Yorkshire has the chance to send a green message at the general election - Carla Denyer

Across Yorkshire at the coming General Election people will have the opportunity to vote Green and in doing so send the clearest possible message to whoever forms the next government that they want to see a fairer, greener country.

Whether you’re concerned about private water companies like Yorkshire Water and others pumping sewage into our rivers and onto our coasts, or you can’t find a bus to get to work, or worry about the cost of heating a poorly insulated home, Green candidates are offering practical solutions.

Our rivers and coastlines have faced years of neglect from the water companies and a government that has refused to act.

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Now the public is being told it has to pay higher bills for improvements while the companies enjoy soaring profits even after £57bn has been paid out to shareholders over the last 30 years. Only the Greens have the courage to challenge this failed experiment with privatisation and to say that a service as vital as water and sewage needs to be run by the public and for the public good.

Carla Denyer is the co-leader of the Green Party. PIC: Jordan Pettitt/PA WireCarla Denyer is the co-leader of the Green Party. PIC: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire
Carla Denyer is the co-leader of the Green Party. PIC: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

Rail and bus options in towns and the countryside are ever more expensive yet increasingly unreliable. That means people find it hard to get work, meet friends, socialise and come together as communities. Green candidates are making the case for better connectivity East to West, a tram network across West Yorkshire and fares that are affordable.

Making public transport more reliable and affordable makes it easier to leave the car at home, reduces congestion on our roads and allows everyone the chance to breathe cleaner air. We have a housing crisis in Yorkshire, with many people priced out of renting or buying a place they can call home. Our Right Homes, Right Place, Right Place charter is designed to make a difference.

We won’t do that by allowing developers to build more big estates of ‘executive homes’ with no access to schools, dentists or GP surgeries or by concreting over the countryside. Instead, we need to work with local communities.

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We want to see a growth in homes that are affordable to rent or buy and that are well insulated to keep down the costs of heating.

We would give councils the power to bring in rent controls where the private rental market is overheated and roll out street by street home improvement programmes. And we want to see local authorities building council homes again, because they know what is needed in their areas.

The cost-of-living crisis has been hitting people hard. Too many communities are being left behind and forgotten by a so-called levelling up strategy that has actually seen government investment in transport flow South rather than to the North.

We believe that if you want a fairer future, we have to invest in people and places. That means creating the new green sustainable jobs of the future in renewable energy like solar and wind farms, as well as better insulating people’s homes. And supporting workers with the training to access those jobs.

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Of course, we live in troubling times, with an increased feeling of insecurity around the world. Greens are the party of peace and of international cooperation. That is why, since October, we have been calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel, and political talks about a shared future for all the people of Palestine and Israel.

Carla Denyer is the co-leader of the Green Party.

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