NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE GREEN PARTY IN THE LONDON BOROUGH OF BRENT

7 Jun 2024

Green Party offer real hope and change for the NHS

The Green Party launched their policy on the NHS yesterday, an issue important to hundreds of people in Brent faced with problems with getting GP appointments, long hospital waiting lists and finding an NHS dentist willing to take on them and their children.

 
To offer Real Hope and Real Change for the NHS, Greens would:

Invest £50 billion per year by 2030 into health and social care - more than any other
major party - and would use the money to:


o Dramatically reduce waiting lists;
o Offer everyone access to an NHS dentist;
o Guarantee urgent access to a GP and same day access for those in urgent need;
o Invest £5bn per year to boost NHS salaries and keep our wonderful nurses and
doctors in the UK;
o Invest £20 billion per year into adult social care to ensure dignity for those in
need of care and take pressure off the NHS;
o Restore public health budgets with a £1.5bn uplift in spending
 

 Invest £20bn in a capital investment to bring our crumbling hospitals and old equipment
up to standard.


We estimate that to meet these commitments, the NHS in England would require an additional
annual expenditure of £30bn a year by 2030 while adult social would require an additional £20
billion per year.


How will we fund this? By Taxing Wealth Fairly


 Our wealth tax will tax the wealth of individual taxpayers with assets above £10 million
at 1% and assets above £1bn at 2% annually.
 Our reform Capital Gains Tax will align the rates paid by taxpayers on income and
taxable gains. This would affect less than 2% of all income-tax payers.
 Align tax rates on investment income with the tax and NIC rates on employment
income.
 Remove the NI Upper Earnings Limit that restricts the amount of National Insurance
paid by high earners. Tax rates should not fall as income increases.
 Equate the rate of pension tax relief with the basic rate of income tax to help fund the
social care that will allow elderly and disabled people on low incomes to live in dignity.


We estimate that by the end of the next parliament these tax changes could add raise between
£50 and £70bn pounds per year in 2024 prices.


A Green Plan to reduce hospital waiting lists and restore pay


The long-term under funding of the NHS has left nearly 8 million of us on hospital waiting lists.
Greens would bring down hospital waiting lists by giving Hospital Trusts clear, long-term,
funding commitments, so that they can better plan to deliver better care for us all.


NHS staff have taken unprecedented strike action to raise the alarm about the crisis in our
health service. We will prioritise supporting NHS workers, including by providing an immediate
one-off budget increase to cover fair wage settlements. This will address staff shortages and
encourage our valuable health workers to stick with the NHS.


We will tackle the crisis in staff retention through pushing for an immediate and additional
increase to the budgets for NHS staff costs, to ensure salaries are fair and reflect the essential
skills and dedication of the NHS workforce. The Green Party will act quickly to tackle the crisis
in staff retention through an immediate and additional pay rise to that offered in 2023, closer to
the rate of inflation. We will meet the junior doctor’s call for pay restoration to reflect the need to
keep them within the NHS.


Elected Greens will support the junior doctors’ call for pay restoration. It’s foolish and
irresponsible to continue to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in training and then pay
them so poorly. It cost taxpayers around £200,000 to put a doctor through medical school.
When these talented and highly trained people graduate, we are not going to keep hold of them
if we pay them £16 an hour.


We also need to improve the quality of hospital buildings and equipment. We would make a £20
bn capital investment over the life of Parliament for hospital and primary care buildings and
facilities.


Protect our NHS from Privatisation – keep our NHS public


Green MPs will support legislation to abolish wasteful competition within the NHS, re-establish
public bodies and public accountability, and restrict the role of commercial companies.
This blueprint is designed to reverse the damage caused by previous governments that have
pursued an agenda that the market could make the NHS better. By contrast, Greens will always
stand against the marketisation and privatisation of our precious health service and will choose
instead to protect our NHS and keep it in public hands.


We Own It claim that Private healthcare providers are making £1 billion from current NHS
outsourcing contracts.New research shows 94% of health service contracts are set to expire by
July 2029. There is no reason why the services provided under these outsourced contracts
cannot be brought back in house.


Social Care


There is a crisis in social care, with over 400,000 people awaiting care, reviews, payments or
assessments. There are 150,000 staff vacancies in the care sector. In England there are
estimated to be 4.7 million unpaid carers. Greens believe that health and care services go hand
in hand. We would choose to invest in both, as part of our commitment to a country where
everybody can look forward to compassion and dignity at any stage in their lives when they
need extra support.


To address the social care crisis elected Greens will push for


 Free personal care to ensure dignity for all those who need care
 Increased pay rates and a career structure for carers to rebuild the care workforce
 Investment of £20 billion per year in adult social care and an additional £3 for children
social care.
 

The Green Party believes free social care is fundamental to a functioning welfare state. Elected
Greens will push for the introduction in England and Wales of free personal care along the lines
successfully brought in by the Scottish Government. For those still living at home, access to free
personal care will enable earlier intervention and access to help to maintain independence and
wellbeing. For those living in residential settings, the personal care elements will be fully funded,
alongside a tapered approach to other costs based on the level of their income. For those
struggling to afford the accommodation element of residential care local authorities need to be
properly funded to provide the right level of financial support.


NHS Dentistry


The crisis in our dental service means that people are pulling out their own teeth while even
children can’t get access to and NHS dentists. Tooth decay remains top reason for child hospital
admissions.


To end the scandal of dental treatment deserts, Elected Greens will push for:


 An additional investment in NHS dentistry, reaching £3bn a year by 2030
 A new contract for NHS dentists that ensures everybody who needs an NHS dentist has
access to one.


Green Plan for increased investment in primary care and public health

 

We think it’s vital to invest in primary care: General Practitioners (GPs) are key to both
prevention and early diagnosis. Choosing to invest in primary care and public health will
improve everyone’s quality of life, while also reducing the demand on the rest of the NHS.
Greens will push for:


 Increasing the allocation of funding to primary medical care, with additional annual
spending reaching £1.5bn by 2030, targeted at areas of greatest need.
 Reducing administrative burden on GPs, giving them more time face to face with
patients. Steps could include allowing hospital doctors to make onward referrals without
needing to go back to a patient’s GP.
 A £2 billion capital investment in primary care over the next five years.
Mental health


Elected Greens will ensure that the rights of those struggling with their mental health are
respected and that a legal framework supports all people to live fulfilling lives. This will include
ensuring that everyone who needs it can access evidence-based mental health therapies within
28 days.


We will ensure that tailored and specific provision is readily available for the particular needs of
communities of colour, children and adolescents, older people and Lesbian, Gay Bisexual,
Trans, Intersex, Queer and Asexual (LGBTIQA+) communities.


Putting this investment into perspective


Under our plans, spending on the NHS would increase by 1% of GDP by 2030.
Day-to-day spending on the English NHS is currently around £180bn per year, which is about
6.5% of UK GDP. If the budgets for the devolved administrations are included, this rises to 8%
of GDP.


By 2029/30 we expect day-to-day spending on the NHS across the UK to rise to 8.9% of GDP
(from 8.0%) under current government plans, our costings add £30 bn to English HNS budget in 2029/30. This would increase the revenue budget for that year by about 12%. Including the devolved administrations, our plans would increase revenue spending on health in 2029/30 to 9.9%, an increase of 1 percentage point.


Note: On devolved nations, the headline figures here are for England and our costed manifesto
will include funding to cover the parallel increases in spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland.

5 Jun 2024

Introducing Ricardo Davies, your Green Party candidate for Queen's Park

 

Ricardo Davies

Last night Ricardo Davies was elected the Green Party candidate for Queen's Park ward. A by-election was caused by the resignation of former Brent Cabinet member Cllr Ellie Southwood.

Ricardo  works for the Brent Centre for Young People, a local charity providing much needed free psychodynamic talking therapy to 14-21 year olds living in Brent. He works daily with professionals and young people who are affected by the impact of the socio-economic issues in Brent.

Ricardo said:

Queen's Park is our target council ward, I understand how impactful and important it will be to have a Green councillor in Brent. I’m a northerner who first moved to London in 2019, first visiting the area and later in 2020 moving to Queens Park. The ward is representative of some of the best aspects of London, we have a diverse community, great local independent business and some of the best green spaces in the city. Whilst there are great things about the ward and the wider borough, there are issues such as deprivation and inequality.

 

As a young renter I have been massively affected by poor quality housing and the wider ongoing housing crisis. This motivated me to be proactive and making change in the community, and I’m an active member of the Brent London renter’s union organising committee. My involvement in the union has brought me all around the borough and allowed me to engage with the wide and wonderful communities we have in the borough.

 

I want to be the candidate that represents the best of our borough, and want to show what the Green Party can do for Brent. Queens Park and Brent deserve a councillor who wants to deliver for the people. We need a councillor who will hold the complacent Labour majority to account.

 

Voting will be on July 4th alongside General Election polling.

If you would like to help with the campaign write to contact@brent.greenparty.org.uk

Get the Green Party on the ballot for Brent East and Brent West. Support our crowdfunder

 

Brent is virtually a one party state, and the Labour candidates for the new parliamentary seats of Brent East and Brent West go into the general election on 4 July with huge notional majorities.  We have already seen at the national level the arrogant behaviour of the two big parties when they feel unchallenged.  

Now we need to fundraise £1,000 by Monday 9 June to fund the deposits to get our Green Party candidates Nida al-Fulaij and Baston De’Medici Jaguar on the ballot paper in Brent East and Brent West respectively.  

Help us make sure that the conceit of the two big parties can be challenged by the ordinary citizen and voter at General Election 2024.  

The Green Party has a very positive policy platform of Real Hope and Real Change for a fairer, greener country: fairer, greener homes, schools, childcare, transport and water.  We take the climate emergency seriously and will defend nature and wildlife.  Unlike Labour, we are committed to reforming the voting system to deliver proportional representation.  And, unlike Labour, we will defend our NHS, supporting staff and investing in facilities. 

Every vote cast for the Green party counts towards the "Short money" provided to support parties, so that every vote cast for the Greens in Brent will help to support what we hope will be a new group of Green MPs in the House of Commons in July 2024.  

But Brent voters will not be able to help new Green MPs in this way, if the Green Party is not on the ballot paper on 4 July.  Brent Green Party has no big corporate or oligarch donors, and we depend entirely on people like you. 

P.S. Because we're a political party 

We're required to run electoral register checks from people making donations above £500, and if you donate over £1,500 during a year, we are required to let the Electoral Commission know, who will make this available on their website. All donations go to general Green Party funds. 

Promoted by Martin Francis and Sebastien Marchadour on behalf of Baston de'Medici Jaguar and Nida al-Fulaij, Brent Green Party, 23 Saltcroft Close, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 9JJ. 

Donate here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/get-the-green-party-on-the-ballot-paper-in-brent

5 May 2024

We are pleased with the GLA results but need more local people to join the Green Party as we prepare for the General Election. You can make a difference with the Greens!

Nida Al-Fulaij, Green Party Candidate for the Brent and Harrow GLA Constituency said last night:

It's clear that the Green Party had become a serious contender, taking more votes than the Lib Dems. We're delighted to see voters confidence in us. These results bode well for us in the General Election.

Martin Francis. the Green Party Agent for the constituency, said:

We are pleased with the result but could have done even better with more actvists on the ground. This is a good time for people who are dissatisfied with the three main parties and largely agree with Green Party policies to join us and help create the change that we so badly need.





Source: London Elects


1 May 2024

Use all 3 votes to Vote Green tomorrow

 


Don't let other parties scare you into voting for them - Vote Green in all three ballots tomorrow

 

18 Apr 2024

Green Mayor candidate Zoe Garbett on how she would change London if elected

 Zoe Garbett, Green Party London Mayor candidiate, was asked by BBC London how she would change London if elected

 

17 Apr 2024

Brent Green Party backs Save Byron Court Campaign

 

Martin Francis spoke briefly at Monday's demonstration outside Byron Court Primary School to back the campaign to save the school from  being forced to become an academy.

Government policy is that all schools should eventually become party of a MAT (Multi-Academy Trust) and are assisted in this policy by a law requiring forced academisation of local authority schools if they are judged Inadequate by Ofsted.

This is what has happened to Byron Court but campaigners argue that there were particular circumstances that led to the Inadequate judgement that are now being addressed by a Rapid Improvment Group (RIG) that involves the Brent School Improvement Team. They want the school to be given a chance to make the necessary changes and improvements and then be reinspected to demonstrate that progress has been made.

Parents are very clear that they want to remain a community school and not part of the Harris Federation of schools founded by a carpet boss with a CEO on half a million pounds a year. In a Federation local democratic oversight would be lost.

Martin told campaigners that the Green Party had long opposed academies as representing a democratic deficit and a form of privatisation. Greens also want to abolish Ofsted which has become an instrument of government policy and with its summary one word judgements and stressful inspection regime that contributes to destabilisation of schools. Exams of different types now dominate primary schools making pupils some of the most examined in the world - early years asseement, phonic tests, multiplcation tests and SATs at aged 7 and 11. The tests are 'high stakes' because they determine much of curriculum time and narrow the curriculum in many schools pushing out more creative subjecrs such as drama and music.

Green Party policy would abolish SAT tests entirely and establish an Entitlement Curriculum so that all pupils would have a broad and creative curriculm - education for life, not test scores. 

SAT scores are used by Ofsted, even before they visit the school, to establish an initial view of the school and so play a part in the inspection process, leading to schools feeling they have no choice but to concentrate on teaching for the tests, often against their professional judgement of what pupils really need. Behind this is the fear of 'failing' an Ofsted inspection leading to an Inadequate rating and forced academisation. 

So bringing all schools back under local authority oversight, abolition and replacement of Ofsted by a more collegiate system, abolition of SATs to allow for the creative curriculum that children will thrive on are all part of a distinctive new policy for education.  Schools will establish their own assessment systems aimed at improving individual pupils' learning rather than providing a data set.


15 Apr 2024

Green Party expresses 'deep concern' at increased UK involvement as potential Middle East war looms

Statement from the Green Party of England and Wales

Following news of the Iranian attack on Israel and the involvement of UK aircraft in Israel’s defence, Green Party co-leader, Carla Denyer, has urged the UK not to be dragged into a Middle East war. She said: 

The Green Party condemns Iran’s attacks against Israel, which were targeted on civilian as well as military targets.  This represents a concerning escalation of the current conflict in the Middle East. We call on all parties now to find ways to de-escalate this conflict, which risks spreading across the region. 

We are concerned by the use of British aircraft in the night’s events.  We question why Britain should be involved in this confrontation, where there is a risk that we could become embroiled in a regional war.  The record of Afghanistan and Iraq suggests that involvement in such conflict brings great risks, especially when the military and strategic objectives are unclear.

Denyer also questioned at what level the decision to engage UK defence forces was made: 

I am deeply concerned about how this decision to deepen our involvement was made and in what further action the government proposes to involve UK armed forces. Britain’s military involvement must be scrutinised and debated by parliament. We should not allow ourselves to be dragged into a Middle East war. 

Last night's violence demonstrates again that there must be resolution to the interconnected conflicts of the Middle East, including in Gaza where a ceasefire remains urgent. We are at a moment of grave peril and it is incumbent on all countries, including the UK, to find ways to reduce rather than contribute to conflict.


8 Apr 2024

Read the Green Manifesto for London here: A plan for a greener, more affordable London

 

The London Green Party's Manifesto for London was published today. If you like a lot of what it says please vote three times for the Green Party in the GLA Election on May 2nd. Vote for Zoe Garbett for Mayor, Nida Al-Fulaij for Brent and Harrow Constituency and Green Party for the London List.

 

Click bottom right X for full view

 

Six months on Greens call for a full bilateral ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the suspension of arms exports to Israel, and for key players in the Netanyahu government to be held accountable for possible war crimes

 


The Green Party has repeated its call for a full bilateral ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the suspension of arms exports to Israel, and for key players in the Netanyahu government to be held accountable for possible war crimes, six months on from the 7 October attacks by Hamas.  

Co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said:  

This isn’t just a far away conflict that we have nothing to do with. By consistently refusing to call for a ceasefire and continuing to supply arms, the UK Government has been complicit in the deadly assault on Gaza by the Israel Defence Forces.  

Six months on from the horrific Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens, it is clear that the Netanyahu government's response has been totally disproportionate. Over 33,000 innocent Palestinian civilians have now been killed, the majority of them women and children. This is not an act of self defence. As the UN’s Human Rights Council has resolved, the actions by the Israeli government are possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. Indeed, the UK Government itself has reportedly concluded secretly that Israel is breaking international humanitarian law.  

It is time for our Government to end their complicity and start leading efforts towards peace. They must finally call for a ceasefire, immediately suspend arms exports to Israel and back the UN Human Rights Council’s call for accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.


In the six months since October 7th, the Green Party of England and Wales has called for:  

  • A full bilateral ceasefire  
  • The release of all hostages  
  • A suspension of all arms export licences to Israel until the violence stops 
  • The cessation of all military collaboration with Israel, including use of British bases by Israeli forces, and intelligence sharing 
  • Targeted Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against individuals and institutions supporting or facilitating Israel’s occupation of Palestine 
  • An investigation by the Metropolitan Police and Director of Public Prosecutions of war crimes committed against UK citizens, or where UK citizens are potential perpetrators 
  • The UK government to use its position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to vote for, rather than abstain on, ceasefire votes 
  • Targeted sanctions against key individuals in the Israeli leadership, including travel bans and asset freezes on Israel’s government ministers 
  • An end to occupation of the Palestinian territories 
  • The UK government to return to international law being the benchmark for UK policy, and repair the UK’s international reputation as a defender of the international rules-based order. 


The Green Party has never had any truck with the profit motive in health care


 

Responding to comments by the Shadow Heath Secretary saying that under a Labour government investment in the NHS would be dependent on reform and that there would be an increased role for the private sector [1], co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said: 

Wes Streeting says that if the NHS doesn’t change, it will die. But it is inadequate funding that has left our NHS in a poor state of health, not lack of reform.  

Between 2010 and 2019 the UK had a lower level of capital investment in health care and 18% lower average health spending than 14 EU countries [2]. 

So to say that the public is paying a heavy price for failure is an insult to hard-working NHS staff, who are doing their level best despite being overworked and underpaid. It is the failure to invest adequately and pay staff properly that is at the root of dissatisfaction with the NHS. 

The public agrees. They don’t want endless reforms; neither do they share the Conservative or Labour appetite for creeping privatisation. They want the current model to work and to see the NHS available to everyone free of charge and primarily funded through taxes [3]. A tax on the super-rich billionaires and multi-millionaires can provide the funds needed to fix our cherished NHS.    

The Green Party has never had any truck with the profit motive in health care and will continue to push for a fully publicly funded NHS.

Notes 

[1] Wes Streeting warns NHS that there'll be no additional funding without 'major surgery' under Labour | The Sun 

[2] How does UK health spending compare across Europe over the past decade? - The Health Foundation  

[3] Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2023 | Nuffield Trust 

4 Apr 2024

Green Party repeats call for UK Government to cancel all arms export licences to Israel


In the wake of the attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy, which killed seven aid workers, the Green Party have repeated their call for the UK government to cancel all arms export licences to Israel.  

The Party’s Global Solidarity spokesperson and former Middle East diplomat, Carne Ross, said: 

The death of compassionate humanitarian volunteers was an outrageous and avoidable tragedy. The cynical attempts by the Netanyahu government to portray the attack on World Central Kitchen (WCK) as an accident have been dismissed by those agencies trying to feed the starving in Gaza. Under international humanitarian law, this humanitarian aid is the responsibility of the Israeli government, yet they are keeping routes closed and not ensuring that those emergency routes operated by aid agencies are safe.  

It is clear that the Israeli government is violating the terms of the licences under which arms are exported and is failing to abide by basic international humanitarian law. It is a national shame that we are arming the Israel defence forces who are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians. It appears that the deadly Israeli strike on the aid workers used a drone produced in the UK. This only strengthens the case for an immediate arms embargo.

It is hugely disappointing, but sadly predictable, to hear calls to end arms exports coming only after Western lives have been lost. It comes too late for the thousands of Palestinian children slaughtered by western supplied bombs and bullets.  

Foreign Secretary Cameron can show global leadership during his talks with NATO leaders today by first ending UK arms sales and then persuading other NATO countries to follow suit. We cannot allow the humanitarian calamity in Gaza to continue a day longer.

29 Mar 2024

Introducing Nida Al-Fulaij the Green Party candidate for Brent and Harrow GLA constituency

 

Nida Al-Fulaij, the Green Party candidate for the Brent and Harrow GLA constituency, works for a trust that aims to protect endangered species in the UK and globally. Her role involves addressing the biodiversity crisis and associated issues of climate change, food security, land use and access to healthy water.

 

Her experience as a local council candidate enabled her to speak to local people about the issues than concerned them and meet like-minded green voters. In her job Nida works with other NGOs to submit responses to government proposals and works with different communities that, whilst having different outlooks, can work for common goals. These are skills that she will bring to the GLA if elected.

 

Nida has given numerous media interviews including for BBC local radio, Sky News, Countryfile and BBC London News.

 

Nida is a passionate believer in human rights and has joined in recent demonstrations in support of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

 

Alongside other Green candidates Nida is standing for:

 

·      Cheaper rents

·      Warmer homes

·      Accountable policing

·      Climate action

·      Properly funded youth services

·      Affordable fares

·      Increase the real Living Wage for London

·      Respecting diversity so all communities thrive