR) and Safe Harbour agreements between the US and the European Union should be suspended and then renegotiated. The European Court of Human Rights should check the alleged actions of intelligence services to determine if they are in breach of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Passed Spring 2014

Animal Welfare - Hunting and Shooting

The Green Party is opposed to shooting and hunting and would bring an end to these 'sports'. Until this happens The Green Party are calling for magazines that promote the shooting and hunting of animals to have blank wrapping and be kept out of the reach of children.

Passed Autumn 2013

On Land Grabs

Background

With rising commodity prices and concerns over climate change, land has become increasingly valuable. Across the globe a new round of enclosure has resulted. Indigenous people and small farmers are often removed from land that they either own privately or via customary communal right have access to. Seized land often benefits corporations, sovereign and pension funds and multinationals, which produce on large-scale agrofuels and other agricultural commodities for export instead of food for the local population.

There is a long history of commons being enclosed and taken from commoners both within Europe and as a result of European colonialism across the world. Millions of native Americans, Asians, and Africans were dispossessed of their lands and resources. Land grabbing has been justified by notions such as the 'tragedy of the commons' and ignorance of alternative systems of property rights. The work of the late Professor Elinor Ostrom, who was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in economics, for her research into common pool property, has shown that common pool property can be managed sustainably and fairly.

Green Party of England and Wales notes that there is a long history of environmental degradation and social injustice fuelled by large scale land seizures. Affirms its support for indigenous peoples, peasants and their social movement allies in opposing land seizures.

Emphasizes that customary land rights include collective ownership and access rights which provide environmentally sustainable and equitable forms of ownership. Furthermore we note that trade agreements that do not acknowledge the variety of such property rights can act to dispossess communities from land. We oppose institutional support for land seizures both from the UK, European Union and other bodies.

In case of land-market free market mechanisms should always be overruled by the principles of sustainability and social justice. In addition, we oppose efforts at conservation or commercial land development that exclude the participation of local people.

We propose the following specific measures.

1. The UK government must adhere to the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, adopted in May adopted in May 2012 by the 128 countries of the UN Committee on World Food Security as a first small step in a good direction. But, together with most NGOs and farmers' organisations, they underscore the voluntary nature of these guidelines as governments do not guarantee the cancellation of past land concessions and the continuation of such land grabs. The United Nations International convention on economic and social rights calls for protection from forced eviction regardless of person’s land tenure status - whether it is formal or informal. States have to eliminate discrimination related to informal tenure and to prevent, prohibit and eliminate discriminatory practices.

2. The UK government must oppose the sourcing of imported biofuels from crops. Biofuels often come from land which has been seized from local people as is the case in countries such as Colombia and Indonesia. Biofuels are environmentally destructive and drive up food prices.

3. The UK should activate the 2004 EU Land Policy Guidelines which at present it largely ignores.

4. UK trade policy should provide concrete guidelines to avoid activities which lead to the dispossession of developing country communities of their farm or collectively held lands, and upon both of which their livelihoods depend. We oppose the imposition of the EU's Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) to ACP countries, [which] must be oppossed as they accelerate the dispossession of small family farmers as well as their very fragile small industries.

5. The UK should temporarily suspend trade preferences on agricultural products in cases where human rights abuses are identified in the framework of land concessions.

Passed Autumn 2013

Keep the East Coast Rail Franchise in the Public Sector

The government proposes to re-privatise this franchise before the next general election. The Green Party opposes this and believes that the East Coast rail franchise should be kept in the public sector.

Passed Autumn 2013

Rail and Public Ownership

The Green Party reiterates its long standing commitment to bringing our rail system, including track and operators, back into public ownership. Our policy also recognises the need to ensure our rail services are more democratically accountable at local and regional levels. As such, we believe an easy and quick win in the process of bringing our rail network back into public ownership is for the Government to transfer local commuter services which predominantly serve London, over to Transport for London when the current franchises end; rather than handing them to another private rail operator. The interests of passengers outside London should be safeguarded by ensuring that there is a mechanism for their representatives to be involved in decision making. The Green Party notes the significant improvements in reliability, frequency, trains and stations for those services that have already been transferred to Transport for London as part of the London Overground network.

Passed Autumn 2013

Forced Academies

Conference recognises that Michael Gove has recently escalated his policy of forcing primary schools to become academies so that now only one poor Ofsted report is required to trigger such a move. This has currently resulted  in several strong parent-led campaigns in defence of  community schools.
The Green Party believes forced academisation:
•    Undermines the role of local authorities and school governing bodies in school improvement
•    Undermines local democratic accountability of schools
•    Ignores the wishes of major stakeholders including governors and parents
•    Hands over local assets to an external provider without recompense
•    Opens the school to eventually being run on a profit-making basis
Conference therefore instructs the GPEX campaigns coordinator to facilitate a campaign against this policy at national level over the next 6 months and calls on  local parties to take up the issue where appropriate.

Passed Spring 2013

Support the COR People's Assembly

The Green Party notes with approval that The Coalition of Resistance (of which it is an affiliate), launched a call for a People’s Assembly Against Austerity on 5 February 2013, to be held on 22 June 2013. The aim of the People’s Assembly is  to bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice. to develop a strategy for resistance to mobilise millions of people against the Con Dem government.
 
The Green Party agrees to send a delegation to the People’s Assembly and to encourage local parties, regional federations and other GP bodies (eg GPTU) to also send delegations and to support future local People’s Assemblies.

Passed Spring 2013

Publicly Owned NHS

Conference notes that this month secondary legislation introduced into the parliament by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will effectively force GPs responsible for commissioning health services to open them all to competition, leaving the way clear for widespread privatisation of the NHS in England. It notes that these regulations contradict assurances given by the Coalition government during the passing of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It notes that international evidence suggests that a market in healthcare leads to worse outcomes for patients, and that the stability and financial base of traditional NHS services will be put at-risk by private providers “cherrypicking” the most lucrative patients and services.

We direct our elected representatives and the Green Party executive to campaign to ensure that the NHS Competition regulations (SI 257) under the Act are subject to full debate and vote in Parliament, and to work for their defeat or withdrawal. And it further calls upon them to highlight the strong Green Party position in favour of a publicly owned and publicly run NHS.

Passed Spring 2013

EDF

Conference notes that, this week, EDF energy have announced their plans to sue climate change activists No Dash For Gas for £5million.

These activists shut down West Burton gas-fired power station for a week – stopping the power station emitting over 19000 tonnes of CO2 and highlighting the government's attempts to deliver a new dash for gas.

Conference condemns EDF energy for this attack on the right to protest, which could leave these activists paying off the debt for the rest of their lives.

Conference also notes that the police - who normally should have no role in a civil case - have assisted EDF energy in pursuing the activists, and condemns them for doing so.

Conference regards this action as a direct threat to the right to protest and a clear effort to prevent any stand on environmental, human rights or any other issues in the future.
Conference calls on our elected representatives and the Green Party executive to highlight EDF’s assault on the right to peaceful protest, and to take all possible steps to encourage investigation of the links between police officers and the EDF in collecting intelligence on and policing these and similar protests.

Conference instructs GPEx to contact No Dash For Gas to offer the Green Party's support, and to ask how best we can help.

Passed Spring 2013

The UK and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

In the light of the ongoing Foreign Affairs Select Committee hearing into the UK’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, conference calls on our elected representatives and the Green Party executive to highlight the failure of the British government to address  longterm and ongoing concerns about the appalling human rights records in Saudi Arabia in particular, and more recent very serious concerns about Bahrain. It calls on them to highlight the fact that at the 2012 BAE AGM the company chair failed to answer a question as to whether there were any circumstances under which BAE would cease taking orders from the Saudi Army or cease collaborating with them. It calls on our representatives to campaign against any future export credit cover for future arms deals to the two states, and to campaign for the publication of the National Audit Office investigation of the Al Yamamah deal, completed in 1992, to be published. (The only NAO report ever not published after being presented to parliament.)

Passed Spring 2013

Mental Health Services

During this conference, Natalie Bennett signed the Time To Change pledge on behalf of the party. The pledge means that the Green Party is joining many other organisations in raising awareness of mental health problems and tackling discrimination.
Time to Change has highlighted that:
•    One in four adults suffers from mental health problems in any one year
•    One in six British workers is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress
•    10% of children are suffering from a mental health problem.
In November, MIND published the results of three surveys showing that mental health services in the UK are overstretched, that people are not being assessed quickly enough and many people needing treatment are not getting access to services at all.
Conference notes with deep concern that funding for mental health services is being cut further by many local councils and health bodies around the country this month.
Conference notes that Brighton and Hove City Council has protected its funding for mental health services and supports the work of Green Councillors, Caroline Lucas MP and other Green campaigners in opposing cuts to services that support mental health sufferers.
Conference asks the Green Party Executive to promote the party’s support for the Time to Change campaign and our opposition to cuts to mental health services through a press release, e-mail bulletins and other campaigning opportunities.

Passed Spring 2013

Make Anti Counterfeit Trade Agreement History

The Green Party notes the statement, below, adopted by the Council of the European Green Party in  May 2012 and the near identical statement adopted at the Global Greens Congress in March 2012.

TEXT OF EGP RESOLUTION

Make ACTA history

ACTA is not transparent, non-democratic and exclusive

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was negotiated by the EU, the USA and a small group of other states supported by industry lobby groups behind closed doors without the participation of  parliaments and civil society. As the attempt to push for stricter enforcement rules of intellectual property rights failed in multilateral fora like the WTO and the WIPO, the states pushing for ACTA, decided to  negotiate in an exclusive group without developing countries. We as European Greens strongly oppose  this move away from international fora and to start a policy of closed shops and not- transparent processes.

ACTA threatens the freedom of information in the Internet

Although ACTA does not (anymore) oblige the treaty parties to control and inflict ISP infringement, it still  lists these provisions as goals to be reached. The signatories shall, for example, work towards a stronger  cooperation between Internet Service Providers and ISP right holders. This would lead to more stringent  rights’ enforcement by the ISPs for fear of responsibility for alleged Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement by their customers and give matter to the notion of privatised rights’ enforcement outside of regular formal legal procedures.

ACTA endangers the access to medicine

Patients all over the globe, but especially in developing countries depend to a large extent on the affordable generics – often produced in other developing countries like India but shipped through the EU. As ACTA also covers trademarks, customs’ officers will become entitled to seize generics in transit if they  as much as resemble patented medicine by their packaging. ACTA will facilitate the destruction of confiscated medicine – now only possible in very limited circumstances. Forced information disclosure in  the production chain will be made easier for right holders and thus cause a chilling effect for producers of  generic medicine that means out of fear for punishment decrease or stop production. All these measures  go beyond TRIPS, curb the developing countries’ TRIPS flexibilities and threaten the trade with legitimate generic medicine.

ACTA paves a wrong way of how to deal with copyright

A more and more rigid way of copyright and IPR infringement became more dominant in the last years.  We saw TRIPS that made life difficult for developing countries. Companies can patent new forms of  broccoli or Amazonas plants. Pharmaceutical companies patent every tiny change of a medicine. We  Greens want a reform of the IPR system so that it is based on a fair balance of right holders and users. We Greens are discussing therefor the best ways to modernize and reform copyright and IPR legislation to  each these goals. ACTA however would cement the old, rigid approach for the years to come.

ACTA does not even hold what it promises

The Commission and other ACTA proponents claim that ACTA wants to fight counterfeit products. In  reality, ACTA is useless in preventing the production of faked Gucci sun glasses counterfeit products,  China, is not even part of ACTA. ACTA cannot prevent the trade with faked, dangerous medicine.

The  people do not want ACTA

The big protest movement all over the world, especially Europe showed that European citizens do not want ACTA. The pressure from the streets showed already its impact. The  European Commission itself is starting to doubt and decided to refer ACTA to the European Court of  Justice. Other political groups in the European Parliament woke up and started critical debates – also after having received thousands of e-mails from concerned citizens. There is a political momentum
for making ACTA history.

Therefore, we, as European Greens:
1. Strictly oppose ACTA;
2. Support the protest movement all over the world;
3. Urge the European Parliament and ACTA signatories’ national parliaments to refuse consent on ACTA;
4. Conduct ex-ante and ex-post human rights impact assessments with every trade agreement.
5. We are aware of the fact, that ACTA is not an isolated attempt to reduce the freedom of Internet or access to medicines. The European Greens call upon the European Parliament and the
EU Commission that they should consistently support and fight for net neutrality and an open and free Internet, and access to medicines and against reducing Internet freedom as in IPRED or other upcoming international negotiations.

TEXT OF EGP RESOLUTION ENDS

The Green Party welcomes and supports this statement and congratulates the Greens in the European Parliament for leading the campaign against ACTA.

The Green Party further notes that ACTA is part of a series of attempts to change national and international regulation around intellectual property and  copyright in favour of corporate profit and to the detriment of human rights and consumer protection.

Passed Autumn 2012

International Law of Ecocide

The Green Party of England and Wales gives its wholehearted support for an international law of Ecocide - a crime against nature, humanity and future generations – to be established and recognised as an  International Crime Against Peace.

Passed Autumn 2012

Economic Democracy

To help prevent a repeat of the economic crisis, we need greater economic democracy, through participation in decision-making, transparency, decentralisation of economic power and greater accountability from corporations. There are four ways we could achieve this:

Require medium and  large-sized companies to be accountable to their employees and to the general public by including on their management boards employee-elected directors and independent directors to represent the interests of consumers. Employee and consumer directors could act as watchdogs and whistleblowers against corporate irresponsibility. Not being driven by the profit-motive, they could also push for company policies that are more socially inclusive and environmentally protective.

Give employees a meaningful stake in the management and control of their company pension funds, to decentralise and democratise investment decisionmaking and to give it a social and ethical dimension. The £900 billion invested in pension funds is a sizeable counterweight to the economic clout of big business. It could be invested in ways that help make the economy more fair and people-centred.

Grant employees the legal right to buy out their companies and turn them into workers co-operatives, and provide funding to do this from a Green National Investment Bank. The funding would be contingent on the cooperatives following green and ethical policies. These co-ops would weaken the power of big corporations, localise economic decision-making, and give employees incentives for greater productivity.

Passed Autumn 2012

The ILO Convention on Domestic Workers

The Green Party calls on the UK government to sign and ratify the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers. It recognises domestic workers are an important part of the workforce and should be entitled to the same rights as any other worker, including pay, working hours and safety. We call on the government to particularly recognise the vulnerability of migrant domestic workers and act to ensure their protection and provision of safe, appropriate working conditions for them.

Passed Spring 2012

Women, Peace and Security and the UN

The Green Party is deeply concerned about sexual violence and all forms of violence perpetrated against civilians, particularly the high levels of violence against women and children, in situations of armed conflict. We call on the UK government to provide greater financial resources and active support to implement the provisions of UN resolutions and decisions dealing with women, peace and security, including UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), UN Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008), UN Security Council Resolution 1888 (2009), UN Security Council Resolution 1889 (2009) and UN General Assembly Resolution 65/69 (2010).

We call on the government to recognise and support the important role of women as agents of change in local, national and international disarmament and peace-making, and to work with relevant organisations and agencies to ensure there is increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for disarmament, the prevention, management and resolution of conflict, and the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. 

The Green Party also strongly supports the new UN Women organisation. The government's current funding for UN Women falls far short of our commitments and UN Women's needs, and the Green Party calls for the UK government to increase funding and meet Britain's full responsibilities to resource the work of UN Women.

Passed Spring 2012

Ending the Long-Term Stigmatisation of Sex Workers and Former Sex Workers

The Green Party calls for the ending of the classification of the offences of "Loitering or Soliciting for the Purpose of Prostitution" and "Brothelkeeping" as sexual offences. We recognise that the permanent retention of sexual offences on an individual's record, through the enhanced criminal records bureau check, can be a significant barrier to women and men who wish to leave sex work but are prevented from entering many jobs as a result of this record, and may also have severe and unwarranted consequences for family life.

Passed Spring 2012

Availability for Work

The Green Party has a commitment to the introduction of a Citizens Income which will mean that the need to test "availability for work" is no longer required. In the meantime we believe that decisions about whether someone is healthy enough to be required to be "available for work" should be made within the NHS rather than by a "capability assessment" carried out by the DWP.

Passed Spring 2012

Occupy Movement

The Green Party supports the global occupy movement: 

Since the financial crisis began there has been a widespread recognition that our economic system is not working. 

Whether it be reversing the deregulation of the financial services, wealth inequality, privatisation or tax injustice there is a deep desire to see real change.

The Occupy Movement that began in Wall Street and spread to hundreds of cities across the world represents the clearest expression of that desire for change.

The Green Party applauds the audacity of this movement that has made our failing economic system a daily topic of discussion in the media and in our communities.

The Green Party seeks to learn from this movement with which we have so much in common. 

We can only gain by debating, working with and befriending those in this and other new movements whose fresh approach to politics has reignited hope for the future in so many. 

We seek to take the inspiration they have given us and use it to inform our work in our communities, on the streets and at the ballot box.

Passed Spring 2012

Apology for Coerced Adoptions

Green Party conference calls on Green Party elected representatives and GPEx to campaign for an official government apology for the historic treatment of birth parents (primarily between the 1940s and 1980s) who were coerced into giving up babies for adoption, usually because of their unmarried status, with in many cases long-lasting detrimental effects on their lives and health. They should work to ensure the government recognises the pain and suffering of birth parents and children separated by inappropriate and unethical past adoption practices, and that it commits to an effective and ongoing dialogue with birth parents and their children affected by past adoption practices. They should also campaign for research to fully understand the impact of these practices, and what services or support those continuing to be affected by them might need.

Passed Autumn Conference Sheffield 2011

Immigration Cap

The Green Party reaffirms it's commitment to a liberal immigration policy. Everyone is equal no matter what the colour of their passport. The Coalition's policy of introducing an immigration cap restricts people's rights based purely on their nationality, harms the economy and is not conducive to a free and happy society.The Green Party is in favour of a real review of border controls that takes in the full benefits of immigration and stops treating those who are not native to the UK as a problem.

Passed Autumn Conference Sheffield 2011

One Million Jobs

Conference calls on the Green party to support the "One Million Jobs" pamphlet and petition produced by the Campaign Against Climate Change by encouraging sales of the pamphlet and signatures for the petition.

Passed Autumn Conference Sheffield 2011

High Speed Rail

TR11.3  The Green Party believes that long-distance service provision should not concentrate on high speeds where this will affect local service provision or take up an excessive amount of limited resources.

Current proposals for a new north-south high speed rail route are based on assumptions about continuing growth in mobility, energy use and CO2 emissions which are not compatible with green party policy.

The Green Party does not support the current (2011) high speed rail proposals known as HS2 but will review this policy if and when evidence emerges that HSR is embedded within an overall policy context that can deliver reductions in the demand for transport, energy use, land take and CO2 emissions.

Passed Spring Conference Cardiff 2011

Cuts and Local Public Services

1) We recognise that global capitalism has set its sights on the public sector as part of the solution to its crisis. Recognising that simple privatisation of local services is unpopular, successive governments have introduced more subtle forms of 'creeping privatisation' - taking services out of public hands and handing them over to new bodies which are vulnerable to being taken over by the private sector at a later stage; and surrounding public services with private sector consultants and advisers.

2) We oppose all these moves and insist that local public services should be provided overwhelmingly by public service providers and be accountable directly to local people, not to private sector shareholders. Claims that only the quality of local public services matters, and not who provides them, are inaccurate, because private sector providers are ultimately accountable to their shareholders and their financial bottom line. The public sector is different: it is wholly dedicated towards delivering services for those in need, and the dedication, skill, and innovation of public sector workers should be unleashed to improve services. Defending the public service ethos is therefore a top priority for the Green Party.

3) We believe that all local public service providers should therefore be under a duty to promote the environmental, economic and social well-being of the local community; and to optimise efficiency, and avoid waste, in public service provision.

4) The total cost of public service provision in an area, through all providers, should be published and made available for public scrutiny. The remit of local councils should be expanded so that locally-delivered services are commissioned by democratically-elected local authorities. Primary Care Trusts should be supervised by, and accountable to, elected local government, for example. Separate elections for police and health will splinter accountability and threaten partnership working.

5) We need a revolution in participation - freedom of information and transparency is not enough. We support the approach of local people playing a major role in planning, commissioning, managing and assessing local priorities, services and budgets, using appropriate local forums and techniques such as participatory budgeting. Such deliberative discussion is preferable to the blunt instrument of local referenda for complex decisions on services and budgets.

6) In the current economic climate, we also commit ourselves to support national and local campaigns against cuts in public services and to use everything in our power when in opposition or in office to oppose them.

Passed Spring 2011

Declarations of War 

We call upon GPEx and our elected representatives to campaign for legislation which gives Parliament alone the right to declare war, and which requires all future military actions to be fully and openly costed, and approved by Parliament, both in advance and annually throughout such conflicts.

And to work with sympathetic legal and political organisations and individuals to find a way to bring such legislation before Parliament.

Passed Spring 2011

Welfare Reform

1 Conference notes that the Green Party's Citizen's Income policy sets us apart from other political parties. Successive governments' oppressive use of coercion  and privatisation of public services which diminish the bargaining power of ordinary citizens makes implementing our Citizen's Income policy more urgent, yet also a potentially great electoral opportunity

2 Conference regards the Government's planned changes to the benefits system as incoherent, poorly thought through and an unjustified attack on  the benefit incomes of the poor and not so poor. Whilst welcoming attempts  to simplify the benefits system and allow some groups to earn more before  losing benefits, conference draws attention to an inherent contradiction.  Whilst the proposal to standardise the withdrawal rate at 65% recognizes  the fact that the withdrawal of means tested benefits has the same effect  as a tax on low incomes, that rate is effectively 76% when National Insurance deductions are taken into account. Set against this, it is  unacceptable that the top rate of income tax is only 50%.

3. We find the following elements of the government proposals  unacceptable:-

1) their emphasis, like their predecessors, on conditionality and the  condemnation of benefit claimants
2) their reliance on profit-making providers in the back-to-work and medical testing industries
3) their proposals for massive cuts in housing benefit and tax credits
4) their cuts in the benefit rights of sick people, disabled people and those looking after children
5) their changes to the rules around pension age and
6) their changes to uprating rules to reduce the real rates of benefit on into the future.

4. We urge local Green Parties to campaign against the Government's proposals. We urge them to lobby their MPs against the cuts and to ally with local groups campaigning against particular aspects of the cuts, including, but not limited to:

 ·  Campaigns against cuts in DLA mobility element for people in care homes
 ·  Campaigns against the private providers of the back to work and medical industries

 We also urge local parties to support:

 ·  Campaigns for better rights, job opportunities and in-work support for all those wishing to work
 ·  Campaigns for better benefit rights for carers.

5 We ask our MP and other parliamentary campaigners to bring forward amendments which both highlight the confused and incoherent nature of the current proposals as well as also criticising the most obvious and unpleasant aspects of these cuts.

Passed Spring 2011

Living Within Our Means

LWM1 The Green Party restates its commitment to developing an economic policy that is compatible with ecological sustainability and ‘recognises the limits of . . . the natural systems of the planet’ (EC100).

LWM2 In this context it is important that we recognise the current fiscal deficit as a consequence of a policy based on monetary inflation without respect to ecological limits; for our policy to be consistent we cannot rely on growing our way out of debt, as many conventional economists propose.

LWM3 The unprecedented level of public deficit means that a significant restructuring of our economy is inevitable. The Green Party would use this opportunity to achieve the managed descent from overconsumption that our commitment to sustainability requires, while  simultaneously addressing the rapid rise in inequality that has occurred in the past 30 years. We could consider this to be a domestic equivalent of our global policy for  Contraction and Convergence.

LWM4 Conference instructs the policy co-ordinator, the economics policy working group, and the Party’s media team to work together to find ways to exploit the opportunity offered by the fiscal crunch to publicise the Green Party’s unique commitment to steady-state economics.

LWM5 The policy co-ordinators are instructed to begin a process that will bring to spring conference proposals that will, in the context of the current public spending position, explore the synergies and conflicts between: The Green New Deal proposals that were passed as a fast-tracked policy motion in Autumn 2008; The proposals for implementing our economic vision included in the 2010 election manifesto; The commitment to building an  economy within ecological limits included in the first paragraphs of our economic policy.

Passed Autumn 2010

Equality and Diversity

The human rights struggles of LGBTI movements in oppressive states such as Jamaica, Iran, Uganda, Malawi, Iraq, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Russia will be supported, and the criminalisation of LGBTI people will be strongly  opposed. Visas for ‘murder music' singers and others who incite homophobic and transphobic violence will be  refused.

Passed Autumn 2010

Community Pubs, Pub Goers and Alcohol Policy

The pub and brewing industries are in crisis. Every day seven pubs close and small brewing companies struggle to find business, while the market is dominated by four global companies. Tie licensees can currently only buy a  limited range of beer at prices inflated by around 40%. This restricts pub goers’ choice, prevents small local brewers selling to such pubs and hastens pub closures. We believe that an effective approach to reduce alcohol related harm must involve support for good community pubs which provide a safe and responsible place for people to drink.

Therefore, the Green Party of England and Wales supports CAMRA's Beer Drinkers and Pub Goers Charter and will campaign to:

  • Promote the interests of Britain's 15 million regular pub goers.
  • Champion the community importance of well-run pubs
  • Support the rebalancing of alcohol taxation to protect well- run community pubs, small brewers and traditional cider producers.
  • Reform “beer tie” arrangements to ensure a fair deal for consumers, allow local brewers to sell their beers to local pubs and deliver a sustainable future for Britain's pubs.
  • Seek to address issues of alcohol-related harm through a more targeted approach that supports pubs which  play a positive role in community life and provide a safe and responsible place to enjoy a drink.

In particular the party agrees that;

  • GPEx should contact CAMRA and the GMB union to inform them of our support for the Charter and for a radical reform of “beer tie” arrangements.
  • Control over the change of use and demolition of pubs should be brought into the hands of local people by giving Local Authorities greater power over planning.
  • The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 should be extended to provide a rolling programme allowing local people to continue to submit proposals to the Government to protect their local small brewers, traditional cider producers and community pubs.
  • Supermarkets should abide to the same high standards as ontrade alcohol suppliers, and end the selling of alcohol as a lossleader.
  • That the promotion of community pubs should be the cornerstone of a strategy to promote responsible drinking and preventing anti-social behaviour. Pubs which act as hubs of their community should be given 50% mandatory business rate relief as recognition of their value to society.
  • Supports beer as a low alcohol product, creating a zero duty rate for beers of 2.8% abv and below.
  • Support for the retention of small breweries' relief.
  • Change to the legislation on short beer measures (it is not currently illegal to serve customers less than a full pint in a pub) so beer drinkers are not short changed.
  • Support the changes to the 2003 Licensing Act which provide for greater flexibility in pub opening times and greater choice for pub goers.
  • Supports the revision of the EU Excise Duty Directive allowing the UK Government to introduce a preferential duty rate for all alcoholic drinks sold in pubs.
  • Supports radical reform of the “beer tie” to ensure equity in the relationship between large pub companies and licensees, including the provision of a guest beer right. Currently “tied” licensees can only buy a limited range of beer at inflated prices, often up to 40% higher. This limits pub goers’ choice, prevents small breweries selling to tied pubs, and hastens pub closures.
  • An amendment to current compulsory purchase orders so that when a community pub is being sold the community and current lessee are given an opportunity to buy.

Passed Autumn 2010

The Landfill Communities Fund

The Green Party believes it is unacceptable for companies who have to pay Landfill Tax because of their impact on local communities, to be able promote themselves in a positive light using their role as Landfill Tax fund holders and distributors (through linked trusts) to gain PR.

The Green Party shares the opinion of many communities, who are impacted by these companies, that no polluter should be seen to gain positive PR from administrating these funds.

The Green Party further believes that communities should not have to go effectively cap in hand to these companies for funds - instead the administration of Land Fill Tax funds should be given to one independent funding organisation – absolutely separate from the companies paying Landfill Tax. Landfill Tax is a tax and it should not be seen as a way for a polluter to gain positive publicity. Distribution of Landfill Tax funds should be taken away from polluters directly or indirectly including the control of where the funds are allocated. This decision must be based on an independent assessment of need in the community in respect of bids for funding.

The Green Party further believes that the present constraints placed on projects that Landfill Tax presently fund are too restrictive and believes that any project (Capital and Revenue) that could be seen to benefit the community, should be able to apply to the Landfill Communities Fund (LFC)

This Conference therefore calls (through our elected representatives) upon Government to take action to remove the Landfill Communities Fund administration and allocation (directly or indirectly) from Landfill Operators and allow grants to be seen and used to be operating in the interests of local communities rather than positive PR for a Landfill Operator.

Passed Autumn 2010

National rape crisis hotline

The Green Party calls on the government to fund a national rape and sexual abuse crisis hotline, to be operated by specialist NGO’s, to provide 24-hour, seven day access to immediate support and referral for All (female and male) victims of sexual crimes. This would direct callers to local services, including local phone lines.

Passed Autumn 2009

Afghanistan

The war being conducted by the UK and NATO forces in Afghanistan is according to all informed military sources an unwinnable one. Furthermore, it has had the effect of destabilising the entire Afghanistan and Pakistan region, with the consequent danger of the collapse of the Pakistani state itself. It is taking the lives of countless UK troops and diverting resources at a time when the government should be concentrating resources into job creation, health and the educational sector among others. Furthermore, the government supported by NATO and backed by the military forces is widely discredited and corrupt and has lost the trust of the Afghan people. The continuation of the current military intervention increases the risk significantly of a terrorist attack on the UK and a massive increase in refugees fleeing from war and oppression

Since that time the war has escalated and claimed the lives of many more Afghan civilians, UK and other NATO troops, as well as those of civilians working for NGOs. There is now a need to reiterate this call as the war is now being stepped up by the new US administration and there is widely recognised to be a need for a new regional peace agreement, as without the co-operation of the regional powers, any secure peace and administration will be impossible to secure in Afghanistan.

We therefore call upon GPEx and our elected representatives in the European Parliament to campaign for:

(1) An immediate withdrawal of all UK forces from Afghanistan.
(2) The withdrawal of all NATO forces from Afghanistan .
(3) An agreement with the powers bordering to hold a peace conference as soon as possible with the aim of establishing a new Afghan government which will have the support of all the Afghan people.
(4) Continued support from the EU, UN and other international bodies to support the rebuilding of Afghanistan and the provision of international aid.
(5) The protection all women and minorities in Afghanistan and the upholding of human rights to be an essential part of any peace agreement reached with the regional powers, the UN and the people of Afghanistan.
(6) The issue of Afghan refugees in neighbouring states and elsewhere, and their long term settlement and humanitarian support to be a central feature of any peace agreement.
(7) And to amend ROPS (Record of Policy Statements) accordingly.

Passed Autumn 2009

Campaigning for an alternative economic strategy

The authors of the New Green Deal pamphlet are right to say that the current crisis undermines the credibility of the whole neo-liberal project and to point out the need for good old-fashioned direct government spending and job creation, putting new demand into the economy through investing in infrastructure and public services. However, the scale and intensity of the crisis has worsened since the report's publication and it is clear that a programme of infrastructural renewal even more ambitious than that envisaged by the pamphlet's authors is needed. Such a programme will require determined government and popular action to end the domination of the market and to use society's resources to transform fundamentally, rather than simply to try to stabilise and regulate, the current financial and industrial system.

It will require a programme of industrial restructuring of wartime proportions and a determined social programme that puts measures to advance equality at the centre of its proposals. In order to gain the active support of working people it will be necessary to make the defeat of unemployment an explicitly central objective of government economic policy, along with measures aimed at steadily reducing income and wealth differentials and safe-guarding the homes of families threatened with repossession. In addition, workers affected by major changes in industrial strategy must be confident that their futures will be secured and improved, rather than threatened, by those changes.

Therefore, the Green Party will actively campaign, particularly within the trade union movement, for an emergency programme of economic and social reconstruction, based on the proposals of the New Green Deal pamphlet, but broadened and reinforced by the following measures:

1 The creation of a monopoly on the creation of credit, both for corporate and retail banking, operated by the Bank of England under the direction of the Government. The retention of RBS, Lloyds/HBOS, B&B and Northern Rock in permanent and effective public ownership and their conversion into a chain of smaller, more responsive and democratically controlled local banks. The introduction of powers to control the investment policies, dividends and bonus payments of all privately owned financial institutions.
2 The active development and promotion of alternative vehicles for the provision of credit, including publicly owned and accountable banks, local community banks, credit unions, building societies and other mutuals.
3 Government powers to direct the investment policies of the pension funds, including the requirement to invest a certain percentage of their funds into government bonds each year.
4 Implementation of a direct taxation policy aimed at steadily reducing income and wealth differentials.
5 The regeneration and restructuring of our public transport system, including the return to public ownership of the railways and democratic public control of local and regional bus services, including the reintroduction of municipal and other commonly owned services.
6 Funding for a major programme of social housing construction and refurbishment by local authorities, housing co-operatives and housing associations in order to respond to the aspirations of the four million families currently on housing waiting lists.
7 Powers to enable families in mortgage arrears to transfer the tenure of their homes to social tenancies.
8 Taking all energy distribution into public ownership and ensuring that energy production becomes a mixture of public and private enterprises.
9 A programme of large scale direct public investment in the conversion of existing engineering and construction component manufacturing to more socially useful production, the development of their productive capacity and a big expansion in relevant R&D.
10 Full implementation of the Citizens’ Income Scheme as quickly as possible. Retraining for those having to move from declining industries to new industrial sectors brought about by the move to a peaceful, low-carbon economy. Large-scale expansion in training provision for the jobs needed to create a low carbon economy (such as plumbers, electricians, builders and engineers). Extra support for communities heavily reliant on increasingly redundant industries and encouragement for new industries (such a wind turbine manufacture and low emission bus production) to locate in these areas.
11 Countering the loss of jobs by introducing a statutory 35 hour working week and banning the systematic use of overtime working.

Passed Spring 2009

Women in employment and business

The Green Party calls for the forthcoming Equality bill and Act to include the following provisions

* Medium and large-sized companies be required to undertake equal pay audits that compare the earnings of their employees and to take action to redress inequalities.
* Legal changes to make it much easier for women to take equal pay cases to court, and to allow women to take such cases as a group, with the support of the unions.
* Significant funding is put into encouraging girls and women to consider a broader range of careers.
* The law to follow Norway's in requiring that companies listed on the Stock Exchange have 40% of their board members being female within five years of the date of the passing of the legislation.

Passed Spring 2009

Climate motion: geo engineering

The Green Party opposes any attempts at planetary geo-engineering at the cost of biodiversity, ecosystems and human communities. Without biodiversity, ecosystems cannot function. Ecosystems are essential for regulating the global climate, including the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle, cloud formation (which affects the earth's albedo), the rainfall cycle and storm tracks, as well as hydroxyl production and thus global methane levels.

Ocean-fertilisation(e.g. with iron to increase algal growth as a means of sequestering carbon)  poses an unknown but potentially serious threat to marine biodiversity, which plays an essential role in regulating the global carbon cycle, as well as putting fishing communities at risk. We call on all countries to enforce the moratorium on ocean fertilisation adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Climate geo-engineering by increasing the earth's albedo poses a major and unknown new threat to the climate system, to biodiversity and to people. Sulphur aerosol injections into the atmosphere, for example, could reduce global photosynthesis through 'global dimming', abruptly change rainfall and weather patterns, and increase acid rain.

So-called 'carbon negative' bioenergy and large-scale soil carbon sequestration schemes linked to industrial agriculture and forestry have been proposed as means of drawing down atmospheric carbon dioxide. They include biochar and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Applied on a large scale, both threaten biodiversity and ecosystems as well as very large numbers of human communities and their food security would also be at risk and could dramatically worsen the global freshwater and soil depletion/erosion crises. Any large-scale 'carbon negative' bioenergy programme would require very large-scale land conversion and thus exacerbate the displacement of peoples crisis already caused by industrial agrofuels. So-called forest and agricultural 'residues' are vital for maintaining the soil nutrient and carbon cycle and in maintaining biodiversity, and the consequences of removing ever larger quantities of ‘residue’ are unknown and could be very severe. We therefore oppose any government support, including carbon finance, for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage and for soil sequestration linked to industrial agriculture and industrial forestry.

So-called 'carbon negative' bioenergy and large-scale soil carbon sequestration schemes linked to industrial agriculture and forestry have been proposed as means of drawing down atmospheric carbon dioxide. They include biochar and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Applied on a large scale, both threaten biodiversity and ecosystems as well as very large numbers of human communities and their food security. They could also dramatically worsen the global freshwater and soil depletion/erosion crises. Any large-scale 'carbon negative' bioenergy programme would require very large-scale land conversion and thus exacerbate the displacement of peoples, a crisis already caused by industrial agrofuels. So-called forest and agricultural 'residues' or ‘wastes’ are vital for maintaining the soil nutrient and carbon cycle and in maintaining biodiversity, and the consequences of removing ever larger quantities of ‘residue’ are unknown and could be very severe. We therefore oppose any government support, including carbon finance, for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage and for soil sequestration linked to industrial agriculture and industrial forestry.

Small farmers throughout the world have developed many different and effective ways of conserving and enhancing soil carbon as well as agro-biodiversity, adapted to their local circumstances. Their collective understanding and experience represents a unique knowledge bank which is vital for true climate change mitigation and an agrarian transition. Their ways of life particularly through the validation of land rights must be supported. The Green Party supports the Via Campesina call for food sovereignty.

Earth is already in the midst of an extinction crisis. Many of our life support systems are also rapidly degrading and some are on the brink of collapse. The Green Party considers it dangerously reductionist to support any climate mitigation intervention which further imperils other life support systems.

Passed Spring 2009

Natural gas storage in underground salt caverns

1. The Green Party reaffirms that the most desirable management of energy can only be achieved by maximising the use of renewable energy resources which would, in turn, reduce or eliminate the need to import natural gas.

2. The Green Party maintains that the precautionary principle should be used to safeguard public health and for this reason we call for a ban on natural gas storage in underground salt caverns within 5 miles of a populated area.

Passed Spring 2009

Minimum/Maximum Wage

British people work some of the longest hours in Europe, with some 3.6 million people regularly working more than 48 hours a week, yet 7 out of 10 people working over 48 hours per week say they would like to work fewer hours. For many however this is  impossible, as they simply cannot afford to do so. Overwork is forcing workers into unhealthy lifestyles as they attempt to reconcile long working hours and family responsibilities, according to a report from the charity Working Families. Half of the parents surveyed with unhappy with their work and family balance. A majority reported that work dominated their lives, and family life suffered as a result. Working long hours also led to increased levels of stress, resulting in irritability, exhaustion and depression. At the same time, the gap between the most prosperous and the poorest in society has not been as great since the nineteen thirties. In 2006, around 4 million adult employees were paid less than £6.50 per hour. Two-thirds were women. 3.8 million children in Britain live in poverty. Since 1980 the poorest quintile of the population has experienced no growth in real earnings. Nearly twice as many people have relatively low incomes as 25 years ago. The average total earnings of FTSE 100 chief executives have doubled over the last five years to a new record of £3.2 million. The top three per cent of the population own three times as much as the whole of the bottom half of the  population.

Therefore, the Green Party will campaign:

A. for the immediate ending of the British opt-out of the European Working Time Directive;
B. for the National Minimum Wage level to be increased to come in line with the Council of Europe Decency Threshold, which is set at 60% of net national average earnings (this would currently mean a minimum wage of £8.17 per hour);
C. a new top rate of income tax to be levied on incomes over 10 times the National Minimum Wage

Passed Autumn 2008

State Funding Political Parties

In 2006 the Green Party of England and Wales made a detailed submission to the Phillips Review on political party funding, the review set up in the wake of the cash for honours scandal. In March 2007, the review published its conclusions, noting that in some areas agreement had not been possible. The review then continued with talks between the three “main” parties at Westminster and a further “compromise paper” prepared in August. However, in October 2007 the talks were suspended.

In light of this stalemate, Conference:

  • Re-affirms its support for public funding of political parties as a way of taking politics out of the hands of big business and the influence of the super-rich;
  • Welcomes the recognition in the Phillips review of the importance of representation at devolved or European levels; and of the greater diversity of current UK politics;
  • Deplores the UK Government’s failure to extend the Policy Development Grant regime to smaller parties – as recommended by the Electoral Commission in 2004 – using the excuse that the Phillips Review had overtaken this recommendation;
  • Laments the fact that the Phillips Review recommendations will not be implemented until at least 2012, if at all, and that this means that establishment political parties will continue to receive millions of pounds of public  subsidy while smaller parties are frozen out; and
  • Instructs the relevant body of the party to make further representation to the UK Government and to the Phillips Review in light of the failures of political vision which have led to this.

Passed Autumn 2008

Afghan Opium

Recognising that Afghanistan supplies more than 90% of the world's opium, generating about €2.1 billion in revenues a year for that country, which amounts to about 50% of Afghanistan's economic activity,

recognising that NATO soldiers are unlikely to win the battle for “hearts and minds” while they are trying to destroy the opium  trade, and

recognising that the military effort is immensely costly, recognising that the illegal opium trade sustains the Taleban, and various terrorists and criminals,

recognising that illegal opium, morphine and heroin cause major medical, social and criminal problems in many nations due to addiction to opium products,

recognising that the incidence of cancer in Africa is rising, and that patients are dying in unbearable pain due to the lack of morphine and heroin,

recognising that, viewed holistically, it will be far cheaper for concerned nations to purchase the opium crop from Afghan farmers, to process it into morphine and heroin and to distribute it free or at low cost to medical services in developing countries for use in relief of terminal pain, HIV AIDS and all other medically approved purposes, than to attempt to suppress the opium trade by force,

recognising that the central objection to this proposal from governments, namely that some of the product so obtained might leak back to the street, is so weak as to lack any degree of serious credibility, since, although a small percentage may indeed leak through corrupt officials, at present the rate of leakage is 100%,

recognising that the European Parliament, the Senlis Council, the Italian Red Cross and the Afghan Red Crescent already back this course of action,

this Conference of Green Party in England and Wales resolves to

ask our Leader/Deputy Leader to initiate and continue a correspondence with the UK Government, pressing it to plan for the licensing and purchase of the Afghan opium crop as a matter of urgency.

This should be implemented by a special agency set up by the UN, which will coordinate action with the Afghan Government, and other players, including the World Health Organisation, which would oversee the task of distributing the refined opium products to medical services in developing countries. Given the present unmet needs of terminally ill patients (some six million people die of cancer each year in Africa alone, mostly without the benefit of opiates) it is likely that all the present Afghan crop can be converted to good use.

The problem of leakage to the black market must be addressed by short, tightly controlled supply chains, and high standards of anti-corruption practice. The UN has effective models for inhibiting corruption, and this new process can prove to be the proving ground for these models.

Passed Autumn 2008

Building Regs/Climate Change

Buildings account for a substantial proportion of CO2 emissions. In view of the urgent need to reduce the production of climate changing gases, the contribution of new buildings to the problem must be minimised.

Conference therefore instructs GPEX to write to the Government demanding that:

a) Building Regulations be amended immediately so that, for domestic buildings, they are in line with the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 with immediate effect, progressing to levels 4,5 and 6 on an annual basis so that all new dwellings are zero-carbon by 2012; and similarly all other new buildings should be zerocarbon by 2012
b) any conversion or change of use of a domestic building and any extension to a domestic property will require an Energy Performance Assessment and all appropriate recommendations must be carried out.
c) the Government provide sufficient funding for the training of architects and builders to enable these standards to be achieved

Passed Autumn 2008

Anti-Semitism

Members should at all times, including when proposing and implementing policy, be sensitive to the fact that the Green Party does not and will not endorse or tolerate antisemitism, or discrimination of any form.

Passed Autumn 2008

Following the Great Repeal Bill announcement of 30 March 2017 GPEW states its belief that as the UK government has chosen its course of wholesale withdrawal from so many EU bodies it is the Government s responsibility to introduce complete legislation to achieve its aim for due scrutiny and agreement by Parliament. GPEW rejects the Governments proposals for sweeping new powers of secondary legislation and so-called Henry VIII clauses as fundamentally undemocratic and an attempt to sidestep parliamentary sovereignty. GPEW resolves and asks its leaders and spokespeople to condemn these proposals publicly, to challenge the proposals and to fight against them at every opportunity.