Our policies

We aim to develop considered, balanced and fully-costed policies for Taunton Deane. Creating a fairer, greener future for local people is at the core of what we aim to achieve. Our policies are fully evidence-based and the result of local consultations.

View our 2015 General Election Manifesto for Taunton Deane.

Housing

Housing should be for need, not profit. Our houses should be our homes, not just financial assets. We support secure forms of rental tenure as well as owner-occupation.

In particular, we think our council should:

  • Protect local greenfield land by encouraging development on brownfield sites
  • Increase local influence throughout the process by devolving planning to the most local level possible
  • Insist developers build with local and sustainable materials and resources.
  • Support a new generation of social housing
  • Provide adequate affordable accommodation in both urban and rural areas
  • Undertake a massive programme of insulation to reduce energy usage and fuel poverty
  • Ensure that practical help is available to homeless people

New developments should be:

  • Genuinely sustainable
  • Able to create jobs for local people in the construction phase
  • Energy-saving and built to the highest environmental standards
  • Energy-producing, with solar pv panels and ground source heat pumps
  • Able to reflect local architectural styles
  • Equipped with adequate infrastructure – roads, school places, shops

Transport

Taunton Deane suffers from traffic congestion and this is a major local environmental, social and economic problem. It is a cost to business and also a danger to health. The conventional parties tell us that the solution is to build more roads. But we know that if you build more roads, you get more traffic, so you build more roads and get more traffic. It is a downwards spiral. We want to challenge that thinking. Over time we want to change behaviour, away from car use to walking, cycling and public transport.

The Taunton Deane Green Party supports:

  • The pedestrianisation of the centre of Taunton
  • Subsidised fares for the 2 existing Park and Ride schemes in Taunton and make long-term parking more expensive to encourage use of Park and Ride
  • The creation of bus lanes where appropriate – Taunton has almost no bus lanes
  • The integration of bus and rail links – Taunton fails to capitalise on the benefits of having a major rail station close to the centre of town, Wellington should have a main line rail station lift share scheme, with financial incentives and relevant road signage/publicity
  • More 20 mph speed limits in residential areas where speeds are slow anyway, without traffic
  • calming measures
  • Support for walking and cycling, improving the quality and number of cycle lanes

Energy

Taunton Deane and other local councils have been seduced by EDF and the promise of a vast boost to the local economy through the construction of Hinkley C. This is an incredibly expensive, and it seems increasingly doomed, white elephant. Only a fraction of the money to be spent subsidising Hinkley C would generate many more jobs, and a more secure and less destructive future, if spent on community renewable energy schemes and home insulation.

Local Economy

The Green Party is not unfriendly to business. We believe some things, such as health, the railways, or the Royal Mail, are best provided as public services. But we want to be a friend to local businesses. The UK economy needs to be more local. Transporting basic foodstuffs all over the planet when they can be grown and sold near to home adds to greenhouse gas emissions and reduces security of supply. We oppose the proposed business park development next to Junction 25 of the M5. These sort of out of town business parks were all the rage 30 years ago but their time has passed. We need to be drawing businesses and offices into the centre of Taunton to keep it lively and productive.

We want to see more made of Taunton as the county town of Somerset, with more focus on the arts and culture. If those who work in that field were more supported it would bring benefits to the whole community, from more trade for local businesses through to greater well-being for us all. Local businesses are more responsive to local communities and are often better employers than remote, large ones. Income differences are smaller in small firms. If poorer people are better off, they tend to spend their extra income locally. So Greens will encourage and support sustainable local businesses and the local economy.

 

Want to get involved?

All of our policy is developed by our members using a clear, transparent and democratic process. If you would like to get involved in developing local policies, please contact us