30 April 2017
With the new £1.3bn city Deal now signed, it is of paramount importance that the project embraces the Wales Green Party ideals of social justice and sustainability, both environmentally and economically. To ensure this Wales Green Party proposes the following:-
We look forward to the day when the Westminster Government gives the go-ahead for TLSB to construct the long-awaited tidal lagoon – the first of its kind in the world, with Swansea showing the way. All new building in the City and County should be to Passivhaus standards, and all energy users in the city will be encouraged to use renewable energy. Where possible this energy would be generated locally via community owned schemes which provide high quality local jobs and also mean energy profits remain in, and benefit the local community.
The city's transport system needs to be revolutionised. We need more local train stations (e.g. at Cockett, Waunarlwydd, and Landore), more cycle paths (separate from footpaths) and further development of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The air pollution caused by traffic idling in traffic jams has to be reduced to improve the health of us all. Air pollution is now one of the biggest killers in the UK and we have to tackle it as part of the city's regeneration. In this connection we encourage the further development of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
We need to develop more green spaces in and around the city. We need fewer concreted areas and more community gardens and allotments. We need to see an end to the Council's spraying of herbicides and pesticides (particularly those containing glyphosate) around the city. A recent court decision in California accepted the evidence that glyphosate has been linked to certain cancers, and the substance is banned in a number of countries; the Green Party finds it deplorable that the Council still spray it at all, let alone in areas where our children walk and play"
We need dramatic change in how we deal with waste. We currently recycle only 60% of waste, leaving a whopping 40% to go to landfill.
We need to pressure manufacturers and retailers to only use packaging which can be recycled. We also propose free access for local traders and home-owners with vans or trailers to use Council waste facilities without the need for a permit. The Council's kafka-esque rules in this area have led to a massive increase in fly-tipping, an issue which can be easily resolved by letting people drop off their waste where it can be dealt with professionally.
The Green Party also supports the provision of Council Services based on need. The Council is currently letting down many of the most vulnerable people in our city by focussing on economics first. When providing a service to the vulnerable the first question should always be “What does this person need?” rather than “How much is this going to cost?” Pensioners, the differently abled, and those with developmental disorders are being made to fight tooth and nail for services that they have a right to receive. This leads to many without professional or family support to simply give up and miss out on services which would allow them a measure of dignity or the ability to reach their full potential. Fairness is worth fighting for, and the Green Party will fight to ensure that nobody is left behind by the new City Deal as we all move forward together as a city.