‘We’ve got a great prospect here in Norwich’ - Green Party leader Natalie Bennett visits Norwich to launch city council election manifesto
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
'This is a landmark election for the Green Party - people are sitting up and listening.'
It was a confident message today from leader Natalie Bennett, as she launched the Green Party's Norwich City Council election manifesto.
Mrs Bennett - who declared that the average voter was 'sick of business as usual politics' - was joined by fellow councillors and prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich South Lesley Grahame, who is seen as a strong contender to become the party's second elected MP.
'Norwich has always been a particularly long-term area of strength,' Mrs Bennett said, adding that its residents have a 'sense of community and who they are'.
'We want to build on the strengths of the city and build a strong local economy - we've got a great prospect here in Norwich,' she added.
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Among the policies for the city are removing the so-called bedroom tax - the spare room subsidy - and introducing a city-wide 20mph speed limit, while promoting the city's market to turn it into a 'vibrant, friendly and accessible community hub'.
The seat is second on the party's target list and candidate Mrs Grahame said that the success of the 'green surge' had seen the party's popularity grow.
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And turning her focus to the General Election, Mrs Bennett, who met market traders while in the city, insisted the party could convert their local popularity into national success come May 7.
'People are really seeing us as part of the political menu that's available, which makes a really big difference. The 2015 election is the first multiparty election.
'We have just passed 59,000 members, I was on the leaders' debate and we are standing in more than 90pc of seats,' she said.
'It's the first time we have entered the general election as a parliamentary party. Caroline Lucas is highly respected, she's been a really stand out MP.'
And when asked about the row over Trident - the programme dealing with nuclear weapons development - between Labour and the Conservatives, Mrs Bennett said: 'A very important issue has been raised in the debate about Trident today but the way in which it was raised is deeply damaging.
'This kind of personalised attack is the kind of Punch and Judy politics that is really damaging our political fabric.
'It is time for us to make a stand and save all that money.'