Your Say: On 4th May you will have the opportunity to vote in the elections for the Hampshire County Council to make a real difference.
What Hampshire Needs: Winchester needs a Green voice on Hampshire County Council.
The road network and much of transport policy is decided at County level. That means our air pollution problem and traffic congestion, which the local Green Party has been campaigning to improve for at least six years, are affected by County decisions. Gridlocked streets make cycling and walking - key Green Party priorities - difficult and even dangerous (think of St Cross road, Kingsgate Street, St Georges Street, Stanmore Lane).
Much could also be done to improve accessibility by public transport, at the same time reducing pollution, congestion and parking problems.
We want to redirect the County's social welfare budget towards helping people in their homes. This means making the job of care workers more attractive,
Another of aim is to seriously improve recycling facilities - Hampshire is listed as being in the bottom 20% of counties in England for this.
Finally, we want to build up the availability of locally produced renewable energy and reverse the current policy banning wind turbines on HCC owned land.
In the household survey which Winchester Green Party has been conducting locally, all these issues came high on peoples' priorities. We respect your opinions, and want to act in your interests.
What is Possible? There is a growing feeling of powerlessness and growing mistrust of those who govern us. The promise of ‘bringing back control’ was hollow – the real power remains in the same hands and works for the same minority interests. In Hampshire the electoral arithmetic is stark – the current Council is made up of 47 Conservatives, 16 LibDems and 14 others.
What difference can your vote make? If you vote for the Conservatives then nothing is likely to change for you. A LibDem vote is a vote AGAINST the Conservatives, but a few gains for LibDems make no difference to the power structure and what decisions are taken for Hampshire.
So will a GREEN vote make still less difference? The difference is that the Green Party does seek to influence policies through argument, analysis and deep conviction. Where councils do have a few Green representatives their influence has always been much stronger than their numerical representation.
Vote for What You Believe and not against What You Fear: If you share the environmental and social aims of the Green Party then you have nothing to lose from voting Green and you can believe the possibility of hope for change.
You find more detais in our Hampshire Election Manifesto.
This year we have candidates for all divisions within the Winchester City Council boundaries. Our target ward is Winchester Eastgate where the Green Party has a real chance to win a councillor. To find out more about our candidates please visit the Candidates pages.
We are planning our biggest ever election campaign for the 2017 county election - if you'd like to get involved please contact us.
Go to www.streetcheck.co.uk and enter your postcode and it will tell you which ward you live in if you are unsure. Here is a link to a map to find up to date election boundaries: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/election-maps/gb/
In 2015 the Green Party fought all six Winchester City wards. In our target ward of St Bartholomew's our vote was 17.7%. Our average vote in all wards was 10.7%.
In the years since the Green Party began contesting elections in Winchester our share of the vote has increased - just as it has across much of the country. This has been reflected in the huge growth of membership and the Green Party is now the third largest party in England and Wales.
We have been contesting local elections since 2007. We selected the St Bartholomew’s ward as our focus in 2010. Since the 2007 election when we took 4.4% of the vote, our performance has improved continuously.
Council elections occur every year in urban Winchester. Winchester City District Council elections are held for three years in every four (in urban Winchester each ward has three councillors, one elected in each of the three years and each serving 4 years), with County Council elections taking place in the fourth year.
Dr. Michael Wilks has contested the ward for the Green Party since in 2011.
In canvassing a common response is “I like what the Greens stand for, but they don’t stand a chance, do they?” Against this ‘wasted vote’ complaint we have had to appeal to those prepared to make a statement of faith over any plausibility of success. We are now achieving the votes that make us a plausible winner in a few years and that plausibility will turn many of the sympathetic but more cautious voters our way. It is a long struggle in first-past-the-post elections, but it is worth comparing this rate of progress against our great exemplar in the Brighton Pavilion parliamentary ward (the local council wards in Brighton show similar trends) that has brought the Green Party to its first MP in 2000 and made the Greens the largest party in Brighton and Hove:
In the County Council elections we have stood in the two Winchester wards, Westgate and Eastgate. In Eastgate in 2009 we polled 6.8% of the turn-out and 8.8% in 2013. In Westgate in 2009 it was 6.3% and 7.1% in 2013. These figures, though they show some small progress, are not comparable with the figures in our target District ward, as we would expect since the electorate is much larger and we have not had the resources to make ourselves widely known. That Eastgate does better than Westgate is likely due to the fact that it contains our target District ward.
Thursday 4th May 2017