NORWICH GREEN PARTY NEWS RELEASE:
THURSDAY 17TH APRIL 2008: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
GREENS CHALLENGE LARGE-SCALE DEVELOPMENT PLANS:
Green Party calls for plans for Norwich’s expansion into the countryside to be radically scaled-back
Green Councillors in Norwich have challenged the Government’s plans to build 33,000 new homes in and around the city by 2021. With an estimated infrastructure funding gap of around £400million, the Green Party is calling on Norwich City Council to tell the Government that the housing targets cannot be met.
An estimated £650million of infrastructure funding will be needed to support the proposed level of housing development growth and the target is
unlikely to be met. Developers would be asked to contribute between £25,000 and £27,000 per house built, which would only generate £165 million. This has
created a funding gap of at least £380 million, and possibly as much as £485 million. It seems increasingly unlikely that the Government will supply the rest of the money, as an initial bid from the local councils for £90million only attracted a £12million Government contribution.
Cllr. Rupert Read, Euro-election lead candidate for Eastern Region Green Party, said “This funding shortfall is extremely disturbing. Who will foot the bill? The Green Party will categorically oppose any effort to foist this bill onto Council-Tax-payers.”
City Council Leader Steve Morphew also recently admitted that much of the development would be on greenfield sites if the housing targets are to be met.
Funding gap makes Norwich ‘growth’ targets unachievable
Cllr. Adrian Ramsay, Co-ordinator of the Green Party Group on Norwich City Council said: “Greenfield sites outside of the city and open spaces within the city could be affected by the Government’s plans for major housing development. This is very worrying. I don’t think the plans for this level of housing growth are desirable but the recent news on infrastucture funding suggests that they are not achieveable either.
"Huge amounts of Council officer time are going into the so-called ‘growth agenda’. This is a waste of resources. It is time for the City Council to stand up to the Government over these over-the-top housing targets and for the City Council to instead concentrate on securing much smaller-scale housing development that is affordable and of a high environmental standard – and not on greenfield sites or sites that are important for wildlife."
Cllr. Ramsay concluded: “Given the funding shortfall, the Green Party says that the best solution is simply that these development plans should be cancelled, or at least radically scaled-back, now. We are the only party going into this local election with such a clear position, willing to stand up to the Government. Labour and LibDem Councillors have increasingly encouraged the massive housing growth targets. It is time for the Council to challenge them – and only Green Councillors will do that."
Councillor Adrian Ramsay, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich South
Councillor Rupert Read, Norfolk Green Party Press Officer
Your 31 March cover story (“Is Boris faking it? The makeover of a candidate”) asks: “Who is Boris Johnson?” I went to Balliol with Boris, studying philosophy with him there and working with him at the Oxford Union, and I have touched base with him off and on in the years since.
What your story mostly misses is Boris’s ruthlessness (as well as opportunism) as a politician. Much of what he does, if my experience is anything to go by, is very calculated. His self-presentation as slightly buffoon-like is largely deliberate. He does what he thinks will bring him publicity and affection. And he is not at all averse to deceiving people in the process. For example: at Oxford, when I was president of the university Social Democratic Club, Boris sometimes presented himself as sympathetic with the SDP in order to curry favour with sections of the student body. His self-presentation nowadays as green-leaning is a piece of equally opportunistic and calculated spin.
Your cover story sold me last week’s edition. Of course, Boris Johnson is a fake – a bonking comedian masquerading as a politician. His friendship with the fraudster Darius Guppy should be an indication of the sort of company he prefers. However, your exposé of his mendacity in fabricating a quotation from his historian godfather, Colin Lucas, which got him sacked from the Times, was news to me.
Johnson’s lead in the polls for the London mayoral election despite his chronic laziness, as shown by his dismal voting record in the House of Commons, and his undistinguished track record as MP for Henley, shows how we may be sleepwalking into electing yet another incompetent liar into one of the most important jobs in the country.
Brian Cathcart’s otherwise excellent account of Boris Johnson’s disturbingly effective campaign to become Mayor of London omits one important factor: the use of the Evening Standard, London’s only paid-for paper, as a propaganda sheet for Boris and against Ken Livingstone. This shameless silencing of alternative voices among the city’s media would make Vladimir Putin or Silvio Berlusconi proud.
ITV – 18.25 || BBC – 18.55 || OR WATCH IT ONLINE, ANYTIME, at
The Green Party's visually stunning broadcast for the local elections
airs tonight at 18.25 on ITV and 18.55 on both BBC1 . The film,
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I've already watched the broadcast — it is really something! Do watch and
share the link!
Little’s Log: Norwich City Council: UEA Students need not apply
I am not usually the world’s biggest fan of Tory Cllr. Antony Little, but in this post he is bang on the money. It is a disgrace that the LibDems in Eaton are whipping up anti-student prejudice in this election to try to hold onto this, their last ‘safe’ seat in the city.
The Green Party is standing a number of students for the Council this year in Norwich, and if elected they will make excellent Councillors, as did Adrian Ramsay (who was still at UEA when he got first elected to the Council.). For example, Ruth Makoff in my ward (Wensum) and Amandine Stone in University ward — both highly-intelligent and hard-working candidates. It will be especially interesting to see what happens in Uni ward. ‘The University ward Labour team’ have in the past not been averse to student-bashing, in a ‘populist’ bid to win votes off campus. But Amandine seems so far to be winning quite a lot of Green votes both off AND on campus.
Perhaps those in the LibDems and Labour who bad-mouth student candidates for Council will have cause to regret doing so, at this election…
Caroline Lucas and Adrian Ramsay tell how close we really are to Westminster. Click here!
Eminent Cambridge Green Party blogger Jim Jepps blogs here on one of the spicier moments of his visit to Norwich this weekend, to help us win big on May 1st…
He is now sitting across the dining room table from me drinking a cup of tea and eating a biscuit; we’ve been prevented from canvassing further this afternoon by a sudden thunderstorm.
He tells me that his experience this afternoon and yesterday has convinced him that Norwich people are not, as had been led to believe, inveterately eccentric!