Policy11-economy

York Green Party believes that local businesses have a strong role to play alongside our important large employers such as Nestlé and the Universities, and that all of our citizens should benefit from a vibrant local economy. We will:-
  work with city partners to promote a local Green New Deal to create jobs in the green industries of the future including energy efficiency, renewables, re-use, repair, public transport and low carbon science and technology;
  re-write the Council’s Local Economic Strategy to focus on creating a resilient low carbon locally based economy that meets the needs of York residents , rather than the current unsustainable focus on growth;
  support new business start-ups and local small businesses, including affordable start-up accommodation for new businesses. Use discretionary rate relief and the many Council owned commercial properties to help reduce costs for new small businesses in York;
  allow Council tenants to start up businesses from home, as long as they are appropriate for the neighbourhood in terms of environmental and social impact (and subject to the usual planning considerations);
  prioritise actions to develop local supply chains and business networks through better advertising and promotion of what local companies can provide
  support and promote skills swaps and time banks such as in Acomb, and research the possible establishment of a local currency, for example, on the model of the ‘Bristol pound’ which now has half a million pounds in circulation via nearly 700 businesses
  prepare a Transition Energy Descent Plan to move our local economy away from dependence on fossil fuels;
  support York’s diversity of small, independent and locally based shops which retain up to ten times more wealth in the city than multinational stores (New Economics Foundation);
  oppose any further out of town retail developments for any reason whatsoever;
  work with city centre and other partners to create a high quality public park next to Clifford’s Tower, with only very limited retail or other development on the castle side of the river;
  work with trader associations to secure investment in local shopping parades outside of the city centre to improve their appearance, maintenance and support to locally based shops;
  investigate and consult on a ‘tourist tax’ – a small amount that could be levied on visitors to the city (including hen and stag nights, nightclubs etc) to contribute to the extra maintenance and cleaning costs involved, as well as initiatives such as the river patrol and ‘street angels.’

In addition to local policies, the GPEW will:-

Lobby the new government to invest in a national Green New Deal to create a million climate jobs, tackling fuel poverty and investing in secure energy, public transport, re-use and repair and local manufacturing and food production. We will also push for devolving more funding to regions to support resilient local economies and demand a review of national planning guidelines to remove the presumption in favour of development and to protect city centres.

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Cllr Denise and Cllr Andy give their expert views here on bus ‘improvement’ measures on Wiggington and Haxby Roads after they spoke at the Transport Decision Session on 17th May. 

The public consultation will take place in June. They also met with the officer beforehand and discussed a lot more about what potentially far more radical measures might look like.

Denise’s focus on: North York Bus Improvement

Bus

Traffic levels  and air quality are key issues in this part of the city and with the Nestle South development and development sites in the Local Plan to the north of the city being proposed with well over 1,000 new dwellings, it is crucial that we  look at how we can create excellent public transport and encourage more people to leave their cars at home more of the time = so I’m glad this consultation is coming forward.

The question that many people will ask, however, is how much difference will the £250,000 being spent on these measures make to the speed and attractiveness of bus journeys along Haxby and Wiggington Roads and is it worth that much money? The answer seems to be that it will hopefully make a small improvement, mainly by re-modelling the junction of Haxby, Wiggington, Clarence and Lowther Streets – but that is all. It may be worth it in the sense that this is the only option on the table in the absence of a bolder political vision – and this is apparently the last of the funds available in the Better Bus Area Fund – so no immediate option to extend the scheme without finding additional funds.

I’m under no illusion that making a more radical improvement to public transport in this area would be easy, but we will have to tackle things that are not easy if we are to avoid gridlock and keep a good quality of life in our neighbourhoods. Ways to implement more radical solutions such as bus lanes and bus gates that give public transport far more priority than ‘general traffic’ will have to be found, rather than simply fiddling round the edges.

There are some specific issues which I hope will be fully explored during the consultation. These include the proposals for the Fountayne Street junction. Some elderly residents have already expressed concerns about the difficulty of turning out of here because of traffic failing to slow down or let people in – these proposals could make this more difficult unless other measures can be found to improve the exit.

It is also very unclear from this paper how the Council intends to ensure that high frequency bus services, which will be crucial to minimise car use, will be provided for the Nestle South site. It seems that the modelling work in this paper hasn’t fully accounted for the real life bus route scenarios that we need to look at to support Nestle South – which is very disappointing.

In a similar way, there are questions about the impact the changes at the Wiggington/Haxby Rd/ Clarence St/Lowther Street junction might have on other work which I believe is underway looking at how we can deter through traffic along Lowther Street as part of the Groves Regeneration Project. I’d still like more clarity as to who will benefit and by how much from the changes at this junction. I hope all this will come out in the consultation.

Andy’s speech to Executive:

“On behalf of residents of Barbican Mews I would urge the introduction of yellow lines as proposed as quickly as possible to remove the hazard to the many people crossing the road close to this point as well as the pavement parking obstruction to elderly people using the footpath. I would also appreciate some monitoring as per the recommendation to consider if further restrictions are needed to maintain safe access to these dwellings. I also support the proposal for Farrar St.

Bus improvements should also look at future needs of residents moving to the Nestle South development. It is likely that planning approval will condition bus shelters and real time displays so this project should be assuming that at least one of the existing frequent services will be diverted to serve the new estate. Apart from anything else, all journey times will become much worse in the area if an additional 400 car journeys are added to peak time movements. Actions which speed up journey times by impacting on delays to pedestrians or discouraging cycling should be ruled out – journey time is only one important element of enhancing the attraction of bus travel, as is noted in the consideration of moving bus stops closer to the hospital.

Removing bus stops is not the answer, unless they are being re-provided in more convenient locations. While I accept the difficulties with physical constraints, ultimately more radical priority for public transport in the form of bus lanes is the only solution, perhaps by designating a short section of Haxby Rd inbound for bus only use during the daytime. Remodelling the Union Chapel junction could be beneficial but the walking and cycling forum and cycle organisations should be consulted to ensure safety improvements for sustainable travel as a whole.”

 

Policy05-education

To be updated for 2019…

The Green Party believes that education should be for everyone for life. In York we will:
 support a diverse and inclusive education that is accessible to all, including Early Years provision
 restore at least some of the cuts that have left York’s Children’s Centres still in existence but unable to provide consistent full time services
 promote play as the primary source of well-being and learning for young children, providing pre-numeracy, pre-literacy and social skills and the basis for future learning of all kinds
 ensure everyone has a good local primary school within walking or easy cycling distance of where they live. Every school should be a good school
 encourage the inclusion of outdoor activity, citizenship, environmental education and life skills in the curriculum
 seek to restore at least some of the cuts to the education support services run centrally by the Council for schools. The increasing need for schools to buy in services such as music teaching, careers advice and specialist educational advisors undermines standards and increases inequality
 support and develop the network of sustainable schools where good management of the school buildings and environment (energy efficiency, energy generation, waste management, food production etc ) complements the curriculum and children’s involvement and learning
 support the high standards in York’s secondary schools, encouraging the maintenance of links between
schools and local communities and resisting the trend to over-specialisation
 encourage diversity amongst school governors so that all sections of the community are represented
 continue to provide a wide range of further education courses via the Adult & Community Education Service. We will also explore ways of providing free access to courses for those on lower incomes both as preparation for work and as social and cultural enrichment
 work with York College, Askham Bryan College, and the two universities to foster good relations between students and local residents, including community volunteering and the enrichment of the student learning experience

In addition…

  • We will lobby the new Government to take a fresh approach to education and to maintain levels of funding.
  • Teachers should be allowed to teach, with a focus on the needs of the child or student.
  • We oppose academies, an over-prescriptive national curriculum and the marketisation of education.
  • Teachers’ pay and conditions should be
    maintained to reflect the key roles they have in our society.
  • Further and higher education should be open to all – we will abolish student tuition fees.

See http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ed.html for more details of our national education policy.

Policy06-children

2015 Manifesto – TO BE UPDATED

York Greens recognise the central importance of good services for children and young people. We will:

  • maintain and develop York’s playgrounds and playing fields. Seek funds for a centrally located playground away from road traffic.
  • Require developers to provide on-site play space and equipment for all new developments of more than a few houses
  • seek to restore at least some of the cuts to Council-run Youth Services, whilst also working with the voluntary and community sectors to provide a wide range of out of school activities and facilities for young people across the city.
  • Retain the three Personal Support and Inclusion Worker posts that work with vulnerable young people and seek appropriate premises for the Castlegate holistic support service – now The Haven @ 30 Clarence St
  • support the development of a city centre facility including a cafe for young people – 30 Clarence Street has been opened
  • support the YorOK website and York Family Information Service as valuable information sources for families and young children
  • work closely with voluntary sector organisations such as York Learning (formerly Future Prospects) to provide support, advice and training for young people and others

In addition, we will lobby the new Government to extend the Living Wage to everyone including young people, support cheap access to public transport for young people and lower the voting age to 16.

Policy12-planning

2015 Manifesto – TO BE UPDATED

  • We will work through the new Local Plan and in other ways to promote policies that support a sustainable future, local services, a good quality of life and a resilient local economy, with full involvement of local people in planning decisions. Environmental sustainability and local self-sufficiency should be at the heart of planning policies.
  • Resist excessive housing development and focus our efforts on environmentally sustainable developments on brown field sites, with the provision of sufficient affordable homes. Our preferred level of house building in the Local Plan is well under 800 per annum over the next 15 years. However we believe it is crucial that a Local Plan is approved to protect against indiscriminate over-development. We will argue that any Plan with a higher level of development must include stringent zero carbon sustainability measures, including nature conservation, traffic reduction and excellent public transport provision ensure the Local Plan maintains the economic focus on the city centre as a ‘living city’ with many residents and
    local shoppers as well as tourists and family friendly evening activities.
  • Oppose any further major out of town retail development for any reason whatsoever ensure the Local Plan encourages mixed use development so employment is close to housing to reduce the need to commute.
  • Ensure the Local Plan safeguards open space and community facilities, including community centres, sports clubs, pubs, social clubs, youth clubs, post offices, local shops and similar venues where people are able to meet each other and help create a safer and more vibrant community. We support the implementation of a city-wide article 4 direction (approved by Council following a Green Party motion) to ensure that all the city’s pubs have to be subject to planning permission for change of use to retail. We also support the registration of ‘assets of community value.’
  • Ensure the Local Plan protects, expands and enhances natural green spaces that act as the city’s lungs, providing clean air, safe walking and cycling routes and preserve wildlife and habitat ensure the Council retains sufficient capacity to adequately protect our historic and natural heritage through the planning process via sufficient Conservation and Enforcement Officers initiate a proper Environmental Capacity study in the longer term, as part of the process of Local Plan Review,
    followed by a city-wide consultation process to assess what level of development the city can sustain without changing its special character, overloading its infrastructure, or significantly damaging the quality of life of residents review the scheme of planning delegation so that more planning decisions are returned to public scrutiny and where local residents are fully informed about planning applications that may affect them. Where decisions are delegated to officers there must still be a transparent publicly accountable process that is clear for residents to
    influence and follow.
  • We will lobby the new Government to overturn the National Planning Policy Framework, which is essentially a developers’ charter and which contrary to the misleading claims of the Localism Act, is at the core of a massive centralisation of planning decisions. We will also lobby for the return of full planning powers to local authorities and local people.

2015 Manifesto – TO BE UPDATED

Sporting activities, leisure, culture and the Arts can enhance the quality of life for everyone. We will:

  • Review the Council’s strategy for providing better access for all of York’s residents to swimming and other sports facilities. Following the Barbican fiasco provision is patchy and many residents, including those in the
    city centre, have no nearby public facilities
  • Review the decision to privatise the running of all our main sports facilities as part of the Monks Cross Stadium deal. We will seek to ensure that York’s citizens are getting the best value for money in the short and longer term and affordable access to high quality services
  • Keep Yearsley Pool open and work with the support group and local residents to seeking additional funding to enhance its valued community provision
  • Monitor the outsourced Library Service and if necessary consult on the pros and cons of bringing it back into direct Council service provision. We will keep all of York’s libraries open protect Council funding to arts and cultural organisations, prioritising community arts and initiatives to promote access for all (A representative of YGP. John Walford, attended a public engagement/consultation event on this in January 2018 which we can feedback on.)
  • Work with York’s many heritage organisations large and small to protect York’s heritage.

 – To be updated – 

We were totally opposed to the decision made by the Council in October to go ahead with the over-sized waste processing plant and incinerator at Allerton Park, as the junior partner with North Yorkshire County Council. We believe this will be disastrous for residents’ health, for a sustainable waste policy and in financial terms. We will

* Take advice on options for withdrawing from the hugely expensive contract with Amey Cespa or renegotiating the contract with appropriate small scale waste retrieval plants and no incinerator

* work towards a Zero Waste Strategy for the City of York drawing on best practice from around the country and abroad. For example San Francisco has a target of zero waste by 2020 without incineration. It has now topped 80% recovery of waste and is being followed by other US cities

A Zero Waste Strategy will include

  • very high targets for doorstep recycling with appropriate measures to make this possible. York’s residents are very keen to recycle but are often confused by lack of clear information and support from the Council
  • working with local communities, residents in flats and terraced streets and improving the service in alley-gated areas to make sure everyone can recycle as much as possible
  • the use of community competitions and door to door advice to increase recycling rates
  • small scale mechanical sorting and biological treatment to remove further recyclable materials from the remaining waste
  • working with public sector partners and local businesses to reduce waste production
  • encouragement of home composting and a mobile service for home chipping of woody material
  • the introduction of food waste collections and far more municipal composting
  • active promotion of modern re-useable nappy services
  • an increase in the number of small scale recycling sites around the city for a wide range of recyclables (for example at allotments and any new developments)
  • keeping the cost for collection of bulky household items down and encourage shared collections
  • prioritising some investment in re-use and repair policies
  • the creation of re-use centres at Hazel Court and other feasible locations. Complementing the Community Furniture Store these could include household goods, white goods, clothes, fabrics and other items, possibly run by a franchise as in other towns and cities
  • initiatives to increase the local demand for recycled products. We will ensure that the Council itself uses recycled products throughout all its functions including schools and other facilities and not just in Environmental Services!