Mind The Gap and Keep Our Cool. Statement by Robin Stott, our local candidate in Greenwich West

22 February 2015

Mind the Gap and Keep Our Cool

Three great problems threaten both human and planetary wellbeing:

  1. the widening gap between the rich and poor
  2. the excessive use of finite resources
  3. and the difficulty voters have in influencing policy because of the inappropriate role wealthy individuals and corporations play in policy making

As a green candidate, I will argue and vote for measures which narrow the gap, reduce the use of finite resources, and give us voters a greater say in running our affairs.  So promote a new social contract between voters and the state which enable us to Mind The Gap and Keep Our Cool.

To achieve this requires a recasting of priorities at all levels, and to ensure that participation is as wholehearted as possible.  It means we must create space for productive discussions and timely thoughtful consultation, not the usual political slanging matches, however amusing they are.

My strategy will be to push for policies which address all three issues.

For example, I will insist that Greenwich council:

  • raises the minimum wage for its employees to £10/hour
  • stops and reverses any outsourcing of its work force unless to a social enterprise
  • puts the wages of each member of its staff on a website or facility for all to see, moving to a position where the ratio of lowest to highest pay is no more than 10

I will suggest that workers pay is increased annually in line with inflation, but for those working long hours, instead of an annual pay rise, their working hours are reduced.

I will say we should:

  • levy extra duty on houses which stand empty for six months and over
  • insist that the 30 percent of affordable homes in new build are fully integrated with the other units
  • seek to have community owned housing as an option in development

I will insist that:

  • all public buildings measure and then reduce their carbon footprint by 5 percent/year, including in this footprint the travel to and from work of those working in the building.  Money saved would be reinvested to facilitate this process
  • and encourage local production of organically grown food.  Giving shopkeepers incentives to sell this will create the local production and consumption cycles which are a necessary part of the new social contract we wish to evolve
  • I will encourage the council to promote the benefits of vegetarian food, and suggest that we sign up to Meat free Monday
  • I will encourage all workers to join unions, and all employers to work with these unions in a co-operative way.
  • I will ask the council to make it clear that firms which do not pay their taxes in the UK will be unwelcome in Greenwich, and facilitate the introduction of those that do.

Wishing to promote local entrepreneurs, I will ask the council to give likely candidates with good business plans low cost start up premises and incentives to train apprentices.

At every opportunity I will push for:

  • increasing the number of cycling and walking paths, seeking always to separate these from car dominated roads
  • stop the pretence of lanes which come to an abrupt end, as do those across Blackheath

When local issues in the ward come up, I will seek to resolve them by discussion and in a way which encourages the evolution of the new social contract.

Robin Stott, local candidate in Greenwich West

February 2015


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