Andrew Gray is passionate about Heaton and loves this area. He has lived here since 2000 and works hard for residents all year round.
He is delighted to be joined by local residents Chris Parker and Louise Wilson at this year's elections in May. Chris and Louise are joining with Andrew in the three key election commitments below.
Green candidates have the ideas and track record to make a big difference in Heaton.
... for a Plastic Bottle Free Heaton
On recent monthly community litterpicks, we must have collected dozens of bottles like the ones shown from the gutters of Heaton terraces. These could all have been recycled. Many of them should not have been used in the first place.
In response, Heaton Greens' first election pledge is to tackle our plastic waste mountain. If elected on 3rd May, we will work for a plastic bottle free Heaton. This will involve:
Work with Northumbrian Water, our two universities and funding bodies to create a network of safe, free drinking fountains on key routes into the city centre
Pressure on local shops to stop selling water in single-use plastic bottles
An awareness and education campaign to promote the use of free water fountains, and to ensure that any remaining plastic bottles are collected for recycling.
.. for Private Rented Housing tenants
Poor quality private rented housing affects residents throughout the ward. Without secure tenure and facing damp flats or absentee landlords, many of Heaton's short-term residents cannot afford to stay here long-term or invest in their properties and front gardens. And too much house moving generates profit for agents and litter on the streets, but not so much community wellbeing.
The independent Community Union Acorn has shown that collective action works, to improve conditions for tenants and bring the community together. Meanwhile, the council's Private Rented Service has seen its budgets cut and can only offer limited interventions. Green Councillors would bring together Council services and Community campaigns, to better support private rented tenants.
Align Acorn and Council standards where possible to improve regulation
Work with universities and local business to advertise Community and Council services to future tenants
Work with the best agents and landlords to raise standards in local housing.
... for our Local Businesses
Our local shops and businesses create jobs, support a vibrant community and help to keep Chillingham and Heaton Roads busy and safe. But they deserve more support. In 2012, Andrew Gray set out 9 things that the Council could do to better support our high streets.
Last Autumn, Labour's newsletter asked us to “look out for Christmas on Chillingham Road.” But we saw little sign of festivities on display, nor any extra advertising opportunities for local traders.
So Heaton Green candidates are committing to apply a small business test to all ward projects and events.
Ensure all applications for ward funding consider the needs of our high streets
Prioritise ways to support local businesses when planning future events
Consult and liaise with traders throughout the year.
In 1913, local suffragette Emily Davison gave her life in the battle to win votes for women. 100 years later, Andrew Gray laid flowers at her grave, which states “Deeds not Words.”
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