29 May 2005
Just 3 weeks after the combined General and County elections on May 5th, Norwich Green Party is celebrating taking its second seat on Norfolk County Council and nearly doubling its vote share in Town Close Division (when compared with the 2004 Norwich City election there).
The contest, originally scheduled for May 5th, was delayed following the sad death of the Lib Dem candidate.
The win gives the Green Party official Group status, which will considerably increase its influence on the Council through committee places and an ability to ensure its motions are secondedand debated.
The result was as follows:
GREEN, Christopher Hull, 1,151, 36.14%LD 958, 30.08%Lab 606, 19.03%Con 470, 14.76%
With the formation of a Green Group on Norfolk County Council, the Greens now have groups on five principal authorities in Eastern Region - Norfolk CC, Norwich City Council, Mid-Suffolk District Council, Watford Borough Council and Braintree District Council. In addition, the Greens now hold a County seat in Hertfordshire and numerous Town and Parish Council seats. In total, Greens now hold 14 principal (excluding town/parish) authority seats on 6 councils in the region - compared to just 2 seats on 1 council in 2000.
Cllr. Adrian Ramsay, the Party's Norwich South candidate who doubled the Party's vote share at the General Election, said
"This result shows that the residents of Town Close, and an increasing number of people across Norwich as a whole, like what they are seeing from our Councillors and want more Greens elected. With two County Councillors we are now even better placed to push forward our agenda on issues like the use of fresh produce in school meals, an end to the sell-off of school playing fields, more spending on public transport instead of new roads and ethical investment of Council pension funds."
Up to just 4 weeks ago the Greens had never managed to secure any County Councillors in Eastern Region. With this by-election win in Norfolk, there are now 3 Greens on 2 County Councils. Greens are proving that they can win under the first-past-the-post system, and can take seats from any of the "main 3 " parties.
But at the same time, the Green Party is stepping up its support, and working with like-minded people, to push the case for electoral reform (see news at www.greenparty.org.uk). For many years, the "2 party" model of politics has been failing - not because the UK has 3 party politics - but because the UK increasingly has multi-party politics. First-past-the-post hopelessly fails to deliver proper representation to voters under these circumstances and perversely has just delivered a sizeable commons majority to Tony Blair despite the fact that New Labour polled just 21.5% of the votes of the people on the electoral register.
The Additional Member system, which retains local representatives whilst also delivering seats in proportion to votes cast, is the fairest system for the UK and the Green Party will be working hard with others to push the case for reform. The AM system is already used for the Scottish Parliament and London Assembly elections and in countries such as Germany and New Zealand it has delivered parliamentary seats in numbers that fairly represent the actual votes of the electorate.
Fair votes for all elections in the UK would help bring new life to politics and a more co-operative style of decision making as parties would need to work together more to achieve progress. Fair votes would also help to stop Governments such as New Labour from forcing through unpopular and contradictory policies - such as their bizarre position of claiming to want to curb climate change whilst simultaneously backing massive airport and motorway expansion (see lead story in The Independent 28th May).
Further information, please contact:
Eastern Region Green Party Press Office: 01376 584576 Mobile 07951 923073
Norwich Green Party: Cllr. Adrian Ramsay 01603 503607 Mobile 07940 930465
PEOPLE PLANET PEACE