Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Meet your new(ish) Green Team for Queen's Park: Me, Geoffrey and Steph

Well New Year, New Start and all that. It's been in the pipeline for months now, and neither Steph nor Geoffrey will be entirely new to anyone, but I can finally announce the Green Party's candidates for May's local election: myself, Steph Powell and Geoffrey Bowden.

The Green Party holds all three council seats in the area which also includes the Tarner and St James's Street neighbourhoods.

If you're reaing this, you know me already: I'll be standing alongside youth careers adviser and community activist Steph Powell and Geoffrey Bowden, a journalist and healthcare communications consultant.

Steph has played a major part in the campaign to save a frontline youth careers service in the city from closure as a result of the Coalition Government cuts to local government.

Geoffrey has many years' experience of working with the NHS, patient groups and health professionals.

He has served as a Trustee of Pride in Brighton and Hove and is a former prison visitor.

Queen's Park councillors Rachel Fryer and Paul Steedman are standing down having spent four years promoting a greener city and defending the people of Queens Park and the wider city of Brighton and Hove from cuts and privatisation of public services.

I'm thrilled to have been reselected to fight Queens Park Ward for the Greens, and to have the opportunity once again to fight to make our neighbourhood a fairer, safer and greener place to live, defending the less well-off in difficult times.

I'm proud to showcase what Green councillors have achieved for local people over the last four years, in all walks of life, in spite of the savage cuts imposed by the Coalition after the legacy of financial mismanagement left by the previous Labour Government.

Queens Park is one of the most diverse and exciting parts of city.

Dynamic and responsive Green councillors have shown time and time again across the city that they trump the other parties - whatever their political colour - on the results they achieve for local people.

Voters just across the street in next door Brighton Pavilion constituency made history last May by electing the UK's first Green MP in May partly for that reason.

Whether it's improving road safety, winning funding for more police community support officers, helping tenants with housing issues, building stronger community networks and helping residents and public agencies set up the Local Action Team to make our neighbourhood safer and greener, Green councillors deliver.

I'm honoured to have two outstanding community activists with years of professional experience standing with me - Steph Powell and Geoffrey Bowden. Both have strong links with the lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) communities in the city.

They'll offer flair, insight and expertise as first rate community councillors benefiting everyone in the neighbourhood.

Finally, I should thank my retiring councillor colleagues Rachel and Paul.

They've played a huge role in the life of this area over the last four years.

I think I speak for every fair minded person who's active in the community when I say that Rachel and Paul have been beacons of honesty and professionalism. They have really worked their socks off for local people and they'll really be missed.

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