Election news: Greens win six seats on Reigate & Banstead Council

Five of the six Green Councillors: L-R Steve McKenna, Hal Brown, Sue Sinden, Ruth Ritter and Jonathan Essex

We’re celebrating big wins in this week’s local elections.

We now have six councillors on Reigate & Banstead Council, where the whole council was re-elected following boundary changes.

We won all three seats in Earlswood & Whitebushes, where we previously held one. The ward is now represented by Hal Brown, Ruth Ritter and Sue Fenton.

And we won all three seats in Redhill East, where Sue Sinden joins Jonathan Essex and Steve McKenna on the Council.

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Is the local election system fair?

Today the Surrey Mirror is publishing opinions on the voting system. Here’s mine:

Our first-past-the-post electoral system still favours the main parties.

But so many people I talk with on the doorstep say they are fed up with the main parties. They want their voices to be heard at all levels of politics.

Proportional representation – an electoral system where every vote counts – could transform our politics.

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Social care and council tax

This week, the Surrey Mirror asked for opinions on the question: ‘A percentage of the council tax increase has been ear-marked for Social Care, is it enough?’ This is my response.

It’s not enough and it’s the wrong approach.

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Introducing our candidates in the local election

On 2 May, the whole of Reigate & Banstead Council is up for re-election following some changes to ward boundaries. You will have the chance to vote for three councillors to represent you – Please vote for the three Green candidates

Your poll card will tell you which ward you are in and where your polling station is. And you can read about what we’re standing for here.

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Surrey Climate Emergency Motion fails to win support

Surrey County Council has rejected a Climate Emergency motion [1], which would have meant putting plans in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make Surrey carbon neutral by 2030.

Green County Councillor Jonathan Essex, who proposed the motion, said: “It’s very disappointing that Surrey County Council has refused to join Councils around the country who have committed to tackle the climate emergency we face. The Conservative majority in Surrey are congratulating themselves on what’s already been done – but a change of pace is needed. If councils around the world take the position that Surrey councillors have taken today, we have no hope for the future at all. It’s an abdication of responsibility.”

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Crime, planning, parking… lively community meeting in Earlswood

Earlswood gasholder March 2019Surrey Police’s Sergeant Ross Spanton joined Hal Brown, Green councillor for Earlswood & Whitebushes, and Jonathan Essex, Green Surrey County councillor, at a packed community meeting on Monday 11 March.

Around 50 residents attended the meeting at Earlswood Baptist Church, with local crime the focus of the discussion.

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Consultation on parking restrictions

Surrey County Council proposes to introduce some new parking restrictions in our area, to make the roads safer for everyone and improve access for emergency vehicles, refuse vehicles, buses and service vehicles.

The following are where new restrictions are proposed in the Redhill East county division, which includes North Earlswood (this is the area represented by Green County Councillor Jonathan Essex).

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Comment on Surrey earthquakes: reopen the inquiry into links with oil industry

Early this morning, people across a wide area of Surrey and Sussex were woken by a bang and felt buildings shake and furniture rattle as yet another earthquake was recorded in Newdigate.

This was the 21st earthquake in the ‘swarm’ that started last spring and, at 3.1 magnitude, the largest so far.

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Reigate and Banstead Council agrees Climate Change Motion

At the full Council meeting on 7 February 2019, Reigate & Banstead Council adopted a Climate Change motion tabled by the Green Councillors.

The Climate Change Motion commits the Council to greater and more urgent action on climate change, in light of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018, which stated that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Motion on climate change at tonight’s Council meeting

At the Reigate & Banstead Council meeting tonight, the Green Councillors are tabling a Motion on Climate Change – and asking questions on the future of children’s services in the Borough with proposed closure of all our Children’s Centres; the future of Earlswood Common when Reigate Golf Club closes; Green Belt protection and provision of affordable housing.

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