The new Green Party leader has visited Norwich - pledging to grow support in the city and fight for a living wage.

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Norwich is the party’s second biggest support base after Brighton, and Natalie Bennett said she was confident the party would increase its vote at the next general election.

“It feels like a green city,” she said. “There is a real preservation of history and a focus on walking and cycling here.”

Ms Bennett told the Norwich Evening News yesterday the Greens were hopeful of a seat in the east of England at the next European Parliament elections in 2014.

But the party has hit the headlines in the last month over its decision to reject a planning application for an Asda store and the departure of a recently-elected councillor.

When quizzed over councillor David Rodgers, who quit the party over its “undemocratic methods”, she said all political groups had some characters who did not get along, adding: “David found the decision-making in the party quite difficult.”

She was meeting supporters outside Asda in Hellesdon in the wake of the rejection by Green councillors of an Asda planning application for a store off Hall Road.

The Australian-born politician said: “The Greens want to go with the plan which exists for the site which would create more jobs. Giant superstores make claims about how many jobs they create rather than how many they destroy.”

Asda’s plans, which the supermarket chain says would create 300 jobs, have now been re-submitted.

The former Guardian journalist also called on supermarkets to pay staff a living wage of £7.20 an hour rather than the minimum wage of £6.19.

“Supermarkets are making huge profits,” she said. “There is no reason why they shouldn’t pay staff enough to live on.”

An Asda spokesman said the hourly rate was “well above” the minimum wage and included staff benefits.

7 comments

  • So the leader of the Greens comes to Norwich to pose outside an Asda store , after Green cllrs oppose building another one to generate 100s of jobs? Its nice to know surrealism is alive and living in local politics.

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    Paul Cunningham

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • I think the leader of the Greens has no idea about Norwich Green party. But that said, this story is not about her visiting Norwich and Green plans for the City, its all about large retailers trying to undermine the planning process with excessive demands to planners, using undemocratic means, such as newspaper polls, to justify their actions. The spokesperson forgot to mention that ALL employees receive minimum wages for their work here in Norwich, if that is true.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • Wishful thinking by the green numpties, you're not wanted in Norwich..simples.

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    nrg

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • Natalie Bennett what about the minimum wage? Talk about the kettle calling the pot black, or is it, people who live in greenhouse should not throw stones? Norfolk's council's workforce are not exactly well paid, their hourly rate of pay would hardly buy a gallon of petrol or diesel By the way, to travel by car to work unlike commuting by train where the railways are subsidized by the tax-payer. No subsidy for those who use their cars to get to their workplace.

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    LFB

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • According to Natalie Bennett's leadership campaign website she was "particularly honoured" by (former) Cllr Rogers' endorsement of her. He is turn wrote that she had "the ideas, and the professional and personal qualities to lead the Green Party to the next level of electoral success.” That was in July. What I wonder made Mr Rogers change his opinion of the Green Party, which he had been a member of since 2005, so dramatically?

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    Red Steepler

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • The Greens have made an appalling mess of Brighton, by all accounts. In Norfolk, of course, the County Greens like to defect to the Tories without the inconvenience of standing fro re-election. They seem to combine lack of principle with bigotry and uselessness.

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    T Doff

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • Natalie Bennett what about the minimum wage? Talk about the kettle calling the pot black, or is it, people who live in greenhouse should not throw stones? Norfolk's council's workforce are not exactly well paid their hourly rate of pay would hardly buy a gallon of petrol or diesel By the way to travel by car to work unlike commuting by train where the fare is subsidized by the tax-payer. No subsidy for the motorist to travel to work?

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    LFB

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

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