Green Party launch Bristol City Council election campaign
BRISTOL'S Green Party has launched its campaign for the May 5 city council elections.
Currently the Greens only have one out of 70 councillors on the authority but they are hopeful of gaining more after coming second in three 2007 fights.
Party candidates were runners up in Cotham, Ashley and Cabot the last time the seats were contested.
Councillor Tess Green took one of the two seats in Southville for the Greens last year.
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This time round they're after the other one with the return of their previous councillor Charlie Bolton.
There are 24 of 70 seats up for grabs at the council, which elects a third of councillors every year with a fourth "fallow year".
Currently Labour holds nine of the 24, the Conservatives have three and the Lib Dems the remaining 12.
The Greens are fielding a full compliment of 24 candidates, and the representatives for Bristol West gathered for their launch outside the Council House, on College Green.
The party has produced a 10 point plan for their candidates to campaign on.
Among their ideas are providing a transport authority for Bristol, scrapping land sales in the council's £87 million sell-off plan and 20mph zones for the most dangerous roads in the city.
Easton Green Party candidate Katie Buse said: "At least the other parties on Bristol City Council seem finally to have taken up the Green Party's idea of creating an integrated transport hub at Plot 6 next to Temple Meads station, even though they are trying to claim credit for this, but they are still not investing in creating a local rail and tram network and proper safe cycle paths for central and suburban Bristol, which is what the Green Party wants."
The Greens would set up special committees to help preserve local schools and support local food supplies.
Ashley candidate Gus Hoyt said: "It is totally wrong for the council to put good independent local shops and traders out of business by continually giving planning permission to ever more supermarkets, such as a Tesco on Stokes Croft, or a Sainsbury's at Ashton Gate."
The pledges also include a number of national party policies, including opposition to private schools and the increase in university tuition fees.
Bristol University student and Green Party candidate for Clifton, Georgina Bavetta said: "It's simply not acceptable for the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives to betray our children and young people by increasing university tuition fees to £9000, and thereby saddling students with large debts before they've even started working."