2024 Manifesto

Green Party manifesto for a fairer, greener and cleaner town

Greens want to make our vision for a fairer, greener and cleaner town a reality. Get involved and make a difference.

Greens work tirelessly, all year round, alongside our local communities. Together we have achieved much, but there is still plenty to do.

The Green Party has the second largest number of councillors on Reading Council ahead of both the Conservatives and Lib Dems – 32 Labour, seven Green, five Conservative, three Lib Dems and one independent. The more Green councillors we have, the better we can hold the Labour-run council to account.

Poverty: More financial support for people in need

Problem: Poverty is getting worse in Reading and Reading’s council tax support schemes is one of the least generous.

Green action: Greens campaigned for more direct financial support for people on low incomes. We worked to preserve current discounts for people on low incomes like the one for allotments. We have successfully lobbied for council staff and people working on council contracts to get paid at least a Real Living Wage.

Pledge: Keep working for more direct financial support for people on low incomes and for all people to be paid at least a Real Living Wage.

Climate change: Urgent action insulating homes

Problem: Urgent action on climate change is needed. Carbon reductions in Reading have stalled in recent years. Disappointingly Labour-run Reading Council returned £500,000 which was meant to be used to insulate houses.

Green action: Greens successfully campaigned for the council to produce a strategy for reducing carbon emissions. We supported the climate emergency declaration and successfully campaigned for more work to insulate homes.

Pledge: Ensure that the council teams responsible for insulating all homes are properly staffed. Make sure council homes are built to the highest standard. And work to ensure that all homes are warm and low carbon.

Health: Tackling NHS dentist shortage

Problem: Dentistry is in crisis. Many people can’t get registered with an NHS dentist. The council said it would produce an oral health strategy in 2018 and still hasn’t.

Green action: Greens petitioned the council to lobby for more NHS dentists and questioned the council on the lack of an oral health strategy.

Pledge: Keep lobbying for enough NHS dentists and for the council to produce an oral health strategy.

Housing: More affordable housing

Problem: Reading’s housing is in crisis with rough sleeping on the increase, thousands on the council house waiting list and evictions on the increase.

Green action: Greens campaigned for more affordable housing, especially on council owned sites like the old Civic Centre site.

Pledge: Campaign for 50% of developments to be affordable housing.

Transport: 20 mph where people live, walk and cycle

Problem: Congestion has been worsening on Reading’s roads, the air is polluted and the council’s ambition to increase cycling is too low.

Green action: Greens got 20 mph zones expanded and lobbied for cheaper public transport. We got some pedestrian crossings altered to give more priority to pedestrians. We successfully campaigned for the Reading Station underpass to allow cyclists, joining up the cycle network. We campaigned for more electric charging points and demand management measures. Greens opposed the destructive road by the Thames and the Sidmouth Street cycle lane to nowhere.

Pledge: 20 mph where people live, walk and cycle.

Public services: Greens will stand up for our public services

Problem: Decent public services are vital to residents’ physical and mental health. Under Labour children’s centres have been closed, swimming pools drained before replacements were built and library hours cut.

Green action: Greens worked with local trade unions to stand up for our public services. We opposed Labour’s plans to fire and rehire staff if negotiations failed as part of previous budget changes.

Pledge: Greens will keep standing up for our public services.

Improving the local environment: Doorstep glass collection

Problem: Much of Reading is blighted with bin problems, fly-tipping, graffiti and potholes. Our rivers are polluted and the air is filthy.

Green action: We have reported missed bins, fly-tipping, graffiti and potholes. We lobbied for more funding for fly-tipping enforcement and bin collections and campaigned for a doorstep glass collection. We have worked for more murals and tree planting. We campaigned for the government to clean up our rivers and the council to take action on air quality.

Pledge: Keep working on improving the local environment and pushing for the introduction of doorstep glass recycling.

Education: Supporting disadvantaged pupils

Problem: Schools are facing a workforce crisis. Only 69% of those qualified 5 years ago are still teaching. Too many children are struggling in poverty. We are still living with the legacy of Covid.

Green action: We supported teachers campaigning for better pay and conditions and successfully campaigned for a Teachers’ Fair Workload Charter. We lobbied on the quality of free school meals. We opposed the closure of children’s centres.

Pledge: Focus on supporting disadvantaged pupils so they can fulfil their potential.

Social care: Improving pay and conditions for home care

Problem: Chronic underfunding from the government has brought social care to its knees. Some residents are unable to get the care they need and others are stuck on a waiting list. That means people left struggling to go to the toilet, eat or wash because they can’t do these things unaided.

Green action: We have worked with UNISON to improve terms and conditions for carers by getting the council to sign up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter. This will see carers getting at least a Living Wage and an end to zero hour contracts and rushed 15-minute care visits. However chronic underfunding is putting this under threat.

Pledge: Ensure Reading remains a signatory to UNISON’S Ethical Care Charter.

Businesses: Get the council to spend more locally

Problem: Many shops in the town centre are boarded up and local businesses are struggling. Reading Council could support local businesses by spending more of its procurement budget locally.

Green action: Greens supported local businesses, tackled waste problems, parking problems and got trees planted in local shopping areas. We lobbied for the council to spend more of its large procurement budget locally.

Pledge: We will campaign for the council to spend more of its procurement budget locally.

Strengthening our community

Problem: Many people don’t know their neighbours. Greens believe that a strong vibrant community is key to tackling loneliness, low level antisocial behaviour and improving the local area. It is good for everyone.

Green action: Greens are out knocking on doors and talking to residents all year round. Greens supported local groups. We helped organise school streets, supported play streets and organised and promoted street parties.

Pledge: A street party for every road in Reading to bring people together.

We want to make our vision for a fairer, greener and cleaner town a reality. Get involved and make a difference.

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