15 Jan 2009

leader of Labour Group joins Green Party over Heathrow

Release - Bury Labour Group Leader joins Green Party

Mark Ereira-Guyer, long standing St Edmundsbury councillor and current leader of the Labour group, has resigned from the Labour Party in dismay at the Government decision to give the go-ahead to another runway at Heathrow, and has applied to join the Green Party.

Mark said

" The vast environmental changes wrought by humanity now threaten us in a most profound way, and the Government's decision to go-ahead with a third runway at Heathrow does nothing to protect us all from the catastrophic impact of climate change and environmental degradation. Alongside their support for expansion at Stansted this is just too much to bear. I am committed to working towards a better world and I want to see the UK government provide firm global leadership in combating climate change.

Not doing so today has meant, with a heavy heart and great sadness and after 27 years of Labour Party membership, I have been compelled to hand in my Party membership. I believe that the Party has completely lost its connection with its membership and simply refuses to listen to those it should do.

I look forward to continuing to represent the interests of the local community I represent on St Edmundsbury Borough Council as an active and energetic exponent of environmental issues and social justice in Suffolk, the region and globally as a member of Suffolk's Green Party team. "

Cllr Ereira-Guyer served as a St Edmundsbury councillor from 1995 to 2003 and again since May 2007 as representative of the St Olave's ward. In the earlier period he held several prominent positions in the controlling Labour Group as Deputy Leader, Cabinet Member for Culture and Chair of the Transport & Public Works Committee. In 1997 and 2001 Mark contested Bury St Edmunds for Labour in the General Elections; running a close second to the Conservatives.

Mark has lived in Bury St Edmunds for 15 years, and as a businessman works as charity advisor and consultant; he has two children with his partner, Gaby. He is also a school governor at Howard Primary School and is a trustee, and active volunteer, for many local organisations.

Councillor John Matthissen, Suffolk Co-ordinator of the Green Party, said :

"We very much welcome this long overdue recognition by Mark of his true political complexion. He is well known to many local greens for his work with Greenpeace and development charities, and his regular attendance at the Bury Green Fair. We now have representation on three of the seven councils in Suffolk, and are well-placed to move further ahead once decisions are made about the future shape of local government in the county."

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