July 11th The Cut Halesworth
We began with a question: ‘Why did I join the Green Party?’ which expanded to ‘Why did I get involved?’ In other words, why were we here at the Cut in mid July on a hot summers evening, gathered for the Green Party Waveney and Suffolk Coastal Launch. The launch was for the campaign for the District Council Elections in May 2023.
More than 50 activists from across East Suffolk, gave their reasons. They ranged from the political for example Climate, Social Justice, a World without Borders, to the personal. Many of us had felt inspired by individuals, particularly the campaigner Graham Elliot, who founded Waveney Green Party 20 years ago .For a long time he was the lone Green voice in a sea of blue in Waveney, in the way that Caroline Lucas is still the only Green MP despite the huge and rising number of Green supporters across the country. It is a tribute to the work Graham did that Adrian Ramsay co-leader of the national Party, is now active in our region in his bid to become another Member of Parliament. Some of us were inspired by local acts which showed care for our community, like campaigning to clean the waters of the Waveney. There were definite moments which shifted us, like the Liverpool conference and even this evening. As one person said ‘This could be your time!’ We couldn’t agree more.
We all agreed things had to change. The trajectory of the local Green Parties with their increased membership, support and councillors, showed there was change, that there was increasing diversity in local government, to challenge the blue. We are after all part of the official opposition in Suffolk County Council. But there is so much more to do.
Sadie Lofthouse inspired us with her talk about how Adnams Brewery had begun nearly 20 years ago to reduce their environmental impact, and acknowledge climate change – well ahead of their time, like Graham Elliott and the Green party in general. Adnams reduced energy and water consumption by bold leadership and investing in a sustainable and energy efficient building. This involved a lot of capital and shareholders who were willing to take risks, sharing the vision. Their investment paid dividends as Adnams utility costs are so much lower. Sadi described her job at Adnams Brewery as looking after ‘People and Planet’, which naturally sits well with the agenda of the Green Party. Green policies are pro-business, which is essential to build a fairer and sustainable world.
Rachel Smith-Lyte (East Suffolk District Councillor for Melton ward) and Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw (East Suffolk District Councillor for Beccles, Worlingham, Barnby and North Cove)
talked about how and why they became councillors, and the hard work it involved but also the sense of empowerment; of being able to make difference. These things are cumulative. Above all, they both agreed, it is a team effort. Both a team to get someone elected and a team to support them.
Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw impressed us with an image showing the number of wards where we came a strong second in previous elections EXAMPLE and where we should be able to win if we can all work hard towards it.
The way to win is by targeting these key areas, where we know there is already a lot of support, building on it and demonstrating to the voters that Green councillors work hard for their communities and we are the only viable alternative to the sitting candidate (usually here a Conservative).
Toby rounded the evening off for us with an account of Bungay’s recent campaign to remove Poo from the River Waveney. It was inspiring to get the children involved in designing wonderfully innovative and punning posters and placards.
Outside we had some sign up boards, which has built our base and made our team much stronger. Thank you all who came and all who signed up to help us – it’s not too late if you would still like to be involved.
– Leafleting – we know this works, our regular newsletters to local towns and outlaying villages. Many hands make this light work
– door knocking
– Fund raising – can you organise an event to raise funds for us?
– become a candidate!
Thank you Andrew for being the MC for the evening, Elfrede for inspiring us to do this launch, Alex for working with us and supporting and promoting this event. Oh and doing a spot of Halesworth leafleting.
Outside in the Foyer, was a timeline history of the Green Party in the Waveney and Suffolk Coastal areas.
Who knew that back in 2000 Suffolk Coastal and South Norfolk were the active green parties in the area? A fundraiser garden party in Aldeburgh effectively funded Graham Elliot to stand for the first time as Candidate for Member of Parliament in 2001. A full photo description of the time line is HERE
Photos of GreenViews and moments in our 22 year history