This page brings together our responses to consultations, policy briefings and other local documents.
Newcastle Young Greens and Newcastle Green Party held a one-day conference on Green Economics. The conference what steady-state economics would mean for our city. How do we achieve prosperity without growth? To be sustainable, we have to live within the resources of our planet: what does this really mean? The conference included presentations from Mark Burton (Steady State Manchester), workshops with Dr Helen Jarvis on community-led housing and Alistair Ford on the sustainable city, and a debate on "sustainable growth" between Chi Onwurah (Labour Party) and Andrew Gray (Green Party). It finished with a showing of the film Growth Busters.
A Green vision means having a plan that puts people at the centre. Newcastle Green Party would zone East Pilgrim Street for affordable retail and housing units, would increase the greening of the city centre and would make provision for safer walking and cycling.
The Council has proposed outsourcing the management of its parks and allotments to a charitable trust. Newcastle Green Party's response to the consultation shares the widespread recognition that the city's parks and allotments greatly contribute to the quality of life of the whole community. Our response looks at the issues that need to be resolved before going down the Council's preferred route, and sets out some elements of an overall vision for all our green spaces (including the Town Moor).
Our submission to the 2017/18 budget (sent 31/12/2016) built on our earlier submission to the Council's three-year budget consultation for the 2013/14 budget. The theme of the 2016 response was Taking Back Control. Government needs to devolve more funding and powers to local authorities, and the Council needs to devolve to its neighbourhoods. The Council's budget proposals promise more of the same - more investment in the city centre to attract new businesses, and "to grow as both the regional capital and as one of the great cities of the north." But more of the same has delivered cuts to the services that residents use on a daily basis, deeper dependence on big businesses, and increasing disillusion with the Council's ability to deliver local services. We need an alternative, one that allows our communities to take back control of the city's finances.
On 26th March 2015, Newcastle City Council voted to accept the proposals in the Newcastle-Gateshead Core Strategy. Newcastle Green Party condemned this strategy as failing to meet the real challenges that lie ahead, stating:
It will be bad for both our community and our environment. Instead of planning for the future, it is based on failed models of ‘growth’. It is a strategy driven by commercial greed, not the real needs of our city.
Instead of reassessing the Strategy in the light of what really will be sustainable, council leaders have bulldozed ahead. They are saddling the city with a plan that will destroy vital green spaces, increase road traffic, worsen air pollution, add to carbon emissions, aggravate flood risks, concrete over farmland, destroy wildlife corridors and generally spread urban sprawl around the edges of the city.
Instead of a resolute focus on affordable housing within the existing built-up area, the plan will result in more dormitory suburbs of executive style housing.
Instead of utilising empty shops and offices, the plan will lead to more borrowing to fund yet more shopping malls and office blocks. And, if their hyper-optimistic projections of new business growth fall short, the city will be saddled with more debt and more cutbacks to already shredded services.
The coming years will be very different to past decades. Climate change alone will ensure that. We need to build a resilient city one that can cope with future challenges and one that serves the common good of all its citizens. The Core Strategy fails to do that.
Our formal objections (in the names of both Newcastle and Gateshead Green Parties) are available in full as below: