Natalie Bennett visits Barnsley

On Friday 11th March, we were pleased to welcome Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett to Barnsley. She visited local projects such as the Barnsley Churches Drop-in Centre, Springvale Community Gardens in Penistone and the YMCA, before speaking at The Core.

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Barnsley Churches Drop-in Centre

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Springvale Community Gardens

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With gardeners at Springvale Community Gardens

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Being interviewed by Penistone FM

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Barnsley YMCA

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Speaking at The Core

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Natalie Bennett to visit Barnsley!

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Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party
Friday 11 March, 6.30pm
The Core, Country Way, Barnsley S70 2JW

Barnsley Green Party are proud to present and evening with Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, at the Core in Barnsley.

Natalie has been the elected leader of the Green Party since September 2012. She was previously the Co-ordinator of Camden Greens and founding chair of the Green Party Women’s Group. In the 2015 General Election, she stood in Holborn and St Pancras, winning 13% of the vote.

Within the party she’s been an active worker on policy, on issues ranging from the abolition of the Corporation of the City of London to abortion rights, proportional liability on the roads to job-share MPs and a 40% quota for women on major company boards, the treatment of women offenders and the rights of asylum-seekers and sex workers.

Natalie served as the internal communications coordinator for the party from September 2007-2010 and was the founding chair of Green Party Women.

Natalie will be visiting local projects during the day then is speaking from 6.30pm. It’s “pay what you can afford” event with a suggested donation of £2/£3. It would be great to see as many people as possible there. We’re also planning to hold a raffle; if you are able to donate a prize let us know.

Appeal for local groups to meet with Green Party leader

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Do you have a local group worth shouting about? Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party is visiting Barnsley on Friday 11 March and would like to meet with some of our community groups.

“Natalie’s visit could really help to raise the profile of the fantastic work that many of our local groups carry out in the community,” explained Barnsley Green Party’s Dale Turner.

“We would like to hear from any local groups around Barnsley centre that are open on a Friday afternoon and would like to meet with Natalie.”

Any interested groups should contact Barnsley Green Party on 07769 688170 or email info@barnsley.greenparty.org.uk.

Natalie Bennett to visit Barnsley

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Exciting news! Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party has agreed to visit us in Barnsley on Friday 11 March 2016.

We are currently finalising the details of a venue for Natalie to deliver a speech to a public meeting and hope that as many Barnsley Green Party members as possible will attend.

More details soon.

Only the Greens will tackle Britain’s housing crisis

Whether its healthcare, education or housing, the establishment parties remain silent on the real reason for the crisis: neoliberalism.

This article by Natalie Bennett originally appeared in the New Statesman.

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On Monday, the Conservatives’ ‘big doorstep offer’ for the general election was revealed: a promise to give 2.5 million housing association tenants the Right to Buy their homes.

Since 1980, more than 1.5 million council houses have been sold off at discounted rates in what is already the largest asset sell-off in British history.

This latest plan would take us deeper into a long-standing economic project that has been the hallmark of each Government since Thatcher: privatisation.

The rate at which the current government has pursued this project is impressive. In the past five years, stakes in the likes of Manchester Airports Group, Royal Mail and, most recently, Eurostar have been sold off to private companies, pension funds and foreign governments. British Rail went years ago, as did coal, steel, electricity and the other ‘commanding heights’ of the economy. Britons now have less of a collective stake in the national economy than most of our continental neighbours, and less than at any time since the birth of our modern welfare state.

While high profile privatisations like those of Royal Mail and East Coast have attracted petitions and protest, the biggest of all has been done by successive Labour and Tory governments on the sly. Over the past 25 years our council housing stock, once owned and managed by local authorities, has been slowly but surely sold. So far, homes worth £45 billion have been sold at a discount. As a result, the proportion of people living in council houses dropped from 31% in 1981 to just 18% in 2011. At the same time the number of people renting from private landlords went up by a third to 18%.

Many of the people who bought their council houses later sold them on to private landlords, who rented them to people on housing benefit who couldn’t get a council house – thus putting evermore taxpayers’ money into the pockets of buy-to-let landlords.

Right to Buy, framed so well as a liberation for individual householders, has decimated this country’s social housing stock and left a generation of people without the prospect of buying a home or renting one from their local council. By extending the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, the Conservatives would further undermine the principal of social housing and the finances of providers who allocate housing according to need, not income.

The privatisation of this country’s council housing is at the very heart of the neoliberal project that has taken hold of the British economy for the best part of the last 40 years. A consensus has formed that says we gain as individuals when we lose what we collectively own. This mantra, which has faced little opposition from the establishment parties, is now beginning to unwind.

In London, where the housing crisis has reached boiling point, the fight-back has already begun. Whether it’s the E15 mums fighting for the right to a home, or the two and a half thousand people who rallied for housing last week – the seeds of change have now been sown.

The time for half measures is over. We need to build houses – hundreds of thousands of them – and keep them in public hands. We need to end the biggest privatisation in British history, and we need rent controls pegged to an affordable level.

Rather than selling our social housing, the Green Party would build 500,000 council homes in the next parliament. Solving this country’s housing crisis will bring us face to face with the free market ideologues who have held power in this country for a generation. But let’s not be daunted. The prize of decent, affordable homes is worth fighting for.