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News from around the region and some national stories featuring Co-Leader Adrian Ramsay 2

Co-Leader Adrian Ramsay at an action day in Eye and Yaxley

Co-leader Adrian Ramsay has kicked off launch day with an interview on BBC Breakfast and Radio 4’s Today programme. He spoke about our plans for a Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter (Twitter) to tackle the housing crisis and ensure green spaces are protected. See our full press release here.

On BBC Breakfast he was also asked about how the Greens were any different to any other parties when it comes to tackling environmental problems like water pollution. He pointed to our policy of taking water companies back into public ownership (Twitter).

Adrian told Today listeners that we have seen unprecedented growth in the number of Green councillors and that we are winning seats from both Conservatives and Labour in roughly equal numbers in rural and urban areas. “When people have a Green councillor; see that they are hard working; see that they listen to local concerns; that they are fighting for fairer greener communities, then people tend to vote Green in bigger numbers”, he said. Listen to the interview on iplayer from 42 minutes in.

Adrian also appeared in new bulletins on ITV’s Good Morning Britain where he said Greens are calling for affordable homes on brownfield sites with investment in services, to a high environmental standard to keep bills down.

The BBC website headline with Greens want housing firms to fund more services and quote Adrian saying, “Developers are being allowed to ride roughshod over the needs of communities and the environment and this has got to stop.”  

BBC North East reported on their evening news that “on recent evidence, the Green Party leader’s optimism is more than wishful thinking.” In the package to coincide with Carla Denyer’s visit to the region she tells viewers: “We’re really seeing voters coming to us from across the political spectrum who are fed up with the political status quo. I think that the Green Party could easily gain 100 or more than 100 new council seats across England, and a good number of those should be in the North East.” Watch from 10:55

In an interview with BBC 5 Live, Emily O’Brien, Green Party Food, Agriculture & Rural Welfare Spokesperson responds to the government’s feeble plans to clean up our waterways. (Twitter) She says that only the Green Party is looking at the root cause of the pollution crisis facing our rivers and coasts: “We need to put our water companies back into public hands; it’s not going to work just tinkering around the edges. Today’s announcement is a little bit like throwing a wet wipe into a swimming pool frankly.” Philippa Fleming, Comms officer for the Eastern Region and co-coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Policy Working Group is in absolute agreement with Emily and would like to add who said time travel wasn’t possible. Our waterways are just as bad as they were in the 1970’s and 80’s. Back then we had the European Union to tell us to clean up our act. How far around the world does our sewage have to reach before the UN will start to intervene now that we don’t have that protection?

Environment secretary Thérèse Coffey has suggested she cannot end the sewage scandal, in what critics are calling a “complete abdication of duty”. Her plan to clean up the UK’s waterways has been criticised for including measures such as a ban on plastic in wet wipes that were announced years ago and fails to introduce the tough actions needed to tackle the crisis. Sky News reports the recycled policy on wet wipes shows the government is dodging bigger issues

In the Daily Mail, Steve Hynd, policy manager at the environmental charity City to Sea and a Green councillor in Stroud says: “Plastic wet wipes cost hundreds of millions in sewage blockages each year and cause a catastrophic environmental problem, changing the shape of rivers and harming marine wildlife. While government drags its feet, supermarkets could and should take these from their shelves now.”

Meanwhile, Politico report that sewage-strewn beaches have become Britain’s new election battleground and quote Green peer Jenny Jones: “When people see it in their everyday lives, and they walk down paths that stink, and they can’t let their dogs paddle – it hits home.” 

More people are using bus services since the introduction of a £2 fare cap, a survey by a transport watchdog suggests. Transport Focus surveyed more than 1,000 people and 40% said bus journeys were replacing ones they would have made by car.

Scientists are warning Europe could see a repeat of the severe droughts that impacted the continent last summer. The European Drought Observatory (EDO) has warned conditions in late winter were similar to those last year – when extreme drought affected areas all over the continent in the summer months.

Mackerel populations are declining because of overfishing and the fish is no longer a sustainable food choice, the Marine Conservation Society has said in its new UK guide to sustainable seafood.

Rishi Sunak and his immigration minister have been scolded by the UK statistics watchdog for using inaccurate figures to back up spurious claims about asylum seekers.