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Updated: 10 weeks 4 days ago

Greens launch measures to protect children from air pollution

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:37

The Green Party will launch a raft of measures to tackle air pollution and protect children from its worst effects ahead of the local elections on May 3. [1]

The plans will be launched alongside the party’s Clean Air Bill, to challenge the Government’s failure to clean up Britain’s dirty air after three court rulings found its plans so bad they are illegal.

The Green Party will pledge councillors elected on May 3 will fight for:

  • School Streets: Closing the streets in front of schools to traffic at the opening and closing times to make the school environment safer and less polluted
  • Walking and cycling to school:Safe routes so every child who is able to walk or cycle to school has the opportunity to do so.
  • Increased Government spending on walking and cycling:The Green Party will press the Government to quadruple spending per person annually on walking and cycling from £6.50 to £30.

Greens will warn that children are playing in poisoned playgrounds, with a quarter of primary schools in London in areas with illegally dirty air in 2010. [2] Air pollution is linked to stunted lung growth in children and teenagers, [3] with air pollution inside cars 9 to 12 times higher than air outside. [4]

The Green Party also hopes the measures will help young people aged five to 18 get the recommended hour of moderate physical activity a day - something 23% of boys and 31% of girls don’t get. [5]

The pledges will be launched alongside the party’s Clean Air Bill, which was introduced to the House of Lords by Green peer Jenny Jones.

The Bill will declare clean air as a human right, set up a Citizens’ Commission to support people taking legal action to enforce that right, and ensure the ‘polluter pays principle’ underpins all regulations and charges.

Almost two thirds of people believe Britain needs a new Clean Air Act. [6]

Jenny Jones, Green peer in the House of Lords, is expected to say:

“When I started talking about air pollution as a London Assembly member in 2000, no one was interested in the health impacts and radical solutions. Well now I’m in a position to deliver those solutions.

"I'm going to put a Clean Air Bill before Parliament and hope to get widespread support. Air pollution is now known as an issue that everyone has to care about."

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, is expected to say:

“Closing the streets in front of schools is a common sense policy. From London to Edinburgh, anywhere this has been implemented it has seen fewer cars on the road and more children walking and cycling safely to school. That means parents don’t feel forced to drive their kids around out of fear for their safely.

“Not only does this help children get the exercise they need, which is better for a child’s heart, but they’ll also be breathing in less pollution, which is better for a child’s lungs. This Green bill is a win/win for our children’s health.”

Notes:

[1] Photo opportunity in one of London’s School Streets with Green co-leader Jonathan Bartley, Green peer Jenny Jones, and Green campaigners.

[2] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvfru/433/433.pdf (paragraph 8)

[3] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa040610

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/12/children-risk-air-pollution-cars-former-uk-chief-scientist-warns

[5]https://www.cycling.scot/mediaLibrary/other/english/2432.pdf

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/14/65-percent-british-public-want-clean-air-act-pollution-harmful-uk-survey

Greens: Labour’s immigration policy raises serious concerns

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:32

The Green Party has warned that Labour’s immigration policy raises “serious concerns which need addressing”, saying the party’s policies fall short of the progressive, humane system Britain needs.

The warning comes after Diane Abbott dismissed an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been in the UK for ten years while appearing on Question Time last week (Thursday 26 April) [1], followed by Barry Gardiner saying he supports deportation targets on Daily Politics yesterday (Monday 30 April) [2].

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, called on progressive parties to stand together for:

  • An overarching inquiry into Home Office policy making
  • An end to deportation targets
  • An end to the detention system
  • A moratorium on charter flight removals
  • An end of dehumanising language around migrants

Jonathan Bartley said:

“Scratch the surface of Labour’s immigration policy and there are serious concerns which need addressing. It has been disappointing to watch Diane Abbott’s dismissal of an amnesty for long term illegal immigrants, followed by Barry Gardiner’s support for deportation targets.

“At a time when it is more important than ever to hold the Government and the Home office to account, Labour falls short of the progressive, humane immigration policy we need. The official opposition should be standing up for those who have built their lives in Britain and contributed here, and calling for deportation targets to end for good.

“At this critical moment in the Home Office’s history progressive parties must fight together for an overarching inquiry into Home Office policy making, to shut down the cruel detention system, a moratorium on charter flight removals, and an end of dehumanising language around migrants.”

Notes:

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-43920554/question-time-should-there-be-amnesty-for-illegal-immigrants

2. https://twitter.com/daily_politics/status/990918048633700352

Caroline Lucas: New Home Secretary must 'stop the rot'

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 10:26

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party co-leader, has called for the Home Office to be put in 'special measures' and for the new Home Secretary to end the hostile environment. She said the Prime Minister has overseen the 'state-sponsored cruelty of Britain's immigration system'.

Caroline Lucas said:

"Amber Rudd's resignation was necessary, but it will not stop the rot. This latest crisis, and the hostile environment for migrants, goes to the heart of government - and has been overseen by the Prime Minister herself. She must take personal responsibility for overhauling the state-sponsored cruelty of Britain's immigration system, put the Home Office in special measures and a appoint a new Home Secretary willing to ditch institutional callousness and indifference in this great office of state.

"A new Home Secretary should start their term in office with a radical shakeup of the system. That means pledging to end indefinite detention, a review of the cruel charter flights which ship people out of the country without recourse to justice - and a Commission to look at wider policy with a view to ridding the immigration system of the inhumanity which pervades it."

 

Green Party calls on Theresa May to sack Amber Rudd

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 10:24

The Green Party has called on Theresa May to remove Amber Rudd from office as Home Secretary after it has been revealed she knew about Home Office deportation targets – despite claiming to be unaware [1].

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, also called on the Prime Minister to launch an inquiry into failings at the Home Office.

Bartley said:

“Amber Rudd has embraced and presided over a Home Office which is rotten to its core. The horror of the Windrush scandal, the inhumanity of deportation targets and the contempt of the Home Secretary to repeatedly mislead Parliament reveals just how deeply this poison runs.

“Theresa May must remove Amber Rudd as Home Secretary and launch a fully independent inquiry into the Home Office’s failings. Britain urgently needs a humane immigration policy which will only be brought about by root and branch reform.”

Notes:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/27/amber-rudd-was-told-about-migrant-removal-targets-leak-reveals

Green Party – Home office revelations confirm fears that department is “rotten to the core”

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 11:59

The Green Party of England and Wales today responded to the news that the Home Office have had targets set for the deportation of undocumented migrants, despite Amber Rudd telling the house that they hadn’t. [1]

Co-leader Jonathan Bartley felt that the news was further proof that Theresa May’s “hostile environment” was fundamentally unjust.

“This has confirmed our worst fears about the Home Office. You can’t set targets for people you want to kick out without deciding that some people won’t get a fair hearing, because there’s a quota to meet by the end of the year.

“Add the context of the Windrush scandal to this whole affair and what you have is proof that the Home Office is rotten to the core and not acting in the interests of the most vulnerable. The fact that they’ve tried to cover this up shows that even they know this isn’t right.”

 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/26/home-office-set-targets-for-deportation-of-illegal-immigrants-amber-rudd