30 September 2015
The General Election showed more people in Peterborough voted against Stewart Jackson than those who voted for him.
It's clear that people are sick of business-as-usual politics, and desperate for change. The Green Party represents a real alternative to the politics and economics espoused by established politicians for decades. We are the only party in Peterborough offering changes that genuinely will reconfigure our city to work for everyone, not just those at the top. The Green Party achieved a record result in the General Election, winning 1,157,613 votes across the country.
With such a strong showing in the polls, and just one MP elected in Caroline Lucas to represent the views of over a million Green voters, the party is at the forefront of a widespread call for Proportional Representation. The elections results show that the political landscape has fractured and we now live in an era of multi-party politics where the politics of the future no longer has to mirror the politics of the past.
The fact that we have achieved over one million votes yet and have not been rewarded with more MPs draws into sharp focus just how unfair and outdated our winner-takes-all voting system is. The fight for a fairer, more democratic voting system – one which recognises the will of the people rather than entrenches the established order - has already begun.
Today people living in Peterborough earn on average some of the lowest wages in the East of England. The issue of poverty is something that we are all familiar with living in Peterborough but an issue that not everyone wants to talk about including the newly re-elected MP Stewart Jackson. Peterborough has some of the highest levels of poverty in the East of England and particularly high levels of child poverty too. When you have families on minimum wage zero hour contract jobs combined with poor social housing this has resulted in our city having 19% of people living in private rental accommodation, which is above the national average.
A report provided by the Campaign to End Child Poverty showed that nearly 60% of children living in poverty have at least one parent who works, demonstrating clearly that too many jobs in the UK are poorly paid.
The new Conservative government lead by the Prime Minister David Cameron appears unable to understand the needs of those that are on the poverty line and Labour seem to have forgotten why the Labour party was created in the first place, to protect the vulnerable in society and stand up for workers’ rights.
The Green Party want to change this. We believe that the minimum wage should become a living wage and that zero-hours contracts, with their unpredictable hours and earnings, should be abolished. Peterborough as a city should be challenging Cambridge, by having a University and attracting investment in the Science/Technology and Renewable Energy sector which will create full-time permanent jobs that are well paid and offer employees job security.
The Peterborough Green Party will be standing up for vulnerable people in our society and challenging inequality. We will be campaigning for employers in Peterborough to be paying their employees a "Living Wage", campaigning for tougher rent controls and more affordable housing and to stand up for a genuine public national health service that will put the public back at the heart of our NHS system and it is the Green Party who will take this fight to government.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who voted Green in Peterborough and North-West Cambridgeshire at the General Election. In the last local election 4,501 residents in Peterborough decided to vote Green. People are realising that tactical voting will not achieve real change. With under a year to go until the next local elections we can see the light at the end of the tunnel - and it’s flickering green.
In 2016 voters have a real choice. Over the coming months the Green Party will be fighting more than ever, to offer a real alternative by offering people a chance to vote for what they believe in and by joining as a member today you can be part of making this a reality.