The new leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, Natalie Bennett, visited Exeter last Tuesday (March 5) to launch a manifesto for Devon. Together with leading candidates standing in the Devon County Council elections, Natalie launched the manifesto outside County Hall.
Natalie gave her full backing to measures contained in the Green Party manifesto for Devon such as making the minimum wage a living wage, a Devon-wide Buy Local, Buy Green campaign, the development of community owned renewable energy schemes and a 20mph speed limit on all residential streets.
Her focus while touring Exeter was on the local economy and she met with several local traders and directors of Exeter cooperatives. She spoke with the director of Co-Cars, the Exeter Car Club; spoke with staff at the Real Food cooperative in Paris Street where she also enjoyed a locally sourced lunch and met local traders and workers from local charities at the popular independent Café @36 in St Thomas.
Speaking of her visit to local traders and cooperatives in Exeter, Natalie said: ”It’s great to see these and other independent businesses thriving. We need strong local economies built around small businesses which provide employment and keep money circulating locally.”
Audaye Elesedy, chair of Exeter Green Party said: ”We were very happy to receive Natalie in Exeter as part of her tour of the South West and just ahead of her visit to meet European leaders in Brussels. We managed to talk about some of the key issues for the upcoming County Council elections with her with a particular focus on local independent businesses and enterprises.”
Andrew Bell, Green Party County Council candidate in Exeter St David’s and St James said of her visit to Devon: “It was great that Natalie could visit Exeter to launch our manifesto. She was clearly interested in learning about some of the social, economic and environmental challenges and choices facing Exeter and enjoyed meeting local traders. On a tour of the bus station site she endorsed our vision of a redevelopment that incorporates a market square, spaces for independent traders and a state of the art bus station.”
The Green Party in Devon is standing more candidates than ever before at the County Council Elections.
(from a press release)