Siân Berry launches the Greens’ East London manifesto

Friday saw the official launch of the Green Party manifesto for East London (pdf), ahead of the Mayoral and London Assembly elections on Thursday 5th May. Support for Green policies is at an all-time high, with a particularly strong presence in East London, and we are aiming to increase the numbers of Greens on the London Assembly from the current two.

Green Party Mayoral candidate, Siân Berry, and local candidate, Rachel Collinson, were joined by local Green Party members outside of the proposed Bishopsgate Goodsyard site.

EL Manifesto Group

Rachel Collinson, who is also the Newham Green Party Chair, said: “The Bishopsgate Goodsyard development controversy perfectly illustrates what is wrong with London’s urban planning system. Boris Johnson has repeatedly ignored the wishes of local residents and Councils. The Green Party’s Jenny Jones AM challenged the Mayor on the decision, and it has now been deferred until after the Mayoral election!

R&S“The Green Party have a strong record of supporting communities, and holding those in power to account. If elected to the assembly I will work with residents to ensure local concerns continue to be heard.”

The Green Party have already highlighted their flagship policies on housing, transport, policing, the living wage and air pollution during this campaign. The manifesto provides more detail on each of these areas and gives examples of what Siân a Green Mayor and Green London Assembly Members would do for East London. Such as…

200,000 new homes across London, for ALL Londoners – with 50% to be built by smaller developers, communities and housing associations to provide truly affordable housing across the city. In East London the party will take a stand against the proliferation of luxury developments for the super-wealthy, such as Bishopsgate Goodsyard and the Newham Council Masterplan to replace the social Carpenter’s Estate with private developer blocks, and fight for the development of genuinely affordable housing for Londoners.

Celebrating and supporting London’s diversity – including rethinking the flawed and discriminatory Prevent strategy, creating a new City Hall position for monitoring policy impacts on London’s older residents, and making sure London remains a leader in LGBT+ rights and culture.

Ending the air pollution crisis – bringing pollution below legal limits by 2020 at the latest. In East London, we will continue to resist the proposed Enderby Wharf Cruise Terminal in Greenwich and the Silvertown Tunnel at Blackwall which would increase pollution across several boroughs that are already dangerously polluted. Also, we’d close London City Airport and use the land for homes and up to 16,000 more jobs.

The London Living Wage for all – currently one in five working Londoners are still paid less, many of whom live in Newham and surrounding boroughs. Siân also pledges to create 150,000 high­ quality apprenticeships, and improving conditions and opportunities for part-time workers.

This comes just a week after Siân and Rachel were joined by fellow Green Party candidates Shahrar Ali and Benali Hamdache to launch the Manifesto for Londoners from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (pdf) in Newham’s Queens Market.

market-newham

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Newham needs a Living Wage

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“…please mind the gap between the rich and the poor”

This week I found out some shocking statistics from TUC.

  • In East Ham 21.9% of all male employees and 29.2% of all female employees are being paid below the London Living Wage.
  • In West Ham, the numbers are even worse. 32.1% of all male employees and 34.2% of all female employees are being paid below the London Living Wage.

This is bad news for all local residents. But in particular, it shows that local women are getting a very raw deal. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and what these statistics show is that gender pay inequality is an issue in Newham, as it is in the rest of the world.

What is a Living Wage?

At the moment, the law has set the minimum hourly wage at £6.50 for employees aged over 21 years. However we believe this isn’t enough to meet the basic cost of living in the UK. The Living Wage Foundation suggest that everyone in Newham should be paid at least £9.15 per hour – however it is clear from the numbers above that this is not the case for a third of local workers across Newham.

A Living Wage is important and beneficial

Newham Green Party are campaigning for a Living Wage in Newham. We believe this will help ensure low paid workers earn enough to provide for themselves and their families, and this in turn will help people stay out of poverty. A Living Wage is also good for businesses; case studies have highlighted a positive impact on recruitment and retention, less absenteeism, better quality of work from staff, and more staff motivation. To find out more visit: http://www.livingwage.org.uk/

The Green Party of England and Wales is calling for the minimum wage to rise to £10 an hour by 2020. In an address to Greens’ autumn conference, party leader Natalie Bennett said Britain was a low-wage economy and people deserved “a decent return on their labour”

Newham needs a Living Wage.

It’s good for business, good for families, good for Newham!