30 Jan 2009

Carlisle Green Party in by-election bid

Nice to hear from John, who was partly inspired to join, by reading this blog!

Green Party chooses candidates for city council poll

Party aiming for first councillors and Euro MP in 2009

The Green Party today announces the names of its candidates for two forthcoming Carlisle City Council by-elections in Belah and Castle wards.

The Belah poll follows the death of former Conservative Mayor Sandra Fisher, whilst the contest in Castle ward arises from the resignation of Liberal Democrat councillor Kimberley Hunter. Both elections will be held on Thursday 5th March.

In Belah, the Greens have selected Hazel Bowmaker who works as a Housing Co-ordinator for national charity Action for Blind People. Miss Bowmaker serves on the board of Impact Housing Association and chairs their community investment committee. The Greens believe that she would bring essential experience of housing issues to the authority. If elected Miss Bowmaker would, at 27, be the youngest city councillor.

Former Upperby councillor John Reardon will stand for the Greens in Castle ward. Mr Reardon, 33, is a teacher at Newman School and co-ordinator of the local party. He has a strong record of campaigning for sustainability and persuaded the city council to adopt the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. Mr Reardon gave up his free city council car parking pass when elected as a councillor in order to promote walking and cycling in the city, believing that public representatives should lead by example.

Nationally the Greens have 117 councillors, two Members of the European Parliament (including party leader Caroline Lucas) two Members of the Scottish Parliament, two London Assembly Members and one Northern Ireland Assembly Member. In June’s European elections the party needs to secure 8% of the vote across the north west of England to get its lead candidate Peter Cranie elected to the European Parliament. The battle for the final North West Euro seat will be between Mr Cranie and BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Miss Bowmaker said:

“The election of yet another Tory, Labour or Liberal Democrat councillor will mean business as usual and will make no difference to the way our city is run. However the election of Carlisle’s first Green councillors will be a vote for change, honest politics and sustainability.”

Mr Reardon added:

“Nationally over five years we have doubled our councillor numbers with little money, no corporate support and doing what Greens do very well, working at the grassroots level. The Greens are growing in size and political maturity. Hazel and I are standing on a platform of ethical politics, which means that we will put the interests of Carlisle people ahead of big businesses and unaccountable boards who have no loyalty to our area.”

Privately the Greens believe they have a good chance of winning Castle ward, where potentially in a five party contest Mr Reardon could be elected on 30% of the vote.

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