Norfolk currency, cheaper public transport and incineration opposition promoted in Green Party’s election manifesto

The launch of the Green Party's manifesto at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley

The launch of the Green Party's manifesto at the Forum. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

Promoting a Norfolk currency and cutting the cost of public transport are among the Green Party's manifesto pledges for the forthcoming Norfolk County Council elections.

The group, which holds six seats at County Hall, believes Norfolk should support a 'local currency' similar to the Bristol pound in an attempt to support businesses and jobs.

They also want to press for the trial of 20mph speed limits in residential areas to be expanded across Norwich and Norfolk, involve residents and councillors more closely in decisions that affect their area and promote renewable energy.

The council's near-£600m project for an incinerator at King's Lynn is opposed by the Greens along with any form of incineration, while they also want to lobby the government for all 127 Marine Conservation Zones to be included in a consultation.

The Greens will lose three familiar faces at the council as Town Close councillor Stephen Little, Norwich Sewell's Jennifer Toms and Norwich Wensum's Marcus Hemsley step down from their positions.

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And the election on Thursday, May 2, will demonstrate if the party has been successful at widening its appeal beyond its Norwich heartlands, particularly in the south of the city.

The party has talked of working with independent councillors to try and enact change at the authority.

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And Richard Bearman, Green Party group leader at County Hall, said he remains confident in the candidates and in what they can bring to the role.

He said: 'We're a small group on the county council but we have key individuals who bring a lot of relevant background to the greening of Norfolk.

'Some of the ideas we've had have been taken up by the Conservative administration. Obviously we are too radical by some of the Conservative members' standards but we need to be radical economically in getting people into work in renewable industries.

'Any administration, it's a question of coming with new ideas and people who are green councillors are not career councillors. We are putting the normal in to Norfolk County Council.'

The Green manifesto also includes opposing the 'academies agenda', which they say is undermining state education.

Mr Bearman added: 'I think currently the Greens are strong here in the city but the county council's cabinet doesn't necessarily take on the needs of urban areas.'

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