Elections can seem like foregone conclusions can’t they?
Epping Forest’s MP seems to have an unassailable majority and 37 of our 53 District Council seats are held by Conservatives. Every Waltham Abbey Town Councillor is a Conservative. The strongest challenge to the Conservatives locally is UKIP.
Under these circumstances you could ask whether there’s any point in voting Green.
Reasons for you to vote Green on Thursday
Although the Conservatives are very strong in Waltham Abbey there are still good reasons for voting Green.
- Green councillors are largely independent. Anybody who’s attended a few District Council meetings is likely to have seen councillors from other parties ignore their electorate’s wishes and vote in favour of a party line. The Green Party doesn’t have a whip system so our councillors, so long as they adhere to Green Party principles, can vote on behalf of their towns.
- Although our current District Councillors do have our town’s best interests at heart they are part of a local political tradition which doesn’t embrace progressive change. That’s fine – a lot of Waltham Abbey’s residents feel the same way. However, a lot of us don’t. If we want better support for our small businesses, communities and our environment we need councillors who will make and support imaginative, effective proposals.
- Greens locally have already demonstrated our commitment to our town, from campaigning to protect the Royal Gunpowder Mills and the 505 bus service to less obvious things, such as raising issues with our Town and District councils and attending their meetings as observers. We’ve also campaigned to protect the Green Belt from developments which the Conservatives have approved.
- Across England Green Party councillors get results. Greens have been instrumental in getting councils to set up their own energy companies and council-owned letting agencies, were behind the London Living Wage being adopted by City Hall, secured investment for local food production, helped stopped the spread of Tesco Expresses and the like into small towns and have been behind a raft of safer streets, public transport and environmental successes.
- Local elections traditionally have low turnouts, meaning that every vote is important. In 2012 Waltham Abbey South West’s turnout was just 19% – the difference between 1st and 2nd place was a mere 213 votes. With an electorate of over 3,000 people that’s a very small margin.
- In Waltham Abbey South West there are only three candidates standing this year – Conservative, UKIP and Green. As there are no Labour or Liberal Democrat candidates standing any non-right wing votes will come to the Greens by default. Although this means a lot of people potentially voting for a second choice party it does mean that we’ve got our best ever chance of a progressive gain for Waltham Abbey.
- Whether we win or not every vote for the Greens helps us with our campaigning to make Waltham Abbey greener, cleaner and more prosperous.
There’s not much District Councillors can do about austerity, the EU, welfare and other national policy but they can work hard for their communities.
A vote for the Greens in Waltham Abbey will be a vote for hard working councillors who represent their community ahead of their party.
Please vote Green on Thursday.