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PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND GOVERNMENT

Background and Principles
AD100 The basis for a decentralised society must be laid out in a written constitution; but in the years before the adoption of such a constitution there is much work to be done in dismantling one of the most hierarchised and centralised states in the world. While this can only succeed with the active participation of communities and local councils, and while various international bodies and institutions will heavily influence the process, the key to a smooth transition will lie in the way in which Parliament surrenders its tradition of national sovereignty.

Policies

Constitutional

AD200 A Constitutional Commission will be required to draft a written constitution, oversee and arbitrate the process of decentralisation, and take over the functions of the Boundary Commission. This body must be accountable, representative, diverse, aware of practical requirements and grassroots concerns, and independent of Westminster. Therefore it will be formed at the earliest opportunity of elected Councillors representing all levels of Government in all parts of the U.K. countries involved.

AD201 The Green Party will recommend to the Constitutional Commission that the structures laid out here for a gradual but complete decentralisation are written into the Constitution; that the Constitution is based on Green principles (see PG ); and that it fully guarantees political rights as well as wider human rights (see HR ).

AD202 In order for councils to be sufficiently legitimate and trustworthy to take on increased responsibility, large scale electoral reform will be required, and immediate legislation for citizen's rights. (see AD 600-612, PG310-318, HR301).

AD203 Parliament's role in the first five years of a green government will be, firstly, to devolve functions to more local bodies; secondly, to lift its hold over councils and enable them to realise their potential; and thirdly, to work with the Constitutional Commission to meet demands from local local local government to take on responsibility for resources and functions which are currently dealt with at too high a level by central government and the private sector. (see PG100)

AD204 There remain many functions that are most appropriately carried out at the national level or higher. These include setting minimum environmental standards (see EU300, NR400), peace and security (see PD500), human rights, civil liberties and regulating transnational corporations. (see EC980, FP500)

Local Government Structure

(see also GC)

AD300 Our preference will be to abolish the County Councils after the transfer of their present functions to District Councils and to confederations of Districts. However, the option of retaining a County Council will be open to the electorate through referenda. Where there is public dissatisfaction with boundaries, consultation and (where necessary) referenda will establish the most popular arrangement. This process will be overseen by the Constitutional Commission.

AD301 All Councils will be asked to complete a review of the pattern of Parish councils in their area within two years; and the legislation on Parishes will be extended to cover all parts of Britain. Every effort should be made to ensure that the boundaries of Parishes reflect local peoples' wishes; the Constitutional Commission will arbitrate in disputes. AD302 Adjoining districts may confederate to any level for the joint exercise of specific functions, provided such confederations remain fully accountable. The Green Party will favour the formation of Regional Confederal Assemblies throughout England to allow all parts of the United Kingdom to function in a future European Community of the regions and to allow rapid devolution. Similarly, parishes may confederate to act on common concerns not applicable to the whole district. We support co-operation across national borders , where necessary or appropriate.

AD303 Any confederation may, following a referendum of all its inhabitants, opt to become a directly elected body. So, any Regional confederation may become an autonomous Regional council; any confederation of parishes may opt to become a district; and any neighbourhood within a parish may choose to constitute itself as a new parish. Such a move may require a transitional period , and may create political and technical problems: the Constitutional Commission will arbitrate, though while it may specify a timescale and mechanism it may not prevent the transition.

AD304 Provision will be made for the swiftest possible establishment of Scottish and Welsh assemblies in accordance with the wishes of these people. Scotland and Wales will enjoy the degree of autonomy, perhaps involving full self-government, which the citizens of each, expressing their views through referenda, wish them to have. Citizens of new regions in England will have a similar right. References above and below to regions will apply to Scotland and Wales so long as they choose to remain in the

United Kingdom.

Finance

AD400 In order to facilitate decentralisation of functions, the collection of taxes will be devolved soon after democratic reforms have taken effect. This will ensure that councils can more easily take over the raising of revenue as they take over its spending. (see EC550)

AD401 Discussion will be held with other countries within the European community to encourage concurrent devolution of those functions and powers over finance, more appropriately held at the regional level. (see EU227, 228)

AD402 Within a list agreed by the Constitutional commission, councils will have discretion over which (if any) revenue raising powers they wish to use (see EC550). Levels of taxation will thus be set by the persons answerable to the electorate from whom such funding is to be raised, and for whom such services are to be provided. There will be no limits set on the revenue a council can raise to carry out its mandate. AD403 A redistribution of wealth between areas may continue to be necessary; the formula on which this will be done will be established and revised by local authorities themselves through the Constitutional commission. There should be no economic incentive for a wealthy area within a district or region to opt out. (see EC551)

AD404 To facilitate accountability, and to ensure the gradual reduction in the scale of central spending, the Constitutional commission should negotiate a rational allocation of taxation between different levels of government.

Direct Democracy and Local Citizens' Rights

AD500 The powers of the Ombudsperson and the Commission for Local Administration will be strengthened as follows: i) The Ombudsperson will be given power to investigate complaints which affect all or most of the citizens of a local government area, and ii) The Commission will be given power in appropriate cases to fund, or underwrite the costs of, legal test cases involving matters of importance concerning the actions of local government.

AD501 The circumstances in which access to council meetings and documents and files may be withheld from the public shall be clearly defined. In particular the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 will be tightened up in a number of ways, for example: i) the creation by local authorities of 'working parties', 'panels' or other such bodies, which are not covered by the Act, will be ended. All such bodies will be defined as committees or sub-committees, to ensure that the Act applies to them; ii) the use of valid exemptions to public access to documents pursuant to the 1985 Act, to restrict public access to matters not intended to be covered by those exemptions, will be ended: for instance the practice of excluding the public from decisions about grants given to organisations - as distinct from individuals where genuine personal privacy may apply; iii) steps will be taken to curtail decision making in secret party group meetings as this practice makes the subsequent meetings of the council or its committees or sub-committees meaningless as the decisions ostensibly taken in public will in practice have been made beforehand. Measures we would wish to prevent include: council officers advising only one party's group meetings; all members of a party being required to follow a whip imposed in secret, on pain of punishment if they fail to do so.

AD502 Where elected, therefore, Green Councillors will try to persuade their local authorities to write such provisions into their own standing orders, particularly as regards AD501(i) and (ii) above, thus committing the local authority to implement them immediately.

AD503 Legislation will be introduced to require a register of councillors' pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests to be kept and available for public inspection.

AD504 Legislation will be introduced to provide for local referenda to be held on any decision of a local authority at the instance of a prescribed percentage of a council's electorate.

AD505 Legislative steps will be taken for 'Citizen Initiative' whereby a prescribed percentage of the electors of any council area can themselves place a proposition on a ballot paper for popular vote. Should the proposition succeed the result will, subject to the law, be binding on a council.

AD506 Councils should be accountable to electors between elections and accordingly necessary legislative steps will be taken to provide for a prescribed percentage of any councillor's electors to be able to petition for the recall of any elected person, and rules will be made for the conduct of such recall petitions.

AD507 It is accepted that such recall provisions as described in AD506 above may cause some difficulties under a proportional representation method of electing councillors and accordingly the Green Party will look further at this matter. Until, however, proportional representation exists the Green Party will campaign for recall provisions under the current electoral system.

AD508 The Green Party will demonstrate its commitment to citizen power in the following ways: i) Where elected, Green councillors will urge their local authorities to themselves, in advance of any changes in the law, set up the machinery for citizen referenda and citizen initiative as described in AD504 and AD505 above; to publicise this, to implement this and, subject to the existing law, to accept the results of such referenda and initiatives as binding. In such cases the prescribed number of signatures required on a citizen petition for either a referendum or an initiative shall be 20% of the electorate. ii) by recommending that all of its prospective councillors at future elections will voluntarily subject themselves to recall. Where the prescribed percentage of 40% of any councillor's electors petition for recall the party will (a) either organise a recall ballot of all the councillors' electors, (which will be supervised by independent persons of known integrity), and then encourage the councillors to comply with the result of any such ballot, or (b) urge its councillors to resign and fight a by-election.

Electoral Reform

AD600 Districts will be independently represented in the provincial or national, and central councils. Elections for all levels of local government should be by proportional representation, so that the political aspirations and views of each area are represented.

AD601 Elected representatives must be accountable to their electors and provision must be made for the representatives under certain extreme circumstances to be recalled and submitted to re-election.

AD602 Councillors must be closely associated with the district which they serve.

AD503 Councillors will be paid a salary and expenses and additional allowances will be made during a councillor's term in a middle tier or central government.

AD604 The Green Party would reduce the voting age for all elections to 16 years.

AD605 The lower age limit for elected representatives at any level of government would be the voting age.

AD606

a) The Green Party believes that elections to the Westminster Parliament should be by a system of proportional representation, and that the best and most appropriate system for this purpose is the additional member system. b) Electors would vote on two ballots: one for their constituency MP, and the other for the Party of their choice. MPs would be elected from constituencies as at present, but each party's representation would be topped up on a regional basis by additional members to bring its number of seats up to its proportion of votes polled, provided that proportion was above a minimum qualifying level. c) Additional members would be selected by a mechanism which gave electors the opportunity to exercise a choice between the different party list candidates.

AD607 The Green Party supports Electoral Reform in all levels of government. This should be carried out as part of a complete constitutional reform , and should involve a high level of public participation (for instance through a multi-option referendum). Of the various electoral systems available, we would consider the STV and Additional Member Systems to be entirely acceptable; we would prefer the Additional Member System for elections to the national parliament. Different systems may be appropriate for different levels of government. We consider any First-past-the-post or Supplementary Vote Systems to be wholly unacceptable, and oppose them.

AD608 The House of Lords, as presently constituted, would be abolished and replaced by a second chamber directly elected by proportional representation and open to all citizens of the

United Kingdom.

AD609 Each Parliament at Westminster should normally be for a fixed term of four years, but if the Government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons before the end of the fixed term then an earlier General election should be held.

AD610 There should be an upper limit to the national spending of political parties as well as individual candidates during the period of a Parliamentary election.

AD611 Such a limit should be related to the number of candidates fielded by a party.

AD612 a) initially such a limit should be no more than ú1,000 per candidate. b) The total spending of all political parties on publicity and advertising nationally within the two months prior to the annual May local elections shall be divided between the candidates of that party and added to the election expenses of those candidates. c) No party political broadcasts shall take place during the two months preceding the May local elections. d) Our preferred option for elections to local government is by Single Transferable Vote (STV) in multi-member wards.

AD613 Political parties will be publicly funded. A party will receive an annual payment from the district, in respect of local elections, and the national exchequer in respect of parliamentary elections. These payments will be of an agreed sum for each vote cast for that party in the previous relevant elections.

The Civil Service

AD700 The functions of a ministry will be to act as the organ of the minister in their capacity as a coordinator of the national affairs which fall within the scope of his ministry. Policies will be formulated by the District Councils, departments of which will hold the greater financial control.

AD701 There will be no distinction between civil servants and local authority administrators.

AD702 The departments of district councils should be reflected at provincial and central levels by departments holding the same title having a coordinating function.

Provision of Watch-dog Facilities

AD800 The function of the Ombudsman will be elevated and enlarged so that it will comprise a major part of governmental practice. This will be done by the appointment of commissions. There will be two parts to each commission: an inspectorate and a research and advisory division.

AD801 The field of a commission will cover either the whole of one, or parts or the whole of, several government departments.

AD802 The inspectorate will be partly staffed by permanent employees of the commission and partly by co-opted citizens. The co-opted citizens will form juries which will examine in detail and in co-operation with the permanent employees of the commission any activity of government, a commission, industry or commerce. The jury will exist only for the length of time of the specific enquiry or series of enquiries after which it will be disbanded. The jury can recommend prosecution. Its findings, which must be made public immediately the enquiry is completed, can be used as evidence.

AD803 The research and advisory division will consist of permanent employees who will carry out primary research in all fields and examine inter-relationships between the activities of several different government departments.

AD804 The Commission will receive, via the inspectorate, complaints from the public and will act upon them.

MISCELLANEOUS MOTIONS

RS148 CITIZEN'S CHARTER. The Green Party fully endorses the principle of making public servants and bodies more accountable to the people they serve. However, it believes that the proposals in the citizen's charter not only fall far short of achieving this but are likely to be detrimental to local government. The reduction of service provision to mathematical formulae cannot truly reflect the quality or appropriateness of the services under scrutiny. The Green Party is opposed to the present proposals for the following reasons: 1) interpretation - statistics can be misunderstood or misused. 2) Local priorities - the performance indicators cannot reflect accurately the different local priorities. 3) Effectiveness - statistics cannot accurately reflect comparative effectiveness. 4) Costs - the costs of collecting and interpreting data will take resources away from more valuable functions of local government unless problems are resolved. Further the Green Party condemns the fact that the Citizen's Charter does not make any provision for statutory funding of independent, free local advice facilities, which for many are the only way in which they can enact their rights under the charter. The Green Party calls upon the UK government to instruct the Audit Commission to halt the present timetable for implementation until the problems are resolved.

Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997

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AGRICULTURE

Introduction

AG100 The GP's aim is to create an ecologically sustainable and fair society. Our agriculture policy seeks to pursue this aim with respect to the production of food and other agriculturally derived products. In stating this policy we acknowledge that the soil is the basis of wealth upon which all land-based life depends and that "sustainable" must be understood in a holistic, earth-wide context. We recognise the fundamental importance of those who work on the land.

AG101 The Agriculture policy cannot be taken in isolation from other policies; in particular it relates very closely to the forestry, food, land and countryside sections and also the sections on animal rights, economy, energy, the marine environment and others. It is related to the population policy in that we need to balance our ways of obtaining resources for living with population and productivity of the land; there must be an optimum population whose needs can be met sustainably from our land resources.

Background

AG102 Current industrialised, intensive farming methods of agriculture are not sustainable in that they:
a) deplete non-renewable resources through intensive use of machinery, encouragement of long haul transportation and the use of non-organic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides etc.
b) pollute the soil, air, surface and ground water and consequently the marine environment through the use of the substances and practices mentioned above
c) destroy soil structure through use of chemicals and heavy machinery and the loss of topsoil
d) destroy rural communities through mechanisation and loss of jobs and have a devastating impact on the farming community
e) cause the depletion of wildlife and loss of biodiversity (poisoned food and water and loss of habitat)
f) cause unacceptable suffering to animals which are intensively reared and transported unnecessarily
g) lead to massive imports of food and other materials which cause suffering in other countries where productive land is used for exports.
h) cause severe deforestation, thus disrupting the carbon cycle and reducing biodiversity.
i) produce unhealthy food due to use of harmful chemicals in production and storage.
j) harm the health of growers who have to apply the chemicals.
k) cause land which could be used as "wilderness" or for food production to be devoted to animal fodder
l) fail to make the best use of our own land for meeting our needs
m) force reliance on a small number and narrow genetic range of food plants, causing loss of essential genetic diversity
n) lead to overproduction of particular crops and food dumping in the majority world

AG201 It has been shown that small, labour intensive farms and small scale growing in allotments and gardens produce far more per unit area than large, capital intensive farms. More benign methods of growing are just as productive as conventional methods.

AG202 There is an ever growing demand for organic food, held back only by the artificially high extra cost of organic produce (and the artificially low costs of inputs to chemical based agriculture)

AG203 Many "alternative" crops for textiles, fuels, paper and other industrial uses are being trialled.

AG204 Various methods of growing more sustainably and organically are being pioneered; in particular permaculture, agroforestry, forest gardening and perennial crops.

AG205 Much land which is currently unproductive could be used for small scale production, especially in gardens, schools, parks and derelict urban areas.

AG206 Massive reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are needed to stem climate change. Current agricultural practice makes a big contribution to emissions through food miles and the burning of fossil fuels in the manufacture and transport of agrochemicals. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas and agricultural activities, including ruminant emissions and rotting vegetation, are significant sources. Industrially produced nitrogenous fertilisers are believed to be the main source of nitrous oxide, another important greenhouse gas. Conversely, reafforested land acts as a carbon dioxide sink.

AG207 Small scale growing and mixed farming would give more flexibility and resilience as climate changes.

AG208 Genetic engineering will not solve the problems created by industrial agriculture, it can only add to them. Genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) will give large profits to a few multinational corporations, as opposed to making farming easier or more efficient. GMO crops will crossbreed with wild varieties and species and may transfer genes for herbicide and pesticide resistance and antibiotic resistance. This will affect wildlife areas, diversity of crops will be reduced and GMO crops will be vulnerable to pests and diseases.
GMO crops which are designed to produce bio-pesticide toxins are likely to create insect resistance in the target species thus creating the need for more chemical and biotechnological pesticides. The GMO plants may be toxic to the natural predators of the target organisms, to non target organisms and to beneficial insects. Use of GMO crops to produce toxins will undermine organic agricultural techniques which rely on the use of related but naturally produced toxins. Potentially GMO crops could cause irreversible damage to the ecology of this planet and damage the health of the people on it; we must apply the precautionary principle.

AG209 Animal based food production systems are much less efficient at providing food energy and protein than plant based methods.

Principles

AG300
a. Production for human need should be consistent with the need to protect and restore biological diversity
b. Agricultural systems, appropriate to local climate and soils, should be ecologically designed to ensure that they are locally self-reliant; food , materials and goods should be produced as near to the consumer as possible
c. Agricultural systems should produce the absolute minimum of unwanted outputs which become pollutants; they should be cyclical systems in which outputs are turned into new inputs
d. Agricultural practices must maintain or improve soil fertility and water resources and quality
e. Treatment of animals must be consistent with GP policy on animal rights.
f. All people must have access to an adequate, wholesome diet of fresh food, as a basic human right
g. Agricultural policy should be determined locally but within a Europe wide framework of environmental standards.
h. Land ownership should not include the right to abuse the land or to deprive other citizens of access to land.

Short term policy aims.

(Targets and timetables will be set to cover one parliamentary term.)
AG400 To increase substantially the proportion of land designated organic.

AG401 To minimise the use of harmful non-organic substances in the treatment of soil, crops and animals by farmers and growers.

AG402 To encourage benign methods of pest and disease control

AG403 To encourage non commercial food production and the use of land not normally employed for productive growing, including urban areas (see LD204)

AG404 To minimise transportation of food and other agricultural products, especially live animals.

AG405 To increase substantially the amount of woodland and wilderness cover in Britain; to restore hedgerows, ponds and other habitats.

AG406 To reduce the size of farms and encourage mixed rotational cropping and more labour intensive methods in all localities

AG407 To encourage producers to use their own local or traditional seed varieties.

AG408 To encourage diversification to crops other than food and fodder.

AG409 To reduce the amount of livestock kept on land which could be used for other food crops or afforestation .

AG410 To define and promote a sustainable, healthy diet as a basis for deciding what food crops to encourage.

Long term policy aims

AG500 To be able to fulfill all our basic food needs locally.

AG501 To grow as many other products as we can to meet our basic needs (e.g. for textiles, fuel, paper) on a local or regional basis

AG502 To enable all communities to have access to land which can be used for growing for basic needs. (see LD200-LD206)

AG503 To ensure that all growing systems use only natural, renewable inputs and that all organic waste outputs are able to be recycled back into the soil or water system.

AG504 To maximise our woodland/forest cover to help maintain carbon dioxide at an acceptable level. (see F300 and following)

AG505 To protect habitats so that biodiversity is maintained

AG506 To prevent monopolies and other concentrations of power in agriculture

AG507 To decrease our dependence on animal products and ensure that all domesticated animals are kept in humane conditions.

AG508 To ensure that our use of the land and demand for food and goods is not detrimental to people or biodiversity in other parts of the planet

Policy actions

Economic Measures

AG600 Give financial help and advice to farmers making the transition to organic and biodynamic growing, mixed rotational cropping, small scale growing, permaculture ventures, agroforestry and ventures which will restore or create diverse habitats. Phase out all subsidies which contribute to environmentally harmful agricultural practices

AG601 Facilitate farm box schemes and direct links between growers and local consumers including local green markets. Provide pump priming funding to set up locally owned and controlled "Organic and free range marketing co-operatives". Set up a non profit making organic produce marketing board.

AG602 End set-aside. Encourage instead the planting of productive woodland, non food crops and plant based waste treatment systems. Design these to enhance the protection and creation of wildlife habitats. (see CY500 and following)

AG603 Introduce environmental taxes which reflect the true cost of harmful inputs, transportation, packaging and waste.

AG604 Introduce a Land Value Tax. LVT, by eliminating speculation in land and stabilising prices, will encourage local people, particularly the young to remain in agriculture. Together with the Green Party's policy of enhanced land use planning, LVT will encourage more small, labour intensive productive ventures such as permaculture as well as co-operative ownership patterns. (see Land section and also CY530)

AG605 Introduce measures such as a citizens income scheme, protection for part time workers and shorter working hours which will free people to devote time to growing their own food (see EC750-53)

AG606 Support local free nurseries for plants which are productive and beneficial to the environment.

Planning

AG607 Introduce planning guidelines which will encourage the setting up of non commercial and small scale low impact growing enterprises and their associated dwellings.

AG608 Encourage the setting up of small scale rural enterprises related to woodland, energy, textile crops and plant-based industrial products. (see LD206)

AG609 Introduce community land access schemes.

Research and Development

AG610
a. Transfer research funding to organic growing, permaculture, agroforestry, other sustainable methods of growing and to crops which can act as substitutes for the use of non-renewable resources (e.g. hemp). Phase out research into non-sustainable methods.
b. Fund research into holistic, sustainable designs for living so that balances can be found between the various aspects of growing for human needs and maintaining the planet.
c. Develop small scale, appropriate farm technology and machinery which will not damage the soil
d. Re-instate funding for the Soil Survey and link into the survey of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. Provide funding for seed banks/libraries and the conservation of seed varieties.
e. Research and develop ways of returning all biodegradable human and animal waste to the soil to act as nutrients and soil improvers.
f. Set up small scale research and demonstration centres and implement the recommendations of research.

Education

AG611
a. Include benign methods of cultivation, practical experience of growing and healthy sustainable nutrition as curriculum options in all general educational establishments.
b. In agricultural education and advice establishments give immediate priority to sustainable production methods.
c. Give support and advice to those currently employed in intensive agriculture so that they can learn appropriate new skills.

Regulation

AG612 Remove EU regulations controlling permissible seed varieties and the right to patent animal or plant material.

AG613 Introduce regulations to discourage the feeding of grain to livestock. Ban live animal export immediately and phase out unnecessary animal transportation within the UK. (see AR406).

AG614 Ban substances which represent the greatest threat to the environment because of their toxicity, persistence and capacity for bio-accumulation. Phase out the use of synthetic chemicals which do not meet organic standards set by the Soil Association. In the longer term, ban the use of environmentally and socially harmful methods of growing and treating food and other agricultural products (see also AG603).

AG615 Introduce a food security clause at the World Trade Organisation to allow countries to protect their domestic agriculture from foreign imports up to the point of self sufficiency.

AG616 Safeguard organic food growing standards and ensure that agricultural products are labelled to show any non-organic treatments (see FD205-212)

AG617 Apply the precautionary principle to the regulation of genetic research and its application to safeguard against irreversible damage to the ecology of this planet (see AG208). Ban the introduction of genetically modified organisms and their products in all agricultural systems of production including human and animal feed. Ban the transgenic manipulation of animals for any agricultural purpose. Safeguard against any genetic modification which is made in the pursuit of profits, rather than the interests of people, animals and biodiversity.

AG618 Maintain systems for the independent monitoring of water quality and the application of standards.

Allotments

AG619 The Green Party recognises the vital role that allotments have to play, particularly in maximising the potential for urban food growing. Allotments need to be recognised for their environmental, health and social benefits. These include: the provision of fresh affordable food, a reduction in “food miles”, the provision of open space and wildlife habitats, the reduction of waste through composting and the absence of food packaging, physical exercise, educational opportunities, and a contribution to community life. The Green Party will introduce the following policies:

a) Local authorities to provide more proactive support for allotments and to work to cut waiting lists where demand for allotment plots is high.
b) New allotment sites to be created on brownfield land. Where housing estates are being redeveloped or newly built, allotment site provision should also be made with them.
c) More public information on the availability of allotments and improved public education on the benefits of allotments
d) Improved access and better facilities for disabled/[1] people, such as raised beds.
e) Allotments to be given much greater protection through the planning system.
f) The removal of restrictions on the selling and bartering of allotment produce, as long as it conforms to food safety standards”
g) Allotment provision must be tailored to the needs of those who wish to take them up. This should include creating different sized plots to suit differing needs, and ensuring provision of sites is as close as practicable to all who would like them. Opportunities for allotment sharing should also be allowed.

Green Party
(Spring 1998. AG603 and AG604 added Autumn 2000. Allotments section added Spring 2003)

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ANIMAL RIGHTS

Background

AR100 The expansion and development of human society has inevitably affected the lives of many other species. Disruption to their lifestyles has been both accidental and deliberate and has resulted in suffering, death or even extinction. The prevailing assumption that animals can be used for any purpose that benefits humankind is not acceptable in a Green society.

Long Term Aims

AR200 To eliminate the wholesale exploitation of other species, foster/[2] understanding of our inter-relationship in the web of life and protect and promote natural habitat.

Short Term Aims

AR300 To stimulate public awareness of the rights and needs of animals, to pass appropriate legislation to act by both informing the electorate and implementing suitable district policies.

Policies

AR400 As part of the Environment Commission (see PL410), a section will be set up dealing with the welfare of all animals, wild and domesticated, to oversee their treatment and make appropriate recommendations.

AR401 Local Authorities to provide a local Animal Rights Officer with adequate staff to oversee animal warden schemes, etc., and to liaise with the Animal Welfare Department of the Environment Commission.

AR402 To take pressure off wild animals by voluntarily limiting our population, by actively discouraging and penalising pollution and by preserving and restoring stable habitats. (see PL)

AR403 The expanding livestock industry contributes to animal suffering and destruction and pollution of the environment. It is also energy intensive rather than labour intensive, and contributes to world starvation. We would therefore encourage a reduction in consumption of animal produce and promote the development and use of foods which are more healthy and humane. (see FD)

AR404 People in educational establishments should have the choice of both eating and, in the case of Catering and Home Economics courses, preparing vegetarian and vegan foods. We will therefore:

a)instruct the Department of Education and Science to make provision for vegetarian and vegan meals to be a compulsory part of the syllabus for all catering certificates, and,

b)produce comprehensive information on vegetarian/vegan diets for distribution to all Local Authorities together with instructions that a vegetarian/vegan choice of meal be made available at all education establishments within the Authorities' remit.

AR405 To prohibit the import, export and sale of all fur, whether wild caught or factory farmed, and to ensure a ban on fur farming in the UK stays in place. The import of other animal products such as ivory, reptile skins and whale oil, will be prohibited.

AR406 To encourage ecological farming in small free-range units, prohibit live export and minimise the internal live transport of farm animals, abolish the piece rate system in abattoirs, and otherwise improve market and slaughter-house conditions, and phase out all forms of intensive farming, including fish farms. We will also prohibit the import of any animal commodities not produced by methods acceptable to UK standards. (see AG)

AR407 In view of the fact that animal experiments are: a) inherently cruel, and b) misleading and inimical to good science, it is the intention of this Party to phase out all animal experiments within five years of taking office. An immediate prohibition will apply to all cosmetic, household, weapons, xenotransplantation, genetic manipulation and behavioural experiments with animals, all animal-based pharmaceutical experiments for the development of me-too drugs, together with the LD50 [Lethal Dose], Draize and all other animal-based toxicity tests. An immediate prohibition will apply to all experiments on cats, dogs and primates. In addition, government research funds will be transferred from animal tests to alternative research, including epidemiology, in order to shift the emphasis from curative to preventative medicine. (see H)

AR408 The Green Party is opposed to the dissection of any animal or any part of any animal in any experiment in all educational establishments whether as a demonstration by a teacher, or as part of an examination syllabus. The Green Party supports the use of models, diagrams, computer simulation and any other form of non-animal alternative and will ensure their full implementation and a total prohibition on dissection within three years of taking office. (see H307)

AR409 The Party is opposed to the wholesale breeding, manipulation and destruction of those animals who are chosen as companions to the human race/[3]. We will introduce measures to regulate the care and conditions for such animals including a two-tier system of dog-licensing [breeding and non-breeding], licensing of all animal breeders and dog owners, subsidised spaying and neutering, the implementation of good animal warden schemes and a prohibition on the import of exotic animals for the pet trade.

AR410 Patents will not be granted on any animal and strict controls will be introduced to prevent genetic manipulation for profit or curiosity. (see RS129 (S&T))

AR411 To extend the 1911 Protection of Animals Act to protect both captive and non-captive animals from unnecessary suffering. This will be used to prohibit hunting with hounds, shooting, snaring, coursing and various other abuses of our animal population. The Green Party is fundamentally opposed to all bloodsports. We oppose the killing of, or infliction of pain or suffering upon, animals in the name of sport or leisure, and will work to end all such practices.

AR412 To amend the Firearms Act to prohibit the use and private ownership of firearms and lethal weapons, such as air rifles, crossbows, etc., except on registered premises.

AR413 In view of the fact that animal acts in circuses are cruel and degrading to performer and observer alike, we will immediately prohibit the import of, and sale from other sources of, all animals to circuses. We will immediately prohibit the use of animals in circuses and will encourage the re-homing of all existing circus animals to sanctuaries or other suitable establishments with relocation to the wild wherever possible.

AR414 To abolish zoos and private collections of animals except where they are for the benefit of the animal concerned. Licences will only be granted to establishments involved in either captive breeding of endangered species for eventual return to the wild or else those offering genuine sanctuary to animals unable, through injury and other cause, to be returned to the wild and where their living conditions are as close as possible to the animal's natural habitat.

AR415 To control and monitor all racing/[4] involving animals. In particular, all racing/[5] animals exported will be subject to a substantial tariff in order to prevent abuse of retired/unsuitable animals. Horse racing/[6]/Point to Point: whips will not be allowed, tougher penalties will be applied for drug offences and minimum age/maximum jump heights and course lengths will be introduced in line with RSPCA recommendations. All pigeon racers/[7] will register with their local Animal Rights Officer to ensure welfare standards; race/[8] lengths will be restricted. Greyhound racing/[9]: adequate arrangements will be made for the re- homing of retired dogs.

AR416 The Green Party will endeavour internationally to initiate and develop an Animal Rights Division within the United Nations Organisation.

AR417 The Green Party opposes all lethal or harmful uses and treatment of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). In particular, whaling is a premeditated, deliberate and unnecessary cause of animal suffering. It is not justified even if supposedly undertaken as 'scientific research' or 'subsistence hunting' rather than for commercial profit. It endangers the survival of various cetacean species. The Green Party condemns those governments who seek, through the International Whaling Commission and otherwise, to continue whaling. We call on all governments to outlaw whaling. The Green Party is fundamentally opposed to all lethal and harmful commercial utilisation of cetaceans. This includes all whaling, so called scientific whaling and any whaling conducted under the cover-all of 'aboriginal subsistence whaling'. The Green Party opposes any move to end the current moratorium on commercial whaling. We call on all nations to declare the waters under their control havens from whaling, to provide sanctuary throughout those waters for cetaceans, and to co-operate in achieving global sanctuary for cetaceans in the longer term.

AR418 Xenotransplantation: The Green Party would abolish research into, and the practise of xenotransplantation (the transplantation of nonhuman animal organs, genetically engineered or otherwise, into human beings). Treating nonhuman animals as "spare part" factories is both immoral and inhumane, and is therefore completely unacceptable in an ecological society. Xenotransplantation is yet another instance of corporate profit being prioritised over public health and the rights of nonhuman animals. Xenotransplantation carries the grave danger of virus transferral from nonhuman animals to humans, raising the real possibility of the unleashing of an epidemic amongst the human population.

The Green Party would promote more sensible and effective approaches to enhancing health, such as preventative health measures, increasing the pool of human donors, research into artificial organs, and the surgical repair of damaged organs.

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ARTS

Values and principles

AT100 We value artistic expression for its honesty, openness, daring, insight, spontaneity, imagination, instinctiveness, integrity, independence and importance in education. We do not value artistic expression primarily for its role in the economy, nor primarily for its contribution to fantasies of national grandeur.

AT101 We respect individual and group creativity in all its diversity and value freedom of expression. A list of examples of the type of activity to which this statement relates would include painting, sculpture, drama, music, dance, photography, film, writing, crafts and design, and other types of creative activity not specifically mentioned here.

AT102 We value participation as well as excellence in the arts: we do not value hierarchy.

AT103 Artistic expression permeates all human activity and can be thought of holistically as part of, not separate from, peopleÕs lives.

AT104 Decisions about the arts should be made at the most local level.

AT105 Financial support does not entail a right to intervene in other peopleÕs self-expression. Arts policy-making, where it is needed, should be organisational in nature and empowering in character.

Objectives

AT200 To enable people to participate by extending opportunities to enjoy the arts.

AT201 To develop more relevant structures of support for the arts

Short term policies

AT300 To review existing government legislation as it affects the arts and create where necessary specific, more appropriate and less burdensome legislation.

AT301 To shift responsibility for arts funding, where appropriate, from national to regional levels.

AT302 To encourage the growth of local arts associations made up of  practising artists.

AT303 To require the representation of local arts associations, where they exist, rather than local government, on regional arts boards.

AT304 To bring the level of per capita funding for other regions up to that currently received by London.

AT305 To ensure levels of financial support for buildings housing cultural collections are such as to render admission charges unnecessary.

AT306 To zero-rate live performance for VAT purposes.

Long term policies

AT400 To shift responsibility for arts funding, where appropriate, from regional to local levels.

AT401 To develop more autonomous and less dependent forms of financial support for the arts.

AT402 To reduce to a minimum the need for bureaucratic intervention in the arts.

Back to Index

Green Party

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CLIMATE CHANGE

Background (revised mid-2004)

CC001 Climate Change is one of the worst environmental hazards facing human society and the rest of the biosphere. The detrimental effects of human-induced global warming so far on human societies and ecosystems are already severe. Future effects over the next few decades will be far worse.

CC002 As climate change is a global issue it is a clear example of the need for global environmental cooperation. This is indeed happening, if far too slowly. The 'Earth Summit' in Rio in 1992 led to the establishment of the UNFCCC (The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change); which is both a good overview statement of the issues and an international organisation to address them. Separately, the UN established the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to organise work into the details of the science, impacts, and possibilities for remedial and adaptational action.

CC003 The IPCC has issued three major 'Assessment Reports' since it was formed, the latest in early 2001. The first of these included the oft-quoted assertion that stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere requires an immediate 60% reduction, at least, in emissions, and this remains broadly their view.

CC004 However IPCC conclusions tend to be conservative, because they have to be approved by consensus between governments. So common prudence, backed up by considerable evidence, suggests regarding them as being at the optimistic end of a range of plausible futures. It is clear that in any case no level of net CO2 emissions is sustainable in the long term, as the sinks (mainly forests and the sea) that are absorbing about half at the moment will inevitably reduce, due to the acidification and warming of seawater, and increased respiration in soil.

CC005 The UNFCCC has organised annual "Conferences of the Parties" (COPs) since 1995. At COP3 in Kyoto in 1997 the major polluting countries agreed a plan (the Kyoto Protocol or KP) including definite commitments to reduce emissions. By COP7 in November 2001 most of the details of the KP were finalised and by 2004 it had been ratified by all the major industrialised countries except the USA, Russia and Australia. It commits them to reductions averaging 5% from a 1990 base by 2010. However it is extremely complex, and has many serious flaws. Its major technical problems are the "Clean Development Mechanism", the "Joint Implementation" proposals, allowances for countries for absorption by existing as well as new forests and the large 'hot air' allowances granted to Russia and Ukraine. These aspects all open big loopholes for profitable cheating. Also, the non-involvement of the USA is a major setback, emissions from civil aviation are not counted, and the proposed compliance mechanism is toothless.

A.1 Causes

CC010 The principal gases causing global warming are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and similar compounds, and nitrous oxide (N2O). Kyoto Protocol controls apply to a basket of the following gases: CO2, (CH4), N2O, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Most CFCs are already controlled by the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances. The most important source activity by far is the burning of fossil fuels. Industrialised countries are responsible as at 2001 for about 60% of the world's ongoing CO2 emissions and historically for about 75% of the total.

CC011 The warming is partially counteracted by cooling caused by dust, both from industry and intermittently from major volcanic eruptions; and from sulphate pollution. Expanding forests also absorb significant amounts of CO2; currently it seems that mature forests are also absorbing CO2, though this effect cannot continue for long. Peat bogs are also a major store of carbon.

CC012 Until 2002 just over half of CO2 emissions were consistently absorbed. In the 1990s there was considerable debate about where the absorbing was happening, as it is much harder to measure than emissions. A scientific agreement was eventually reached that boreal forests, tropical forests and oceans were all absorbing significantly. In 2003 this absorption fraction dramatically decreased from about 55% to about 20%.

It is still, in July 2004, unknown why this is so. Plausible causes include one or more of: very large-scale wildfires, large-scale carbon-dioxide-triggered emissions from peat bogs, and saturation of large parts of the forest sinks.

It is also unknown whether the absorption fraction is likely to revert to its previous figure of about half, restabilise at around 20%, or decline further. modelling suggests that by mid-century it will in any case become negative as most current sinks become net emitters rather than absorbers.

CC013 Emissions by high-flying aircraft cause additional warming effects because of the different nature of the upper atmosphere. These emissions are also not covered by the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC have produced a special report on the subject. GP policy to address this is in TR500 ff.

A.2 Impacts

CC020 The IPCC's Third Assessment Report, published in early 2001, predicts that with business as usual global mean temperature will rise between 1.4ºC and 5.8ºC during the 21st century. Work with more advanced models carried out subsequently by the UK Meteorological Office's Hadley Research Centre suggests that, again with business as usual, rises of up to 8ºC can be expected by 2100.

CC021 The most serious direct effects of climate change are an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, effects of the temperature itself, and rising sea levels. The reinsurance industry has estimated that global damages caused by storms, droughts & floods has roughly doubled each decade since 1950, reaching almost $500 billion in the 90s. Extrapolation of this trend suggests that the annual rate of damages could reach the same magnitude as the annual global GDP by the 2060s.

CC022 Effects on ecosystems, agricultural systems, people and economic systems will be increasingly severe. Many diseases, most notably malaria, are likely to become much more widespread. Rainfall patterns are likely to change drastically, including big seasonal and north/south variations in the UK. Food supplies will become erratic. Low-lying and island states, most notably Bangladesh, will become inundated and lead to at least 10s of millions of eco-refugees.

CC023 Furthermore abrupt changes in climate are quite likely -- they show up frequently in the paleological record. Possibilities forecast by different groups of scientists include the shutting down of the Gulf Stream, a complete dieback of the Amazon rainforest, and a rapid increase of perhaps 5ºC due to methane emissions from warming continental shelves. Such jumps are potentially much more damaging to ecosystems and to human societies than more gradual change. Several other positive feedback mechanisms are known which could trigger rapid change, without being understood well enough to be accurately included in climate models. These include the effects of clouds, the changes in carbon absorption of plants under stressed conditions, and the link with a cooling stratosphere and ongoing stratospheric ozone depletion.

CC024 Some scientists believe that a 'runaway' greenhouse effect is possible, leading to temperature increases of several 10sºC over a timescale of 50-200 years and to large parts or even all of the Earth becoming uninhabitable.

B. Objectives

B.1 Preserving the Climate

CC100 The Green Party's primary objective is the safeguarding of the climate, as far as possible, for future decades and generations; or as the UNFCCC puts it, "The avoidance of dangerous anthropogenic change to the climate".

B.2 Targets

CC110 The Green Party calls for the establishment of a number of targets for global and national greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and for the establishment of effective enforcement mechanisms.

B.3 International Negotiations

CC120 The Green Party actively endorses the leading role played by the UN and its subsidiary bodies in striving for the necessary international agreement, global monitoring and implementation of the required policies; and will endeavour to support their ongoing activities.

C. Policies

C.1 Targets

CC200 The Green Party calls for the establishment of a number of targets for global and national greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and for the establishment of effective enforcement mechanisms. All targets herein relate to a baseline of emissions in 1990, as in the Kyoto Protocol.

CC201 On average, each person worldwide emitted about 5 tonnes of CO2 in 2000, of which 4 tonnes came from fossil-fuel burning. There were huge international variations, with the Americans averaging 20 tonnes, British 9, Chinese 2.5 and Africans 1 tonne. Simple climate models consistent with IPCC findings suggest that global average emissions need to be reduced by 75-80% by 2050. Following the principle of convergence (see CC244) this requires UK emissions to be cut by 85-90%.

CC202 The UK's commitment under the EU basket agreement reached in conjunction with the Kyoto Protocol is a reduction in the 6-gas basket by 15% by 2008-2012. The Blair government has also committed the UK to a 20% reduction in CO2 by then.

CC203 UK emissions in 2003 were 7.5% below the 1990 baseline. The UK should further reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 2030 to 15% of their 1990 levels. The levels of the targets need to be set at the time of the adoption of this policy to provide a steady progression. Adoption in 2004 means targeting 20% reductions by 2010, 35% by 2015 and 50% by 2020.

CC204 Working towards a stringent target will make the UK well-placed to adapt to the tightening of global emissions limits which are likely to occur over the next few decades.

CC205 We oppose quantifying emissions due to land-use changes (mainly afforestation), as they are almost impossible to measure. In any case, adoption of Green Party forestry policy (see F202) should lead to net CO2 absorption from land-use changes for several decades.

CC206 Parallel targets should in principle be set for emissions of the Kyoto Protocol basket of gases (see CC110), and also for carbon monoxide, NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). CO, NOx and VOCs are not greenhouse gases but react in the atmosphere to create such. However, emissions of some of these substances are very hard to measure accurately, and some will be drastically reduced by Green policies in areas such as agriculture, pollution control - as they are a health hazard, and waste management. (Note that NOx, a mixture of NO and NO2, is quite different from nitrous oxide, N2O).

CC207 Parallel targets should also be set for NOx and water emissions by UK-based aircraft, which are more damaging than ground-based emissions. (see TR501)

C.2 Emissions Reductions in the UK

CC220 A broad set of measures to achieve the targets (see CC110 ff above) are required. Such measures are laid down elsewhere in the MfSS. See in particular:

AG206 (Agriculture)

LP403 (Building Location)

LP501-506 (Conservation in Buildings)

EC785 (UK Taxation). Described in more detail in the policy statement on Carbon Tax.

EC921 (International Economic Management)

EN500-510 (Energy Conservation)

EN800-807 (Renewables)

EU521-2 (Transport within the EU)

F202 (Forestry)

HO501-2 & 605 (House Building Standards)

TR010 (Transport - Aims)

TR040-049 (Renewable Fuels)

TR063-066 (Charges and Taxes)

TR100-102 (School Transport)

TR200 (Public Transport)

TR300 (Personal motorised transport)

TR330 (Freight)

TR430-1 (Shipping)

TR500-3 & 550 (Air Transport).

CC221 Government must also empower and persuade local government, firms and individuals to take their own measures in line with the national targets.

CC222 Government should also institute a national publicity campaign similar to but much stronger than the long-running campaign against smoking.

CC223 We need to move towards a framework where carbon accounting parallels financial accounting. Many firms already produce annual environmental impact reports. This should be made mandatory as the centrepiece of a range of environmental requirements within the framework of the Companies Acts, and should be immediately adopted by all central and local government bodies.

C.3 The Climate Change Levy and the UK's National Emissions Trading Scheme

CC230 The Blair government introduced these two measures in 2001/2 as part of its policy towards addressing climate change.

CC231 The Climate Change Levy poses a 15% tax on industrial energy use. It is made fiscally neutral by a 0.3% reduction in employers' national insurance contributions. Many major industrial groups have negotiated Climate Change Agreements, by which they are exempted from 80% of the tax in return for committing to legally binding targets for energy use reduction, to be checked every two years up to 2010.

CC232 The CCL is too complex. Its main problem is that the reduction targets are allowed to be either reductions in absolute energy use or in emissions, or reductions in energy or carbon intensity. Intensity reduction is unsatisfactory as it permits improvement to be swamped by emissions growth induced by economic growth, and the Green Party would remove that option. There are also many complications to try to focus on carbon emissions rather than energy emissions, such as exemptions for CHP use. Since industrial response to the CCL seems to be more in terms of actually reducing emissions rather than finding other ways round it, overall the Green Party is cautiously in favour of it.

CC233 The Emissions Trading Scheme, which came into force later, is a separate framework, not only for trading, but also for organisations to earn subsidies by committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and then by actually reducing them. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol's CDM and JI, it seems to be designed to avoid loopholes and to ensure that emissions reductions really occur. To that extent, the GP endorses it. However it endorses 'grandfathered' rights to emissions - i.e. those who are emitting now are to be allowed to continue to emit almost as much. This must be phased out over time in a structured way -- see Convergence in CC244, which proposes doing just this internationally.

C.4 International Activity

CC240 The Green Party supports the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol; and will campaign for the non-use of its loopholes wherever possible. A GP Policy statement describes the KP and our views of it in more detail.

CC241 The Kyoto Protocol says nothing about the future beyond 2012. To address that timescale the Green Party advocates the adoption by the UNFCCC of a framework of Contraction and Convergence (C&C) as the key ingredient in the global political solution to the problem of Climate Change mitigation, and urges the UK and other governments use it as the basis for negotiations in the international fora.

CC242 C&C is a scheme to provide for a smooth and equitable transition to a safe level of global CO2 emissions from human activity. It can be adapted either to follow-on from a successful Kyoto Protocol, or can equally be used in case the KP is not brought into force by enough countries ratifying it. C&C is not an alternative to the KP; it is a long-term framework for global cooperation towards a genuine solution; while the KP is a short-term fix that takes only very limited steps forward. A GP policy statement describes C&C in more detail.

CC243 'Contraction', means adopting a scientifically determined safe target concentration level and setting global annual emissions levels which should take the atmosphere to that target. The UNFCCC should agree specific thresholds for unacceptable climate impacts, from which the IPCC should calculate the appropriate concentration level, to be reviewed at 5-yearly intervals.

CC244 'Convergence' means taking the world in an achievable way, both technically and politically, from the present situation to a common level of per-capita emissions in a target year. Under it nations are allocated annual quotas for emissions, which start from current or Kyoto-based levels in year 1 of the agreement and converge to equal per-capita allocations after a negotiated interval, probably of a few decades.

CC245 The C&C package is completed with an emissions-trading mechanism, which should include a percentage cap to limit the proportion of a country's reductions that can be bought rather achieved domestically. Monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are also required and should be set up by the UNFCCC.

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CRIME PREVENTION & JUSTICE

Background

CJ100 The term "crime" covers many different categories and types of acts or omissions. Most crimes cause or threaten harm to individuals, groups, the community, other species or the environment. Crimes are currently defined by legislation which gives the Courts power to impose sanctions on people convicted of committing them.

CJ101 Crime arises from a combination of individual and social factors. The level and types of crime are related to the sort of society we create. Green policies are directed to improving the quality, as opposed to simply the material wealth, of our society, and ensuring a just distribution of that wealth and quality of life.

CJ102 Current approaches to imposing sanctions are a confused amalgam of conflicting principles; deterrence and punishment mixed with compensation and rehabilitation. This confusion undermines the potential for success of the positive aspects of the present system.

Principles

CJ110 Green philosophy promotes social wholeness and health, and works through conciliation rather than conflict (whether of the individual or of the State). In a Green society individuals will have increased sense of security, purpose, fulfilment and confidence, all of which will lead to a reduction in criminal behaviour.

CJ111 Given that crime should be seen as partly caused by social factors, it cannot be adequately addressed solely in terms of criminal justice and policing policy. A Green approach to crime reduction therefore places significant focus on the social causes of crime. As well as social crime prevention, this includes a broader range of social policies which will lessen the social pressures, such as poverty, inequality or addiction to illegal drugs, to commit crime.

CJ112 The lives and liberties of individuals, groups and society as a whole must be protected within a law-based system which strives for justice, including social and economic justice, and fairness. We therefore believe that it is necessary for society to define certain forms of harmful behaviour as crimes, but that the list of crimes should be kept as short as possible.

CJ113 Criminal justice cannot be successfully imposed from above, but needs as far as possible to be a product of a living, democratic community. The basic institutions of Green justice should be community-based and relatively informal in nature. They should provide maximum potential for public participation.

CJ114 The Green approach to dealing with offenders however differs markedly from current practice. We believe retributive sentencing to be ineffective in reducing crime.

CJ115 We will introduce the principle of "restorative justice", which while denouncing the crime, deals constructively with both the victim and the offender. The primary aim will be to restore and, if necessary, improve the position of the victim and the community; the offender will be required to make amends.

CJ116 Restorative justice recognises the need not only to ensure that the amount and nature of reparation be appropriate to the harm suffered, but also that it is within the capacity of the offender to make it. This means that any shortfall will have to be met by the community.

CJ117 The symbolism of the scales of justice would be interpreted in a new way; balancing the harm done to the victim or community not by further harm inflicted on the offender, but by requiring the offender to make reparation.

Objectives

CJ200 To reduce the amount of crime committed by some individuals against others, against the community, against other species or against the environment, with the emphasis on persuading and enabling rather than coercion.

CJ201 To assist the victims of criminal acts as much as possible.

CJ202 To demonstrate clearly and constructively to offenders and other members of the community that criminal acts are unacceptable.

CJ203 To require reparation for crimes committed rather than punishment or retribution.

CJ204 To heal the rifts resulting from crime in such a way as to further social integration and to integrate offenders into the community rather than outlaw them.

CJ205 To intervene as minimally as the seriousness of the offence and the circumstance will allow, in order to achieve the aims of CJ202, CJ203 and CJ204.

CJ206 To ensure that if an offender has to be detained, the purpose of detention is not to punish humiliate or degrade him/her, but to protect society or the offender her/himself, while maintaining his/her dignity and human rights.

Policies

CJ300 A two-fold strategy is required; firstly to reduce crime and, secondly, to respond to it. This will ensure that crime prevention can focus on reducing the social pressures that are or are considered to be conducive to crime, and that restorative justice can function no longer complicated by incompatible considerations of crime prevention or general deterrence.

CJ301 These two functions will become the responsibility of two new ministries;

1)Departments of Crime Prevention: in addition to traditional modes of crime prevention, these departments will also promote social crime prevention.

2)Departments of Justice: in addition to responsibility for the judicial system, sentencing policy and practice, these departments will also sponsor services such as assistance to victims.

CJ302 These departments will function at every level of government, in accordance with Green Party policies on power being exercised at the lowest appropriate level.

Departments of Crime Prevention

CJ310 Prevention of social harms, including crime, is ineffective in our present society, because of a limited vision of what could be achieved by integrated policies designed to build a stable and just society.

CJ311 In addition to what is traditionally thought of as crime prevention (policing, physical security and so on), these departments would undertake:

a)social crime prevention, that is, reducing social pressures that are, or are considered likely to be, conducive to crime;

b)education to promote the development of communication cooperation and problem-solving skills.

CJ312 At each level of Government, these departments will co-ordinate the activities of other Departments concerned with social policies, especially housing, employment, education, recreation, social security, in much the same way as the Department of the Environment is concerned with the effects of other departments on pollution, and the Treasury with their expenditure.

Reducing the Threat of Crime

CJ313 Policy measures to reduce both the real threat and the fear of crime would include:

i)ensuring universal access to high quality youth facilities and open spaces.

ii)improving street lighting and ensuring people-friendly street design.

iii)ensuring prompt repairs of public amenities and spaces.

iv)increasing resources for caretakers, attendants and staff on estates, railway stations, parks and other public areas.

v)tackling drug related crime by pursuing measures outlined in DU410-413.

Police Services

CJ315 The Police service has failed to build meaningful trust with many communities and still does not adequately represent or reflect Britain's diversity, including its ethnic/[10] diversity. The police are only a mechanism to uphold laws which the community in general consider reasonable and fair. Policing must be by the consent of the community. The Green Party therefore supports:

i)Police forces supervised by and accountable to elected local government.

ii)A fully independent police complaints procedure.

iii)Appointment of more community and part-time police.

iv)Recruitment to police forces emphasising selection of candidates with previous experience in other walks of life.

v)An emphasis on crime prevention.

vi)Thorough anti-racism/[11] and equalities training for all staff working in the police and related services, and full implementation of all Lawrence inquiry report recommendations.

vii)Strong, democratic community policing committees in every neighbourhood.

viii)More local police stations.

ix)Greater emphasis on ensuring diversity of social, racial/[12] and cultural backgrounds at all levels of policing.

CJ316 There will be fully independent inquiries into deaths in police custody and the police shooting of civilians.

Departments of Justice

CJ320 The departments of Justice would combine the current functions of the Lord Chancellors Department and the Home Office in relation to the administration of justice. They would be responsible for the judicial system, sentencing policy and practice. They would support and fund victim assistance agencies such as Victim Support Schemes, Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Centres. They would also sponsor and support local alternative dispute resolution initiatives including Mediation Centres.

CJ321 The Department of Justice at the local level of government will organise the setting up of Local Mediation Centres and fund their running. These centres will not only offer mediation between victims and offenders but also mediation between personal or social groups in civil, domestic and neighbourhood disputes.

CJ322 In order to ensure more effective justice and reduced crime, resources will be targeted towards enhancing co-operation between the police, the Prosecution Service, defence services, mediation services and courts and towards providing all parties involved in the justice process with sufficient means to reach fair decisions through transparent due process.

The Justice Process

CJ330 The community's first response to a crime is to offer support and services to victims.

CJ331 All accused who admit the offence or are convicted would immediately be provided with an opportunity to offer reparation to the victim(s). Local victim/offender mediation services could convey such offers to victims, in liaison with victim support, and negotiate between the two parties, offering the chance of a direct meeting - in the immediate future or later on - if the victim would like to have the opportunity.

CJ332 It is important to note that the process of mediation and reparation does not put all the onus on the offender. It is a mutual process: the community has a responsibility to provide adequate and well-staffed support facilities.

CJ333 Where offences have no identifiable victim, or where the victim does not wish to take part, offenders may still be offered mediation, but in this case with victims whose offenders have not been apprehended or with community representatives.

CJ334 Reparation might take various forms directly to the victim, if the latter wanted it, or in service or payment to the community; or it might include taking part in a programme that would encourage the offender to avoid offending again, such as vocational training, counselling, therapy, problem solving and other ways of overcoming disadvantage; or it might be a combination of these different forms of reparation.

CJ335 For less serious crimes which have little effect except on those personally involved, the Prosecution Service (CPS) would use its discretion not to prosecute if adequate compensation had been agreed or to suspend prosecution conditionally on the offenders carrying out agreed reparation.

CJ336 For serious offences where the offender is regarded as a danger to society, or others are affected (for example because they fear they may become the next victims), a personal settlement is not enough. Serious offences require a public denunciation, and these cases would be brought to Court by the prosecution.

CJ337 Where the offender pleaded guilty or was found guilty, the court would

a)review any reparation already made and decide whether more was required in view of the seriousness of the offence;

b)consider any other suitable non-custodial options, e.g. probation or assistance with relocation;

c)subject to the offenders consent, arrange treatment or counselling;

d)if the offenders past behaviour or the offence were so serious as to indicate a grave danger to society, and there was a serious risk of repetition, order restrictions or detention.

CJ338 The Green Party will consider the possibility of supplementing the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme with a publicly funded safety-net compensation scheme in the case of property crimes where the victims cannot afford insurance and are dependent on Basic Income (EC750) or benefits, and where the offender has not the means to make full financial reparation, or where no offender has been convicted.

Sentencing

CJ340 Wholly unacceptable levels of men, women and children are currently imprisoned at great cost to their future rehabilitation, as well as to their families/[13], the taxpayer and society in general. The Green Party is therefore committed to significantly reducing the prison population. To that end, a range of measures will be used, including changes to sentencing policy and practice. Courts will have a duty to reduce use of custodial sentencing in favour of community sentencing. (See also 'Immediate Prison Reforms' section, below.)

CJ341 New principles will be introduced giving Courts the duty to sentence with main objects of firstly, ensuring reparation to the victim or the community and secondly, persuading and enabling the offender to become a law-abiding member of the community.

CJ342 Reparation of whatever nature agreed or ordered would in the first place seek to reflect the actual financial and other losses and the pain, injury and inconvenience suffered by the victim. Then the offender's ability to pay and perform the reparation would also be taken into account.

CJ343 Reparation successfully completed before sentencing by the court in a serious case will be taken into account in determining the sentence. Mediation between victim and offender, however, will be a voluntary process affecting only the victim and offender as individuals.

CJ344 Current non-custodial sentences such as Community Service and Probation would continue to be used, but the use of fines would be replaced by measures which make reparation for the harm/ inconvenience caused. In the short term emphasis would be placed on increasing the reparative element in sentencing and reducing the use of detention.

CJ345 Vulnerable people such as those with mental health problems or learning difficulties will in a Green society, benefit from sufficient community support to reduce the likelihood of their offending. Their greatest needs are not for penal measures but for stable and caring families/[14], decent accommodation and community medical (including psychiatric) provision.

CJ346 Sentencing practice would be constantly monitored to reveal:

a)whether it is being effective in ensuring reparation for the victim;

b)whether offenders are required to make reparation;

c)whether it is delivered in a non-discriminatory way as between different ethnic/[15], gender/[16] and other social groups.

d)the extent to which it contributes to a reduction in crime.

Hate Crime

CJ350 In a just society everyone should be protected from crimes motivated by hatred and discrimination based on race/[17], colour, gender/[18], sexual/[19] orientation/[20], religion/[21], social origin, age or any other prejudice/[22]. A comprehensive strategy will be adopted to tackle, significantly reduce and ultimately end hate crime. This will combine appropriate legislation, police and community resourcing and initiatives, and sentencing. Its effectiveness will be monitored and adjusted as necessary, in consultation with relevant non-government and civil society organisations and the equalities commissions.

Environmental Crime

CJ351 Environmental problems would inevitably assume much greater significance for a Green society; there would be a strengthening of legislation.

CJ352 While the protection of the environment would be promoted in accordance with the principles set out herein, a strong legal base will make it both easier and more desirable to establish community-based and regional forums for the settlement of environmental disputes and for preventing environmental harm by means of voluntary agreement. Third party mediation of multi-group disputes, where there are genuine conflicts of interest in the community, are now well-developed techniques and should be adopted in preference to authoritarian planning decision making structures. Coercion should be a last resort.

Wildlife and Animal Crimes

CJ353 Action is needed to tackle crimes committed against other species. These include infliction of suffering or failure to provide 'duty of care' for animals, the breaking of other animal protection legislation and crimes committed against threatened species and wild animals. Every police force will have a dedicated Wildlife and Animal Crimes Unit, which will work in liaison with local/regional Animal Rights Officers. (See AR401)

Motoring and Road Traffic Offences

CJ354 A separate but not wholly exclusive code dealing with these categories of offence will be implemented using many of the principles and guidelines referred to above but taking account of the particular role of the motor vehicle in society.

Homelessness

CJ355 The Green Party calls for the repeal of the Vagrancy Act 1824 because it is open to abuse by police and government. It discriminates against homeless people and wrongly labels them as criminals when their plight is a social problem.

Restriction, Detention and other Punitive Measures

CJ360 In some cases it will be necessary to place restrictions upon offenders to prevent re-offending, and in some of these cases to hold them in detention.

CJ361 Courts will have power to impose restrictions, for example by requiring offenders to report at stated intervals, or disqualifying them from practising certain occupations.

CJ362 Only the Crown Court will have the power to order detention and only when it is satisfied that the public must be protected because there is a substantial risk of a further grave crime, or that the offences have caused such public alarm that the offenders presence in the community would constitute a threat to his/her own safety.

CJ363 The duration of detention will be subject to a maximum, determined by Statute, and within the statutory limits set by the Court. Parole or early release will be subject to Department of Justice executive review with a right of appeal to a judicial forum.

CJ364 When individuals fail to make reparation or to pay taxes, maintenance, or other moneys where the present penalty for non-payment is imprisonment, they will be required to make reparation for their default through service to the community if no other way of recovering the money is effective. In addition, in the case of those who have income in addition to the Basic Income which will be guaranteed under Green fiscal policy, repayments will be deducted from the Basic Income (EC750). A limit would be placed on the repayments to ensure that the individual was left with not less than the Basic Income.

CJ365 No person in contempt of court will be detained until an opportunity for non-custodial means of purging the contempt has been offered.

Immediate prison reforms

CJ370 The physical and social standards of prisoners will be improved so that as far as possible the only limitation on the dignity of their lives will be the denial of freedom of movement outside the prison. Prisoners would normally have their own room. They would enjoy extended facilities for communication and association with family/[23] and friends including unsupervised visits. Prisoners would as far as possible be detained near their family/[24] and home community.

CJ371 Prisoners should have improved access to meaningful activities, particularly real work and education and artistic and creative facilities.

CJ372 Prisoners will be offered counselling and appropriate assistance to overcome the root cause of their offences and reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

CJ373 Prisoners rights will be legally enforceable and will be supplemented by grievance procedures and a prisoners' complaints commission, headed by a prison ombudsperson to whom appeal can be made if a grievance cannot be resolved within a particular institution. Regular spot inspections by lay visitors and Department of Justice inspectors will further contribute to ensure standards are maintained and human rights safeguarded.

CJ374 The Prison Medical Service will be incorporated into the improved National Health Service (see Health Policy). Its responsibilities will cover access to complementary health care, health education and the provision of counselling as well as the direct medication care of prisoners.

CJ375 The Health and Safety Acts and Factories Acts, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Unfitness provisions of the Housing Act 1985 will also be applied to prisons, and Crown Immunity will be abolished in relation to prisons.

CJ376 Young People under the age of 18 would no longer be kept in custody. Social Services Departments will have the responsibility to establish and run a range of small secure residential homes to cater for the needs of particular types of young people with special needs. Safeguards similar to those set out in CJ373 will be built in to the system.

CJ377 There will be adequate facilities and a suitable environment to allow a young child to stay or live with their parent or guardian in custody when this is considered to be in the best interests of the child.

CJ378 We oppose privatisation, use of PFI and any creeping or part privatisation of our prisons and the prison service.

Bail and remand pending trial

CJ380 We will strengthen the right to bail for suspects. Bail will be withheld only when the court has strong grounds for believing that a suspect must be separated from the public until the trial for the same reasons as apply to the power to order detention (see CJ362), or if the suspect has failed to honour bail commitments.

CJ381 Special arrangements will be made to ensure that the trial of such suspects will normally be held within six weeks from the time of arrest. Remand in custody will only be used for offences and offenders where detention after sentence is permitted. There will be a strict limit to the length of the remand. The safeguards set out in CJ373 above will also apply to bail hostels and detention cells in police stations and courts.

Costings

CJ400 The system of criminal justice proposed will we believe be cheaper and more effective than the existing system. Principal savings will come from the reduction in the use of imprisonment, but savings will also flow from the diversion from the courts of more minor offences.

Gun Control and Gun Crime

CJ500 Gun crime is a particularly serious problem and the Green Party is committed to tackling it by ensuring a high level of gun control as well as addressing the social factors which contribute to people committing crimes with guns.

Also, as well as their actual use, the presence and availability of guns and 'gun culture' contributes to fear of crime, intimidation and the reluctance of witnesses and victims to report crimes.

The Green Party is committed to introducing the following measures:

The lethality of a gun will be defined quantitatively in law, thereby covering new weapons resulting from developments in firearms technology. This would be set at 0.5 joules of muzzle energy unless and until evidence is produced that it should be otherwise.

The most dangerous weapons will be prohibited. These include handguns, multi-shot and high calibre weapons. There will be a complete ban on the private ownership/possession of all automatic and semi-automatic firearms. A suitably constituted Gun Safety Advisory Committee will regularly review which weapons are prohibited.

All deactivated weapons will be treated the same as active weapons in terms of prohibition and licensing, as they are capable of being reactivated and can cause fear because they appear as though active.

A single rigorous licensing process will be put in place based on considerations of public safety rather than the convenience of shooters. Subject to relevant criteria, licenses will be issued for permitted shotguns and rifles, all lethal airguns and permitted deactivated guns.

Users of firearms for sporting or agricultural purposes will be required to demonstrate their competence in handling firearms and satisfy the authorities of their mental and emotional stability:

a)Applicants should also be required to obtain the signature of, say, ten citizens (just as a prospective electoral candidate) who will vouch for the good character of the licence holder. This will discourage the 'loners' and socially isolated individuals who are most at risk of committing the horror that occurred at Dunblane and Hungerford.

b)The cost of medical and psychological tests must be borne by the applicant, together with a new annual fee which is sufficient to repay the economic damage - to police, court and NHS - inflicted on it by the abuse of guns generally. When licences are awarded the onus will be on the applicant to demonstrate his or her suitability to handle firearms rather than on the authorities to prove the applicant's unsuitability. Licence holders will be required to renew their applications on an annual basis individuals whose licence application is rejected will be required to wait at least two years before re-applying.

There will be a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and import of imitation weapons (replica guns and blank firers) and a ban on their public possession. There will be licenses for imitation weapons used for film/theatrical purposes, and legislation to ensure toy guns are highly distinct in appearance, probably by being made of clear/translucent plastic.

International

The death penalty

CJ600 There is no place for capital punishment in a criminal justice system which is compassionate, just and respectful of human rights. No country or state should retain the death penalty in its criminal justice system. The Green Party advocates the abolition of the death penalty in all countries, and will use its influence in support of instruments and campaigns at national and international level which seek its global abolition.

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COUNTRYSIDE

Background
CY100 The Earth is our home. Life on it depends upon complex interdependent ecological systems, and humans are only one of its species. Damage to habitats, the result of un-ecological ideology, the denial of the spiritual link between ourselves and nature and the relentless pursuit of economic growth, is now of such a magnitude that life on this planet is threatened.

CY101 The crisis facing the countryside continues to grow in pace and magnitude. "Globally over-exploitation of resources, loss of genetic diversity and damage to ecological processes and life-support systems have dangerously reduced the planet's capacity to support people in both developed and developing countries" (The World Conservation Strategy 1980). "In Europe the range of wildlife and natural ecosystems present in the Community now is less than it has been for thousands of years; and the rate of decline and loss is probably greater than it has ever been" (The State of the Environment in the European Community 1986). In Britain "...the present generation is witnessing the most comprehensive and far-reaching change of the natural history and historical landscapes that Britain has ever experienced in such a short period of time. What is particularly alarming is that so little is understood about these changes - their magnitude and long-term consequences - yet what is known is simply appalling" (Countryside Conflicts by Lowe, Cox, MacEwen, O'Riordan and Winter 1986).

CY102 The rural economy itself no longer supports people as its primary objective. Small farms continue to be lost, there is growing rural unemployment, multiple deprivation and, in areas distant from urban centres, depopulation. Soil erosion and pollution of both air and water threaten life processes. Access to the countryside continues to be denied. Industrial processes continue to take precedence over natural processes. There is no strategic response to these problems by government.

General Principles

CY200 The countryside is a living organism, a vital and irreplaceable natural gift, not a resource to be turned into money. No one has the right to destroy its ecologically diverse character. To do so would be to the detriment of the community at large.

CY201 We believe that it is a fundamental human right and obligation for people to live a life style that ensures they can hand on to their descendants an environment that is at least as rich in wildlife and attractive landscapes as when they inherited it.

CY202 Rural and urban communities meet the many different needs of people in a healthy society. They are not separate from each other and one should not dominate the other. In a green society, towns will not grow beyond the ability of the countryside around them to provide fresh and healthy water and food, recreation, timber and wildlife habitats. There will be a constant flow of environmental, social and cultural information between them. Towns will return compostable materials to the countryside. These urban communities will integrate into all their decisions the impact on a vital, thriving rural community.

Long Term Aims
CY300 The objective of our countryside policy is to create self-reliant communities that retain the fruits of local investment and activity and preserve the conditions where people can live in ways which care for habitats and wildlife and allow them to fulfil spiritual, emotional, social and intellectual needs.

Short Term Aims
CY400 In pursuing the following aims, we will address the underlying causes, and seek to integrate environmental, social and economic objectives in all areas of countryside policy. One of the major underlying problems is the current system of agriculture. To remedy this we aim to:

a) Stop further destruction of wildlife habitats, the soil, the landscape, ancient monuments and our countryside heritage. (C500-508, 550-562, B800)

b) Begin to make the whole countryside more hospitable to wildlife. (C500-526, 570)

c) Begin the process of revitalising the economy and life of rural areas. (C540's, C600, 610)

d) Start to work towards a more just system of land tenure and access to land. (C530,580)

e) Increase indigenous tree cover. (C570-572)

Policies

Habitat and Species Protection

CY500 It is not possible to protect species unless the many threats to habitats are stopped. The whole of the Green Party's political programme is designed to create a society where these threats to the environment are ended. In particular our policies on agriculture, forestry, fishing, energy, transport and industry will lead to the end of the pollution of the air, land and water. Our policies on increased self-reliance and changes to our consumer-based lifestyle will ensure that we do not make environmentally damaging demands on the rest of the world. We will support at every level of the international community effective measures to protect the environment.

CY501 We support the European Community Commission's Fourth Environmental Action Programme which, amongst others, aims to make the environment an essential element of all Community policies and extend this aim to all national policies. We will in addition: a) accelerate the programme timetable where environmental problems are pressing, b) extend the policy programme to include public availability of environmental information, c) reinstate the policy for resources within an overall strategy for the environment as a priority, d) ensure that the programme's achievements and failures are fully assessed, and as a result make changes to realise the programme's goals without lengthening its timetable.

CY502 The Wildlife and Countryside Act as the principal legislation for protecting the countryside has proved inadequate because: a) Protection is given primarily to National Parks and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). b) Compensation is payable to farmers who are refused grant aid embodying the notion that there is an absolute entitlement to grants and other subsidies, whereas in the past they have been refused on grounds of technical or economic viability. c) Compensation is based on estimates of profits foregone, even though the forecast higher level of production is speculative and not ecologically sustainable. d) Compensation is paid out of the meagre budgets of conservation agencies or local authorities rather than of agricultural departments whose policies are being pursued.

CY503 The Wildlife and Countryside Act will be drastically overhauled: a) The right of farmers to compensation for conservation orders will be repealed and positive measures to care for the countryside put in its place. b) Habitat protection will be extended to the whole countryside. c) The species protection clause will be clarified and strengthened and the legislation enforced.

CY504 We will implement International Wildlife Law contained in: The 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, the Special Protection Areas of the European Councils 1979 Birds Directive, and the 1979 Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.

CY505 We would assist in the preparation of, and implement, a European Habitat Directive (recognised as a priority of the EEC Fourth Environmental Action Programme 1987-1992) which would oblige national governments to set up statutory frameworks for the protection of habitats and their associated plant and animal communities at local and regional levels using funds diverted from the Common Agricultural Policy. It would place a legal obligation upon Member States to carry out land use inventories for the purpose of identifying all areas of semi-natural and natural habitats.

CY506 Many wild plant species are collected from the wild for commercial sale with little or no knowledge of its impact on wild populations. We would support measures to introduce a European Wild Plants directive which would: a) give clear labelling on all living wild plant material traded within the European Community (EC) and in and out of the EC; b) license all traders dealing with plant material which has been wild-collected; and c) tighten up import and export controls on wild plants.

CY507 Estuaries are biologically one of the richest habitats. They are feeding grounds for more than half of Britain's 1.5 million wintering wading birds (40% of all waders wintering each year in the whole of Europe) and are joined each year by hundreds of thousands of migrating wildfowl. These estuaries are important because: a) they lie on the main migration route from both Greenland and Iceland and from Siberia to West Africa; b) the British Isles offer the most northerly refuge from the prolonged freezing of continental Europe; c) the large tidal range of our many estuaries provides exposed rich feeding areas.

Most of Britain's internationally important estuaries have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and many qualify for international treaties such as the Ramsar Convention and the European directive on the conservation of wild birds. These estuaries are under threat from developments such as tidal barrages; large-scale dock developments, land reclamation, industrial pollution, recreation, oil exploration, an extremely vigorous hybrid spartina grass and other development. The Green Party will carefully think through the short and long term effects of all estuary developments and will agree to only those which offer overall ecological benefits.

CY508 The Green Party believes that these 'developments' will grow in number as our growth-obsessed society demands ever greater wealth to feed its industries and wasteful advertiser-induced consumer demand for ecologically destructive lifestyles. Until wealth creation is taken off its pedestal as the primary goal in society, and replaced by an ecologically sustainable society wildlife (despite laudable, one-off victories such as the purchase of nature reserves) stands little chance of long-term survival. We will in the short term: a) press for habitats to be given greater protection; b) assist consumer-led pressure for conservation, recycling and the introduction of consumer durable goods and plant that are energy efficient, non-polluting, long-lasting, well designed, repairable and upgradeable; c) develop ecologically sound strategic planning as a more sound alternative to growth orientated plans; d) oppose the relocation of environmentally damaging operations overseas. In the long-term the achievement of our ecologically sound and sustainable society will prevent such threats to the environment.

Agriculture and the Countryside (see AG)

CY520 Farming does not automatically destroy wildlife interest, but the form and intensity of present agricultural methods have been the main reasons for loss of habitats. We recognise that without adequately rewarding small and part-time farmers who produce food in an environmentally sound way there can be no viable countryside.

CY521 Recognising that food production is only one of the demands made upon the land, we would reform the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and the Forestry Commission to include conservation in their remits as primary objectives. (see FD210 & Policy Statement FS1) CY522 The Common Agricultural Policy price support scheme encourages farmers to cultivate every square inch of marginal land, including hedgerows, to take advantage of guaranteed prices, and as such, has been the major reason behind the loss of wildlife habitats. This will end. Farmers will be given, like everyone else, an unconditionally guaranteed basic income and other forms of support to encourage ecologically sound land-use. (see AG423, EU600's)

CY523 Payments will be given to farmers for agricultural or conservation improvements provided they meet the objectives of an appropriate, conservation agency approved 'farm development and conservation plan'. The plan will integrate woodland, wildlife, habitats, landscape conservation, food growing, historical monuments, geological and archaeological sites, soil conservation, hydrological changes, buildings, landscapes and public access. Conservation objectives and the means of achieving them will be made clear to farmers.

CY524 We will positively encourage, by a careful balance of subsidies and taxes, environmentally beneficial organic food producing systems. An organic system, that employs more people, comprises of mixed rotational farming, ecologically sound stocking rates, and no use of harmful synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Such systems will greatly ease the pressure on wildlife, reduce pollution and conserve the soil. (see FD210)

CY525 Water courses continue to suffer from increases in farm-based pollution; from fertilisers leached into water courses, sprays, silage and slurry run-off. Farmers are now the main source of water pollution in rural areas, but they are exempt from prosecution under parts of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 so long as they observe a voluntary code of 'good agricultural practice'. Water authorities lack the political will and sufficient powers to prosecute. We believe that the polluter should be responsible for the damage caused and will introduce heavy fines (see PL). The introduction of organic farming techniques which return farm waste to the soil, the adoption of a statutory code of good agricultural practice and free advice on pollution prevention will reduce pollution from fertilisers and toxic pesticides. There will be a ban on intensive livestock units. Planning controls on silage clamps and other farm buildings will be introduced and capital grants will be made available to prevent pollution. see also NR - RS125 , EU327, PL410-425)

CY526 Efforts to cut farm surpluses by set-aside and extensification will halt because they aggravate present destructive trends in agriculture. We would adopt less intensive, lower input and more environmentally benign land-use policies which integrate forestry, conservation and organic food growing, employ more people and use of all the land.

Land Tenure

CY530 Partly as a result of speculation, the price of land has risen way above what can be justified by its normal earning capacity, combined with the rising costs of conventional farming and lower guaranteed prices farmers have been compelled to maximise production from every available piece of land. In consequence our inheritance of irreplaceable features like hedges and woods, which have depressed land values, have been destroyed. We will introduce a Land Value Taxation (see LD), based on land values, which will automatically compensate for the economic disadvantage of having to conserve wildlife habitats, archaeological sites and other landscape features.

Planning

CY540 We would ensure that planning for widespread multiple use of the countryside would be a major and integral part of the new Unitary Development Plans prepared by Local Authorities. Advice would be provided by the government's statutory authority on conservation and full democratic consultation undertaken. Ecological criteria will be given full weight in all planning decisions. (GC207)

CY541 We accept the particular characteristics and difficulties of the 'Less Favoured Areas' - we would however review the operation of the LFA Directive of the EEC in line with our general policy principles.

CY542 Planning controls will be strengthened and extended to major land-use changes (in particular, all farm buildings, new and improvement works by drainage bodies and water authorities, afforestation, and all clearances of ancient woodland and semi-natural woodland). Destruction of ancient woodland, in existence before 1600, would be prohibited.

CY543 The Green Party will introduce legislation to halt and reverse the spread of light pollution in the countryside in order to protect the heritage of the dark night sky and to minimise disturbance to wildlife from artificial light.

There will be a presumption against new lighting in the countryside which will be incorporated into the Development Plans of planning authorities.

Improved lighting design and the use of more efficient lighting will be required for new developments or replacement of existing lighting. Energy conservation, including the removal of unnecessary lighting, will be promoted through the District Energy Authorities (see EN403).

Countryside Designations

CY550 To separate the land surface into specially designated areas that are to be treated in ways that preserve their ecological diversity is a sad indictment of the way our society treats the land. Such areas become 'honeypots' for nature and tourists whilst the rest of the countryside is allowed to become an industrial wasteland. We see the whole of the countryside as important for conservation and will treat all land as environmentally sensitive.

CY551 Being aware of the current political realities we support the Countryside Commission's plea for a thorough review of the bewildering system of designated areas and in the long term will expand conservation principles to the whole of the countryside. In the short term our policies on designations will be as follows.

CY552 National Parks. National Parks have failed to give the adequate ecological protection to the countryside they were intended to give, due to a lack of power, gross under-funding and confused and divided authorities.

CY553 In the long term the lessons learned from National Parks in their attempts to arrest unbridled agricultural, forestry, industrial and mining developments will be applied to the whole countryside. The Parks (and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) will then become unnecessary and will be phased out.

CY554 In the short term we will widen the role of National Parks and the Park Authorities and support the extension of existing National parks and the designation of National Parks in other areas, such as the National Scenic Areas in Scotland, the North Pennines, South Downs and New Forest in England and the Cambrian Mountains in Wales.

CY555 Military Use of National Parks. The Green Party considers that the use of National Parks for artillery ranges and other forms of military training are destructive and incompatible with the designation of a National Park and its continuance cannot be tolerated. We will press for the earliest withdrawal of military training within National Parks.

CY556 Minerals in National Parks. We oppose all mineral developments until the 1976 Stevens enquiry into planning control over mineral development, that called for a national survey of key minerals and a national strategy for their conservation, is implemented, and even then we may impose extra provisos.

CY557 Road Building and National Parks. The Green Party will halt all damaging road construction and 'improvements' within National Parks.

CY558 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's) We will keep the designation of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and Scheduled Ancient Monuments. In addition we will give local authorities the power to make Countryside Conservation Orders to protect vulnerable features which require conservation.

CY559 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. AONBs will receive comparable status to National Parks. They will eventually become unnecessary as our wider policies on conservation for the whole countryside come into force.

CY560 Green Belts. Green Belts, as they are currently defined, are a rather blunt instrument that have: a) helped to protect land for agriculture or recreation but have not positively promoted these activities; b) prevented the worst excesses of sprawl, and c) have sustained the separations between towns but sometimes only for the convenience of motorways, leisure complexes, gravel pits and other claims on the urban fringe.

CY561 The Green Party will retain and rigorously strengthen Green Belt legislation as a positive measure to revitalise the countryside and encourage the extension of the Green Belts into the cities. We will end the pressure on Green Belts by policies that: a) reject economic-growth-orientated development in favour of conservation; (EC) b) end the speculation in land in towns and cities; (LD) c) encourage the building of thriving communities in urban areas; d) reduce population numbers; (P) e) extend Environmental and Social Impact Statements into all areas of decision making ; f) make rural communities rewarding places to live and work in, which will end rural depopulation.

CY562 Environmentally Sensitive Areas. The Green Party welcomes the concept of Environmentally Sensitive Areas where agricultural support may be used for environmentally sympathetic ends, and wishes to see the concept extended to the whole of the countryside. However, there are problems with the existing scheme that will have to be resolved before we see ESAs having a positive role to play in securing the future of the countryside.

Woodlands, Forests and Trees (see F)

CY570 Trees, as some of the largest and long-lived of plants, are a living indication of the health of the countryside. They intercept heavy rainfall and release water steadily and slowly to the soil beneath and to the streams and rivers that start in or flow through them. They hold the soil in place and contribute to its formation. They form a canopy beneath which many insects, plants and mammals find their ecological niche. They modify climate, detoxify the air, recycle nutrients from deep in the ground, provide food and form materials from which we make our homes and places where we play. They are therefore especially important in our policies to conserve the countryside.

CY571 Woodlands will be an integral part of Local Authority Unitary Development Plans. The authorities will liaise with the Forestry Commission when dealing with the establishment of new woods and the management of existing ones (see Forestry).

CY572 Much new planting will be undertaken on farms, within farm development and conservation plans (see AG300-404).

Access to the Countryside

CY580 We would open the whole countryside (including common land) to access on foot provided that no damage is done, care is taken not to injure of kill farm stock and other wildlife are not disturbed, and the privacy of those who live in the countryside is respected. Access would be curtailed at times (such as lambing, nesting and breeding seasons, and sensitive wildlife sites), and where there is a definite reason for it to be refused.

Local Authorities

CY590 We see local authorities, as custodians of local democracy, being the primary agency for conserving the countryside.

Rural Life

CY600 We recognise that any policy for conserving the countryside hinges around provisions made for people to live and work in rural areas. In particular we will encourage the availability of an adequate stock of reasonable priced, decent housing and work space for those who live and work in the countryside, including low-cost housing to rent and buy in existing small villages and towns.

Tourism in the Country

CY610 We accept that recreation and tourism can benefit a local economy, but would ensure that such activities are ecologically, economically and socially appropriate to local requirements.

Urban Conservation

CY620 The nature of much of the farmed landscape has become inhospitable to wildlife and as a result urban areas have come to be relatively valuable habitats and impoverished areas have become rich in wildlife. Although agricultural practice which discourages wildlife will change, the extension of the countryside into the towns and cities is an opportunity the Green Party enthusiastically supports. It re-kindles enthusiasm for the commonplace, shows how valuable and positive democratic decision making can be, and how decision-makers can be 'turned on' to wildlife, and it has established new and creative ways of occupying large numbers of people in worthwhile jobs which benefit wildlife and can improve the quality of life in our society.

CY621 In the long term, habitats in urban areas will be more easily established and maintained by the introduction of land reform measures which will stop land being seen as a speculative commodity. In the meantime we will support measures such as: a) the establishment of a base of information on wildlife and habitats, to inform and assist the development of policies which take account of the needs of conservation; b) develop in all local authority departments involved in the use and management of land, an awareness of the need to take account of wildlife conservation; c) use of local authority bye-laws to support local nature conservation objectives; d) preparation of local nature conservation strategies as an aid to integrate conservation into local authorities' forward planning; e) creation of new wildlife habitats through derelict land reclamation schemes; f) establishment of local nature reserves; g) education and the provision of information to increase public awareness of conservation.

Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997

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DISABILITY/[25]

Terms used

DY100 For the purposes of this policy base, the term disability/[26] refers not to the situation of having a physical, mental or other impairment. Instead it refers to the widespread phenomena of people being unable to do things in society specifically because society has failed to reconstruct itself (physically and culturally) in all the possible ways that would ensure that an individual impairments are not a barrier to their full participation.

Background

DY200 There are currently two basic approaches to the subject of disability/[27]:

a) the medical model of disability/[28] focuses on an individual's impairment as the root of the problem. The impairment (eg. no use of the legs) causes the disability/[29] (eg. inability to walk) and the result of this is handicap (reduced ability to participate fully in society).

This approach has been rejected by many disabled/[30] people: it has been almost totally defined by non-disabled/[31] people - often be administrators, who define disablement/[32] in the way most suited to bureaucratic convenience; and by charities not controlled by disabled/[33] people themselves, which frequently promote an image of disabled/[34] people's powerlessness which reinforces existing prejudice/[35] against disabled/[36] people.

This medical model of disability/[37] (or 'charity' model or 'administrative' model) has led to a general acceptance that disabled/[38] people cannot fully participate in society; and therefore that where society makes 'special' efforts to meet the needs of disabled/[39] people, this is a kindness on the part of non-disabled/[40] society for which disabled/[41] people must be grateful. Disabled/[42] people are seen as incomplete people to be regarded as tragic objects of charity whose aim in life is 'to overcome their handicap' and be as much like a non-disabled/[43] person as possible.

b) The social model of disability/[44] focuses on society's response to impairments as the root of the problem. A person has an impairment; and society, by failing to take into account the needs of such a person, disables/[45] that person. If this person cannot e.g. enter a certain building or get on a bus, it is not fundamentally their own impairment which is the problem, but the way in which the building and the bus have been designed - unreasonably excluding some people.

Similarly, people with intellectual impairments are disabled/[46] by segregation from the rest of society, which restricts their opportunities to learn a whole range of skills, including social skills, which are normally developed through interaction with others.

This model of disability/[47] widens the definition to include people living with long-term mental health problems, who are also socially disabled/[48] and marginalised. It also includes people with temporary impairments, such as a broken leg, who encounter many of the same obstacles as people with permanent impairments.

According to the social model of disability/[49], notwithstanding the fact that individuals' personal experience of their impairments may be negative and in some cases painful or hindering, society as a whole has created disability/[50] because it has failed to take into account the needs of people with impairments. It is non-disabled/[51] society which has created the barriers to full social equality for people with impairments, and it is non-disabled/[52] economists and politicians who tell us that 'we' cannot afford the cost of removing those barriers. But disability/[53] is a human rights issue; and human rights are not to be denied some people by the oppressive fiscal calculations of others.

The social model approach demands an integrated society. This does not just mean integrating disabled/[54] people into a non-disabled/[55] world; it means re-defining society according to the perspectives of all people, not just the non-disabled/[56].

This understanding of disability/[57] has been growing stronger in recent years, and is the only approach acceptable to the British Council of Organisations of Disabled/[58] People.

Principles and policies

DY300 The Green Party rejects the medical model of disability/[59] and accepts the social model:

a) that disability/[60] is a social phenomenon;
b) that while many individuals have physical or sensory impairments or learning difficulties or are living with mental health problems, it is the way society responds to these which creates disability/[61];
c) that disability/[62] is a form of oppression.

DY301 The medical model will not be invoked with reference to 'disability/[63]' but will be utilised only in the assessment of impairments as part of the process of meeting an individual's desired (or in restricted cases perceived) need to receive support etc. and for the purposes of defining the 'disabling/[64]' factors in society that are to be reconstructed.

DY302 The Green Party aims to help deconstruct disablement/[65] as a form of oppression; to assist the enablement of people whom society has previously disabled/[66]. This will be achieved through various policies which may be categorised as educational, environmental, social and political.

An enabling education system

DY400 Research has shown that prejudice/[67] against disabled/[68] people can be greatly worsened by segregated schooling. To segregate children with impairments or difficulties for any reason, when provision is potentially available in an all ability setting, is a breach of human rights. Moreover it helps inculcate prejudice/[69] in non-disabled/[70] children. The Green Party will therefore introduce the following policies for an all-ability education system:

a) Impairment will not be an acceptable reason for excluding a child from a school to which they would otherwise be entitled to admission. This means that, whilst there will be no compulsory integration of individuals (or abolition of 'special schools'), all schools will be deemed to be all-ability schools. Schools will have a statutory duty to provide for the needs of any child, wherever this can be achieved without disadvantaging other children; the presumption will be that a child's needs can be met in that school. And government will have a duty to provide fully adequate funding for the purpose. Children will be entitled to take legal action against any school which seeks to deny this right. Children and schools will have the right to take legal action against the Government for failing to provide the necessary funding.

Where children with emotional and behavioural difficulties are concerned, a balance must be struck between their educational needs and their present emotional needs; and also between their own needs and the needs of the people around them . However, research and practise has shown that children with emotional and behavioural difficulties do not need to be permanently segregated from others.

b) similar principles will apply to all other educational establishments, so that practical difficulties and institutionalised prejudice/[71] will not be allowed to deny a person their right to an education using impairment as an excuse.

DY401 Public awareness of the level of oppression of disabled/[72] people must be raised through a public awareness campaign to be devised jointly with disabled/[73] peoples' groups.

An enabling environment

DY500 Currently, our built environment is one of the principle factors by which society disables/[74] people. On taking office, the Green Party will require all central and local government bodies to instigate immediately the necessary structural and other modifications to all their buildings, so that these buildings do not reasonably exclude people with impairments.

DY501 Building regulations will be radically overhauled with accessibility in mind, including visitors access, access to public buildings, access to work premises, entertainment and sports, etc. Associated social measures will also be taken to open up previously inaccessible locations and activities to people with impairments.

DY502 A comprehensive plan for fully accessible transport will be implemented, so that public transport will be usable by all members of the public. In addition, the necessary arrangements will be made to meet any extra reasonable transportation needs of disabled/[75] people beyond that which can be provided through general services.

Social and political enablement

DY600 Comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation of the highest standard will be introduced, along with the necessary means of implementing it.

DY601 An end to the oppression of disabled/[76] people can only be achieved under the guidance of disabled/[77] people themselves. Therefore an Enablement Commission will be established as an independent body for monitoring progress made in this area. It will be established as an independent body for monitoring progress made in this area. It will be made up of disabled/[78] people and will be accorded rights and powers such that it can allow disabled/[79] people themselves to define their own reasonable needs and ensure that these needs are met. It will receive complaints against breaches of anti-discrimination legislation , and against this legislation itself, should the latter be found wanting. It will be fully involved in the preparation of new legislation. It will have a wide-ranging, often proactive role in the deconstruction of the social phenomena of disability/[80].

- Passed Autumn Conference 1993, Amended Spring 2001

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DRUG USE

Background
DU100 Throughout history, psychoactive substances have been used by all societies and are likely to continue to be used in one form or another. The extent to which people use drugs depends not only on the availability of such substances but also on social, economic and environmental factors.

DU101 Drug use -whether experimental, recreational or dependent - can have a damaging effect not only on the user but also on the user's family/[81] and friends. The illegal drugs market is also having an increasingly harmful effect on society at large, mainly because of two problems: crime and HIV. Powerful criminal organisations are involved in the drugs market and a significant proportion of acquisitive crime is committed by dependent drug users to fund drug use. Shared drug use by injection is currently a significant transmission route for HIV, a major threat to public health.

DU102 In recent years, the `drugs problem' has been largely equated with the use of illegal drugs. This has had the effect of diverting attention away from the dire social and health consequences of legal drugs, principally alcohol, tobacco,and inappropriately prescribed tranquillisers. Between them, these cause the loss of thousands of lives every year and much pain and disability/[82] for both users and non-users of these drugs.

DU103 The legal drugs, principally tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs are widely promoted through advertising, sponsorship and corporate pressure. As a result their use is generally accepted by society and efforts to control usage largely rely on a mixture of taxation, education, restriction of sale and use to adults or certain places, and voluntary restraint.

DU104 Under prohibition, illegal drugs are made not only more attractive to some, but also tend to be more poisonous and expensive. Consequently users become more unhealthy and more likely to steal and deal. The cost of enforcing prohibition is becoming increasingly untenable.

DU105 Raves / pay-parties / free-festivals and the like have proved an enduring setting in which various drugs are consumed by many tens of thousands of young people across the country. Unlicensed and unregulated events, kept underground by prohibition, are held regularly in overcrowded venues or inappropriate sites that fail to meet health and fire regulations, at which ventilation and provision for refreshments are inadequate and to which the emergency services would be unable to gain access if needed. The popularity of these events and their proliferation in spite of attempts to suppress them makes the adoption of a more liberal approach coupled/[83] with a system of regulation a matter of highest urgency.

DU106 Small scale farmers in the underdeveloped South often rely heavily on the hard currency they can receive from drug crop harvests. Strategies by rich, drug-importing nations to eradicate drug crops, such as cash compensation, have proved woefully inadequate and are usually jeopardised by corrupt bureaucracies. Crop substitution has repeatedly failed because of depressed commodity prices for the underdeveloped world's exports.

Principles
DU200 Government responses to the issue of drug use is consistent: neither the legal status of different substances nor the targeting of government expenditure on the information / education are commensurate with the harm different drugs do to the individual or society.

DU201 Prohibition does not prevent drug use by adults or children and leads to the creation of an illicit market, an increase in consumption due to pyramid selling and the criminalisation and marginalisation of those who use drugs. Prohibition is counter-productive; it is more damaging to the drug user, the community and society than the drug use it seeks to eliminate.

DU202 Social custom, convention and ritual play a vital part in the moderate and responsible use of all drugs. The development and perpetuation of these customs are inhibited and eroded by prohibition and to some extent, by all interventions by government or state agencies.

DU203 The Green Party therefore seeks to open up the whole issue of drug use to the public and regards the supply of adequate, clear, free and accessible information as vital to the process of both reducing drug-use and minimising harm from drug use.

DU204 Interventions by importing nations, such as support for international drug-crop eradication and crop substitution programmes are both economically unfeasible and ecologically damaging. Measures such as increased military aid for repressive regimes against drug cultivation, as well as being morally indefensible, run the risk of fuelling political destabilisation.

DU205 In addition to instances of direct complicity in international drug traffic by agencies of importing nations, there is also an element of hypocrisy in the fact that whilst campaigns against drugs are being waged, rich nations are simultaneously trying to swamp many poorer countries' markets with the products of their own tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical industries.

Objectives
DU300 In keeping with the Green Party's health promotion policies, the Green Party would aim to minimise the misuse of drugs.

DU301 At the same time, we recognise that drug use will never be entirely eliminated. Our policies would aim therefore to minimise the social, psychological and physical harm to those who use drugs and to society at large.

DU302 Green policies on drugs will be directed towards accepting the reality of drug use and will strive to minimise harm, both to the user and to society at large. This will require a more pragmatic approach to the issue of recreational and cultural use and should highlight the broader socio-economic forces which drive people towards escapist use.

Policy
DU400 Tobacco smoking is the principal cause of premature death in the United Kingdom. In view of the considerable dangers to the health of both smoker and non-smoker, the Green Party would introduce legislation prohibiting smoking in all enclosed premises to which the public has access. Exemption licenses could be applied for. The Green Party would also promote, by legislation if necessary, the setting-up of workplace smoking policies.

DU401 The Green Party would also introduce a complete ban on the promotion of tobacco and alcohol products, including sponsorship, advertising (direct or indirect) and product placement on remuneration or reward. This ban would also apply to any currently illegal drugs when a policy of decriminalisation or legalisation comes into effect.

DU402 The effect on consumption of taxation on the sale of tobacco and alcohol would be subject to continued review and, where appropriate, these legal drugs would be taxed at a higher rate than at present. In addition, both the net profits of tobacco companies and companies producing alcohol for consumption, and the dividends paid to shareholders these companies would attract a significantly higher rate of taxation than at present. The tax levied on alcohol products would be in proportion to the amount of alcohol in the finished product.

DU403 To facilitate the responsible drinking of alcohol by both adults and young people, the Green Party would encourage the option of serving alcohol in smaller measures and require suppliers to provide accurate information about the unit alcohol content.

DU404 Penalties for driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or other drugs likely to adversely affect the ability to drive would be increased and the permitted alcohol to blood ratio of drivers would be reduced. (TR311)

DU405 Cannabis to be removed from the 1971 Misuse of drugs act. The possession, trade and cultivation of cannabis to be immediately decriminalised, roughly following the Dutch model, including allowing the establishment of cannabis "pubs" (similar to the Dutch "coffee shops"). The trade in Cannabis to be the subject of the Royal commission (below) with a view to establishing a fully legalised, controlled and regulated trade. Small-scale possession of drugs for personal use would be decriminalised. The starting point would be advise to policing authorities to caution rather than prosecute for offences of drug possession for personal use and to refer offenders to the health-care services (DU411). Subsequently, regulations would be brought forward removing criminal sanctions for simple possession of controlled drugs for personal use. The recommended sentences for small-scale supply would be non-custodial options. The possession of pipes made for the use in connection with smoking of Opium would no longer be a criminal offence . A Royal Commission or similar body to be established to review currently controlled drug classifications, within a legalised environment of drug use. A Royal Commission or similar body would after wide consultation consider and recommend frameworks of social, economic and health conditions for drug use and supply.

DU406 With the exception of cannabis, Policing Authorities would be encouraged to focus detection resources on major drug trafficking operations. Unauthorised production, importation and marketing of all drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) would remain criminal offences. Fines, confiscation of assets and prison sentences would continue to be imposed for serious drugs trafficking offences.

DU407 A proportion of the fines and assets of convicted drug traffickers would be used to fund research into drug use and reducing drug related harm, to supplement the additional health services budget referred to below in 410-413 and resource the substitution of water-based glues, etc. in place of solvent-based products currently on the market.

DU408 The Green Party would seek to establish independent committees to oversee the structure of regulation for raves / pay parties / free festivals. These committees would ideally be made up of representatives of the promoters and attenders themselves, the local authority, the Police Authority and the local Health Authority. The local authority would be responsible for ensuring that such events meet the necessary regulations and for issuing licenses. The Police Authority would have the responsibility for ensuring adequate coverage by emergency services and for training and regulation of 'bouncers' or others policing the event. The local Health Authority would provide unbiased information and guidance on health and drug use in connection with such events. The Green party calls for the repeal of the Public Entertainment (drugs misuse) act (The "Barry Legg act") which is making outreach harm reduction measures impossible.

DU409 The Green Party would facilitate the establishment of a licensed non-statutory service providing analysis of any drug regardless of source. The service would be available for a small fee both to organisations and to members of the public and would be confidential, although statistical information from results would be published periodically.

DU410 General information and health education relating to all drugs, both legal and illegal, would be improved with separate approaches to three target groups: young people, those who use drugs and the general public. The Green Party would encourage counselling and advice on drugs to be available to everyone and especially to children and young people by the provision of non-statutory services in schools, youth projects, and via street outreach. These services would be free and confidential. [see H306]

DU411 The Green Party would provide an additional health service budget to fund an increase in the range and number of facilities, both residential and non-residential, for people with drug-related problems. Such facilities would be available on the NHS to all who needed them. Local government support for individually-inspired enterprises such as self-help groups would be encouraged.

DU412 In particular, each Local Health Authority would be provided with sufficient resources to establish appropriate drug-use clinics and needle exchange schemes and to ensure the provision of needle sterilisation facilities for use by prisoners. Related health programmes would also be resourced.

DU413 Resources, including greater support and training, would be made available to LHA's for certain medical practitioners to provide long-term (maintenance) prescriptions of drugs to people, including those in prison, who are unable or unwilling to stop, with the aim of reducing harmful consequences - including health and social problems (especially the spread of HIV and other blood-borne infections), pyramid selling and acquisitive crime. For this purpose, regulations would be brought forward ending where appropriate, the prohibition on the prescribing and dispensing of certain drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Evaluation would be a built-in component of this harm-minimisation strategy.

DU420 The Green Party would publicise the fact that as long as there are wide differences in living standards between the nations of the world, there will always be an incentive for the poorer countries to produce drug crops if a ready market exists for them in richer countries.

DU421 Support for international drug-crop eradication and substitution programmes would be ended.

DU422 Poor countries for whose economic survival the cultivation of drug crops (legal or illegal) is critical will be identified. The Green Party would launch a series of initiatives which would offer realistic alternative trading arrangements in more ecologically and socially benign commodities with the communities that are directly involved. Such 'Trade Substitution Initiatives' would be small-scale in nature, with the minimal bureaucratic intervention and would aim to provide genuine opportunities for the individual farming communities to move away from drug-centred economic activities.

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ECONOMY

Background

EC100 All human economic activity and social and cultural wellbeing are dependent upon the integrity of self-sustaining, self-managing natural systems. Continually increasing resource extraction, industrial throughput and waste production is entirely incompatible with ecological sustainability. Green economic policy must therefore promote the emergence of an economic system which recognises the limits of, and is compatible with, both the natural systems of the planet and the aspirations of the whole of humanity.

EC101 To achieve global ecological sustainability, with equity and social justice, the industrialised countries must actively reduce the physical burden they place on the planet and must, by example, encourage and support the less industrialised countries in adopting appropriate development strategies.

EC110 The objectives outlined below are valid at all levels of human activity - personal, household, local, regional, national, and global.

EC111 The policies given below are stated in general terms only. They are not sufficient in themselves to achieve a green society. Major changes are required in other policy areas to dismantle the political, cultural and economic power structures which presently work against the green objectives stated above.

Objectives

Ecological sustainability

EC200 To conserve natural planetary resources and to maintain the integrity of natural life-sustaining cycles; to regenerate areas made waste and take steps to avoid further ecological disaster; to reduce demand for energy and raw materials; to favour low energy non-polluting processes based on renewable resources.

EC201 To this end, the Citizens' Income (see EC730) will allow the current dependence on economic growth to cease, and allow zero or negative growth to be feasible without individual hardship should this be necessary on the grounds of sustainability. (see PB104-106)

Equity & social justice

EC202 To achieve an equitable distribution of resources, wealth, opportunity and power which ensures access for all to the means of sustenance and of personal and social development.

Decentralisation & devolution

EC203 To devolve economic power to the lowest appropriate level, thereby rendering participants in the economy at all levels less vulnerable to the damaging effects of economic decisions made elsewhere and over which they have no control; to support the 'informal' sector (notably by provision of a Citizens' Income for all) thus reducing the impact of the formal economy.

Self-reliance with interdependence

EC204 To liberate and empower all sections of society to meet their needs as far as possible from their own resources through activities which are socially enhancing; to encourage all to contribute to society according to their abilities, recognising as they do so, responsibility for themselves, for others, for future generations and for the planet.

Indicators

Background

EC310 Conventional economic policy uses economic growth, inflation, balance of payments and unemployment as 'economic indicators', the normal criteria against which progress is measured. Although it is the most usually quoted indicator, gross national product (GNP) is a poor indicator of true progress and does not adequately measure people's sense of well-being. It measures only the activity in the formal sector, regardless of what that activity is. In consequence, current economic theory fails adequately to reflect the real effects of human activity within a finite ecosystem, and is used to 'validate' economic activities which are ecologically unsustainable and/or socially unjust.

Policy

EC311 The Green Party would therefore replace the conventional indicators with those that measure progress towards sustainability, equity and devolution.

The 'Personal' and 'Informal' Economy

Background

EC400 A great deal of economic activity worldwide is unaccounted for (and is largely performed by women), e.g. work in the home and community voluntary work. This work is essential to the survival of the wider economy, yet is unacknowledged by conventional economic theory and practice. Individual consumer choice can be exercised positively, in

favour of environmentally and ethically sound products, and investment, including promotion of low-interest loans; negatively, as in consumer boycotts; or actively in favour of ethical investment and reduced overall consumption. (see EC731)

Objectives

EC401 The objective of EC402 is to shift the balance of economic power in favour of individuals and households, and away from large scale, remote private companies and central government. It will make full-time paid employment less necessary, and will encourage home-based and part-time employment, and work in the 'third sector' (EC660). People will be able to choose their own working lifestyles. The objective of EC403 is to enable people to meet their needs at the level most personal to them (the household sector being the smallest unit in any community) and to contribute more effectively through the informal economy to the wider community. A strong household sector, both informal and formal, will be resilient to fluctuations in the wider economy.

Policies

EC402 Introducing the Citizens' Income scheme. (see EC730)

EC403 Policies will be established to support the household as an important centre of economic activity.

E404 Policies which support and encourage the personal and informal economies include initiating research and development into products and technologies specifically appropriate for use in the home-based economy; changing planning and building regulations to encourage home based enterprises; providing grants for re-skilling, and for the necessary tools and technology necessary for home-based enterprises.

The Local Economy

Background and Objectives

EC500 In the development of a sustainable world economic system, the local economy is the arena in which many of the key decisions must be made.

EC501 In accordance with the Green Party objectives of bringing decision making to the most appropriate level, and promoting self reliance within communities and regions, revival and support of the local economy is of the greatest importance. Policies are necessary to enable more local needs to be met by local work using local resources.

Policies

EC510 Policies to promote reduced consumption and assist in appropriate consumer choices include ensuring openness in the workings of all public and private institutions; establishing a Green product labelling scheme; commissioning a register of ethical and Green companies.

EC511 Policies to promote local economic management and planning include creating Partnership Bodies to enable a wide range of local people to participate in the development of policy, strategy, projects and enterprise; undertaking a wide ranging audit of local social, economic and environmental affairs and concerns; drafting appropriate sustainable economic development strategies for the locality.

EC512 Policies to increase local investment and the circulation of local finance within the community, include the development of democratically accountable Community Banks, designed to encourage local people to invest in local economic activity and empowered to create credit at interest rates sufficient only to cover administration when channelling local savings into economically and environmentally sound community enterprises. They should include removal, where necessary, of national restrictions. We will promote Credit Unions and skills exchange schemes, along with researching the best use of local currencies and encouraging their adoption. (see EC662)

EC513 Policies to promote ecologically sustainable local economic development include developing the legal basis for private and public sector organisations to have an annual social and environmental audit of their operations. They will then be required to submit accurate social and environmental accounts together with their annual financial accounts. These will be audited by independent experts and made publicly available: the penalties for misrepresentation would, as with annual accounts, be severe. (see EC651)

Post Office

EC520 The privatisation of the post office in part or full is against the interests of people living in rural and urban communities, and that furthermore the protection of the existing network of post offices and mail delivery arrangements should be strengthened by giving added commercial freedom to Royal Mail, Parcelforce, and Post Office Counters Limited.

Local Government Finance

EC550 As the economy becomes more decentralised, and inequalities in wealth between different districts are reduced, a greater proportion of taxation will be levied locally, and more expenditure decisions will be made and public services provided at local level by local government. Each local government must be free to decide its revenue and spending priorities, within the limits of regionally, nationally and internationally agreed resource and environmental needs, and subject to the need to meet basic standards and requirements set by national government.

EC551 As much as is practical, the revenue required to fund such expenditure should be raised through local taxation. However, the inherent inequalities between different areas of the country will require a redistribution of wealth and resources between districts and regions in order to ensure that public services can be fairly and adequately paid for across the whole country. This redistribution should be overseen by a commission, independent of central government (see PA403), to ensure that it is sufficient and that it is not squeezed in order to minimise either general tax rates of the local taxes in more affluent areas. The redistribution should take account of criteria such as net migration, poverty and social deprivation, industrial base, natural resources, and environmental damage as experienced by different districts and regions.

The National Economy

Background

EC600 National government is currently the major force in economic management largely through its receipts from taxation and its high expenditure.

Objectives

EC601 The long term aim is for economic power to be exercised by all sections of society. Consequently the most important levels for development will be those most neglected hitherto - the personal, household, community and regional levels.

EC602 That in the long term national government intervention will reduce to a 'safety-net' in support of local services.

Policy

EC603 The transitional stages will require judicious use of national public expenditure to guide and support the development of a Green society

Supply-side and infrastructure

EC610 Appropriate national public expenditure will be necessary for the regeneration of the supply side of the economy to achieve the green objectives. Extensive investment is required to repair the damaged natural environment; to restore infrastructure; and to develop re-skilling and retraining in socially- and environmentally-friendly production and services.

EC611 Restructuring of the supply-side will be achieved through precise targeting of pump-priming and development funding, not through long term commitment of large-scale public finance. Comprehensive environmental accounting procedures will play a significant role in this development (see EC513). Particular emphasis

will be laid on local community involvement in the decision-making process.

EC612 Priority will be given to those industries which have minimum environmental impact and production methods that are consistent with ecological sustainability. The conversion programme for the defence, energy and chemical industries will be tackled as a matter of urgency; excessive production of short-life, throwaway products will be strongly discouraged.

The 'third sector'

EC620 Special attention will be paid to development of the third sector of the economy, which combines the discipline and flexibility of the private sector, the accountability and the community-responsiveness of the public sector, the social concern of the voluntary sector and the activities of the informal economy.

EC621 Selective subsidy and support for the third sector will help to produce many socially and environmentally benign local enterprises. Development funding will channel local savings into local economically and environmentally sound community initiatives (EC512). The Citizens' Income scheme (EC730) will further enhance opportunities for individual participation in the third sector.

Companies, ownership & the stakeholder principle

EC650 The unaccountable exercise of economic power by large corporations has done much to destroy the environment and convivial social structures. Green policies will establish greater community and environmental accountability.

EC651 Smaller and more democratically structured enterprises are more open to community regulation, ensuring that greater care is taken both of the people who work in them, and of the concerns and needs of the local community and the environment. These forms of organisation will be promoted and encouraged by economic legislation. Changes in Company Law, taxation, and in monopolies and mergers legislation, will reduce the size of inappropriately large companies.

EC652 The right of the shareholders to dividends must not be the single most important criterion for company policy making. Those with a stake in the company's decisions must have the right to make informed input into those decisions. These 'stakeholders' include the share holders, the workers, consumers, the local community and advocates for the local environment. New legal and institutional structures will be created to enable these stakeholders to have a voice in the running of companies and other relevant organisations.

Monetary policy

EC660 In a Green society the informal sector will eventually gain in significance so that formal transactions and money generally will have a lesser role than at present. There is however no reason why a financial system cannot be made to work in the interests of the community. Practical decentralisation of banking and monetary policy will therefore be linked with a programme of political devolution.

EC661 The emphasis in monetary policy will be to control and redirect the creation of money towards socially and environmentally sound areas of the economy, and away from unsustainable and consumption-driven areas.

EC662 The current banking system enables commercial banks and financial institutions to exert an unacceptably large influence on the economy as a whole. These commercial banking institutions work to a purely commercial agenda in which the desirability of making loans is assessed only in terms of its financial viability to the lenders.

EC663 The banking system should be largely brought under democratic control, preferably at a local level. This will allow the process to work in the best interests of the community as a whole, rather than principally in the interests of commercial banks and their shareholders.

EC664 The Bank of England will continue to be the institution for the regulation of the national currency and the setting of base interest rates. However, it will not focus on narrow economic indicators such as the rate of inflation, but instead will take a broader view on the impact of its decisions on the economy as a whole. Final decisions on the setting of base interest rates will be made by a democratically accountable committee made up of representatives selected from the different regions of the country.

EC665 In order to help bring about the democratisation of the banking system, and in pursuit of our policies to support the growth of local economies, a network of local Community Banks will be established. These will be democratically accountable non-profit-making trusts, which will be able to provide low-cost finance both at district and regional levels. Any operating surplus arising from these Community Banks will be reinvested in their local communities. Community Banks will be empowered to create credit in the same way that commercial banks currently do, and will be given favourable conditions for doing so by the central bank. They will also be able to create their own local currencies, to operate alongside the national currency, where this is supported by the local community.

EC666 In order to bring about a more socially equitable society, it is important that poorer citizens have access to affordable credit, which can give them an opportunity to increase their basic living standards. Alongside Community Banks, measures to help facilitate this will include the promotion and support of credit unions and micro-credit schemes in which small groups of people cooperate to provide guaranteed small loans to each other.

Private Financing of Public Services

EC680 Using private finance to fund public services (through schemes such as the "Private Finance Initiative [PFI]" or the "Public Private Partnership [PPP]") is flawed. It is primarily aimed at providing services without large costs to taxpayers in the short-term. However, in the long-term this makes no financial sense as facilities remain in private hands, rather than being publicly owned assets, and government funds have to be paid over to private operators indefinitely. The requirement to provide a profit to private shareholders also adds to the overall cost to society.

EC681 The Green Party is concerned about the effects of such schemes on the delivery of public services, and on the pay and conditions of those working within them. Private investment is not a desirable solution to years of underinvestment in health, education etc. We believe that public services should be publicly owned in order to guarantee the level of service required by society, and that other public social budgets are not left to compensate for the inadequate treatment of the workforce.

EC682 We therefore oppose such private financing schemes, and call for public funds (either through taxation or, where necessary, public borrowing) to be used to build all new hospitals, schools and other public service infrastructure. If the renegotiation of existing privatised contracts is impossible, the government should at least aim to bring all affected facilities back into public ownership as soon as possible.

EC683 Our opposition does not extend to the buying of goods and services from suppliers outside the public service organisation itself, so long as control (i.e. finance, ownership and management) of the public services themselves remains in the hands of the community rather than those serving the profit motive

Taxation

Principles

EC700 Taxation is needed in order to fund government expenditure. However the raising of funds is not the only purpose of taxation. The way that taxes are levied also has a vital role in bringing about a green society based on social equity and ecological sustainability.

EC701 Direct taxation, in conjunction with benefits payments, can be used to create greater social equity and justice. Indirect taxation can be used to try to alter consumption patterns and create ecological sustainability. The purpose of a green taxation policy should not be to shift the overall relative burden of taxation either towards direct or towards indirect taxation. Instead, the aim is to alter our approaches to both direct and indirect taxation so that it is better suited to help bring about a green society.

EC702 In general, indirect taxation is regressive, i.e. it impacts relatively more heavily on the poorer members of society than those who are more wealthy. In this way, indirect taxation works against the creation of social equity and, therefore, against the aims of a green society. For this reason such taxes should not be levied unless their intention is to help bring about ecological sustainability or to address concerns about other social issues such as public health.

Direct Taxation

Income Tax

EC710 Income Tax is the instrument by which all citizens who are able to are required to contribute a proportion of their labours to the running of public services. It is also, when combined with benefits payments, the primary way in which wealth can be redistributed in order to create a fairer society.

EC711 Personal tax-free allowances will be abolished, having effectively been replaced by the Citizen's Income (see EC730). Income Tax will be levied on all income above the Citizen's Income. Tax rates will be banded and will increase progressively so that those on higher incomes are paying higher marginal rates of tax.

EC712 In order that people are not penalised by paying high rates of tax in one year, whilst their income dramatically drops in the next (either through personal choice or for reasons beyond their control) income will be averaged over five years and the tax calculated on the rolling average figure.)

National Insurance

EC720 National Insurance is a form of income tax in disguise. As it is only levied on "earnings" (i.e. wages and self-employment income), it means that "unearned" investment income is currently taxed at a lower rate than "earned" income.

EC721 Under a green taxation system, National Insurance will be abolished as a separate entity and merged into general Income Tax. The distinction between "earned" and "unearned" income will no longer be used to determine different methods of taxation.

Citizens' Income

EC730 A Citizen's Income sufficient to cover an individual's basic needs will be introduced, which will replace tax-free allowances and most social security benefits (see EC711). A Citizen's Income is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income payable to each individual as a right of citizenship. It will not be subject to means testing and there will be no requirement to be either working or actively seeking work.

EC731 The Citizens' Income will eliminate the unemployment and poverty traps, as well as acting as a safety net to enable people to choose their own types and patterns of work (See EC400). The Citizens' Income scheme will thus enable the welfare state to develop towards a welfare community, engaging people in personally satisfying and socially useful work.

EC732 When the Citizens' Income is introduced it is intended that nobody will be in a position that they will receive less through the scheme than they were entitled to under the previous benefits system. Children will be entitled to a reduced amount which will be payable to a parent or legal guardian. People with disabilities/[84] or special needs, and single parents will receive a supplement.

EC733 Initially, the housing benefit system will remain in place alongside the Citizens' Income and will be extended to cover contributions towards mortgage repayments (see HO602). This will subsequently be reviewed to establish how housing benefit could be incorporated into the Citizen's Income, taking into account the differences in housing costs between different parts of the country and different types of housing.

Capital Gains Tax

EC740 With the introduction of the Citizens' Income and the removal of personal tax-free allowances, Capital Gains Tax exemptions/thresholds will also be removed with the exception of a person's only or main home which will continue to be exempt. Tax would then be paid on all profits made on the sale of investment assets, but not on the sale of ordinary household items which would remain exempt.

EC741 Capital gains will be added into a person's income for a tax year and be subject to Income Tax in the normal way. Similarly capital losses will be used to reduce a person's taxable income.

EC742 The Green Party would tax all capital gains made on investment assets on the death of the owner, Capital Gains Tax will be levied on the unrealised Capital Gain on any investments which are still held as if they had been sold at the date of death. Similarly, tax will be levied on any unrealised gain on assets which are given during a donor's lifetime.

EC743 Short-term speculative trading in stocks, shares and currencies has a de-stabilising effect on the economy as a whole. In order to discourage such trading, a small tax will be levied on the value of all stocks, shares, gilts, bonds, commodities and currency transactions.

Inheritance/Accessions Tax

EC750 The principal purpose of Inheritance Tax is to reverse and prevent the accumulation of wealth and power by a privileged class. With the taxing of unrealised Capital Gains at the point of death (see EC742), the size of inherited estates will already be reduced. Further taxes, in the form of Inheritance Tax, should be designed to re-distribute wealth without being so wide in scope that they become a financial and bureaucratic burden on most ordinary people.

EC751 Inheritance Tax will be reformed so that it is calculated on a "recipient basis" (i.e. with reference to the circumstances of the person receiving the inheritance rather than the donor). It will also be extended to include gifts made during a donor's lifetime, rather than just those given as inheritances on death, therefore becoming an accessions tax.

EC752 There will be an annual exemption/threshold for amounts received as gifts or inheritances. As with Income Tax, receipts of this kind will be averaged over a five year period. Any taxable amounts which remain above the tax-free threshold will then be assessed for Inheritance Tax.

EC753 Inheritance Tax rates will be progressively banded, with rates of tax increasing according to a recipient's total income/wealth. Recipients who only pay Income Tax at lower rates will not be subject to Inheritance Tax.

EC754 The tax-free threshold will be sufficient to ensure that most ordinary gifts between members of families/[85] with moderate incomes will not be taxed, and, as gifts will be averaged over a five year period, it will also allow for larger "one-off" gifts (such as those received on marriage/[86], or given by parents to their offspring to help them buy a house).

EC755 Private trusts will be taxed at a single uniform rate on all assets transferred into them and profits made by them. There will be no annual exemption/threshold for trusts. Distributions from trusts to beneficiaries will be taxed according to the recipient's circumstances, in accordance with the policies laid out above.

EC756 As with Capital Gains Tax, a person's only or main home will be exempt from Inheritance Tax. If a person inherits a property which is already their principal private residence there will be no Inheritance Tax to pay.

Corporation Tax

EC760 Corporation Tax will continue to be levied on the net profits earned by companies. These will be banded, with higher rates payable by larger companies in order to encourage smaller businesses.

EC761 The Corporation Tax rules should not encourage businesses to become incorporated in order to take advantage of favourable tax conditions. Therefore Corporations Tax rates, particularly the starting rates, should not give smaller companies an advantage over their unincorporated competitors.

EC762 Some businesses operating within the UK do not currently pay UK taxes because they are able to transfer their profits abroad to have them taxed there. The Green Party would close any existing loopholes so that company profits earned in the UK were taxed here, even where this would mean that profits of trans-national corporations may be taxed twice - once in the UK and again in a foreign country.

Indirect Taxation

VAT

EC770 VAT is the largest revenue provider of all the current indirect taxes. It is often referred to as a tax on "consumption", whereas it is more accurately described as a tax on the spending of money. In conventional economic terms these might be seen to be the same thing, but to greens the word "consumption" implies the using up of the world's valuable resources and this is the type of consumption that we would wish to tax in order to encourage resource conservation.

EC771 The current system of VAT is regressive and is not intended to bring about any ecological benefits. It therefore does not fit with the principles of green taxation laid out in EC702. It is also highly bureaucratic and a severe burden on many small businesses. For these reasons, the Green Party would phase out VAT over a period of time and replace it with a system of environmental taxation measures ("eco-taxes"). These will target specific products, production methods, resources used and pollutants produced in order to discourage ecologically unsustainable consumption. (see EC780, LP511 and EU414)

Alcohol and Tobacco Duties

EC775 In order to address concerns over public health, taxes will continue to be levied on alcohol and tobacco products. New taxes would also be levied on any other drugs which may be legalised by a Green government (see DU402). As with other indirect taxes, these taxes will be regressive in nature and will therefore be designed to encourage changes in behaviour rather than to provide increased government revenue.

EC776 The effect of these taxes on the consumption levels of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs will be regularly reviewed. The effects of other regulatory and health promotion measures would also be reviewed, along with regular assessments of the harm done by such drugs in society. In this way, tax levels can be adjusted to the most appropriate levels to help reduce harm caused by drugs.

EC777 When reviewing the effects of these duties on the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, particular attention will be given to the issue of the smuggling of these products from other countries in which duty levels are lower. Amounts which people are allowed to bring into the UK for their own personal use will also be reviewed to ensure that they are not providing a loophole for a significant trade in black-market goods. Regulations should not allow different tax rates in other countries to undermine UK public health policy. (see EC786)

Eco-Taxes

EC780 A system of environmental tax measures ("eco-taxes") will be introduced alongside the phasing out of VAT (see EC771). Such taxation is designed to encourage movement towards a sustainable economy, by increasing the prices of items or services produced using unsustainable or polluting practises. It will therefore be calculated to achieve the desired environmental effects, not to maximise revenue. It is acknowledged that environmental taxation can only be successful when integrated with a great many other policy measures, including regulation where necessary.

EC781 Eco-taxes can be expected to decrease in their revenue raising power as their purpose takes effect. However, as much of the revenue from these taxes will be spent on measures to combat pollution and its effects, the need for such revenue can also be expected to decrease as we move towards a more sustainable society. Therefore, although the operation of all related policies will be continuously reviewed, it should not be assumed from the outset that a reduction in eco-tax revenues will result in a funding shortage.

EC782 Eco-taxes will be levied as close to the point of production as is practical. Resource taxation will be charged on the use of raw materials, and will reflect their relative scarcity and the environmental disruption caused by their extraction. The raw materials which would be subjected to such resource taxes include fossil fuels, hardwoods, metals, minerals and aggregates.

EC783 In order to prevent taxes on fossil fuels from impacting too heavily on the poorest members of society through their domestic fuel bills, households will be given a tax-free (or cost-free) initial fuel allowance which will vary according to the season to reflect basic heating needs. Fuel suppliers will no longer be allowed to levy standing charges for fuel supply, nor to give price discounts for increased fuel use. In this way, the amount paid by the customer for increased fuel use will better reflect the environmental impact.

EC784 Road fuel duties are important in encouraging drivers to become mileage conscious. As far as is practical the costs of motoring should rise in line with increased car usage, to make increase car use less attractive and encourage the use of public transport. Fuel taxes should therefore be increased to incorporate Road Fund Licence ("tax disc").

EC785 As well as taxing the use of resources which are input into a production process, taxes will also be levied on the outputs of those processes, depending on their ecological impact. This will include taxes levied on the desired products of manufacture if they are considered to be pollutants (e.g. pesticides or plastic packaging products) as well as taxes on waste products and emissions (e.g. toxic gases) which are discharged into the surrounding environment. In the case of fossil fuels, CO2 emissions will be taxed in order to discourage their use and reduce their effect on climate change. This will be done by basing the level of taxation on the carbon content of the fuel.

EC786 Import duties will be levied on both raw materials and finished products which will reflect the ecological impact of the production, extraction and transportation of such goods where sufficient eco-taxes are not considered to have been levied in their country of origin. This system will include a re-introduction of duties on goods imported from other European Union countries where considered necessary (see EU443 and EC777). Enforcement procedures exercised by Customs and Excise must be sufficient to prevent a rise in the levels of organised crime in relation to smuggling and evasion of duties.

Land Value Tax

EC791 A system of Land Value Taxation (LVT) will be introduced to replace the Council Tax and the National Non-Domestic Business Rates. LVT rates will be set at a local level, and will be based on the annual rental value of the land.

EC792 Rates will vary according to the permitted use of the land, as determined by planning consents which have been granted. Agricultural land will be taxed at a low rate so that intensive farming is not encouraged or basic food prices forced to rise.

EC793 There will be no reduction of or exemption from LVT for buildings which are left vacant or which have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. In this way, the policy will encourage full use of existing properties and discourage the practice of people speculating on the price of sites whilst keeping the properties empty or derelict.

Pensions

Basic State Pension Provision

EC800 Pensioners deserve a state pension which is sufficient to cover their basic needs and to enable them to live with dignity as of right, without the need for additional means-tested benefits. The Green Party will immediately introduce a Citizens' Pension to replace the current basic state pension and any additional top-up benefits. The Citizens' Pension will initially be set at a level no lower than the current minimum level of income then guaranteed by the government for pensioners, so that nobody will be in a position that they receive less through the system than they were entitled to under the previous state pension and top-up benefits system.

EC801 The Citizen's Pension will replace an individual's Citizen's Income once they reach the specified pension age. This will not restrict an individual's right to continue working, and any additional earnings will be taxed just as they would for those below the pension age. Unlike the current system these payments will be unconditional, given as a right of citizenship and not subject to means testing. They will not be restricted to those people who have paid National Insurance contributions, which, for example currently leaves many women without a proper state pension due to having an incomplete payment record.

EC802. The Citizen's Pension will be set at a higher level than the Citizen's Income. It will be up-rated annually in line with the increase in either a) the price of basic goods and services, or b) average earnings, whichever is greater. There will be a supplement paid to pensioners living alone as well as for those with disabilities/[87] and special needs. This will include payments to cover the costs of residential care, should this become necessary. Elderly residents will no longer be forced to sell their homes in order to pay for such care, as these supplements will not be subject to means-testing.

EC803. As with the Citizen's Income, housing benefit will initially continue to be paid. The situation will subsequently be reviewed to see how a housing cost element could be incorporated into Citizen's Pension payments. (see EC733)

Additional Voluntary Public Pension Provision

EC804. The Green Party recognises that people in paid employment may wish additionally to defer some of their income until the time that they retire, in order to ensure that their standard of living does not dramatically reduce when their employment ends. The usual method of doing this at present is to make contributions to privately administered pension schemes, which then invest those contributions in shares on the Stock Exchange.

EC805. Although we do not envisage an end to the Stock Exchange, its future role in a green society will be significantly reduced as legislation is brought in to reduce the size of inappropriately large companies whose stocks are currently listed (see EC651). Concern that company decisions are made by those stakeholders most affected by them, rather than by distant shareholders who only hold a speculative financial interest, also means that it is inappropriate for the Government to promote or encourage such investment in private pension schemes. Moreover, there have been significant problems with private sector schemes in recent years, including mis-selling and fraud, and this is coupled/[88] with the inherent uncertainty of returns from funds invested on the Stock Exchange to leave those who have contributed to additional pension schemes with far less financial security than they had hoped for.

EC806. It is therefore necessary to introduce publicly administered pension schemes which will enable people voluntarily to provide for their retirement without recourse to the current private pension providers. People will be able to contribute to a national additional scheme in which they will get fixed rate pension investment bonds in return for their contributions. They will also be able to invest in Local Community Pension Schemes, which would be administered by local authorities/community banks and would re-invest the money paid into them within the local community. These could offer the options of either fixed rate local bonds, or an equity-based scheme which would give variable returns from investment in appropriate local businesses which satisfied various criteria concerning environmental and social standards. Those who have contributed to such publicly administered pension schemes should receive an annual statement detailing the current value of their pension fund, and an estimate of the future level of an annuity purchased by that fund on retirement.

EC807. Stakeholder pension legislation will be amended so that employers need only offer entry into such publicly administered schemes. There will no longer be any tax relief for contributions to additional pension schemes, whether privately or publicly administered. It would still be possible to use the accumulated pension fund to buy an annuity, but no longer compulsory to do so. A publicly run annuity scheme would be set up to offer a secure alternative to those which are privately run. Income received from annuities, whether public or private, would no longer be taxed on receipt.

Occupational Pension Schemes

EC808. Where companies run an occupational pension scheme, the scheme must only be run for the benefit of workers, former workers and pensioners whose representatives must form a majority on the Board of Trustees. We would immediately ensure that changes to existing occupational pension arrangements could only take place with the agreement of the affected workers, former workers, existing pensioners and their representatives.

The European Dimension

(see also 'Europe' policy)

EC850 Many of the national level policies outlined here would be difficult if not impossible to pursue while the European Union pursues unsustainable and corporatist economic policies. In particular the Single Market is in direct conflict with the encouragement of self-reliant and diverse local economies; the movement towards a single currency is in conflict with the need to retain, and devolve to lower levels, independence in monetary policy; the EU requirement for common external tariffs conflicts with the proposed imposition of equivalent resource taxation for imported goods.

EC851 Equally many of the national level policies outlined here could be delegated to a reconstituted 'European Confederation of Regions' (see International Policy). Only trans-national institutions are able to implement the regulatory and fiscal measures which can confront those seeking to gain from unsustainable and inequitable activities. The potential significance of a reformed European Union for Green objectives must be acknowledged.

EC852 While the UK remains a member of the currently constituted EU, we will work to reverse the trends of economic centralisation in the EU and seek to replace them with economic devolution. At the same time, we will maintain the maximum possible freedom for unilateral action to implement Green economic policies.

The Global Economy

Background and Principles

EC900 National economic systems operating in isolation cannot resolve the problems of trans-boundary pollution, exploitation of global resources and inequitable relation ships between rich and poor countries. Resolution of the global economic and ecological crises requires a new order of cooperation between nations with the development of new international institutions and agreements, in which a green European Confederation could play an important role. (see 'International' policy)

EC901 Economic globalisation is integrating national economies and labour markets more tightly together as the flow of goods, services, and investment across borders expands. This is locking producers, both North and South, into an increasingly competitive system, while lower social and environmental standards are increasingly being used to facilitate trade expansion. But competitiveness is a zero-sum game: one country can become more competitive only at the expense of another. For poor countries, and for poorer people in the industrialised countries, globalisation has meant marginalisation; and for the environment, it has meant increasing destruction.

EC902 Formidably powerful and publicly unaccountable trans-national companies are becoming ever more footloose, their strength and mobility facilitated both by technological advances, and by the progressive withdrawal of investment controls by governments and by multilateral institutions such as WTO. TNCs are now increasingly able to exploit differences in social and environmental standards between countries in order to maximise profits.

EC903 The rush towards globalisation is neither inevitable nor desirable. It is leading to the sharp reduction in powers of local and indigenous communities, states, and even nations, to control their futures, as economic power is transferred to global institutions. A worldwide homogenization of diverse, local, and indigenous cultures, social and economic forms, as well as values and living patterns increasingly reflect the new global monoculture

EC904 New global agreements are urgently needed to regulate international trade and investment in the interests of equity and sustainable development. Green policies are based on the principle that we need to reduce to a minimum the overall volume of international trade, and to revitalise local communities by promoting maximum self-reliance, economic, social, and political control, and environmental sustainability. These policies will also greatly increase employment opportunities.

Objectives and Policies

Strategies for self-reliance

EC910 Increased economic cooperation must be accompanied by much greater economic self-reliance for regions and nations. Self- reliance provides an alternative to the present level of unsustainable and inequitable international relationships. Strategies for self-reliance must be pursued at all levels of national and international economies.

EC911 Green policies will be adopted which increase small-scale, local community import substitution, rather than export promotion, support local food growing in place of cash crops for the international market, and encourage forms of economic development which are consistent with the culture and aspirations of the people concerned - involving their effective participation in all areas of development and at all stages of the decision- making process.

International economic management

EC920 Both taxation and public expenditure are currently necessary at the global level. Taxation levied by global institutions, derived from present agencies, may be revenue-raising, redistributive or regulatory in purpose. Tax revenue is required by the international community both to fund transfer payments to poorer countries, to replace 'Aid', and to finance the necessary international resources and pollution inspectorates.

EC921 Possible taxes include taxes on the exploitation of the global environment (e.g. sea-bed mining, unsustainable management of all forests, including tropical rain forests); taxes on activities which pollute the global environment, including transboundary pollution, international transport and release of gases that cause global warming; international trade tariffs; a uniform tax on currency exchanges. The last two could provide national economies with a degree of protection against domination by external economic forces and against economic perturbations caused by decisions made elsewhere.

Global agencies

EC930 Current international bodies (e.g. the IMF and World Bank) have been dominated by the Western bloc. They are fundamentally undemocratic and outmoded in economic practice. They are more often arenas for international conflict than cooperation. To create the necessary ecological and accountable institutions, an urgent programme of reform and innovation based on existing bodies must be undertaken.

EC931 Policies can include seeking commitment from the World Bank in the short term to end environmentally damaging projects and in the longer term to a complete overhaul of international financial institutions; providing creative alternatives to IMF austerity measures imposed on the world's already most impoverished peoples; legislating to make the decision-making processes of the financial institutions more open and accessible; establishing a World Environmental Agency to administer a Global Environmental Agreement.

Trade

EC940 In the short to medium term, strategies to reduce the volume of international trade could have severe impacts on developing countries, many of which have become dependent on exports. We will work with them to design and finance transitional strategies to minimise these effects. Other Green policies, including debt cancellation, will also help to ease the transition to more self-reliant economies.

Long term aims

EC941 To redesign trade policy so that it is based on less, not more, international trade, and founded on the principles of equity and sustainable development.

EC942 To replace the WTO with a more accountable, decentralised body, which aims to protect and enhance social and environmental conditions, and to develop strong self-reliant regions where individual communities meet more of their own needs.

EC943 To increase local democracy and control over economic decision-making.

Short term aims

EC944 To undertake urgent research into developing transitional strategies to move trade into new regional patterns.

EC945 To introduce import and export controls on a national and/or regional bloc level, with the aim of allowing localities and countries to produce as much of their food, goods, and services as they can themselves.

EC946 To introduce into the WTO a social clause, based on ILO standards, establishing minimum labour rights and conditions for participation in the multilateral trading system, together with new rules to prohibit countries from weakening existing social and environmental regulations to attract, or retain, foreign investment.

EC947 To establish new international trade rules to reconcile conflicts at national and international levels between free trade and sustainable resource management, which would place environmental protection and sustainable development above the pursuit of profit. These would include rules to enable countries to internalise the full environmental costs of international trade, including the true costs of transport. Trade rules would permit legitimate border tax adjustment to compensate for energy or pollution taxes imposed on domestic industries, and enable countries to discriminate between products on the basis of the way they are processed/produced. Obligations on developing countries to comply with higher standards should be linked to the provision of transitional technical and financial support.

EC948 To incorporate into trade policy making the commitment given at the UN Beijing Women's Conference (1995) to mainstream gender/[89] analysis into all levels of policy making, and in particular to incorporate a gender/[90] impact assessment into all trade policy making and policy reviews.

EC949 To integrate the WTO more closely into the UN system. The WTO should be answerable to the UN through regular reports to the Secretary-General, the General Assembly, and the Economic and Social Council.

EC950 To ensure expanded and timely public access to all WTO documents, and access for representatives of civil society to WTO meetings.

EC951 To introduce into the WTO a food security clause, which would allow developing countries to protect their food systems up to the point of self-sufficiency for social, ecological, and economic reasons

EC952 To prohibit subsidised agricultural export dumping, and to redesign the agricultural policies of the industrialised countries to encourage less intensive production, and to redistribute income support from the largest producers to the small-holders.

EC953 To introduce an international tax on currency speculation, both to raise revenue for development, and to deter a form of financial activity which is deeply, destabilising for all countries.

International finance

EC960 The present international financial system provides disproportionate benefits to banks, trans-national corporations and currency speculators. It must be replaced by a system in which money returns to its proper role as a medium of exchange, not a commodity in its own right. This requires international negotiation. The result could be a reformed World Bank and International Monetary Fund at the centre of a global economic system with commercial institutions playing a much diminished role. (see also IP330-344)

Debt

EC970 To make progress towards a global economy which resolves inequitable relationships between rich and poor nations, and which eliminates the exploitation of global resources, the international debt crisis must be tackled. A programme to eliminate international debt must be accepted which adopts wholesale writing-off and writing-down together with the selective use of 'creative redemption' and limitation of the banks' right to create credit at high interest rates.

EC971 In advance of such agreements, we propose cooperation with other like-minded countries in bilateral arrangements; an audit of the debt world-wide and its implications for the debtor countries; effective local management of any debt-environment swaps.

Trans-national corporations

(see also IP400-431)

EC980 Many TNCs possess resources greater than nation states. Freer trade has meant greater freedom for TNCs to operate to their own advantage for short-term gain and to the disadvantage of the global environment and at significant human cost.

EC981 The damage caused by TNCs can be tackled through both economic and legal sanctions such as initiating research on TNC activities throughout the world; setting up national and international capital controls to ensure profits made by TNCs are reinvested in the countries of origin; legislating against transfer-pricing activities; banning the export of environmentally damaging technologies and products; the acquisition of patents from TNCs to enable smaller companies to take over some of their activities.

Aid

EC990 In the short term, policies to reduce the damaging effect of 'self-serving' "Aid" must be adopted. These could include the abolishing of tied Aid, including the aid/trade provision; permitting Aid project formulation to be under the control of local communities; giving priority to small scale sustainable projects based on local self-reliance and low environmental impact technologies; encouraging international community linking projects to develop a greater sense of global responsibility; replacing interest-bearing loans by grants (gifts) and interest- free loans. (see also IP250-266)

E-Commerce

Introduction

EC1000 Green Party economic policies are founded on the principles of social equity and ecological sustainability. Our attitude and policies regarding e-commerce therefore reflect this (see PB206 and PB431). The Green Party believes the development and application of E Commerce technology and E-Business practices has some positive aspects, for example by opening up possibilities for people to work from home, thus reducing the need for travel, and preventing social exclusion, by helping to ensure that individuals and communities have access to businesses and services even if otherwise hampered by disability/[91] or remoteness of location and by helping to develop links between communities and businesses and building a vibrant local economy, and our policies seek to ensure that any positives are not outweighed by the possible negatives.

Environmental Impacts

EC1010 E commerce facilitates an increased ability to purchase goods from anywhere in the world. This will lead to major changes in freight transport and distribution, which may lead to a net increase in the movement of goods to and around the UK.

EC1011 The manufacture of digital hardware involves many highly toxic processes.

Policies

EC1012 The Green Party's policies on Transport and Taxation, in particular our policies on fuel taxation, import duties and transport planning address these issues (see TR030 to TR038 and TR040 to TR049, EC786).

EC1013 The Green Party would make manufacturers of equipment responsible for its reuse, recycling or safe disposal. Any disposal should be done according to principles of responsible disposal. (see NR411 and NR412). The Green Party would encourage partnerships between manufacturers and charities to enable equipment to be reused by, for example, reconditioning it for people on low incomes.

Social Inclusion

EC1020 E-commerce and the provision of on-line services has potential benefits for social inclusion. It is able to provide access to services which some people may have previously been denied due to physical disability/[92] or the remoteness of their geographical location. However, e-commerce also has the ability to exclude large numbers of people due to the "digital divide". The 'digital divide' is defined as the divide between those who have and who do not have access to the physical technology and know-how to use it.

EC1021 The Green Party recognises that there are three aspects to tackling the 'digital divide':

1.Improving connectivity across the UK so that people have access to the physical hardware and software resources to enable them to participate in a digital economy;

2.Improving IT skills training in the community so that people can use new technology effectively;

3.Ensuring that all possible services (and particularly Government services) should be available either face to face, by post, or over the telephone, to ensure that those who cannot use the Internet do not suffer discrimination.

Policies

EC1022 The Green Party supports the provision of communal IT equipment in libraries, community centres, post offices etc. to make sure more people are able to use the technology. Where usage charges are levied, these should be minimal to ensure that those on low incomes feel able to use it. The Green Party would also actively promote free educational courses in IT skills to all parts of the community.

EC1023 Wherever government, at whatever level, introduces on-line versions of its services this must be to increase the public's choice of such services, rather than reduce it. More traditional forms of access to services should therefore always be kept open in order to ensure that nobody is excluded from benefiting from them.

Financial Issues

EC1030 When money circulates within the UK economy, it becomes subject to taxation here every time it is spent or earned. However, with financial transactions now carried out electronically more frequently, due to the expansion of e-commerce, there is an increasing amount of money being spent across national barriers. This therefore escapes taxation in its country of origin and transfers wealth across the world from one nation to another. The Green Party notes that this problem coupled/[93] with the tendency of governments to reduce corporation taxes and income taxes in order to attract investment from TNCs could mean a reduction in the monies available to finance public services.

EC1031 The Green Party also notes that the costs/benefit ratio of E Commerce needs to operate favourably for small businesses, such that this technology does not make life easier for big business at the expense of small local businesses.

Policies

EC1032 The Green Party promotes the idea of self-reliant economies. This means that, whenever possible, profits made are re-invested within the country of origin. Where this is not entirely practical, taxation should be used to both raise public finance in the country of origin and discourage the transfer of business outside it. To this end, all international funds transfers should be taxed, with the tax revenue being retained in the country of origin of the funds. (see EC743)

EC1033 The Green Party requires the Government to assist and enable Local Authorities (by appropriate provision of funds and expertise) to develop localised 'e markets' so that local traders and providers of services locally can be linked up, and that local communities have full access to this information.

Employment Issues

EC1040 The Green Party recognises that the move towards a digital economy will have impacts for employment patterns and people's conditions and terms of employment.

Policies

EC1041 There will be a need for people to be trained to fix 'the whole object' and to learn how things work together rather than simply learning 'parts replacement'. The Green Party calls for a change to the way maintenance skills are taught in schools and further/higher education. The Green Party also believes that the Government should encourage companies to provide multi skills training for employees, either in house or by releasing them from their employment to study.

EC1042 The Green Party notes that that a digital economy is a more fluid economy and therefore the potential for shifting operations quickly thus resulting in redundancies could be greatly increased. We call for a strengthening of legislation on protection from redundancy. (see WR330-333)

Consumer Protection

EC1050 E-commerce can raise particular issues for consumer protection, since it makes it far more likely that the purchaser and supplier are in different jurisdictions. While the supplier can usually be sure that they get their money through electronic funds transfer using credit cards, the buyer faces both potential fraud through the misuse of credit card details by the supplier or others, and the possibility that the goods will not be supplied or are unsatisfactory, and that the supplier is outside the UK, and in practice very difficult legally to pursue.

Policies

EC1051 All credit, debit or charge card companies issuing cards to UK resident consumers may only do so on the condition that suppliers accepting their card on the internet may only do so if they adopt appropriate security procedures.

EC1052 E-banking web sites should always have registered address prominently posted on the home page. Customers should expect & get the same protection and levels of service as consumers using bank branches or postal accounts.

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EDUCATION
Section 1: Introduction - the Green Vision
ED100 If the human race/[94] is to create a sustainable and inclusive society for the future, we need to be good at learning from our experiences, able to co-operate, to value each other, to think creatively and to be optimistic about our capacity to solve problems. We need to have the courage to face challenges and to be willing to take responsibility for actions and decisions, including those concerned with our own learning.
ED101 Learning is a natural human activity which takes place from birth to death in an untold variety of situations, planned and unplanned, alone or with others. An education system should enhance, rather than inhibit, this natural activity, offering resources, teachers, opportunities, structures and challenges. In a Green society the education system will not be geared towards economic dominance, but towards co-operation, enlightenment, emancipation, and the nurturing of each individual.

Background against which this vision is set
ED110 We are still living in an age of mass education, which is a product of nineteenth century industrial society's demand for a numerate and literate workforce. The "one size fits all" model still dominates, with increasing standardisation of a knowledge-based curriculum, and national testing. This is in complete disregard of, on the one hand, the information-rich society in which we now live; and, on the other, new psychological insights into the learning process, especially the importance of diverse learning styles.
ED111 The link between the education system and the economy means that certification is overemphasised, implying learning has no value for its own sake, but only in relation to its contribution to the material wealth of society or that of the individual learner. Certification is also used as a gate-keeping or filtering mechanism, to prevent people from following their preferred learning objectives.
ED112 Educational debate is dominated by the assumption that Britain's economic failure is due to inadequacies in schooling. Political distrust of the teaching profession has generated a period of bewildering experimentation and change, and demoralised the profession, thus creating a classic self-fulfilling prophecy.
ED113 The Green Party recognises and supports the efforts of trade unions in education to promote acceptable working practices, reduce the burdens of bureaucracy and create a quality teaching experience for all those engaged in teaching at any level. The engagement of all stakeholders in developing future education policy is an essential part of reforming education.

Section 2: Principles
Underpinning assumptions
ED200 People are "natural born learners". They have a desire to learn derived from innate curiosity and a wish for self-development. When this desire is released they have a large capacity for learning. Both the desire and the capacity persist in different forms throughout life.
ED201 The human desire to learn is one of the major assets of any society. A society can derive immeasurable benefits from releasing this natural motivation and supporting learning arising from it.
ED202 Some people's learning may be inhibited by aspects of their educational experience. Educational institutions need to be aware of their role of supporting the learning of a diverse student body. This must be reflected in a diversity of learning support mechanisms.
ED203 Children, in particular, need protection from things which can destroy, frustrate or corrupt their desire to learn. Parents are important educators of their children, but we need to recognise that they do not own their children, and may not always act in their children's best interests. Like schools, parents may act as inhibitors of learning. Children's learning can best be promoted by a partnership through which society offers parents recognition and support in their role as educators.
ED204 The educational system needs to support flexible learning programmes. We would like to see more opportunities for distance learning and lifelong education. People acquire new knowledge and skills continuously in pursuit of their areas of interest or in response to demands placed on them by changes in work or life roles.

The right to learning opportunities
ED210 All members of society are entitled to the opportunity to learn throughout their lives. Society should seek means to support all who are looking for learning opportunities.
ED211 Access to learning opportunities should not be restricted by ability to pay nor by gender/[95], class, race/[96] or disability/[97]/ability. The labelling and segregating of some children, on the basis of standardised tests, must be discontinued.
ED212 Educational provision should be offered on a human scale: the ratio of teachers to learners should be appropriate for the age of the learners and the situation.
ED213 As their capacity develops, children and young adults should where appropriate be encouraged to participate in the development of their own learning, and at an appropriate age for the individual, to take responsibility for it.

Learning styles
ED220 Different learning styles suit different individuals and different learning tasks.
ED221 Communities should support a diversity of educational provision.
ED222 The education system should aim to develop self-directed learners, who can take advantage of learning opportunities throughout their lives.

Learning for a sustainable society
ED230 Providers of education should manage their own resources in a sustainable way. They may act as research establishments for the development of sustainable lifestyles.

Democracy and accountability
ED240 The designing, funding, implementation and evaluation of public educational provision should be the responsibility of the most appropriate local elected body (see PA300). Privatisation of the management of these services removes accountability and will be resisted.
ED241 All members of a community, including children, should be encouraged to participate in the management of educational provision.

Section 3: Educational provision for children
Introduction
ED300 The education system for children in a Green society will aim to enable children to become self-directed learners who can learn from experience, work with others, value each other, think creatively and take responsibility.
ED301 The system will work with children's natural desire to learn, and provide a flexible, individual approach which takes into account each child's emotional and social needs, learning style(s), interests and enthusiasms. Enforced learning is unnecessary and unproductive.
ED302 Children flourish in a loving environment free from fear and sense of failure. Free to learn, their aptitudes can be discovered and activated, and in pursuit of their interests, they will grow.
ED303 Play of all kinds, and the active exploration of the arts, are natural and important ways for children to learn and develop.
ED304 In the interests of social justice, the individual approach outlined in this policy will be crucial in serving the needs of those children who are most obviously being failed by the current system. In addition, a Green central government will protect the rights of disadvantaged children by allocating specific ring-fenced funding for local government projects to enhance their education.
ED305 One of the purposes of education is to provide children with the knowledge and skills they require to be able to fully participate in and contribute to the society in which they live. This does not merely involve the acquisition of personal academic knowledge, but also includes the acquisition of social skills to help them to co-operate with others, life skills to enable them to function effectively in their society, and an understanding of the principles of democracy.
ED306 All schools should provide education about other cultures and religions/[98] in order to help children to understand the way that other people live and to respect those people's rights and lifestyle choices.
ED307 All schools should provide an adequate sex/[99] education which will include information on the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of human sexuality/[100]. Young people should be informed about different forms of sexual/[101] behaviour, including heterosexuality/[102], homosexuality/[103] and chastity and should be free to make their own moral choices. They should be brought up to understand that they may experience heterosexual/[104] or homosexual/[105] feelings or both, and be taught not to discriminate against others because of their sexuality/[106].

Long term policies: education in a Green society
Responsibilities/duties
ED310 The primary responsibility for a child's education will continue to rest with the parent(s) or guardian. Local government (district council, confederation of district councils, or county council: see PA300) will have a duty to ensure children receive a good education.
ED311 A Green government will encourage the greatest possible diversity in education. It will support and promote all positive and progressive approaches which are in accordance with our basic principles of equal respect for all human beings and respect for the natural environment.
ED312 This will include a recognition that children (and adults) do not all learn in the same way, but use a wide range of individual learning styles, and that different approaches to education may better suit different individuals.
ED313 Both autonomous and more structured approaches will be supported. Funding will be made available in a range of ways to enable different approaches to education (eg home education, flexi-schooling, Steiner education, human-scale education, small schools, etc) to reinvigorate our education system and help it to develop in line with a green society and the needs of the 21st century. These ways could include direct funding to alternative approaches, but would also be via research, teacher-training, professional development and work with parents, and would emphasise sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas and approaches.
ED314 Widespread consultation with parents, children and other educators on how best to bring these ideas and approaches into the mainstream and make them accessible to all children would be a central and essential part of this process.

Flexible and out-of-school learning
ED320 A Green Government would support the idea of real choice in education by promoting the validity of home-education and flexi-schooling (i.e. part-time school attendance) as well as full-time school attendance. Community resources such as libraries, sports centres, arts centres, workplaces and of course the natural environment, would be treated as forming an important part of education.
ED321 Schools should also employ play/youth workers who would offer personal and social education sessions and organise out-of-centre activities. The involvement of the wider community will continue to be a key factor in creating a human-scale learning experience.
ED322 Schools will continue to provide day-care as well as education where this is needed. This service will be extended, by the employment of play and care workers, to cover the full working day, where this is considered to be in the children's interests; many schools will have year-round opening, and offer this service, along with a full educational programme, throughout the year.

Schools (learning resource centres)
Note: We foresee the institution we know as "school" evolving until the name "learning resource centre" will be more appropriate. However, this paper retains the term "school" in most instances to make it clear that we see existing institutions changing rather than being replaced overnight with something new.

Democracy, human-scale, sustainability
ED330 It will be the duty of the local education authority (district council, federation of district councils or county council: see PA300) to fund locally-managed schools. These could be provided by the local education authority or other providers (see ED604). All such schools must comply with the requirements laid out in ED331 to ED334.
ED331 Publicly-funded schools will be:
a) housed in existing buildings upgraded and maintained to meet the best green standards possible, or, in the case of new schools, in state-of-the-art green buildings; both old and new buildings will have access for disabled/[107] people with physical or sensory impairments;
b) organised democratically: children, in particular, will be given a voice in their running;
c) human-scale, offering the small-group learning environment which seems to suit most
learners best;
d) open to suit the needs of their users and to maximise use of resources: this may involve all-
year-round opening, including evenings and weekends;
e) required to offer a variety of approaches to learning and curriculum choice, and to publish a
statement of principles and aims, and a catalogue of curriculum possibilities, thus offering real choice to learners and parents;
ED332 No publicly-funded school or learning centre will be run by a religious/[108] group. Schools or centres may teach about religions/[109] but are prohibited from delivering religious/[110] instruction in any form or encouraging adherence to any particular religious/[111] belief/[112].
ED333 Schools will no longer be required to hold acts of worship. Schools which do hold acts of worship will provide an alternative activity for learners who choose not to take part.
ED334 All schools will be fully inclusive and enabling, and non-discriminatory in policy and practice. This will entail providing places for learners of all abilities and needs. Where a school is over-subscribed, priority will be given to those who live most locally.
ED340 A process of peer review for teachers, and of self-evaluation for schools, will replace existing inspection systems. The local education authority will monitor the self-evaluation process, ensuring that the learning entitlements in ED381 and ED382, and the criteria in ED331 to ED334 are observed.

Short term: policies for immediate implementation (by Green councils under non-Green central government)
Individual learning plans: beginning the process
ED350 Individual learning plans will be introduced for pupils over 14 where the school governance so wishes negotiated between student and personal tutor at the start of a course.

Flexible and out-of-school learning
ED351 Local Education Authorities (LEAs) will inform all parents and children of the right to home-based education, and will provide support to home educators. Where there is sufficient demand, this will include the provision of "out-of-school centres", community rooms where home educators can meet free of charge. These have the potential for being a point of contact between the LEA and home educators. However, the LEA should be aware of its duty and limitations with regard to home educators, and should respect their decisions. Social services should not regard out-of-school centres as places where they can meet and observe children.
ED352 LEAs will work with schools to make part-time schooling ("flexi-schooling") more readily available, offering parents and children the opportunity to use school facilities on a part-time basis.
ED353 LEAs will involve young people directly in the provision of youth services, encouraging activities which are challenging, educative and empowering, including work on the roots of violence and the development of self-esteem.
ED354 LEAs will provide information on all educational facilities for children available in their area, including libraries, museums, play areas, parks, arts centres, sports centres, and all the children's activities run by the voluntary sector.
ED355 Extra-curricular activities will be funded as an educational provision, enabling children to pursue their own interests.
ED356 Facilities of all educational establishments will be available to all members of the local community to use for educational or leisure pursuits.
ED357 Schools will be encouraged to make provision for pupils to take state examinations (i.e. GCSEs, A levels and AS levels) at different ages according to their ability.

Schools (learning resource centres)
Democracy and transparency
ED360 Student councils will be introduced in all schools where they do not yet operate.
ED361 School prospectuses will state and illustrate the values which govern the running of the school: in particular, what mechanisms ensure that all are treated with respect in the school community.
ED362 All schools will be run in an open and increasingly democratic way. For example: all users will be consulted over decisions about school buildings and grounds; all pupils will be given access to political education; schools will be required to publish accessible grievance procedures for pupils; schools will operate good information systems e.g. newsletters, bulletin boards.

Human scale
ED363 It is important for human-scale education that the adult:child ratio in classes of young children dramatically improves. To this end LEAs will fund schools to employ more paid teachers and classroom assistants, and to recruit more parents to assist in schools. LEAs will also promote closer links between schools, colleges and universities in their areas, encouraging students to become involved as volunteers in classroom and other school activities. Pay of teachers and other staff should be improved.
ED364 Small schools will be protected wherever possible, and developed as community resources rather than closed. They will be encouraged to organise in "clusters" to share resources and specialist staff.
ED365 Large comprehensives where alienation is seen to be a problem will be encouraged to reorganise as clusters of "mini-schools".

Inclusivity
ED366 LEAs will work towards the implementation of inclusive education, in line with the Integration Charter. To this end, they will encourage "clustering", in which groups of schools pool resources to provide a more diverse range of special needs support; and they will employ peripatetic support staff. The aim would be to improve these schools for all children, whilst acknowledging that some behavioural problems may require temporary segregation to respect the wishes of the child involved and to protect other children. "Special" schools will be opened up to enable any child to benefit from staff and facilities.

Curriculum and assessment
ED367 LEAs will inform parents of their right to withdraw their children from national standardised tests, giving reasons why some educationists consider them damaging, as well as the current justifications for their use.

Sustainability
ED368 LEAs will encourage and help schools to run their establishments on sustainable, ecologically sound principles.
ED369 LEAs will facilitate partnerships between schools and local organic growers to enable school communities to learn how to use their land for organic cultivation.
ED370 A general policy of refurbishing schools will be combined with energy conservation measures, and security measures against theft or vandalism which emphasise community ownership of buildings, and evening and weekend use of facilities. (See ED356)

Medium term: policies for a Green Government's first term of office
In addition to the measures outlined above, the following policies will be implemented:

Responsibilities/duties
ED380 The primary responsibility for a child's education will continue to rest with the parent(s) or guardian; the appropriate tier of local government (see PA300) will continue to have a duty to ensure children receive a good education.

Rights/entitlements
ED381 Children's wishes will be taken into account in all matters relating to their education. The Green Party recognises that every child has the ability to express their preference either verbally or non-verbally. Parents, personal tutors and local government bodies will seek the views of children through a range of methods which may include direct observation, drama, artistic activities, body language and verbal communication, with or without interpretation support.
ED382 A list of entitlements for children will be prepared and published. These will include respect, time for play, adults who listen and opportunities to learn and grow at their own pace. These will be balanced by a list of responsibilities, including those of showing respect for others, helping others' learning, taking charge of their own learning, and making some contribution to their community.
ED383 The professional status of teachers has been steadily undermined by nationally imposed curriculum initiatives, teaching methods and targets. A severe inspection system is used to force schools to conform and has become the sole arbiter of success and failure. In its first term of office a Green government will restore trust in the teaching profession and promote diversity in the curriculum and in teaching methods. It will ensure that teachers have the working conditions, time and resources to work together to respond to the needs of their local community and decide how best to help children to learn.
ED384 A critical review of the usefulness and application of standardised psychometric tests (e.g. IQ tests) used to label and segregate some learners, will be undertaken.

Individual learning plans
ED385 Pilot schemes will be set up by local education authorities in which education social workers, youth workers and teachers work together with disaffected pupils and their parents (with their agreement) to create individual learning plans, which may involve a wide range of options including part-time school or college attendance, home and community-based education.
ED386 Acknowledgement and financial support will be given to schemes like those outlined in ED385 which are already in operation in the voluntary sector, and pilot schemes will draw on the experience of such projects, and on published research into the success of part-time school or college attendance, home and community-based education.
ED387 Lessons learned from these pilot schemes will enable councils, over time, to offer individual learning plans to an increasing number of pupils and parents who are dissatisfied with mass education, beginning with those children whose distress manifests itself in school refusal, depression, boredom, underachievement or challenging behaviour.
ED388 Learning plans will ensure that students receive the learning entitlements referred to in ED381 and ED382; and that they take seriously the responsibilities which go with those entitlements.
ED389 This radical change in the education system will require additional resources, at least in the short and medium term.

Flexible and out-of-school learning
ED390 All schools will be obliged to offer part-time school attendance, and local education authorities will be required to inform all parents of their right to home-based education of their children, or to a part-time school attendance contract.

Schools (learning resource centres)
Democracy and transparency
ED391 Schools will be required to publish plans for the democratisation of their running within a 3-year timescale, including children in this process.
ED392 Schools will be required to develop and publish a statement of aims, values, and teaching and learning methods, prepared democratically with the involvement of all participants in the school community.

Inclusivity and elimination of selection
ED393 Selection to any school on any grounds will be discontinued. Where a school is over-subscribed, priority will be given to those who live most locally. Charitable status for private schools will be phased out over a five-year period; such schools will be encouraged to apply for public funding (ED604), after first making any necessary changes (see the criteria listed in ED331, ED332, ED333 and ED334).
ED394 Schools will be required to publish plans (with a 3-year timescale) for becoming fully inclusive and enabling, except in the case of single-sex/[113] schools, which must plan to include all levels and kinds of ability of either girls or boys.

Curriculum and assessment
ED395 Schools will not be required to follow a national curriculum or implement national assessments. They will be required to review their procedures to ensure that they support the provision of the entitlements referred to in ED381 and ED382 to the children for whom they are responsible. Government-imposed homework guidelines will be revoked.
ED396 Schools will be encouraged to develop co-operative methods of monitoring the progress of the children for whom they are responsible, involving the child, parents, teachers and peers. The emphasis will be on positive achievement, and on acquiring the skills of self-assessment.

Sustainability
ED397 Schools will be required to publish plans (with a 3-year timescale) for running their establishment on sustainable, ecologically sound principles. They will be encouraged and helped by the LEA to work with the local community to ensure the fullest use of buildings, grounds and equipment.

Transforming schools into learning resource centres
ED398 Each LEA will be offered funding to begin the transformation of at least one of its schools into a learning resource centre (on the model of a public library). The centre would still offer day-care for children where required, and the wide variety of educational, sporting and cultural resources would be available for use by those children, by home-based learners of all ages, by community groups, by adult education classes and by other schools in the area.

Evaluation
ED399 Local education authorities will support each school in setting up its own self-evaluation process, which will in time replace current government inspection systems. Local education authorities will also support schools in setting up a peer review process for teachers (see ED340).

Section 4: Early years learning
Principles
ED400 The Green Party recognises that early emphasis on numeracy, literacy and other intellectual skills may prevent young children from fully developing other creative potential unique to this time of life. Early years provision should concentrate on providing a safe happy, caring environment where children can develop their physical, social and emotional skills.
ED401 Early childhood education must begin with the needs of the child, be flexible to take account of a wide variety of needs and preferences and be accessible within the family/[114]'s community.

Long term: early childhood education in a Green society
ED410 Early years education will be decentralised away from institutions and into an enhanced range of educational opportunities in the community.
ED411 The educational potential of parks, libraries, sport facilities, green spaces and play streets will be developed and funded. The privatisation of school playing fields will be resisted.
ED412 The district council (or federation of district councils) will support, through grants, the setting up of early years provision: playgroups, nurseries, family/[115] centres and parent and toddler groups.
ED413 Parents will be enabled to care for and educate their children through the financial security of a citizen's income, paid to every adult and child (see EC730).
To achieve this long-term policy, the following short- and medium-term steps will be taken:

Short term: policies for immediate implementation by Green Councils
ED420 Early years groups will work closely with local education authorities to develop Early Years Development Plans. The plans will allocate funding to local groups and look creatively at all council facilities to explore their educational potential.
ED421 Family/[116] centres will be created as a means of building a base of support for families/[117]. These are informal clubs, with parent and toddler groups, playgroups and other facilities which can act as a base for all families/[118] in a community and serve the needs of parents and children.
ED422 Parents will be informed of their right to educate their children at home.

Medium term: policies for a Green Government's first term of office
ED430 The "nursery without walls" or "community as nursery" will be created through the development and funding of educational facilities in the community, where young children will be welcomed and supported.
ED431 National standards and curricula will be abolished.
ED432 All playgroups and nurseries will be linked to learning resource centres for advice, resources and specialised staff.
ED433 Playgroups will be sited in community centres or in schools. (See also SW533)

Section 5: Further Education and Lifelong Learning
The Green vision
ED500 Green Party policy seeks a seamless provision of education for all. Access to educational facilities is a right, no matter where the individual lives, how old they are, what subject and at which depth they wish to learn.
ED501 A Green government will seek to increase the range of locations where learning is supported. Materials will be made available for distance learning by individuals, family/[119] or shared interest groups. The Green Party will encourage and promote distance learning as a means to widening access to higher education. Distance learning utilising e-mail and the internet will be facilitated by pressing for mass access to these technologies through existing telecommunications links.
ED502 It is assumed that the implementation of a citizen's income will enable people to participate in study as and when they wish, either by relying on the citizen's income to finance them or by enhancing it by working and studying at the same time.
ED503 There will be at least two types of state-funded institutions: district community colleges and regionally-based universities. These institutions are expected to co-operate to make their teaching and materials available to all at the range of locations mentioned in ED501. Community colleges and universities will co-ordinate activities to enable students to find appropriate access courses, and to support students in transition from community colleges to universities. By these means, learning opportunities at all levels will be made available to all who need them.
ED504 All institutions will be democratically directed by the people in that learning community.
ED505 Personal tutors will be available for all learners who need them, to support learning at the location that is most practical.

Vocational Education and Assessment
ED510 Places of work are a significant part of community life and a significant location for learning for personal and professional development. Managers and owners of workplaces have a duty of care to support this learning. Green Party economic policies will encourage the
development of small individually or co-operatively owned enterprises. In the present, highly competitive environment, small businesses often lack the time or resources to meet the learning needs of their workers. A Green government will introduce incentives for work-related training and schemes to allow the sharing of expertise between firms.
ED511 Accreditation and certification of vocational competence will be of the candidate's ability to perform the tasks involved (e.g. as learner drivers are tested while driving). A profile of skills and tasks completed can be recorded and used as an open reference for future employers.
ED512 Existing national vocational and professional bodies already provide a mixture of types of certification and accreditation by one's peers. These can, and often do, ensure that those offering services in their field are competent to perform them. These bodies can also regulate
professional and vocational activities to ensure the maintenance of appropriate standards and the observance of ethical codes. A Green government will encourage such self-regulation and assessment while ensuring that such bodies do not become/remain elitist, that any
assessments are based on the skills required rather than writing/mathematical ability, and are free from bias in their being set and marked.
ED513 Assessments of competence and courses to prepare people for these assessments may be located in community colleges or universities and offered in co-operation with them. The opportunity to be assessed in vocational competence on the basis of learning undertaken elsewhere and without completing a prescribed course will also be available. Vocational courses will be designed to be easily transferable to another institution so that they can be completed elsewhere.

Objectives of Community Colleges and Universities
ED520 Each district council (or federation of district councils) will maintain at least one open and accessible "community college". Funding of courses or classes at such colleges will not be dependent on students completing the course, or gaining accreditation.
ED521 Each community college will act as a learning-orientated community centre encouraging participation by all in the building of a sustainable local community. Community colleges will supply specialist teachers for businesses, community groups, NGOs etc. where requested.
ED522 High-quality access courses will be provided in a variety of disciplines (see ED532).
ED523 The distinction between community colleges and universities will be the depth or level of specialisation at which subjects can be studied or researched - not in their "importance".
ED524 The objectives of universities in a Green society are as follows:

ED525 University funding will be organised regionally but shared across regions in order to spread the availability of university-level education and research. Some subjects also require specialisation at a level which would only allow their study at a few regional universities.
ED526 Universities will award first or higher degrees (or other qualifications) as a record of achievement. However, qualifications will not be seen as the sole objective of study, which can be rewarding in itself. Students will also be assisted in building portfolios/personal profiles recording their learning achievements. A holistic understanding of each subject will be encouraged.
ED527 The above objectives must be met in a safe environment, free from elitism, sexism/[120], racism/[121] and homophobia/[122].

University and college students
ED528 The Green Party is committed to student grants, not loans, which will provide students with a basic income sufficient to meet their needs while in full-time education at universities and equivalent institutions. When a full citizen's income scheme is implemented (see EC730), student grants will be integrated into it, allowing for needs which apply to students in particular.
ED529 Grants will be available not only to those seeking university degrees but also to those undertaking equivalent professional qualifications which similarly require academic study without the opportunity of earning income by practising the profession while qualifying. Grants will be available to meet the needs of mature students undertaking such study or retraining later in life.
ED530 Qualification for a grant from a local council will be based on previous residence in the community, as in The Green Party's policies on citizenship. Grants will be sufficient to meet all a student's basic needs, as in the citizen's income scheme. No deduction will be made in respect of parental means, but a student's own means will be taken into account.
ED531 Students will not be charged fees for their tuition.
ED532 The path to becoming an accredited university student will involve a combination of regular attendance at a preliminary set of taster sessions for the chosen course(s), demonstration of ability to cope with this level of study, and prior learning achievements as demonstrated in the student's personal profile/portfolio. The relative weighting given to these factors will be re-assessed at regular intervals. Any student who is not yet ready to become an accredited university student will be encouraged to join an access course at the local community college (see ED503).
ED533 All lectures will be open to the public, free, within health, safety and security limits, with "guaranteed seats" for accredited students.
ED534 Extra mural courses will be expanded and freely open to all, allowing specialists to explain their work to those not able to attend or follow their core courses. Students and teachers will be encouraged to participate in community affairs.

Research
ED535 Research in universities can both advance human knowledge and bring creative thought to technological development. These need guaranteed support and ethical control. In a Green society, large-scale corporate funding will not be needed. Findings of all research projects are to be made public.

Towards the Green Vision
The following policies are intended to bring further education institutions closer to the egalitarian places of learning and research for the community which is envisaged.

Students
ED550 Government will ensure that students will be able to study free from serious hardship.
ED551 Prospectuses will contain certain information, rather than being merely glossy brochures. This information will include course requirements, additional costs and fees, accommodation availability and cost, modes of study and assessment, the establishment's equal opportunities policy and appeal procedures.
ED552 Access and aid will be provided for any students with an impairment to their participation. The government will encourage positive action to increase participation by under-represented groups.
ED553 Working parties will be established, where they do not already exist, to monitor and suggest changes to policy and its implementation with regard to harassment and discriminatory practice. The recommendations of these working parties must be given high priority in the management of educational establishments.
ED554 Class sizes will be limited in tutorial sessions and seminars to levels at which learning is not impaired. This will depend on the subject area but should be set by agreement in the Staff-Student Council.
ED555 Accommodation for students will be safe, clean and affordable. Where rent levels are high, universities and colleges will be encouraged to buy and maintain accommodation at reasonable rent levels. Safety regulations such as carbon monoxide monitoring and safe electrical wiring will be enforced vigorously. University and college accommodation will provide a minimum, humane amount of space, warmth and security.
ED556 Students will not be presented with any hidden costs in their courses. Students will be expected to pay for basic stationery but not laboratory equipment, nurses' uniforms, etc. All students will have free access to computer/internet facilities suitable for their course-work, at
least during office hours.
ED557 Appeal and complaints procedures will be independent and externally scrutinised.
ED558 Anonymous marking will be introduced for all written exams and reports.
ED559 Research students and other postgraduates will be eligible for the same grants as undergraduates. This will act as a "basic income" for postgraduates, but higher levels of grant as supplied by the research councils will still be possible.
ED560 Grants will be re-instated for university . The grant will be a "basic income", at a level which will allow students without other income to live without hardship. It will be sufficient to meet basic needs during the year of study, including those specific to students, such as textbooks and retaining accommodation between academic terms.
ED561 Childcare facilities will be provided for all student-parents.
ED562 Students who supplement their income with part-time work are entitled to a fair wage in safe workplaces. They will be made aware of their rights as an employee and employers will not be allowed to discriminate against them in any way, including in relation to wage levels.

Staff
ED570 Working parties will be established, where they do not already exist, to monitor and suggest changes to policy and its implementation with regard to discriminatory practice in recruitment, selection, promotion and harassment. The recommendations of these working parties will be given high priority in the management of educational establishments.
ED571 Promotion to all posts will be done in a fair, open and transparent way. The use of confidential letters of recommendation for senior posts should be prohibited so as to avoid any suspicion, be it justifiable or otherwise, of prejudicial/[123] decision-making.
ED572 Fixed-term contracts lead to insecurity and it is more difficult to provide career progression and support for such employees. The use of fixed term contracts will be reduced to a minimum level.
ED573 Universities benefit from the co-existence of research and teaching. However, many researchers do not wish to enter teaching and many teaching posts would be best filled by teaching-only staff. Provision of both options as a career will be provided and funded.
ED574 Teachers and personal tutors will be expected to pursue professional development, either by attendance at courses or by other means, with ongoing assessment by peer review.

Institutions
ED580 Universities will be accountable to their regional council; community colleges will be accountable to their local education authority (district council, federation of district councils, or county council).
ED581 A Student-Staff Council (SSC) will be established in every university as the main decision-making body of the institution. The SSC will include democratic representation from every undergraduate year and each postgraduate course or research group. Where possible, both sexes/[124] and any minority groups will be represented.
ED582 The diversity of subjects covered to the depth afforded by a university or college department will be protected.
ED583 Each university or college will establish an independent research ethics committee. It will ensure that corporate finance for research does not bring adverse pressure to bear on decisions of what subjects to research. It will also investigate complaints of unethical research
methods.
ED 584 Each university or college will provide independent careers guidance for students seeking ethically sound careers.

Section 6: Local, regional and national structures
ED600 Each local education authority (district council, federation of district councils, or county council - see PA300) will be responsible for the public funding of all aspects of education, other than universities, in its area. It will assess the needs of the local community through consultation, and determine the proportion of revenue to be allocated to the support of learning in its district.
ED601 Each local education authority will maintain a number of schools, and at least one community college, as public provision, fully-funded from taxation.
ED602 The local education authority will employ suitably trained staff to work in its schools and colleges. It will encourage the full use of all learning centres by all sectors of the community. It will employ sufficient staff to support such needs as are determined by negotiated agreements between learners, community groups and staff.
ED603 The local education authority will be at liberty to employ tutors to support the development of Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) for all children and young people (see ED310-318). This will be paid for centrally.
ED604 Local education authorities will devise schemes through which funding can be offered to other providers for such schools as meet the criteria set out in ED331-ED334.
ED605 The local education authority will develop and fund the educational potential of other community services.
ED606 Responsibility for advising, supporting and inspecting schools and other educational centres within the district will devolve to the local education authority.
ED607 The public funding of universities from taxation will be the responsibility of regional government. Funding for infrastructure will be improved without recourse to leasing arrangements such as PFI.
ED608 A national government department will support local government bodies in carrying out these responsibilities.
Back to Index

Green Party Amended 31 March 2000

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ENERGY

Background

EN100 Energy is fundamental to life and to the economy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but flows from "higher" to "lower" forms irreversibly. All living things, including people, survive by exploiting this flow.

EN101 Our world is bathed in energy radiated from the Sun, but is also provided with stocks of fossil fuels in which energy is locked up. Our economic development has taken us away from using sun, wind and water power to a technology dependent on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels represent natural capital. Industrialism has been committing the fundamental economic error of using capital as income. As E.F. Schumacher has pointed out, the wealth generated from the use of capital energy resources must be directed towards making ourselves independent of that type of resource. (See EN500)

EN102 Natural systems cannot safely assimilate effluents from the use of fossil fuels as fast as they are now produced, posing severe problems of acid rain and the "greenhouse effect". We must either wean ourselves off fossil fuels or risk increasing atmospheric pollutants leading to forest damage and changing global climate.

EN103 The primary solution to this problem is for us to radically reduce our need for energy by energy conservation measures and, in the long run, by reorganising our economy and built environment.

EN104 There will nevertheless continue to be a need for energy supply. Denied combustible fossil fuels in the long term, the choice is between nuclear power and renewable energy sources.

EN105 The Green Party is fundamentally opposed to nuclear energy, which we consider to be expensive and dangerous. We consider its use, moreover, to be elitist and undemocratic. To a degree unequalled by even the worst of other dangerous industries, the costs and dangers of nuclear energy will be passed on to future generations long after any benefits have been exhausted.

Long Term Objectives

EN200 A Green economy would reduce its demand for energy to a sustainable minimum, and obtain that energy from non-polluting renewable sources.

EN201 Energy would be generated, stored and distributed as close to the point of use as practicable, with maximum local control.

Short Term Objectives

EN300 To reduce demand for fossil fuels as rapidly as possible by inducing industry, householders and the public sector to invest in energy conservation.

EN301 To reduce drastically and, if possible, eliminate the pollution caused by burning coal and oil.

EN302 To promote full use of currently available renewable energy sources for heat, electricity and transport.

Policies

Organisation and Accountability

EN400 Energy supply should be managed on an integrated basis to eliminate wasteful competition between suppliers of different fuels (electricity, gas, coal and oil), and vigorously to promote energy conservation.

EN401 This integrated energy supply management should be administered by Regional Energy Authorities in England and a National Energy Authority in Wales, and should be subject to democratic public accountability.

EN402 These Regional and National Energy Authorities should together be represented in a Central Energy Authority which should act as a coordinating body with particular responsibility for the National Grid.

EN403 Energy use and supply planning should be undertaken on a local level by District Energy Authorities, which would have particular responsibility for promoting energy conservation and development of locally available renewable energy resources, and whose activities would be coordinated through the Regional and National Energy Authorities.

EN404 A majority of the members of the governing bodies of these District Energy Authorities will be directly elected by the consumers. The remaining members, other than non-voting co-opted members, will be elected by the employees.

EN405 The distribution mains for electricity and gas would be brought into, or kept in, a fully accountable public sector. Energy production would be a mixture of public and private enterprise, with all producers paid on the same terms.

EN406 Professional Advisory Services to be available through the District Energy Authorities to advise on appropriate energy sources, efficiency and conservation measures.

EN407 New "Standards" to be introduced for Energy Performance Values for buildings; a National Energy Index to show per capita consumption from renewable and non-renewable sources; Energy Use standards to be set for all domestic and industrial appliances.

Conservation

EN500 The Resources Tax (see EC714, NR423 & 'Policy Statement' ENS1) would be applied to fossil fuels, making them relatively more expensive. The funds so raised would be used to subsidise energy conservation and renewable energy programmes.

EN501 To protect low-income householders from the worst effects of higher fuel prices, standing charges would be abolished, and tariffs would be tilted in favour of smaller consumers.

EN502 Incentives will be granted to private combined heat and power systems for large buildings, industrial estates, etc.

EN503 Heat distribution networks to be set up, enabling Combined Heat & Power stations (CHP) to under-cut electricity generated at "power-only" stations, and to facilitate the use of waste heat from industry and sewage and the efficient exploitation of solar and other energy sources which take power from the biosphere and therefore cannot contribute to a net global warming.

EN504 Building Regulations to be amended from simple insulation values to prescribed Energy Performance Values (EPVs) and applied to existing as well as new buildings; tenants to have the right to demand that their dwellings be brought into line with prevailing EPVs at their landlord's expense. (see B600s)

EN505 All sellers of buildings to provide a statement of the energy performance data for those buildings. Publication of energy and water use performance data on all appliances and machines to be made mandatory.

EN506 Incentives to be provided to incorporate best available technology, not merely the minimum standards in the Building Regulations.

EN507 The National Energy Office to define best energy practice for all industrial processes and implement the necessary measures to encourage or enforce minimum energy use per unit of industrial output in all sectors.

EN508 The National Energy Office, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, to define best energy practice in agriculture, including the energy input of agro-chemicals, and to implement measures to encourage or enforce minimum energy use per unit of agricultural output.

EN509 The National Energy Office to encourage reduction in energy consumption in transport, in liaison with relevant ministries and regional and local agencies. Action to include: measures to penalise the use of large engines in cars; measures to discourage private and encourage public transport; measures to encourage non-motorised means of movement; measures to institute land-use planning arrangements that favour public over private modes and reduce the total need for motorised transport. (see TR301)

EN510 We encourage the teaching of energy conservation in schools. We should enable teachers to attend courses in the principles of energy conservation on an 'in service' basis.

Nuclear Power

EN600 A deadline for phasing out nuclear power would be set when we come to office and all UK nuclear power plants phased out within this date. (see Policy Statement ENS2)

EN601 All nuclear power stations and associated facilities for the production and reprocessing of nuclear fuel and the storage and disposal of radioactive waste shall be in public ownership to ensure the safest possible closure, decommissioning and long term management of waste. Any such facilities found to be in private ownership will be returned to the public sector without compensation. Reprocessing at Sellafield and other installations will be ended as soon as possible.

EN602 No more uranium would be imported into the UK and no licences would be granted for the mining of uranium in the UK.

EN603 The unpredictable effects of climate change demand that the safety of UK nuclear power stations and other sites handling and processing radioactive materials require urgent review. Many nuclear plants are in vulnerable coastal locations which face flooding by a combination of severe weather, rising sea levels and spring tides. An action plan to protect these sites would be implemented and the most vulnerable nuclear sites would be closed down and decommissioned at the earliest practicable date.

Existing Energy Sources

EN700 Any new fossil-fuelled power stations to be built in urban areas, where the waste heat could be used in a Combined Heat and Power system.

EN701 All major fuel users to be required to fit equipment which reduces pollution.

EN702 Coal and oil supplies to be graded for polluting effect, the cleanest being routed to small users not controlled under EN701.

EN703 Incentives to be given for running vehicles on fuels producing little or no harmful emissions such as LPG. (see TR306)

EN704 If sufficient supplies are available, an increased role to be sought for fuels producing less carbon dioxide, particularly natural gas.

Renewables

EN800 Positive tax and grant incentives to promote use of renewable energy sources to be introduced immediately.

EN801 Bureaucratic interference with people seeking to use renewable sources of energy to be reduced to a minimum.

EN802 Research and development funding on a scale of that formerly extended to the nuclear power programme to be made available for the development of renewable energy resources. High priority to be given to the means of storing energy, and to the improvement of the distribution of thermal energy.

EN803 Planning and building regulation law to be amended to ensure that active and passive solar features and other renewables are included in all new and existing buildings wherever practicable. (see B504)

EN804 Biogas generation from biological decomposition to be utilised as widely as possible. (see NR413)

EN805 The Green Party opposes the mass incineration of municipal, commercial and industrial waste because it requires large-scale plant and therefore a large-scale supply of waste over a long period to justify the investment, which discourages waste reduction and recycling. Incinerators produce harmful emissions, greenhouse gases and highly toxic ash residues that are dumped in landfill. The waste has to be transported over longer distances, almost invariably by road.

EN806 Energy will be recovered from the organic component of domestic waste treated by anaerobic digestion and by recovering methane from existing landfill sites. Encouragement will be given to energy recovery from the burning of energy crops, appropriate grades of agricultural waste and waste timber in small scale plants on farms, industrial sites or in district heating networks. Planning approvals and operating consents will be dependent on the plant being built to high standards and on proposals having demonstrable community support.

EN807 Marine and estuarine barrage schemes to be tried on a small scale initially, and only extended if found to be ecologically acceptable. (see CY507)

EN808 There should be a presumption that wind energy schemes, whether small or large, and whether onshore or offshore, should go ahead unless there are overriding and substantial dangers to public health or safety or to wildlife, or it is in a nationally designated scenic area. Local ownership of wind power, by farmers and cooperatives, should be encouraged, and wind power developers are encouraged to provide income for the local area, for example payments to the local parish council.

EN809 When fossil fuels are required to bear their full environmental cost, we fully expect that renewable sources of energy will compete in the market with fossil fuels. However, transitional arrangements to subsidise them directly may be required, and any such arrangement should meet these criteria:

the target for renewables should be kept under review and increased ahead of known industry capabilities;

proposals should be considered for support as and when they are submitted;

Nuclear power, domestic and municipal waste incineration should be excluded;

a simplified scheme should operate for smaller, community-owned developments where the majority of the equity is owned by at least twenty residents of the district in which the development is located, or of neighbouring districts, with holdings of at least £1,000 each;

the environmental impact of larger schemes should be considered at an early stage in the process, so that environmentally damaging schemes can be weeded out before they become targets for popular opposition.

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EUROPE POLICY

Part 1: The Green Vision for Europe

EU100 In our Green vision for Europe we seek to replace the unsustainable economics of free trade and growth with the ecological alternative of local self reliance and resource conservation, within a context of wider diversity. We want to foster/[125] co-operation on issues of common interest, not establish international institutions for their own sake.

EU101 We recognise the value of the original goal of the founders of the European Communities, who sought to remove the threat of another war between European states. This has been distorted by vested political and economic interests into a union dominated by economic interests, which lacks democratic control, and promotes the goals of multinational corporations, not of people.

Structures

EU110 To achieve the Green vision, Europe will need very different structures from those currently in existence. Europe should be made up of overlapping, co-operative, democratic, decentralised groupings of nations and regions.

EU111 European institutions must be designed with care and with mechanisms for correction, to prevent the drift towards centralism that has repeatedly been seen in history.

EU112 Part of the way to do this is to have a multiplicity of independent bodies with clearly defined areas of responsibility, and with the possibility of membership by different groups of nations and regions. An example is the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for conflict resolution. (See Part 5)

EU113 Europe must not become a superstate or global power bloc.

Aims

EU120 Following the principle of subsidiarity, many issues currently decided at the EU level should be dealt with at a more appropriate level for effective action, which might be local, national or global.

EU121 Our aims for the European level are to:

a)safeguard basic rights;

b)bring peace and security to Europe, by promoting greater understanding and friendship between its peoples;

c)solve and prevent environmental problems, such as air pollution, which can best be resolved at the European level;

d)promote sustainable, non exploitative, self reliant local and regional economies;

e)reduce inequalities of wealth and disparities in quality of life between the regions of Europe, and between Europe and the rest of the world;

f)support a rich diversity of cultures;

g)facilitate the exchange of ideas, technology and sustainable practices;

h)promote global co-operation where appropriate.

Europe in the World

EU130 Greens recognize that ecological sustainability, if it is to work, must apply at a global level. We believe also that all people, regardless of race/[126] or nationality, are entitled to social justice. We therefore seek global co-operation on issues of global concern, and with this in mind will strive to ensure that European structures work towards this end, and do not build walls or sow the seeds of future conflicts.

EU131 Europe is a major contributor to global environmental problems, because of its high population and the extravagant consumption patterns of many of its people. Europe must take responsibility for this disproportionate contribution, and adopt a co-ordinated continent wide strategy to reduce pollution and consumption of resources.

EU132 At the same time, we must recognize that some of the nations of Europe have contributed more than others to these problems, and within each nation, some groups bear a greater share of the blame. Any solutions must reduce the disparity between the advantaged and the disadvantaged.

Part 2: EU Competencies

EU200 If the Green vision for Europe is to be achieved, many of the existing European institutions will need to change very profoundly. We believe that decisions are best made by those who are directly affected by them. The competencies of the EU must therefore change to include only those which benefit from European co-operation. We envisage fundamental transformation in the role of the EU as it becomes more "task oriented".

EU210 The competencies of the EU should be as set out in EU211-5:

EU211 (environment)

a. ecological issues which can best be dealt with on an international basis.

EU212 (rights)

b. basic standards of human and civil rights;

c. basic standards of animal rights.

EU213 (economic)

d. regulation of multi and transnational trade and investment, where this does not conflict with more local regulation;

e. European co-operation to regionalise the industrial base, services and resources;

f. the more equitable sharing of resources between richer and poorer parts of Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world;

g. economic co-operation at European level against predatory competitiveness.

EU214 (diplomatic)

h. the peaceful resolution of political disputes between members;

i. representation of member countries in global fora within the competencies of the EU specified in EU211-4.

EU215 (cultural)

j. support for cultural activities, especially where these aim to promote greater understanding and friendship between people.

EU220 The Green Party's concern is to ensure that decisions are taken at the appropriate level. We wish to strengthen the EU's ability to deal with issues within the competencies set out in EU211-4 which can only be addressed properly at the European level. We wish to return other issues appropriated by the EU to the appropriate lower levels. The EU should be prohibited from taking any powers which could be better exercised at lower levels.

EU221 Decisions appropriately made at the EU level should provide agreed minimum standards which lower levels would implement and would be free to exceed. This should not prevent the creation of higher standards at a national or regional level.

Part 3: EU Institutions & Decision Making

EU300 The Green Party is committed to the fundamental reconstitution of the current European Union, including its present institutions, in accordance with our Green vision for Europe (see Part 1).

EU301 The present EU structures are fundamentally flawed. Their remoteness has resulted in a lack of accountability which is working against the interests of people and the environment.

U302 Our aim is to reconstitute the EU as a democratically accountable and controlled European Confederation of Regions, based on Green principles. Its organisation would follow the Green principle of subsidiarity, that decisions are made at the lowest appropriate level, not impose the "harmonisation" of the current EU. Proposals for developing the position of Regions are at EU390-4.

EU303 Meanwhile, we support lesser reforms which move in that direction, and oppose those which move counter to it. In particular, we oppose proposals which seek to tighten the grip of "ever closer union" on member countries and regions, except in those areas of competence outlined in EU211-214.

Reforming the Central Institutions of the EU

The Commission

EU310 The Green Party believes that the excessive influence of the Commission and its associated bodies compared to the Council and Parliament is both undemocratic and unaccountable. We shall support proposals to reduce that influence, and to render the Commission the servant of the Council and Parliament.

EU311 The role of the Commission shall be:

i)to act as the civil service for the EU, which shall include suggesting necessary legislation;

ii)to provide factual information on the activities and policies of the EU, including the provision of base data;

iii)to draw up the EU budget for approval by the Council and Parliament and to implement the agreed budget;

iv)to implement decision on the direction of expenditure, tackling inefficiency and eliminating fraud;

v)to implement other decisions of the Council and Parliament as directed.

EU312 Whilst the Commission should actively promote approved legislation, it should not influence in any way decisions still to be taken and ratified in member states.

The Council of Ministers

EU320 The Council should seek to make decisions by consensus. This requires recognition by all member countries that proposals must take into account the diversity of Europe and the particular situation of each country, and recognition by each member country that after such account has been taken consent should not be unreasonably withheld.

EU321 We support the use of Qualified Majority Voting in respect of issues which we believe are proper for the EU to decide at a European level, but not beyond them. In other matters we support the requirement of consensus to protect the interests of individual and especially smaller countries.

EU322 The issues for which we support Qualified Majority Voting are:

i)environmental issues covered by EU211;

ii)standards of rights covered by EU212;

iii)economic and trade issues covered by EU213;

iv)diplomatic activities covered by EU214, but not including the Common Foreign and Security policy (see Part 5).

Co-Decision of the Council and the Parliament

EU325 The Council and the Parliament should agree the Budget of the EU by co-decision.

EU326 We support the extension of co-decision with the European Parliament, which decides by majority vote, to all issues where the Council decides by Qualified Majority Voting. In other matters we support decision making by the Council to require consensus to protect the interests of individual and especially smaller countries.

The Parliament

EU330 Elections to the European Parliament should be by proportional representation (PR) in all member countries. We welcomed the de Gucht report which identified proportional representation as the key issue but did not seek to impose any particular system of PR throughout the EU.

EU331 The de Gucht report recognised the need to allow each member country to take account of its own experience in choosing a system to meet the criterion of PR for the European Parliament. The Single Transferable Vote, the Additional Member System and List systems can meet that criterion. As well as providing for diversity, this removes the prospect of disagreement over a common system becoming an obstacle to the introduction of better voting systems in particular countries.

EU332 As part of the development of a regional focus in the EU, we favour electoral systems with a regional basis.

EU333 The powers of the European Parliament should be extended to give its members greater oversight of the work of the EU. Parliamentary committees must be adequately empowered to investigate, and to demand papers and testimony from the Council and the Commission. A Budget Committee of the Parliament shall scrutinise the budget and expenditure of the EU.

EU334 Nominations to the Commission, the Court and of the High Representative (see Part 5) should require the consent of the Parliament. Proposed treaties and subordinate decisions and legislation at the European level to extend the role of the EU and to raise revenue for it should require the consent of the Parliament.

The European Court of Justice

EU340 The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has wide ranging powers and is currently accepted by the UK courts as a superior court. The ECJ should be given a statute which defines and limits its powers, preferably as part of a European Treaty (see EU350-5).

EU341 The Green Party believes the primacy of political decision making must be maintained. The role of the ECJ should be to apply the democratic decisions of political representatives and citizens. It should not go beyond necessary interpretation into making its own legislation. The ECJ should no longer be allowed to promote European integration in its judgements where that is not specified in the statutes it is interpreting.

EU342 The role of the ECJ should extend as appropriate within the competencies of the EU listed in Part 2. Care should be taken not to duplicate the roles of existing courts in member countries.

EU343 The ECJ should have a particular power throughout the operations of the bodies of the EU to require them to meet agreed standards of openness and accessibility (see EU380-3).

EU344 Within these principles, arrangements need to be made to ensure that justice is available more expeditiously to litigants.

EU345 It should be possible for an individual to initiate a direct appeal on a point of law. The ECJ should have a "gatekeeper" to decide which cases merit being put before it. The criterion should be whether there is a valid case under EU law.

EU346 At present judges of the ECJ are appointed by national governments. Instead the European Parliament should lay down criteria for candidates such as length of court experience and knowledge of European law. Candidates should be nominated by the Committee of Regions, with consideration given to geographical spread and equal opportunities. Appointments shall be made by the European Parliament.

EU347 The European Commiss-ion should initiate a plan to encourage suitably qualified women judges to come forward as candidates.

New Rights For Citizens In The EU

European Constitution and Referenda

EU350 A major weakness of the present European Union is the lack of mechanisms to ensure that the powers and structures of the EU have the consent of the citizens of member countries, and that changes in these require similar consent. Some member countries' constitutions require referenda in some cases, others have no such requirement at all.

EU351 The Green Party believes that a European Constitution should define the values, objectives, powers, decision-making procedures and institutions of the EU. The Constitution should also set out the basic rights and freedoms of citizens.

EU352 The values and objectives of the EU should be based on social justice and sustainability and should not include those economic and military objectives of previous treaties that are contrary to Green principles. The powers should be based on the principle of subsidiarity, with decisions being taken at European level only when that is the most appropriate level. Decision-making must be democratic and transparent, with institutions and decision-making processes accessible to citizens.

EU353 A European Constitution should not include specific polices, which may need greater flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and development of the EU. For instance, further reform of the Common Agriculture Policy could be seriously hampered by incorporating it in a constitution or constitutional treaty. The Green Party rejects many existing EU policies and likewise opposes inclusion of them in a constitution or constitutional treaty.

EU354 The European Constitution would come into effect when a majority of those voting in each member country of the EU have approved it in a referendum.

EU355 Any change to the European Constitution would require a similar referendum. To pass it would require support of the majority of those voting across the EU, and a majority as well in each of at least three quarters of the member countries.

EU356 The rules and procedures for such referenda, and the drafting of the question to be put on the proposal concerned, should be the responsibility of the European Parliament. The rules and procedures should allow for the diversity of democratic practice and traditions in member countries, but in each country the question put should be the same and the referendum should be held in the same week, and the counting of the referendum should take place on the same day in every country.

The Right of Legislative Initiative

EU360 Proposals for legislative decisions by the EU should not contravene basic rights, and should be limited to matters within the competencies we propose for the EU in Part 2.

EU361 The Green Party believes the right of legislative initiative should not be limited to the European Commission. Member countries, the Parliament, the Committee of Regions, and sufficient numbers of citizens (see EU363) should also have this right.

EU362 A decision by an individual or group of member countries should be sufficient for the initiative to be considered. A majority decision by the European Parliament on the proposal of MEPs should be sufficient for the initiative to be considered. Committees of the Parliament would be appropriate fora in which to develop such proposals. A majority decision by the Committee of Regions should be sufficient for the initiative to be considered.

EU363 Within the competencies we propose for the EU in Part 2, The Green Party is committed to enabling decisions to stem directly from citizens' initiatives. Support must be expressed by a minimum number of citizens and residents of at least 5 member states.

EU364 Such petitions from citizens should be treated as equivalent to a proposal by MEPs, and considered by the Parliament as under the preceding paragraph. The citizens' proposals must then be publicly debated by the European Parliament.

Opting Out

EU370 The Green Party believes that a provision to allow member countries to opt out of particular decisions of the EU is necessary, both to protect necessary and desirable diversity and to allow individual countries thus concerned to allow others to reach common agreement. Where such an opt-out exists, that decision shall not apply to or in the country(ies) which have opted out.

EU371 Such opt-outs should be available on decisions taken by Qualified Majority Voting where we believe consensus should have been required to protect the interests of individual and in particular smaller member countries. Thus opt-outs should be available from decisions taken in areas subject to QMV other than those where we have indicated our support for QMV in EU320-322.

EU372 We believe that such opt-outs should be possible as part of the negotiation and of the agreement of a particular EU decision.

Openness and Accessibility

EU380 The Green Party supports proposals to increase the openness of decision making in all bodies of the European Union. All EU institutions should be subject to the requirements of openness and accessibility. We believe the immediate priorities to be the Council of Ministers, the Committees of Permanent Representatives which prepare for it, and the Commission.

EU381 The present structure of EU committees gives too much power to particular interests at the expense of citizens of member countries generally. The nature, membership and competencies of these committees should be reviewed to increase their openness to citizens generally.

EU382 Citizens of member countries should have the right to examine any EU documents, source materials and decisions proceeding at any time, without further justification. Exceptions to this rule should be specially decided upon and explained publicly, including the types of documents being withheld and the reasons for that.

EU383 EU bodies should be obliged to promote through various means accessibility and closeness to the citizens of member countries.

EU384 Citizens of member countries should have the right to assemble and deliberate on EU matters. The EU should provide facilities and funding for this, within a limited budget.

New Roles and Structures

Regions

EU390 The Green Party seeks a Europe of co-operation and diversity where regions are sustainable and self reliant. Power would rest with local communities and regions, rather than the reality of "subsidiarity" in the European Union at present, a top down distribution of a fraction of the power accumulated at the centre.

EU391 In any structure adopted for the European Union there should be a greater role for the regions and small nations. As a short term measure, we wish to strengthen the Committee of the Regions.

EU392 Here and elsewhere in these policies are a number of measures which would give roles and competencies currently exercised at European or national level to regions. We believe that the UK Government and Green MEPs should promote comprehensive regional policies with the EU.

EU393 Regions should also have the right to define themselves, where appropriate across current national frontiers. There should be regular opportunities to revise boundaries through referenda to allow for population movement and changed preferences.

Part 4: EU Pillar 1

Single Market

EU400 The idea of a single market is to create an economic power that can compete with the USA and Japan. It is intended to remove national differences by harmonising taxation, technical standards, health and safety rules, financial institutions, transport policies, and so on.

EU401 The single market may be summarised as a massive restructuring of capital around a small number of large corporations and financial institutions. It is not primarily concerned with environmental questions, or social issues.

The Single Market and Internal Affairs

EU410 The present methods of funding the EU should be replaced by contributions from the lower tiers of government in member states and regions, from locally raised taxes, in proportion to regional per capita income. Each member state and region would have the right to choose the method(s) by which its agreed contribution would be raised. These should be set at a level sufficient to meet agreed revenue targets.

EU411 All European institutions should consistently promote economic self reliance rather than free trade, supporting sustainable, ecological development in European regions in a determined effort to move away from the current concentration of capital in transnational corporations or in state controlled monopolies.

EU412 The Green Party is opposed to the EU's creation of a European social market in goods and services, which means, in practice, increasing privatisation. The Green Party is opposed in principle to a common system of public procurement within the EU. Contracts from local government bodies, health authorities or government departments, for example, should not have to be open to tender to large companies outside the country in which they are based. Regional, local and national governments should remain free to award contracts in line with legal and fair policies. (see also WR681)

EU413 The Green Party recognises that subsidies are sometimes necessary to protect local, regional and national economies and the environment, and we will support them in these instances.

EU414 The Green Party believes that EU VAT regulations should be removed. This would allow member states to introduce a series of eco-taxation measures without creating a more regressive tax system. (see EC771)

EMU: The Single Currency

Background

EU420 Economic and Monetary Union is the central element of the economic project of European integration, defined in the Maastricht Treaty. The single currency, the Euro, was launched in 2002.

EU421 To qualify to join that currency member countries must meet economic convergence criteria; the effect of these is to reduce public spending and increase social problems. The single currency is controlled by the European Central Bank (ECB), able to fine member countries of the EMU under a Stability Pact if they do not meet the bankers' criteria.

Policy

EU422 The Green Party is opposed to EMU and the single currency. We believe it will undermine local and regional economies away from the centre of the EU and the metropolitan network connected to that. It will encourage capital flight, and increase social and economic inequality. EMU takes no account of environmental or social criteria. It is run by the ECB, a collection of bankers subject to no effective democratic control, but able to override the democratic decisions made by member countries.

EU423 The Green Party would prefer that the project does not go ahead, and we do not wish our country to join it. We are committed to a referendum on any such decision and will join the campaign for a "No" vote in any such referendum. Prior to a referendum being called, the Green Party will join whichever campaign against the single currency it feels has most in common with its principles.

EU424 In the event of a decision that the UK join the single currency having been taken, we will assess its impact before making a decision on the principle and timing of withdrawal.

Short Term Policy

EU425 Within the EU we should press for improvements to mitigate the effects of the single currency on countries within EMU and others. In particular we should seek agreement that:

i)EMU should be linked to social and environmental criteria (e.g. unemployment rates, inequality, CO2 emissions).

ii)The ECB should be made democratically accountable, with at least regular meetings between the ECB, ECOFIN, ECOSOC, and the Employment Committee. The European Parliament should have a say in nominating the Board of the ECB. The ECB should report formally to the Council and Parliament not less than every six months.

iii)Each member state government should be entirely free to set its own levels and methods of taxation, public spending and public borrowing. Similarly, public investment priorities may be pursued with or without private sector involvement. We also believe that the central bank in each member state should be under government control.

iv)The stability pact should be changed to a solidarity pact, aiming to help those countries in need, not penalise them.

v)Direct taxation should not be levied more heavily on employment income than on investment income. Indirect taxation should be raised from environmental tax measures, such as resource and pollution taxes, rather than simply from taxes on the spending of money by consumers.

vi)Tax evasion should be halted, and tax havens closed, putting an end to one of the major factors in public deficits and social cutbacks.

EU426 EMU is leading to greater economic centralisation in the EU. Given the lack of parallel policies for social protection, the Green Party believes that common minimum standards to protect employment conditions are desirable in the short term. Member States should be encouraged to exceed these minimum standards. In particular, we would seek agreement that:

i)Equal access for women and men to dignified voluntary and decently paid work must become an aim in its own right for all EU members.

ii)The social value of unpaid activity, voluntarily undertaken, should be recognised and supported by the EU (see WR660).

iii)EU members should initiate programmes to support local economies against market centralisation, with the aim of guaranteeing a greater diversity of economic activity, enhancing social and environmental responsibility, and creating more useful work in each local area.

iv)EU members should initiate programmes to negotiate shorter working hours which also involve the equitable redistribution of paid and unpaid work. They should establish legal frameworks and fiscal incentives to facilitate the transition towards an immediate reduction of overtime, fewer hours per day and per week, parental leave, sabbaticals and retraining. Common minimum standards should be agreed.

v)All member countries should be encouraged to initiate incentive schemes for the reduction of working time through collective agreements, in accordance with our policy in WR343. EU rules must be amended to permit subsidies by national, regional and local governments for this purpose, which can be recovered through reductions in social costs through consequent reductions in unemployment.

vi)The EU should mobilise the vast savings of the European Investment Bank and the European Steel and Coal Community in order to encourage investments in ecological innovation, education, health and urban environment especially in regions with high unemployment.

The Single Market and External Relations

Trade

Background

EU440 The European Union represents a view of trade which the Green Party does not share. We do not believe that trade and the so called "free market" are inherently valuable. On the contrary, there are cases where they are appropriate and cases where they are not.

Objectives

EU441 In the long term, we seek the balancing of trade between all industrialised states and a cooperative planned decline in resource intensive and unnecessary forms of trade.

Short Term

EU442 In the meantime, we believe that the EU could play a useful role in reforming the current global trading regime. While remaining opposed in principle to the Single Market as currently envisaged, the Green Party believes that Greens in Europe must attempt to mitigate its effects. Social provision and environmental initiatives introduced by the EU should, at least, be consistent with the highest standards prevailing in any member state. Health and safety standards must similarly be raised to at least the highest standard prevailing in any member state.

EU443 Controls such as tariff barriers and quotas should be gradually introduced on a national and/or regional bloc level, with the aim of allowing localities and countries to produce as much of their food, goods and services as they can themselves. Anything that cannot be provided nationally should be obtained from neighbouring countries, with long distance trade the very last resort. Whilst controls such as tariff barriers and quotas cannot be introduced within a single currency area, appropriate taxes should nevertheless be levied on fuel so as to discourage the wasteful and unnecessary transportation of goods and to provide a reflection of the social and environmental damage caused by unsustainable trade patterns.

EU444 Rather than promoting transnational corporations, instead TNC activities need to be brought back under government control. Market access should be dependent on compliance with a "site here to sell here" policy. For some sectors that would relate to a region within a country, for others to a whole country, and for very large industries such as aerospace, Europe itself. TNCs should be broken up and subject to greater transparency and shareholder power. Company and accounting law should control transfer pricing and the siphoning off of company profits and individual earnings off shore.

EU445 Rather than promoting the mobility of capital, keeping it local should be preferred. Democratic control over capital is the key to providing the money for governments and communities to improve environmental and social conditions and job opportunities. There should be:

i)A Europe wide Tobin Tax on international capital transactions to curb currency speculators.

ii)Broader re regulation of finance capital Europe wide, including controls on capital flows, taxes on short term speculative transactions, tightening of easy credit that allows speculators to multiply the size of their "bets" well beyond the cash required to cover them.

iii)A Europe wide and co-ordinated attack on corporate tax evasion, including offshore banking centres, and the regulation of corporate investments in a manner involving the wishes of the affected community.

iv)A limiting of corporation size, plus community reinvestment legislation.

v)Community Banks and Credit Unions will be vigorously promoted.

EU446 Green policies with respect to Company Law, taxation and monopolies and mergers legislation will reduce the size of inappropriately large companies and prevent a single company gaining an unhealthy dominance of the market. This guarantees the local competition needed to maintain the impetus for improved products, more efficient resource use and the provision of choice. The transfer of information and technology globally would be encouraged to improve the efficiency of local competitiveness.

EU447 The EU should promote the use of resource taxes to help pay for the radical economic transition needed. These are both environmentally advantageous and politically feasible. Where such taxes are introduced at a European level, the revenue from them should be kept by member countries and returned to the community in ways which overcome the potentially regressive impact of such taxes.

EU448 Competition from countries without such taxes should be held at bay by re introduced tariffs and controls.

EU449 The European Union should not promote the General Agreement on Trade in Services or any equivalent measures, but should actively campaign against them.

EU450 Nothing shall be exported from the EU which cannot be legally sold within it, on account of health or environmental hazards.

External Relations

Cotonou Agreement

Background

EU460 The Cotonou Agreement is an aid and trade package agreed in June 2000 between the EU and 77 countries known as the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP states). By the end of May 2002 a sufficient number of the ACP states had ratified it, bringing it into force, but only six of the 15 EU member states had done so (one of them was the UK). The Cotonou Agreement replaces the former Lome Convention. It widens Lome's scope by bringing the accord into line both with existing deleterious provisions of the World Trade Organisation (for example, on intellectual property rights) and with the EU's controversial negotiating agenda for the 'Doha' Round of trade talks (for example, on competition policy). While important limitations within the Lome Convention meant that it did not significantly assist poor countries, there are grounds for fear that the Cotonou Agreement, by subscribing to the prevailing ideology of market opening at all costs, will make the situation substantially worse.

Long Term Objective

EU461 Phased replacement of trade competition by co-operation, and targeted support to secure greater self sufficiency of poor countries in food and energy, and an end to their dependence on environmentally costly commodities. This change to be effected by by substantial revision of the Cotonou Agreement, to be open to all low income countries, granting financial and technical assistance for sustainable development.

Medium and Short Term Measures

EU462 The European Development Fund for ACP countries should be financed directly from the EU budget, rather than depending on contributions from EU member states as at present. This would bring signatories of the Cotonou Agreement into line with other recipients of EU aid such as the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Fund should be applied to all low-income countries, including those to the east of the EU.

EU463 The EU should develop and strengthen fair trade relations with low income countries and where possible strengthen mechanisms which give preferential access to EU markets, especially for goods produced which meet or exceed minimum social and environmental standards.

EU464 The EU should seek reform of the GATT rules at present administered by the WTO. They should be revised to become a General Agreement for Sustainable Trade policed by a Sustainable and Equitable World Trade Organisation. Aid policies and flows, technological transfer and the residual international trade should incorporate the rules of "fair trading" and so be geared to the building up of sustainable local economies. The goal should be to foster/[127] maximum employment through sustainable regional self reliance. The EU must press for the introduction of a social clause into the WTO in order to ensure compliance with core labour standards.

EU465 The EU must press the IMF and World Bank for fundamental changes to adjustment policies, prioritising poverty alleviation and environmental protection.

Relations with Countries to the East of the EU

Background

EU466 Existing member states have benefited more from relations with the applicant countries in Central and Eastern Europe than vice versa. The applicants have been compelled to free their markets as a condition of application, causing them to be flooded with EU products. The EU, on the other hand, has raised tariff barriers against products from the applicant countries. Companies located in the EU have also used these applicant countries as a dumping ground for surpluses, killing local markets.

Objective

EU467 To reduce the disparities in welfare and quality of life between people living on either side of the EU's borders, and to ensure that the accession to the EU of new, poorer member states to the East should be granted on terms which are favourable to the citizens of those states rather than discriminating in favour of the EU's existing, much richer citizens and countries..

Short Term Policies

EU468 The principles which underlie our policy regarding the ACP countries also apply, but in addition we support the following measures:

EU469 Financial help should be channelled to encourage the setting up of local production and markets, rather than the transportation of goods over long distances.

EU470 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development should have environmental protection, enhancement and restoration stated as fundamental and primary objectives in its governing statutes.

EU471 All EU-supported aid programmes in these countries should give especially high priority to energy conservation projects and environmentally sound agricultural activities. The EBRD in particular should be permitted to provide loans for public sector infrastructure projects which meet the objectives set out in EU470.

EU472 There must be full public disclosure of the social and environmental impact of all aid activities before final decisions are made.

Environment

Background

EU480 The EU's overriding objective of the Single Market always ensures that short term profits are put before environmental protection. Within the Single Market, the removal of perceived 'barriers to trade' have often resulted in the lowering of environmental standards. Just as mergers and the internationalisation of companies undermine trade union efforts, so the Single Market tends to weaken the ties between companies and the communities they serve. In consequence, sustainable development will be best served by regionally based economies, regulated by local and regional governments, within a framework of responsible international cooperation.

Objectives

EU481 The protection and enhancement of the natural environment, equitable distribution and conservation of scarce resources and the transfer of the benefits of the environment to future generations both in the EU and elsewhere.

Policies

EU482 Immediate action shall be taken to reduce carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and other greenhouse gas emission; and to reduce industrial and car emissions which cause acid precipitation. The Green Party believes that an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to 1990 levels, is necessary by 2050.

EU483 A comprehensive system of eco-taxation shall be introduced. Taxes shall be levied at the point of extraction wherever possible. Revenue raised will be used to:

1)offset the regressive effect of resource taxation; and

2)invest in energy conservation and the development of environmentally sustainable production processes.

EU484 Strict norms for fuel efficiency of, and emissions from new cars and lorries should be established, and a tax on existing cars implemented, designed to encourage the use of emission reducing devices.

EU485 Immediate action shall be taken to limit industrial processes which generate toxic or hazardous wastes; recycling or monitored storage shall be used where such wastes are generated. EU toxic waste exports are forbidden under the Basel Ban. PVC should be added to this ban. An environmental Protection Directive should create local environmental protection agencies in all areas of the EU.

EU486 Hazardous waste production should be reaching zero levels by 2020. Closed systems for processes which use hazardous chemicals should be introduced, with the long term aim of a chemical industry which uses only bio degradable chemicals.

EU487 We recommend new European Environmental Directives to rapidly phase out the use of endocrine system damaging chemicals in common use, namely APEs, Pthalates and Bisphenyl A. These substances are believed to be responsible for an observed "feminisation" of bird, fish and mammalian species (including humans).

EU488 Surface, sea and river dumping of waste from manufacturing or primary industry processes will be banned. Adequate waste recycling and disposal facilities should be provided on site where practicable.

EU489 There should be a permanent European Union ban on genetically modified plants and animals, and on genetically modified ingredients in food and animal feed. The EU must negotiate for this and all comparable environmental protections to be permissible under WTO rules.

EU490 Energy conservation standards in buildings shall be raised throughout the Community and collaboration in research and development of alternative energy sources will be promoted by EU policies.

EU491 The EU will promote regulations and directives aimed at the elimination of marine, estuarine, groundwater, river and air pollution and soil contamination.

EU492 The Green Party calls for more resources for the enforcement of the section of the Single European Act which provides for preventive action for environmental protection, the rectification of environmental damage at source and that the polluter should pay. We believe the EU must steadily increase the resources it devotes to ensuring that commonly agreed environmental standards are achieved and maintained. In particular, help should be given to the poorer member countries and poor countries in other parts of the world.

EU493 The Green Party calls for the abandonment of the Integrated Mediterranean Programmes which conflict with both existing EU environmental policies and principles, and with the Green objective of sustainable use of the biosphere.

EU494 The Green Party calls for comprehensive regulations and directives protecting birds, animals and all other species throughout the EU, including a general ban on all killing for sport, including bullfighting; the ending of vivisection with an immediate ban of the use of animals in testing cosmetics and drugs; the ending of intensive forms of animal husbandry and battery hen production, and of the export of live animals.

EU495 The EU Habitats Directive will be strengthened and strictly enforced to protect bio-diversity.

EU496 The use of undesirable additives and food irradiation should be banned.

Energy and Natural Resources

The Euratom Treaty

Background

EU500 The Euratom Treaty, for the expansion of nuclear power, was signed the same day as the Treaty of Rome which created the EC.

Objective

EU501 The Green Party supports the closure of all nuclear programmes in the EU and elsewhere as soon as technically feasible.

Policies

EU502 The Euratom Treaty should be rapidly brought to an end, along with the Coal and Steel Treaty. In the meantime, the Treaty should become subject to oversight by the European Parliament, and to the co-decision procedure. A new Energy Chapter in the Maastricht Treaty should promote the use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and sustainable energy sources. The Chapter should deal with all matters relating to energy generation in a coherent , comprehensive and balanced fashion.

EU503 The International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Agency and the European Atomic Energy Agency should be fused into one body responsible for decommissioning nuclear installations. That body should become part of the International Alternative Energy Agency responsible for the promotion and development of alternative energy sources.

EU504 In the meantime, the Euratom Treaty should be revised so its objective no longer remains the promotion of nuclear power. It should be limited to matters of safety of installations and protection of health of workers in the industry and affected populations.

EU505 The Euratom Treaty should include : a legal right for neighbouring countries to participate in the procedures concerning the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear plants; "same for all" safety standards at the highest level for nuclear plants; tighter radiation protection standards (following the ALAP as low as possible principle instead of ALARA as low as reasonably achievable); full legal liability for damages for the manufacturers and operators of nuclear installations, and a requirement for full and open access to data and provision of information.

EU506 The transfer of employees within the energy industry from nuclear to other energy sectors is a European priority. Within the EU regional economic policies must take into account the possibility of structural unemployment resulting from the closure in the short term in some countries. Co-operation should continue on safest possible nuclear waste storage and disposal, and involve any state with a nuclear industry.

EU507 Research, which is currently subsidising big industries such as biotechnology, nuclear and aeronautics, should be redirected into ecologically sustainable projects.

Coal and Steel

Background

EU510 The European Coal and Steel Community was formed in August 1952 by the original six countries who were to form the EU. Community coal policies have been biased towards the most accessible coal stocks and have led to the closure of pits when as little as a quarter of available coals has been extracted. Community steel policy has included both external protection from cheap steel imports and market sharing cartels fixing production quotas and minimum prices. All the above policies, coupled/[128] with limited regional policies throughout the EU, have meant wholly avoidable hardship for communities long dependent on these major industries.

Objectives

EU511 To minimise coal and steel production by substitution of renewable alternatives. The resulting new industries should be based in the communities most affected by the decline in coal and steel production.

Policies

EU512 We would abandon the current EU coal and steel policies in favour of integrated energy and resource conservation strategies fitted to the needs of the EU's regions.

EU513 The conversion of the coal industry to chemical production rather than energy supply is a key objective for all EU states with coal stocks. We advocate sharing of technical knowledge and research to help minimise coal and steel usage in the long term. Consistent with the conservation objective, steel and coal should not be imported from outside the EU in the long term while avoiding their substitution by non-biodegradable synthetic materials (see NR100-318, NR431, EN100-403, EN700-704).

Transport within the EU

Background

EU520 The EU's policies of conventional economic growth, concentrated industrial development and enhanced trade have been developed with scant regard for environmental consequences. Consequently, massively increased road freight has been an environmental disaster.

Objectives

EU521 To encourage combined transport, which includes all movement of freight involving more than one mode of transport whether across international borders or not. This is rational in energy use terms. Whatever goods we may want to trade in the long term, Combined Transport will remain the sensible option.

EU522 To transfer remaining international trade and travel within the EU from road to rail, canal and airships (where particular requirements and energy and resource efficiency justify the use of the last).

Policies

EU523 To reduce maximum permissible lorry weights to 38 tonnes and adopt increasing taxation on vehicles of more than 20 tonnes. Lorry movements on Sundays should be prohibited throughout the EU as a first step to cutting long distance road freight.

EU524 To encourage enhancement of rail services through subsidies and full electrification of the European rail network.

EU525 To foster/[129] the use of canals for transport and leisure.

Trans European Networks

Objective

EU530 To review the Trans European Networks and support only those which contribute to our aims for Europe as outlined in EU121.

Policies

EU531 Information networks: The completion of networks which allow video conferencing, a reliable telephone service and teleworking throughout Europe and the industrialised world are welcome, since these measure should cut journeys and save energy. However, the proliferation of electronic equipment will lead to more use of electricity, so this programme must be accompanied by alternative energy development.

EU532 Energy networks: The connection of energy grids throughout Europe permits more export of energy, including nuclear generated electricity. It creates conditions for bidding down electricity prices and thus is a disincentive to energy conservation. By connecting the grids, the power companies have become a very powerful industrial group throughout Europe and have helped to defeat plans to introduce a carbon tax. The connection of grids also conceals the source of electricity thus obscuring concerns about nuclear and fossil fuel generation.

EU533 We would scrap these energy networks in favour of giving local and regional government the power to develop alternative, renewable energy projects.

Agriculture and Fisheries

EU540 The Green Party has consistently opposed the EC/ EU Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy. Neither meets the criteria of sustainability and subsidiarity, and both have proved expensive failures in practice. The CFP in particular has led to over exploitation and even destruction of fisheries following the removal of national control. We wish to see both the CAP and CFP abolished.

EU541 However, we recognise the need for a framework of European legislation on appropriate environmental issues affecting agriculture and fisheries. Examples would be the protection of transnational marine ecosystems and the prevention of genetic pollution by artificial genetically manufactured organisms. The EU has failed in both those areas, and its policies on such issues and their enforcement need to be strengthened.

EU542 We support measures which encourage sustainable agriculture and fisheries. All subsidies which would encourage intensive farming, the use of chemical inputs, pollution, over production, over harvesting, large land holdings, genetic engineering and habitat damage should be phased out.

EU543 We support measures which return agricultural and fisheries policies to decision at national and regional levels subject to the constraints imposed by European-level policies designed to protect transnational marine ecosystems. Any subsidies which might be necessary to encourage the change over to sustainable agriculture and fisheries should be determined by national or regional government.

EU544 We support measures which promote sustainable regional and local self reliance in food and other natural crops. Such should be grown and harvested as near to the consumer as possible.

EU545 The production of safe, nutritious food should be a prime objective, but diversification to non food crops and use of land for productive forest should be encouraged.

Short Term

EU546 In the short term we should:

i)Phase out export subsidies.

ii)Add complementary programmes to protect particular habitats.

iii)Transfer direct payments to environmentally friendly and ethical goods.

iv)Support incomes rather than prices, give support to small farmers and give support to communities dependent on declining fisheries.

v)Enforce restrictions on fishing within the Common Fisheries Policy, and where necessary take appropriate action to prevent the destruction of fisheries by over exploitation.

Regional Policy and Structural Funds

EU550 The Green Party advocates that the British Government and Green MEPs should promote comprehensive regional policies within the UK and EU. Specific provision should be made to encourage regional co-operation across national borders (see NI210).

EU551 Regions should be given greater input to decision making on economic issues, for example through the EU Committee of the Regions. Policy should support sustainable development initiatives, and seek to build self reliant regional economies. We need to reverse the pressures of conventional EU economic development, which draw towards the centre of the EU and the metropolitan network and away from the periphery.

EU552 Our policy emphasises a regional focus of decision in the use of structural funds. Decision making should be decentralised, and decisions made in response to local needs, not imposed centrally by the EU.

EU553 The resources available to these structural funds are insufficient, and would be more so when the needs of Eastern Europe and transnational regions partly in and partly outside the EU were taken into account. We would press for their increase at the expense of other EU spending which we do not support, such as the CAP.

EU554 The European Regional Development Fund and community financial institutions should assist in the transfer of resources from wealthier regions to poorer ones, favouring sustainable economic initiatives directed at local and regional markets.

EU555 The European Social Fund should be expanded substantially and be directed to sustainable economic development in areas of structural unemployment, underemployment, poverty and other indicators of social deprivation.

EU556 The Green Party supports the principle of a Social Charter and community wide social policies provided they improve the rights of people as employees, as self employed people, as members of disadvantaged groups or as members of groups subject to discrimination or other human rights abuses. Social entitlements, like the need for housing or maternity or paternity leave, are universal human rights and should be extended progressively throughout the community.

EU557 However we reject the idea that this should lead to an EU welfare state. We believe that basic rights should be established at the EU level, but the implementation of these must be decided more locally.

Part 5: EU Pillar 2

Foreign and Security Policy

EU600 Maintenance of peaceful external relations is a common concern of the countries of Europe. It should be an objective of working together in Europe.

EU601 The Green Party believes that common foreign policy with other European countries is appropriate in areas of consensus, but in other areas it should be neither required nor expected.

EU Common Foreign & Security Policy

EU610 The European Union has adopted arrangements for a "Common Foreign & Security Policy" (CFSP) as its "second pillar" under the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties.

EU611 These treaties contain arrangements for foreign policy and military co-operation by member states. They include limited EU decision making, increased in the Amsterdam Treaty, but remain essentially on a government to government basis.

EU612 The CFSP arrangements are opposed by The Green Party. We believe the EU is not the appropriate European body for such issues.

EU613 However, in areas where the member countries of the EU have a consensus our country should take a positive role in developing and implementing a consensual common foreign policy under the CFSP. Our country should engage in debate against non consensual proposals, and resist all proposals to develop and implement common foreign policy in areas where no consensus exists.

EU614 The Amsterdam Treaty provides for the appointment of a new "High Representative" with an embryo Department of Foreign Affairs for the CFSP. The Green Party believes this appointment should be subject to confirmation by the European Parliament, under similar arrangements to those proposed for Commissioners (see Part 3).

Military Aspects

EU620 The Amsterdam Treaty extended the military dimension of the CFSP. The EU is now committed to the "progressive" framing of a common defence policy as part of the CFSP, and that this defence policy shall "be in accordance" with the involvement of the Western European Union (WEU). A Protocol promises "arrangements for enhanced cooperation" between the WEU and the EU. The Green Party is opposed to all of this.

EU621 Any CFSP should take the neutralist path rather than the great power approach. It should seek amity through co-operation and resource sharing rather than deterrence by force of arms, promote defensive defence rather than external military entanglements, practice peace keeping rather than power projection, and encourage disarmament rather than arms sales.

EU622 The Green Party does not wish the European Union to become a continental military power. The EU should neither adopt the WEU as its military arm nor become the European pillar of NATO. We seek the dissolution of both those military alliances.

EU623 In the long term The Green Party wants to see the disbandment of NATO, and its replacement by a well resourced OSCE (PD501, EU640-7).

EU624 The Green Party is opposed to the expansion of NATO into central and eastern Europe.

EU625 The Green Party opposes the creation of a European Army and its precursors such as the Rapid Reaction Force, and the use of the EU to sustain military adventures. We are particularly opposed to suggestions that there should be "Eurobomb" nuclear capability.

EU626 We would prefer to see an emphasis on the development of European co-operation in a civilian peace corps aimed at non violent resolution of conflict and civilian response to natural and human made disasters.

EU627 Our policies on peace and defence generally appear in that section of the Manifesto.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

EU640 The Green Party sees the OSCE as the most suitable existing forum for developing peace across Europe.

EU641 The OSCE is inclusive of all European countries; unlike the EU and NATO, it is not divisive. It uses consensus decision making, and is not dominated by the larger countries in the way of alliances such as NATO and the WEU/ EU. It refrains from unwanted interference in the internal affairs of member countries. It works in co-operation with Non Governmental Organisations.

EU642 We welcome the OSCE's broader view of the concept of common security, which in many ways is similar to the Green concept.

EU643 The aim of the OSCE is to prevent and solve conflicts, both in the short and the long run, by addressing the underlying causes (such as human rights abuses, economic inequalities, and ethnic/[130] tensions). The activities of the OSCE's predecessor the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe over human rights abuses encouraged the rise of human rights movements in Eastern Europe which contributed to the end of the Cold War.

EU644 The OSCE encourages governments and others to work together on problems within the area, as opposed to simply introducing military forces to repel or repress a perceived threat. The use of consensus decision making means that action takes time to agree and compromises have to be made, but the decisions made have strong support.

EU645 We support the OSCE's emphasis on arms control and disarmament and the provision of mutual rights of inspection into other countries' security affairs, demonstrating the value of openness and transparency in building mutual confidence.

EU646 The Green Party recognises the need to develop the OSCE to render it more effective in achieving the implementation of the Helsinki Accords. However, this must not be at the expense of the characteristics in EU641-5 which attract our support.

EU647 We believe that increased effectiveness and development of the OSCE require a transfer of resources to it from other security institutions such as NATO and the WEU.

Part 6: EU Pillar 3

Justice & Home Affairs

Human Rights

EU700 Basic human rights should be assured to all regardless of origin. There should be a global commitment to the principle, and a duty to ensure implementation at all levels having the power and responsibility to do so.

EU701 The best structure at the European level through which to pursue basic human rights is the European Convention on Human Rights, with its own Court and Commission. This offers not only a wider coverage than the present European Union but also a necessary separation of powers.

EU702 The EU should become a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. Provision should be made in the appropriate EU document for a legal base to enable the process: the decision to be made on the basis of unanimity in Council and co-decision with the European Parliament.

EU703 The Charter of Fundamental Rights drawn up by the first Convention should be incorporated in to the appropriate EU document and become a legally binding text. This is subject to the understanding, set out in Article 51.2 of the Charter, that it does not of itself extend the competencies of the EU and respects the principle of subsidiarity set out in Article 51.1.

EU704 Within clear statements of fundamental human and civil rights, their implementation must reflect the social and cultural diversity of Europe. The methods of implementation should be for nations and regions to decide, not the European level.

Discrimination

EU710 It is essential to retain and strengthen the EU's commitment to the principle of equality and anti-discrimination on grounds of race/[131], ethnic/[132] origin, religion/[133] or belief/[134], disability/[135], age, sex/[136] or sexual/[137] orientation/[138]. Similarly to maintain its commitment to combat racism/[139] and xenophobia and to support these commitments with appropriate legislation and action programmes.

EU711 We will work for the extension of Qualified Majority Voting to policy in this area, in accordance with our belief/[140] that basic standards of human rights should come within the competencies of the EU. (See Part 2)

Women

EU720 Article 2 of the Amsterdam Treaty states that the European Union has as a task "to promote throughout the EU equality between women and men..." Article 6a allows action to be taken to combat sex/[141] discrimination in any area of public life, not just employment.

EU721 However, all the commitments are vague, and lack specific policy. In particular, the Treaty omits the Council of Ministers' recommendation of December 1996 on the balanced participation of women and men in decision making, thus restricting equal opportunities developments to professional activity and vocational training.

EU722 Most of the more concrete provisions on equal opportunities in the treaty concern women and men as members of the labour market. They completely ignore unpaid work and caring responsibilities, to which contributions to the community Greens attach great importance.

EU723 The Green Party opposes this emphasis on paid employment alone. We will work to establish the right of all people throughout the EU, to equal access to education and to decision making processes, and to equal citizenship rights.

Citizenship

EU730 The Green Party believes the achievement of full local, regional and national citizen rights for all residents in Europe should be the priority.

EU731 We oppose the use of requirements that citizens be descended from citizens to exclude other residents from citizenship. We are particularly concerned that such requirements are used to discriminate against ethnic/[142] minorities. (see EU710)

EU732 Our comprehensive policies on extending citizenship in this country are in the Nationality and Migration section of the Manifesto. They meet the objective set out in EU730.

EU733 Whilst the creation of an additional "European Union citizenship" is a welcome development, it is no substitute for full local, regional and national citizen rights for all residents. Nonetheless, its extension to non citizen residents such as "guest workers" would increase their rights, and would be useful in the short term. At present it is given only to citizens of other EU countries.

Schengen Convention

EU740 In June 1985, France, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Benelux countries signed an agreement, in Schengen, to remove border controls between their countries. In 1990, this became the Schengen convention, separate from and parallel to the EU. With the Amsterdam treaty, the arrangements laid out in this convention have come under the aegis of the EU. All other EU states have or are about to join, with the exception of the UK and Ireland.

EU741 It is the declared aim of the EU that there shall be free movement of goods, capital, services and people. In practice it has emphasised cross border trade and investment rather than people's freedom to move. Ostensibly it is the aim of the Schengen convention to facilitate such freedom of movement. In fact the arrangements set up pose great threats to the freedom of both EU citizens and others, discriminate against ethnic/[143] minorities, and fail to take account of the diverse situations of different member countries.

EU742 The Green Party is committed in principle to freedom of movement for people. However we will oppose vigorously any moves for the UK to sign up to the inappropriate Schengen arrangements, to impose the Schengen arrangements on the EU as a whole.

EU743 The "compensatory measures" put in place by the Schengen arrangements to counteract their opening of internal borders include much stricter surveillance of people within borders, and much tougher policing of the external borders to create a "Fortress Europe". EU citizens may not need to show a passport to cross a border between Schengen states, but may instead be required at any time to produce proof that they are EU citizens. In practice these arrangements have been used to discriminate against ethnic/[144] minorities perceived as "non European".

EU744 We are completely opposed to this attack on civil liberties, and to any such proposal to require identity cards.

EU745 A data base has been set up (SIS, or Schengen Information Service) of information on people, vehicles and artefacts. Its purpose is to prevent crime, and to "maintain order and public security, including the security of the state".

EU746 The SIRENE system supplements SIS. This allows police in a member state to request supplementary information about people, which the SIS is not allowed to hold, thus avoiding completely the already inadequate data protection measures relating to SIS.

EU747 We are completely opposed to these developments, which evade accountability for and scrutiny of information held on people, and undermine civil liberties thereby. The Green Party will work to make these arrangements better known, to mobilise public support for removing them.

EU748 The Schengen arrangements fail to recognise the distinction between land and sea borders, the different nature of traffic across each, the particular position of island states and those on the periphery of the Schengen area, on which the burden of external border control falls. It is notable that it is the two island members of the EU which have not joined the Convention, and that it has created major difficulties for countries on the periphery with much sea traffic, such as Sweden.

Europol

EU760 Policing must be open and controlled at the lowest appropriate level if there is to be public consent and democratic accountability. Co-operation at higher levels must not be allowed to undermine that democratic control.

EU761 The Green Party believes that Europol is too distant and too secretive to be accountable to citizens of member countries. If it is not abolished, we believe that its powers must be substantially reduced, and its operation and operatives subject to the national laws of member countries affected by their activities.

EU762 There is no effective control over Europol. It is accountable to no elected government. No court has any right to supervise. All that is required is a yearly report to The European Parliament. This is no substitute for proper democratic control of the police by elected bodies close enough to their citizens to be effective in the role.

EU763 In particular, agents of Europol have diplomatic immunity. This gives them immunity under national law, and from liability for criminal proceedings for abuse of their powers and any other misdeeds.

EU764 The Green Party opposes the granting of such supranational rights to such agencies and their agents. We demand that the immunity given to Europol and its agents be withdrawn.

EU765 Europol's original role consisted essentially of facilitating co-operation between national police forces and distribution of information. Here we are concerned about the lack of safeguards in respect of the information held and its use, and about the way this system is used to evade national laws on what information may be held on people and their access to it.

EU766 Under its extended powers Europol is able to hold data not just on known criminals and suspects but also victims and other persons. This type of data collection has additional risks for the civil rights of individuals.

EU767 Under the Europol Convention the organisation can extend from data handling and facilitating co-operation into taking action itself. The areas planned include the illegal trade in radioactive substances, trade in human beings and car crime. It is expected that in the next two years these areas will increase to cover most forms of terrorism.

EU768 The Green Party is not opposed to proper and accountable international co-operation by national police forces against such cross border organised crime. But we do not believe the Europol Convention offers any of the safeguards needed to protect individuals. Given that, we are opposed to any operational role for Europol.

Migration

EU780 The Green Party supports the principle of a Common Asylum Policy for the European Union (see RA404). We consider it essential that this policy include a standstill provision whereby more favourable positions in national law regarding asylum seekers and refugees cannot be abolished on the grounds of the common policy. Concerning partnership and co-operation with third countries for the purpose of managing inflows of people applying for asylum or subsidiary or temporary protection, we see potential problems. While co-operation with third countries in this field is desirable, in particular regarding the development of resettlement schemes and appropriate burden sharing measures, we are concerned that this provision is open to misuse if Member States seek to "sub-contract" their protection duties to third countries.

EU781 The Green Party's liberal policies on migration to this country and the rights of migrants would meet such obligations. They are set out in the Nationality, Migration and Refugees & Asylum Seekers sections of the Manifesto.

EU782 One of the "compensatory measures" introduced under the Schengen Convention is far stricter control of the external borders of the Schengen area. This includes moves towards the development of a common and very restrictive policy towards refugees and asylum seekers. We are opposed to this development of a "fortress Europe".

EU783 In particular, The Green Party opposes rules such as the Dublin Convention preventing residents of member countries applying to other member countries for asylum and preventing refugees and asylum seekers applying to more than their country of entry to the European Union.

Part 7: EU Enlargement

Introduction

EU800 The Green Party's vision for Europe is of different, overlapping groupings of countries and regions. A radically reconstituted EU would be amongst these. It is against this background that we must consider the question of the enlargement of the EU. We must ensure that any enlargement moves towards this different vision, not further away from it.

EU801 The EU is committed to enlargement, and several countries have applied to join. EU member states have recognised that enlargement cannot take place without substantial change, but they are divided as to what this change should be.

EU802 There are those who believe that there must first be a "deeper" Union; the process of integration must have gone much further before any new members are admitted. There are others who advocate a "wider", more inclusive Union, bringing in applicant states more quickly through flexibility. Given our vision for Europe, The Green Party would prefer the latter approach.

EU803 There are also difficulties caused by the perception that the national interests of some existing members would be damaged by the membership of some applicants.

Objective

EU810 To ensure that any enlargement of the EU brings about a Europe much closer to our Green vision of a peaceful, decentralised, democratic continent with high social and environmental standards. To avoid merely pushing the walls of "fortress Europe" further out.

Policies

EU820 The Green Party believes that any European country which wants to join the European Union should be able to do so if it meets the following requirements:

EU821 To become a member, a state must be a democracy, respect human rights, have a free press, an independent judiciary, a commitment to environmental standards at least equal to those demanded in the EU, civilian control of the military, and be at peace both outside and within its borders.

EU822 Applicant states should be assisted by the EU to raise their environmental standards. Similarly the EU shall prepare to receive new members by, amongst other things, reforming the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy. The EU shall also reform its institutions.

EU823 For each applicant country, a realistic time table shall be established, during which both the applicant country and the EU would make the mutually agreed necessary adjustments. No applicant country shall join until the EU has fulfilled its side of the agreement. This period should not exceed 10 years; any longer would remove the sense of urgency.

EU824 In each applicant country there shall be a referendum with equal funding for pro and anti groups, once the terms of admission have been negotiated. Only if a majority of those voting want to join, should the application go ahead.

EU825 Every member state may leave through the same process of referendum.

EU826 No new member should be required to reduce its environmental standards, human, animal or civil rights, such as freedom of information, if they are already higher than those operating within the EU.

The Periphery Of The EU

EU830 To avoid the danger of building a wall around "fortress Europe", those countries and regions immediately outside the EU should have special status, especially with regard to for example, movement of people across borders, and short distance trade. There should be no hard border between the EU and its non EU neighbours; as described in our Green vision, countries just inside the EU could also belong to other groupings with countries just outside, for example around the Baltic, or the Mediterranean.

Part 8: UK Membership of the EU

EU900 The Green Party supports European co-operation on Green lines, as set out in our Vision for Europe (see Part 1). However, the EU is founded on a commitment to economic growth which cannot be sustained.

EU901 Greens oppose many of the long standing policies of the EU, such as the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy and the Single European Market. Current developments in the EU, such as EMU, Schengen and moves towards becoming a continental military power, are taking the EU further away from Green principles and objectives.

EU902 The Green Party's aim is a reconstitution of the EU as a European Confederation of Regions on Green lines pursuing ecological policies.

EU903 Whilst the Green Party is opposed to the objectives, structure and policies of the EU as currently constituted, as long as the U.K. remains a member of the EU the Green Party will stand in elections to the European Parliament and elected Green MEP's will work for fundamental reform of the EU from within.

EU904 So long as the UK remains a member of the EU, The Green Party will campaign and support negotiations to achieve any improvements in the EU which are possible.

EU905 Any UK decision to withdraw from the EU shall be subject to a referendum.

EU906 In the event that joining the single currency was seen to be a condition of continued membership of the E.U., the Green Party will still campaign against the single currency.

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FISHERIES

Background

FI100 Fisheries are an important human activity and should be managed in a sustainable way to maintain the fish stock and the socio-economic benefits, in a manner which does not degrade the environment.

FI101 However the detecting and catching power of fishing boats has been rising at about 3% per year for at least the last 30 years, and in intensively fished areas, such as the North Sea, 30 - 40% of the total biomass of commercial stocks is removed each year. Fishing on this scale is unsustainable and threatens the marine ecosystem, resulting in modification of predator-prey relationships. Fish stocks of targeted and non-targeted species are becoming depleted, even with controls on fishing fleets. For this country the controls are governed by the European Union which, however, aims to allow all the 12 member states equal access to all their territorial waters. When Spain and Portugal, with very large fleets, joined, quotas for British fleets were even further restricted, and many boat teams have been bankrupted.

FI102 Everyone agrees that catching capacity world-wide has to be brought down to sustainable levels, but the political will has been lacking. The UK government has been paying out for boats to be decommissioned, but at such a low rate that it is not keeping up with the rate at which technical advances are increasing catching power, even though payments are subsidised by the EU. It had hoped to rely on the penny-pinching "days at sea" restriction. This method is quite unacceptable on human and efficiency grounds. The Green Party would, rather, encourage each region to fish and use only its own resources, and in these circumstances Britain would need all its fleet to avoid the importing of two-thirds of its consumption, as at present.

FI103 As Britain is, at present, part of the EU virtually all fishing activity is governed by the fundamentally flawed Common Fisheries Policy. We seek the reconstitution of the EU, and, in particular, the CFP on ecologically sound principles (see also EU111).

FI104 Human activity is also polluting all seas. The effects are being seen most quickly in relatively enclosed waters such as the Mediterranean, the Baltic and the North Seas. Nutrient concentrations are being elevated by as much as 50% in many areas and have caused blooms of different microscopical and macroscopical species, oxygen deficiency, decreasing biodiversity and ecosystem instability. Open sea effects, in particular on the Dogger Bank, are also becoming apparent. There is little firm evidence on the reduction of fish numbers caused by pollution, but disturbing signs of disease in fish are becoming more common. The results will be cumulative and could rapidly escalate. There is no place in a Green society for running sewage and other so-called waste materials off to sea.

FI105 Britain requires a sustainable, ecological and self-reliant system. This will not only help maintain our heritage of marine wildlife, but in the long run will restore fish stocks for human use to higher levels. Even so we will probably have to reduce our consumption, while the population remains at its present level, if we are to stop exploiting poorer nations food stocks.

Policy principles


FI200 The human race/[145] should live in a sustainable equilibrium with the worlds oceans, free from pollution, so that a diverse population of wildlife can live in them, and also provide a continuing source of edible fish.

Aims


FI300 Marine ecosystems with all their present biodiversity to be preserved for future generations.

FI301 Fish only to be caught for human consumption.

FI302 Fishing activity to be at such a level that fish stocks are not depleted to below a sustainable level. Where doubt exists, the precautionary principle shall be applied.

FI303 Each region (see EU111 & PA303) to control its own territorial waters; and to fish only in nearby international waters, as agreed with all its neighbours.

FI304 Fish should only be imported, on an equitable basis, from other regions that have sufficient to feed their own communities.

FI305 All seas to be uncontaminated with substances detrimental to marine life.

Policies

Short term


FI400 We will work to release Britain from the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU. In the short term we will take every opportunity to ameliorate its worst features by the actions detailed in this section.

FI401 We will work to have licences required for all commercial fishing. They should be limited by quantity, specific geographical areas, seasons and specified selective, environmentally friendly fishing gear. Licences should be issued, in consultation with the industry, and favour small scale, less environmentally damaging vessels and fisheries.

FI402 We will try to get industrial fishing phased out. This undifferentiated catching of small species, for non-edible uses such as fish meal, makes up about a quarter of fishing activity world wide, but these species comprise an essential part of the food chain of wildlife and commercial fish. Phasing out could be accomplished by setting Total Allowable Catches (there are none at present); by progressively increasing the minimum allowable mesh size for nets; by closing the most sensitive areas completely and by seasonal closing of others.

FI403 Marine Protected Areas around our coastline, should be designated, with the involvement of all local user groups. The sea-bed and the wild-life in, over and around the areas will be able to regenerate. Diversity of the bio-system will be safeguarded and fish stocks will recover, allowing larger catches of useful species to be taken ultimately. This action will also contribute to our commitment to the EU Habitats and Species Directive. Scientific assessment will be used to decide the priority areas, but 10 to 20% of the total length could be designated eventually.

FI404 Sea Fisheries Committees which are responsible for fisheries management in coastal cells around England and Wales have a good record of inducing self- discipline amongst their members. Their role should be widened to encompass responsibility for wildlife conservation, in line with the EU Habitats Directive.

FI405 We will give a high priority to getting the discarding of fish at sea banned. It should be made illegal not to land all by-catch.

FI406 The importing of fish from other regions should be stopped. Many of these regions are poorer than ourselves and their people are under-nourished. Our progressive Resources Taxes (see also NR423) would encourage this change. It would then be possible to phase out all operating subsidies.

FI407 We will keep international commitments to protect wild life from net entanglement (employing observer programmes, closed areas, etc). Types of gear which are particularly destructive of marine habitats and wildlife (including sea birds and mammals) such as beam trawling, scallop dredging, suction dredging, tangle netting and drift netting, should be strictly controlled, with a view to eventual phasing out, in favour of more selective methods. Any net having a significant chance of trapping a sea mammal, such as monofilament drift nets, will be prohibited immediately

FI408 If licences are requested for new fisheries, Environmental Impact Assessment of the scheme should be required first.

FI409 While we are still restricted by the Common Fisheries Policy strong policing measures will be essential. There must be a unified enforcement strategy for all European waters, incorporating sophisticated tracking and data logging equipment and better port inspection.

FI410 The assessments of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea should be used to set realistic Total Allowable Catches for British waters.

FI411 As government has regularly encouraged the building up of excessive fishing capacity, it should accept a responsibility to offer adequate grants to boat crews to decommission vessels. Boat crews should be helped to establish themselves in alternative, sustainable employment. We must move as quickly as possible to a position where the remaining fishing effort will be small enough not to exceed the sustainable yield of the seas, and provide a viable livelihood.

FI412 Similarly, government should provide help to fishing communities to adjust to lower throughputs.

FI413 We should collaborate in international research to study marine life as a whole, so that the complex web of relationships can be better understood. Multi-species models will be used, in preference to single species ones, to manage fish stocks, so that the wider implications of fisheries are taken into consideration. All information will be made available publicly.

FI414 Areas of our territorial waters most damaged by fishing-related activities should be identified and closed to fishing, as a matter of urgency, to allow recovery of its fish stock and re-establishment of damaged habitats.

FI415 Further studies of fishing gear design to improve selectivity will be encouraged.

FI416 Decommissioning and licenses should be concentrated selectively to maximise the stocks according to research findings on conditions in each area. (Some researchers expect that under optimum conditions, catches could revert to as much as 40% above present levels.)

FI417 All gear should be required to be marked with the registration number of the operating vessel, and the use of elapsed time recorders will be investigated.

FI418 We will oppose all subsidies for all new fishing boat building until present excess capacity is eliminated.

FI419 We would sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982.

Pollution

FI500 We should increase the efforts of the river pollution authorities to reduce the quantity of nutrients entering the seas from our rivers, in collaboration with neighbouring states, whose rivers also discharge into our shared waters. Such nutrients from human sources are fundamentally altering the most basic marine ecosystem processes.

FI501 We should reduce emissions to the atmosphere from industry, vehicles and power plants [see also PL300], as a substantial proportion eventually get deposited on the seas.

FI502 A higher priority should be given to improving sewage treatment and to keeping it separate from non-biodegradable materials, like heavy metals, so that it can be returned to the land.

FI503 The discharge of waste materials from ships at sea must be stopped. This should include by-catches from fishing operations. Existing regulations must be policed much more vigorously.

Longer term

FI600 A Britain freed from the Common Fisheries Policy (at least in its present form) could become more self-reliant on its own supplies. The size of fishing fleet would not then be too great and the wasteful policies of decommissioning vessels and restricting days at sea would be unnecessary.

FI601 As our society is progressively decentralised (see PG102) communities would take on responsibility for all fishing in their adjacent seas. They would set their own quotas, and licence vessels of their own people to fish in their own waters, so that a sustainable equilibrium of marine life is maintained.

FI602 International agreement will be negotiated for fishing rights on the high seas, through the UN. Rights could be licensed, with the proceeds accruing to the UN, partly to be used for firm policing to ensure that only sustainable methods are used.

FI603 We will encourage investigations into ways of keeping fish in small scale, ecologically sound "farms". We are strongly opposed to the systems now in use which crowd excessive numbers together, use non-renewable resources wastefully and are highly polluting. Theoretically systems using farm wastes are possible and potentially efficient.

(Autumn 1995) Back to contents Green Party

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FOOD

Objectives

FD100 Everyone has the right to enjoy a balanced, healthy diet. Government should secure this right by adopting a food policy that places emphasis on the health of the consumer. The primary objective of the Green Party food policy is the production of healthy and humanely produced food, with priority given to local production for local needs, and on conservation of the countryside. It will require a high profile publicity campaign to inform everyone how to eat healthily. Administrative and economic changes will be required to ensure that healthy food is available to all.

Policies

A Ministry of Food

FD200 The establishment of a Ministry of Food (incorporating some of the functions of DEFRA) with the primary objective of the production of healthy and humanely produced food, with the emphasis on local production for local needs and conservation of the countryside (see Agriculture policy).

FD203 The Minister of Food to chair a committee of Cabinet colleagues whose support is needed for a coherent national food policy. The committee to include the ministers responsible for the Exchequer, Health, Education and Trade.

FD204 The Ministry of Food to set goals for the quality of the food supply; with short term aims (5 years) and long term aims (within 15 years). The Ministry of Food should seek to ensure consumption of more local foods within each region or locality. Liaison with regional and local government and health authorities will therefore be required. Urgent attention to be given to the quality of food for:
a) pregnant women,nursing mothers, babies, infants and children (standards for school meals to be restored immediately),
b) patients in hospitals
c) those in residential homes
d) prison populations
(The NACNE goals to be used until others are devised).

FD205 Food compositional standards to be restored.

FD206 An immediate ban to be imposed on chemical additives in food likely to be eaten by babies and children under five. The use of all additives to be restricted to those approved by a committee representative of consumers and other interested bodies, but with a clear majority independent of financial interest in the food industry. All additives under a toxicological cloud to be withdrawn immediately pending a complete review of their safety.

FD207 The progressive reduction of levels of pesticide, drug and hormone residues in food with a view to their eventual elimination.

FD208 Genetically modified food presents significant and unquantified risks to human health and the environment. These outweigh any benefits. We would ban the production or import of any genetically modified food. We define genetically modified food as any:
1. food that is genetically modified or includes genetically modified ingredients or
2. food that is from genetically modified animals or
3. food that is from animals that have been given genetically modified feed
So long as any such food is available in this country, it should be labelled as containing genetically modified ingredients or coming from genetically modified sources.

FD209 Food sampling to be increased, with the appointment of the necessary number of inspectors. Regular sampling of imported food to be established with unacceptable produce being refused entry to the UK.

FD210 A system of standards to be established, inspected and funded for organically grown produce, in co-operation with the Soil Association and organic growers. (CY521,CY524 & AG)

FD211 Production and sale of irradiated food will be banned in the UK except for special medical diets

Processing, Distribution & Retailing

FD212. The production and distribution of basic, healthy foodstuffs is clearly one of the most fundamental tasks of a society. It is therefore important that too much control over this activity does not become centred around a small number of large, powerful companies.

FD213. The dominance of large processing companies and supermarkets in the food retail market is not healthy. It encourages the unnecessary mass transportation of food, through centralising its distribution, and brings about the closure of small, local retailers. It also makes small food producers/growers increasingly reliant on one or two large customers for their livelihood, and this leads to an unacceptable level of control by the processors and supermarkets over the prices paid to producers.

FD214. To meet the objective of local production for local need, local authorities should take steps to safeguard and encourage the local processing, distribution and retailing of local produce. This would include sponsoring co-operative and other shared local facilities to avoid the need to use distant processors, and the setting up of farmers markets to enable producers to sell direct, as appropriate. It could also include involvement with the distribution of local produce to local retailers, restaurants, hotels etc. - sometimes subsidising prices, if this was felt necessary in order to protect local food production and jobs therein.

FD215. When dealing with a planning application for a new supermarket, local authorities should take into consideration the expected effect on small, local food retailers and the extent to which the supermarket would reduce the amount of local produce being sold in the area."

Advisory Committees

FD220 There would be strong consumer representation on all government committees concerned with advice, policy, priorities and strategies for food. All their evidence and findings would be published. Proper induction would be provided for new members.

FD221 The work of all government advisors on food and health to be subject to a Freedom of Information Act. A register of advisors' interests to be published annually.

Imports & Exports


FD230. Britain imports and exports similar amounts of identical foodstuffs. Such unnecessary transportation wastes resources and creates pollution. It also undermines attempts to make local economies self-reliant.

FD231. Green policies address this by positively encouraging local production for local need. In addition, financial measures taken to ensure that air transport costs fully reflects its environmental impact would make importing and exporting of identical products less economically viable (see TR540-544). Import duties would also be levied on imported goods where necessary, in order to ensure that their prices reflect the ecological impact of their production and transportation (see EC786)

FD232 Where food is imported, account should be taken of the ethical and political considerations of importing food from countries where the local people do not have enough to eat. We would only enter into trade where it will benefit the people of the country concerned. (see IP240's)

Education

FD300 An independent and adequately funded Health Education Council to be formed. Its first priority will be to publicise, by all available means, the known dangers to health incurred by an unhealthy diet, and how to avoid them by returning to eating natural whole foods.

FD301 Legislation to be introduced to ensure that all food has fully informative labelling with actual percentages of main nutrients and all additives and all countries of origin.

FD302 We would encourage the teaching of vegetarian and vegan nutrition systems in schools and , at greater depth, to medical students.

FD303 Food manufacturers' literature to be discouraged in schools, clinics and maternity hospitals, implementing World Health Organisation guidelines.

FD304 Vegetarian and vegan choices would be introduced to all school meals and other public institutions' menus.

Scientific Research

FD400 Research into food, health and disease should have adequate funds, which would be disbursed by the Health Education Council.

FD401 The incidence of diseases believed to be caused by current eating habits and the health of vulnerable groups in the population to be monitored by the Ministry of Food.

FD402 Food producers to be given incentives to produce free range and organic food.

FD403 Research into organic methods of food production will be funded.

Amended Autumn 2001

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FORESTRY

Background
F100 Over the largest part of the earth, forests are the natural climax vegetation. They are central to the ecosphere that provides us with fresh air, clean water, fertile soil and climatic stability. Any forestry policy must take account of this. Forestry has the greatest potential for feeding humans and animals and providing a renewable fuel as well as timber.

F101 Total world cover at present stands at around 30% and is declining by an area around the size of Wales every year, because of human pressure. Action is needed to help to reverse this trend.

F102 Before 2,500 BC, the United Kingdom was almost entirely covered with forest, mainly hardwood. Since these times, through agriculture and the industrial revolution, this was reduced to around 5% by the beginning of this century. It has now increased slightly, to 8%, largely by the direct or indirect activity of the Forestry Commission. This planting, since the First World War however has mostly been monoculture of exotic conifers. However we are still importing 90% of our forestry products, valued at ú4,500 million per year, our second largest import.

Objectives
F200 (A) To be more self-sufficient, by maximising the quantity and quality of all forest products, in such a manner as to cause minimal disturbance to the ecological balance. It is recognised that products include timber, recreational facilities, amenity value, conservation and the control of erosion, drought and flooding.

F201 (B) To move all existing woodlands towards an ecologically balanced and natural state. The planting of diverse woodlands with native species would move away from the current practice of monoculture. Ancient woodland would be given special protection. (see also C570-572)

F202 (C) To increase the area of forest in the UK from its present level of about 8% to 25% of the total land area. This would bring us into line with other European countries.

F203 (D) To maximise the involvement and employment of the local community as creators and users of local forests and their products.

Policies
To Obtain (A)
F300 The management systems encouraged below should produce high quality products in as large a quantity as possible without unbalancing ecosystems.

F301 Encourage research into the more efficient use of timber in order to reduce demand.

F302 Consider introducing selected restrictions on the import of timber to reduce pressure on the world timber resources, particularly from the tropical rainforests.

F304 Local coordinator (see F330 below) to keep growers in contact with markets so that all products are fully utilised.

F305 Encourage and develop facilities for recreation and conservation. The creation of woodland for nature reserves, amenity, agricultural shelter etc. would also be encouraged.


To Obtain (B)
F310 Encourage, by grant or other financial aid, the planting of native species, especially as second generation crops. Similarly, encourage ecologically balanced and rich management systems, such as mixed species crops, selection forests (as opposed to clear felling systems), coppice with standards etc. The Forestry Commission to follow suit. (C542)

F311 Restrict the use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers. At the same time research into the biological control of pests should be promoted (e.g. at present the grey squirrel makes it very difficult to establish hardwoods in some areas).

F312 Encourage research both locally and nationally into:
a) the cheaper methods of establishing and managing hardwoods,
b) the effects of afforestation on local ecosystems,
c) the effects of different types of management on the local ecosystems.

To Obtain (C)
F320 Encourage new planting with higher grant aid and other financial incentives. Make forestry more competitive with farming and shooting. Agriculture and forestry should be more closely integrated.

F321 Increase the Forestry Commission planting budget with special reference to overall policy.

F322 Make National and Local Government land available for planting where possible, especially urban and derelict land reclamation.

F323 Local coordinator (see F330) to advise growers and potential growers of incentives, labour and markets available.

To Obtain (D)
F330 Encourage the creation of community forests, owned, managed and used by the local population, thereby enhancing local employment opportunities. Community forests are very common on the Continent, being managed by a local committee, community association or local authority. The local coordinator could seek the involvement of schools, local clubs and institutes, voluntary groups, naturalists etc. and publicise the work being done.

F331 Encourage the creation of local marketing cooperatives and tree banks for small woodland growers.

F332 Encourage development of small efficient sawmills that can use local timber to supply local needs.

F333 Local people, through their local coordinator and planning authority, should be given the power to prevent unsound forestry and ecologically damaging practices in local woodlands, even if privately owned.

General Policies
F340 Create the post of Local Forestry Coordinator, who would operate at county level or district level and would probably be a locally elected person or an employee of the local authority. It would be the duty of the coordinator to liaise with all interested groups at a local level and keep the growers and consumers aware of each other's needs.

F341 Where possible use and adapt the existing organisations and structures available rather than create new ones.
(see C521 & 'Policy Statement' FS1)

F342 Encourage changes with incentives rather than restrictions. This is easier to do at a local level rather than a national one.

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GREEN COUNCILS

Background

GC100 Local government exists in a permanent state of crisis, with neither the resources or the sovereignty to implement effective Green policies.

GC101 Even within the current restraints, there are many things the Green Party will do to promote the decentralisation of power in our society and build a sense of real community within the areas in which we live.

The community and democracy

GC110 One solution is to go outside the conventions of political office to mobilise the resources of the community. A priority for Green Party councillors is therefore to act as people who can co-ordinate initiatives coming from below, tapping and encouraging the ideas and potential that are latent everywhere. (EC512, 620's)

Policies

GC200 Parish and Community Councils can be set up where they do not already exist, (see PA) encouraged to take more responsibilities and empowered by the District Council to take decisions and action. Similarly, there is the potential for the establishment of town/community meetings, empowered where appropriate to take decisions.

GC201 Access to the Councils' records and information should be made more open. Also, the creation of special community forums to oversee the work work of particular departments and committees may increase involvement. (PA501)

GC202 The council can facilitate and make itself accountable to referenda and citizen's initiatives. Individual Councillors can make themselves available for recall when petitioned to do so. (PA504-508)

GC203 Regular public meetings for neighbourhood and community councils and open agenda sections for all meetings give people a chance to make their voices heard.

GC204 Retraining of people within local authority professions with the help of trade unions and use of alternative technology will help increase environmental sensitivity, resource efficiency, and the self-reliance of the community.

GC205 Involving contractors, management and recipients of services - the stakeholders - in the provision of services can improve the service quality (see EC652). It is also important to study how the council's resources are actually allocated to different social groups.

GC206 We support the setting up of specific inter-council projects which are accessible and accountable. This enables projects beyond the capacity of a single authority to achieve, can be carried out at a local level rather than through national government.

GC207 Councils can carry out community audits and draw up alternative indicators of well-being or quality-of-life as a basis for the council's service provision and for public information.

GC208 In the long term, as the councils help to develop a network of community businesses and finance (the third sector - see EC620's) and work in partnership with them , so they will become less dependent on taxation to get things done. Without losing accountability or lowering standards of contract compliance, the council will become a loose coordinating body for pools of resources and the provision of services and products. (see also WR672)

GC209 To make councils more responsive and effective, it will be necessary to encourage cross-party co-operation, and weaken the hold of dogmatic ideologies and factions. The Green Party will not operate a system of whipping councillors into line. (see PA501iii) Back to Index

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HEALTH

Values and Principles

H100 Health is the condition in which individuals and communities achieve their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential. Health for individuals is only possible in the context of a healthy environment and society. The healthy society is one which guarantees a safe and clean environment; material security for all its citizens; good work; adequate housing; a balanced and unpolluted diet and clean water; appropriate education; a safe transport system; accessible and sensitive public services; equality of opportunity; a secure present and hope for the future. All Green Party policies are designed to promote the health of individuals, communities and society.

H101 Ill health exists at many levels; a diseased organ within a stressed person, a sick individual within an uncaring society, or a sick society within an overstrained and collapsing ecosystem. To achieve improved individual, social and environmental health, effective interventions at all levels are needed. Current theory and practice place too much emphasis on interventions at the biochemical and individual levels, too little on the social and ecological. Achieving better health requires a balanced, integrated and holistic understanding and approach.

H102 Health services are not in themselves a major determinant of the public health. Increased investment in health services alone will generate little improvement in the conventional indicators of health and disease. Furthermore, expansion of health services on the basis of indiscriminate economic growth will inevitably be counterproductive, since such growth itself damages health at the individual, social and ecological levels. However, willingness and ability to care for the sick and disabled/[146] are essential features of a compassionate society. Free market mechanism alone cannot adequately meet health needs, or effectively constrain costs. Proper health care for all, and the responsible use of resources, both require the continued provision of well-funded health services.

H103 Health services can create dependence on the part of users, which is itself unhealthy. Individuals can through properly informed choice, and when adequately supported, acquire much greater responsibility for their own health, and the health of their families/[147]. However, true freedom of choice cannot be exercised without the economic and political power to choose, at present denied to the majority.

Aims

H200 To promote public health through policies designed to secure: a healthy urban and rural environment, healthy work, healthy agriculture and food, healthy education, a healthy transport system and healthy local economic development. (FD300's)

H201 To devise new economic models using quality of life and health indicators as the target variables to be optimised. Policies to achieve these targets will be integrated into overall economic strategy. Health-promoting policies will be mediated by social investment at national, regional and community levels.

H202 To develop a new public health consciousness, which, through individual and collective action, will challenge vested interests and promote the personal, social and political changes needed to achieve improved states of health.

H203 To develop health services which place as much emphasis on illness prevention, health promotion and the development of individual and community self-reliance as on the treatment and cure of disease. Such services will of necessity be empowering, participatory and democratic and their development will be guided by users' own perceptions of their health needs.

Policies

H300 Health services must be effective, efficient, comprehensive, accountable and equally available to all. Effective health services will deploy a broad range of interventions, operative at many levels: pharmaceuticals, surgery, psychological therapies, complementary and alternative medicine, and community and social interventions will be used where appropriate. All services will be available without charge at the time of need.

Community Health Centres.

H301 Funding will be diverted away from centralised facilities towards community health care, illness prevention and health promotion. Community Health Centres will be the focal points for self-help and community-based initiatives and will also provide a full range of services including primary health care, and health education and health promotion programmes. A variety of specialist services, in particular midwifery, obstetrics, family/[148] planning, counselling and psychiatry, will also be available. The midwifery and obstetric service will be such that a real option of home delivery is created. To permit the availability of the widest possible range of services and interventions, staff will be organised into multi-disciplinary teams. The public will be provided with easier direct access to nurse practitioners and other non-medical health workers, including social workers, counsellors, clinical psychologists and complementary therapists. (see also DU411-412)

Community Service.

H302 Increased and protected funding of community services will enable health care as far as possible to be provided at home or in community-based facilities. Community services for the frail elderly, the chronically mentally ill and the physically and mentally disabled/[149] will be increased, both to provide the necessary care, and to enable such people to acquire the skills necessary to maximise their independence. Transfer of patients from hospital to community care will be matched by an appropriate allocation of resources:

Hospitals.

H303 Primary and hospital care will be more closely integrated. District staffing structures will be reviewed, with the aim of integrating hospital-based specialists into primary care and community health workers into hospital practice. The hospital programme will emphasise the development of appropriately-sized district and community hospitals, with a reduced role for larger regional centres. However, some specialised services will continue to be provided on a regional or sub-regional basis.

H304 The Green Party is opposed to the development of "Foundation Hospitals" which, although argued to be locally controlled, could actually result in reduced democratic accountability given that they will be unanswerable to parliament or local authorities.

Foundation Hospitals are in fundamental opposition to the Green Party policy of the public health service remaining fully funded by public taxation (see H322), given that they are required to produce a profit and are able to seek commercial partnerships. This is likely to result in charging for ancillary services (disadvantaging the worse off), the reduction of medical education & training, the non-treatment of specialist or rare illnesses & early discharges. Foundation Hospitals risk undermining the principles of the NHS, creating a two- or multi-tier system of uneven provision. This also threatens de facto privatisation because the amount of commercial borrowing and diversification away from key NHS functions will be governed only by the interpretations of the regulator and not by clear rules.

We would abolish Foundation status, fully reintegrating any such hospitals into the NHS system.

Occupational Health Services.

H305 The statutory requirements that workplaces provide occupational health services, with standards of training and equipment appropriate to their particular hazards, will be strengthened. The criteria for such provision will be made as clear and as simple as possible, and loopholes permitting unscrupulous employers to minimise provision will be closed. Particular support and attention will be given to the occupational health needs of employees in small organisations and firms. The role of Health and Safety inspectors in enforcing these requirements will be strengthened and enlarged. The provision of basic self-help medical training to all workers will be encouraged and we shall require employers to allow time off work for such training.

Health Promotion.

H306 Health education and health promotion will become central aspects of the practise of the majority of health workers, who should take part in health advocacy in all areas of local and national policy where health is at issue. In particular, health workers should promote community health initiatives. Closer working relationships will be developed between health workers, the voluntary sector, communities, families/[150] and individuals. (see FD300, DU410)

The Green Party will set up within legislation the practice of patient empowerment: with the right of individuals who are to receive treatment to have full and detailed knowledge as to their condition and the range of treatments available both conventional and complementary/alternative. The role of Health Promotion practitioners would need to be extended (with appropriate timing) so that they can be in consultation with other health professionals to enable individual patient empowerment to operate effectively.

Patient empowerment would eventually encompass choice of treatment backed by NHS funding for patients' preferred treatment whether it be within the conventional framework of treating an illness and/or utilising alternative therapies. This would include collaboration between the Health Promotion practitioners, NHS treatment professionals.' (see also H305 Training for Health Workers)

Research.

H307 The Green Party will support research into health care at all levels, but especially into public health, epidemiology, nursing and community care, and particularly in the community and primary care settings.

The Green Party will set in place methods whereby statistics necessary for research into assessment of health risks (particularly in areas where heavy, chemical and nuclear industries are located), are available with the maximum accessibility for all - academic, commercial or individual use. All existing health statistics to also be made freely available.

The Green Party will introduce procedures for dealing with the medical/scientific personnel whose positions in the research and/or licensing system give rise to conflicts of interest.

The Green Party will further introduce procedures for assessing existing research which has led to licensing of drugs where there is a case for stating there has been a conflict of interest affecting such original research which in turn led to licensing of drugs.

The Green Party will prioritise research and appropriate funding into the environmental causes of cancer. Treatment research will be promoted with particular emphasis on methods of integrated conventional and holistic treatments. We will encourage the development of a wider and more relevant range of research techniques, including methods appropriate to the assessment of complementary therapies.

Steps shall be taken to ensure that medical research should meet the identified medical needs of society , and to make medical research institutions democratically accountable. We shall seek to end the situation whereby commercial investment determines research programmes in universities and public institutions. Attention shall be given to basic health research areas which have been neglected in the past.

Rigorous assessment, monitoring and audit of new technologies will be undertaken prior to their general application. The practice of vivisection is of questionable value and incompatible with ecological philosophy. (see AR407,408 & FD400's)

Environmental Illness.

H308 Where there is compelling evidence that incidence of an illness in society has a strong environmental factor, that illness shall be designated a notifiable disease. Cancer, asthma, ME/CFS shall be among those included on this list. This information shall form the basis of statistical research into the effects of polluting our air, water and food supply. As all chemicals that bio-accumulate are hazardous to health , a long-term strategy will be developed for stopping their production, beginning with the most dangerous, the most unnecessary and the most easily replaceable . This includes all fat-soluble chemicals , which become highly concentrated in breast milk, and are therefore a serious health risk to infants. Where this conflicts with existing "Free Trade" treaties, the Government shall withdraw from those treaties, in accordance with its responsibility to the electorate.

The Green Party proposes that the right to legal aid for personal injury cases shall be maintained, in the interest of public health and safety, and in accordance with the "Equality of Arms" clause in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Assessment of Medicines.

H309 We shall improve the protection provided under the law to users of medicines. Prescribed and over-the-counter medicines will be monitored more rigorously with regard to both efficacy and toxicity. Appropriate methods of assessment will be developed for both synthetic pharmaceuticals and natural medicines, involving practitioners expert in their respective uses. Assessment will not be dependent on commercial interest in production. (AR407) All information gathered during the process of assessment and licensing shall be publicly available.

Assessment of Treatments.

H310 We shall identify health areas where existing treatments available under the NHS are either so expensive that they are unsustainable, where existing treatments have a poor record of restoring patients to health or where existing treatments pose a significant health risk in themselves. These shall become designated priority areas for assessing the comparative benefits of current health service practice and other treatments, currently available privately. This knowledge shall be used to draw safe, effective, treatments into NHS provision.

Prescription Charges.

H311 Prescription, and other charges, are wrong in principle, unfair in practice, and generate little income for the Health Service. They will be abolished as soon as possible. The taxation system will require adjustment to compensate the Health Service for the revenue lost.

Natural medicines.

H312 When assessing the degree of control required over the availability of medicines, a balance must be reached between the right of the individual to freedom of choice, and the duty of society to protect the individual from the consequences of unwise choices. We are concerned to protect users from unanticipated adverse effects of novel pharmaceutical compounds, some of which may not be evident until the drug has been in use for many years. The Green Party proposes the founding of a regulatory agency with responsibility for natural medicines, including nutritional supplements, medicinal plants and herbal remedies, essential oils and homeopathic remedies. This agency should be founded on the principles of;

  1. Freedom of information, and full labelling of ingredients.
  2. High standards of safety in production methods.
  3. No animal testing.
  4. Strong encouragement towards organic production.
  5. A ban on GM ingredients.

However when the drugs have been in use for many generations, as with many natural medicines, the need for statutory control is diminished. Measures will therefore be taken to protect the availability of established herbal and homeopathic remedies, subject to basic safeguards.

Synthetic Pharmaceuticals.

H313 Novel compounds will not be introduced into general use unless they can be shown to have significant advantages over existing drugs. Limited list prescribing will be extended across the full range of pharmaceuticals. The direct advertising of prescription- only medicines to the medical profession will cease. Information to the medical profession will be the responsibility of medical schools and independent authorities with no vested interest in companies which manufacture or market pharmaceuticals.

Abortion

H314 The fact that the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales continues to rise should be of concern to all. Given the health risks associated with any medical and surgical procedure and many people's moral discomfort with induced terminations, it is entirely understandable that many wish to see this number significantly reduced.

H315 The Green Party recognises the problems caused by unwanted pregnancies and supports a multi-policy strategy to reduce them, including:

a) ensuring adequate sex/[151] education in all schools (see ED307). This should be done at a sufficiently early age that children should be fully aware of the potential consequences of sexual/[152] activity before they are likely to become sexually/[153] active. Schools should also teach life skills, including those relating to caring for and raising children, so that young people feel better prepared to become parents when the time is right for them (see ED305).
b) ensuring adequate financial and social support for parents, particularly lone parents and those with disabled/[154] children, so that women do not feel pressure to terminate a pregnancy purely because they would be unable to make financial ends meet (see EC730-733 and SW520-521).
c) ensuring adequate provision of free family/[155] planning advice by properly trained health workers and counsellors (see H301) and the provision of free contraceptives. To ensure proper protection of their rights and wellbeing, children under the age of consent should feel fully able to seek such support and facilities without their parents necessarily having to be informed.

H316 The Green Party will not support any change to the current laws on abortions which would aim to make it more difficult for women to obtain them. Such a change in the law would do nothing to address the underlying factors which lead to women seeking abortions. Instead, it is likely to drive them into going elsewhere for the operations - either overseas or to illegal practitioners in this country - which will increase both the distress and the health risks for those involved.

H317 The Green Party recognises that the decision whether or not to continue with a pregnancy is never undertaken lightly. The Green Party believes that counselling should be offered to every woman considering an abortion. However, the ultimate decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy should always lie with the pregnant woman who has to deal with the consequences of that decision.

Mental Health

H318 Our competitive and highly stressed society results in increased numbers of mentally distressed people. Present methods of approaching this problem are doing little to alleviate the situation. Frequently conventional medical intervention escalates people's problems.

The particular vulnerability of mental health sufferers in society during illness and afterwards means that their problems become reinforced through lack of access to employment, adequate housing and social isolation.

The Green Party will legislate to protect those suffering mental distress from discrimination wherever it may occur. It will further legislate to prevent the "demonisation" of clients of the mental health services in particular by the media. It will legislate to provide those suffering mental distress with the opportunity to draw up individual "advance directives" thereby securing their treatment of preference in a crisis.

It will further legislate for the legal rights of individuals, once they have received a diagnosis, to be given full written details of that diagnosis appropriate to their ability to understand, together with information about relevant support/self help groups. Similar key written information being provided to the carer(s) of that person about their particular condition.

The Green Party will also legislate to have fast track reassessment by independent specialists of an individual's long term drug intervention particularly for those on multiple drug treatments over one year, should they/their carer(s) so wish.

People using mental health services and their carers to have the right to information at the point of diagnosis relating to complementary/alternative treatments and to be able to access these via the NHS as appropriate.

Dentistry.

H319 The Green Party will support measures to prevent dental health problems including the promotion of good oral hygiene; the use of tooth cleaning products made from natural ingredients and a reduction in the consumption of high sugar content foods and drinks. Free dental check-ups for all will be restored as soon as possible, with lost revenue being replaced from general taxation. The Green Party is concerned about the dangers posed by the use of dental mercury and calls for all dental restoration products to be thoroughly tested to ensure that they have no adverse impact on people's health or the environment. The Green Party is opposed to the artificial mass fluoridation of drinking water which is being promoted by the Government. There is conflicting evidence on the benefits to dental health of this practice and major concerns on the cumulative negative wider health effects of total ingestion levels of fluoride. There are further concerns on the links with the chemical industry that supplies artificial fluoride and the compulsory nature of its addition to drinking water that denies consumers choice.

H320 The current British dental system would not be able to cope with an immediate ban on mercury fillings. No filling materials have been adequately safety-tested. We therefore propose a planned phasing out of dental mercury as follows.

  1. All essential dentistry is necessary basic health care, and should be provided free under the NHS
  2. Patients should be given enough information about their treatment to enable them to give informed consent.
  3. A range of non-mercury filling materials should be available to all patients, which should be bio-compatibility tested for each individual.
  4. Investment should be provided to train and equip all dentists to use alternative filling materials successfully.
  5. Investment should be provided to continually improve safety and effectiveness of alternative dental materials and procedures.
  6. Dental restorations and appliances containing mercury, nickel and Bisphenol-A should be banned immediately for children under eighteen. Because minors have no right of self determination, our society should take responsibility for applying the precautionary principle on their behalf.

Administration.

H321 To promote decentralisation and accountability, District Health Authorities and Family/[156] Practitioner Committees will be merged as unified Local Health Authorities. Health Authorities will be supervised by, and accountable to, elected Local Government. Co-operation between Health Authorities to improve services will be encouraged. The role of Community Health Councils as users' advocates will be developed to provide greater assistance to individuals in difficulties or disputes with the health services. Legislation will be introduced to allow individuals access to their medical records.

Funding

H322 Health spending in the UK has fallen well below the European average. It is recognised that this is in part due to the efficiencies of a large-scale, national, public service paid for by taxation. However, the NHS has been under-funded for many years and the Green Party believes it requires a sustained increase in resources. The party will continue to support the principle that the NHS is a national service, free at the point of entry and funded by taxation.

H323 An NHS Tax, earmarked to increase direct funding of the NHS, shall be introduced as part of general income and other taxation. We believe this will have wide support.

H324 The Green Party seeks to devolve more decision-making to local level, and widen local tax-raising powers. As those proceed local choice and accountability will be increased by part of the NHS Tax being raised by Local Government for NHS provision for the local area.

H325 Health Service spending will be reviewed regularly, with a view to increasing the resources invested in health promotion, illness prevention, community care and community development, relative to spending on curative interventions.

Internal Market / NHS Trusts:

H326 The creation of NHS Trusts erased the democratic accountability of local NHS services. The rights of those who work in the NHS, especially to participate in its development and improvement, were widely undermined. Market forces cannot allocate health care fairly, nor even efficiently. The internal market has wasted badly needed resources on administration, and reduced the efficiency and morale of the whole system. The internal market opens the long term possibility of further privatisation of the NHS. The internal market should be wound up and replaced with clear financial and service accountability of decentralised service units to regional assemblies within a single corporate whole. GP fundholding will end.'

NHS workers

H327 For too long the workers in the NHS have been underpaid, undervalued and ignored. They remain some of the most overworked in our society despite the importance of their day-to-day decisions and actions. The multitude of local staff contract and conditions will be simplified within a clear regional structure. Privatisation of ancillary services will cease and be reversed, so that all NHS workers of a particular grade can expect the same terms within the same region. Collective bargaining arrangements will be strengthened and honoured. A particularly urgent commitment will be to reduce all staff working hours to a maximum in line with the Working Time Directive.'

Rationing

H328 Because of the escalating cost of health care there will always be insufficient funds to meet expectations of patients. This necessitates rationing. Where necessary this should be open and democratically accountable, rather than arbitrary and unfair as it is now.

Private Health Insurance.

H329 While not opposed to private health provision in principle, Greens are opposed to a transfer of resources away from the public health system which is available to all. Private Health Insurance should be a taxable employment benefit where offered.

Cloning and Genetic Manipulation of Embryos

H330 Experiments on human embryos could have unforeseen outcomes harmful both to individuals and to society. The Green Party believes that an immediate international ban should be placed on all cloning and genetic manipulation of embryos, whether for research, therapeutic or reproductive purposes.

Opposition to 'third way' health reform

H331 We actively oppose and seek to reverse any public service health policy reforms which lead to

  1. a two- or multi-tier health service with uneven standards and service provision,
  2. further disconnection of the service from public accountability - via local, regional or national government,
  3. the undermining of a fully integrated NHS, publicly funded and committed to high quality universal provision with free services at the point of use, or
  4. creeping privatisation.

Back to Index

Green Party Spring 2000, Amended Spring 2002, Abortion section added Spring 2003, Amended Spring 2004.

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HOUSING

Background

HO101 Affordable secure accommodation is a basic human need. Those without accommodation and those forced through lack of choice into inadequate or unaffordable housing may lead diminished lives and can be socially excluded, unable to participate fully in the life of the community.

HO102 The inadequate and inequitable provision of housing in this country today is the result of inequalities in access to resources, particularly land, the inability of the free market to meet diverse housing needs and a lack of investment in public housing spanning over two decades. To eradicate these inequalities it is essential to bring housing policies under local participatory democratic control.

HO103 The Green Party seeks a balanced mix of housing tenures, to meet the diverse needs of the community. These include individual and shared home ownership, leasehold, and others. Disincentives to the speculative ownership of housing will be introduced, including higher rates of Council Tax for unoccupied properties and second homes. People must not be forced into home ownership because there is no alternative. The Green Party seeks to increase the amount of social housing and commonly owned housing as representing the best way of ensuring an availability of affordable housing.

HO104 Commonly owned and social housing includes: housing owned and/or managed by local authorities, housing provided by or managed by housing associations primarily funded by the Housing Corporations, and co-operative and CoHousing projects. The emphasis must be on local provision for local needs, more decentralised forms of housing management, and the empowerment of tenants.

HO105 Housing associations are potentially effective providers of housing to rent. However, in their present forms they are deeply flawed. In particular in financial decisions which affect rent increases they are answerable to private investors. They must be democratised, with a fundamental shift of power in favour of tenants and increased accountability to the local community, aided by reduction in size.

HO106 Housing Co-ops should be encouraged as effective providers of low cost housing with good participation by tenants. Some housing co-op principles would be well taken on board by local authorities and housing associations. However a true housing co-operative is co-operatively owned not just co-operatively managed and is in a position to use any assets to support the development of more co-operatives.

HO107 The private rented sector has a role in meeting housing need, particularly in areas with prohibitively high house prices, for those unable or unwilling to borrow money, for people on low incomes who do not qualify for socially provided housing and for short term accommodation. This sector needs to have rents controlled and tenants provided with additional legal protection.

HO108 The increase in homelessness is partly the result of ineffective housing policy and lack of investment in housing over the last twenty years. Policies are urgently needed to change the homelessness legislation, to maximise the use of empty property, and to increase the security of anyone occupying a property as their home. Reform of the housing benefit system would ensure that late payments cannot cause homelessness and stop landlords discriminating against those on benefit.

HO109 National government has considerable powers to alleviate the housing crisis. However, many of the policies required are more suited to implementation locally, enabled and assisted by national government.

HO110 The Green Party supports the introduction of the mortgage bond system used in Germany, Sweden and Denmark but currently unavailable in the UK. This longer-term funding source would have fixed rates of interest and would be tightly regulated to control risks.

Aims

HO201 To ensure everyone is provided with housing appropriate to their needs.

HO202 To ensure that housing promotes community life.

HO203 To minimise the impact of housing on the environment.

Principles

HO301 The Green Party recognises a universal human right to shelter, including boats, vans, caravans and housing which is secure, has basic facilities and is affordable. The existence of homelessness is unacceptable in a civilised society. For housing to be genuinely affordable, it must be possible for all sectors of society to access housing without having to borrow unfeasibly large sums of money, which can often lead to individuals being tied into socially or ecologically destructive work; housing for rent with a regulated rent would be considered to meet this definition, with shared ownership housing being affordable only to those who can obtain a mortgage.

HO302 This universal right to housing cannot be met by uniform provision. People's housing needs vary according to their circumstances and throughout life. The needs of particular groups must be addressed specifically. (see HO1001 onwards)

HO303 Research will be undertaken to identify innovative, alternative and preferred forms of living. Steps will be taken, through reform of building regulations, planning policies and criteria for Housing Corporation type funding for social housing to ensure that innovative ecological housing becomes the standard for all, not just a few.

HO304 Housing policy should be fully integrated with other policies to build more sustainable, self-reliant communities. The provision of housing should be coordinated with developments to provide work, leisure, education and health care.

HO306 There must be no negative discrimination in housing provision, whether from private landlords, mortgage lenders, local authorities or housing associations.

Resources for housing

HO401 Housing represents a massive investment of materials, labour, skills and land. While materials and labour are readily available for housing, the existence of land monopoly and speculation leads to empty properties, inflated prices for land and the problem that any financial assistance encourages higher prices. To address these problems the Green Party proposes Empty Property Use Orders (see HO904), increased public land/property ownership, and a Land Value Tax (see LD). Investment in buildings should benefit the whole community, not just the individuals who own them. There must also be investment in the skills required for building and refurbishing houses to a high ecological standard.

Local authorities

HO402: The Green Party believes in public ownership under the control of elected representatives as part of mixed provision for social housing. Council housing and the secure tenure it affords is an essential form of social housing provision. National Government must ensure adequate and good quality council housing stock is retained and provided by every local authority. It should also ensure that sufficient funding is available to councils for the provision of effective repairs and maintenance services.

HO403: The Green Party opposes the privatisation of ownership and/or management of social housing. We support initiatives encouraging tenants to take greater control of their homes and communities by becoming involved in co-operatives, tenant management organisations and estate management boards.

HO404: Our opposition to wholesale housing privatisation (large scale voluntary transfer of stock to private organisations) is based on practical considerations: rents will rise as a direct consequence of transfer and of increasing pressure on housing associations to maximise their income, transfer would result in all tenants having reduced tenancy rights and less than half the capital raised from transfer would be available to spend on new buildings. It may also result in a reduced availability of housing to all those who require affordable housing.

HO405: The Green Party believes that if tenants are to be consulted on the future of local authority housing, they should be consulted on all options and balloted fairly.

HO406 In the short term, local authorities should be financed in line with their responsibilities and the needs of their localities. Local authorities must have adequate resources to ensure that all of their housing stock is maintained and repaired to a good standard. In the longer term, the development of more self-reliant local economies and the levying of a greater proportion of taxation locally will permit local authorities more autonomy in social housing provision. (see EC550)

HO407 Each local authority should decide which, if any, of its properties should be offered for sale. Discounts for tenants will be ended.

HO408 Local authorities should be allowed to build or buy houses where there is a demand for social housing. Receipts from any sales of council housing will be made available to fund further housing and related development. Local authorities will be empowered to buy properties on the open market, to meet housing need and avoid building on green field sites. Where private owners are unable to meet their mortgage repayments, and their homes are repossessed, the local authority should have the first option to buy the property if they wish, and then to negotiate with the previous owners to retain them as council tenants within the property (see HO412 and HO703).

Housing associations

HO409 In the short term, government financial support to housing associations through the Housing Corporation should be increased, and provided over terms long enough to allow appropriate planning to meet housing need. This support will favour smaller associations and will be negotiated and agreed with local authorities and community groups. Housing Corporation finance should be used to redress inequalities in housing between areas and to improve the environmental standard of housing built. Flexible shared ownership schemes shall be more prevalent.

HO410 In the long term large housing associations will be given financial incentives to become smaller, by breaking up of larger associations. This will facilitate more effective democratic participation by tenants. They will be financed through local community and municipal banks, to enable the community to become more self- reliant, by investing in its own housing stock.

Housing cooperatives

HO411 Housing co-operatives will be assisted by reduction of the cost of registration, provision of easier access to sources of finance and simplification of the conveyancing process and other regulations.

HO412 A new Co-operative Housing Agency would be set up to promote, support and fund housing co-operatives. It will be run according to co-operative principles with membership drawn from existing co-operatives.

Use of existing housing

HO413 Better use will be made of existing housing. This will include action on both publicly- and privately-owned empty properties. (see HO903 and HO904, below)

HO414 Priority will be given to the maintenance and improvement of existing properties before new house building is considered.

HO415 Flats over shops and similar properties will be brought into use. Other commercial property may be suitable for housing use. The division of existing large houses into smaller residential units will be promoted.

HO416 Consideration will be given to "mortgage to rent" schemes to enable those in financial difficulties to stay in their own homes. (see HO703)

House building

standards

HO501 All new houses will be built to improved standards for accessibility, space and facilities, ergonomics, sound and thermal insulation, and energy efficiency. Design standards shall also include consideration of social factors, such as the need for privacy and the need for community focal points. Existing buildings shall be brought as near these standards as practical.

HO502 All new housing will be designed for low energy use, and the same standards applied retrospectively to existing houses where practicable (see EN504). All sellers of houses will make energy use estimates available to buyers (See EN505). For existing houses insulation publicity campaigns and grants to low income households will encourage energy efficiency. (See HO605 below)

HO503 The built environment is an important habitat for other species such as lichens, birds and bats. The design of new housing shall take this into consideration.

Planning

HO504 All new house building and change of use should be subject to open democratic planning approval. For larger schemes and all proposed developments on green field sites, this will require independent comprehensive environmental impact assessments.

HO505 Consultation by the local authority on housing and other developments should be proactive, to discover what the community needs. New housing should be planned for on the basis of independent housing needs surveys; commercial house builders and their representatives shall not be involved in the process of identifying potential sites or assessing housing needs on behalf of the local community.  The Green Party's proposals for freedom of information, local referenda, citizens' initiatives and the reform of local government (see PA and GC) will make the planning process more democratic and accessible. There will be a limit on spending by developers to promote their plans. (see P405">LP405)

HO506 In rural areas the provision of suitable accommodation for agricultural workers wanting to live on the land will be supported. Agricultural conditions on housing will be preserved. An agency will be established to whom farmers have the option to sell houses; such houses would be rented out as affordable housing.

Self-build schemes

HO507 Self-build schemes will be encouraged. When unemployed people work on such schemes they shall not be subject to withdrawal of social security benefit.

HO508 Support will be given to low-impact living initiatives, particularly where they can meet rural housing need and help with rural economic regeneration.

Building sites

HO509 Health and safety regulations will be vigorously enforced on building sites. Greater protection will be given to residents living near to sites, to minimise damage and disruption. The use of materials with a good lifecycle analysis will be promoted; all recyclable materials from the site should be reclaimed.

Transitory shelters

We will establish favourable, flexible planning consent with regards to non-load bearing structures of transitory nature such as tents, tipis, benders and yurts. Permanent stay (over 6 months) at one location will be subject to planning approval.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Long Term

HO601 In the long term the Citizens' Income (see EC730 and subsequently) will be sufficient to cover basic housing costs. Other benefits and tax reliefs will be gradually phased out.

Short Term

HO602 In the short term the Citizens' Income (see EC730 and subsequently) will provide for a proportion of housing costs. To allow for regional variations, this will be supplemented by a specific housing benefit. This will be payable to all, regardless of their forms of tenure. It will be means tested, and related to rent or mortgage repayments.

HO603 A one-off grant will be made available to former homeless people setting up home in unfurnished accommodation.

HO604 Conversion grants to enable disabled/[157] people to stay in their own homes will continue.

HO605 Insulation grants will be made to bring low-income households up to appropriate energy efficiency standards

HO606 Improvement grants will be available to residents and owners to maintain the housing stock in good condition. These would be means tested.

HO607. As an immediate response to concerns about the fairness of Council Tax, and to the growing housing crisis (particularly in London and the South East), Greens support the following modifications to Council Tax/National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) as a transitional move towards the introduction of Land Value Taxation:

a)no exemptions or reductions for empty or underused properties (including business premises and second homes), with the exception of the

single person occupancy discount for pensioners;

b)creation of new Council Tax bands above H to ensure that as property values get progressively higher so does the tax paid on them;

c)reform of the multiplier rates applied to the bands, to make the tax paid more proportionate to the value of the house;

d)all land holding bodies, public, Housing Association or private, shall be made liable for the payment of Council Tax/NNDR for all properties under their control (although this should not affect reliefs currently given to charities, non-profit making bodies and small rural businesses);

e)all Council Tax bills will be subject to a basic minimum, regardless of location.

Housing management

HO701 Housing and its immediate environment should be under the control of the people living there. Training and support for tenants will be provided to enable more decentralised and participatory forms of housing management and promote equality of opportunity.  

HO702 Self-determination will be encouraged by conferring new legal rights on tenants and their associations. Housing associations will be democratised and their size restricted. The Green Party supports tenant managed estates and housing co-operatives as ways to enable people to take control of their own housing.

HO703 Local authorities and housing associations will be given powers to implement "mortgage to rent" schemes.

HO704 Some areas have acute housing problems which demand more resources from national government. In particular, the lack of affordable housing in many rural areas seriously undermines those communities. Additional investment is required. The Green Party will give priority to provision of homes for local people before permission for second homes.

Protection of tenants

HO801 The Green Party believes that a diversity of periods of tenancy is required to meet the diversity of housing needs identified in HO302. Private Sector tenants should be protected from harassment and unexpected or exploitative alteration in terms. The Green Party supports the full registration of private sector rents as a precursor to monitoring health and safety conditions. New public sector and Housing Association (HA) tenants will be offered tenancies that are as secure as possible given housing authorities other responsibilities.

HO802 Housing Benefit should be made far more robust to support poorer HA/LA tenants and to prevent eviction or repossession of either private tenants or homeowners. Councils should be free to set rents at levels which are not so low that property is used wastefully by the occupiers nor so high that it is no longer affordable accommodation.

HO803 Comprehensive housing advice centres will be established. Tenants with grievances against local authorities, housing associations or private landlords will be given full rights of appeal, with the resources to pursue such appeals.

HO804 The existing legislation to protect tenants from harassment by landlords will be more strictly enforced.

HO805 New legislation will be introduced to protect civil liberties in the home. Subject to a requirement to make good any damage done, tenants will have the right to keep pets and otherwise pursue the lifestyle of their choice. They will also have the right to make environmental improvements to the property such as the installation of insulation or solar panels.

Homelessness

HO901 The existing homeless persons legislation will be amended to give local authorities the same duties with regard to single people and childless couples/[158] as to families/[159]. The provisions regarding the 'intentionally homeless' will be abolished.

HO902 The use of inappropriate short term accommodation (including hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation) as a way of complying with the duty to the homeless will be ended. (see HO903-6 for alternatives)

HO903 Better use of publicly owned property will be achieved by requiring public bodies either to use all such property, or to permit its use by housing associations, properly organised groups of homeless persons or similar groups.

HO904 Better use of empty privately owned property will be achieved by empowering local authorities to use Empty Property Use Orders, in appropriate cases and with proper safeguards and rights of appeal, to enable the local authority either to use such property itself or to secure its use in co-operation with those groups listed in HO903.

HO905 Local authorities will draw up registers of empty property in their areas and strategies for its use. Homeless people will be consulted on policies for housing provision. Local authorities will advise and assist groups of homeless persons to make proposals about the use of empty property, and to put those proposals into effect.

HO906 Local authorities will be empowered to make or guarantee loans to groups of homeless persons organising schemes to occupy empty property. Building societies will be permitted to make loans to such groups without such loans having to be secured against the property.

HO907 The policies in HO903-HO906 will be applied where appropriate to vacant and derelict land as well as to empty property.

Special needs

HO1001 Poverty and homelessness among young people has been exacerbated by unemployment and the withdrawal of social security benefit. In the short term the Green Party would restore Income Support to people aged 16-25 to the same level to which those over 25 years old are entitled. In the long term the Citizens' Income Scheme is designed to eradicate poverty throughout society.

HO1002 Educational institutions will have a greater responsibility for housing provision for their students. This may take the form of flexible arrangements with local authorities and other housing providers in their areas. Extra funding will allow more provision of student housing on campus sites where appropriate or in purpose-built or refurbished accommodation. Rents would be set by rent officers to ensure that prospective students are not deterred from study by high housing costs.

HO1003 A duty will be placed on local authorities to provide suitable sites for travellers. (see RR702 and RR703)

HO1004 Consideration will be given to the design of new and refurbished housing so that it enables residents more easily to watch out for each other and fosters/[160] a sense of community. CoHousing, with its mixture of public and private space, is a suitable model for this. Those who might particularly benefit from this include lone parents and older people. Suitable sheltered accommodation, where possible with these design principles in mind, will be provided by local authorities in association with housing associations, health authorities, charitable and community organisations for the housing of more vulnerable members of society, in particular women and others threatened with violence, the older people and infirm, those with learning difficulties and persons recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. (see SW501, DU411 and DY501)

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3 matches found

INDUSTRY

Background

IN101 "In its exploitation of natural resources, consumption of energy, production processes and generation of both pollution and wastes, the industrial sector is among the principal causes of environmental deterioration", European Commission, 1992. Modern industry is using resources and creating pollution at unsustainable rates. It is a tragedy that those who use our common resources irresponsibly are benefiting financially and politically.

IN102 At the same time that the ecological limits of the earth are being approached, deep social problems such as long-term unemployment are now commonplace. Yet, it is claimed that environmental protection costs jobs and cannot be afforded until greater wealth has been generated by further economic growth. Apparently, our problems can only be solved by doing more of what caused them. The Green Party rejects this myth.

IN103 Industry is supplying poor quality products and services which are not fit-for-purpose. Too many products are neither repairable nor reusable, have short lives, and are disposable.

IN104 Extended networks of ownership and control have resulted in communities having little say in decisions which affect them. This stems not only from corporate structures, but also from the legal institution of property on which they are based.

IN105 Many regions have been starved of investment and left dependent on fewer and fewer industrial activities. At the same time, billions of pounds have been spent supporting the long-term unemployed. Current policies of propping up ailing industries, or of leaving industry completely at the mercy of market forces, have failed.

IN106 Competition and inequality now characterise modern industry. This race/[162] for riches has fuelled the growth in consumption. Global marketing reflects and promotes wasteful consumer aspirations which cannot be met sustainably.

IN107 The funding of projects has become dominated by the potential short-term monetary return. Banking practice and the preoccupation with short-term profits now displace wider considerations.

IN108 Corporate expansion has created markets which are dominated by small numbers of firms. Groups of trans-national companies (TNCs) often quietly divide up markets amongst themselves to avoid 'frictional' reductions in profits. This free market has led to a destructive concentration of wealth and power. Over-large companies which apply central control and planning often damage entire regions by restricting them to a narrow set of industrial activities.

IN109 TNCs now heavily influence the policies of all governments and the European Union. This is not open to public scrutiny and is not accountable.

Principles

IN201 Every individual should have access to food, shelter and the facilities to fulfil diverse material and social needs. Such needs require some industrial activity but must be met in an ecologically sustainable manner.

IN202 Sustainable industrial activity is defined as that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The Green Party does not share the orthodox belief/[163] that high consumption is a social virtue.

IN203 Industry must bear the full costs of protecting the environment against its activities over the complete industrial cycle. Adoption of the 'polluter pays' principle would minimise waste and pollution as well as ensuring that industrial prices more fully reflect the true costs.

IN204 It is important to encourage healthy regional economies. The environmental and social effects of local industry are more apparent to the local community. This gives the community a greater stake and therefore helps industry to become an integral part of the community.

IN205 Moving away from the global marketplace to local production for local use would minimise material consumption, energy usage, formal work and monetary flows (see EC940 and EC941). The elimination of unnecessary trade would minimise transportation and reduce unsustainable activity in remote global areas. Radical changes will be required, such as the protection of local markets, finance and trading systems; the creation of new 'commons' - land and amenities managed locally and accountably; and sustainable local control of enterprises.

IN206 Industry must be socially equitable. This requires its benefits to be spread equitably between different communities, between different sections in those communities and between all levels of the firm. Industry should not exploit any group in any country.

IN207 The rebuilding of local communities would make use of the huge human potential which is currently being wasted. It must include the active participation of the workforce. The Green Party rejects the narrow employment focus of orthodox politicians who want jobs no matter how exploitative. Work is something to be done only to achieve an end - it is not an end in itself.

IN208 Government has a role in creating the right climate for sustainable industrial activity, but the Green Party does not support centralised control economies. These consistently suffer from inflexibility, lack of diversity, and lack of accountability. Instead, effective action needs to be taken at local, national and global levels.

IN209 Governments, firms and community banks must select, develop and invest in those forms of technology which are appropriate to sustainable industry. These may be both 'high' and 'low' technology, but in general will be renewable, low energy and will promote ecological diversity.

Aims

IN301 To meet the real needs of society rather than simply fuel economic growth.

IN302 To move away from the global marketplace and instead develop strong self-reliant regions. Within such regions, individual communities will meet a greater part of their own needs, for example, in food and energy production.

IN303 To create a new industrial climate which supports sustainable industrial activity and discourages all that is not.

IN304 To make products which are fit-for-purpose. For example, products must no longer be designed to be quickly obsolete nor to be cheaper to throw away than repair.

IN305 To draw on the many examples of good practice which exist around the world. For example, adoption of materials reuse techniques from the Netherlands could achieve reductions of up to 30% (source: FoE).

Policies

The Transition

IN401 A shift to green industrial activity will not happen overnight. There will be a transition during which the costs to industry of our common resources will rise relative to the costs of direct labour. This will encourage environmental and infrastructural improvements which are commonly labour intensive. This in turn will bring useful work, in areas such as energy conservation, to all regions including those which are being neglected.

Local Initiatives - Short-Term Action

IN501 Each region has a unique industrial history and ecological profile. Local government in partnership with local communities and businesses, should use this profile to draw up Local Development Plans. These would identify viable local industrial activity. For example, the UK's huge resource of un-worked coppice woodland could supply the 57,000 tonnes of charcoal which is imported each year. Other viable local activities include light engineering; textiles; food production; repair, reuse and recycling.

IN502 Local Government already influences local industrial activity using the current planning process. Strengthening this could encourage sound ecological design principles. Local Government must be given access to the environmental training it needs to provide a Comprehensive Ecological Planning System.

IN503 Small businesses which operate sustainably are well suited to providing for local needs. Business and environmental training is needed to reduce their high failure rate and to help them grow sustainably. Government must provide and publicise affordable training. The cash flow of small businesses would be improved by legislation that required invoices to be paid within 30 days.

Local Initiatives - Long-Term Action

IN504 Small businesses in the UK find it difficult to get timely access to external funds and affordable interest rates. Community Banks are needed which have funds available for local activities. (see EC512)

IN505 Community Banks would give local firms and co-operatives access to funds managed locally and supplied at preferential rates. This would favour activities identified by the Local Government Local Development Plan. The allocation of funds would make use of environmental impact analysis but be simple enough to be understandable.

IN506 A pilot Community Bank scheme (in a region with high unemployment) combined with regulatory changes to divert borrowing from conventional banking methods (see EC663) would allow Community Banking to develop.

National Initiatives - Short-Term Action

Taxation

IN601 The Green Party supports green taxes which would reduce resource use, limit pollution and discourage wasteful economic growth whilst promoting equality, decentralisation and creative patterns of work (see EC780s). These green taxes would allow the full environmental costs to be reflected in the prices of goods.

IN602 New green taxes would be balanced by reductions in other taxes. In particular, the introduction and expansion of eco-taxes would be accompanied by a phased abolition of VAT (see EC770-771). This would increase the price of non-renewable resources and waste disposal, while the price of goods and services that do not use such resources would fall - therefore not stimulating overall inflation.

IN603 Current land rights encourage unsustainable industrial activity (see LD203 to LD206). A Land Value Tax would redress this problem. (see LD400 to LD404 and EC791-3)

Citizens' Income Scheme

IN605 Sustainable industrial activity tends to be more labour intensive. For example, if all beer packaging were returnable it would require the employment of a further 4,000 people in the UK (source: FoE). The introduction of Citizens' Income would reduce the cost of labour to industry without pushing people into poverty (see EC730). The Green Party supports a national minimum wage until a Citizens' Income scheme has been fully introduced.

Company Standards and Regulation

IN606 Company law should encourage greater accountability to the community. The annual accounts of companies with financial turnovers above an annually-revised limit should include an approved system of environmental audit. This would include a separate ecological balance sheet showing costs over the complete industrial cycle. It would include all externals such as the emission of pollutants. (see EC513)

IN607 Market forces do not ensure that the health and safety of people inside and outside of places of work, or the environment outside, are sufficiently protected. Well planned regulations and standards which create high environmental standards can stimulate investment in green technologies and services at the same time as generating cost savings.

IN608 Tighter regulation is needed to increase waste recovery. For example, regulation has resulted in 88% of waste oil being recycled in the UK. Future targets include waste paper collection.

IN609 Regulation should be precautionary. Standards should be kept up to date to ensure that best available techniques are adopted. Government, in partnership with industry, should fund research into sustainable industrial activity - such as materials reuse. The BS7750 environmental standard should be extended to cover outcomes as well as methods.

IN610 Pollution licences and the size of penalties should reflect environmental costs and be limited in time. Fines for persistent offenders should be in excess of the cost of cleaning up. (See PL103)

Regional Aid

IN611 Current regional aid plans have failed because they originate at central Government and go out to the regions. Social benefits have not been spread equitably between regions in the UK. Emphasis should be shifted to improving the ability of regions to help themselves by providing technical and management support as well as preferential funding terms.

IN612 There are many schemes which would generate useful local employment and improve the self reliance of regions. These could be targeted to generate major environmental and infrastructure improvements in regions that need them most. High quality environmental and community work training which people opt to join rather than being coerced by threat of loss of benefits would achieve this while raising the number of local people with appropriate skills (at limited financial cost since it would simultaneously reduce the national cost of means tested benefits / allowances for the unemployed).

Training and Retraining

IN613 The Green Party would reintroduce the Community Programme as a statutory responsibility for all district councils and unitary authorities, placing the primary duty of reducing unemployment upon local government. Community Programme full and part-time posts would be paid at an agreed national minimum wage rate, per hour. Supervisory staff would be paid higher rates. Community Programme jobs and projects would be long-term. Availability of posts in the Programme would be allowed to decline by natural wastage if unemployment was declining in the local economy, or expand according to local needs.

IN614 Training is consistently important in the encouragement of sustainable industry, for example, in helping small business and local government. Yet training levels are far lower in the UK than in other industrialised countries.

IN615 The development of a sustainable industrial base requires the development of a workforce possessing both core skills that are transferable to new situations and the capacity for problem solving and creative thought. Effective training in a green society will therefore be inextricably linked with general education for personal development. Local government, employers, and local Community Colleges share the responsibility for ensuring opportunities for education and training are provided as required throughout an individual's life. Where appropriate, this will include opportunities for workplace based training where those experienced in a particular skill have a role in developing the skills of those seeking training.

IN616 The UK needs a comprehensive and fully resourced national environmental training programme. This should include environmental impact analysis; resource reduction; waste minimisation; life cycle analysis; design for disassembly; and true cost accounting. Details of current best environmental practice and investigation of potential industrial crossovers are also important.

Worker Participation and Co-operation (see WR)

IN617 Worker participation improves the industrial process, increases personal satisfaction and gives the community a bigger stake. Workers' Councils should be set up along the lines of the successful German model. The benefits of these systems should be publicised to small business. Full union rights must be respected at all levels of the firm. (see WR400)

IN618 Workers' co-operatives encourage a lack of distinction between the employer and employee. This leads to a greater commitment to the enterprise and to natural and democratic working relationships. Land Value Tax (see IN604) and Community Banking (see IN505) will create a climate in which co-operatives can thrive. (see WR632 to WR638)

IN619 Current trends such as part-time working and subcontracting are eroding employment rights and adversely affecting the most disadvantaged in society. Short-term contracts shall not be used as a way of avoiding statutory rights (see WR332). Low quality jobs at any cost are not acceptable.

IN620 Share issue schemes literally give employees a stake in the business in which they work (see WR640 and WR643). Tax exemption can encourage employees to keep their shares for a number of years. A percentage of annual company profits of all UK based operations should be required by law to be set aside for investment in ways to be decided by the UK employees through their trade union, Workers Council or other mechanism as decided by the workforce. This investment might take the form of training and education, welfare benefits, leisure facilities, discounted public transport passes, for workers and their families/[164] or other investment needed to secure the long term future sustainable development of the company, e.g. developing a more environmentally product or service.

Target Industries

IN621 Different industries have different economic, social and environmental impacts. A list of Target Industries would allow government to identify those industries which are sustainable. Social and environmental needs could be met by using this list to target action and by giving special attention to those regions in most need. For example, effective energy conservation measures would provide householders with lower fuel bills whilst also reducing pollution and the threat of climate change.

IN622 Targeted action would increase regional self-sufficiency by reducing unnecessary imports. For example, when the Government ignored the advice of the HM Inspectorate of Pollution to fund clean coal technologies it became necessary to import low sulphur coal. The AEEU trade union noted the social costs of job losses in the coal industry, a damaging effect on our balance of payments and lost opportunities in manufacturing new equipment. Regions in the UK lost the opportunity to meet a greater part of their own needs.

IN623 Industries that need targeting include pollution control (see PL ); transport (see TR); energy conservation and generation (see EN ); agriculture (see AG); and materials reuse (see NR). Some industries are important but must be radically altered, for example, the defence and chemical industries (see PD311-2). Other industries can never be sustainable and must be phased out, for example, the nuclear industry (see EN600). Reduction of employment in declining or undesirable industries must be managed in a socially responsible manner.

IN624 Targeted action plans should range from 5 to 30 years. Target Industries need training, management support and favourable financing terms. Skills from different industries could be used to promote effective retraining. For example, the UK could use its unique rough sea engineering skills from the oil industry to develop off-shore wind power technologies. All support must be strictly time-limited and be phased out over time. The aim is to protect industries in the early stages when they are most vulnerable.

IN625 Much new industrial activity is taken up by smaller firms. Many of the Target Industries would therefore encourage small and medium sized firms. (see IN503)

IN626 National monopoly and merger policies should be directed towards greater national self-reliance, according to the needs and capacities of individual countries.

Transport

IN627 Prosperous self-reliant regions need well planned regional transport systems to move raw materials, people and products. Transport policy must make a minimum impact on the environment (see TR010) and must reverse the current prioritisation of road building (see TR030).

National Initiatives - Long-Term Action

IN628 Retraining and preferential financial terms are needed to help firms to adopt current best practices. This will protect the environment and often reduce production costs as well. For example, in 1987 an ammonia spill in the river Eden cost a dairy £137,000 in fines and fish restocking. A £100,000 recycling scheme was instigated to stop future pollution incidents. This also generated annual savings of £175,000.

IN629 Unsustainable industries should, in the longer-term, be discouraged by using green taxes (see IN601), enhanced regulations and standards (see IN606) and ecolabelling (see IN706).

IN630 Exclusion for smaller firms from the environmental requirements of their annual reports should be removed through the gradual reduction of the limit used to exclude them (see IN606). Annual reports should be extended to reveal full ownership details. Environmental Impact Analysis should be included to ensure there are no hidden costs. Annual auditing should be carried out by an independent company and cover the full global activities of the firm.

IN631 Some industries provide for basic human needs and are so crucial to the well-being of society that the community must hold a stake in them. Industries which must be returned to public ownership include the NHS, the water industry (see NR428), the railways (see TR230), and the gas and electricity supply industries (with the exception of small-scale renewable energy initiatives).

IN632 Every region needs to measure how successful it is. Current national indicators measure this solely in terms of profitability. Gross national product (GNP) fails to account for important priorities such as pollution minimisation or quality of life. National and local sustainability indicators give a more realistic picture and should be adopted (see EC311).

Global and European Initiatives - Short-Term Action

IN701 Many environmental problems are so huge that they require global research and action. All current global environmental treaties and standards must be enforced. Further work is needed. In particular, clear limits to industrial emissions must be set and kept up-to-date on a pollutant by pollutant basis.

IN702 The UN World Charter for Nature is a comprehensive list of obligations on resource usage and regulates monitoring of ecosystems. This charter must be enforced if the pollution carrying capacity of the earth is not to be exceeded. (see IN203)

IN703 Both the free market and central planning have a bad track record. The EU has combined many of the worst features of these outdated forms of economic regulation. The EU should become a Confederation of Regions (see EU302) providing a framework for local and regional sustainable economic activity.

IN705 Numerous treaties designed for eco-crisis management have failed to bring far reaching improvements. The problem is not one of understanding but of enforcement. This role needs to be carried out at the national level (see PL410) and aided by a new Euro Environmental Agency (EEA). As well as enforcement, the EEA should aim to provide well researched information and to establish standards. It must be well resourced to ensure that standards can be enforced. Funds should be diverted from the CAP.

IN706 Ecolabelling for all products would provide a mechanism for indicating the quality of a product. Progressive national tax and financial systems will only be effective if environmental criteria can be applied easily. Ecolabelling would also encourage companies to provide real product information rather than generating artificial demand for unnecessary products.

IN707 Environmental dumping should be discouraged by allowing legal action in any country against activities carried out elsewhere. The governing law in the country where the action is brought would apply.

IN708 Modern research and development is costly in both funds and resources. Joint R&D activity can be more efficient and less wasteful. Where public funds are involved it is important that the resulting intellectual property rights are publicly owned. Current patenting practices should be revised to increase public access and to enable poorer countries and individuals to retain control over their own resources, ideas and inventions.

Trans-national Corporations (TNCs - see IP400 to IP431)

IN709 The UN Commission on Trans-national Corporations published a voluntary Code of Conduct as long ago as 1977. This dealt with important issues such as disclosure of information; protecting the credit policies of countries; tax payments including transfer prices; autonomy for different corporate areas; consumer and environmental protection; and employment rights.

IN710 In Europe, the high technology and financial sectors are forming mergers and co-operative agreements in a drive to compete with the Pacific rim and the US. At the same time, the collapse of the old Soviet bloc has led to an expansion of western firms in Eastern Europe. The UN Code of Conduct must therefore be made legally binding.

IN711 Where public funds are supplied there must be strict compliance with the UN Code. Full environmental impact audits must be carried out. Governments must not allow arbitrary relocation threats to induce tax concessions. Environmental standards of all subsidiaries must be the same as those of the registered head office.

IN712 Worker Participation laws in the UK and EU must be respected. These must also be observed in all subsidiaries. Social funds aimed at supporting this should be set up and funded in partnership with government.

IN713 The lack of openness of TNC policies, structure and ownership must be addressed. Public access to shareholding details is required regardless of the number of shares held. The identity of the board members should be public knowledge. Stock Exchange prospectus requirements should be extended to provide more key information.

IN714 The annual reporting practices of the private sector should be further extended for TNCs and be carried out by an independent company. Reserve stock levels should be detailed in order to reduce transfer pricing. Annual reports should be subdivided by subsidiaries and affiliates. Social policies should be made public by including the differentials in income, qualifications, training, working hours and conditions. All banking transactions (including foreign exchange) should be separated from production activities by the setting up of organisationally separate financial institutions which have to be accountable to the public.

IN715 The EU needs a strong Monopoly Commission which can control large scale inner EU mergers. It must have clear rights to corporate information. The tendency to grant exceptions to anti- trust legislation for banks and export cartels must stop. It is important that mergers in the EU do not allow any country to degenerate into a satellite economy. Consideration should therefore be given to setting quotas for national shares in markets.

IN716 These policies place new restrictions on TNCs. If they wish to make profits in the EU then TNCs need to invest those profits in the EU. In particular, TNCs must site here to sell here.

Global and European Initiatives - Long-Term Action

IN717 Ecolabelling should be extended to enforce minimum quality standards. Product quotas should be used to deter poor quality imports. In extreme cases products should be completely banned. This would apply where resources are near exhaustion, where environmental damage is unsustainable, or where countries persistently abuse human rights. Examples include CFCs and partially halogenated CFCs; tropical woods; protected animals; nuclear technology; and food products from famine areas.

IN718 Some industrial activity is better carried out on the international scale. A small number of joint ventures would be beneficial. Possible collaborations include telecommunications, civil aircraft and military applications.

Trans-national Corporations (TNCs)

IN719 The UN Code of Conduct should be enforced in the global market place. Further work is needed by the UN on areas such as where national law should supersede international law in investment disputes.

IN720 TNC policies adopted at the EU or national level should be extended to global institutions.

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12 matches found

INTERNATIONAL POLICY

Background

Principles

IP100 The Green Party recognises that co-operation is needed at a global level in order to secure sustainable societies in this country. The Green Party also wishes to promote Green principles across the world. The world faces problems that are global in nature or extent, whose solutions require structure, institutions or co-operation at a worldwide level.

IP101 The Green Party's ecologically and socially sustainable vision is one of subsidiarity (see PB302). Policies on and institutions for global co-operation are only needed where issues cannot be addressed at a lower level. These issues may include: survival of the human species; combating global climate change ; curtailing mass repression and brutality to human beings (see PD206-PD207); provision of the basic conditions of human sustenance to the world's peoples; the promotion and protection of citizen's rights (see PB304); preservation of cultural diversity; protection of the planet's basic natural ecologies and environment.

IP102 Green principles of democracy require that structures or institutions for global co-operation be open, participatory, transparent and accessible.

IP103 The Green vision also involves a fundamental restructuring of the global economy to reverse the unsustainable trend of globalisation (i.e. ever increasing trade between ever distant nation with the primary goal of maximizing profit) and a democratization of the systems of global governance. Multinational corporations benefit from globalisation to the detriment of the poorest in society and democratic control of each region's economy. Localisation of trade and economies is therefore a goal of the Green Party.

Vision

IP110 Global and international structures and institutions should be based on the principle of co-operation. Power should mostly remain at the local, community level with sustainable, localized economies under democratic control (see PA). Power should only be ceded upwards when necessary.

Transitional Policy

IP120 Existing centralized structures of governance, such as the EU, should be decentralized to appropriate and effective levels, depending on the issue in hand. International structures and institutions need to be transformed from being nationally-based to being based on confederations of (sub-national) regions or localities.

IP121 National governments should be encouraged to decentralize their powers and functions, increase real democracy internally and increase the localization of production and consumption.

IP122 A General Agreement on Sustainable Trade, under which fair trade rules (where producers are guaranteed a reasonable price for their products before planting, and an portion of the payment is set aside for community development) would become a requisite for international trade and local supply of goods would be preferred, should replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). A World Localisation Organisation should replace the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

IP123 A global agreement on investment and ownership should be agreed to enshrine the right of local government to enact legislation to stabilize and protect the local economy, such as "site here to sell here" rules.

Status quo - short term policy

IP130 We recognize that in the short term radical change may not be possible. We will therefore support partial reforms if they are in line with our vision. For example, the deepening and extension of accountability and transparency in existing structures of global governance; making social and environmental sustainability a key concern; and bringing the workings of the global economy (e.g. trade and capital) under international democratic control.

IP131 The United Nations should be reformed and democratized. The current national basis for membership should be extended to include regional (sub-national) representation and all representatives should be democratically selected. The WTO, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and similar bodies should also be reformed, democratized, or replaced.

The 'Third World'

Background

IP200 Colonialism and the growth of transnational corporations have put control over natural resources into the hands of people and institutions most likely to abuse the environment and waste resources. The integration of poorer countries into a global economy, and a global system of credit and debt, have proved utterly disastrous for poor peoples throughout the world. Denied either the military technology or the purchasing power to influence an inter-national economic system that recognises little outside these two forces, poor people starve and their life-sustaining environment is degraded and destroyed.

Overall Policy Objectives

IP210 To support the establishment and maintenance of sustainable, ecological and democratic communities throughout the world. Participatory local, regional and national institutions should be free to exercise political and economic self-determination. Sustainable ecological development must mean development which meets the lives of those alive at present without promising poverty to those unborn. Policy areas are:
a) Indigenous peoples;
b) Debt;
c) Trade;
d) Aid;
e) International institutions;
f) Transnational corporations.

a) Indigenous Peoples

Background

IP220 Development has frequently meant either the attempted eradication of indigenous peoples or colonial assimilation. Their lands have generally been taken from them - a process which continues today. Transnationals and governments of North and South have been guilty of many assaults on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Objectives

IP221 To win the rights for the indigenous or native people which they themselves claim.

Policies

IP222 To ensure that development schemes where the British Government has influence take place only with the permission and control of indigenous people, when influencing their lands.

IP223 To secure by international campaigns the autonomy, land rights and human rights of indigenous peoples and respect for their treaties where appropriate.

IP224 To provide aid to allow demarcation of traditional lands and control over intrusions, where appropriate.

IP225 To give aid to support cultural, social and ecologically sustainable economic initiatives of indigenous peoples adversely affected by development.

IP226 To campaign either for the return of traditional lands sufficient to meet the current needs of indigenous peoples, or for compensatory lands in the case of theft and/or compensation where land rights have been violated, in accordance with the wish of the people concerned.

b) Debt

Background

IP230 Poor countries have had major debts in the past, but never with such serious effects as now. The enormous rise in oil revenues of the oil-exporting countries in the 1970s allowed these countries to invest in banks in the rich North. The resulting excess funds were lent out on a colossal scale to poor countries, often to buy arms from rich countries. A general rise in interest rates and more lending under variable interest rates meant enormous increases in the debts of poor countries. There is now more money going from poor countries to rich ones than the other way round. Obliged by International Monetary Fund, World Bank and private international bank pressures to pay their debts in hard currencies, poor countries were forced into an export drive. The flood of their exports reduced commodity prices, accelerated environmental destruction and destroyed the livelihoods of many of the poorest people. For millions this has meant hunger, for many starvation. Trapped by a system they do not control, the governments of some poor countries starve their people and destroy their environments in order to pay their debts, by for example, exporting to rich countries like Britain.

Objectives

IP231 To secure an international economic system where the people of poor countries are freed from the burden of debt.

Policies

IP232 The British Government should press private banks to write off uncollectable debts of very poor countries as quickly as possible, providing financial support if necessary.

IP233 The debts of the 40 countries with the lowest per capita incomes should be written off by concerted international action as soon as
possible. The British Government should work especially with other E.E.C. countries towards this objective.

IP234 Loans should only go to middle-income countries - not oil-exporting or the poorest countries.

IP235 The rich countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) should agree to zero the nett annual transfer of wealth from the developing countries to the North each year.

IP236 The British Government should support the right of all debtor states to limit debt service payments to 10 per cent of export earnings per year immediately.

IP237 The British Government should resist making artificial distinctions between currencies and seek to permit middle-income countries, as defined by the United Nations, to pay their debts in their own currencies. Longer periods of loan repayment at fixed interest rates should be agreed for middle-income countries.

IP238 The British Government would create the monitoring organisation to allow the development of a creative reimbursement scheme. The Government would attempt to transform the debts of all poor countries into creative reimbursement schemes, either involving cash or 'kind'. Instead of repaying debts in hard currencies, governments of countries with debts to the British Government or private banks will be required to make payments in their own currencies into local development funds, which will be administered by local people to establish local, ecologically sustainable economies and projects. Each repayment will be matched by a corresponding reduction of the foreign debt. Similar reductions would be made for reimbursement-in-kind projects, i.e. conservation and reproduction of genetic species (plant and animal), soil conservation, forest set-aside and reforestation, use of traditional farming and building techniques, educational programmes for women, etc. All rich country governments will be encouraged to join the creative reimbursement scheme.

c) Trade

Background

IP240 International trade is operated by the richest countries and the transnational corporations for their own benefit. Trade is not fair or benign, nor mutually advantageous in all cases. Trade does not automatically create the kind of economic growth which would ultimately benefit the poor.

Objectives

IP241 To minimise undesirable forms of trade which waste resources or deprive people of necessities. To ensure that all countries are free to conduct import-substituting strategies. To maintain trade which is mutually advantageous and ecologically benign.

Policies

IP242 To secure bilateral and multi-lateral agreements to plan trade which is ecologically sustainable and beneficial for poor people.

IP243 Food surplus dumping as a form of trade or Aid should be stopped by international agreements between the countries responsible, and by agricultural reform.

IP244 Aid and trade policies should aim to encourage food and energy self-sufficiency in all countries.

d)Aid

Background

IP250 Aid has often been conceived by former colonial countries in a paternalistic and economically colonialist fashion. Instead of serving the needs of the poor in poor countries, Aid has often served the needs or whims of governments in both rich and poor states. Large-scale, capital-intensive projects like hydroelectric power dams have often been introduced without consultation of local people. Consultation, participation and control by local people are not guaranteed features of aid projects. Aid projects often do not even serve the development priorities as set by the host government(see EC990).

Objectives

IP251 To secure, in the long term, greater economic independence of poor countries so that an Aid system need only respond to emergencies.

Policies

IP252 Aid projects sustained by British Government bodies or development agencies should observe the following real aid rules: Aid should be aimed at the poorest; should mobilise the poor; should be specific to local communities and environments. The Aid machine should be re-built to reflect these principles. Sham aid should be abolished, including tied aid; independent audits of projects and programmes should be conducted. (see EC990)

IP253 Suitable Aid projects should include: low-technology energy schemes based on indigenous resources; fuel-efficient stoves; fuel-wood plantations; securing sustainable, ecological systems of food production and distribution for domestic needs; primary health care; women-centred projects including health, child-care, literacy and family/[165]-planning education; aid to establish a scientific research base in each country to facilitate research on local agricultural and environmental matters; assisting refugees for lengthy periods; housing for the poor; improved rural transport systems; training in agricultural and forestry skills appropriate to the area; aid to secure minimisation of food exports until domestic needs are met, recognising the limits to sustainable productivity of land; establishment of buffer stocks of food and animal feed; support for creating community banks.
(see ST360)

IP254 British aid should be supported by an independent Overseas Development Ministry represented in the Cabinet. British aid should be coordinated by a publicly accountable body (see IP265) independent of Government, which will use appropriate non-government organisations to get financial aid and appropriate projects directly to the local communities. The body may receive contributions from various sources, including Government.

IP255 British aid should become 0.7 percent of G.N.P. within five years and 1.0 percent of G.N.P. within ten years. Emergency aid should be an addition to this from the Government's contingency reserve.

IP256 The Overseas Development Agency should develop specialisation in auditing the work of the development charities and campaigns.

IP257 British aid should be limited to countries and projects committed to a "basic needs" approach to development, coupled/[166] with a primary health care and family/[167]-planning programme culturally acceptable to the people concerned. Land reforms and wealth re-distribution should also be considered when assessing suitability for assistance, as should the locality and the ecological sustainability of the project.

IP258 Emergency aid should continue to be given to any country in need on request. It should continue until the affected region has returned to normality including the restoration of food production to a level sufficient to meet needs and the rehousing of those made homeless, where this applies. Emergency aid should not depress prices in local markets.

IP259 The Aid resources presently given to the European Development Fund should instead be channelled into British-based development charities.

IP260 All aid projects should be designed by the people who are to benefit from them, with the involvement of appropriate technical expertise.

IP261 All aid programmes and projects should be tested at the design stage for ecological and social impact, and sustainability. (see alsoP509, 510)

IP262 Programmes and projects should be sufficiently long-term to achieve their minimal objectives and should be coordinated with other donor agencies in the area concerned.

IP263 The Aid-Trade Provision should be abolished.

IP264 British support for the Common Agricultural Policy should cease.

IP265 An Advisory Council on Aid should be established to give policy guidelines to both Aid agencies and Government with representatives from development charities and campaigns, churches and the academic world. This could be based on the Independent Group on British Aid.

IP266 The Department of Education and Science should fund the establishment of development education centres through local education authorities, in all district council areas. Managerial responsibility should reside with representatives of supporting local groups.

e) International Institutions

Background

IP300 The creation of United Nations structures, the International Monetary Fund and the various bodies which make up the World Bank dates back to the beginnings of the Cold War. These bodies have been dominated by the U.S.A. and allied Western democracies since their inception. They are fundamentally undemocratic in structure, underfunded and conventional in economics. Hampered by variable U.S.A. support in resources, frequently obsessed by economic orthodoxy and particularly the maintenance of economic inter-dependence, they are more often an arena of international conflict than co-operation.

Objectives

IP310 To obtain democratic, ecological, global and regional institutions by reform of existing bodies and by innovations.

Policies

IP320 Global environmental research and agreements on the conservation and rational use of the planet should be the primary roles of the U.N.

IP321 Increased European and Middle East support for the U.N. should be used to mitigate the effects of U.S.A.'s dominance and fluctuating funding.

IP330 The World Bank must end support for ecologically damaging projects with immediate effect. The British Government and the European Community should seek this (see EC960)

IP331 World Bank loans should be without conditions unacceptable to the borrower state, be long-term and only be given to middle-income countries.

IP332 World Bank decisions should be made on a 'one member, one vote' basis and should be made public.

IP333 World Bank project formulation should be open with control and veto power in the hands of local people. Local people should be the primary beneficiaries of Bank projects which should generally be small-scale and sustainable from indigenous resources.

IP334 World Bank projects should not damage the individual or group rights of local populations.

IP340 The British Government should resist the International Monetary Fund's imposition of austerity measures.

IP341 The I.M.F. Board should meet at least four times a year.

IP342 I.M.F. decision making should be on a 'one member, one vote' basis.

IP343 The British I.M.F. representative should be a nominee of the Overseas Development Ministry.

IP344 I.M.F. loans should be given especially for import substitution, resource conservation and the pursuit of self-sufficiency in food and energy.

f) Transnational Corporations (TNCs)

Background

IP400 The development of capitalism and of trade led logically to modern TNCs. Many TNCs possess resources greater than the poorest countries. The use of these financial resources to corrupt or remove governments for short-term gain at long-term environmental and human cost has intensified as debts have reached crisis proportions. Freer trade as sought by the I.M.F. and the TNCs has meant greater freedom for the TNCs to operate to their own advantage. These bodies consequently bear a very large responsibility for global environmental damage and for the creation of vulnerability to natural disasters. (see EC980-1)

Objectives

IP410 The systematic dissolution of large international economic units and their integration into regionally-based and local-based industries serving local needs ecologically and sustainably.

Policies

Ownership & Structure

IP420 To support and strengthen the U.N. Centre on Transnational Corporations, establishing local offices for this body in the poorest parts of the world to undertake research on TNCs.

IP421 The British Government should: institute capital controls to ensure money made by TNCs in Britain is re-invested here. The TNCs should be forced to observe ecological restraints and labour standards, as suggested by the International Labour Organisation, worldwide. Failure to observe these conditions must mean that the TNC concerned should no longer be allowed to operate in the European Community. Transfer pricing activities by TNCs to reduce tax and export duty costs should be made illegal. (see WR681)

IP422 The British Government should assist developing countries in buying off TNC subsidiaries and in producing the inputs needed for them. Funds for this should be provided from the turnover tax.

IP423 International agreements should be sought to nationalise and to regionalise TNCs and control their operations in poor countries.

Products and Pollution

IP430 TNCs currently producing chemicals which damage the ozone layer, exporting damaging pesticides which are banned in the country of origin, and exporting nuclear technology, should be the subject of immediate restrictions by Government. Eventually, it should become illegal to export goods which would not satisfy standards required in Britain.

IP431 Seed monopolisation by TNCs should be prevented by British Government and European Community legislation.

Spheres of influence

IP440 The Green Party supports the establishment of Antarctica as a "World Reserve", with no exploitation of the natural resources allowed.

IP441 The Green Party wishes to see the Antarctic Treaty expanded to include all nations.

IP442 Research in Antarctica must be directed towards an understanding of the local environment and ecology in order to minimise the impact of any future resource development.

The Middle East

Background

IP500 The system of states imposed on the Eastern Arab world in the wake of World War I has witnessed divisions ever since its inception, and external powers have gained from these. The Middle East today is an inter-dependent system of diverse elements, yet in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War external powers continue to gain, at severe social and environmental cost to the inhabitants. Inequality of access to resources and the denial of basic political rights, especially those of the Palestinians, create wasteful and destructive tensions. We believe that genuine "stability" will only be established in the region when the underlying causes of conflict are identified and dealt with, and when the peoples of the region begin to co-operate around their common interests; principally the threat of diminishing natural resources; and the need for ecological security.

Objectives

IP510 Short term - In Iraq and Kuwait: To alleviate suffering, to restore provision of healthcare and nutrition. To rebuild damaged infrastructure, and to return displaced people to their homes and land or jobs. Regionally: to enable all its people to live free from the threat of repression; to prevent further ecological degradation; to make the UN a consistent and effective forum and an actor preventing further unilateral actions by powers external to the region.
Medium to Longer Term - participatory and democratically accountable security arrangements; a regional framework to reconcile interests and avoid conflicts; co-operation on conservation and enhancements of natural resources and technological support on alternatives; a decreased role for nation-states and support for cultural determination.

Policies

IP520 We call for an end to victimisation of states and peoples who did not support the anti-Iraq Coalition in 1991. This continues to take the form of violent reprisals against individuals, and cessation of trade, aid and tourism.

IP521 We call for urgent environmental monitoring and measurement in the Gulf countries, in Iran, Iraq (including areas of chemical attack prior to the War 1991), Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. We welcome urgent co-operative remedial and preventative action by bodies qualified to prevent further contamination of sea, land and air. We encourage continuing co-operation by states on all shores of the Gulf.

IP522 All nuclear, chemical and biological weaponry must be removed from this sensitive region. We call on all states of the region to renounce their use. This includes Israel, signing and ratifying a non-proliferation treaty and other states also observing it.

IP523 We suggest a 'utility' audit on tenders for construction projects in the Gulf states. The evaluation would be on the use of environmentally-friendly materials, minimising waste and long-distance transportation, and encouraging utility as against the opulence which causes resentment amongst nationals and low-paid workers

IP524 We encourage oil-rich, low-population states constructively to review their labour recruitment policies:
- not to discriminate against countries which used to supply migrant workers before the invasion of Kuwait.
- to recruit from adjacent/neighbouring high population states in order to share wealth more equitably and and diffuse tensions.
We call for migrant workers to acquire full citizenship rights after two years residence within a country . We call for an end to all forms of discrimination against migrant workers and their families/[168] in housing, access to welfare services and education during their stay in a country.

IP525 We appeal to the international community to facilitate self-determination for stateless peoples of the Middle East, prioritising Palestinians and Kurds in areas with which they have historical links. We would give moral and material support to indigenously chosen leadership, but we know that exiles and homeland residents of both peoples have had difficulty in meeting to choose leaders and identify common objectives. Cultural , linguistic and/or religious/[169] minorities should be allowed full human rights. There must be greater willingness to observe basic human rights in all parts of the region. A climate of more openness and participation would reduce the incidence of repression.

IP526 Societal reform and appropriate democracy are essential prerequisites to "security" and "stability" in the region . We call for more accountability from existing leadership , and for more awareness of the needs of the needs and interests of people of the region as against those only of the ruling elites. We urge the West to use its customer capacity to favour states where democratic forces are fostered/[170].

IP527 We call for an immediate end to the sales of arms and their components to the region as the Middle East has proved particularly susceptible to environmental warfare (by either deliberate destruction or withholding shared natural resources). The means and the pretext to prosecute it must not be provided.

IP528 International support must be given for a regional consultative process on environmental protection and on conservation of all natural resources of the region - most urgently regarding sharing water , as take-off from head waters and aquifers is prodigious, unsustainable and discriminatory. Appropriate afforestation projects must be started urgently to conserve moisture. International law needs to reflect the seriousness of protecting the vital and final resource of water.

IP529 We agree with Schumacher's advice that where a resource is finite and unsustainable , the wealth that it generates should be used to develop its substitute; all possible will be done to find alternatives to oil in order:
a) to reduce dependency of consumer nations
b) to encourage oil producers to diversify away from reliance on a single exhaustible "crop"
We call for an international programme to facilitate transfer of alternative technologies world-wide, to make capital investment in, and transfer available funds to, research into solar energy use.

IP530 We call for recognition by Middle East decision-makers of the interdependence of the Eastern Arab world: for assessment of natural resources, financial assets , and needs in framing alliances. We encourage programmes for co-operation on regional lines and a lessening of rigid nation-state behaviour with more emphasis on bio-regions. Confederal realignment can only come with encouragement not coercion.
We seek the establishment of an effective regional structure which will be allowed to adjudicate on regional disputes and to ensure security - in all its senses - of the region. We would investigate adaptation of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe as a model for this in the Middle East.

Palestine & Israel

Background

IP600 The Arab-Israeli conflict persists owing to the failure to find a fair and humane solution to the problems of the Palestinian people and appropriate guarantees of security for a state of Israel.

Objectives

IP601 Mutual recognition of the rights of independent statehood and secure borders of Palestinians and Israelis; a rapid end to theviolence and de-escalation of the arms build-up in the region; enforcement of UN resolutions 242 and 338; international assistance so that the new Palestinian state on the West Bank and in Gaza can develop self-reliance in food production and basic services and industries; long term exploration of the possibility of establishing a confederation with neighbouring states, with free and equal access for each state's citizens.

Policies

IP602 The Green Party believes that all Israelis, Palestinians, and their families/[171] should have and be able to exercise full human and civil rights throughout Israel and the occupied territories. Israel should be subject to the Geneva Convention concerning the rights of individuals and communities.

IP603
a) The Green Party calls for the implementation of United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338.
b) The Green Party calls on the PLO to recognise the right of the State of Israel to exist within secure borders.
c) The Green Party calls on the Israeli Government and the PLO to unequivocally reject violence as a means of settling the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

IP604 The Green Party calls on Israel to repeal its present "law of return" because it is incompatible with the full exercise of human rights and is implicitly discriminatory.

IP605
a) The Green Party calls on Israel and the Arab states to recognise and comply with United Nations resolutions and instruments.
b) The Green Party calls on Israel to have direct talks with representatives of the PLO with a view to ensuring genuine religious/[172], political, economic and other human rights for all people within Israel and the occupied territories.
c) The Green party calls on Israel to allow Palestinians and their families/[173] to return to their former homes and be offered full Israeli citizenship, or to compensate those unable or unwilling to return to their homes and/or property.

IP606 The Green Party calls on the Arab states to agree a mutual non-aggression pact, and a non-aggression pact with Israel. Such pacts must be guaranteed by the international community.

IP607 The Green Party calls for the United Nations and the EEC to implement international sanctions against those states which refuse to comply with the calls above.

IP608 The Green Party calls on the United States government to use its special relationship with Israel to halt military and financial support until Israel enters the dialogue called for above.

British Overseas Dependent Territories

Background

IP700 Britain retains responsibility for Overseas Dependent Territories. These are colonies left over after the tide of empire receded.

IP701 If the UK pursues sustainable self-reliance, the government administration of distant colonies cannot be retained indefinitely. In territorial disputes, the need for peaceful settlements becomes urgent. Such agreements should take into account the wishes and rights of the inhabitants, but these cannot be the sole or overriding factors. Options such as permanent British sovereignty will have to be ruled out.

IP702 Defence responsibilities for remaining outposts may have to be transferred. A stronger peace-keeping role for the UN could form part of the solution, and Britain's armed services should retain some capacity for foreign expeditions only as part of a contribution to the UN Security Forces.

Policies

IP703 For each Dependency, self-reliance with security following the withdrawal of British and foreign troops.

IP704 Vigorous and consistent application of UN human rights policies.

IP705 The Green Party recognises both the right of the people of Gibraltar to self-determination and Gibraltar's need of sustainable and amicable relations with the adjacent Kingdom of Spain and regional government of Andalusia, and with Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar. The UK should seek diplomatic agreements to provide for such relations, with the full participation of Gibraltar's elected representatives in any diplomatic initiatives. Any agreement should be subject to the democratic decision of the people of Gibraltar.

IP706 The Green Party recognises both the right of the people of the Falkland Islands to self-determination and the need of sustainable and amicable relations between the islands and the southern countries of South America. The experience of the unsuccessful attempt by Argentina to annex the islands is a barrier to the achievement of such relations. Nonetheless, the UK should seek diplomatic agreements to provide for such relations with Argentina and neighbouring littoral states, with the full participation of the elected representatives of the Falkland Islands in any diplomatic initiatives. Any agreement should be subject to the democratic decision of the people of the Falkland Islands

IP707 Negotiations with Commonwealth nations on behalf of Dependency people wishing to migrate.

IP708 Economic reforms to give control of internal economies of the Dependencies to their residents:
a) End the tax loopholes that make 'tax havens' of some dependencies.
b) Consider and implement nationalisation of the companies which have large holdings in the Dependencies, in order to transfer the ownership of these holdings to the citizens of the Dependencies concerned.

IP709 Extend democracy in the Dependencies: Crown-nominated members of the ruling bodies to be replaced by elected members, and adult suffrage to be granted for internal elections to all inhabitants over 18 years of age.

IP710 The Green Party is opposed to the use for foreign military bases of dependent territories for which the UK has responsibility. The UK should end such current use by foreign countries, and should enter into no further agreements for such use.

Hong Kong

IP750 The Green Party regrets the failure of the UK government to provide and subsequently secure in agreements with the People's Republic of China (PRC) adequate human and democratic rights for the people of Hong Kong, including self-government. We support calls for those rights by the people of Hong Kong, and urge the PRC government to grant them.

IP751 We note also the failure of the UK and the PRC to offer adequate choices of citizenship in Hong Kong, particularly for residents of non-Chinese ethnic/[174] origin, and the refusal of the PRC to recognise forms of citizenship offered by the UK to Hong Kong residents. We believe that the UK government should have offered British citizenship and the right of residence in the UK to all citizens of Hong Kong under British administration.

IP752 We recognise that Hong Kong resident holders of forms of British citizenship and their families/[175] have a special claim to the right of residence in the UK. Additional offers of British citizenship and the right of residence in the UK should be made to those who were citizens of Hong Kong under British administration. We would facilitate such immigration under the liberal policies on migration, nationality, refugees and asylum seekers (MG100, NY100, RA100) which The Green Party would introduce.

IP753 We believe the UK should negotiate with the PRC permission for such migrants to leave Hong Kong, and urge the PRC to allow that. We believe the UK should negotiate arrangements with Commonwealth countries and other countries with established ethnic/[176] Chinese or Indian communities to provide a choice of destination for migrants from Hong Kong, and urge the governments of those countries to allow them to immigrate.

Peoples of the Pacific

IP760: The Green Party recognises the plight of the peoples of the Pacific, and condemns their economic and military exploitation by the USA, France and other industrial nations. The Green Party:
a) calls on all those governments who are using the Pacific as a dumping ground for their radioactive wastes, using the people as guinea pigs for nuclear tests, turning the area into a military strategic zone and who are abusing the cultural patterns and land rights, to cease such activities.
b) supports the establishment of free, independent and sustainable island economies.

- Amended Autumn 1993, except IP760 Spring 2001. Name changed from Foreign Policy and IP1nn rewritten Autumn 2002.

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LAND

Background


LD100 In UK law the sovereign owns all land. Over time the right to occupy and use, which was gained by feudal service to the sovereign, then through payment of rent to the Crown, has been transmuted to payment of a one-off lump sum. It thus appears that the free-holder has ownership of land in perpetuity, with apparent control over use or non-use, and the right to retain or sell at will. Since everyone needs access to land for homes and work, this system of tenure has historically contributed to extremes of poverty and wealth.

LD101 Ownership of land brings unearned benefits deriving both from nature and from the activities of the community, as improvements in infrastructure and technology. This is most apparent in towns and cities where population levels, transport facilities, etc. and/or quality of life bring high demand for goods, services and homes.

LD102 Ownership of land brings unearned benefit if the value of goods and services produced on that land exceeds the amount required for labour and capital to make its present use viable.

LD103 The ability of land-owners to set their own price for access to job opportunities or amenities means that much, if not all, the value of any new services or technical improvement created by the community is siphoned off as unearned benefit to the land owner.

LD104 Changes in land-use, through such factors as the granting by the community of planning permission to build, or the development of the surrounding area by the activities of the community, frequently increase land value, perhaps by as much as 100 times. Such increases create unearned benefit in the form of windfall profits for land owners, either by exploiting the land themselves in the new ways that have become possible, or by selling at enhanced prices. The possibility of such windfall gains encourages speculators to buy up land and hold it, often unused or under-used and of little or no benefit to the community.

Principles


LD200 Land, the primary source of all real wealth, is the common heritage. We acknowledge that land is held in trust by human society on behalf of other species and future generations, and that land should not be treated as a capital investment nor traded for speculative profit.

LD201 We therefore assert the principle that no person and no body should have absolute control of land, but only particular rights over the use of it. These rights to specific agreed categories of use should be under the control of the community through land-use planning.

LD202 A clear framework of land-use planning must therefore be established which puts a high priority on the natural environment. Within such a framework, land should be used in ways which promote those activities which maintain and sustain the environment, while encouraging those activities with minimal environmental impact and discouraging those with high environmental cost.

LD203 The Green Party believes that the unearned benefits from land-use should be shared amongst the community, and that the community should collect such unearned benefits through a system of Land Value Taxation. Revenues raised by Land Value Taxation would be in substitution of, and not in addition to, other revenues.

LD204 Within an agreed land-use planning framework, a policy of taxing land value would act as an incentive both to encourage good stewardship, and to reduce corporate land ownership. It would encourage the best use of all land compatible with the agreed permitted use, encouraging urban land to be used to its fullest extent, and discouraging land ownership for investment purposes only.

LD205 A policy of taxing land value would bring net benefits to a large majority of the population whether urban or rural, including owner-occupiers on small or medium plots, and those who do not own land.

LD206 Taxing land values thus contributes to the creation of a decentralised, sustainable society. Eliminating speculation in land and stabilising prices should make more land available at cheaper prices, enabling more worker's co-operatives , small-scale enterprises and other community ventures to flourish.

Policies


Land-use planning and registry
LD300 Criteria for reformed and strengthened land-use planning should include:
a) protection of sites of special importance as habitats or amenity value
b) support for the overall sustainability of the economy
c) promotion of community self-reliance
d) devolution of decision-making on land-use to community level
e) best use of land already developed, especially in urban areas
f) reduced pressure for inappropriate building on green-field sites

LD301 Land-use planning to determine permitted uses would be undertaken by local authorities within U.K. guidelines. There would be a regional system agreed by groups of local authorities (see LP402)

LD310 Land registry: The record of HM Land Registry would be made compulsory for all land within an agreed time limit and would be open for public inspection. Any land remaining unregistered after expiry of due notice would revert to the local authority for re-allocation.

Land Value Taxation (LVT)

LD400 (previously known as Community Ground Rent)
The Green Party proposes introducing LVT as a tax payable on the annual value of land. The valuation would be of the land alone, exempting all buildings on it, recent and future improvements to it, or minerals extracted from it. LVT would therefore not be a tax on the rent of buildings, the value of crops, manufactured products or the product of other forms of work. (Minerals extracted from the land would be taxed separately, see NR423 & EC710's)

LD401 The proposed LVT would be levied by the local community at rates to be agreed amongst Districts and Regions. Any necessary redistribution between Districts and Regions would be undertaken by agreement between local governments in accordance with the principles agreed in EC551.

LD402 The level at which the tax would be levied would be based on the full value of the current permitted use of the land. Permitted use would mean, for example, that the taxable value of land which is deemed by the community to have special amenity or habitat value, thus inhibiting use for possible greater financial return , would be reduced. When it is considered desirable to change the use through the land-use planning framework, this new permitted use would then form the basis of the assessment.

LD403 Assessments would be reviewed automatically on change of use and every few years, or more frequently, on request. An arbitration process would be made available to provide compensation for those adversely affected by permitted use, and provision made for appeal against assessment.

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Autumn 1992, amended Autumn 2000

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LOCAL PLANNING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Background

LP100 There will always be a demand for new buildings. Even if we achieve a stable future population (see separate policy statement on Population), the current trend for smaller households will mean more housing is required for some time to come. Also, as times change, there will continue to be a demand for new facilities for work, leisure and retail purposes.
LP101 Green policies should seek to ensure that wherever such development takes place it has as little negative impact on the environment as possible. Overall plans should therefore:

  1. minimise the encroachment onto undeveloped "greenfield" sites, by re-using previously developed sites which have fallen into disuse wherever possible.

  2. reduce the need for people to travel excessively, by ensuring that the necessary facilities are provided at a local level wherever possible.

  3. encourage the use of ecologically sustainable building practices.

LP102 Planning decisions should always be made at the most local practical level. Proposed developments which are deemed to have a regional or national importance should still require the consent of the local populations in the areas in which they are sited."

Long term aims
LP200 To construct new buildings only when needed.
LP201 To construct buildings using materials with a minimal amount energy used in their manufacture, and designed to minimise the use of energy.
LP202 For each town or village to contain housing that is suitable for and affordable by local people as well as at least the basic facilities for work, social and cultural activities required by the community.

Short term aims
LP300 Primarily, these are to re-introduce conservation practices in the design and construction and use of buildings. This should result in buildings which are durable, energy efficient, and adaptable for more than one specific purpose.
LP301 To modify town planning to enable a greater degree of self-sufficiency to be achieved within the living areas than at present.
LP302 To hold back all new development on agricultural land or other land not at present within the confines of an urban (including village) area.

Policies
Townscapes and landscape with buildings
LP400 As far as possible any development within present cities should be confined within the city boundaries, the intention being not to encroach on any more agricultural land. For similar reasons development brought about by the needs of population dispersal should be sited on derelict or other poor quality land within the confines of an existing built-up area. However, the need for urban green spaces, both formal and informal, should be recognised and these spaces should be protected.
LP401 Housing densities should be increased by high quality design incorporating a reduction in road and parking space, keeping vehicles to the edge of site wherever possible. Car-free developments should also be encouraged, especially in areas close to amenities or with good public transport. (see TR036).
LP402 Derelict land, particularly from extractive industries, should be improved for re-use, not only for recreational purposes, but for housing and light industry. Such sites should only be developed in a way which does not lead to the loss of wildlife habitats or biodiversity (see LD300-301).
LP403 However, the effects of climate change will mean that it will no longer be practical for the continued use of some sites, including many homes, which are now liable to regular flooding. Such derelict land should be re-landscaped rather than re-developed, and the practice of developing reclaimed marshland should be ended. Central government should also help those who are most affected. Government insurance schemes should be available to offer cover for those refused flooding cover by commercial companies, and there should financial assistance to help with relocation for those whose properties have become uninhabitable
LP404 Planning regulations should be adjusted so that zoning is discouraged. Strict segregation of residential, industrial and commercial areas kills the natural growth of a community. Provided that there is no excessive nuisance all types of building can mix as they have done in the most vigorous communities in the past.
LP405 Policy planning guidance, building regulations, and advice to local authorities will be amended so that local plans reflect the needs of the existing local population and are sustainable (see HO504). Local plans should encourage traditional local designs and innovative energy saving technologies.
LP406 Close proximity of workplaces, homes and services cuts down commuter movement and saves energy and time.
LP407 By allowing small part-time businesses, workshops, etc., to spring up in housing areas, incentives will be available for people to use their leisure time for useful part-time work at home, all of which will add to the national stock and to the character of the community.
LP408 Where segregation by building types is necessary the isolated industrial unit needs humanising with pedestrian access, planted areas and recreational space.
LP409 New building developments and road systems should be designed and existing systems adapted in accordance with the transport hierarchy (see TR030). They should provide:

  1. convenient safe and pleasant access for pedestrians and cyclists.

  2. convenient and safe access to affordable public transport.

  3. measures to control dangerous and unsociable driving (especially speeding).

LP410 New residential developments should be designed as 'home zones', where pedestrians have priority and other forms of transport must travel at a maximum of 10mph. (see TR116)
LP411 Parking space for bicycles should be provided in all new developments. Residential developments should also provide secure bicycle storage, either communally or in each dwelling
LP412 Pedestrianisation of existing shopping areas within cities, towns and villages should be encouraged, to provide a safe and pleasant shopping environment. Where possible, delivery access should be provided outside of the pedestrianised area or should be restricted to times which are not peak shopping times.
LP413 New out-of-town shopping developments should not be allowed.
LP414 Removing an existing building, or part of it, has just as much impact on the nature of the surrounding built environment as a new building or extension. Therefore, planning permission should be required for demolition or partial demolition, to the same extent as it is required to build or extend.
LP415 Planning decisions should be taken at as decentralised a level as reasonably possible. Although welcoming some regional co-ordination of planning (the 'Regional Planning Guidance' process), Local Authorities should retain democratic accountability for the development and therefore the planning process within their boundaries.

Burial places
LP420 In some parts of the country there is a shortage of provision for burials. At the same time there is an interest in woodland burial and other environmentally-friendly forms of burial. Local councils shall review the future need for burial space, to include provision for woodland and other environmentally-friendly forms of burial.

Tall Buildings
LP440 All new buildings should harmonise with the local built and natural environment. They should not disturb the local sense of place. The height of new buildings should not obscure or unduly disrupt popular viewpoints from local amenities such as parks or hills, and should be broadly consistent with the height of existing buildings in the local environment. Specific buildings providing a distinctive feature to the locality can be an exception to this.
LP441 Proposed new buildings should be energy-costed. Costing should include the extraction and transportation of building materials, as well as the energy used in construction and the energy consumption of the building once in use. Greater energy inputs are required to make tall buildings stable. Buildings above 4-5 storeys require higher energy inputs due to their fundamental reliance upon lifts. Research is needed to determine the most appropriate building dimensions for optimum energy efficiency. Standardised energy costing methodology also needs to be developed. Although detailed costings and analysis are required, tall and large buildings are in general less likely to be sustainable in energy terms than smaller ones.
LP442 Depending on location and function, tall buildings can increase zoning (ie. geographic specialisation reducing the diversity of local activities and building use). Instead of providing local employment opportunities, new high capacity buildings can increase commuter numbers and traffic, overstretch transport facilities, push up local land prices and other costs and threaten the diversity of existing local economies. Tall buildings likely to cause zoning which impacts negatively on the locality should be opposed.
LP443 In some cases where green space, or space valued for local amenities, bio-diversity, wildlife or habitats is under threat from development, taller buildings requiring less groundspace may be appropriate if the demand is justified.
LP444 Tall buildings can cause overshadowing. They should not be located where they would cause excessive overshadowing of homes, schools, local amenities or solar collectors.
LP445 Tall buildings can increase the load on certain local services and resources such as sewers, drains and the water supply. Developers should implement on-site measures to reduce their load on local services and resources and pay for the enhancement of those services which are close to capacity.

Mobile Phone Masts and TETRA Masts
LP450 There are legitimate concerns regarding the effects of mobile phone and TETRA mast radiation upon human health. In accordance with the precautionary principle, these concerns should be taken seriously in the relevant planning decisions.
LP451 Full planning permission is currently required only for masts above 15m in height. The erection of all mobile phone masts, regardless of height should be subject to full planning permission regulations. Permission should also be required to increase the power of existing masts.
LP452 Where there is significant local opposition no new mast should be erected, and local authorities and other bodies should terminate existing licensing contracts entered into for the siting of masts.
LP453 In the light of the current uncertainty over the dangers of masts, contract licenses and planning permission granted by local authorities for the siting of masts should be limited to specific time-frames. No long-term irreversible agreements should be entered into whilst such uncertainty about health risks exists."

Energy and resource conservation in buildings
LP500 In the long term, so-called autonomous houses and developments are to be recommended, but until they are possible on a wide scale, steps should be taken to encourage resource conservation. VAT on insulation materials and devices which reduce consumption of non-renewable energy and other resources should be abolished. (see EC771).
LP501 Air conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems are to be discouraged and the heat pump encouraged in place of gas, oil-fired or electric central heating systems. Proper use should be made of solar gains for space heating and the use of solar heating for domestic hot water should be encouraged. Solar panels will be mandatory in all new buildings.
LP502 Investigate the use of low-grade water for industrial purposes, possibly recycling it within the industrial compound. Water-saving domestic installations should be fitted in all new and renovated buildings.
LP503 Thermal insulation levels should be increased in all new or existing buildings. Developments and individual houses should be designed to maximise solar gain and minimise energy requirements.
LP504 All industrial and commercial buildings should be designed for as long a life as possible and not too closely tied to the original purpose, so that a change of ownership and use can readily be accommodated. It should be possible to break down large industrial buildings into a number of small occupancies later if this is necessary.

Taxes on Building and Development
LP510 The present zero rate of VAT for new construction makes it relatively more attractive to put up a new building rather than repair or alter an existing one. This encourages the unnecessary waste of precious natural resources, including undeveloped land.
LP511 The Green Party's policy of abolishing VAT, and replacing it with a system of resource taxes (see EC771) would reverse this. Such taxes would be levied on undeveloped ("greenfield") sites and on the disposal of demolition waste, as well as on the use of non-renewable materials in the construction itself. Together, these measures will ensure the optimum re-use of existing building fabric

Advice centres
LP600 Architecture/building clinics should be set up in every town to give free professional advice to householders and building owners. This could cover the approach to improving property, how to obtain grants or take action against nuisance, or to object to development, and how to generate new work.

Conversion and demolition of dwellings
LP650 In areas which have a shortage of affordable homes, there will be a presumption against extending and 'knocking together' small properties.

Historic buildings
LP700 Buildings of special historic interest need to be preserved for future generations. The present regulations & guidance for conservation areas & listed buildings should be maintained & improved to provide incentives for the retention of listed structures & to protect or enhance the special historical character of conservation areas.
LP701 Legal sanctions must be stiffened against those who demolish listed buildings, or who allow them to fall into a state of disrepair. The relevant bodies must make proper use of legislation enabling them to do this and must earmark sufficient resources, financial and staff, to operate it effectively.

Building industry
LP800 Encouragement should be given to building workers to maintain craft skills, even if they only use them on a part-time basis.
LP801 The use of unnecessary plant should be discouraged as being wasteful.
LP802 Building systems must be investigated thoroughly to determine their true cost in comparison with traditional methods. Many of them are uneconomic on grounds not always immediately apparent, for instance, relying on imported components, high levels of maintenance, high running costs, etc. Their extensive use has also led to a lack of standardisation. Traditional building was, contrary to popular belief/[177], highly standardised and dimensionally coordinated. A return to this quality of standardisation would cut down on much of the waste that is taken for granted in present building systems.

(Spring 2002)

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Green Party,  Spring 2002

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MARINE INDUSTRY

Oil and Gas, Marine Exploration and Production.

Background

MI100 Marine oil and gas exploration and production results in inputs of oil hazardous chemicals, the mobilisation of natural radionuclides and trace metals, and disruption to benthic life and to fisheries. Inputs result both from accidental and operational discharges. Production water is routinely discharged to the sea and, in addition to oil, contains a variety of hazardous substances (often added during the production process). Recent studies also suggest that high levels of cadmium and reactive mercury in waters adjacent to platforms might also be the result of operational discharge. Drill cuttings, also dumped from platforms, are contaminated with oil and chemicals, are causing long-term effects on benthic life surrounding platforms. Seabed subsidence, as a result of removal of oil and gas deposits beneath it, is also of concern.

Objectives

MI200 We will draw up a comprehensive inventory of sensitive sea areas where oil and gas exploration and production will not be allowed.

MI201 Much tighter environmental controls will be applied to oil and gas exploration. We will require all oil and gas exploration and production companies to establish an integrated Environmental Management System. We will ban dumping of hazardous substances (including drill cuttings and contaminated water) to the sea and atmosphere. We will consider the feasibility and environmental implications of returning production water, cleaned of its chemicals additives, to its original sub-seabed geological formations (see NR318). We will set a deadline for the phase-out of inputs of hazardous substances to the sea from the off-shore activities.

Policies

MI300 Prior to all exploration or production an Environmental Impact Assessment must be carried out. This will include the evaluation of environmental risks of seabed subsidence and the traffic of vessels to and from the platforms, that may result in environmental degradation, and plans for dismantling and disposal of rigs and associated equipment.

MI301 We will ensure that the dumping at sea of drill cuttings is stopped immediately. Cuttings are to be shipped to the mainland for cleaning and disposal/recycling. Additionally, production water polluted with contaminates (including oil) must be cleaned.

MI302 We will require, within the licensing agreements for oil and gas blocks, environmental criteria for assessment (concerning maximum pollution loads) which would allow the closure of individual wells, if as a result of ageing and the consequent increases in the volume of total pollution loads could not be handled by the treatment/reception facilities. However, the possibility of using old installations for research purposes or as an artificial reefs should also be considered.

MI303 We will require all oil and gas exploration and production companies to establish an integrated Environmental Management System and report annually on its implementation.

MI304 All British oil and gas companies operating elsewhere in the world will be required to have all their operations operating at lease to the standard use in the North Sea.

MI305 We currently know little about the benthic marine environment, except that its biology is extremely diverse and its physics can be stormy. Therefore, installations should not be dumped or abandoned at sea. As a matter of principle, operators should expect when constructing an installation, that they will be later responsible for completely removing it.

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Green Party, Autumn 1996

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MIGRATION

(see also RA)

Background
MG100 The Green Party's longÏterm global vision is of an international economic order where the relationship between regions is non-exploitative, each region is as self-reliant and economically self- sufficient as practicable and the quality of life (social, political, environmental, cultural and economic) is such that there is less urge to migrate. Logically, in order to move away from the current level of immigration controls, we must create a fairer world.

MG101 The existing economic order and colonialism have both been major causes of migration through direct and indirect violence, disruption of traditional economies, the use of migrants as cheap labour, uneven patterns of development and global division of labour.

MG102 We are aware that, in the 21st century, there is likely to be mass migration of people escaping from the consequences of global warming, environmental degradation, resource shortage and population increase.

MG103 The Green Party recognises the contributions made by many migrants to their recipient area or community. We value the cultural diversity and intercultural awareness resulting from both temporary residence and migration.

Principles
MG200 The Green Party's highest priority is the creation of a just and ecological world order in which environmental devastation is minimised and needs can be met without recourse to migration.

MG201 We believe that the world's people have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure ecological sustainability, human rights and social justice. Within this, they have the right to self determination.

MG202 International action and a willingness to share resources will be required to meet the needs of environmental migrants.

MG203 Richer regions and communities do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term.

MG204 Communities and regions should have the right to restrict inward migration when one or more of the following conditions are satisfied:
a) The ecology of the recipient area would be significantly adversely affected by in-comers to the detriment of the wider community (eg. National Parks, Antarctica);
b) The recipient area is owned or controlled by indigenous peoples (eg Australian aboriginal people) whose traditional lifestyle would be adversely affected by in-comers;
c) The prospective migrants have, on average, equal or greater economic power than the residents of the recipient area and they or their families/[178] were not forced to leave the area in the recent past.

MG205 Migration policies should not discriminate directly on grounds of race/[179], colour, religion/[180], political belief/[181], disability/[182], sex/[183] or sexual/[184] orientation/[185]. Preference should not be given to those with resources or desirable skills.

MG206 The Green Party is opposed to forced migration and forced repatriation.

MG207 Regions or communities must have the right to reject specific individuals on grounds of public safety.

MG208 The interests of both prospective migrants and the recipient area or community must be recognised and, hence, the appropriate resolution of a particular situation (unless covered above) must depend on negotiation between the parties affected.

Medium Term Policies
MG300 We will work to achieve greater equity between the UK and non-Western countries. In step with this, we will progressively reduce UK immigration controls.

Short Term Policies
Immigration Law
MG400 We will replace existing British Immigration law with an Immigration law which does not discriminate directly on the grounds listed above (see MG205). This law will be based on the principle of fair and prompt treatment of applicants rather than on excluding dishonest applicants whatever the cost to the honest ones. It will not aim to allow increased net migration to Britain other than for humanitarian reasons or as a result of other Green Party policies. We will consult widely with affected groups to ensure that features of the current law which are of concern to them are addressed.

MG401 We will allow the partners, prospective partners, immediate families/[186] and prospective families/[187] of British residents to join them without excessive delays or unreasonable requirements for proof of relationship. This will be independent of the financial status of the resident and will not be dependent on her/him providing accommodation (We recognise that this must be implemented in association with a housing policy).

MG402 A person's right to stay will not be linked to that of partners or families/[188] but will be independent. Families/[189] will not be divided by deportation unless the deportee poses a serious danger to public safety.

MG403 We will abolish the 'primary purpose' rule under which partners are refused entry if it is thought that the primary purpose of relationship is for them to gain entry to the UK.

MG404 We will allow the victims of past errors in immigration decisions to come to the UK where these decisions have resulted in continuing serious deprivation.

MG405 Migrants illegally in the UK for over five years will be allowed to remain unless they pose a serious danger to public safety.

Immigration Process
MG410 We will aim to ensure that UK immigration control takes place primarily at ports of entry so that no resident is required to carry proof of residence.

MG411 We will implement a visibly independent appeal process for Immigration decisions.

MG412 No prospective immigrant will be held in detention for migration-related reasons, other than in the most exceptional circumstances, eg a prospective migrant who poses a serious danger to public safety.

MG413 Deportation costs will be paid by or recovered from the deportee where they can reasonably afford it.

MG414 Transport providers must not be penalised for bringing people without the required visas, etc. to the UK.

MG415 We will provide advice and assistance in appropriate languages at ports of entry and provide legal aid for immigration cases.

MG416 We will provide accurate information about conditions in the UK to prospective migrants.

MG417 We will undertake a thorough review of UK Immigration Practices and the UK Immigration Service to ensure that racist/[190] features are removed and immigration officers receive sufficient suitable training. We will encourage greater ethnic/[191] minority participation in the Immigration Service.

MG418 We will ensure that sufficient staff and resources are available to effect these policies.

Immigration and the EC
MG420 We will resist all attempts to introduce a 'barrier round Europe' shutting out non-Europeans or giving them more restricted rights of movement within Europe than European Nationals.

MG421 We oppose the concept of a common immigration policy for the European Community. Given the differing colonial and migration histories of Community countries, we believe that national policies allow more flexibility. However, if a common migration policy is introduced, we will aim to ensure that it includes our short-term migration policies and will welcome any measures in it which improve the treatment of migrants. Any common migration policies for EC member states should be formulated under the scrutiny of democratically accountable bodies.

Environmental Migrants
MG430 We will produce and implement contingency plans for the future financial and other support of environmental migrants. We will encourage such planning by international agencies, non-governmental organisations, other countries, the European Community and local government.

Other
MG440 We will encourage periods of temporary residence in the UK and abroad, particularly by young people, to promote intercultural awareness.

MG441 We will encourage local authorities to take account of family/[192] union requirements of their residents in allocating public housing, independent of the current location of the other family/[193] members.

Trafficking in People


MG450. Trafficking in human beings takes place when one person encourages a citizen of another country to enter or stay in another country in order to exploit that person. This may involve the use of deceit or any other form of coercion, or the abuse of the trafficked person's vulnerable position. The United Nations uses the following definition: "'Trafficking in persons' shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation."

MG451. Fees demanded by traffickers often place trafficked people and their families/[194] in debt. In some countries this extends to debt bondage. By placing trafficked people in debt bondage, or by exploiting their vulnerable status in a country in which they now live illegally and often without knowledge of local language, traffickers are able to force those who have been trafficked into activities in which they would not otherwise engage. Some are forced to work for a pittance, some into domestic servitude, some, particularly women, into the sex/[195] industry, and some into crime.

MG452. The Green Party considers that such trafficking in human beings is a gross violation of human rights. Any proposals to deal with this problem should not further victimise those who are already its victims.

MG453. The Government should recognise that those who have been trafficked are the victims of human rights violations and potential witnesses to criminal investigations and prosecutions of the traffickers. Victims should not be subject to summary deportation or expulsion on the grounds of illegal or irregular entry into or residence in the country. Nor should they be prosecuted for any lack of identity documents or other minor offences which are directly attributable to their position as a victim of trafficking.

MG454. The Government should grant a temporary right to stay in the country to anyone who has been trafficked or appears to have been trafficked. It should also recognise the right of those who have been trafficked to apply for a longer term or permanent immigration status, and should treat such an application on the same basis as others seeking to migrate. Such an application should not be affected by the illegal nature of the trafficked person’s original residence in the UK. Consideration of any criminal activities by a trafficked person should include consideration of whether they were performed under duress as a victim of trafficking.

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NATIONALITY

Background
NY100 Over the last decades, British Nationality law has been used to restrict the number of Black people having the right to live in the UK while maximising the opportunities for white non-residents with British ancestors to retain this right. The Green Party believes that such Nationality laws must be reformed.

Principles
NY200 Legal nationality is an expression of rights and responsibilities between individuals and government. It is a different concept from cultural or ethnic/[196] identity.

NY201 The Green Party believes that rights and responsibilities between individuals and government should be based on residence. They should be expressed in terms of citizenship rather than nationality.

NY202 We view citizenship as a set of responsibilities and rights based on residence in and commitment to a geographical area. It is gained by living in the area ì not granted by government. It is lost by extended absence.

NY203 In the long term, the Green Party wishes to see the concept of legal nationality abolished. In the short term, while other countries use it, this is not possible.

NY204 While it remains, British Nationality must be based predominantly on residence rather than inheritance and must not discriminate by colour or race/[197] across generations.

Objectives
NY300 We will work to create a world of global inter-responsibility in which the concept of a 'British National' is irrelevant and outdated.

Long Term Policies
NY400 We will progressively transfer all rights and responsibilities between individuals and government to depend on residence instead of nationality.

NY401 We will seek an alternative to the British Consular Service for protecting individuals overseas.

Short Term Policies

Citizenship

NY500 Responsibilities and rights of citizenship will include Citizens' Income, personal taxation and the right to participate in the democratic process. The Green Party will therefore base the right to vote and to stand in elections on residence rather than nationality. The residence qualification for a responsibility or right will depend on its nature and consequences ì temporary residents and visitors will be excluded from some. Responsibilities and rights will be retained for a reasonable period by those normally resident in but temporarily absent from an area. (Note: Further detail including specific durations will go into policy statements).

NY501 We will promote and support, within the European Community, the principle of equal rights for residents (including migrant workers) and nationals, excluding the right to indefinite residence. Residents and nationals should have the same rights of movement and of political, social and religious/[198] activity. They should have equal rights in access to housing, employment, welfare services, health care, education and legal aid.

Nationality Law

NY510 We will replace current British Nationality legislation in order to provide a single class of British Nationality. All British Nationals will have the right of residence in the UK. Such British Nationality will automatically include all those currently in a category of British Nationality which does not give entry to the UK.

NY511 While recognising that the concept of Nationality is inherently racially/[199] discriminatory, we will ensure that the system of conferring British Nationality on those not in receipt of it at birth does not discriminate on grounds of race/[200], colour, religion/[201], political belief/[202], disability/[203], sex/[204] or sexual/[205] orientation/[206] between those who meet one of the following conditions:

a) Present or planned family/[207] relationship (including extended family/[208] and non-married/[209] partnership) to an existing British National;

b) Asylum seekers. (see RA)

NY512 We will ensure that the system of conferring British Nationality includes access to an independent appeal process and allows prospective British Nationals in the UK to remain during this process.

NY513 This legislation will ensure that British Nationality is automatically received by:

a) All children born in the UK.

b) All children born overseas of British Nationals normally resident in the UK.

c) All children of British Nationals with no other nationality at birth.

NY514 British Nationality will also be automatically available prior to their 18th birthday to all children of British Nationals born overseas but now normally resident in the UK. Evidence of such residence would be required.

NY515 British Nationality will not be automatically available to children of British nationals settled elsewhere, unless the country of birth did not provide them with a nationality or they move to the UK to reside before their 18th birthday.

NY516 We will permit British Nationals to hold multiple nationalities.

Nationality and Employment

NY520 We will accept equivalent overseas educational and professional qualifications for jobs in the public sector and encourage this in the private sector. We will set up a register of overseas qualifications and their UK equivalents to assist this. We will encourage and fund supplementary training or conversion courses where necessary.

NY521 We will make Civil Service jobs available to all suitably qualified residents except where this gives an objective conflict of interest in the individual case.

Other

NY530 We will provide sufficient staff and resources for Nationality applications to be processed without excessive delay. No fees will be charged for processing nationality applications.

NY531 On the independence or secession of any part of the United Kingdom, all British Nationals residing in the area affected will be offered the option of retaining British Nationality (as well as or instead of any nationality of the new area).

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Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997

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NATURAL RESOURCES

Background
NR100 The natural resources that are considered in this section include fossil fuels, metalliferous and bulk minerals, water and reusable or recyclable waste materials. Policies affecting the use of natural resources are also contained in the Sections on Agriculture, Forestry, Food, Countryside, Pollution, Energy, Population, Transport, Foreign Policy and Economy.

NR101 Raw materials for industrial use are obtained from three sources:
i) non-renewable primary natural resources, such as fossil fuel and metal ores;
ii) biologically renewable primary natural resources, such as wood and cotton;
iii) waste or used products which have not irreversibly lost their useful characteristics in use and can be recycled as secondary raw materials.

Principles
NR200 Supplies of natural resources on Earth are finite or require suitable land, which is in limited supply, for their production. Increasing productivity of biologically renewable raw materials is generally coupled/[210] with a decrease in genetic diversity and an increased dependence on high-energy inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides.

NR201 Manufacturing processes using recycled materials require less energy than those exploiting primary natural resources because of the reduced processing required. This energy saving will increase as progressively lower grades of non-renewable resources need to be exploited as richer deposits are exhausted.

NR202 The energy saved by recycling secondary raw materials is normally greater than that which could be obtained by instead recovering energy from combustible waste.

NR203 To achieve sustainable resource use with minimal environmental impact requires:
i) social and economic policies which will encourage and maintain a reduction in the physical burden human societies place upon our planet;
ii) further regulatory controls for some resources to ensure that the social and environmental impact of their use is acceptable;
iii) research to identify sustainable patterns of resource use for the future.

NR204 In order to achieve increased waste avoidance and higher recycling rates, the government needs to:
i) establish a structure for industry which secures end-use markets for secondary raw materials; and
ii) ensure that the cost of using natural resources takes account of the environmental costs of their extraction or harvesting, processing and disposal.

Long Term Objectives
NR300 To determine the global availability of resources and identify sustainable patterns of resource-use.

NR301 To minimise the consumption of all natural resources and, in particular, non- renewable resources for which supplies are reaching the limits of avail ability, whether for environmental, technical, physical or political reasons.

NR302 To phase out the routine use of non-renewable materials for product-uses in which they cannot be easily be recycled for the same purpose.

NR303 To minimise damage, including the reduction of genetic and ecological diversity, caused to the natural environment by extracting or growing natural resources for industrial use.

Short Term Objectives
NR310 To slow down the consumption of non-renewable raw materials before the onset of scarcity and at the same time give incentives to society as a whole to investigate alternatives.

NR311 To induce industry to invest in resource saving technology by:
- minimising waste during manufacturing processes;
- the manufacture of long life products which can be repaired or reused;
- greater conservation of energy in industry;
- the development of anti-pollution devices.

NR312 To introduce new priorities for waste management so that:
- unnecessary waste is avoided;
- the efficient re-use, recycling and composting or digestion of waste is maximised;
- the remaining waste is disposed of to landfill whilst measures are put in place to reduce this element towards zero in the long term.

NR313 Intensify research into the recycling of secondary raw
materials.

NR314 To provide safe drinking water to all people and to encourage the adoption of levels of domestic and industrial water consumption which minimise damage to the environment through entrapment and treatment works.

NR315 Promote research into ecologically sound cultivation techniques for renewable raw materials and develop less energy intensive methods of cropping and processing.

NR316 To ensure that the transition towards sustainable resource-use occurs in such a way as to achieve and guarantee social justice, equity and economic stability.

NR317 Taking account of the genuine benefits available from trade, to encourage self-reliance, whereby people collectively within communities can determine their own needs and meet these as far as is possible from the resources available to them.

NR318 To work towards achieving international agreements on the use of natural resources, which take full account of the need to guarantee sustainability and to minimise damage to the natural environment.

Policies
NR400 The Green Party believes that the policies in this section should be enacted in a coordinated manner throughout Europe. However, in the absence of pan-European or European Community agreement on these measures, a Green Party Government will be prepared to implement them unilaterally as far as possible at a national level.

Local and Regional Policies
NR410 Local Councils will be given full powers to establish waste recovery and sorting facilities for the collection of all domestic and commercial waste and to sell recovered materials to industry for recycling.

NR411 The duty to dispose of waste collected by District Councils will be transferred to Regional Waste Disposal Authorities, controlled by District Councils and other community representatives, with the costs of disposal charged to all District Councils in direct relation to the quantity of waste collected for disposal by each District. This will give District Councils an incentive to promote waste reduction and to increase waste recycling, as they will save directly on disposal costs. (see EN805)

NR412 District Councils will be required to recover for recycling at least 60% of recyclable domestic waste within 5 years. At the end of this period an increased target will be set, which is based on an assessment by the Standards Commission (see NR 411) of how much further unnecessary waste can be avoided and which incorporates targets for waste reduction and the composting or digestion of organic waste.

NR413 Water Companies will be required to enter into joint arrangements with Regional Waste Disposal Authorities to build digestion plants to produce biogas and/or compost from organic waste from agricultural sources, sewage and municipal waste. The discharge into domestic sewers of polluting waste from industry which would detrimentally affect digestion or digestion products will be prohibited.

National Policies
NR420 A Natural Resources Department, a national non-ministerial government body with regional offices, will be established to be responsible for resource exploration and assessment, the maintenance of standards in mining, quarrying and forestry, and the provision of ecological, geological, archaeological and engineering advice. Working with the pollution control bodies and with due regard to relevant pre-existing legislation, the Natural Resources Department will be able to grant and revoke operating licences. Commercial interests will not be permitted to prejudice/[211] decisions.

NR421 All mineral rights will be held in trust by the State on behalf of the communities which occupy the land or, in the case of off-shore rights, which border it. Planning consent to exploit minerals will be subject to both local and national agreement. It will be a requirement of such a consent that the environmental impact of any work is minimised and for extraction activities to maximise the resources obtained. The affected land should be returned to a similar or improved ecological status.

NR422 Industrial users of raw materials (eg. smelters and pulp mills) shall keep annual records of the ratio of primary source materials to those recycled. Through the application of Resource Taxation (EC710) they will be encouraged to reduce raw material consumption in favour of reclaimed materials.

NR423 A system of Resource Taxation will be introduced (see EC710's, EN500) to impose a levy at the earliest possible point in the harvesting or extraction processes for all natural resources. The Natural Resource Tax will be applied at the forest, quarry, mine or port of entry with the Natural Resources Department advising the Treasury on the levels at which it should be set. Resource Taxes will be levied at a zero or reduced rate on recycled materials and at a zero rate on re-used products. The effect of Resource Taxation will be to encourage not only sustainable production but also waste reduction, recycling and avoidance through re-use and repair. As a transitional step towards the full introduction of Resource Taxation, a zero VAT rating will be introduced for the use of recycled materials and re-used packaging.

NR 424 A Waste Avoidance and Recycling Act will include measures to:
i) allow minimum recycled contents to be statutorily imposed upon suitable products;
ii) to ban unnecessary disposable products and packaging, where their non-use would lead to a net reduction in environmental impact;
iii) to introduce specifications for the design of packaging to minimise waste and maximise recyclability;
iv) to impose a variable Recovery Charge on all packaging and short-life disposable products (such as newspapers), including on imported goods, with the revenue distributed to District Councils on a per-capita basis to finance waste recovery schemes (the Charge will be set at separate rates for different materials so as to enable the viability of their recovery to be equalised; for example, the Charge will be: much higher on plastic than on glass packaging);
v) to introduce mandatory deposits, refundable by retailers, to encourage the separate collection of toxic waste materials, such as batteries;
vi) to allow for the introduction of mandatory returnable deposits on drinks containers.

NR425 A Standards Commission will be established incorporating the British Standards Institute, the Design Council and the Patents Office, whose duties will be:
i) to exercise quality control on consumer products, setting minimum standards for safety and design, recyclability, durability, ease of repair and maximum energy efficiency in use;
ii) to determine rates for Recovery Charges on packaging and short-life disposable products (see NR 424 iv);
iii) to assess the maximum waste recovery levels achievable by District Councils (see NR 412);
iv) to investigate the feasibility of an amortisation tax applied to consumer goods which rises inversely with the length of useful life of the article;
v) to determine increased guarantees and spares availability periods required of manufacturers for all long-life products;
vi) to set statutory targets for minimum recycled contents for suitable products, such as newspapers, glass and metal containers and all paper and plastic packaging which does not come directly into contact with food (the content targets will be set at levels sufficient to ensure that the recovery targets required by NR412 can be achieved);
vii) to award quality labels to approved products meeting design, energy efficiency and minimum environmental standards;
viii) to assess the comparative advantages of different packaging systems and in particular, to determine whether the re-use or recycling of drinks containers should be preferred;
ix) to determine refundable deposit levels necessary or returnable items (see NR 424v & vi);
x) to ensure that the ownership of patent rights are not used to restrict the application of socially and environmentally useful inventions.

NR426 Regional offices of the Natural Resources Department will be responsible for issuing consents to abstract water for agricultural, domestic and industrial use. Consents will only be issued provided that avoidable or unacceptable environmental costs will not result and provided that the Best Available Technology is being used to minimise the pollution potential of subsequent discharges. Where granted, consents will be levied at rates which reflect as fully as possible any social and environmental costs which nevertheless may still result.

NR427 Substantial grants will be made available, via the Natural Resources Department, to universities, polytechnics and other research institutions for the investigation of waste recycling technology, renewable energy and other resource-saving strategies.

NR428 The Green Party is opposed to the private ownership of water, which will have severe environmental and social consequences, and to the implications for land ownership, particularly in upland areas. We believe that the water service should be run with the direct participation of the communities concerned. In the short term, this means a decentralised system of industrial democracy where the consumers of the service work with those who produce the service towards the following common ends:
i) the protection of the environment, e.g. the banning of all discharges to water (from point and diffuse sources) of any toxic or bio-accumulative substances,
ii) the provision of potable quality water for all individual consumers at a reasonable price,
iii) meeting standards laid down at national and EU level, the removal of Crown exemption, and public debate about all the scientific evidence of the levels necessary to safeguard the environment,
iv) freedom of information and the direct participation of people at local and regional levels,
v) an enforcement agency that is free of vested interests, adequately staffed and given the necessary punitive powers.
Such principles are incompatible with either a system of private ownership or traditional State ownership. (see also EU325, PL410-425)

International Policies
NR430 The import and export of waste would be prohibited, unless it is to be recycled.

NR431 Through the United Nations, or other international agencies, the Green Party calls for and supports programmes with the following aims:
i) in the short term, to establish an international code of conduct for transnational companies to minimise environmental damage and prevent harm to indigenous populations from resource extraction;
ii) in the longer term, to return control over resource extraction from transnational companies to local indigenous populations (the full and fair participation of indigenous and local communities must be of paramount importance in all decisions about natural resources production, extraction and profit);
iii) to establish agreements guaranteeing that tropical hardwoods and products are supplied and used on a sustainable basis;
iv) to prohibit further monopolisation and standardisation of crop seeds, to encourage greater use of local varieties and to maintain a rich genetic diversity and so prevent the higher risk of large scale crop failure associated with genetic homogeneity;
iv) to manage in a controlled manner the mineral resources of the seas, outside of territorial waters, for the common benefit of all the worlds peoples;
v) to enforce a moratorium on the prospecting and extraction of raw materials from international wilderness areas, such as Antarctica;
vi) to research the global availability of resources and identify sustainable patterns of resource-use.
(see also EC921, F200's)

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NORTHERN IRELAND - Passed Spring 1994

INTRODUCTION

NI100 The Green Party approaches the problems of Northern Ireland in partnership with our sister Green Parties in these islands: the Northern Ireland Green Party, Comhaontas Glas (the Green Party of the Republic of Ireland), and the Scottish Green Party. We are committed to a common approach.

NI101 We share the principles of the international Green movement, and base our policies for Northern Ireland on these: a) Just as the survival of life on the planet depends on the biodiversity of its ecology, so the survival of humankind depends on the rich diversity of ourselves, our cultures and communities. b) The separation of religion/[212] and state is an essential feature of a multicultural society. c) Political objectives should not be obtained, maintained or prevented by the use of force. d) The solution of Northern Ireland's problems lies not least in greater economic self-reliance. e) Government should take place at the lowest effective level, thereby empowering citizens. f) Power may be devolved from one level to another, but responsibility must be shared between them. g) The right to self-determination must be tempered by responsibilities to neighbours without and minorities within. h) In a Europe of the regions, sovereignty will be shared, and national and regional identities will be able to exist in the same territory. i) No constitutional settlement should ever be regarded as unchangeable. j) Within Northern Ireland there is no consensus for the current constitutional position, and every endeavour must be made to find a consensus. k) International co-operation should focus on human rights, conflict resolution and ecological protection. l) The international community has a responsibility to all lands beset by conflict. m) Any intervention should employ minimum force and maximum impartiality, and should use non-violent methods wherever feasible. n) Policies proposed for Northern Ireland should be applicable at least in outline to other lands beset by conflict.

NI102 There is no simple solution of the severe and deep-rooted problems of Northern Ireland and their consequences elsewhere in these islands. We advocate a twin-track approach which builds convergence on basic issues and encourages a constitutional solution, enabling the communities of Northern Ireland and their neighbours to live together in amity.

NI103 The solution of Northern Ireland's problems must lie with the people there, but responsibilities also exist outside the province, in particular of the governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Present and past governments have been guilty of neglecting the problems of Northern Ireland and their consequences. Consideration of those problems and their solution must be a priority.

REMOVING BARRIERS, PROMOTING PROGRESS

NI200 Green policies offer progress on a wide range of issues, from ecology to security to government, in Northern Ireland and the rest of these islands. Their application across communities and borders offers convergence on basic issues, removing barriers to a solution of the problems of Northern Ireland.

Common ecology

NI210 The Green Parties recognise the common interest of those living in Northern Ireland and the rest of these islands in their common ecology. Environmental problems such as pollution do not respect human-made borders. We promote ecological policies which can be applied irrespective of human borders to the benefit of all, and co-operation across borders to achieve those policies.

Own economy

NI220 The increasing concentration of economic power at a supranational level has weakened the ability of a region to develop its own economy. Northern Ireland needs help to build a strong, diverse and self-reliant economy, linked to neighbouring regional economies for mutual advantage.

NI221 The Green focus on the local economy encourages developments by local communities to meet their own needs. It encourages networks of such development to enable local communities to benefit from each others efforts, including appropriate cross-border trade and development.

NI222 We recognise the need to increase the economic opportunities available to all in Northern Ireland, and to ensure that they are available equally irrespective of creed. We would strengthen the implementation of fair employment legislation to: extend its application into all major areas of employment currently exempt, particularly in the public sector, increase the penalties for non-compliance, ensure that effective action is taken to achieve compliance, and give priority to areas of very high unemployment (see NI233).

Social policies

NI230 The Green Parties have a full range of social policies, which meet individual and community needs. Our Citizens' Income scheme would assure everyone of the basic resources needed to live, and thus allows greater freedom to undertake economic and other activities. It addresses the problems of unemployment.

NI231 Green policies for housing would provide an appropriate mix of dwellings for families/[213], single people, and different age groups, in a balanced variety of tenures and at reasonable cost. They promote the building and improvement of housing to high environmental standards. We are concerned to encourage integrated rather than segregated occupancy of housing estates.

NI232 Our policies for health emphasise preventive health care and local community health centres, linked to specialist facilities.

Areas of particular need

NI233 Areas of very high unemployment occupied by the different communities in Northern Ireland tend to suffer a variety of social and economic problems as well as high levels of sectarian violence. Such areas must be assisted with co-ordinated and comprehensive aid and reform involving empowerment over local services and housing, locally controlled development agencies, improved and accessible training programmes, urban regeneration and business start-up schemes. The achievement of fair employment is particularly important to such areas.

Integrated education

NI240 Segregated education in Northern Ireland is both a cause and a symptom of the sectarian conflict. Cross-community, integrated education with a multicultural approach is needed. Non-denominational schools have been successful in Ireland.

NI241 Green government will seek to ensure that integrated education becomes available locally throughout Northern Ireland. This objective will take a significant number of years to accomplish. Resources will be allocated and redistributed accordingly.

NI242 The initial emphasis will be on supporting local initiatives for integrated education, and on integration of new schools, colleges and resource centres. Integration will normally be a condition for public funding of new educational establishments and initiatives.

A Bill of Rights

NI250 The Green Parties seek Bills of Rights embodying the same basic human rights for all throughout these islands. We recognise the consequences of the lack of such legislation in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. We seek a Bill of Rights applied in full in Northern Ireland.

Confidence in justice

NI260 We seek a system of justice in Northern Ireland which defends human rights and has the confidence of all sections of society. Restitution to victims of crime, and rehabilitation of offenders, are more important than mere retribution.

NI261 The Green Parties work for the replacement of the present judicial system peculiar to Northern Ireland with one accepted in all parts of these islands as fair. It must include the end of courts with one judge as the sole arbiter and of extended arrest without trial, and provide common standards of local justice.

True security

NI270 Our priority is the security of ordinary citizens. True security lies not in defence, deterrence or pre-emptive attacks against threats; it lies in reducing those threats. Only thus can we end the norm of the gun.

NI271 Long term security for the people of Northern Ireland will not be achieved by high levels of security forces and to repressive legislation, such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Such excessive force generates political support for those attacking the security forces, and is self-defeating.

NI272 Green government would give priority to political measures. The deployment of security forces in Northern Ireland and Britain would be reduced progressively as circumstances allow; our aim is demilitarisation, with the troops withdrawn from active duty. Repressive legislation would be repealed, including the Prevention of Terrorism Acts and the Emergency

Provisions Act of 1973.

NI273 European and other international bodies, such as the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) and the United Nations, should be invited to survey the security arrangements in Northern Ireland and render assistance therein. This would involve legal, police, military and other personnel. The main aim would be to create a peace-keeping presence whose impartiality will be accepted by all sections of society in Northern Ireland, and which would replace the deployment of British troops.

NI274 We perceive the long term need of local community-based police who have the respect of the whole population and do not carry arms. The involvement of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in security roles incompatible with that must be reduced and then phased out. Policing methods and organisation should be reviewed to enhance the prospects of cross-community support. Common standards of policing must be laid down, and achieved in all areas.

Para-military organisations

NI280 The violence of para-military organisations is a threat to both communities in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in these islands. A lasting cease-fire is a vital part of a solution for Northern Ireland, and we support negotiations to achieve a cease-fire.

NI281 For the long term the violence of para-military organisations should be tackled by offering the communities which enable them to operate political, economic and social alternatives. This would reduce the support of such organisations in the community and their ability to be a threat. At the same time such organisations must be encouraged to use political means instead of violence, by facilitating their involvement in politics.

Appropriate self-government

NI290 The Green Parties seek a Europe of regions, each comprising local authorities of a size which promotes active involvement of citizens in the government of their local communities. This includes self-government for the nations and regions of these islands.

NI291 The democratic deficit in Northern Ireland is a significant obstacle to progress. Reshaping and rebuilding the political process must be a priority. We seek the involvement of local community and other organisations, not least to offer constructive alternatives to discredited traditional politicians. NI292 Rebuilding the political process requires transfers of responsibilities to current local authorities, to encourage positive involvement in them, and at the same time measures to ensure that authorities are prevented from discriminating against minority communities, to prevent abuse of those responsibilities. Local authorities guilty of discrimination should be liable to a range of penalties up to and including dissolution for a new election.

NI293 Green government would give self-government to the people of Northern Ireland, under a system which provides an effective regional government and local authorities under democratic control of all electors. The inadequacies of "majority rule" demand that elections at all levels be by proportional representation.

NI294 Self-government does not mean independence. The question of the relationships between a self-governing Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, Britain, and Europe, must be a matter for negotiation and agreement by all those involved. A greater emphasis on regional rather than central government in these islands will facilitate such arrangements.

NI296 The relationships need to cover the full range of issues. They need to provide not only for the communities in Northern Ireland, but also for those in neighbouring countries, including the Irish community in Britain.

CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

NI300 The constitutional conflict in Northern Ireland symbolises the divisions among its people. Long histories sustain those who seek to promote or resist the incorporation of Northern Ireland in the Republic of Ireland (the Republic) or its retention in the United Kingdom (the UK). Those views are validated for their holders by experience and fears on a whole range of issues - economic, social, cultural and political.

NI301 Our policies in NI200 onwards for those issues seek to create better conditions for a settlement of the constitutional issues, which in turn would facilitate wider progress. This long term and purposeful strategy offers the prospect of a lasting solution. Past governments short term reactions to events have conspicuously failed to achieve a settlement.

The role of governments

NI310 Governments should take initiatives to encourage progress towards a settlement, such as the Anglo-Irish agreement, and build progressively on them. They must consider whether progress can be improved by suspending existing constitutional positions or setting timetables for change.

NI311 In particular, the incompatibility of the claims in Articles 2 and 3 of the constitution of the Republic to the territory of Northern Ireland on one hand, and the assurances given by the government of the UK about the continued inclusion of Northern Ireland in the UK on the other, make a long term settlement more difficult. The Green Parties believe these conflicting claims should be replaced by a common UK and Republic guarantee in the interim, and a common undertaking to accept the result of the process set out in NI320-332.

NI312 Governments should seek to involve European organisations and countries in facilitating the international dimension of any proposed settlement.

Discussion and negotiation

NI320 The Green Parties seek a process of discussion and negotiation which encourages the involvement of local community and other organisations, not just politicians. Nonetheless we support all discussions between governments and political parties seeking a settlement. Attempts to block progress by intransigence or veto must be overcome. No group participating in discussions can be allowed to exclude any other.

NI321 The process must include the promotion of public debate on the issue, and the provision of accurate information through the media. Censorship of a political viewpoint is self-defeating, and can only encourage its expression through violence. Broadcasting bans imposed on particular organisations must be repealed, while maintaining laws against incitement to violence.

A Constitutional initiative

NI330 If there is no progress, an interim authority under the aegis of the Anglo-Irish agreement, the CSCE and the UN should be established for a transitional period. British troops would be gradually withdrawn from active duty, while policing and security would be provided as in NI270-274.

NI331 The interim authority would initiate a public inquiry into the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. The inquiry would be open to all political and non-political groups and individuals. It would investigate the ecological, social, economic, legal and political consequences of all reasonable options. It would consider the necessity of inherent safeguards for all sections of society, and the feasibility of measures by the governments of the UK and the Republic which could create better conditions for a settlement.

NI332 The inquiry would produce options for consideration. The interim authority would offer a set of feasible options to the people of Northern Ireland. Their choice would be made democratically, under a multi-option voting system which would promote consensus and the consideration of all views rather than a stark choice between the views of a majority and those of a minority. Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997

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PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS

PB 001 Statement of Core Principles

Life on Earth is under immense pressure. It is human activity, more than anything else, which is threatening the well-being of the environment on which we depend. Conventional politics has failed us because its values are fundamentally flawed.
The Green Party isn't just another political party. Green politics is a new and radical kind of politics guided by these core principles;
1. Humankind depends on the diversity of the natural world for its existence. We do not believe that other species are expendable.
2. The Earth's physical resources are finite. We threaten our future if we try to live beyond those means, so we must build a sustainable society that guarantees our long-term future.
3. Every person, in this and future generations, should be entitled to basic material security as of right.
4. Our actions should take account of the well-being of other nations, other species, and future generations. We should not pursue our well-being to the detriment of theirs.
5. A healthy society is based on voluntary co-operation between empowered individuals in a democratic society, free from discrimination whether based on race/[214], colour, gender/[215], sexual/[216] orientation/[217], religion/[218], social origin or any other prejudice/[219].
6. We emphasise democratic participation and accountability by ensuring that decisions are taken at the closest practical level to those affected by them.
7. We look for non-violent solutions to conflict situations, which take into account the interests of minorities and future generations in order to achieve lasting settlements.
8. The success of a society cannot be measured by narrow economic indicators, but should take account of factors affecting the quality of life for all people: personal freedom, social equity, health, happiness and human fulfilment.
9. Electoral politics is not the only way to achieve change in society, and we will use a variety of methods to help affect change, providing those methods do not conflict with our other core principles.
10. The Green Party puts changes in both values and lifestyles at the heart of the radical green agenda.

Green Politics

PB101. "Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

PB102. Like all creatures, humankind depends upon a healthy natural environment for its survival. Yet it is human activity, more than anything else, which is threatening the environment and, ultimately, threatening the future of life on Earth as we currently know it.

PB103. Conventional political and economic policies are destroying the very foundations of the wellbeing of humans and other animals. Our culture is in the grip of a value system and a way of understanding the world which is fundamentally flawed.

PB104. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, society has expected continual increases in material affluence for the people of the world, and has therefore relentlessly pursued the goal of economic growth. Some nations, such as our own, have indeed become very rich and yet within them there is still abject poverty. Meanwhile, the poor nations of the world are becoming poorer as wealth continues to be transferred to the rich nations from the poor ones.

PB105. We cannot go on indefinitely exploiting and wasting the natural resources of a finite world. If humans continue to promote policies which require the unlimited consumption of raw materials, it will lead not to more riches, even for the few, but poverty for all.

PB106 The pursuit of economic growth as a force driving over-exploitation of the Earth must cease to be an automatic aim of human societies. We should instead aim to develop sustainable economies, which improve well-being focused on human values rather than consumerism. Traditional measures of economic activity, such as GDP, should be replaced by new indicators that measure progress towards this aim.

PB107 Traditional politics divides humans from nature and the individual from society. The rejection of this way of seeing the world is fundamental to Green philosophy. Rather than set them against each other, the Green Party seeks healthy interdependence of individual, nature and society.

PB108 As human beings, we all have the potential to live co-operatively and harmoniously with each other, and with reverence and respect for the complex web of life of which we are a part. Yet it has become increasingly obvious that this potential cannot be realised while basic human needs remain largely unmet.

PB109 By basic needs we mean not only the physiological needs of food, water, air, shelter and sleep, but also psychological needs. These include the need for love, respect, autonomy, security, and meaningful activity within our communities.

PB110 The fact that many people's basic needs are not met has far reaching consequences. This is expressed as anxiety, insecurity, and aggressive behaviour towards others, and exploitation of their environment. These personal factors give rise to and are then perpetuated by, social institutions which actively encourage oppression, pollution, resource depletion, poverty and military conflict.

PB111 The Green Party therefore places both personal and political change at the heart of its response to the ecological crisis and is committed to creating a society in which individuals, through their ability to satisfy their basic needs more fully, are then able better to contribute to future sustainability. This principle is reflected in the radical Green agenda both for changes in values and lifestyles, and for reformed social, economic and political structures.

PB112 The Green Party values the diversity of ways in which people relate to each other and the natural environment. It seeks a balance between a number of different processes which contribute to human well-being, rather than stressing one at the expense of all others. It refuses to treat any single value, whether freedom, wealth or equality, as a supreme criterion of political success. In an ecological society a wide range of lifestyle choices will be promoted as individuals and communities seek to establish the most appropriate means of implementing sustainability.

PB 200 Humans in the Environment

PB201 The human species is a latecomer to the biosphere. Our survival depends upon the continued survival of all the ecosystems which evolved before us. The Green Party therefore sees humanity as necessarily a dependent part of the natural environment. When human activity threatens the environment around us, that activity threatens our future survival. Political objectives should accept our dependence, not seek to transgress it. We do not believe that any other species is expendable.

PB202 Conventional politics has established human domination of the exploitable environment as the basis of human power and the basis for hierarchies of wealth. Conventional politics ignores the environment's complexity and full potential value. The Green Party promotes policies which respect it, based on the following key principles:

PB203 Ecological Politics Each organism is dependent on other species and on the physical world for its survival. Whereas human value judgements normally focus on human needs, value ultimately lies in the well-being of the whole ecosystem. Western society has seen nature as valuable only in so far as it is useful to humans. Where human "development" has irreparably damaged the ecosystem, species have been driven to extinction, and the land is as useless for human purposes as it is for other species.

PB204 Interdependence The Green Party recognises that humankind depends on its environment for its welfare, and conversely that human activities have a critical impact on environmental processes, with serious implications for the welfare and survival of other species. Therefore the proper relationship between humanity and its environment should be one of interdependence within it, not control over it. Like all forms of life, we take from others and give back in return. We should ensure that human activities contribute to, rather than destroy, the richness of life.

PB205 Diversity The diversity of species living on this planet is a manifestation of its ecological complexity. This diversity sustains and strengthens all ecosystems so that they are able to withstand shocks to their functioning, such as earthquake or disease. The Green Party recognises the limits of humanity's powers to observe and understand natural processes and therefore recognises the necessity for protecting biodiversity for its own sake. The maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity is demonstrably beneficial to all life on earth, not just humans.

PB206 Sustainability The central integrating principle underlying all Green Party policies is that all human activities must be indefinitely sustainable. They must neither use resources faster than they can be replaced, nor create effects or products which cannot be assimilated indefinitely by the environment. It is no longer valid to follow conventional short-term political planning practices. The long-term consequences of any activity must always be considered and ideally any planned action must either be in a form that can be continued indefinitely or will lead to a situation which can be indefinitely sustained.

PB 300 Humans in Society

PB301 Implementing the policies which will create an ecological society will necessarily take many years. It will require a great deal of social change if we are to accommodate the massive environmental changes facing us. We can, nevertheless, identify a number of principles upon which a truly sustainable society will be based.

PB302 Democracy A healthy society is based on voluntary co-operation between equal individuals in a democratic society. Those decisions that establish a secure basis for such co-operation need to be taken by society as a whole through the democratic processes, but other issues should be left to individuals and communities to decide for themselves. An ecological society will be made up of self-governing communities of a variety of sizes which will regulate their own social and economic activities. Nothing should be decided at a higher level if it can be decided at a lower one. But the Green Party accepts that regional and national governments will continue to have an important role.

PB303 Equality. The legitimate interests of all people are of equal value. The Green Party rejects all forms of discrimination whether based on race/[220], colour, sex/[221], religion/[222], national origin, social origin or any other prejudice/[223]. We accept the need for social institutions to protect the interests of the powerless against the powerful.

PB304 Human Rights The fundamental, inalienable rights of each individual in a democratic society must be set out in a written constitution. The Green Party promotes the implementation of policies which protect human rights and rejects all forms of exploitation for any purpose whatsoever. Individual human rights include the freedom to combine with others in common endeavours in representative institutions such as trade unions and community groups. The Green Party believes that human rights can only ultimately be protected by the watchful activity of such organisations within society.

PB305 Rights of Future Generations The suffering of future generations as a result of global warming caused by current generations makes it crucial that their rights are recognised and championed by organisations within society today.

PB306 Minorities Majority rule is insufficient as the basis for resolving conflicts. The Green Party promotes non-violent solutions to conflict situations. The interests of the minority and of future generations must be included in non-violent processes of conflict resolution in order to achieve lasting settlements.

PB307 Internationalism It is the proper role of government to be concerned with the well-being of its citizens, but this should not be pursued to the detriment of other nations or future generations.

PB308 Basic Material Security for All. Society should guarantee access to basic material security for all and should provide a wide range of opportunities for personal fulfilment in both a material and non-material sense. If hardship is even a possibility, a sense of insecurity will prevent individuals from acting in accordance with ecological constraints. A guarantee of security will not ensure voluntary ecological behaviour, but it is a necessary precondition.

PB 400 Characteristics of a Sustainable Society

Freedom

PB401 The Green Party affirms the importance of individual freedom and self expression. We believe people should be free to make their own decisions on matters which do not adversely affect others. Its importance lies in valuing the opportunity people have to make their own decisions, accept responsibility for them and develop in their own way.

PB402 Our commitment to freedom necessarily requires certain restrictions. Firstly, wealth and power are often used to curtail the freedoms of the poor and powerless. The protection of legitimate freedom therefore requires restrictions on oppressive activities.

PB403 Secondly, individual freedom should not be exercised where that freedom depends on the exploitation or harm to any person or group in society, or to the environment. Where the exercise of such freedoms harms others the Green Party believes it is legitimate that those rights should be curtailed.

PB404 Thirdly, individual freedom includes the freedom to combine with others in common endeavours in such a way that decision-making powers are delegated to representative institutions such as trade unions, community groups and governments.

Wealth

PB410 The Green Party recognises that our wealth must be more broadly defined than simply including payment of money. We benefit as a nation from the wealth of natural resources around us such as clean air, rainfall, energy from the sun and the planet's biodiversity. Our society also depends upon the unpaid work provided by carers and volunteers.

PB411 We reject the view that wealth can be measured solely in monetary units, a view which allows its adherents to think it consists primarily of the results of human labour. This error has caused successive governments to pursue objectives which appear to increase the nation's wealth while in fact they reduce it. Symbols of wealth, like money, reinforce the error and dominate political decision making. Economic growth is a poor guide to human welfare.

PB412 New economic ideas, institutions and organisations are needed to reduce our dependence on such symbols. Economic policy should be directed not to maximising the forms of wealth that can be measured in monetary terms, but to ensuring that the needs of all are met.

PB413 A sustainable society can be prosperous, but it cannot have continually rising affluence. We accept that there is a limit to the wealth each person can receive, and this is true no matter how much or how little work needs to be done to produce that wealth. Some redistribution of income will be required. What wealth there is must be shared in such a way that everyone has a guarantee of economic security, otherwise people will not heed ecological restraints in their daily lives.

Conservation

PB420 Under the present system, economic growth is supported by unlimited consumption of both renewable and non-renewable resources. However, on a finite world there is not an infinite supply of natural resources. The Green Party recognises limits to growth. Limits to growth are likely to be imposed primarily by resource depletion and the ever-increasing costs of pollution. Furthermore, land also is in limited supply. An expanding world population demands expanding food supplies. Irresponsible land use planning, degradation of land through human activity and changes in land quality and availability due to climate change, mean that land must be managed in such a way as to ensure sustainable human development and safeguard biodiversity'

PB421 Conservation of land and natural resources will be very important in order to protect the natural environment from pollution and degradation. The Green Party believes that technologies which promote reuse and recycling of materials and products should be given priority over the production of goods from newly generated resources. We believe our towns and cities should be structured in such a way as to maximise resource conservation.

Progress and Technology

PB430 We value the processes of researching and developing new technologies. However, they not should be considered self-evidently desirable, nor should lifestyles based on more complex technologies be considered necessarily superior to lifestyles based on simpler ones. All too often the expression 'You can't stop progress' is used to express despair, and aptly describes a society which knows it is regressing but has not found the means to stop.

PB431 Technology, like other aspects of human culture, needs to be used selectively and within limits. The path of technological development is not a given, but a choice made by society. We should choose to develop technologies that are inherently beneficial to the common good.

Empowerment

PB440 Power is simply our ability to be effective, but it takes different forms. 'Power over' is dysfunctional, succeeds only at the expense of others and should be limited and contained. 'Power to', or empowerment is our potential to co-operate and take control over our own lives. Organisations which have based themselves on empowerment have found that they are as successful, if not more, at achieving their aims, and have delivered considerable social and environmental benefits.

PB441 However, 'power over' remains the dominant force in our hierarchical, competitive society. We have to engage with it, but we do so only in order to transform it. This requires changes in law, culture and economics.

PB442 The Green Party does not believe there is an automatic moral obligation on all people to obey their governments. It seeks to maximise the extent to which obedience to laws is based on consent and minimise the need for conformity through deterrence. We believe there are occasions when individuals and groups in society may openly, and peacefully, protest at an unjust law or practice through civil disobedience.

PB443 We seek a society in which people are empowered and involved in making the decisions which affect them. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers, and, instead advocate participatory politics. For this reason the Green Party itself does not have an individual leader.

Property

PB450 The Green Party believes that, since human well-being depends on the use of land and its physical resources, property laws should be designed to ensure that all have access to the things they need. All those who have a stake in property should have a real say in how it is managed. Common goods need to be accountably managed by the community that depends on them.

PB451 Property laws should permit neither states nor individuals to treat their property in whatever way the choose. Instead they should aim to ensure that all people, where they wish it, have their needs met through access to the land and its resources, while maintaining its quality for future generations. Property laws should therefore impose duties on owners as well as granting rights.

Work

PB460 The Green Party recognises that work plays a central part in a healthy and balanced life. People have a natural desire to make a contribution to the common good.

PB461 We therefore oppose the view of work which treats it as an unfortunate necessity to be performed by machines whenever possible and we oppose the reduction of people's working lives to a series of simple, repetitive activities. Labour-saving devices may be valuable in some circumstances, but not all. We believe that access to creative, rewarding work is a fundamental human right. We also oppose the view that hard work is to be praised for its own sake. A healthy life is a balanced one, including time for both work and leisure.

PB462 The quality of work is as important as the quantity. As working practices adapt to new technologies, there is an increasing divide between the work that needs to be done and the paid employment which provides incomes. The Green Party believes that employment policies should aim to match the work which needs to be done with the abilities of people.

PB 500 Strategy

PB501 We do not believe that there is only one way to change society, or that we have all the answers. We seek to be part of a wider green movement that works for these principles through a variety of means. We generally support those who use reasonable and non-violent forms of direct action to further just aims.

PB502 Our beliefs/[224] will bring us into conflict with those committed to material affluence, the accumulation of power and the unsustainable exploitation of the Earth. We are always ready to negotiate with those who oppose us, and seek fair settlements that respect their needs for security, self esteem and freedom of choice.

PB503 We will even work with those who disagree with us where sufficient common ground can be found to do so. However, we do not seek power at any price, and will withdraw our support if we are asked to make irreversible or fundamental compromises. (Spring 2000)

Back to Index

Green Party Amended Spring 2000, Autumn 2003, Spring 2004

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I Background and Principles

Background

PD100 The nature of conflict in the twenty-first century is highly complex, involving state and non-state participants at every level. Much international conflict today arises directly or indirectly from the abuse of power by rich Northern nations.

PD101 Raging local conflicts have risen up the international agenda and attempts to address the conflict between peoples have varied in efficacy and moral justification. Particularly, there has been a predominance of peace-enforcement over conflict prevention in terms of priority and expenditure by developed nations, including our own.

PD102 The United Kingdom has not been under significant threat of armed invasion since 1941 and such an event is unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future.

General Principles

Common Security - Building a Culture of Trust

PD200 The citizens and communities within a green society will create for themselves rewarding work, adequate housing, material security, appropriate education, accessible and sensitive public services, a secure present and hope for the future, all within the framework of a sustainable, ecologically benign economy. The world we build for our children will not depend on exploitative economic relationships or on new roles for outdated security alliances, but on the acceptance of our global interdependence. The present environmental destruction threatens our common survival; we have no choice but to build common and co-operative responses.

PD201 Warfare in the context of present offensive weapon systems, nuclear or non-nuclear, is so dangerous that it can not be regarded as a sane instrument of policy. Common security measures seek to build trust and co-operation, to prevent destructive conflict, to build a just local and global society based upon fairness. In a Common Security framework potential adversaries co-operate to enhance each other's security and well being, rather than competing for military advantage in a spiralling arms race/[225]. An important element of common security is the progressive reduction and eventual abolition by treaty of all offensive weaponry.

PD202 "Defence" is the protection of homeland against attack and does not justify pre-emptive strikes against nations and organisations. Military intervention for peacekeeping or conflict prevention cannot be justified unilaterally. It is irrational and immoral to continue activities that exacerbate threats to international and local security.

Effectiveness

PD203 The first objective of all government policy must be to provide real, sustainable security effectively. Real security cannot be based upon a balance of nuclear terror, nor upon a global domination by a group of states operating largely from self-interest. Societies and their governments must instead address the real threats facing us, by engaging in ecological and socially sustainable practices, eradicating poverty, and by building trust between peoples.

Minimum Military Preparations; Proportionality

PD204 The defence budget needs to be adequate to ensure security, but no more so. Military preparations are a drain on our resources, as well as being the source of threat. Even peacetime military activities can have major impacts on communities, on the environment, and on a healthy democracy. All military capabilities and exercises should have specific military objectives built on real and credible threat scenarios. They should be proportional to the threat, sufficient to respond adequately, but not disproportionate.

PD205 Nuclear weapons are political weapons of terror, and are disproportionate to any threat. Further, since there is a finite possibility that the policy of nuclear deterrence will fail, and the ecological and social consequences of such a failure would be catastrophic, the deterrence system must be abandoned. The Green Party is committed to pursuing immediate and unconditional nuclear disarmament.

Minimum Intervention

PD206 Military intervention in disputes by external powers rarely solves the problem, and more often reinforces animosities. Emphasis at all times must be on forms of peaceful assistance to local and international organisations working to resolve conflict, to protect local culture and sustainable practices, to engage in genuine mediation and the building of strong democratic institutions, and to build links between the people within conflicting communities.

PD207 In those desperate situations when this becomes impossible and some form of military intervention involving UK forces is necessary in the immediate term to prevent conflict or extreme and sustained oppression, it must be under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) or within Europe under the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Legitimacy & Consistency with International Law

PD208 Any defence policy must be consistent with the values of the society it seeks to protect, or else it undermines those very values. A Green defence policy will be democratic, accountable, sustainable, and life-affirming. We are totally opposed to policies based on mass-killing or threatened mass-killing. It is contradictory to seek to defend a Green society by such means and such policies cannot form a valid and stable basis for a peaceful world. Any defence policy must be consistent with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

Public accountability and active citizen participation

PD209 Defence decisions by a Green government will only be made after proper public debate based on the provision of the fullest possible information. Defence budgets must be published in such a way that the public can learn the costs of individual weapon systems at an early stage. No agreement or alliances with other nations should be entered into without prior parliamentary consent.

II Short-medium term policies

UK Defence Policy

Peace building

PD300 The policies espoused in the rest of this Manifesto are all intended to build a culture of trust among peoples, as well as the primary goals they proclaim. In particular, International (IP) and European (EU) policy is intended to create a world where regions collaborate where necessary and interact peaceably.

PD301 We would promote town twinning, exchange visits, pen friend schemes and Internet-based methods for learning about other countries and cultures by direct contact. One of the main purposes of embassies would be to learn about culture and current affairs of their host countries by immersion in a wide variety of local activities. The UN should provide significant support for building effective law and order systems that are not affected by corruption, and for support of free and democratic elections.

Defence

PD302 On inspection, there is little or no threat of direct invasion of the UK by any nation. Commitment to a large standing army, a navy of large warships around our coastline, squadrons of fighter planes and a cripplingly expensive missile defence system is therefore unnecessary. Any threat of invasion that might arise in the future is so remote that realignment of the UK military and defence preparations would be possible long before any invasion occurred.

PD303 Similarly, the unhelpful and aggressive concept of nuclear deterrence (with the inherent dangers of handling concentrated radioactive substances) is also redundant. As such, immediate nuclear disarmament would be a priority of a Green Government.

PD304 The role for military personnel in defending sensitive establishments would also be reduced by the fact that they would be severely reduced in number. At present the military has a sizeable commitment to defending itself, particularly facilities related to nuclear weaponry.

PD305 A residual role for military personnel would exist in detection and apprehension of criminals attempting to by-pass customs and immigration. Green Party policy on drugs and migration, along with its contribution to a more equitable world society, would diminish this role too. Other duties would include policing fishing quotas, piracy and oceanic environmental regulations.

Democratic control

PD306 Military action must have the mandate of the UK Parliament. To support effective military action, this need be no more than an outline of the campaign but necessary speed of response is no excuse when Parliament can be called at a day's notice.

PD307 We will therefore include in our Freedom of Information legislation, clauses to cover the provision of defence information, including a definition of what constitutes a threat to national security. We will also insist on the publication of the annual Defence Estimates in a more informative and detailed manner. Outside times of conflict, all military decisions and expenditure will be available for scrutiny by Parliament and the public.

Person power

PD308 We would reform the Territorial Army to become a body of both civilian and military volunteers, willing to contribute their services in times of domestic and international crisis. As such doctors, nurses, civil engineers, heavy plant drivers and administrators (for example) would be encouraged to make themselves available for reserve work. International volunteer work would be co-ordinated in Europe by the OSCE and further afield by the relevant body of the UN. The military component of the TA would become a larger proportion of the army's overall numbers. This is in line with the aim of having a non-aggressive stance while retaining the ability to scale up the army's strength if necessary. It would also root the army's values more effectively within the values of the wider society it is tasked to protect.

PD309 Non-conscripted soldiers (and military sailors and air-crew) will still be required for permanent defence duties and participation in international peace-enforcement. The minimum age of recruitment to the Armed Forces will be 18 or older. All members of the Armed Forces will be entitled to the same rights as any civilian employee, including the rights to refuse orders on grounds of conscience and trade union membership. The responsibility and complexity of the military role envisaged by us will require a higher level of training than offered at present.

PD310 Expertise in the UK military in disaster support will continue to be offered for UN operations and harnessed in the training of civilian volunteers. We will aim to put a standing body of unarmed units, under the aegis of the UN, ready to respond to civil disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.

Conversion of military industry

PD311 The Green Party is committed to the early conversion of economic, scientific and technological resources presently used to support the arms race/[226], to socially useful and productive ends. Some military training areas should be decommissioned and used as nature reserves, with suitable provision for access by the public.

PD312 An imaginative programme of arms conversion could use many of the skills and resources at present tied up in military industry, to create new jobs and produce socially useful products. Conversion would also free research and development expertise and capital. New renewable energy industries, for instance, could be set up in the same area and use the same skills and resources as the existing arms industries e.g. wave power (shipbuilding), wind power (aerospace) and tidal power (power engineering).

Weapons of mass destruction and indiscriminate action

PD400 Weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons (see PD406- PD410) and biological weapons (see PD411- PD412) must be dismantled and banned by international agreement.

PD401 Mines (devices designed to be triggered by human activity, whether individuals, groups or vehicles), cluster-bombs and "booby-trap" devices cannot be used effectively without significant risk of death or injury to the civilian population, either during or after a period of conflict, and must therefore be banned international agreement.

PD402 In the absence of effective international agreements on the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and indiscriminate action, a Green Government would unilaterally dismantle and dispose of its stocks, while continuing to campaign for others to follow suit.

PD403 Deterrence is a self-sustaining policy that will only lead to escalating military expenditure. Deterrence with weapons of mass destruction relies on an unconscionable threat.

PD404 What underpins the law of armed conflict, is a prohibition against any form of indiscriminate attack. Nuclear deterrence however, is based on a commitment, at some levels of escalation, to destroy 'enemy' towns and cities. International lawyers state that the use of these weapons would be a breach of international law, as embodied in the Geneva and other conventions. The General Assembly of the United Nations also declared (in 1961) that the use of nuclear weapons is contrary to international law and the laws of humanity.

PD405 Threats to commit the crime of mass murder is itself a criminal act - thus threats to use weapons of mass destruction are a crime.

Nuclear weapons

PD406 The United Kingdom has many nuclear weapons and acts as the host for many more US nuclear weapons. We cannot condemn and attack countries for wishing to obtain weapons of mass destruction as long as we still possess them.

PD407 The Green Party rejects any reliance on nuclear weapons. This rejection means that we will decommission UK's own nuclear weapons and insist on the removal of US nuclear bases. No further research will take place into nuclear weapons and the export of nuclear technology will be stopped. Ships carrying nuclear weapons will be banned from British ports.

PD408 We will mount an international information campaign explaining our non-nuclear policy. We will work for the worldwide cessation of nuclear weapons testing, development and deployment using new and existing international treaties.

PD409 US research programmes into "National Missile Defense" (NMD, or Star Wars I and II) have been an unmitigated failure. Even if the technological objectives of meeting intercontinental ballistic missiles with other missiles could be achieved, the expense and risk of continuing the arms race/[227] in this way would still make the programme unsupportable. Besides, NMD contravenes the 1992 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. We will not allow UK facilities to be used for any attempted implementation of NMD.

PD410 Some form of independent reassurance that these disarmament measures have been carried out is essential. We will reclassify the UK as a non-nuclear state under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and open the country to the appropriate international inspection agencies.. Chemical, neurological and biological weapons

PD411 Biological weapons have been banned, but stockpiling and research on chemical weapons continues. We will end all research into these weapons and work for the early completion of a Chemical Weapons' Treaty. Existing reservations concerning the 1925 Geneva protocol will be renounced.

PD412 We will provide financial support for the urgent decommissioning of chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union.

Environmental warfare

PD413 The relationship between armed conflict and the environment involves many different domains: from environmental modification as a deliberate objective in war, to the environmental consequences of particular weapon systems. The Green Party unequivocally renounces these means of waging war. We will support (and seek to strengthen) all international conventions on the issue. The horrendous damage that conflict can wreak on the environment is a strong driver toward more effective peace building (PD 300-301). The use of nuclear weapons and weaponry hardened with depleted uranium (DU) creates radioactive pollution with unacceptable long-term effects.

The Arms Trade

PD414 An acceptance of military means of defence and peace-enforcement requires an acceptance of the existence of arms manufacture. Hence, although weapons of mass destruction will not be made under a Green Government, moderate quantities of conventional weapons and vehicles will. A green Government will have less commitment to protecting either the UK or the EU arms manufacturing industries.

PD415 Sales of military equipment to other countries will be tightly controlled by a stricter licensing system involving the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, Department for International Development, and Customs and Excise. Equipment exported will be of a defensive nature only, or strictly and verifiably for use in international campaigns sanctioned by the UN or its regional organisation. Such a licensing system will take proper account of social sustainability criteria, human rights and regional stability issues. There will be a presumption against supply unless an export fulfils all criteria.

PD416 We will end all subsidies to arms exports, close DESO (Defence Export Services Organisation) and the Export Credit Guarantee Department, and disband service units that presently demonstrate British defence equipment. British military training overseas will be focused on sustainability and democracy issues, seeking to spread the model of a democratically controlled minimal security sector.

PD417 We will promote assertively the control and reduction of arms transfers. We will press for the extension of the UN Register of Arms Transfers to include production and stocks, and to extend significantly the number of categories in the interests of greater transparency. We will advocate the setting up of an inspectorate associated with the Register that is independent of the major powers.

Terrorism

PD418 Terrorism is an extremely loaded term, frequently used by those in power to justify excessive use of force or the weakening of controls on the exercise of their power. Sometimes governments justify their own terrorist acts by labelling any groups that resist their monopoly of violence "terrorist". A Green government, by implementing principles laid out elsewhere in this manifesto, particularly those of self-determination and non-interventionist foreign policies, would seek to overcome the unjust divisions within our global and domestic society and address the desperate motivations that lie behind many atrocities labelled "terrorist".

PD419 However, democratic societies need to protect themselves against those who seek to use terror and violence against them and to have plans in place that mitigate against the effects of attack. In a complex, modern society, it will be a long time before we can entirely eradicate the root causes of "terrorism". Any measures to protect society should not undermine the fundamental values that shape a green society: inclusion, justice and equality.

PD420 Police and intelligence investigations of terrorist activity need to be well resourced, and given sufficient freedom to ensure their safety and efficacy. They must, though, be carried out in a transparent and accountable way, and remain within the law.

PD421 Those accused or found guilty of atrocities, or planning to commit, aid or abet in their execution, should be dealt with under the same principles as those accused of more conventional criminal activities. In particular, those accused of supporting terrorist acts should have normal rights against arbitrary arrest or imprisonment. It should not be a crime simply to belong to an organisation or have sympathy with its aims, though it should be a crime to aid and abet criminal acts or deliberately fund such acts.

PD422 We support the inclusion of crimes of terrorism in the mandate of the International Criminal Court and, in the meantime, the use of ad hoc courts under UN auspices, on neutral territory but under the law of the country in which the crime was committed.

PD423 The contribution of particular activities (such as air travel and nuclear power) to the general risk to society of massive attack should be adequately factored into public choice about their funding and future.

Shared Intelligence

PD424 Military intelligence plays a crucial role in building rational, informed decisions over the use and preparations of military resources. However, not only can it undermine many of the values of a society (see legitimacy) when exercised unchecked, but it can build up a culture of suspicion and conflict; the Cold War was built upon a war of espionage. A Green government would rely upon intelligence mainly gathered openly from a wide range of sources. We would have a more extensive network of independent contacts in regular communication across the world, engaged in other genuine economic activities, passively picking up political, social and military information by their very presence within a society. Military intelligence would be under similar democratic constraints to other activities.

International Organisations and Treaties

The European Union

PD500 We view the European Union (EU) as the civilian organisation to which matters that cannot be dealt with more locally should be brought (see EU120ff). Our vision of the EU is not that of a global power bloc or broker. However, maintenance of peaceful external relations is a common concern of the countries of Europe and any outward facing EU policy is de-facto foreign policy.

PD501 It is deeply regrettable that the EU has taken the first steps towards militarisation, by the formation of the so-called Rapid Reaction Force. Our primary aim is to reverse this process. In doing so, we anticipate the reduction of tensions between the EU, its neighbours and other countries and the ability to strive, once again, for transparency and democracy within the EU.

PD502 We would opt out of any militarised aspects of the EU, including the Rapid Reaction Force and we will back every attempt to ensure democratic control over the Rapid Reaction Force and any other military elements.

PD503 We oppose the existence of the Western European Union (WEU) and support its abolition. See EU620 and EU622.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations

PD504 The OSCE is inclusive of all European countries. It uses consensus decision-making and is not dominated by the larger countries. It refrains from unwanted interference in the internal affairs of member countries. It works in co-operation with Non Governmental Organisations.

PD505 We welcome the OSCE's broader view of the concept of common security, which in many ways is similar to the Green concept. The aim of the OSCE is to prevent and solve conflicts, both in the short and the long run, by addressing the underlying causes (such as human rights abuses, economic inequalities, and ethnic/[228] tensions).

PD506 The use of consensus decision making in the OSCE means that action takes time to agree and compromises have to be made, but the decisions made have strong support. We also support the OSCE's emphasis on arms control and disarmament and the provision of mutual rights of inspection into other countries' security affairs, demonstrating the value of openness and transparency in building mutual confidence.

PD507 The Green Party recognises the need to develop the OSCE to render it more effective in achieving the implementation of the Helsinki Accords. However, this must not be at the expense of the characteristics above, which attract our support.

PD509 We recognise the OSCE's role as a regional organisation of the United Nations (UN). Inter-regional peace building and war prevention must have the mandate of the UN. This requirement over-rides any perceived relationship with Commonwealth countries.

The United Nations

PD510 The United Nations is based on the principle of national sovereignty. While recognising that the old concept of sovereignty and the nation state has its limits and problems, erosion of this principle, however, carries the danger of legitimising international intervention, which is neither invited nor strictly defensive. Any erosion of national sovereignty within the UN Charter must therefore be on very limited and closely controlled criteria such as the prevention of genocide.

PD511 The current structure of the UN Security Council, with permanent seats for France, the UK, the US, Russia and China, is undemocratic and unworkable due to the right of veto. All permanent seats on the UN Security Council should be abolished, all nations should take a seat in turn, continents should be represented in proportion to their populations, and decisions should be made by a 2/3 majority. In the absence of this reform, we would accept a mandate given by a 2/3 majority of the General Assembly and by the relevant regional organisation of the UN.

PD512 Because of previous involvement in UN peacekeeping operations, Britain is well placed to assist in an international training programme on behalf of the UN, as well as to supply personnel and equipment. In Commonwealth countries, the UK's knowledge and contacts can be particularly useful.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

PD513 The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a military-oriented body, which imposes conflict cessation rather than encouraging peace building. As such, it is not a sustainable mechanism for maintaining peace in the world. We would take the UK out of NATO unilaterally. We would also end the so-called "special relationship" between the UK and the US.

Conclusions

PD514 The Green Party sees the OSCE as the most suitable existing forum for developing peace across Europe.

PD515 We believe that increased effectiveness and development of the OSCE require a transfer of resources to it from other security institutions such as NATO and the WEU.

(Autumn 2002) Back to Index
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POLLUTION

Background
PL100 Uncontrolled economic growth and the increasing human population have led to a massive exploitation of natural resources and are reducing the quality of life on Earth. We have polluted the air, the land, the lakes, rivers and oceans. More importantly, we are destroying the natural restorative systems on which life depends for survival.

PL101 Exploitation of resources, energy demand and the pollution that results have greatly reduced the amount and quality of natural communities of plants and animals throughout the World. They have also led to a process of atmospheric warming which now poses a threat of climate change so widespread and rapid that natural systems stand little chance of adaptive evolution. The disastrous changes put in train by humankind since the industrial revolution threaten the future of civilisation and the future of a majority of species on Earth. (see Climate Change Section, CC1ff ***)

PL102 Pollution is not coincidental to economic activity, but is presently an integral part of it. Frequently it is caused by the activities of one group of people, while its costs and impacts are borne by others and by the biosphere. Economic growth will not stop the greenhouse effect. Increasing population pressure will not generate more land for sustainable food production. Changes of lifestyle and of government in line with the principles of the Green Party are essential to ensure a viable future and an end to pollution.

PL103 Pollution has to be stopped at source. Economic growth has to be limited and the health and safety of the planet must become the main criteria in political and social development. By adopting these Green Party principles, natural diversity can be maintained and the quality of life can be improved for all species on the planet.

Principles
PL200 Development and Maintenance of Sustainable Systems a) Pollution reduces our ability to manage resources and natural systems in a sustainable and ecological way. b) Pollution damages natural restorative systems.

PL201 Resource Conservation a) The efficient use of resources, the recycling of materials and the establishment of binding timetables to reduce the use of toxic chemicals and the production of waste, wherever it is feasible to do so, will minimise environmental pollution and reduce absolute cost.

PL202 Global Rights a) Environmental pollution reduces the range of choice for future generations. b) Environmental pollution directly damages health and reduces potential lifespan. c) Environmental pollution directly and indirectly damages natural communities of plants and animals. d) Environmental pollution transgresses national boundaries both in space and through time. It is a global responsibility for all countries to accept full economic and environmental responsibility for their own pollution.

Objectives
PL300 To negotiate effective international and national agreements for pollution control and minimisation, and to ensure their implementation at local levels through industry, agriculture and society at large.

PL301 To continuously monitor the environment using agreed protocols to ensure comparability of data and to ensure the effective transmission of all relevant data on pollution between states through international agencies such as the United Nations.

PL302 To require industries to systematically audit and publish their use of toxic chemicals, and to establish binding timetables to reduce such use.

PL303 To guarantee the public's right to know about chemical usage and emissions.

PL304 To determine socially and environmentally acceptable levels for pollutants based on both chronic and interactive effects. Environmental and health considerations will be given precedence over economic factors in the determination of such levels.

PL305 To guarantee the public's right to know about the health and environmental aspects of pollution and to actively promote environmental education.

BPL306 To introduce environmental impact and improvement analysis into all public planning decisions, and to ensure free public access to the evidence used in both the analysis and in the final assessment.

Policy

International

PL400 In principle, the import of toxic, hazardous or radioactive waste into the UK for treatment, reprocessing or disposal will be banned immediately. However, support will be provided for those less-developed countries which continue to have difficulty in dealing with such waste.

PL401 The import of products derived from hazardous industries and processes will be resisted by selective taxes and prohibitions.

National

PL410 A national Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) will be set up to promote and integrate research and development on public health and environmental protection. It will provide advice to district authorities, public bodies and individuals. It will also draft and promote public legislation for amendment and enactment as appropriate, and advise on international issues. The EPC will largely absorb the functions of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution.

PL411 The EPC will take responsibility for the control, storage and monitoring of all radioactive waste derived from manufacturing industry, medical sources and from nuclear power.

PL412 The EPC will establish a system for monitoring, approving and licensing new and established products and production processes. The criteria used will be based on the Green principles of minimum waste, minimum pollution, maximum energy efficiency, safety, and environmental improvement.

PL413 The EPC will issue guidelines to manufacturers and district authorities for the full labelling of all products for sale. These guidelines will provide for adequate warning of potentially harmful treatments, ingredients, dilutents, propellants and effects.

PL414. The Green Party deplores the intransigent attitude of the United Kingdom government to the damaging biological effects to those living in close proximity to high voltage power cables, caused by the associated electromagnetic field. This constitutes an electrical pollution. Immediate action should be taken to ensure that no high voltage cables are sited near habitation and that those that are should be re-sited as soon as possible, recognising considerable urgency.

Local

PL420 Each district authority will set up a Community Health and Environmental Council (CHEC) with professional staff and with elected representatives. It will be responsible for interpreting environmental impact and improvement assessments in local planning. It will define the operating conditions for local commercial and industrial enterprises, including agriculture, and make appropriate recommendations to the district authority. The CHEC will develop and greatly extend the role and functions of the Health and Safety Executive and the local Environmental

Health Officers.

PL421 Industries will be required to systematically audit their production procedures and to publish details of their chemical usage and emissions. Binding timetables for reducing the use of toxic chemicals, for the recycling of materials in production and for reducing waste will be established for local industries by district authorities. These timetables will be monitored by the local CHECs.

PL422 Local enterprises will be required to maintain records of effluent quality and quantity. These will be available for immediate inspection by CHEC officers. CHEC officers will be empowered to inspect working practices and to take samples on and off site as they see fit. Medical records of all workers will be available for inspection by CHEC officers, but under conditions of the strictest confidence for the workers concerned.

PL423 The treatment, deposition and discharge of all industrial and commercial wastes will be licensed by the district authorities and controlled by the CHEC using guidelines provided by the EPC.

PL424 Threshold limit values for workers involved in hazardous working practices will be revised downwards to account for chronic, and long-term effects. Limits will be set by CHECs working on maximum levels determined by the EPC and paying regard to synergistic interactions.

PL425 Statistical information relating to worker exposure and to waste management will be available to the public on request.

PL426 In order to safeguard health and to protect the environment, CHECs will be empowered to revoke operating licences immediately if they see fit. There will be no Crown immunity.

PL427 It will be the responsibility of prospective CHEC licensees to establish that their operating practices will be safe, efficient and environmentally benign.

PL428 Waste disposal on the principle of 'dilute and disperse' will no longer be generally acceptable. District authorities will introduce schemes for separating, treating, recycling and processing domestic, commercial and industrial waste.

PL429 With the exception of sewage and biodegradable organic waste, no toxic material shall be discharged to the public sewerage system. If sewage and other organic waste must be discharged into lakes, rivers or the sea, it shall be fully treated in such a way as the effluent will not damage the environment. The eventual aim should be the recycling of all sewage.

PL430 Differential corporation tax will favour those enterprises causing minimal environmental damage. Taxes on the quantity and quality of industrial waste will be levied on producers.

PL431 Individuals and organisations concerned with generating pollution will be held responsible for the costs of control and for any damage caused, however remote in time or distance. There will be no Crown immunity.

PL432 If suggestive evidence emerges that a pollutant or product may have an adverse effect on the health of humans or the environment, a levy will be placed on the process sufficient to pay for scientific research on the link between pollutant and effect. If a causal association seems reasonable, but the harm is not sufficient to justify the banning of the pollutant or product, a levy will be placed on the process sufficient to pay for the extra health or environmental service work caused by the product.

  Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997. Amended 5th Oct 2002

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POPULATION

P100 All Green Party policies are based on the principles of ecological sustainability, equity and justice.

P101 There is a limit to the level of ecological impact the Earth can sustain. The number of people on the planet, their levels of consumption and their local and global impacts are key factors determining how far the Earth's ability to renew its resources and to support all life is compromised. Even within this limit, high rates of population growth, as well as local depopulation can have a damaging effect on sustainability, equity and justice.

P102 Carrying capacity is the term used to describe the population that can be sustainably supported in any given region. It is not a fixed number but depends on consumption patterns.

P103 There is a need to explicitly consider population since, if it is ignored indefinitely, the risk of over-consumption of natural resources will increase, leading to conflict and ultimately a reduction in carrying capacity.

P104 There are many causes of population growth and some of these must be addressed to avoid overpopulation. Causes may be as basic as a lack of family/[229] planning information and contraceptives. Inequality and lack of opportunities can result in people having more children than they would otherwise want. On a wider scale, it has been observed that populations often increase following wars, social strife and environmental disasters.

P105 Green Party policies as a whole aim to reduce inequality, both global and local and to make educational and work opportunities available to all, throughout life. Green Party policies also aim to avoid social and environmental disruption that can trigger population growth.

P106 The Green Party holds that the number of children people have should be a matter of free choice.

P107 Long term trends in population size are proper considerations for public debate and government policy in order to plan housing, health, education and other needs.

P108 The Green Party notes that the population of the UK currently supports its way of life by consuming more resources than can be sustainably supplied from within the UK, and more than its fair share of global resources - often to the detriment of the people and the environment in producing areas.

P109 A measure of the impact of a population is its ecological footprint. The Green Party believes that it is essential to reduce the UK's total ecological footprint. To this end the Green Party aims to reduce total resource consumption, ensuring maximum use of renewable resources, in order to reduce per capita consumption. This will ensure that the UK population leaves a reduced ecological footprint, eventually enabling it to become sustainable.

P110 The Green Party believes that it will be socially and environmentally beneficial for a decrease in resource consumption to be brought about by a range of policies. These policies will reduce overall resource use, maximise the use of technologies based on renewable energy, adopt a sustainable approach to economic development, design, planning and infrastructure, and will promote socially and environmentally sustainable population levels.

P111 The Green Party has a liberal migration policy and wants greater global justice and equality, so people who migrate can do so on the basis of choice, not economic hardship. Where migration patterns increase or decrease population levels it is essential that social, economic and environmental pressures are mitigated in such a way which fully respects the rights of migrants and existing local populations.

P112 There is a need for regional economic and land use policies that are sustainable with a stable or falling population rather than dependent on a continuing influx of, often exploited, labour from elsewhere in the UK or overseas. The Green Party seeks a more balanced and just approach to regional development in the UK so that there are not huge growth pressures in some areas and none in others.

P113 As the birth rate falls, and the so-called "baby boom" generation approaches retirement, the population will be one with a higher proportion of the elderly and very elderly.

P114 With Green health policies emphasising the need to further improve health with prevention rather than cure, we look forward to a society in which people of all ages continue to work as long as they wish. This, together with the reduced consumption of resources and the increased commitment to social welfare characteristic of a Green society, means that the increased proportion of elderly people will be economically manageable. We reject an economic order that supposes the need for an ever-growing younger population to support the retired.

P115 The UK, as one of the world's richest countries, owes the rest of the world far more in overseas aid than it now gives. The UK casts its ecological footprint over the world reflecting the real costs of a high, and still growing, population with high consumption. A Green government would seek to help poorer countries to develop their economies in a sustainable way so that migration was based on choice rather than economic necessity.

P116 It is essential that women have greater control over reproductive health care. Many of the world's poorest countries have formal government policies - often assisted by development agencies - which further this objective and also thereby lead to more stable, sustainable population levels. The Green Party acknowledges that poverty alleviation and education are crucial for women in poor countries to be able to exercise their reproductive health rights and take control over their own family/[230] planning. The UK and other rich countries should do more to support initiatives - both globally and locally - which uphold women's rights over reproductive health, increase education and which address poverty and potential pressures on the global environment. Given the much greater impact on the world's resources each person in a rich country has, the rich countries have a major responsibility to minimise their own impact as well as provide resources to poorer countries to ensure that they can develop sustainably.

Policy Objectives

Long Term

P117 To achieve a level of consumption and, through education and the free provision of family/[231] planning services, a birth rate consistent with the goal of long term sustainability.

P118 To achieve consumption and population levels that are globally sustainable and respect carrying capacity.

P119 To work towards a world where people are free to move between countries and are not forced to do so by terror, hunger, environmental degradation or economic need.

Medium Term

P120 To promote debate on sustainable population levels for the UK - to include consideration of levels of consumption and material comfort. The aim is to increase awareness of the issues - not to set specific population targets.

P121 To reduce the ecological footprint of the UK, the rest of the EU and other countries in the developed world as an essential step towards reducing exploitation of the environment and the poorest peoples of the world.

P122 The Office of National Statistics (ONS) will continue to monitor the UK population trends, and develop natural resource and footprint accounts to monitor the ecological impact of that population.

Short Term

P123 To provide comprehensive sex/[232] education in schools that covers the wider emotional, personal and societal aspects of relationships not the mere biological. [See ED307]

P124 To provide a comprehensive, free family/[233] planning service, available to everyone, in convenient high-street locations, funded by a separate budget within the NHS. This will include information, facilities and the materials necessary for people to plan their families/[234] [See H315]

P125 Condoms will be supplied free on demand from chemists and at a subsidised price from machines in public places.

P126 To support research into new methods of contraception.

P127 To address the issue of an ageing population in the UK and the EU. Measures would include the removal of the compulsory retirement age and the introduction of more flexible working arrangements.

P128 To encourage debate as to how sustainable lifestyles can be developed to provide meaningful and satisfying lives with or without children.

Green Party
(Autumn 2003)

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PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT


Principles


PG100 All decision making and action throughout all levels of government shall be governed by the principle of subsidiarity: namely that nothing should be done centrally if it can be done equally well, or better, locally.

PG101 A further principle is that any democratic and accountable authority may judge for itself which functions carried out at a higher level it can do equally well, or better. Coupled/[235] with the principle of subsidiarity, this establishes the need for a structure that responds positively to demands for decentralisation from below, and that ensures that this proceeds smoothly and does not disempower other communities.

PG102 The highest form of democracy is direct participation. This is best achieved through the decentralisation of society, so that decisions can be made through face to face discussion. All the major political decisions which affect our lives should ideally be made with our active participation. This requires that all economic and social activity should be carried out on a human scale; that is, in a way that allows individuals and groups access to and influence over such decisions. Direct democracy will encourage cross-party co-operation and weaken the hold of ideologies and factions.

PG103 Given the scale of much activity in the world today, it is clear that not all decisions can be made locally. The best form of democracy for large scale activity is voting, in elections and referenda, in such a way that the outcome reflects the pattern of voting and no vote is wasted. Delegated authority and trust must be accompanied by full accountability.

PG104 A community cannot be self-determining unless it is to a large extent self-reliant. Self-reliance is the ability to satisfy needs without being excessively or unequally dependent upon anyone; self-sufficiency is one way to achieve self-reliance, but is by no means the only way.

PG205 Co-operation and working together in order to achieve a state of harmony with the planet and the life it supports must be fundamental to all policy decisions. Divisions, power-relations, intolerance, prejudice/[236], wide inequalities and failures in communication all weaken communities and preclude such co-operation. A Bill to enshrine rights and responsibilities must exist to help protect against this; positive action to build a tolerant, global awareness and to empower oppressed groups is also necessary.

PG106 Government must therefore exist at many levels, each based upon geographical areas within which a given set of functions can be carried out and with which the people themselves have some common bond. These areas will in many cases be bio-regionally based, on the geographical and ecological boundaries already existing.

PG200 The Green Party views citizenship as a set of rights and responsibilities based on a commitment to a community. It is gained by living in the the community, and lost by extended absence. Responsibilities and rights include Citizens' Income, personal taxation, shelter, and participation in the democratic process.

PG201 The age of majority (at which full criminal responsibility and the power to make contracts is acquired) will be reduced to 16 to clarify the age at which children can become adults in the eyes of the law.

PG202 The best way to firmly establish a Bill of Rights is through a written constitution: the Constitutional Commission set up by a Green Government to carry out the task of drafting such a constitution would however take several years to present its proposals, and urgent measures are needed in the interim.

PG203 Since the process of drafting a constitution that will be widely accepted can only be consensual and participatory, the Green Party cannot specify the rights and responsibilities that it would enshrine: however, we would make strong recommendations to the commission that our policies on rights, government and decentralisation be included.

Policies


Political Rights

PG300 A Bill of political rights will be enacted at the earliest opportunity (see PA100-204) to prohibit oppressive actions by one-party states and inaccessible bureaucracies.

PG301 There will be a compulsory register of elected representatives and senior officers pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests, which will be open to public inspection. Councillors will be paid a salary and expenses. (PA502)

PG302 Referenda may be held on any government decision at the instance of a prescribed percentage of that body's electorate.

PG303 When a Bill of Rights has been enacted, a prescribed percentage of the citizens of any area shall be able to take a Citizens' Initiative, whereby they place a proposition on a ballot paper for popular vote. Should the proposition succeed the result will, subject to the law, be binding. Green Councillors will urge local authorities to make provision for referenda and initiatives in advance of any changes in the law. (see PA504-508)

PG304 A prescribed percentage of any elected representative's constituents will be able to petition, under agreed rules, for the recall of that representative to face a new election. The Green Party will recommend that all of its prospective councillors agree to voluntarily subject themselves to recall if petitioned by over 20% of constituents. (PA506)

PG305 The Green Party believes that citizens should be entitled to access to information held by their governments and to meetings of their government. These shall be open except where specifically restricted. Restrictions shall be limited to those necessary to protect the privacy of individual citizens and to those which government can show are required to prevent real harm to the public interest. Provision shall be made for a commission to test the latter contention and require access if that contention is not sustained. The use of other bodies effectively acting in the capacity of government will not be allowed to prevent access to information and meetings held by them in that capacity. Exemptions to protect the privacy of individual citizens will not necessarily apply to corporate bodies. Commercial confidentiality should not be accepted as a valid reason for withholding information that would have been in the public domain had the relevant public service not been privatised.

PG306 The remit of the various commissioners for public administration will be strengthened. There will be a Commission for Citizen's Rights, which will be empowered to receive complaints of maladministration in any public body, to investigate them and to recommend redress. The Commission shall be empowered to accept complaints from any citizen or group of citizens. Where a complaint raises a significant question of law, the Commission shall be empowered to provide all assistance necessary to enable the complainant(s) to pursue the case at law.

Electoral Law

(see PA600-612)
PG310 Elections for all levels of government should be by a system of election that provides for high proportionality, few wasted votes and good accountability. (see PA606, 607)

PG311 All terms shall be fixed in length, except when a seat is taken following a bye-election.

PG312 The right to vote and stand in elections will be based on residence rather than nationality. (see also RR706)

PG313 All elected representatives must be closely associated with the district which they serve.

PG314 The voting age for all elections, and the age at which people may take Parliamentary or Council seats would be reduced to 16.

PG315 The amount which may be spent by or on behalf of each party at a national level during all elections will be limited.

PG316 The election deposit will be replaced for all elections by a requirement for a much higher number of signatures of registered electors assenting to a nomination.

PG317 Senior Council employees in a limited category of jobs shall not have the right to stand as candidates for the institutions in which they work. In all other respects they should enjoy full political rights. There will be a limited range of restrictions on the political and business activities of certain types of civil servants; members of the armed forces; the police service and people employed in certain public or private institutions

PG318 There shall be a complete separation of church and state. Society shall not interfere with the individual's freedom of belief/[237], but it may by law regulate conduct arising out of that belief/[238]. In a multicultural society, a privileged position for the Church of England is inappropriate.

PG319 The Church of England shall be disestablished. It shall be self-governing, and the government shall cease to have any powers and responsibilities peculiar to that church. No person shall hold office in the state, or be excluded from any such office, by virtue of their or their spouse's membership or non-membership of any religion/[239] or denomination of religion/[240].

Identity and Privacy

PG330 The Green Party believes that there must be a balance between the need of government on behalf of the community to obtain and hold information to identify individual citizens and the civil rights of individuals, particularly that of privacy. The individual's civil rights should prevail, unless waived by specific agreement or overridden by a specific public interest stipulated by law as overriding privacy. Information on individual identity so obtained should be held confidential, unless that confidentiality is waived by specific agreement or overridden by a specific public interest stipulated by law as overriding confidentiality.

PG331 Such information must be obtained and held only by government servants subject to appropriate regulations on privacy and confidentiality; the task must not be given to commercial organisations. In accordance with the Green Party's policy on a `Freedom of Information Act' (RR402), information acquired by government agencies and other organisations for specified purposes must not be given to other such organisations or used for other purposes.

PG332 The need for the state and other organisations to obtain information on individuals for specific purposes must not entitle them to access unrelated information at other times for any other purpose. This would undermine the civil liberties of individuals. It would enable those in charge of government and other organisations to obtain and use the information to attack the legitimate rights and activities of those opposed to them.

PG333 Information obtained and held by the state or other organisations must not be used to subvert and attack the legitimate rights and activities of those opposed to them.

PG334 The Green Party opposes the introduction of a general identity card, whether on a compulsory basis or on a "voluntary" basis tantamount to compulsion, and would seek to abolish such identity cards if introduced.

PG335 "Identity" in this context means a name by which a person may be known, and where necessary an address through which they can be contacted. For the purposes of the Electoral Roll, a location for the purposes of qualification may be required.

Hereditary principle in government

PG340 The Green Party believes that the hereditary principle should have no place in government. Therefore the Green Party advocates that:
1. No person shall acquire the right to any office of government by inheritance.
2. An hereditary peerage shall confer no right to sit in Parliament.
3. The monarchy shall cease to be an office of government. The legislative, executive and judicial roles of the monarch shall cease.
4. Peers and members of the royal family/[241] shall have the same civil rights and fiscal obligations as other citizens.
5. A settlement of property held by the current royal family/[242] shall be made, to divide it between that required for the private life of current members of the family/[243] and that to be public property.

Green Party.    Prepared 23 September 2000; amended Spring 2001 and Spring 2003.

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PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND GOVERNMENT

Background and Principles

PA100 The basis for a decentralised society must be laid out in a written constitution; but in the years before the adoption of such a constitution there is much work to be done in dismantling one of the most hierarchised and centralised states in the world. While this can only succeed with the active participation of communities and local councils, and while various international bodies and institutions will heavily influence the process, the key to a smooth transition will lie in the way in which Parliament surrenders its tradition of national sovereignty.

Policies

Constitutional

PA200 A Constitutional Commission will be required to draft a written constitution, oversee and arbitrate the process of decentralisation, and take over the functions of the Boundary Commission. This body must be accountable, representative, diverse, aware of practical requirements and grassroots concerns, and independent of Westminster. Therefore it will be formed at the earliest opportunity of elected Councillors representing all levels of Government in all parts of the U.K. countries involved.

PA201 The Green Party will recommend to the Constitutional Commission that the structures laid out here for a gradual but complete decentralisation are written into the Constitution; that the Constitution is based on Green principles (see PG); and that it fully guarantees political rights as well as wider human rights (see RR).

PA202 In order for councils to be sufficiently legitimate and trustworthy to take on increased responsibility, large scale electoral reform will be required, and immediate legislation for citizen's rights. (see PA600-612, PG310-319, RR301).

PA203 Parliament's role in the first five years of a green government will be, firstly, to devolve functions to more local bodies; secondly, to lift its hold over councils and enable them to realise their potential; and thirdly, to work with the Constitutional Commission to meet demands from local local local government to take on responsibility for resources and functions which are currently dealt with at too high a level by central government and the private sector. (see PG100,101)

PA204 There remain many functions that are most appropriately carried out at the national level or higher. These include setting minimum environmental standards (see EU300, NR400), peace and security (see PD500), and regulating transnational corporations. (see EC980's, IP400's)

Local Government Structure

(see also GC)
PA300 Our preference will be to abolish the County Councils after the transfer of their present functions to District Councils and to confederations of Districts. However, the option of retaining a County Council will be open to the electorate through referenda. Where there is public dissatisfaction with boundaries, consultation and (where necessary) referenda will establish the most popular arrangement. This process will be overseen by the Constitutional Commission.

PA301 All Councils will be asked to complete a review of the pattern of Parish councils in their area within two years; and the legislation on Parishes will be extended to cover all parts of Britain. Every effort should be made to ensure that the boundaries of Parishes reflect local peoples' wishes; the Constitutional Commission will arbitrate in disputes.

PA302 Adjoining districts may confederate to any level for the joint exercise of specific functions, provided such confederations remain fully accountable. The Green Party will favour the formation of Regional Confederal Assemblies throughout England to allow all parts of the United Kingdom to function in a future European Community of the regions and to allow rapid devolution. Similarly, parishes may confederate to act on common concerns not applicable to the whole district. We support co-operation across national borders , where necessary or appropriate.

PA303 Any confederation may, following a referendum of all its inhabitants, opt to become a directly elected body. So, any Regional confederation may become an autonomous Regional council; any confederation of parishes may opt to become a district; and any neighbourhood within a parish may choose to constitute itself as a new parish. Such a move may require a transitional period , and may create political and technical problems: the Constitutional Commission will arbitrate, though while it may specify a timescale and mechanism it may not prevent the transition.

PA304 Provision will be made for reconsideration of the role of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly in accordance with the wishes of these people. Scotland and Wales will enjoy the degree of autonomy, perhaps involving full self-government, which the citizens of each, expressing their views through referenda, wish them to have. Citizens of new regions in England will have a similar right. References above and below to regions will apply to Scotland and Wales so long as they choose to remain in the United Kingdom.

Finance

PA400 In order to facilitate decentralisation of functions, the collection of taxes will be devolved soon after democratic reforms have taken effect. This will ensure that councils can more easily take over the raising of revenue as they take over its spending. (see EC550)

PA401 Discussion will be held with other countries within the European community to encourage concurrent devolution of those functions and powers over finance, more appropriately held at the regional level. (see EU227, 228)

PA402 Within a list agreed by the Constitutional commission, councils will have discretion over which (if any) revenue raising powers they wish to use (see EC550). Levels of taxation will thus be set by the persons answerable to the electorate from whom such funding is to be raised, and for whom such services are to be provided. There will be no limits set on the revenue a council can raise to carry out its mandate.

PA403 A redistribution of wealth between areas may continue to be necessary; the formula on which this will be done will be established and revised by local authorities themselves through the Constitutional commission. There should be no economic incentive for a wealthy area within a district or region to opt out. (see EC551)

PA404 To facilitate accountability, and to ensure the gradual reduction in the scale of central spending, the Constitutional commission should negotiate a rational allocation of taxation between different levels of government.

Direct Democracy and Local Citizens' Rights

PA500 The powers of the Ombudsperson and the Commission for Local Administration will be strengthened as follows: i) The Ombudsperson will be given power to investigate complaints which affect all or most of the citizens of a local government area, and ii) The Commission will be given power in appropriate cases to fund, or underwrite the costs of, legal test cases involving matters of importance concerning the actions of local government.

PA501 The circumstances in which access to council meetings and documents and files may be withheld from the public shall be clearly defined. In particular the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 will be tightened up in a number of ways, for example:
i) the creation by local authorities of 'working parties', 'panels' or other such bodies, which are not covered by the Act, will be ended. All such bodies will be defined as committees or sub-committees, to ensure that the Act applies to them;
ii) the use of valid exemptions to public access to documents pursuant to the 1985 Act, to restrict public access to matters not intended to be covered by those exemptions, will be ended: for instance the practice of excluding the public from decisions about grants given to organisations - as distinct from individuals where genuine personal privacy may apply;
iii) steps will be taken to curtail decision making in secret party group meetings as this practice makes the subsequent meetings of the council or its committees or sub-committees meaningless as the decisions ostensibly taken in public will in practice have been made beforehand. Measures we would wish to prevent include: council officers advising only one party's group meetings; all members of a party being required to follow a whip imposed in secret, on pain of punishment if they fail to do so.

PA502 Where elected, therefore, Green Councillors will try to persuade their local authorities to write such provisions into their own standing orders, particularly as regards PA501(i) and (ii) above, thus committing the local authority to implement them immediately. As regards PA501(iii) above, Green councillors pledge themselves not to usurp the democratic process by such methods and to call upon other Parties to do the same. (PG301)

PA503 Legislation will be introduced to require a register of councillors' pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests to be kept and available for public inspection.

PA504 Legislation will be introduced to provide for local referenda to be held on any decision of a local authority at the instance of a prescribed percentage of a council's electorate.

PA505 Legislative steps will be taken for 'Citizen Initiative' whereby a prescribed percentage of the electors of any council area can themselves place a proposition on a ballot paper for popular vote. Should the proposition succeed the result will, subject to the law, be binding on a council.

PA506 Councils should be accountable to electors between elections and accordingly necessary legislative steps will be taken to provide for a prescribed percentage of any councillor's electors to be able to petition for the recall of any elected person, and rules will be made for the conduct of such recall petitions.

PA507 It is accepted that such recall provisions as described in PA506 above may cause some difficulties under a proportional representation method of electing councillors and accordingly the Green Party will look further at this matter. Until, however, proportional representation exists the Green Party will campaign for recall provisions under the current electoral system.

PA508 The Green Party will demonstrate its commitment to citizen power in the following ways:
i) Where elected, Green councillors will urge their local authorities to themselves, in advance of any changes in the law, set up the machinery for citizen referenda and citizen initiative as described in PA504 and PA505 above; to publicise this, to implement this and, subject to the existing law, to accept the results of such referenda and initiatives as binding. In such cases the prescribed number of signatures required on a citizen petition for either a referendum or an initiative shall be 20% of the electorate.
ii) by recommending that all of its prospective councillors at future elections will voluntarily subject themselves to recall. Where the prescribed percentage of 40% of any councillor's electors petition for recall the party will (a) either organise a recall ballot of all the councillors' electors, (which will be supervised by independent persons of known integrity), and then encourage the councillors to comply with the result of any such ballot, or (b) urge its councillors to resign and fight a by-election.

Electoral Reform

PA600 Districts will be independently represented in the provincial or national, and central councils. Elections for all levels of local government should be by proportional representation, so that the political aspirations and views of each area are represented.

PA601 Elected representatives must be accountable to their electors and provision must be made for the representatives under certain extreme circumstances to be recalled and submitted to re-election.

PA602 Councillors must be closely associated with the district which they serve.

PA603 Councillors will be paid a salary and expenses and additional allowances will be made during a councillor's term in a middle tier or central government.

PA604 The Green Party would reduce the voting age for all elections to 16 years.

PA605 The lower age limit for elected representatives at any level of government would be the voting age.

PA606
a) The Green Party believes that elections to the Westminster Parliament should be by a system of proportional representation, and that the best and most appropriate system for this purpose is the additional member system.
b) Electors would vote on two ballots: one for their constituency MP, and the other for the Party of their choice. MPs would be elected from constituencies as at present, but each party's representation would be topped up on a regional basis by additional members to bring its number of seats up to its proportion of votes polled, provided that proportion was above a minimum qualifying level.
c) Additional members would be selected by a mechanism which gave electors the opportunity to exercise a choice between the different party list candidates.

PA607 The Green Party supports Electoral Reform in all levels of government. This should be carried out as part of a complete constitutional reform , and should involve a high level of public participation (for instance through a multi-option referendum). Of the various electoral systems available, we would consider the STV and Additional Member Systems to be entirely acceptable; we would prefer the Additional Member System for elections to the national parliament. Different systems may be appropriate for different levels of government. We consider any First-past-the-post or Supplementary Vote Systems to be wholly unacceptable, and oppose them.

PA608 The House of Lords, as presently constituted, would be abolished and replaced by a second chamber directly elected by proportional representation and open to all citizens of the United Kingdom.

PA609 Each Parliament at Westminster should normally be for a fixed term of four years, but if the Government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons before the end of the fixed term then an earlier General election should be held.

PA610 There should be an upper limit to the national spending of political parties as well as individual candidates during the period of a Parliamentary election.

PA611 Such a limit should be related to the number of candidates fielded by a party.

PA612
a) Initially such a limit should be no more than £1,000 per candidate.
b) The total spending of all political parties on publicity and advertising nationally within the two months prior to the annual May local elections shall be divided between the candidates of that party and added to the election expenses of those candidates.
c) No party political broadcasts shall take place during the two months preceding the May local elections.
d) Our preferred option for elections to local government is by Single Transferable Vote (STV) in multi-member wards.

PA613 U.K. political parties will be funded by the State. Once a party achieves 5% of the votes cast in a parliamentary general election, they then receive an annual payment from the Exchequer. This will be paid on a sliding scale dependent on the number of votes cast at that previous election. Candidates' deposits will not be required at any election and instead signatories supporting the candidate's nomination will be required, the number of signatories being dependent on the size of the electorate at any given election.

The Civil Service

PA700 The functions of a ministry will be to act as the organ of the minister in their capacity as a coordinator of the national affairs which fall within the scope of his ministry. Policies will be formulated by the District Councils, departments of which will hold the greater financial control.

PA701 There will be no distinction between civil servants and local authority administrators.

PA702 The departments of district councils should be reflected at provincial and central levels by departments holding the same title having a coordinating function.

Provision of Watch-dog Facilities

PA800 The function of the Ombudsman will be elevated and enlarged so that it will comprise a major part of governmental practice. This will be done by the appointment of commissions. There will be two parts to each commission: an inspectorate and a research and advisory division.

PA801 The field of a commission will cover either the whole of one, or parts or the whole of, several government departments.

PA802 The inspectorate will be partly staffed by permanent employees of the commission and partly by co-opted citizens. The co-opted citizens will form juries which will examine in detail and in co-operation with the permanent employees of the commission any activity of government, a commission, industry or commerce. The jury will exist only for the length of time of the specific enquiry or series of enquiries after which it will be disbanded. The jury can recommend prosecution. Its findings, which must be made public immediately the enquiry is completed, can be used as evidence.

PA803 The research and advisory division will consist of permanent employees who will carry out primary research in all fields and examine inter-relationships between the activities of several different government departments.

PA804 The Commission will receive, via the inspectorate, complaints from the public and will act upon them.

Regional Government in England

PA900 There is a need for a democratic and accountable regional tier of government in England.

PA901 De facto regional government already exists through the Regional Government Offices (GRO), the Regional Development Agencies (RDA), the Regional Chambers (RCh) and numerous other regional QUANGOs. The existence of these bodies demonstrates the need, and to some extent, the remit of regional government, but they are neither accountable nor democratic. The nomination of elected local authority councillors to a regional body, as with Regional Chambers, does not make that body either democratic or accountable.

PA902 The first transitional step towards democratic and accountable regional government will be the establishment of directly-elected regional assemblies based on the existing Government Office regions. These regional assemblies will take over the powers of the GRO, RDA, the existing Regional Chamber and other existing regional QUANGOs, and adapt their existing bureaucracies to serve the new Assembly. Funding will, in these initial stages, come from diverting the existing block grant regional funding allocated by central government.

PA903 The regional assemblies will also take responsibility for representing the region within Europe, establishing direct dialogue with other European regional governments on areas of common interest.

PA904 The particular form and structure of these regional assemblies will vary from region to region according to regional circumstances, but all will be elected by a form of proportional representation. The regional will for the principle of a directly-elected regional assembly will be determined by a regional referendum, and each assembly will be created at a pace and timing that suits the need of its particular region. The appropriate form and structure will be determined by regional constitutional conventions drawn from all sectors of society, similar to the Scottish Constitutional Convention.

PA905 The powers of the regional assembly will be drawn down from national and European government, and will not take powers from local authorities, except where the local authorities within the region agree to pool some of their powers for strategic purposes.

PA906 In due course, the regional assemblies will assume regional tax-raising powers to replace the proportion of national taxation being allocated to regional block grant and other funding. They will also draw down more powers from national and European government in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity (PG100).

PA907 Regional boundaries will be periodically reviewed with a view to moving towards a regional structure that better reflects the ecology of the land and the character of local communities. Proposed changes will be subject to a referendum covering all regions involved.

Green Party - Autumn 1993, except PA900-907 Autumn 2000. Amended Spring 2001, Autumn 2003, Spring 2004

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REFUGEES & ASYLUM SEEKERS

(see also MG)

Background

RA100 There are millions of recognised refugees in the world today, the overwhelming majority in Third World countries. Principles

RA200 As well as supporting the right to asylum, it is essential to address the underlying causes which result in asylum seeking. These include war, the arms trade, environmental devastation, the consequences of past colonial actions and human rights abuses. RA201 Asylum and refugee policy should honour fully the right to asylum enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (as amended by the 1967 Protocol). Refugee status should therefore be offered to applicants who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race/[244], religion/[245], nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, are outside their country of nationality and are unable or, owing to this fear, are unwilling to return to it.

RA202 Refugee and asylum policy should be extended to use the 1969 Organisation of African Unity definition of a refugee. The Organisation of African Unity extends the definition of a refugee by adding "every person who, owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or the whole of his country of origin or nationality, is compelled to leave his place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside his country of origin or nationality".

RA203 Where residence is granted for humanitarian reasons to those who do not meet the definition of a refugee, they should normally be given equal rights to those with refugee status. Residence for humanitarian reasons (known as "exceptional leave to remain") should not be used to avoid granting refugee status.

Objectives
RA300 To build a world in which no one needs to seek asylum. Many Green Party policies aim to address the underlying causes of asylum seeking.

Long Term Policies
RA301 In association with other European countries, to adopt the Organisation of African Unity definition of a refugee (see RA202) as the basis for our refugee and asylum policy. The Green Party calls for the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees to be amended to use this definition.

Short Term Policies
RA400 To revise asylum laws, policies and practices and associated laws, policies and practices, in consultation with refugee community groups and agencies working with refugees, in order to honour fully the right to asylum. This will include effecting the following principles: a) Asylum policy should not discriminate on grounds of race/[246], colour, religion/[247], nationality, political belief/[248], disability/[249], sex/[250] or sexual/[251] orientation/[252]. b) People seeking asylum should not be prevented from reaching the UK by restrictions such as visas and fines on airlines. c) Immigration officers should be specially trained to deal with asylum seekers, as well as in international human rights issues. Asylum-seekers should be given clear information about their rights and entitlements in English and their mother-tongue. d) No asylum-seeker should be held in detention other than in the most exceptional circumstances. e) Every asylum-seeker should have the right to legal advice and representation, supported by legal aid, for asylum applications and appeals. f) Every asylum-seeker should have a right of appeal to anindependent tribunal against detention and before deportation or removal. g) Applications for refugee status should be dealt with quickly and fairly, normally within three months. After three months, an applicant should receive equal rights with residents in access to public services until a decision is made. h) Asylum seekers and refugees should have the right to be joined by their partner and their partner's immediate family/[253]. i) People seeking asylum should be entitled to full welfare benefits and to Citizens' Income when introduced. j) There should be no restriction on an asylum seeker taking work.

RA401 To provide integrated support for newly-arrived asylum seekers to include reception facilities, temporary housing, language training and assistance with asylum applications and in access to health and welfare services. This will be provided by voluntary agencies or local government but funded and coordinated at a national level.

RA402 To help long-term settlement by funding refugee community groups and agencies working with refugees and encouraging such funding by the European Community.

RA403 Asylum seekers in the UK whose application for refugee status is rejected will not be deported to a country where they face ill-treatment or inhumane punishment. Normally, in this circumstance, they will be allowed to remain for humanitarian reasons. In exceptional circumstances, an alternative country will be sought. If no alternative country can be found and free residence in the UK is not appropriate (e.g. for reasons of public safety), they will be offered the option of detention.

RA404 The Green Party opposes any common asylum policy for the European Community which results in more restrictions on asylum seeking or in reduced rights for refugees. We support common asylum policies that result in better treatment of asylum seekers across the European Community. Any common asylum policies for EC member states should be formulated under the scrutiny of democratically accountable bodies.

RA405 The Green Party supports the recognition of lesbians/[254] and gay/[255] men as social groups within the meaning of the Convention. We will adopt this approach in our treatment of such asylum seekers.

Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997. Amended Spring 2001

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73 matches found

RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS


Background
RR100 Rights as currently interpreted, and especially human rights, are based on the individual and on the liberal tradition, which gained acceptability with the European Renaissance. Rights are viewed largely in terms of freedom of action. Such emphasis on rights independent of responsibilities can provide apparent justification for actions which challenge both sustainability and equity.
RR101 This approach gave rise to legal interpretations through such statements as the United Nations Charter of Human Rights. But there are difficulties with the liberal/ individualistic approach, both practical and fundamental: it has failed to give equitable access to the world's resources, and to reduce oppression, exploitation and alienation world-wide.
RR102 Under this approach those individuals and groups with the most power claim their rights, and those with less power find their rights denied. Thus the collective rights of minority groups, life support systems, and habitats tend to suffer.
RR103 In a world of increasing human population, and with the technological power available to humankind ever greater, there is a need for a new understanding of humankind's responsibility, not only for each other, but also for the life support systems.
RR104 Other living creatures, the earth's resources, and the biosphere must be protected from the irresponsible use of the powers which people, as individuals and as groups, have at their disposal. Thus the exercise of informed responsibility becomes as necessary a part of the use of humankind's individual and collective powers as the enjoyment of rights.

Principles
RR200 A Green view of rights acknowledges the interconnectedness of all things, the finiteness of resources and the ethical imperative in politics. It therefore sees human responsibilities, not as a counterbalance to individual and collective rights, but as integral with them.
RR201 Accepting interconnectedness means that individuals and groups share rights to equitable status, treatment and freedoms not only with other people, but also with life support systems and other species, in the present and in the future.
RR202 Accepting the universal dimension to the concept of human rights requires recognition of the cultural dimension, in that different cultures do not always share the same view of what constitutes a good life. But the Green concept of responsibilities as an integral part of rights transcends such possibly conflicting views. It is everyone's responsibility to allow space for differing value systems, while ensuring that their own concept of rights does not curtail recognition of their responsibilities towards all humankind and the life support system.
RR203 In a world where resources are finite, whether they be spatial, physical or biological, there can be no absolute right either to a particular level of resources or to act in a way which denies equitable rights to others or to the life support system. In any cases of doubt, then the precautionary principle must apply.
RR204 It is humankind's responsibility to carry out only activities that enhance or maintain the quality, variety, diversity, integrity and wholesomeness of human society and the life support system. Those activities which are exploitative, or threaten either the well-being of others, society, the life support system or the future must be avoided.
RR205 People thus have both the right and the responsibility to pursue such personal fulfilment as will enable them to function both as individuals and as fully responsible and integrated parts of society and the life support system.
RR206 While seeking to maintain a sustainable life support system, people have responsibility for respecting each other's physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social needs, within the natural constraints of society and the life support system.
RR207 While seeking to maintain equity in meeting people's needs, people have responsibility for ensuring the absence of discrimination in ethnicity/[256], gender/[257], sexual/[258] orientation/[259], language, religion/[260] or other opinion, age, national or social origin, economic status or any other social, physical or mental condition.

Aims
RR300 To facilitate the development of human societies in which people can enjoy the exercise of their individual and collective rights responsibly while
        - living in harmony with each other without infringing the rights of future inhabitants of the planet, or damaging or destroying other species or the life support system
        - carrying out their responsibilities towards each other and towards the life support system on which they depend
        - enjoying the legal protection of government from the irresponsible actions of others
RR301 To promote development of responsibility, and the acceptance of rights both by individuals and by society collectively, for all members of the human society and for all aspects of the life support system.
RR302 To refine, define and implement policies which aim to be effective in encouraging positive and discouraging negative types of activity within our current understanding of interconnectedness, the finiteness of resources, and humankind's capacity for damage of each other and the life support system.

Human rights & civil liberties
RR400 The Green Party supports the principles of the National Council for Civil Liberties' Charter for Civil Rights and Liberties, and would introduce a 'Bill of Civil Rights and Liberties' based on this charter. (see also MG205)
RR401 The Green Party would introduce a 'Freedom of Information Act' which would include a clear definition of what constitutes national security, with broad provisions for data protection.

Children
RR410 The Green Party recognises that children are individuals with their own rights and needs. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the philosophical basis for all policies relating to children. The Green Party will incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:
a) The right to affection, love and understanding.
b) The right to adequate nutrition and medical care.
c) The right to a free education.
d) The right to full opportunity for play and recreation
e) The right to a name and nationality
f) The right to special care, if handicapped
g) The right to be among the first to receive relief in times of disaster
h) The right to learn to be a useful member of society and to develop individual abilities
i) The right to be brought up in a spirit of peace and universal fellowship
j) The right to enjoy these rights regardless of race/[261], colour, sex/[262], religion/[263], national or social origin.

RS411  The Green Party believes that the concept of rights for people of future generations is of fundamental importance and will seek to ensure that this concept is put into effect at all levels of government locally, nationally and globally.

Legal Status at Birth
RS420 The Green Party believes that the term "illegitimate" as applied to a child outside wedlock is wholly abhorrent and that all stigma and loss of privilege and rights that accompany this term be ended.

Sexual/[264] orientation/[265]
RR500 Attempts to enforce heterosexuality/[266] are as much a violation of human rights as Racism/[267] and Sexism/[268], and must be challenged with equal determination.
RR501 The age of consent should be the same for everyone irrespective of their sexual/[269] orientation/[270]. It should be 16 years of age.
RR502 Young people have the right to be brought up to understand that they may experience homosexual/[271] or heterosexual/[272] feelings or both, and that either or both are to be welcomed as having potential to enrich their lives and those of the people around them.
RR503 Sexual/[273] orientation/[274] shall not affect the decision whether or not to employ, promote or discharge any individual. When assessing a person's work, their sexual/[275] orientation/[276] is of no consequence in their ability to undertake the work required.
RR504 Local authorities, housing associations, co-ops and building societies shall adopt a general statement prohibiting any distinction between heterosexuals/[277], lesbians/[278] and gays/[279], in publicity, housing advice, allocations, transfers and mortgage provisions.
RR505 Sexual/[280] orientation/[281] of a parent, parents or any individual, shall in no way determine or reflect upon their ability and worth in caring for children.

Prostitution/[282] and the Sex/[283] Industry
RR550 The Green Party believes that the law should not seek to regulate consensual sexual/[284] activities between adults where those do not affect others. Where there are such effects, a balance must be reached. Adults should be free to do as they wish with their own bodies, and to practice whatever form of sexual/[285] activity they wish by themselves or with each other by mutual consent. This includes the freedom not only to engage in such sexual/[286] acts, but also to be photographed or filmed doing so, to make such images available to other adults with their consent, and to be able to view such images. That someone might receive payment for any of these activities should not affect this freedom.
RR551 Regardless of generally accepted standards of public morality in the past, no attempt to end various aspects of prostitution/[287] with prohibitive laws has worked. In addition, with the availability of sexually/[288] explicit material via the internet it is not realistic to expect that censorship laws will be able to stop access to such material in the future.
RR552 For the reasons given above, the Green Party believes that attempting to stop the sex/[289] industry by using prohibitive laws is neither desirable nor realistic.
RR553 Criminalisation of many parts of the sex/[290] industry leaves those working within it in a vulnerable position. They are often unable to turn to the law for help in cases where their rights are violated, and instead fall prey to criminal gangs and pimps.
RR554 Therefore, all aspects of sex/[291] work involving consenting adults should be decriminalised. Restrictions and censorship of sexually/[292] explicit material should be ended, except for those which are aimed at protecting children. Workers in the sex/[293] industry should enjoy the same rights as other workers such as the right to join unions (See WR410), the right to choose whether to work co-operatively with others etc. Decriminalisation would also help facilitate the collection of taxes due from those involved in sex/[294] work. Legal discrimination against sex/[295] workers should be ended (for example, in child custody cases, where evidence of sex/[296] work is often taken to mean that a person is an unfit parent).
RR555 The Green Party recognises that, although people should be free to engage in sex/[297] work if they wish, this is an industry which can be more exploitative than others, and those who work in it should be adequately protected against such exploitation. There should be zero tolerance of coercion, violence, or sexual/[298] abuse (including child abuse). Those who have been trafficked into the country and forced to work in the sex/[299] industry against their will should receive protection under the law (see MG450-454). There should be legal support for sex/[300] workers who want to sue those who exploit their labour unfairly, and access to re-training for those sex/[301] workers who want to leave the industry. As far as possible, public services, the Government and legal system should aim to end those social attitudes which stigmatise those who are, or have been, sex/[302] workers.
RR556 Regular health checks should be available to all sex/[303] workers, free of charge (see H300), to protect both them and their clients.
RR557 The use of commercial premises as brothels should be legalised, and such brothels should be subject to licensing by local authorities to ensure protection of those working there and clients from abuse, and protection of the local community from nuisance and abuse. Some prostitutes/[304] choose to work from home, or similarly in residential premises, like some other trades. Such use of primarily residential premises should be permitted without a licence being required, subject to the avoidance of nuisance and abuse. This exemption from licensing requirements should still apply if more than one person works in such a premises, provided that such activities take place on a sufficiently small scale that they are not tantamount to a commercial brothel.
RR558 The decriminalisation of prostitution/[305] should not require all prostitutes/[306] to work in regulated brothels. Doing this would still leave a criminalized street prostitution/[307] market. Those workers whom regulated brothels chose to employ would work legally, and those who not so employed would still work illegally on the streets. In order to protect those street workers (often the most vulnerable) the law shall not criminalize their activity.
RR559 Laws against soliciting should be repealed, and issues of "public nuisance" should be dealt with under general legal provision against nuisance. In order to minimise any such nuisance, wherever possible particular areas should be designated where street prostitutes/[308] can work in safety without upsetting local residents and traders. Such areas should be decided by negotiation between the police, prostitutes/[309] and/or their representatives, and the residents and/or their representatives. Local authorities and the health service should ensure that such street workers have ready access to health facilities and advice about the health risks of their work.

Religion/[310]
RR600 The legal offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel should be abolished.

Travellers' rights
RR700 The Green Party recognises that Gypsies and other Travellers are sections of society which are greatly disadvantaged and discriminated against. We recognise also that the travelling people have ancient, valuable and valid lifestyles and cultures, and have a right to preserve these. Legislation concerning Travellers should aim to ensure equal rights and community obligations for Travellers as citizens, without imposing unwanted conformity to the values and lifestyle of the dominant culture.
RR701 Housing: The Green Party would not impose conventional housing upon Travellers who wish to maintain a traditional lifestyle, but recognises that there has always been a degree of movement both ways between the settled and travelling populations, and believes that those Travellers who so wish should be able to acquire the same right as other citizens to public housing provision.
RR702 Travellers' Sites: The Green Party would in the short term amend the 1968 Caravan Sites Act so that:
i) The Secretary of State for the Environment and the Secretary of State for Wales would be obliged to enforce the requirement upon County Councils to provide sufficient sites for Travellers in their areas, and this requirement would apply to both residential and transit sites.
ii) County and District Councils would be obliged to provide and maintain Travellers' sites to recommended standards designed to prevent overcrowding and allow reasonable living and working conditions.
iii) The "Designated Area" status would be abolished. Local authorities which satisfy the Secretary of State that they are providing sufficient Travellers' sites would be granted a new status of 'Complying Authorities', which would be valid for a limited period only, and would be subject to regular review.
iv) The requirement of local authorities to provide regular information to the Secretary of State concerning the number of Travellers in their areas would be tightened up and made subject to periodic independent scrutiny by the DoE. and Welsh Office in consultation with Gypsy and Travellers' organisations, in order to prevent deliberate or accidental under-reporting which leads to under-provision of sites.
v) Complying Authorities would have a limited power to take proceedings against Travellers in the relevant County Court to compel them to move onto local authority sites where such sites were suitable and available.
RR703 In the longer term the Green Party will introduce new legislation which would guarantee proper protection for the nomadic lifestyle of Travellers whilst ensuring that the lifestyle of the settled population is equally protected. This legislation would guarantee limited security of occupation on various forms of public land - limited in terms of number of caravans, length of stay, and factors such as road safety. Where commons or other areas of open land are traditional or customary stopping places for Travellers, there should be a right of residence for up to 28 days irrespective of whether Complying Authority status applied. Where such sites are traditional wintering places, there should be a right of residence between 1st October and 31st March, and no right of residence between 1st April and 30th September.
RR704 Rubbish Collection: The statutory duty of District Councils to provide rubbish collection services to local authority Travellers' sites in their area should be extended to cover all encampments.
RR705 Education: Travellers should have an effective right of access to education for their children, equal to that enjoyed by non-Travellers. Where Travellers wish to send their children to local authority schools, they should have an enforceable legal right to do so. Where traveller parents so prefer, suitable educational provision should be made available through special units (including mobile units) and peripatetic specialist teachers, and such provision should be available in particular to travellers in temporary encampments and transit sites.
RR706 Voting Rights: Electoral Registration Officers should have a duty to ensure voting forms are delivered to Travellers in their area, and the right of Travellers and other persons of no fixed abode to be included in the electoral register wherever they happen to be on the registration date should be specifically written in to the Representation of the People Act.
RR707 Racial/[311] Discrimination: The Green Party would broaden the scope of existing legislation against racial/[312] discrimination to specifically include discrimination against Travellers, irrespective of ethnic/[313] origin.
RR708 Employment: Green Party policies of encouraging recycling and a return to smaller-scale organically-based agriculture are of obvious relevance and benefit to the many Travellers employed in these areas.
RR709 Social Security: Whilst the Green Party would expect the introduction of a Basic Income Scheme (EC750's) to increase the take-up of benefits by Travellers, the situation would be closely monitored to ensure that this proved to be the case, and additional measures would be taken if this proved necessary.        

Racism/[314]
RR800 Racism/[315] is unacceptable and should be opposed in all of its forms and in all areas of society. Any society based on racism/[316] is abhorrent, and unacceptable even if presented as ecologically sustainable.
RR801 Racism/[317] can only be tackled effectively through local scale community based and community led initiatives to tackle racism/[318]'s social and economic causes and to increase awareness of the value of diverse cultures.
RR802 The UK Government must take a lead in tackling racism/[319] by implementing non discriminatory Immigration, Nationality and Criminal Justice policies and ensuring that anti-discrimination measures in employment and the provision of services are effective.
RR803 The Green Party of England Wales and Northern Ireland will not mount joint campaigns or policy initiatives on any issues with groups who endorse racial/[320], ethnic/[321] or national hatred.
RR804: Speakers and Officers of The Green Party of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will only share platforms with groups who endorse racial/[322], ethnic/[323] or national hatred at a public or private meeting where that offers an opportunity to confront and oppose racism/[324].
RR805 Investigation, prosecution and sentencing practices by public bodies in relation to incidents of racial/[325] harassment must be effective and be seen by the victims of racially/[326] motivated crimes to be effective. Where racial/[327] motivation in committing a crime is shown, particular care should be taken to ensure that the sentence given to the offender involves sufficient protection from further racially/[328] motivated crimes to the victims and to the community.

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Green Party,  amended Spring 2002, Autumn 2003, Spring 2004

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Objectives


ST100 The basic aim of policy on Science and Technology is to encourage and promote research, development and application of science and technology which will:
i) increase knowledge and understanding of ourselves, our planet, and all its life.
ii) help conserve the finite resources of the world
iii) help preserve the fragile interdependent network of life
iv) halt pollution of the environment
v) assist progress towards a sustainable decentralised society
vi) bring about a better quality of life for all the peoples of the world.

Science


Principles


ST200 We believe that people are naturally curious about the world, and enjoy extending their knowledge by scientific study. This research is a worthwhile cultural activity in its own right. It can, and should be, life enhancing, not life endangering. The current rush to explore at all costs should be tempered by an awareness of what kinds of discovery might have the potential to lead to harm to people, the planet, or life thereon, and might be beyond the capability of today's society to control.

ST201 Science and technology are deeply integrated into our society and will play an important role in a Green society. Scientific research is essential to measure and predict the impact of technology and pollution on the biosphere, and to force political acceptance of the need for an appropriate response.

Policies


ST210 Fundamental research in science will be funded from central and regional resources. There should be several routes for obtaining funds, including universities, research councils, technology commissions (see ST321) & environmental commissions (see ST310). A wide range of projects should be chosen and unconventional ideas given fair consideration. Funding should encourage research to become more interdisciplinary and de-compartmentalised, yet also more decentralised. There should be opportunities to fund individuals, and not just projects, and for constructive dialogue between funding agencies and researchers to facilitate greater flexibility in funding, use of resources, and collaborations.

Ethics


ST220 Ethical Boards will be set up at institutional, regional and national levels to evaluate scientific and technological research. All scientific research should be ethically justified. It will be up to researchers to justify their intended research on ethical grounds measured against an accepted list of criteria. The evaluation will apply to a full range of activities, including industrial, military, educational, scientific, medical and veterinary investigations.

ST221 The ethical criteria would be developed with full public debate and participation, and would include consideration of human and animal welfare, the protection of the environment, local and global public sensibility, and the empowerment of people and communities rather than the concentration of power into already powerful hands.

ST222 Membership of the ethical boards would be broadly based, and include non-scientists and non-technologists. The boards would be constituted so as to maintain a genuine independence and public accountability. They would publish all findings.

ST223 The process of acquiring ethical approval should be enabling and flexible, and could benefit researchers by clarifying the aims of their research and adding social purpose to their motivation. The ethical boards will be sufficiently funded to minimise delays.

Military


ST230 Military ("defence") research into science and technology has traditionally formed a substantial proportion of projects funded by the Government. The Green Party would reduce this to a low level sufficient to sustain the country's defensive conventional forces (see PD400's). Research resources no longer required for the military would be converted to civilian use (see PD420, 700's, 730's).

Ecology


ST240 Fundamental and applied research into the environment and the ecology of the biosphere and threatened habitats will attract a high level of funding. Research infrastructure will be developed to facilitate the long term multi-disciplinary research necessary for increasing our understanding of the requirements of a sustainable society.

ST241 Other areas of research that will be specifically targeted include: waste recovery and disposal, and resource-saving manufacturing techniques (see NR422); renewable raw materials (see NR302); environmental health hazards; sewage processing and recycling (see AG450, NR413); integrated pest management (see F311, AG400's); hardwood forestry and forestry impact (see F) and management techniques for forest ecosystems; timber use (see F320's, 330's); food, health and disease (see FD240); organic food production (see AG, FD403); biological and sustainable methods in agriculture (see AG); renewable energy (see EN800-807) energy efficiency and conservation; recycling, and the utilisation of waste products (see NR300's).

ST242 International collaboration in research will be increased and free movement of ideas, knowledge and researchers between countries will be maintained and facilitated. Research in the Antarctic will be restricted to its environment and ecology (see IP442).

Education and Careers


ST250 Some people feel ignorant of science and technology, and overawed by it. People should feel in control of the technology that pervades their lives. Education should be sufficiently holistic (see ED307) to end the perceived division between the arts and sciences, and to integrate science teaching with everyday life. Science education itself should be less specialised and more interdisciplinary, and should foster/[329] a socially and environmentally responsible attitude in scientists. Education should enhance the openness of the scientific process and the public's participation in it.

ST251 Non-standard career structures will be encouraged, including movement between disciplines and entry and re-entry into research from other activities, without artificial constraints on age. Professional bodies will be encouraged to avoid domination by male hierarchies and closed sub-cultures. These measures should facilitate the equal participation of women in science and technology.

ST252 A pledge will be introduced by which all scientists and technologists will promise to respect the Earth and life upon it.

Technology


Background and Principles


ST300 We believe that people enjoy making things, and making them efficient, simple and elegant. We naturally use tools to make tasks possible, easier or more fun. However, the application of science and technology so far tends to cause the disruption of natural processes, and increases the impact of people on the world environment.

ST301 Modern technology can be valuable, but there must be a conversion to sustainable and human-scale techniques. We support a role for technology in replacing repetitive, boring and dangerous jobs, and improving working conditions and work satisfaction.

ST302 We support the development and use of appropriate technology to ameliorate the damaging impact of modern industry, while recognising that an environmentally benign society cannot be achieved by adding technological fixes to our current system. Technology alone cannot avert the fundamental threats facing our fragile planet.

ST304 Technology is seductive to western society. Institutional and cultural inertia tends to perpetuate technologies even when they are malign. Technology must not only be regulated but also continually reassessed from as long-sighted a perspective as possible. Both regulation and assessment will require the consistent application of the Green philosophy (see PB100 to PB406).

Policies


Environmental Commissions


ST310 Environmental (Protection) Commissions will be set up (see PL410,413). These Commissions will be responsible for assessing the environmental impact of new technologies, licensing products and processes, publishing guidelines on protecting the environment, publicising pollution data locally and nationally, prosecuting offending companies, individuals and institutions, and promoting research into both environmental damage and the technology needed for monitoring the environment.

Technology Commissions


ST320 Scientific and technical methods which are applied in industry should always be on as small a scale as practically possible (see EC404, PB403). Furthermore, they should be conducive to local control in a decentralised economy.

ST321 Technology Commissions will be set up to facilitate the shift in technology required for a sustainable, conserver, decentralised society. They will be particularly concerned with the problems of achieving appropriate scale, self-reliant local economies with full control over their technologies, and "technology with a human face". They will encourage low-impact technology and discourage technology that could
contribute to the subjugation of weaker members of world society.

ST322 The Technology Commissions will assess technological innovations for safety and impact. Safety should be inherent in technical systems, rather than being dependent on active control by fallible operators. Impact assessment of new and existing technologies would consider social, economic and inter-regional effects as well as environmental impact.

Product Standards Commission


ST330 All industrial products should be well designed and well made to ensure longevity and optimum use of resources (see NR420's). Goods should be durable and designed with ease of repair or recycling as high priorities (see PB402).

ST331 Standards Commissions will be set up to assess product designs (see NR425). Design requirements should reflect the need for environmental protection and the need for durable goods to be repairable or recyclable.

ST332 The Standards Commissions would also promote the development and use of labelling and marking systems for materials used in products and packaging to facilitate recycling.

ST333 Taxation policy (see EC710's) will ensure that the prices of products will incorporate the real costs of the use of non-renewable resources, transport, any pollution caused and eventual safe disposal (e.g. recycling).

Commissions


ST340 The Environmental, Technology and Standards Commissions will be autonomous regional bodies, but would form networks between themselves. There will be national commissions to facilitate coordination between the regional commissions, and we will seek the establishment of European and world counterparts.

ST341 Membership of the commissions would be broadly based, and would include non-scientists and non-technologists. The commissions would be constituted so as to maintain a genuine independence and public accountability. They would set up open forums to enable public participation and to consider local feelings. All decisions would be open to public scrutiny.

Craft production


ST350 Regions would encourage craft work by making administration of small businesses simple and inexpensive, by making sure that public transport of goods to outlets is available to craftworkers, and by encouraging the provision of marketplaces for them.

ST351 The perceived value of craft products is undermined by the low cost of mass-produced goods. Taxation policy (EC700's & 900's) would provide some compensation for this effect.

Genetic Engineering.


ST360 The EU proposal to extend patents legislation to living matter is unacceptable on the following grounds:
i) The proposals imply a relationship between humans and nature where it is acceptable to manipulate life and to own living things;
ii) The patenting of life raises ethical questions regarding the value of human life, notably with the transfer of human gene sequences to other species;
iii) Farmers will become dependent on patent holders, primarily big industrial corporations. Monoculture will be reinforced and genetic diversity lost. Traditional animal husbandry will be economically and legally disadvantaged;
iv) This legislation will increase pressure to release genetically engineered organisms into the environment, with unknown effects.
ST361 The Green Party would ban the use of bovine growth hormone BST (bovine somatotropin) used to boost milk production. There is no economic justification for the use of this product of genetic engineering. There are risks to the health and welfare of animals which receive it, and its effects on human health are unknown.
ST362 The Green Party accepts that certain aspects of genetic engineering may be benign and may lead to enhanced quality of life, but feels that there is an urgent need for informed public debate on the issues raised because of the economic, environmental and social control aspects of this technology. Conference calls on industry and government to release information on genetic engineering research and practice to enable public debate to take place.
ST363 Pending research into the effects of the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment, the Green Party seeks a moratorium on such releases through agreement between industry, research establishments and government, as well as a ban on importation of such organisms into the UK. (see AR410)

Aid and Development


ST370 Technological aid to the third world should be appropriate and should avoid exploitation and the generation of dependency. The validity of local knowledge and techniques should be acknowledged, and self-reliance encouraged (see IP204 and IP222). We will enable benign technologies to be freely transferred to third world countries.

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SCOTLAND

Green policies for Scotland are decided by the independent Scottish Green Party, with which this Green Party works in partnership on matters of common interest.

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Green Party Prepared 31 March 1997

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SHIPPING

Background

SH100 Ships, provided they are well managed, cause less environmental damage than other methods for the transportation of goods, e,g, motor vehicles or airplanes. The energy consumption of ships is low compared to other forms of transport. In addition the environmental performance of ships compares favourably in respect of air pollution, noise and use of land for infrastructure. However, there are still environmental problems associated with shipping, marine and coastal pollution are among the most important of these issues. (see FI100, EN509, EU500)

SH101 There is, also, concern with the safety of ship crews and passengers. Too many ships and lives are being lost at sea, and this is of great concern to environmental organisations and the Green Party. Any measures taken in respect of safety of the maritime industry should simultaneously address the important issues of protecting humans, wildlife and the environment. (see PL200 - 202)

SH102 The seas are the dumping ground for the majority of operational waste produced by shipping, with intentional discharges accounting for a large percentage of the oil entering the sea. However under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, (MARPOL 73/78), most European States have expressed their desire to achieve "the complete elimination of intentional pollution of the marine environment by oil and other harmful substances". At present there is little sign that this stated aspiration is taken seriously. (there is every evidence, that in order to keep the cost down, intentional discharges of oil etc. is on the increase). (see SH202, 707)

SH103 By continuing to allow operational waste discharges at certain levels, the MARPOL Convention sanctions legal pollution and makes prevention of illegal discharges impossible. Those European States that have ratified the MARPOL Convention have also expressed a desire to ensure a "minimisation of accidental discharge of such substances".

SH104 Ships, regardless of the nature of their cargo, still enjoy rights of passage that take them unacceptable close to sensitive marine sites.

SH105 Oil, chemicals, sewage and garbage continues to kill wildlife, pollute coastlines, threaten vital natural processes and adversely affect other interests that depend on a clean and undisturbed marine and coastal environment, while many of the regulations contained in the MARPOL Convention are either not implemented or are very difficult to enforce. There is an urgent need to speed up the implementation of the MARPOL Convention, simplify its regulatory structure, and devise regulations that are enforceable. At present the anonymity of ships at sea and the system of flag-State jurisdiction leaves polluting ships with little risk of being caught and/or prosecuted, and the coastal State with little defence against pollution. (see PL429)

Objectives

SH200 With regard to shipping and related issues, the priority for all national governments should be the effective development and subsequent enforcement of regulations through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

SH201 An effective policy with regard to the environmental problems associated with shipping, needs to be developed at local, national, regional and global levels.

SH202 The European Union, as a supranational body, has a special role to play in empowering and assisting its member states to implement globally agreed regulations effectively.

SH203 Increase the availability of adequate port reception facilities for all types of waste, and for all marine vessels using these ports. The establishment of a zero waste discharge limit for all sea areas, including harbours. (see EU310)

SH204 We will require the cleaning of all contaminated tanks before leaving British ports.

Policy Principle

SH300 We would like to see shipping used as an environmentally friendly way of transport for trade around the UK. We see a reduced need for shipping for international trade as economies become more localised.

Safe, Efficient Shipping

Background

SH400 Accidents.

While the quantity of substances (such as crude oil, bunker oil, hazardous and noxious substances, etc.) that enters the marine environment from ships as a result of accidents is small compared to operational discharges, the potential impact that accidental spills can have on the immediate locality, and the high incidence of such accidents, makes this source of pollution of great concern. Immediate action is needed to reduce the probability of future accidents and to reduce their impact on the environment when they do happen.

SH401 We recognise that an integrated approach to ship safety is necessary taking into account ship design, crewing, operation and routing. The mandatory regulation of international shipping is to be preferred over inherently weak recommendatory measures.

Policy

SH402 We want a comprehensive inventory of "particularly sensitive sea areas" drawn up, with identified areas designated according to IMO procedures and their details marked on charts.

SH403 Recognising the relative fragility and lack of manoeuvrability of large tankers, the Green Party would a) progressively reduce the maximum size, b) require doubled skinned hulls, and c) require large tankers to be piloted and tug escorted while entering and leaving British ports.

SH404 We would ensure that emergency tug boats, with fire fighting capacity and sufficient bollard pull, be stationed in all areas with serious risk of oil tanker accidents.

SH405 We would require the oil industry to finance, the building and running cost, of several Oil Recovery and Processing Vessels, that will operate around the coast of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

SH406 There will be a facility made for the introduction of mandatory routing measures to protect identified sensitive sea areas (e.g. Minch (N.W. Scotland). This will integrate the use of IMO instruments established for the purpose of safety of navigation and environment protection.

SH407 Mandatory pilotage measurers will be introduced for all commercial shipping in British waters. The pilot shall have discretion to take aboard additional approved crew members in the interests of safety.

SH408 We would require a high standard of ship classification to establish in a reliable and consistent manner the seaworthiness of vessels, with the publication of individual vessel details. Any classification societies not complying with these standards cease to be recognised as bodies competent to classify ships.

SH409 Surveys must be carried out prior to issuing the Safety Equipment Certificate, incorporating the Safety Of Lives At Sea (SOLAS) 1974, 1983 amendments, relating to operational readiness, maintenance and inspection of on board training and instruction in the use of "on load" lifeboat release mechanisms.

SH410 The crew of vessels in difficulty in coastal waters should be obliged to request assistance without delay.

SH411 Adequate salvage tonnage, including lightering capacity, must be made available according to a strategic regional plan.

SH412 Improved navigation guidance and information sources should be made available to ships by mandatory adoption of the fitting of transponders to all ships and the setting-up of identification systems in congested and sensitive areas including busy port entrances, narrows, channels, straits and rivers.

SH413 We would stop the run down of lighthouses in favour of high-tech navigation, which might not be available to all shipping.

SH414 Ferry companies should be encouraged to replace Ro-Ro vessels designed principally for road vehicles, putting instead an emphasis on designing ships for passenger and rail-freight transport. All Ro-Ro vessels must be able to meet best survival design, refurbishing and updating Ro-Ro vessels as necessary.

Trained Crews

SH500 Adequate numbers of well trained crew, taking into account the important of communication between crew members, should be mandatory.

SH501 In education of seafarers more attention must be given to their responsibilities regarding environmental protection.

SH502 Training of crews, relating to operational readiness and maintenance of "on load" lifeboat release mechanisms would be improved.

International Regulation

SH600 All-weather charter party agreements would be outlawed (this is a charter that overrides the Captain's authority, and threatens the lives of the crew).

SH601 All those States that have not already ratified and implemented the Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co- operation (OPRC) Convention should do so. All States should actively support the development and adoption of regulations providing an equivalent of the OPRC Convention to cover pollutants other than oil.

SH602 As an incentive to charter high quality ships instead of substandard vessels, charterers will be made economically liable for environmental damage caused by accidents involving ships carrying their cargo.

SH603 The 1992 Protocols to the 1969 Civil Liability Convention and the 1971 Fund Convention must be ratified as soon as possible. Support must also be given to the Adoption of the High Standard Shipping (HNS) Convention in 1996. (see SH602)

SH604 Ship owners will be encouraged to work towards compliance with the International Ship Management (ISM) Code. States will be encouraged to work towards the compliance with the ISM Code once it is adopted.

SH605 It is in the interest of European States to develop financial and technical assistance programmes that ensure that all other states are able to fulfil their obligations as flag, port and coastal states.

SH606 Regional activities that could result in the subsequent shift of a problem to less well regulated parts of the world must be actively avoided.

SH607 The Green Party supports the on going work being carried out within the framework of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding Port State Control. The Green Party calls on all national governments to instigate the expansion and enhancement of the current system of port state control. All inspections will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (see HR401).

SH608 Port state inspectors should have greater sanction over offending ships and ensure that repair work is carried out in port.

Marine Waste

Background

SH700 The primary reason for continuation of illegal operational discharges lies in the inability of states to detect discharges at sea and thus enforce discharge regulations. As long as vessels are allowed to dispose of waste at sea legally then they will be able to go to sea and dispose of waste illegally.

SH701 Air pollution from shipping, is one type of operational pollution routinely overlooked by regulators. Shipping contributes, significantly to total discharges of sulphur (7%) and nitrogen oxide (13%). In busy shipping areas like the North Sea the situation is even worse with total emissions from ships comparable with those of countries like Belgium, Denmark or the Netherlands. Bunker fuels are currently too often treated as a route for the disposal of waste oil and lubricants, chemicals, sulphur and those highly polluting bottom products of the refining process that would otherwise be considered toxic waste.

Policies

SH702 We would start a review, of all existing and planned IMO standards and procedures, in the context of the Precautionary Principle and the MARPOL Convention signatories previously stated desire to eliminate operational pollution and minimise accidental discharges.

SH703 We would seek to develop the recent initiatives to establish an international system for environmental indexing of ships (see SH405 Safe, Efficient Shipping). We would want an indexing system that also stimulates a significant proportion of ships to improve their environmental performance; is a dynamic system that can be adapted easily to new developments; uses criteria related to, inter alia, discharges at sea, emissions to the air, prevention of accidental discharges, and operational aspects. Any indexing system should be able to be used widely, for example, as a basis for setting differentiated tariffs for ships and shipping (e.g. harbour and pilotage dues).

SH704 The provision (availability/capacity/level of service) of reception facilities for all types of waste is inadequate, and specific charges for disposal are always a major disincentive. Reception facilities, where provided, are used by only a small minority of vessels. Too few detections result in prosecution, and fines imposed are too small to act as a deterrent to other possible offenders. We would, therefore expand reception facilities at ports, and incorporate fees for their use into general harbour duties.

SH705 Coastal and port authorities should make greater use of their extended jurisdictional authority to act in the public interest and prosecute discharge violations regardless of where they have occurred, and governments, working through the IMO, should develop clear guide-lines to allow the confident use of these powers by coastal and port States.

SH706 Regulations governing vessels design must ensure the provision of sufficient space and equipment for storage of waste while at sea, and waste auditing of all vessels arriving in port.

SH707 We support the development by the EU, and subsequent adoption, of a Directive establishing a European system of punitive measures, including fines, that are severe enough to act as a deterrent to offenders, for all breaches of discharge regulations (as reflected in the MARPOL Convention). (see SH102, 202)

SH708 With the emergence of new information concerning the effect of Tributyltin (TBT) Antifouling on open sea environment there can no-longer be any environmental justification for its continued use on vessels. We propose a ban on the use of TBT antifouling paint on all vessels regardless of size immediately and rigorous testing of alternatives.

SH709 Strict global standards for fuel oil quality must be developed, with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5-1%. Global standards must also be developed for emissions of SOx, NOx, particulates, CO2 and VOCs. A ban on onboard incineration of waste/engine room sludge must also be implemented. It would be mandatory to discharge halons and CFCs to registered port reception facilities.

SH710 Packages carrying hazardous substances (e.g. containers), should be fitted with radio/acoustic beacons to assist in their recovery while lost at sea.

SH711 We want the routine use of equipment to contain gases generated during the loading and unloading of products tankers.

SH712 The IMO guide-lines to prevent the accidental introduction of alien aquatic organisms, from ships ballast water must be rigorously applied. Such organisms can cause algal biodiversity toxic to humans and fish and threaten local biodiversity.

SH713 The threats posed to European marine environment from the nuclear industry are many; spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, radioactive waste disposal, the transport of radioactive substances by sea and air, the possibility of accidents at nuclear power plants and other installations, and the operation and decommissioning of nuclear powered vessels. Some of these vessels are responsible for continuous operational discharges while others hold the possibility of massive and uncontrolled accidental discharge.

SH714 The Green Party is opposed to nuclear power and will phase it out (see EN600). Meanwhile, we will implement an immediate ban on the shipment of all spent fuel, plutonium and high-level radioactive wastes, and ban the reprocessing of it. We will end the trade in radioactive waste materials, with all wastes, including plutonium, being managed by the countries in which they are produced or presently stored.

British Fleet

Background

SH800 British ship registry is in terminal decline. From a peak of 3.000 ships in 1975, the UK (1995) has fewer than 260 ships flying the Red Ensign. Only 20.000 British seafarers are working in the traditional "fourth arm" of Defence, and if the rapid decline of the UK's fishing fleet is added to our loss of the cargo fleet, the poverty of our present economics is all to evident. The British government's refusal to provide support for the UK maritime industry, will inevitably mean the Red Ensign will become a rare sight, with the resultant job losses on the high seas. The need to replace the ageing merchant fleet and conduct ship refurbishing to meet higher safety and environmental standards are two examples where government must give better support to our beleaguered shipping and refitting industry (another example is given in the Fisheries Policy). The Green Party would conduct a proper defence review to define Britain's new strategic purpose in a change world (see PO420)

Policies

SH801 The Green Party will boost the shipping/refurbishing industry prospects by various measures. With more localised economies, British ships operated by British crews would be the norm.

Back to Index

Green Party, Autumn 1996

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SOCIAL WELFARE

Introduction

SW100 The Green Party will implement policies to promote social welfare for all.

SW101 The Green Party knows that we are all interdependent and that many people need support at some stage in their lives. The basic aim is that all people should be able to lead an empowered and fulfilled life. We believe that every individual in society has an equal right to food, water, warmth and housing (see Responsibilities and Rights section).

SW102 Policies cover those areas currently addressed by social services departments - including children and families/[330], older people, mental health, physical disabilities/[331] and learning disabilities/[332].

SW103 Social services will undertake separate need assessments with the client and, where appropriate, their carers. People must have access to advocacy services and appropriate professional support if they need assistance in completing the process.

SW104 Social Welfare provision has often been inadequate, disempowering, discriminatory and ineffective. People in need, who receive a service, too often receive a minimal service, which may be the cheapest option available rather than the option that best promotes independence. The inadequate provision puts stress on both carers and those receiving the service.

SW105 To make life easier for people who need to access several types of service, the Green Party would work towards having a single budget covering health and social services.

Citizen's Income

SW200 In so far as it is possible to remedy social problems purely by financial means, the Green Party's Citizen's Income (see Econ?), when implemented will enable people to have a more flexible approach to work, retirement and caring for others.

SW201 CI is designed to cover the basic needs of an able-bodied person. Since 1979 the level of benefits for the able-bodied has fallen well below this level; consequently the supplements necessary to bring payments for those with disabilities/[333] or health problems up to an adequate level are considerably larger that they will need to be in conjunction with CI when that is fully implemented. (See Econ esp. EC732)

Children and Families/[334]

SW300 All children should be treated with respect and given full opportunity with whatever support may be required to live in a caring and nurturing environment. (See RR410)

SW301 However, although families/[335] are often thought of as the ideal social institution to bring up children, many children do not live in nuclear families/[336] and sometimes a child's parents cannot or do not want to look after them.

SW302 The Green Party recognises the many challenges and stresses that parenting can bring and will support and encourage a wide range of community and self help services for children and their carers e.g. Homestart, family/[337] centres, adopt-a- grandparent schemes.

SW304 Family/[338] courts and mediation should help to find the right solution for each child in the event of family/[339] breakdown with children being a given a say in their future.

SW305 The Green Party would broaden the criteria for fostering/[340] and adoption to include all types of relationships- single, married/[341], co-habiting and homosexual/[342] couples/[343]. A wide range of support services will accompany any fostering/[344] arrangement, including financial help, respite care and emergency phone-line.

SW306 Much is made of 'stranger danger' but many children are at a risk of physical, verbal, emotional or sexual/[345] abuse from members of their own family/[346]. The Green Party will set up 'safe houses' where abused or otherwise stressed children can find sanctuary.

SW307 In some cases, such as after abuse, children may be unable to live in the intimate and emotionally demanding environment of a family/[347]. Small homes should be provided by the public sector, run by highly qualified, supported and well paid staff. These should provide therapeutic and 'normalising' care required to enable children to reach their potential and become fully participating members of society.

Older People

SW400 Ageism is rife in our society. To those over 50 our society seems to be designed and organised for the needs and benefit of youth.

SW401 Many industries and companies are not interested in employing people despite their knowledge, stability and reliability.

SW402 Retirement means that people no longer get paid for the work they do but that does not mean they stop working. The Green Party's Citizen Income scheme would enable retirement age to be completely flexible recognising that some want to retire as soon as possible and others want to continue working (see EC 732.)

SW403 Many voluntary organisations depend on the work and commitment of people who have retired from paid work. Traditional economics ignores such contributions but Citizen's Income will enable people to work part-time, flexible hours and home working.

SW404 People of all ages will be encouraged to study and take up new activities and hobbies.

SW405 Treatment for illnesses will be based on the condition not the age of the person or the region where they live.

SW406 If residential care is needed then it will be provided free and house owners would not be required to sell their home to pay for such care.

Mental illness and emotional vulnerability

SW500 The Green Party is strongly committed to valuing and supporting people with illness and disabilities/[348]. Green Party polices address promoting mental health, preventing mental illness, reducing suffering and disability/[349], promoting recovery and rehabilitation, reducing suicide and reducing other premature death related to mental illness. A comprehensive approach to these goals requires close liaison between the health, social services, education, employment, environment and criminal justice systems at national, local and individual levels.

SW501 The majority of people are likely to suffer emotional vulnerability or mental illness at some point in their lives. The causes may not be obvious but can be environmental such as chronic social adversity or lack of social support or physical such as genetic or related to physical illness (see also H313)

SW502 At government and local level, there is a need to work closely with the other key sectors to ensure adequate choice of employment opportunities, leisure opportunities, creative projects, day care, supported housing and provision of psychological and social therapies. At individual level, there is a need to ensure detailed needs assessment and provision of a carefully tailored package to meet individual needs of people and their carers.

SW503 Mental illness can be mild or severe; of short duration or lifelong; chronic, acute or a mixture of the two. The needs of different people must be assumed to be different, but some elements need to be held in common.

SW504 The Green Party recognises that a majority of those people who have or have had experience of mental illness live independently in the community. However, due to ongoing closures of in-patient accommodation, increasing numbers are at the more acutely affected end of the spectrum.

SW505 People who have mental illness or emotional issues to deal with need supportive environments and safe places to go. Day centres, gardening and creative projects, groups in which to think about what is going on, and trained people to talk to are a minimum requirement. The Green Party would always seek to ensure the emphasis is placed on enabling people to make choices about their lives.

SW506 For most people who have been mentally ill and have recovered or stabilized all that is needed is the assurance of trustworthy support should the need arise again. For those for whom stability has been achieved but recovery has not been possible, some support may always be needed. 'Support' may mean groups, day and drop-in facilities, counselling, supported working and /or living environments. For those for whom no recovery has yet been achieved, and stability is precarious, and who are unable to live alone or with their families/[350], the Green Party would seek to achieve staffed housing in communities with trained permanent staff.

SW507 The Green Party will ensure that staff working with people who have severe and enduring mental illness are adequately trained and remunerated. This will ensure the retention of staff and should reduce the damaging need to employ a changing procession of temporary 'agency' staff

SW508 Outreach workers need to be available to visit people where they are rather than making appointments which he or she may be unable to keep.

SW509 There is a need to ensuring that mental health community teams are adequately staffed so that they do not have to rely on routine involvement of police officers to track down people who have missed appointments.

SW510 Support for families/[351] and carers needs to be in person rather than remotely and provided both by those providing professional care and independently of those operating the service to the user.

SW511 People should be informed fully about what the drugs they are given will do, including their limitations and unwanted effects. Before drugs are administered other therapies should be tried, basic health checks should be carried out even if it is known that only drug treatment will help.

Disabled/[352] People

SW600 The Green Party has endorsed the social model of disability/[353] (DY200) where there is a recognition that society has put up barriers which prevents disabled/[355] people with different impairments from becoming and being full and active citizens. The Green Party is strongly committed to valuing, empowering and supporting people with illness and disabilities/[356].

SW601 Equal opportunities must start from day one and to this end the green party supports the purpose of the Disability/[357] Discrimination Act (DDA) which is to ensure disabled/[358] people have the same opportunities as non disabled/[359] people to participate in civic life.

SW602 The Green Party will seek to strengthen the disability/[360] rights commission (DRC) and laws that help to enforce the DDA.

SW603 The Green Party recognises all disabled/[361] people, including people with sensory, learning, physical and mental health impairments, should be able to live in the community with appropriate support if desired.

SW604 Social services tends to be institutionalised and inflexible and based on non-disabled/[362] peoples' perception of what disabled/[363] people need. This has prevented disabled/[364] people from determining their own lives.

SW605 It is important for people with disabilities/[365] to be part of the socialisation process that their able-bodied peers experience. Children with disabilities/[366] should be given support to do activities independently of their parents. They need support and opportunities for personal development.

SW606 Every individual should participate in a comprehensive assessment and a support package be developed to meet the agreed needs. Peoples' needs change and care packages must reflect this.

SW607 Assessments covering all aspects of disabled/[367] people lives will be undertaken on a self-assessment basis by disabled/[368] people and facilitated by the social workers using a person-centred process. The disabled/[369] person can be supported by other persons if they desire. Where support is needed, advocates will have the right to represent the disabled/[370] person throughout the assessment and review process.

SW608 Care packages need to provide one-to-one support for any activity or task needed to facilitate the disabled/[371] person's functioning. This allows the disabled/[372] person to access the same political, social, leisure and work opportunities available to non disabled/[373] people. To facilitate the process, local authorities will have single budgets where individualised care packages will be paid for.

SW609 Personal care and support for disabled/[374] people should be provided free, so that they can operate from a financial foundation equal to their peers. This includes any expenses incurred from having a disability/[375], such as communication aids, interpretation and accommodation adaptations, mental health support, personal mobility aids, learning support, counselling, psychotherapy, art and music therapy or other therapies as appropriate.

SW610 These services should be available both on professional and self-referral basis. The person should be able to choose the service providers as the success of such support will depend on the personal relationship between the service provider and recipient. 'Support' may mean groups, day and drop-in facilities, counselling, supported working and /or living environments.

SW611 The Green Party would always seek to ensure the emphasis is placed on enabling and empowering people to make choices about their lives. Skills training for job or independent living will be provided.

SW612 Some disabled/[376] people need support to manage their own care packages. Each local authority will fund independent living services (Centres for Inclusive Living) to provide advice, advocacy, and support to help people manage their care packages.

SW613 Funding of individual care packages should be provided through a number of mechanisms such as via direct payments, trusts, or third party schemes, all permitted under the NHS and Community Care Act and Community Care (Direct Payments) Act.

SW614 Where there is a dispute between the local authority and the disabled/[377] person on the care plan, then a free, independent appeals process will be available and their decisions would be legally binding. When a disabled/[378] person moves to another local authority, the individual care package will be guaranteed by that local authority.

SW615 The Green Party recognises there are occasions where a disabled/[379] person will be supported by their relatives. Where this is the case, the local authority will ensure that the disabled/[380] person has access to independent advocacy. Regular reviews will be undertaken to ensure living with family/[381] member(s) will not inhibit the disabled/[382] person's autonomy

SW616 Respite care should be provided in a person's home. They should not be forced to vacate their home and go to day centres. Other carers can be brought in the home to enable the usual carer to have time-off.

SW617 For those who are unable to live alone or with their families/[383], the Green Party would seek to achieve staffed housing in communities with trained permanent staff.

SW618 The Green Party will ensure that staff working with people who have severe and multiple needs are adequately trained and remunerated. This will ensure the retention of staff and should reduce the damaging need to employ a changing procession of temporary 'agency' staff.

SW619 Outreach workers need to be available to visit people where they are rather than making appointments which he or she may be unable to keep.

Carers

SW900 The Green Party recognizes that much social welfare work is done by volunteers, charities, helplines and family/[384] members, including children. Such individuals would be helped by Citizen's Income (EC732) and proper stable funding of voluntary organisations.

SW901 The Green Party supports the current position of benefits however it would work towards streamlining it in the short and medium term and replacing it with Citizen's income in the long term.

SW902 The Green Party recognises that where social welfare support is provided year-round by family/[385] members or friends exclusively, there may arise a need for respite from the duties this involves. Such breaks are vital in that they ensure carers get the time we all need to rest from work. The Green Party also recognises that breaks from caring work enable carers to go on caring. Many respite and day care centres have been closed in recent years, and the buildings sold to the private sector, in order that financial savings be realized by health and social services departments. The Green Party will support existing respite centres and will fund the replacement of respite care centres where they are needed. The short-term capital investment will be off-set in the long term by fewer family/[386] breakdowns and fewer admissions to permanent institutions.

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TOURISM
Background
TM001 Tourism is defined as travel to another place within one's own country or to another country for leisure purposes. Travel is a relative right. It must be balanced with the right of all to a healthy and sustainable environment, economy and social life (see RR201).

TM002 The Green Party is concerned about ecological. social and economic effects of tourism. We seek to ensure that:
-        damage to the local and global environments is kept to a minimum;
-        people are encouraged to take their holidays closer to home, reducing the amount of travel, particularly by air;
-        the relationship between tourists and the communities they visit is an equitable one.


TM003 Tourism can have benefits. These can include inward investment and development in local communities. Such development must be sustainable. We encourage the development of facilities suitable for a variety of purposes throughout the year, to meet the needs of local people as well as tourists. We encourage more self-reliant local and regional economies, which are diverse and can meet more needs locally. They provide communities with a more secure economy, less dependent on temporary seasonal work. They reduce waste of resources and pollution of the environment.

TM004 A shift towards sustainable tourism requires information of tourists and businesses about the economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism. This is necessary to ensure that tourist activities and facilities are on a scale which matches the local community, are sympathetic to and do not pollute the environment, and are determined to a large extent by the local community.

Policy aims
TM010 Tourism to consume fewer resources, particularly non-renewable resources. There must be a dramatic reduction in the intensive use of fossil fuel for travel, such as car and air travel (see EN501). Where resources such as water are scarce, particular economy in their use for tourism.

TM011 To discourage unsustainable and damaging tourist developments. A more open and democratic decision-making process to determine what developments should be built, and that they benefit local people as well as tourists.

TM012 To encourage involvement of tourists with the communities they are visiting. Separation of tourists from the local environment and people has led to a lack of perception and understanding, not least of issues addressd by these Green policies. We see positive integration of tourists and hosts in a sustainable way as the best way to achieve maximum benefit to both.

Information and awareness
TM015 Raising awareness amongst tourists, tour operators, governments and international bodies about the environmental, social and economic effects of tourism is a vital first step in tackling the issues raised here. A rounded education for life includes consideration of such issues, at school and in higher education (see ED314) and government should make such issues clear in its handling of the tourist industry (see TM.

Tour operators and tourist industries
TM020 Sustainability applies to both tourists and the businesses which depend on their trade. The destruction of tourism resources for short-term profit will deny the benefits to be gained from the access to and use of those resources in the future. At present most tour operators try to offer the cheapest package, without giving the buyer any advice on how they could reduce their impact on the place they are visiting and whether there are alternatives available which would be more sustainable and beneficial to the hosts.

TM021 To encourage awareness of these issues The Green Party would promote a Green tourism certification system, building on existing schemes but with more comprehensive criteria.

TM022 Certification for tour operators would take into account factors such as:
a.        the tour operator's membership of and status in independent environmental certification schemes such as Green Globe;
b.        the extent to which tour documents inform tourists about the local culture and about the environmental/social issues which they might encounter, and advise them on how they could help to reduce their adverse environmental impact and to support the local economy of the places they are visiting;
c.        the information provided in brochures and tour handouts about more sustainable modes of transportation such as trains, buses and passenger ferries, particularly for distances of up to 500 miles;
d.        the information provided in tour documents about where and how to buy locally produced food and support smaller independent accommodation and food establishments;

TM023 Certification would also take into account the extent to which the tour operator:
e.        is aware of and actively respects local, regional. national and international rules established by treaties protecting fauna and flora;
f.        has procedures for undertaking a full environmental impact assessment before any new tourist development is created, to ensure that the chosen venue is environmentally, sociologically and anthropologically sufficiently robust to support the operation proposed without undue damage in these areas;
g.        has a policy of minimising use of the most environmentally unsustainable forms of long-distance transport (e.g. by travelling where feasible over land and sea rather than by air);
h.         adopts EMS (environmental management systems) to reduce any negative impact on the environment;
i.        seeks the active involvement of host communities in the decision-making process with regard to new and existing tourist developments, both in the UK and overseas;
j.        supports smaller independent local accommodation providers;
k.        recruits personnel locally for all levels of responsibility, and gives these personnel full work benefits applicable to other workers in the same country;
l.        protects and enhances the rights of workers employed in the tourist industry, including in other countries by insisting that overseas business partners adhere to acceptable standards in these areas.

TM024 The Green Party believes such a scheme should be a UK contribution to the development of international standards with other countries. The UK should consult other countries, particularly those which are destinations of UK tourists, and should propose a set of guidelines on sustainable tourism.

TM025 The term "eco-tourism" has been adopted by many tour operators, and can be misleading in terms of its real impact on the environment and local peoples. The desire to see unspoiled/traditional landscapes and cultures in fact can lead to damage to those very things. There are no adequate UK or international standards, which could guide tour operators and tourists as to what constitutes an "eco-tourist" holiday. The UK should promote the development of such standards, in consultation with other countries.

Tourism in England and Wales

Tourism and planning
TM030 The current planning process in England and Wales is fundamentally undemocratic and careless of local communities' needs. This can allow developments for tourism which have negative consequences for the locality in which they are sited and for the livelihoods of local people. However, properly informed, open, democratic decisions primarily by the local community about tourist developments are needed to secure sustainable benefit for both the tourists and the economy and lives of local people. New development should be assessed for its capacity to sustain year-round use, not just in the tourist season.

TM031 Local, unitary and structure plans, where they do not already do so, should include tourism. The periodic reviews should include a full environmental impact assessment of tourism in the area, which would include recommendations and targets to ensure the achievement and maintenance of environmental sustainability. This would be supplemented by wider strategic environmental assessments.

TM032 Regional planning should encourage the provision of sustainable leisure facilities, so that more people do not feel a need to travel abroad for their holidays.

Tourism and the economy
TM040 Tourism is an important part of many local and regional economies in England and Wales. The Green Party seeks to ensure that the contribution made by tourism is sustainable, and benefits the economy of the locality where it takes place (see EC911), We promote democratic economic planning and management (see EC511).

TM041 Much employment in the tourist industry is low paid, casual and seasonal work, and in bad conditions. The Green Party would encourage more stable employment, not least by promoting dual use of tourism facilities on a year-round basis (see TM030).Employers should not be able to deprive casual or seasonal workers of statutory employment rights (see WR332 and WR342 - 349). We would strengthen enforcement to ensure that employers meet their statutory obligations.

TM042 The Green Party favours a general review of legislation related to the conduct of restaurant and fast food enterprises. The key objective would be to reduce the negative environmental impacts of such enterprises and improve employment in them. Local authorities should be empowered to encourage certain types of outlet, for example small cafés or restaurants owned and operated by local people, and to encourage all food outlets to source a significant proportion of their food supplies from local producers, to strengthen the local economy.
TM043 Some areas have many second homes/holiday flats, which are only occupied for a few weeks a year. This produces very limited benefit to the local economy. It is detrimental to the local communities, pushing house prices higher and pricing local people out of the market. The Green Party's policy of Land Value Tax has no reduction or exemption for properties which are left vacant. It will deter the ownership of second 'holiday' homes and encourage greater use of underused buildings (see EC793).

Tourism and transport
TM050 Tourists visiting this country increase the load on the national transport system. This impact must be managed in an environmentally sustainable manner, and to ensure that benefits of changes to provision or infrastructure apply both to tourists and the host community. Some areas will attract large numbers of tourists, and much of this tourism will be seasonal. Additional public transport should be provided at such times to cater primarily for tourists so that these journeys can be made with less environmental impact and disruption to local travel.

TM051. The Green Party wishes to cut the use of fossil fuels by encouraging the use of public transport rather than private cars for tourism. Local authorities should help co-ordinate the provision of public transport to existing tourist facilities. Local restaurants, hotels, facilities and tourist attractions should be encouraged to give special offers to those visitors who use public transport, in exchange for promotion of their facilities through the transport operators and local authority. Such a scheme would be self-financing." and renumber accordingly.

TM052 Similarly, new tourist developments must be subject to an environmental impact assessment including the number of new visitors likely. Where development bringing a significant increase in numbers of visitors is accepted, the developers must work with public transport providers and the local authority to ensure sufficient additional public transport is provided.

TM053 The Green Party encourages the use of environmentally sustainable modes of transport, as set out in the hierachy of modes in our transport policy (see TR010). Facilities for walking, cycling, riding and provision of public transport help tourism to benefit both tourists and residents. We would empower local authorities to give grants to small and medium sized tourism enterprises to improve significantly their facilities for cyclists or links with public transport provision.
TM054 Canals and other waterways offer sustainable opportunities for tourism with limited consumption of resources (see EN525). We encourage the use of renewable energy and sustainable fuels for waterborne transport (see EN302) and (TR). Canals, rivers and waterways used for tourism need to be managed to ensure minimum disruption to the local ecology by tourist activities there. Speed restrictions on motorised craft must be enforced.
Tourism, our natural and cultural heritage, and the environment
TM060 Our country's natural and cultural heritage attracts tourists. We need to ensure tourism supports the maintenance of that heritage, rather than damaging it through excess. A rich natural heritage, managed properly, can be enjoyed by tourists and local people in environmentally sensitive ways.

TM061 Areas and sites which have come under severe pressure from tourist activities would be designated for absolute protection from further degradation. Local authorities should have responsibility for enforcement, and legal penalties would fall upon both individuals and corporate bodies responsible for damage. Local authorities, non-governmental organisations and the public would be consulted about the designation of such sites. Such designation would provide added protection for vulnerable sites. Sensitive natural habitats such as in the Lake District and Snowdonia require protection. The Green Party also promotes a general policy of conservation and protection for all our countryside for enjoyment by tourists and local people (see CY501 - CY503 and CY550 and CY580).

TM062 Certain leisure pursuits which are resource intensive, such as motor boating, helicopter and small aircraft pleasure flights, have greater impact on the environment. Local authorities should be empowered to ban these activities from specific locations in which they are inappropriate. The costs of such activities to participants should reflect their impact upon the environment.

TM063 Golf course proliferation in Britain is unsustainable due to its varied environmental impacts. Further development would be discouraged and regulations would be placed upon existing golf courses requiring them to implement course management practices consistent with environmental sustainability.

TM064 Caravan and camping sites can help encourage tourists to spend more leisure time in this country. Larger sites should be strictly monitored by local authorities to ensure environmentally responsible disposal of waste, minimum maintenance standards for health and safety and responsible use of the local environment.

TM065 Physical deterioration of historic buildings and artefacts can also be a major problem, whether due to pollution or excessive contact with tourism. But "historic" tourism can provide income to support the restoration and maintenance of historic buildings and may stimulate the conversion of other old buildings into tourist accommodation. The Green Party would support this, subject to safeguards for the buildings and surrounding area. Local authorities should preserve, promote and maintain local cultural treasures of all kinds in co-operation with locally based non-governmental organisations.

TM066 Those local authorities covering areas attracting significant numbers of tourists should maintain a Tourism Consultative Committee, to involve local businesses, people and community organisations as a specialised advisory body to recommend policy improvements, based on principles of sustainability.

Policies on International Tourism
TM070 While Green policies for tourism will vary to achieve similar objectives in diverse local circumstances, all are advocated on a basis of equity. Where we favour a particular policy at home, we think it only fair reasonable that other countries should be able to do likewise, rather than being exploited as a result of disparities in economic power. Our policies for international tourism recognise that principle, and seek to ensure that policies we recommend in England and Wales are respected by UK tour operators etc when implemented in other countries.
International tourism and transport

TM075 There has been a rapid increase in international tourism and consequent journeys made using modes of transport dependent on fossil fuels, most significantly air travel. This is resulting in ever growing emissions of greenhouse gases. This is leading to dramatic and potentially devastating climate change.

TM076 The Green Party wishes to reduce drastically the amount of travelling that takes place for tourist purposes, and would do so with the policies set out in the air transport section of our transport policy. Rather than travelling by air, we encourage people to travel overland and by sea. The UK should press governments to ease visa restrictions for people travelling through their country and improve co-operation between countries to develop international ticketing arrangements.

TM077 Our policies to change the nature of work would give people more leisure time to enable them to make journeys by more environmentally friendly means, and to reap the benefits of an enriched travelling experience. Our policies to improve people's quality of life would reduce the desire to travel frequently to escape life at home.

International tourism and the economy
TM080 International tourism is a "high value" industry, offering comparatively large revenues and profits. However, those are usually channelled back to the tour operators, airlines and large organisations, often based in richer countries, rather than benefiting the local economies of the countries hosting the tourists. Imports of food, furniture, other goods and services, and personnel are at the expense of the local economy. Prices for goods and services are often pushed up by tourists' demand for them, to the detriment of meeting local requirements. The Green Party supports countries and communities seeking to require local purchasing, and the development of local industries to meet demand.

TM081 Where tourism developments by overseas companies prove unsustainable, host local communities will need to work together to enable them to reclaim disused tourist facilities and complexes for use by the local population, by means of renovation work, or, where this is not possible, demolition and rebuilding. Multi-use developments should be encouraged, so that they can better meet the needs of local people and tourists together. The Green Party supports
countries and communities seeking to control development in these ways.
International tourism and the environment

TM090 International tourism depends on the attractiveness of the destination's resources to its visitors whether those are natural resources, such as beautiful scenery and wildlife, or human-made resources, such as historic buildings and ancient sites. The environment of faunal and floral species which are locally fragile, rare or close to extinction should be the object of scrupulous respect, in order to save the existence of such populations and their habitats as much as possible. These precautions should apply to wildlife of all kinds. Protection and conservation of historic buildings and sites must be fully respected. Consideration needs to be given to the architectural planning of tourist facilities by using building styles and materials in harmony with the natural and existing built environment.

TM091 UK and international guidelines for the tourist industry (see TM020ff) should be fully respected when the UK is making loans of money to countries to develop their tourist provision, or providing assistance to UK tour operators.

International tourism and local cultures and peoples
TM100 The Green Party condemns the forcible removal of people from their homelands to make way for tourist developments. Full respect must be paid to the cultural and spiritual environment of the hosts in the country visited, and all direct or indirect implications of the conservation of its heritage and traditions.

TM101 We recognise that cultural exchange between peoples can be a positive thing, provided that this is done is a responsible way. We support 'working holidays, cultural exchanges and longer term study or travel in a country, as a means to understand the culture of the places one is visiting.
(Autumn 2001)

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12 matches found

Transport

Background

TR001 The past decades have seen a dramatic rise in the distances generally being travelled and a great shift towards the use of less equitable and unsustainable methods of transport. Thus, while the number of trips has not changed significantly, there has been a decrease in walking, cycling and the use of buses and an increase in trips by car and air. Road freight and air freight have also increased at the expense of rail and water-borne freight.

TR002 As the amount of traffic has increased so have the negative consequences. Air and road traffic are major and increasing sources of many of the worst pollutants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide, carcinogenic particles and noise. These emissions cause massive damage to the natural and built environment and have serious effects on human health.

TR003 Many pedestrians and cyclists have been frightened from travelling as a consequence of the rise in motor vehicle use, the increasing weight of road freight and the increasing ability of cars to be driven at high speeds. Meanwhile, thousands of people are being killed and hundreds of thousands injured on the roads every year, of which pedestrians and cyclists make up a disproportionate percentage of the total.

TR004 These changes have increased the social and economic exclusion of large numbers of people by increasing mobility for some while leading to a decrease in accessibility for many others. They have also been a major contributor to the loss of local facilities that sustain small communities.

TR005 Government transport policy has in the past tried to predict future increases and provide for these. Taxes, regulations and legislation on transport infrastructure and operations have mostly favoured the use of cars, road freight and air travel.

TR006 Society has begun to recognise some of the damage caused by these changes in transport patterns, and this has led to some changes in rhetoric from governments in transport policy. However, there has not been any clear vision about how these problems are to be tackled, leading to policies that are contradictory and ineffective. Transport is now seen as one of the public's major concerns.

Aims

TR010 The principle aims of the transport policy are:

a)Accessibility rather than mobility.

b)Transport to be equitably accessible to all people irrespective of their age, wealth or disability/[387], with local needs given priority over travelling greater distances.

c)Where mobility is desired or needed, to satisfy this through sustainable modes of transport.

d)Transport and its infrastructure to have the minimum impact on the environment.

e)Transport means should make use of sustainable and replaceable resources.

f)Degradation of community life by inappropriate transport modes, especially excessive car use, to be reduced and reversed wherever possible.

g)Transport should not endanger users or others and, where possible, should play a role in bringing about a more healthy population.

Objectives

TR011 To achieve these aims, the principal objectives to this policy are:

a)To reduce the total distance travelled by reducing journey lengths, particularly by encouraging the development and retention of local facilities.

b)Reduce the number of journeys made by unsustainable modes of transport, particularly by car and aeroplane.

c)Encourage a switch to sustainable methods of transport through transport planning based on a hierarchy of modes (see TR030) and demand management (see TR020).

d)Reduce the environmental impacts of each form of transport.

e)Enable integration of different sustainable modes of transport so that these forms of transport are simple and efficient, including convenient interchanges for both passengers and freight.

f)Alter funding of transport to the polluter pays principle, using charges and taxes on transport to support the development of sustainable methods of transport.

g)Provide training for transport providers and planners to ensure the aims of this policy can be practically achieved. The importance of the detail in design will be emphasised.

Turning Principles into Policy

Demand Management

TR020 A key distinction between Green Party transport policy and others is the emphasis on demand management rather than provision for anticipated demand. We want to provide what is necessary and efficient within ecological constraints. We reject simply providing for anticipated demand as wasteful, damaging and unsustainable.

TR021 Strategies to reduce the demand for travel need to be drawn up at all levels of government. These would aim to stimulate and support the development of new and more locally provided products and services to provide a basis for modal shifts, including those that remove the need for travel through the use of telecommunications. They would also include measures to generate demand for these through pragmatic steps to directly influence behaviour, including education, training and support (mobility education).

TR022 These strategies would influence demand both at point of use and indirectly through promotion, information, taxation and research. In the longer term this would also include the use of land use controls. They would also act on all aspects of transport and institutional infrastructure, e.g. regulations and subsidies.

TR023 Targets will be set at national, regional or local levels and the progress of measures towards meeting them will be regularly monitored.

Planning

TR030 Transport planning will need to follow a prioritisation of modes of transport to produce a sustainable transport system (see LP409). All levels of government would be expected to follow the basic hierarchy outlined below. Local authorities will be expected to use the hierarchy in a manner that does not conflict with other green objectives. The requirements for access by emergency vehicles would not be affected by this hierarchy.

1. Walking and disabled/[388] access

2. Cycling.

3. Public transport (trains, light rail/trams, buses and ferries) and rail and water-borne freight.

4. Light goods vehicles, taxis and low powered motor cycles.

5. Private motorised transport (cars & high powered motor cycles).

6. Heavy goods vehicles.

7. Aeroplanes.

TR031 The planning of all transport infrastructure must be done at the most local appropriate level and in a fully democratic manner, involving full and open public consultation. The Green Party supports local planning initiatives from communities to determine their own transport needs, as long as these accord with the general objectives outlined here.

TR032 To reduce the need to travel, transport planning must aim to create mixed-use developments (e.g. shopping with housing and small business premises, etc.). The development and retention of local facilities must be supported through planning and financial measures.

TR033 The Green Party would promote the use of life cycle assessment and the Best Practicable Environmental Option approach for appraisal of transport infrastructure developments. These should be linked to sustainable development policies being developed under Local Agenda 21.

TR034 Fundamental changes to the part which transport plays in our society will need to be introduced sympathetically. At all levels, the Green Party would establish a new basis for implementing transport policy and infrastructure developments. This would be holistic. It would bring into account so called 'externalities', such as environmental and safety costs, as well as on direct construction and operational costs. Guidelines would be developed to balance the needs for sustainable transport infrastructure development with local environmental degradation. Local communities must always be fully involved in all stages of these developments. Where degradation to local communities is inevitable, guidelines would also be drawn up to ensure that compensation will satisfy the needs of those communities as well as practicably possible.

TR035 The Green Party would amend and enforce planning rules to steadily reduce car parking requirements, and make a requirement that the developer must show how their development can be fully accessed by more sustainable modes. Any development that encourages a large number of journeys must be in a location accessible to a wide range of public transport, including links to the rail system. (see TR180 for cycle storage)

TR036 The Green Party will seek to create car-free developments wherever feasible, through both planning arrangements and financial incentives.

TR037 In rural areas, planning requirements for new housing and settlements will need to ensure they are close to a range of services and are well served by public transport.

TR038 To ensure full integration between sustainable modes of transport, the appropriate public bodies will be required to co-ordinate this, with the involvement of all service providers. This information will be expected to be supplied to the public as widely as possible. Authorities would be encouraged to make this available at reduced costs where otherwise usage of these modes may not be encouraged.

Renewable fuels

TR040 The most obviously sustainable fuel is human muscle power, which is used when walking and cycling. Therefore, these two modes appear at the top of our hierarchy, as shown in TR030. Animal powered transport, in particular horse powered transport, is also sustainable provided that sufficient care is taken to ensure animal welfare.

TR041 The burning of all fossil fuel and derivatives (e.g. petrol, diesel, natural gas) to provide power for transport is unsustainable. One of the most serious effects is the contribution to climate change by producing carbon dioxide. The Green Party seeks to dramatically reduce the production of carbon dioxide from all methods of transport. The principle means of doing this are by demand reduction and modal shift. (see TR011)

TR042 Local airborne pollutants are also produced when petrol and diesel are burnt, for instance, particulates, NOx, ozone and partial combustion products such as PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons). The negative affects on human health and the environment of these 'local pollutants' are to some extent mitigated by using technology such as catalytic converters. However, these can cause pollution, so do not offer a solution on their own to the problem of fossil fuel use.

TR043 LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), a petroleum derivative, and methanol, which can be made at low energy cost from different sources, are somewhat cleaner locally than petrol or diesel but have a very similar global warming effect.

TR044 CNG (compressed natural gas) produces less climate change impact per unit of delivered power than petroleum derived fuels. However, global reserves of natural gas are smaller than those of oil, so conversion from oil to gas use on a larger scale will only help if undertaken as a transitional move to fully sustainable fuels.

TR045 Biomass-derived carbon-based fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are in principle fully sustainable, but the amounts it is feasible to produce in densely populated industrialised countries such as the UK are not sufficient to make a serious impact on transport fuel usage.

TR046 Liquid hydrogen (LH) produces no harmful emissions as its only combustion product is water. However, the production of hydrogen requires energy, which is currently generated by an assortment of methods of varying sustainability, including both electricity and gas. There are also tough unsolved technical problems in the commercial use of LH as transport fuel. Hydrogen stored under pressure has occasionally been tried for transport use, but it would be difficult to achieve widespread use of this method. (see also TR501 for aircraft)

TR047 Electrically driven transport, whether electric trains, trolleybuses, electric cars or vehicles fuelled by hydrogen or other secondary fuels, is sustainable as long as the electricity generation itself is sustainable. There is a small advantage in that fuel burning in power stations is more efficient than in cars, and also that regenerative braking is possible - back conversion to useful stored energy of the energy of unwanted motion. Electric vehicles are also pollution free at the point of use, so are very suitable for use in sensitive local environments.

TR048 Fuel cells are essentially portable electricity generators. The degree to which they are sustainable depends entirely on the nature of the primary fuel that is burnt.

TR049 However, even with an aggressive programme of conservation and the adoption of Green Party transport and other policies, it will be difficult to produce enough energy from renewable resources to meet current demand. A large-scale programme of personal electric vehicle introduction is inappropriate until great progress has been made in energy conservation and renewable energy production generally. The Green Party does not advocate it as a solution to transport problems.

Ownership and regulation

TR050 The uncoordinated privatisation and deregulation of many parts of the UK transport industry has contributed to a lack of coherent transport policy for freight and passenger movements. The Green Party believes that public regulation allowing democratic accountability of transport providers is generally the best management system.

TR051 The Green Party believes that regulation needs to be done in a fully open manner for public accountability. This must include all financing arrangements of regulatory bodies and all links between those bodies and the service providers.

TR052 The Green Party believes that regulation of transport development cannot be undertaken according to the above principles through private finance initiatives (PFIs), and will oppose the use of this financing method.

Charges and Taxes

TR060 Current transport costs society far more than is received through charges and taxes on transport users. The 'hidden' external costs, i.e. air and noise pollution, congestion, accidents and road damage, have been calculated in the 1990s as costing society at least £30 billion more than is received through these. This does not include the effect of current transport on global warming and community disturbance, which will raise this figure hugely.

TR061 The Green Party financial measures relating to transport are based on two principles. Firstly, transport should pay for its environmental costs through taxes and charges (the polluter pays principle). Secondly, these should be used to finance measures to meet all of the objectives as outlined in TR011.

TR062 Funds raised from transport taxes and charges will be hypothecated (i.e. allocated for specific expenditure) for investment in and subsidies of environmentally friendly modes of transport until such time that the necessary changes in transport needed to meet our objectives have occurred. This shall include paying for redressing the negative environmental, social and health consequences of transport.

TR063 Road fuel tax is an important factor in encouraging users to be more mileage conscious and to opt for smaller, more fuel efficient cars. The Green Party would increase road fuel tax incrementally until the revenue of fuel tax covers a high proportion of road traffic's external costs, with adjustments for transport use and the nature of the fuel.

TR064 The Green Party supports the introduction of fuel tax on aviation fuel and emission charges and increased landing charges on aircraft. (see TR480 and 481)

TR065 The Green Party will introduce a vehicle purchase tax on the purchase of all new vehicles, which would be steeply graded according to a vehicle's pollution level, fuel consumption and type of fuel.

TR066 The tax disc would be abolished. Instead, cars would have to display evidence that they were insured. When applying for insurance, applicants would be obliged to submit MOT certificates when they are needed, and cover will not be granted in the absence of such evidence. Insurers will not be entitled to offer cover beyond the expiry date of the MOT certificate or the end of the exemption period, whichever is applicable.

TR067 Goods vehicle duty should be related to vehicle size, axle load and pollution to better reflect their external costs and remove the cross-subsidy of larger vehicles by smaller ones.

TR068 The Green Party supports the principle of road charging for motorised vehicles, as this can be used to specifically reduce traffic in areas where it is most harmful. However, road charging would not be introduced where it would cause a significant increase in the use of other roads, especially those passing though built up areas.

TR069 In the short term, road charging should be introduced where road space is most congested and where traffic causes most pollution. These would be expected to be in urban areas and in areas that attract large numbers of tourists.

TR070 The Green Party supports a non-residential parking levy to be levied on off-street parking. The introduction of parking levies would need to be done over wide areas to ensure local economies are not adversely affected by these.

Policies on charges for on-street car parking are covered by TR307.

Accessible transport

TR071 A comprehensive plan for fully accessible transport will be implemented, so that public transport will be usable by all members of the public. In addition, the necessary arrangements will be made to meet any extra reasonable transportation needs of disabled/[389] people beyond that which can be provided through general services. (see DY502)

TR072 The Green Party would encourage the provision of any private vehicle hire type services that provide for improved accessibility for disabled/[391] people, such as Dial-a-Ride.

Transport in rural areas

TR080 Transport can be a more significant facet of rural than urban life, as distances travelled are generally longer and therefore usually form a higher proportion of a household's budget. In addition, there can be a huge inequality of access to services between rural and urban areas.

TR081 However, rural areas cannot be excluded from attempts to curb CO2 emissions and protecting the environment. Thus, the challenge of providing access to facilities, and of creating an integrated network of environmentally sustainable transport, will be much greater in the countryside than in urban areas.

TR082 To do this will require a range of measures, only some of which will be directly transport related. In particular, to retain and develop local services in rural areas where the economies of scale inevitably work against this will require targeting of funding to support this.

TR083 The following policies will have particular relevance to rural areas: TR037, TR114, TR165 and TR210 to 213.

Commuting

TR090 The aim of these policies is to reduce the impact that commuting currently has on transport problems, particularly pollution and congestion. A significant means to achieve this is through extending the use of telecommunication technology so that work from home is more easily arranged.

TR091 As commuting, by its nature, is made up of regular journeys, it is particularly suited to travel by public transport, as it allows a regular supply of passengers to sustain this provision. However, decades of under-investment in sustainable transport has resulted in commuting patterns that are now more reliant on car journeys, such as to out of town developments. The Green Party will aim to reverse these patterns back to ones where public transport can readily provide for most journeys.

TR092 The Green Party believes that employers have a responsibility for ensuring that businesses do not cause detriment to society and the environment. With regards to transport, they would be responsible for drawing up green commuter plans in partnership with appropriate authorities, and would contribute to the funding of necessary measures. Satisfactory green commuter plans would be a requirement for any new development.

School Transport

TR100 Safe routes to schools would be given the highest priority by the Green Party, so that most children are able to walk or cycle to school

TR101 The Green Party supports the 'walking bus' method of accompanying smaller children to and from school.

TR102 The Green Party supports the provision of good quality subsidised public transport for all pupils who do not live within a short distance of their school. The type of public transport subsidised (train, bus or taxi) would depend on local circumstances. Criteria for defining the geographical area that subsidies would apply to would be drawn up by the local authority - maximum distances would be set so that subsidies do not attract usage of schools at great distances and adversely affect local schools.

TR103 Children and parents must be involved in the process of deciding what transport provision the school needs. Children must be educated about the issues of transport's impact on the environment and society so that they can make informed choices.

Streets for All

TR110 The Green Party takes a holistic view of street use. Too much of our city, town and village streets have been taken over by motor vehicles, and too little is left for residents' outdoor circulation and living space. These streets have become more dangerous for residents and vulnerable road users than they used to be. There is more traffic, and much of it moves too fast, at speeds that in an accident may kill or seriously injure pedestrians and cyclists in particular. To change this the Green Party proposes a comprehensive package of mutually reinforcing measures that we believe will deliver significant improvements for residents and road users.

TR111 The priority measures will be the reduction of excessive speeds on streets and the reallocation of road space away from cars, with the aim of making all streets places which all people feel able to use.

TR112 Funding for these measures would come from funding that at present is used for road building. There would be no new road building or widening schemes implemented except for essential access. A review of all proposed schemes would be eventually undertaken once the necessary measures, as outlined below, have been introduced, with the assumption that these will then be all deemed unnecessary.

TR113 The Green Party would introduce a 20m.p.h. limit throughout built up areas, including villages. This overall approach would reduce the need for specific traffic calming measures everywhere, but it is recognised that there would still be a need for these in many locations, especially the entrances to these areas.

TR114 In rural areas, apart from trunk roads, the maximum speed limit would be 40m.p.h. Local communities would be encouraged to set lower limits on country lanes where pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders would be particularly vulnerable. They would also be encouraged to designate green lanes where these modes would have priority, and where feasible, to close lanes that act as through routes to allow only for these modes plus local access.

TR115 On major roads outside of built up areas, the maximum speed limit allowed would be 55m.p.h., to maximise the efficiency of fuel use as well as improving safety.

TR116 In residential streets, priority will be given to residents, particularly in its use as part of their outdoor living space. Residents would be involved from the outset in the redesigning of these, and a far greater percentage of the funding of roads will be diverted to these works. This redesign will go beyond the use of current speed reducing measures to more effective redesigns to increase pedestrian space and restrict vehicle carriageway, with physical features effectively limiting speed of vehicles to 10m.p.h., while making the environment more inviting to pedestrians and cyclists, such as the "Home Zones" initiative in The Netherlands and elsewhere (see LP410)

TR117 In shopping streets safe access will be the priority. The emphasis will be on widened pavements and, where possible, pedestrianisation. Schemes which allow slow motor transport for shoppers with limited mobility or heavy burdens will be encouraged. In all shopping streets crossings will be provided at frequent intervals. (see TR162)

TR118 All traffic calming, i.e. speed reducing, features that are introduced into streets, and any other features that affect street design, must not create situations where pedestrians and cyclists are put in any danger or inconvenience.

TR119 Specific measures will also be taken to reduce the effect of vehicle noise and vehicle pollution to the environment. Such measures could include barriers to reduce the effect of both, and education and legislation on measures such as turning off engines when waiting.

TR120 Traditional road safety has concentrated on removing road designs that could be contributory factors in accidents. Regrettably, this has also resulted in road design that allows drivers to manoeuvre with less caution, allowing greater speeds. The Green Party will concentrate road design on reducing vehicle speeds.

TR121 As policies on reducing journeys made by motor vehicles start to take effect, the Green Party will actively seek to reallocate road space away from traffic and parking to more sustainable uses, primarily to give priority to more sustainable modes of transport but also for other non-transport sustainable uses.

TR122 Light pollution has been an increasing problem in many areas, especially due to street lighting. However, lighting is necessary where security of the most vulnerable road users is a factor. To balance these factors, the Green Party will prioritise measures that reduce its dominance, such as making the direction of lighting more accurate, and also introducing less energy intensive methods of lighting.

Walking and Cycling

General Policies

TR150 These will be given the highest priority in transport planning for the following reasons:

a)They both benefit the user through increasing their health and well-being, which no other mode of transport does.

b)They have the least environmental impact.

c)They are both available to use by the greatest number of the population, particularly children. It is of course recognised that there are some people who are not able to walk or cycle, and for this reason disabled/[392] access is given equal priority. (see TR030)

d)They benefit the social environment in which they take place by increasing contact between people. They also enhance the vitality of our cities, towns and villages.

The aim of these policies is to make it possible for walking and cycling to account for most short distance journeys made.

TR151 Both walking and cycling are dependent on their facilities being well maintained and cleaned. The Green Party will ensure that priority is given to this, in funding and enforcement, including fines against those allowing dogs to foul the footway.

TR152 The Green Party will ensure that signing of pedestrian and cycling routes is given priority, with clear signs to those places that people actually wish to travel to, e.g. shops and public facilities, including public transport stops. We would also encourage the placing of maps at regular intervals that give information that pedestrians need, such as surface barriers, road crossings and bus stops.

TR153 The shared use of pedestrian space with cyclists is recognised as a source of nuisance and conflict to pedestrians. The Green Party will make all efforts to reduce these conflicts through its measures to make roads safe for cyclists. Where proposals are made for shared use, all other measures will have to be first studied to ensure that there are no other ways of making safe cycling. Loss of road space from other vehicles to accommodate cyclists will be seen as preferable to loss of footway space from pedestrians. (see TR173)

TR154 Walking and cycling have become popular leisure pursuits with the development of long distance paths and rural cycle paths. Such activity can often imply a dependence on a car to access these places. All publicity for these should show how these can be accessed by sustainable modes of transport, including public transport.

TR155 Where rail services are proposed for disused lines that have been converted to pedestrian or cycle paths, where possible safe and convenient paths for pedestrians and cyclists would be maintained. Decisions on the provision of these rail services must recognise the extent of current sustainable uses of the lines, and must involve consultation with users of the existing and proposed facilities.

Walking

TR160 All opportunities must be taken to maximise the convenience, safety, security and comfort of pedestrians. Planning for pedestrians will aim to provide both networks of routes and to ensure other areas are pedestrian-orientated. A priority will be given to providing a minimum standard of provision for pedestrians that would ensure that all networks are complete and usable by all pedestrians. (see TR161)

TR161 Pedestrians include people of many different needs and abilities. These will include those with sensory disabilities/[393], the elderly, children, those pushing or carrying heavy loads and larger groups of people. Design for pedestrians must always seek to provide for all of these.

TR162 Crossings of roads should always be designed on the principles outlined in TR160, following consultations with pedestrians. All formal crossings will be designed to respond quickly to pedestrian demand, with an aim to provide zebra crossings at frequent levels. Barriers stopping informal crossing of roads should be progressively removed.

TR163 The Highway Code allows for priority to pedestrians crossing at side road junctions and access roads. The Green Party will seek to effect this in road design, education and enforcement. (see TR175 for cyclists)

TR164 The Green Party will encourage the development of car-free city centres, aiming to make these the norm. Pedestrians improve the attractiveness and commercial success of central areas, and pedestrianised zones will mean a reduction in pollution, noise and accidents from powered vehicles.

TR165 The footpath network has suffered from a lack of maintenance and development for many years, exacerbated by hostility from some landowners and lack of funding priority by some authorities. The Green Party would give greater priority to maintaining and signing public rights of way throughout all areas, and developing new routes wherever there is a perceived demand.

Cycling

TR170 Cycling has decreased in modal share as roads have become dominated by cars. The fear of the potential of motor vehicles to inflict injury to cyclists in accidents, and the harm to their health from vehicle pollution, has been primarily responsible for this. This has led to many cyclists choosing to use pedestrian areas rather than roads. A lack of recognition of the problems faced by cyclists in being able to travel safely and conveniently has led to a huge lack of resourcing of all types of cycling infrastructure.

TR171 The Green Party recognises that the keys to promoting the use of bicycles are:

a)Reducing the need to travel long distances for work, leisure and shopping.

b)Improving road conditions to make them safe, convenient and comfortable to cycle on, including reallocating road space. (see TR110 etc)

TR172 Cycles are a vehicle and, as such, cycling should, wherever possible, take place on roads or, where not feasible, on cycle paths segregated from pedestrians. To this end, local authorities would need to review all roads regularly, and the measures needed to bring them up to a standard of safety required for cycling. In targeting support, including funding, local authorities will be expected to ensure that the most congested routes in urban areas will be given high priority, and that any works must ensure the completeness of the route.

TR173 There will be a hierarchy of measures to create this provision. The primary objective of these will be reducing speeds and volume of motorised traffic. Where this cannot achieve a safe cycling environment, various forms of segregation from vehicles will be implemented, including routes completely away from the road system.

TR174 Where the cycle infrastructure is shared with pedestrians or horse riders, or where the cycle provision on roads is shared with bus priority measures, adequate space must be provided for the two users to share it safely.

TR175 Where cycle routes are provided which give some form of segregation from other road users, the cycle route will be given priority at junctions over motorised traffic. Alterations to national rules, including the Highway Code, and education of other road users to understand this, will be needed to allow this to happen in a safe manner. (see TR163)

TR176 Stricter enforcement of parking and other violation of cycle facilities by motor vehicles will be undertaken. Where legitimate uses of cycle facilities by other vehicles takes place, e.g. servicing adjacent properties, any opportunities to provide for these elsewhere will be given priority.

TR177 A national network of longer distance cycle routes will be encouraged, within which local networks will be connected. However, the priority in cycling provision will be for local needs.

TR178 Technical innovations that allow for bicycles to be used by the greatest number of people (e.g. bicycles for people with disabilities/[394], and including renewable power assistance for those unable to use bicycles to their full ability), and those that allow for bicycles to be used for a greater number of uses (e.g. load-carrying bikes, bikes that can carry more than one person, folding bikes, etc.), will be encouraged. (see TR071). However, simplicity in technology is of paramount importance to encourage the greatest use of bicycles, and the Green Party will encourage manufacturers to make bicycles for everyday use widely available.

TR179 All public transport providers will be obliged to fully consult with and provide for cyclists, both on their vehicles (train, ferry, bus, light rail/tram, etc.) and at all the boarding and termination points where they run along fixed routes.

TR180 All large employers and organisations that are publicly accessible must provide for cyclists to be able to leave their bicycles and belongings in safe, secure dry surroundings. For clusters of small shops or workshops, the local authority or estate owner must make such provision. This should also apply to council and private housing. Provision for cycle storage should be made in all new developments.

TR181 Local authorities will be responsible for providing cycle parking as needed in public spaces and for enabling the widespread provision of cycle resource centres, where the fullest range of supporting services, such as cycle maintenance and indoor cycle parking, can be provided.

TR182 The Green Party will encourage all other initiatives that may encourage a change of mode to cycling. This can include alterations to allowances paid by employers to their employees for their necessary travel, and government tax relief for work related cycling, on a scale no less generous than car allowances.

TR183 Training for children in all practices relating to cycle use, e.g. riding and maintenance, will become an integral part of the education system, and will be supported by the provision of safe places for children to learn to cycle. Provision for the training of adults will also be supported and must be an important element in promoting cycling in the short term whilst road conditions are particularly hostile to cyclists.

TR184 Road safety training in relation to promoting cycle use will be organised on the principle that cyclists should make their own decisions on safety needs. However, the Green Party feels that all bicycles sold should, as a minimum, have lighting (preferably pre-wired to allow for the fitting of dynamos) and a bell, or other warning device, and will support technological developments that improves this provision.

Public transport

General policies

TR200 The Green Party believes it is the government's responsibility to ensure that all urban and rural areas of the United Kingdom are served by a public transport system that will allow for a large proportion of the current private motorised journeys to transfer to these modes. To this end, it must ensure that public transport is designed and planned to create a user-friendly service, that is reliable, affordable, accessible, integrated with all other sustainable modes and environmentally friendly. Public service, not private profit, must be the primary function of public transport.

TR201 The Green Party believes that all levels of government have responsibilities for setting service levels to cover all public transport, whether privately or publicly provided, which they would have responsibility for enforcing. Service levels would cover such factors as frequency of bus and train services and would take into account the size of locations served and their remoteness from the nearest centre where a wide range of local services are available. Local transport users must be fully involved in decisions on service levels.

TR202 Information on all aspects of public transport, such as tickets, fares, timetables and integration of services, needs to be easily available to all transport users. All information should be available on the internet and by telephone, and at public libraries and transport information centres, which should be created at all major public transport interchanges. Information on local services should be available at all bus stops and train stations. All information must be in a simple, easy to understand format.

TR203 Local authorities will also have responsibility for ensuring that all public transport modes are fully integrated with each other and are easily accessible to all disabled/[395] people and those arriving by bicycle and foot.

TR204 Whilst public transport is generally a much safer form of transport than private transport in terms of injuries per distance travelled, it is recognised that safety is perceived by the public to be a problem, especially due to the scale of accidents where injuries result. The Green Party would, thus, devote resources to improving the safety of public transport.

TR205 The Green Party recognises that one of the major barriers to people using public transport, particularly women and the elderly, is a concern for personal safety. To this end, we promote policies on staffing at rail stations (see TR236) and bus conductors (see TR277). For safety in and around bus stops, rail stations and other public transport termini, the Green Party would invest in general structural improvements. These could include better lighting, enclosed waiting points, provision of local emergency numbers and electronic information on services, and other security measures such as CCTV.

TR206 Public transport is dependent upon the goodwill of its workforce who, by the nature of the work, have to endure unsocial working hours, including split shifts, frustrating working conditions, mainly due to the lack of vision in transport planning, and relatively poor pay. The Green Party would seek to improve all these factors, along with greater involvement of the staff in the running of the transport systems.

Public transport in rural areas

TR210 Due to the remoteness of many rural areas, for public transport to offer a viable alternative to private motorised transport, there will need to be a substantial increase in the number and range of services provided. To fund these, the Green Party would increase the Rural Transport Grant to a level that allows for this, and extend its range. The grant would be administered by the most appropriate local authorities, which would enforce service levels through this provision. (see TR202)

TR211 Public transport in rural areas should be designed to meet the needs of those living in those areas. This must be done in the most efficient way possible, and must recognise the diversity of rural transport provision and the importance of innovative solutions. These will include various forms of trip sharing and community transport provision, including post buses and taxis, especially in the more remote areas where a reliance on the provision of frequent bus services may be environmentally damaging and too expensive.

TR212 It would be expected that there would be provision of regular bus services to most villages from their nearest town and station. These should aim to have as a minimum an hourly service, including Sundays and evenings.

TR213 In the most densely populated rural areas, provision could also be achieved through the construction of light rail lines between the main towns.

Ticketing and fares

TR220 The most appropriate local authority in any area should be responsible for ensuring that ticketing is made as simple and comprehensive as possible. This should include:

a)Through tickets available to cover all public transport modes.

b)Daily and weekly passes available for all journeys.

c)Comprehensive travel cards, including 'transport smartcards', available at all points of the journey.

d)Both single and return tickets available for all journeys.

e)Monthly and annual passes affording significant discounts.

For rail tickets, as a transitionary measure, this should be done by a new rail regulation board.

There should be a National Railcard available to all and offering discounts on rail fares.

TR221 Tickets need to be made available at as wide a range of outlets as possible, e.g. public transport stops, transport centres and local shops, and need to be available for sale at all times that the transport systems are operating.

TR222 Fare structures for all public transport should be simplified and properly co-ordinated, with the aim of introducing one standard fare for any given service, but including options of discounted fares for off peak journeys and for those with low or no incomes, including pensioners and children. Single fares should not be penalised at the expense of return journeys, and tickets bought at the time of travel should not be unduly penalised compared to those bought in advance, to ensure that the flexibility of public transport use is promoted. Fares on routes that offer the same journey (whether by a different company or on a different route to the same terminating point) must not differ to penalise some users to the benefit of others.

TR223 Fares must be set so that there is a sufficient price advantage between them and private motorised transport to attract many users away from these modes, but must take into account the environmental costs that public transport does create. This will involve reducing fares initially to make public transport attractive, but then working out a system that allows for the fare to cover the pollution costs that all public transport does create. Fares could then be expected to increase accordingly, but only as a price advantage is kept between them and private motorised transport, to ensure users are not attracted back to these modes.

Rail

TR230 The Green Party believes that the rail system, including track and operators, needs to be publicly owned, and would seek to bring the service back into public ownership.

TR231 The division of rail and track companies into a competitive rather than a cooperative organisation, and the fragmentation of the rail industry into 100 companies by privatisation, has been disastrous for safety and reliability and the provision of an integrated service. The Green Party would overcome this through public ownership (see TR230), but also by making the rail service more democratically accountable at local and regional levels.

TR232 All rail franchises that exist from rail privatisation would be cancelled, with compensation given only for any money that the franchisee has actually invested in the railway in excess of any profits the franchisee has taken from the railway.

TR233 The Green Party will give high priority to introducing new rail services and increasing the capacity of existing services, by:

a)Adding more tracks and grade separated junctions to existing lines.

b)Reintroducing passengers to lines that at present are used only for freight. (see TR351)

c)Major investment in new rail infrastructure, either along disused lines where applicable, or by building new lines where these would serve perceived demand.

d)Opening additional stations to give all communities reasonable access to the rail service.

TR234 The Green Party would endeavour to make all stations fully accessible to all users. This will include lifts, at grade crossings, ramps, etc., as well as any provision for any user to access carriages without any difficulty. All rail services will have adequate space for those in wheelchairs within areas where passengers are seated. (see TR070)

TR235 All stations will have secure high quality cycle parking provision, under cover wherever possible, regularly reviewed to ensure demand is met. This should include the provision of lockers for overnight parking.

TR236 The Green Party supports the provision of facilities to carry cycles on passenger trains. New rolling stock should be designed so that it can be fitted with such facilities, so that facilities can be increased as demand rises. We recognise that on some services all the capacity is required to carry people, and that limited room at similarly crowded railway stations may restrict the loading and offloading of cycles during peak hours. In such cases our aim will be to improve the railway infrastructure to create the capacity to carry not only all the passengers but cycles as well. To encourage cycle and rail use, the aim will be to carry cycles at no extra cost to users.

TR237 The Green Party would aim to reintroduce staffing of stations as widely as possible, with staff available for the whole periods that services are being run. To allow for this at minor stations where usage is always likely to be low, the idea of community run stations will be explored (e.g. through Community Rail Partnerships), whilst the introduction of Citizens Income will allow for local stations to be staffed on a part time basis for the periods when there are services running. We would support efforts to set up joint retail shop/booking office facilities to extend hours when stations are staffed. The intention will be that stations will once again be places where there is activity and a pride of local ownership, rather than deserted places that many are now.

TR238 Greater priority will be given to replacing existing rolling stock to improve the reliability and safety of trains. The design of this rolling stock will take into account the needs of all potential users, particularly as outlined in TR234 and 236 and also including provision for bulky luggage where possible.

TR239 All high speed and very busy lines and all trains that operate on them should be fitted with some form of automatic train protection to prevent drivers passing signals at danger. Some form of train protection, such as the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS), should be fitted onto other lines.

TR240 Other rail infrastructure that has suffered chronic under-investment in the past, such as rails, signalling, etc, will be given greater priority, to bring the level of the service back to a safe provision. (see TR204)

TR241 To improve the convenience for users, most services would need to run on a level of frequency that would allow for all reasonable journeys to be made. In general, a minimum of an hourly service would always be expected, with services running from early in the morning to late in the evening. Exceptions would normally be for long distance low demand routes. Special provision would additionally need to be made for seasonal and one-off journeys.

TR242 The Green Party would greatly increase rail investment to expand and improve the network and services.

TR243 To allow for the future extension of rail services and infrastructure, the sale of land by rail authorities would be immediately stopped, pending a review of where future rail provision can be made. Where railway land has recently been disposed of, an early priority will be to investigate how feasible it will be to return this land to rail use.

TR244 The Green Party believes that long distance service provision should not concentrate on high speeds where this will affect local service provision or take up an excessive amount of limited resources.

Light Rail, tram and urban underground services

TR250 The introduction of light rail and tram systems can lead to a step change in the provision of public transport. Light rail is less noisy and more energy efficient than both cars and buses. It creates no emissions at point of use and can carry a high volume of passengers.

TR251 The Green Party supports the further expansion and construction of new light rail systems, with the aim of seeing their introduction into all towns and cities where there is local support. Any construction must be done in an environmentally sensitive manner.

TR252 Light rail should be segregated from all other road users as much as possible, and have priority over motorised traffic at all intersections. Where light rail shares its alignment with general traffic, private motor traffic must be restricted so as not to cause delays to it.

TR253 The Green Party recognises that there can be difficulties for cyclists as a result of light rail provision on the same roads. Light rail provision should be designed to minimise any inconvenience or danger to pedestrians or cyclists. The Green Party would give priority to researching ways to facilitate this.

TR254 Urban rail systems, whether light rail or underground, must be run as an integrated system. The Green Party opposes privatisation of such provision and would return these services to local public ownership.

Guided buses and trolleybuses

TR260 Many of the factors applying to light rail also apply to guided buses, where they are powered electrically. For those using other power sources, the principles laid down in TR272 should apply.

TR261 Trolleybuses, which take their electric power from above, allow some of the flexibility of buses by not being restricted to rails in the ground, and thus will also not cause those difficulties to cyclists that light rail can. However, they have the disadvantage in needing considerable higher-level infrastructure which can be visually obtrusive in sensitive locations. Their carrying capacity and speed is always likely to be less than that of light rail or guided buses.

TR262 The Green Party will generally support the introduction of these alternatives to light rail and buses, if these offer a better means of attracting passengers in the locality. The provisos outlined for both light rail and buses will apply to these as well.

Buses and Coaches

TR270 The current state of the bus industry is the perfect example that deregulation of public transport leads to a substandard service. The Green Party would re-regulate the bus industry, with local authorities having responsibility for ensuring that bus services reflect all the principles for a public service as stated in TR200, including the setting of routes, frequencies and fares. Local or regional authorities would also ensure that all settlements that are not connected by rail services had bus routes that gave good connections to the rail system.

TR271 All new buses will be designed to be accessible to all, and will thus have low floors and adequate internal space for wheelchair users, pushchairs and luggage (see TR070). Provision for the carriage of cycles on buses will be increased as widely as possible.

TR272 All local service buses would be required to have low emission engines. In the long run, all buses should run on sustainable fuels, and should be designed to have a lesser impact through their noise on the street environment.

TR273 Operators would be made responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Those companies who do not ensure this will have their operating license withdrawn and their buses confiscated.

TR274 Wherever possible, buses should be given priority over private motorised traffic through the provision of bus lanes and other measures. This will include priority over parking provision, but bus priority measures must be designed to ensure that they do not remove necessary loading provision for small businesses. Motorcycles and through traffic, including lorries, must not be allowed to use any of these bus facilities. The Green Party would not support the introduction of any bus priority measure that threatens the viability of local small services, and thus results in the closure of these facilities and the need for longer journeys to these.

TR275 The Green Party would aim to enforce giving buses priority pulling away from bus stops over moving traffic on those roads. To this end, the use of bus lay-bys for bus stops would be gradually removed.

TR276 The Green Party supports the development of better infrastructure to support bus services, including bus stops with seating and shelter, interchange facilities and bus maintenance facilities, and would resist the removal of any of these without comparable facilities being provided in the locality. There should also be good bus/rail interchanges at all railway stations.

TR277 It is recognised that safety of passengers is an important factor in deterring greater use of buses, while the delays caused by the driver also having to collect fares can also be a deterrent. To overcome both of these, the Green Party would aim to have conductors put back onto buses as widely as possible, but especially in urban areas.

Park and Ride

TR280 The Green Party does not support the introduction of Park and Ride services generally, as they tend to enhance the culture of driving in rural areas to nearby towns and can be detrimental to other rural bus services.

TR281 Whilst adhering to the above principle, the Green Party recognises that in the short term there may be some locations where Park and Ride may be one of the most effective ways of reducing immediately the numbers driving within urban or scenic areas as long as two factors apply:

a)That a charge is levied for users which is used to provide for more sustainable modes of transport.

b) Measures (including subsidies) are included to provide for bus priority which gives priority to other bus services that may otherwise be affected by the Park and Ride.

TR282 The Green Party does not support the building of Park and Ride sites on greenfield land. We will support Park and Tour systems for tourists provided that this is properly integrated into the existing public transport infrastructure for that place.

Taxis and Private Hire

TR290 The Green Party views taxis, Dial-a-Ride and private hire vehicles as forms of public transport. As such they have a role to play in the transport system, especially in rural areas and at times when trains and buses are not available, and particularly in allowing for reduced car ownership and the ability for people who cannot drive to gain some of the advantages that car drivers have. However, in terms of funding, it would be necessary to compare the provision of taxi services with other public transport provision, to ensure priority is given to those that are most effective in reducing car journeys. (see TR211)

TR291 Because of the diverse nature and small scale of these services, priority will be given to effective regulation of their services. This will include the regulation of fares and schemes to promote taxi sharing.

TR292 Local authorities will be required to ensure that within their areas there is a sufficient supply of vehicles for all potential users, so that all disabled/[396] access and the carriage of bulky items can be catered for at all times. Free taxi calling telephones should be installed at all bus and train stations.

Personal motorised transport

Car culture

TR300 Cars are currently seen as the primary means of transport by many people. The Green Party would work at all levels to alter this perception, by providing information on the problems and real costs of their use, and by improving the perception of all more sustainable methods of transport.

TR301 Car driving is not a right but a privilege. The Highway Code as it applies to driving will be made more comprehensive, especially in its recognition of the affect of driving on more vulnerable road users. The testing of drivers will also be made more comprehensive and stricter to include hazard awareness and environmental aspects and knowledge of working of vehicles. Driving tests would be done at regular intervals (e.g. 5 years) to ensure that drivers remain competent.

TR302 Experience shows clearly that the performance of drivers is degraded by alcohol and some other drugs. Traffic incidents (accidents and intimidation of others) are therefore more likely, even at the levels of alcohol that are currently permitted in the bloodstream. The Green Party will reduce the permitted level of alcohol to as close to zero, allowing for natural levels.

TR303 Speed limits and regulations which are not implemented are ineffective. All speed limits would be rigorously enforced, as would any other regulations relating to drivers of vehicles (including public transport). Greater use will be made of automatic cameras and other speed measurement.

TR304 Penalties will focus more on limiting the convicted driver's ability to drive, as well as fines and imprisonment. Procedures for prosecuting such offences will be dealt with as soon as possible, and it will be made easier for a driver not to contest the charge but to accept licence penalties. This will enable more prosecutions, increasing the overall effect of prosecuting.

TR305 Vehicle insurance policies will be registered along with the rest of the vehicle details when the vehicle is licensed. The compulsory third party element of vehicle insurance shall be required to cover civil liabilities arising from accidents. There will be a considerable increase in the penalties for damage, injury and death caused by traffic accidents. Driving without a valid licence or insurance will be penalised with immediate confiscation of the vehicle.

TR306 Car parking is not a right that any driver has on the road. Restrictions on parking on roads will be expected to increase to make more efficient use of road space and to improve safety. The aim of parking policy will be to transfer the expectation that drivers have that they can park anywhere to one where parking will only be allowed in appropriate places that are duly marked. These would specifically exclude pavement parking that can obstruct pedestrians and any parking on green spaces adjacent to roads. Disabled/[397] parking would be retained and provided wherever necessary.

TR307 As a use of valuable road space, car parking will become subject more generally to charging. The Green Party supports the widespread introduction of neighbourhood parking schemes (controlled parking zones) that entail residents being charged for on-street parking, and would set guidelines to both reduce on-street parking where it endangers pedestrians and cyclists and to ensure that off-street parking does not degrade a street's environment. In non-residential sections of urban areas, on-street parking should be subject to metering.

TR308 The culture of company car provision and use will be challenged in all ways possible, including financial measures, to achieve a transfer of workplace travel to more sustainable modes.

TR309 The construction of vehicles is at present regulated at a European level, where there is heavy lobbying by motor manufacturers. The Green Party will aim to bring this regulation down to more appropriate levels, and aim for regulations and enforcement that reduce the ability of vehicles to cause harm to others.

TR310 Vehicles would not be permitted for road use that had the ability to travel at greater speeds than the majority of EU national maximum speed levels.

TR311 The Green Party would reduce the need for people to feel that they need to own their own car. We recognise that while cars may always have a role to play in transport, individual ownership tends to increase usage and create reliance. Where cars are seen as necessary for some travel, we would promote the development of car clubs (the shared use of cars by local residents), where this will effectively reduce the number of car journeys that may otherwise be made or the number of cars parked in the locality, to promote the sharing of cars and journeys.

TR312 Transport advertisements would be regulated, with those that glamorise aspects such as excessive speed being banned. The placing of adverts where they might lead to danger on the road would not be permitted.

TR313 SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) consume more fuel, create more pollution and are more hazardous to other road users than ordinary cars. They are quite unnecessary, especially in urban areas, and their purchase and use should be discouraged. They would be subject to extra taxes and charges beyond those in TR060-070 and advertisements for them would need to include information about their adverse effects on society.

TR314 The Green Party would introduce no new restrictions on the use of historic vehicles and would impose safety and pollution standards appropriate to the age of the vehicle.

Motorcycles

TR320 Smaller, low powered motorcycles are generally preferable to cars (especially those with a single occupant) as they take up less road space and are more economic consumers of fuel. However, the Green Party does not wish to see increased use of motorcycles because they emit pollution and noise and can endanger road users. The aim is to encourage much less use of high powered machines and for low powered machines to offer an alternative for those who currently use these or cars and could not transfer to more sustainable modes.

TR321 The Green Party would take measures to encourage a transfer of motor cycle manufacture and use from larger, powerful machines to less powerful ones including scooters and mopeds. These would include setting and enforcing strict noise limits and, for higher powered machines, speed limiters.

TR322 For the safety of other users, the Green Party does not feel it appropriate for motorcyclists to be able to use any priority measures put in for pedestrians and cyclists, including those shared with public transport.

Freight

General policies

TR330 The Green Party believes that some of the greatest damage to local communities and the environment has been done by the transfer of freight carriage from water and rail to road and air, and the increasing size of road vehicles used. The Green Party's aim will be to reverse this trend by:

a)Reducing the need for freight movement by the implementation of policies to alter the current culture of over consumption.

b)Promoting the provision of products from local sources.

c)Using financial incentives to bring large-scale freight carriage back onto water and rail.

d)Local or regional authorities planning freight movement within their areas on the principle of small-scale delivery vehicles servicing from rail and waterside depots.

e)Establish facilities for inter-modal freight movement, such as rail depots and waterside wharves.

Policies on road and rail freight follow. For policies on water and air freight, see sections 7 and 8.

Road freight

TR340 Delivery vehicles are not operated in the most efficient manner in terms of reducing mileage and driving times and in load sharing. This is caused by poor delivery systems operated by companies and public organisations. The Green Party would put in measures that would encourage improved scheduling and more combined loads, and to collect return loads after delivery. To this end, a requirement would be made that delivery packaging must be collected for reuse if possible, and returned to the depot by the delivery vehicles.

TR341 National weight limits for delivery vehicles would be set within which local authorities would choose those most applicable for their roads. The aim will be to considerably reduce the size of delivery vehicles, especially in residential areas. The weight limits which we would seek to enact would be 1.5 tonnes, 3 tonnes (which would be the maximum limit in any purely residential area), 7.5 tonnes (which would be the maximum urban limit) and 20 tonnes. To enable this to happen within the current competitive environment, the Green Party will work to change E.U. law to reflect the need for a reduction in weight limits.

TR342 Limits on when delivery vehicles may operate will be set by local authorities, with the aim of causing least problems for local residents. It will be expected that there should be no usage of delivery vehicles in residential areas at night, and that deliveries will aim to avoid rush hours.

TR343 The Green Party will encourage the home delivery of goods by companies (including incentives for small companies to work together for this) so that non-car owners are not excluded from the availability of products and to encourage a reduction in car journeys to retail outlets.

TR344 The Green Party would strictly regulate the working hours and conditions of drivers in the haulage industry to ensure that road safety is paramount.

Rail freight

TR350 To encourage a large scale transfer of freight to rail, plans would need to be drawn up by national, regional and local government. These would include land purchase, to allow for more capacity and larger trains, including 'piggyback' freight trains that carry delivery vehicles by rail.

TR351 The Green Party would introduce a core freight network linking the main conurbations with each other and the Channel Tunnel and main ports. This network would need to initially allow for most containers to be carried on standard floor height flat wagons, with the objective in the longer term of providing for all types of freight carriage. However, the core freight network must not result in loss of passenger services, and should be planned to use opportunities to also improve these. (see TR233)

Water transport

Introduction

TR400 Water transport is energy efficient, usually has a low environmental impact, and can offer significant benefits to the economy. Well-managed ships generally cause less environmental damage than other motorised methods for the transportation of goods. Ships compare favourably in respect of air pollution, noise and use of land for infrastructure.

Inland and Coastal Waterways

i) Introduction

TR410 The existing infrastructure (canals, rivers and tidal navigations), particularly that for freight carriage, has been neglected for far too long. However, there has been recent development of some canals and rivers for some leisure uses. The Green Party will generally support the development of inland waterways for leisure, passenger and freight uses. (see Tourism policy for details of leisure development)

ii) Water-borne freight

TR411 To allow water-borne freight to be developed efficiently, Britain should adopt the European system of waterway classification which grades waterways by dimensions and carrying capacity. To enable this, specialist consultants (who would need to have experience of the European system) would need to draw up a report which would outline those waterways that can be enlarged to class II standard (600 tonnes) to serve industrial areas, and those waterways that have greater potential to class IV (1350 - 1500 tonnes). This would reduce trans-shipment, pollution and inland transport costs as a result of the economies of scale made possible by the use of larger inland craft.

TR412 Britain's freight waterways could then become increasingly important as extensions to her maritime links. Not only would low-profile coasters attain a deeper penetration into the industrial hinterland, but new technology in canal/ river/ sea transport (such as barge carrying and towing systems, the Integrated Tug Barge (ITB) system and the 'split ship' concept) would also allow direct shipments between inland terminals in Britain and waterside industrial sites throughout the European waterways network, thus giving greater flexibility to shippers.

TR413 The Green Party would strengthen planning guidance in relation to waterways development and would develop regional policies of planning provision for inland ports.

TR414 Planning for future waterways development would be integrated with other transport planning so that future freight waterway development is not constrained by other projects (e.g. provision of adequate air draught at road bridges).

TR415 To enable the above to take place, the Green Party would set up a national water freight unit to coordinate waterway freight development in the UK and to ensure that the UK participates in all EU waterway development programmes. This unit's main tasks would be to:

a)Identify and protect existing and potential strategic wharf sites and other inter-modal inland port development from other development;

b)Carry out strategic environmental appraisal for improved waterway access to all major inland conurbations;

c)Enable research to be accelerated into waterways development, such as that to quantify environmental benefits of water transport and develop methods of assessment of environmental costs and extend research into river-sea shipping systems (sea going vessels that are also suitable for inland navigation);

d)Develop a national investment plan for inland waterways;

e)Evaluate other schemes for additional capacity to accommodate traffic generated by policies to switch freight to water.

Passenger transport (ferries)

TR420 Ferries and water buses can play an important part in some local public transport systems, where they provide access along or across rivers or to off-shore islands. Ferry services are also preferable to air transport for providing services across the sea.

TR421 The Green Party supports the further development of waterborne passenger transport, in particular by reviving smaller local ferries that provide routes for pedestrians and cyclists. We would also wish to protect existing vehicle ferries where the alternative would be their replacement by larger infrastructure, such as bridges, or helicopter or air services, or longer road journeys being made due to no suitable alternative local facilities. All these services must be integrated with suitable public transport, and must include provision for the carriage of all passengers needs, including all disabilities/[398], bulky luggage and cycles, which should not bear additional costs to those passengers.

TR422 The Green Party would seek to provide all the necessary infrastructure, such as piers, and maintenance of waterways, through dredging of navigable channels, for the development of these services.

TR423 While recognising that Ro-Ro vessels will have a part to play for carrying smaller road vehicles across rivers, ferry companies will be encouraged to replace them elsewhere, putting instead an emphasis on designing vessels for passenger and rail-freight transport. All Ro-Ro vessels must be able to meet best survival design, refurbishing and updating them as necessary.

Shipping

i) Introduction

TR430 The Green Party supports the increased use of shipping, particularly for the necessary movement of goods, to reduce the current reliance on more polluting methods of transport over longer distances.

TR431 However, current shipping practices cause unnecessary environmental impact and endanger ships, crew and passengers. The Green Party would strengthen regulations within English and Welsh waters and would work towards better regulations and improved enforcement for international shipping through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

ii) Waste Discharge

TR440 The seas are used as dumping grounds for the majority of waste produced by ships. The Green Party supports the complete elimination of intentional pollution of the marine environment by oil and other harmful substances. On-board incineration of waste/engine room sludge will be banned.

TR441 The Green Party would ensure that adequate waste reception facilities for all types of waste will be available at all ports, and will also ensure that all waste discharges, except at competent port facilities, will be outlawed, including water ballast that produces changes in the marine ecology. All vessels over 5000 DWT must have sufficient space and equipment for waste storage and will be subject to waste auditing at arrival in port. We will require the cleaning of all contaminated tanks before leaving port.

TR442 The Green Party supports the establishment of an international system of environmental indexing for ships, taking into account discharges at sea/ use of waste reception facilities at port, emissions to air, prevention of accidental discharges and operational aspects. Such a system would be used as a basis for setting differential harbour and pilotage duties.

iii) Accidents and Accident Prevention

TR450 Too many lives are lost at sea and too much damage is done to the environment through accidents at sea. Ship design, crewing, operations and routeing must all ensure the highest level of safety for crews, passengers and the environment in which ships operate.

TR451 The Green Party would require a high standard of ship classification to establish in a reliable and consistent manner the seaworthiness of vessels, with the publication of individual vessel details. Any classification societies not complying with these standards would cease to be recognised as bodies competent to classify ships.

TR452 Because of their relative fragility and lack of manoeuvrability, we would require all large tankers to be fitted with double hulls and to be piloted and tug escorted while entering and leaving ports. The Green Party would work on an international basis for a progressive reduction in the maximum size of large tankers and container ships.

TR453 All-weather charter agreements that override the Captain's authority, and thus endangers lives of the crew, would be outlawed.

TR454 All ships would be required to have sufficient numbers of well-trained crew.

TR455 In English and Welsh water, including the full width of the Dover Straits, mandatory routeing will be enforced to protect sensitive sea areas or to reduce the risk of accidents. Mandatory pilotage will be introduced for ships of more than 5000 DWT.

TR456 The Green Party would ensure that an adequate cover of emergency tugboats with sufficient bollard pull exists in English and Welsh waters.

TR457 Charterers would be made economically liable for the environmental damage caused by ships carrying their cargo.

iv) Regulation and Enforcement

TR460 International shipping regulations are all too often not enforced, and prosecution of shipping owners and charterers is rare. The anonymity of ships at sea must be ended. All vessels entering English and Welsh waters must be able to be uniquely identifiable, as aeroplanes are.

TR461 The Green Party wants to see an expansion to port state control. Port state inspectors should have greater sanction over ships to ensure that necessary repair is carried out, that un-seaworthy ships do not leave port, and that all regulations are complied with. All inspections will be subject to the Freedom of Information act (see HR401.

v) Miscellaneous

TR470 The use of Tributyltin (TBT) Anti-Fouling paint will be banned.

TR471 Strict global standards for fuel quality must be developed.

TR472 The Green Party would implement an immediate ban on the shipment of all nuclear fuel, plutonium and high-level radioactive waste.

TR473 All vessels calling at English and Welsh ports would have to meet European minimum employment standards for their crews.

Air transport

Background

TR500 Heavier-than-air craft are one of the most energy intensive and polluting forms of transport. The worst are supersonic aircraft. Aircraft burn more fossil fuel per passenger or ton-mile than other modes of transport. This profligacy is heavily subsidised by the international agreement to impose zero taxes on aviation fuel.

TR501 Aircraft emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and water vapour into the upper atmosphere, which is much more sensitive to pollution than the air at ground level. The greenhouse warming effect of one unit of aviation fuel is generally held to be several times that of fuel burnt by terrestrial modes of transport. Also aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. A large part of this extra warming is caused by the creation of water vapour (as well as carbon dioxide) from the combustion of aviation fuel, which is a mixture of compounds of carbon and hydrogen. Though the water is harmless at or near ground level it has a big effect in the upper atmosphere. This means that there is almost no possibility of reducing aircraft-induced global warming by replacing conventional fuels by hydrogen.

TR502 Global warming produced by air transport is not covered by the international negotiations led by the IPCC to address climate change. The actions taken by the International Civil Aviation Organisation in response to the Kyoto Agreement on Climate Change on allocating emissions of greenhouse gases to countries and developing means of reducing aircraft emissions have been wholly inadequate.

TR503 The air travel industry is growing rapidly. In Europe alone the growth rate as of 2000 is about 7 to 9% per year, while the air freight industry is growing faster. At these rates, the increase in aviation's greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, is set to be more than double the reduction targeted by the Protocol. So aviation would more than reverse the Kyoto reductions.

TR504 Aircraft cause local pollution: noise which damages the health of those living near airports, volatile organic compounds which are carcinogenic, and water pollution from de-icing fluids. Airports also produce pollution from engine testing, paint spraying and the attendant pollution that goes with the large infrastructure and transport to and from the airport.

Aims and Objectives

TR510 The Green Party seeks a reduction in the amount and impact of air transport.

TR511 It is essential that the demand for air transport is managed in a way compatible with wider social and environmental objectives. The Green Party advocates a drastic reduction in the number of journeys made by air for whatever purpose. We must first discourage the growth of air transport.

TR512 The Green Party seeks substitution of air travel wherever possible with less damaging modes of transport, such as ferries, trains and buses. This does not apply to the emergency air services such as mountain rescue or specialist medical services, nor necessarily to air links to remote islands.

Aircraft policies

TR520 The Green Party would implement tougher regulation of aircraft emissions in all categories of chemical pollutants, including greenhouse gases, and of noise, and would introduce tougher emission and noise standards for new aircraft types. The worst kinds of aircraft, such as Concorde and any further supersonic transport aircraft, would be banned, as would night flights over populated areas.

TR521 A rolling programme is needed to phase out older and more damaging aircraft. Meanwhile, the use of such aircraft should be restricted.

TR522 As heavier aircraft have to use more power, burning more fuel and producing more emissions and noise, permitted loads would be reduced.

TR523 The Green Party would regulate more strictly the use of helicopters. These operate in more locations and at much lower heights than almost all other aircraft. Helicopters and heliports are extremely noisy to those nearby.

TR524 The appropriate use of lighter-than-air craft would be encouraged. These can use their own buoyancy for lift, and therefore consume less fuel, produce less pollution and less noise.

Infrastructure Policies

TR530 Air transport provision is currently based on the 'predict and provide' scenario, much the same as building more roads has led to increases in road traffic and more congestion. The Green Party believes that building more facilities for air transport must cease. This includes additional terminals and runways at airports, the conversion of disused MoD and smaller airfields into regional or satellite civil airports and the development of more local airports.

TR531 Alternative economic strategies would be developed for each airport including both the possibility of complete conversion to ecological and socially appropriate uses and the maintenance of the airport for restricted purposes consistent with the long-term objective of ecological sustainability, such as use for lighter-than-air craft.

TR532 The additional environmental damage associated with travel to and from airports on the ground can be reduced by encouraging appropriate modes of transport. The Green Party supports the provision of public transport links by rail and road to existing airports, and opposes additional provision for the use of private cars.

TR533 The load and damage at airports is increased by excessive numbers of 'transit' passengers, who generate revenue for airport operators through landing fees and the use of retail facilities before flying on to another destination. Transit passengers should be reduced to a minimum, especially at airports which put a particularly large load on the environment and local communities, such as Heathrow.

TR534 The Green Party is concerned about the development of airports as shopping centres. Such retail rents, etc. account for a very large part of current income for airport operators. The privatised British Airports Authority plc can be seen as primarily a property company. We oppose such development, especially where it is at the expense of existing shopping centres.

Financial measures

TR540 The Green Party supports emission charges and increased landing charges on aircraft, including Air Traffic congestion charges, to reflect the full cost of the damage their use does to the environment. We consider that local authorities should be empowered to levy such on aircraft landing at airports in their area because of the localised damage and that done by related ground travel.

TR541 The Green Party supports the removal of the various direct and indirect subsidies for air travel, and the adoption instead of fuel taxation and/or charges or levies. We recognise that achieving enough international agreement to make this practicable is difficult, and would seek in the first instance to impose such taxes in the UK. Taxation, charges and/or levies will be easier to introduce and more effective if it is done at a European or even global level, so the Green Party would work with institutions at those levels, as well as the air transport industry bodies such as ICAO and IATA, to introduce them more widely.

TR542 The Green Party notes that air freight in particular exhibits both dramatic growth and by far the highest pollution per weight of goods transported compared with other modes. We would therefore introduce specific UK levies on air freight as well as working towards European and global agreements.

TR543 The Green Party opposes the lifting of public sector borrowing restrictions on local authority controlled airports as this would encourage inappropriate development. Where investment is necessary, notably in air traffic control services and developing public transport links to airports, the expenditure should be recouped through charges on those providing and using air transport, not from general taxation.

TR544 Air transport is an inefficient and capital intensive method of employment creation. Equivalent funds invested in other sectors will provide more jobs per pound spent and offer much more benefit to people and the environment.

Demand Management and promotion

TR550 There is insufficient public awareness of the resources wasted and damage done by excessive use of air transport. The Green Party considers that governments should run public awareness campaigns about the impact of air travel on the global climate, the local environment and human health.

TR551 The Green Party will campaign for the UK Government, the European Union and the relevant international bodies, to create a global demand management strategy for air travel, taking into account the excessive use of air transport by 'developed' nations.

Regulatory measures

TR560 Prevention of accidents and increasing their survivability must be the priority in the construction, maintenance and operation of aircraft and airports. There is concern that commercial pressure and a lack of sufficient independent regulatory resources in the public sector have reduced safety. For example, 'Kapton' wiring should be banned from civil as well as military aircraft.

TR561 Unsafe operation should lead to sanctions against operators including suspension or removal of licence to operate. Examples include operating aircraft with insufficient fuel for stacking or diversion, and aircraft dropping objects such as 'brown ice', caused by poor maintenance.

TR562 The Green Party is committed to the principle and extended practice of independent regulation and inspection by the public sector to ensure the highest standards of aircraft safety in aircraft construction, maintenance and operation. We strongly oppose any effort to privatise any of the regulatory bodies, and if any are privatised, would return them forthwith to public ownership.

TR563 Air traffic control services are a public responsibility and must be managed and provided by the public sector. We oppose any privatisation of air traffic control.

TR564 The Green Party is committed to proper precautions against air piracy and adequate public sector inspection of those on aircraft and at airports. Consideration should be given to refusing licences to operate from the UK to airlines that operate from airports overseas considered to have inadequate security.

TR565 The Green Party supports the banning of those found guilty of in-flight violence or aggression and any other acts that may endanger the flight from future flights, and would ensure that aircrew who took action against them were given the necessary protection. 'Air rage' is a hazard often associated with excess consumption of alcohol before and during the flight, the effects being exacerbated by the in-flight environment. The dispensing, sale and consumption of alcohol at airports and on aircraft should be subject to greater restriction.

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WORKERS' RIGHTS AND EMPLOYMENT

Perspective and Principles

WR100 As Greens we take a holistic view of work and of rights. Our workplace is part of the environment. This is the basis of the Green Party's policies for workers' rights.

WR101 We define work in the full sense, not the traditional limited definition as employment in the formal economy. Green thinking recognises the latter as one part of the whole - a large part, but not the only one. Work exists in a variety of forms, each related to and often affecting others, like species in an ecosystem. Work covers all the activities people undertake to support themselves, their families/[399] and communities. (see EC400's)

WR102 Greens reject the traditional focus of some solely on individual rights, and that of others on collective rights. The broader Green perspective recognises that everyone needs both individual and collective rights, and a balance between them.

WR103 As well as offering legal protection, rights can empower. It is important that everyone is able to assert and defend their individual rights and can act collectively with others to assert and defend their common rights and those of their communities.

WR104 The Green Party's policies offer this Green perspective to each individual worker, and to working people organised collectively. We know that most collective organisation is in trade unions, and value that. We welcome the increasing organisation of working people in their own co-operative undertakings. Both are ways of asserting workers' rights together, and through participation empowering individual workers.

WR105 This empowering of people is a key element in the development of a Green society and economy. The Green Party is committed to workplace democracy, whereby undertakings shall be managed co-operatively through the involvement of those who work in them and the communities they serve.

Individual Rights

Principles

WR200 Enshrining rights in law gives people a means of protection from injustice. Workers' rights offer protection against exploitation under our existing economic system. Our long term aim is to end the oppressive and exploitative nature of economic relations and develop a society of equality and economic justice. In such a society, rights would still need to be guaranteed in law, but there would be much less recourse to the law in order to protect those rights.

WR201 Individual workers need appropriate protection under the law. This means: i) a set of basic rights for all employees; ii) a package of measures to support the self employed and small businesses; iii) a charter for volunteers and carers.

WR202 We recognise that the law must not be used as a way of dealing with the symptoms, whilst the source of the problem remains untouched. Laws designed to protect the oppressed, must also empower. Laws which penalise the oppressor, must also foster/[400] a sense of responsibility.

WR203 Workplace democracy will help us to attain these long-term aims. However, it must go hand in hand with other reforms that deal with discrimination, the power of the state, the ownership of land and the control of information. All these influence our ability to control our working lives, which in turn affects an individuals ability to care for the planet.

WR204 We recognise that there is a thin dividing line between "workers employed by a single regular employer" and the "genuinely self employed, freelance and sole traders who work for no particular organisation". We also recognise that the distinction will become more blurred as we move towards a society based upon the idea of partnership, where people work with others, rather than for them. While dealing with these separate categories in a way that is appropriate to their needs in our current economic system, we also aim to assist the development of a Green economy.

WR205 The development of an ecologically sustainable economy will mean the promotion and development of some sectors and industries rather than others. This 'greening' of the economy must be done in such a way as to respect the rights of individual workers in all sectors - with significant investment in retraining and industrial diversification.

WR206 The development of an ecologically sustainable economy must also be socially and economically just. This must entail proper respect for workers' rights and economic security for all members of society. To this end, the Green Party recognises that all workers have the right to dignity at work, just conditions of work, a fair wage and security of employment.

WR207 For rights to be upheld and defended, access to relevant information and means of enforcement must be ensured. Every worker must have the right, from the outset of their employment, to effective remedies to enforce their rights, including adequate rights for workers' representatives to inspect and obtain information.

Policies

The Law of Contract

WR300 All employees, other than where specifically stated, should be covered by these rights.

WR301 We will replace the existing legal assumptions about the nature of contracts with a more sophisticated system which compensates for, rather than perpetuates, the inequalities of power within our society. This will take two forms: i) a statutory Code, laying down minimum terms between an employer and an employee; and ii) revisions to the law of contract designed to protect the small business and to promote the rights of the self employed. Although these rights could not be negotiated away, we hope they would be built upon by agreements between workers and their employees; or between a small business and a larger one.

WR302 The new Labour Courts will have responsibility for interpreting the legal definition of what constitutes an employee.

WR303 Registers of genuinely self-employed workers will be set up in appropriate industries e.g. construction. Businesses using non registered labour will be automatically deemed to be employers.

WR304 Agencies set up "for the purposes of finding employment for workers, or supplying employers with workers", will be covered by the sections on leave entitlements, discrimination, health and safety.

WR305 The rules and regulations of the employing organisation will only be seen as part of the contract of employment if they are reasonable, consistent and well known.

WR306 If an individual worker so desires, then collective agreements made between the recognised trade union and an employer, will be treated as part of the contract of employment and shall be enforceable by law. Such a desire must be made free from duress, and can be subject to action in the Labour Courts by any of the parties concerned.

WR307 Employees will be entitled to a written contract on acceptance of the job being offered, or within an agreed probationary period. All changes to the contract must be notified to the employee directly. The contract must specify what is seen as an acceptable period of notice for such changes.

Discrimination

WR320 The Green Party believes that every worker has the right not to be discriminated against and to be treated with equality in equivalent circumstances.

WR321 The Green Party will support and improve legislation to make it an offence to harass or discriminate directly or indirectly against people at work, on grounds of race/[401], sex/[402], family/[403] status or responsibilities, disability/[404], sexual/[405] orientation/[406], religious/[407] belief/[408], age, political opinion or physical appearance. This will include people who are disadvantaged by reason of resistance to discrimination.

WR322 The new Labour Courts will produce Codes of practice covering indirect discrimination and it shall be an offence to be found repeatedly flouting such codes. They will also produce guidelines about what constitutes a genuine "occupational requirement".

WR323 Every person should have an opportunity to challenge an employer who has "wrongly & unfairly refused to employ them", or failed to provide equal access to training & promotion. They will be assisted by the local team of inspectors in doing this, although the CRE (Commission for Racial/[409] Equality), the DRC (Disability/[410] Rights Commission) and the EOC (Equal Opportunities Commission) will have a supportive role. The Industrial Tribunal will have the power to enforce a recommendation for appropriate action in the following ways:

an increase in salary, and/or promotion.

compensation (e.g. if self employed).

Employment & Redundancy

WR330 Workers should be protected from the first day of employment and there should be no minimum qualifying hours per week. An exception covering only the "right to a job" and "compensation for redundancy" may be made in some cases. This exception shall require the agreement of both employer and employee. It will last for a trial period of 3 months, renewable for one 3 month period by agreement of both parties.

WR331 Employers should have to consult with workers and justify any redundancies, by proving that such job losses where unavoidable and/or in the public interest. Selection would be subject to guidelines in a Code issued by the Labour Courts.

WR332 Casual work and short term contracts shall not be used as a way of avoiding statutory rights. An employee may challenge the employer to show that such contracts can be justified (e.g. temporary reductions in the workforce, or exceptional increase in activity, the limited nature of the workload or task). Short term contracts may only be offered for short term work.

WR333 We shall offer more protection to people who are dismissed because circumstances beyond their control "frustrate" them from carrying out the terms of their contract at that particular time.

Time and Leave

Objectives

WR340 The Green Party believes that excessive working hours contribute to ill health, stress, lower productivity, lower quality of life and a reduction in quality childcare. We believe that, on average, UK employees currently work too many hours in a working week and a Green government will work towards a reduction in working time in the UK. One of our main aims will be to encourage the growth of part-time work, job-sharing and career breaks.

WR341 Whilst we acknowledge that the wider community has a significant role to play in the provision of childcare, we accept the need to support the large number of parents who are torn by the artificial separation of the "workplace" and the "home". Our long term aim must be to resolve this conflict, but in the short-term we have to give people greater flexibility in making decisions about these important aspects of their lives.

Policies

WR342 There should be a legal right to at least 28 days (or 196 hours) paid holiday in a calendar year, in addition to public holidays, for those employed at least 35 hours per week. This should apply pro-rata for those employed less hours per week or for shorter periods; it won't apply to people working fixed term contracts of less than 60 days.

WR343 The Green Party notes that under the Working Time Regulations 1998 workers can agree to work for longer than the proscribed 48-hour weekly limit. An agreement must be in writing and signed by the worker. This is generally referred to as an opt-out. As a high priority a Green government will remove the ability for employers to use such an opt-out. The mechanism for enacting this will be for the UK to implement the European Working Time Directive (93/104/EC) in full.

WR344 We are committed in the medium-term to a reduction in working hours to an average of 35 hours per week. The Green Party will enact legislation in order to bring about this change.

WR345 The Party will review the progress and implications of the legislation introduced in France for a 35-hour week (the so-called Aubrey law) in order to formulate the most effective legislation for the UK.

WR346 We will act to protect the earnings of the hourly paid under the legislation for a 35-hour week. The integration of this reduction in working hours with the proposed Citizens Income will be reviewed.

WR347 When calculating the average working week there are different reference time periods that may be used. A reference time period may be over a week, a month, a quarter or a year. The Party remains agnostic over the exact choice of reference period for calculating working hours. However, it notes that a reference period of a year will provide the flexibility often required by smaller, seasonally-based businesses.

WR348 The contract of employment will include a standard level of working hours per year, with a negotiated agreement covering the number of hours worked per week. Whilst the government may set a maximum number of hours for certain occupations, it is hoped that the District Committees will advise organisations (and the self employed) about what this standard should be. Individuals may refuse to work beyond an established standard (fixed by the people involved in that particular industry or occupation) and shall not suffer discrimination as a result. Whilst there would be strict control of hours worked by children and those in full time education, we would make allowances for those undertaking a mixture of work and study.

WR349 There will be tax incentives for employers who provide support facilities at the workplace such as childcare, job-sharing, flexible working, counselling and family/[411] planning

WR350 Mothers will have the right to take breaks during the working day, without loss of pay, to nurse their babies.

WR351 We will introduce the following system of parental leave. "Parent" is defined as a person who has legal care of, and responsibility for, the child. The right to parental leave may therefore apply to more than one person per child. The sexual/[412] orientation/[413] of a parent shall in no way determine or reflect upon their ability and worth in caring for children.

i)The period of statutory maternity leave (on full pay) will be three months.

ii)Every employee should be eligible for parental leave after 3 months service.

iii)In addition, each parent should have the right to take a period of parental leave during the first three years of the child's life. The parents, or parent, may designate another person as a co-parent, who will be entitled to take parental leave to care for the child.

iv)Parental leave should be gradually extended to one year, with the parents, or parent and nominated co-parent, deciding how to share the time between them (a single parent will be entitled to the whole one year leave). This time can be shared sequentially or concurrently.

v)The percentage of pay given will vary according to the length of the leave taken, in the case of small firms the cost will be covered from taxation.

vi)Parental leave is taken without loss of job rights.

vii)The notice for parental leave and the right to return to work should be reduced to the minimum necessary for proper planning. In an emergency no notice need be given. Employees should have protection against dismissal for late notice of return to work, up to a month prior to the ending of their period of parental leave.

viii)People in the process of adopting children shall be given time off work for introductory sessions and will then be entitled to parental leave as stated above.

WR352 There will be statutory rights to time off for education, public service and voluntary work. Firms will receive appropriate compensation depending on their size and the nature of the job being left vacant.

WR343 There will be tax incentives to encourage employers to provide facilities at the workplace for people pursuing further education, or a service which is of benefit to the community.

WR354 We will examine the granting of a statutory right for time off to people caring for sick relatives/partners, children with special needs, the elderly, and people with disabilities/[414].

Income

Income and Economic Security

WR360 The large income disparities which characterise our society are a sign of significant social and economic injustice. The Green Party believes that working people should be paid a decent, living wage and, like every other citizen, be entitled to a sufficient level of economic security to meet their needs. Every worker, like every citizen, should have the right to fair income security, whether working, unemployed, in retirement or in sickness. Everyone should be paid the same for work of equal value, regardless of age.

WR361 To these ends we propose (i) a Citizens Income payable to every citizen as a basic right, funded by an ecological and genuinely progressive taxation system, and (ii) a significant role for unions and workers to ensure decent wage levels. In the absence of a fully developed Citizens Income scheme, we support (a) the idea of minimum wage legislation, set at a level to combat social and economic injustice and the poverty and economic insecurity associated with low pay, and (b) the payment of decent benefits to low-and un-waged people.

WR362 The development of a genuinely sustainable economy will bring significant changes to many sectors, affecting patterns of employment, and offering new opportunities for 'green collar' jobs. Any disputes or problems arising from these economic changes will be handled by a newly created Job Evaluation Agency, in consultation with unions and employers.

WR363 A new Equal Pay Act will be drawn up and cases will be assessed by the District Committee (see WR511 and WR514) advised by an expert evaluator, from the Job Evaluation Agency. Awards shall be back-dated with interest.

WR364 The Labour Courts will produce guidelines covering occupations where length of service and experience are considered legitimate considerations.

WR365 Benefits will be paid equally to all people over 16 years of age, with additional payments to pensioners and people with disabilities/[415] or special needs. (See also WR351 and EC732)

WR366 Someone wishing to leave their current employment shall not be disqualified from claiming unemployment or other social benefits.

Self-Employed Traders and Workers

Principles

WR370 Many people are attracted by the autonomy and personal flexibility which self employment can bring. It is this independence which we wish to foster/[416] by introducing the Citizens' Income scheme (EC730). However, many of these advantages depend upon your occupation and large numbers of the self employed are more exploited, and have less freedom, than their waged counterparts. It is therefore necessary to provide an appropriate protection for people who work in certain trades.

Policies

WR371 The following Acts will be adapted to include protection for the self employed:

i)The new equal pay act and legislation on discrimination will apply to contracts between businesses;

ii)The government will provide funds to enable the self employed to claim the rights to maternity and parental leave, based upon both their average income and hours worked;

iii)Contracts should include clauses outlining compensation to be paid by the employing organisation where the agreed contract is revoked by them, prior to the work taking place;

iv)Legal enforcement of the payment for contracts will be dealt with by the Labour Courts. There will be penalties for large organisations failing to pay promptly to smaller businesses. The self employed will have access to the inspectorate to enforce such claims;

v)Unemployment pay will be available to the self employed on equal terms to paid employees.

WR372 Discrimination against early leavers in occupational pension schemes will be outlawed.

Trade Unions

Background and Objectives

WR400 The Green Party supports the right of working people to form and join free democratic and self-governing trade unions, without restriction by employer or government. Greens share the unions' belief/[417] in working together to give individuals more say in their own lives. Unions should be participatory democracies, encouraging active involvement of all the workers they represent.

WR401 Greens recognise the achievements of trade unions in protecting and improving their members' terms and conditions of employment. We note that such benefits have accrued not only to union members but also to their fellow workers. Health and safety at work is a particular example. Unions have also acted to improve the social welfare of the wider community, and have a wider political role.

WR402 The forms of trade unions and industrial relations are related to those of employment and the economy. We recognise that in the short term in the United Kingdom most employees will continue to be subjected to traditional forms of employment in large-scale industrialised undertakings. Many of these workers are represented by unions in traditional bargaining structures.

WR403 However, we also recognise that many workers who are most vulnerable to exploitation, both within workplaces and outside them, do not have trade union representation. We believe that selective action to secure improved pay and conditions for such workers is necessary, and we support the extension of union membership to them.

WR404 Greens are determined that the United Kingdom shall move to a Green society and economy. The fundamental changes that process brings will be reflected in changing forms and roles for trade unions. Unions already play a part in wider issues affecting their members. The Green Party is committed to support and encourage this process of change in unions. In particular, we envisage a major role for unions in promoting workplace democracy. We also believe that reformed trades councils could have a valuable role in their local communities.

WR405 We have much in common with trade union members, and wish to work with unions. Green policies offer much to working people, in the short as well as the longer term. We invite unions to work with us to achieve them.

Trade Union Membership, Representation and Recognition

Policies and Principles

WR410 We support the right to join a trade union, and condemn discrimination by employers against union members. We shall enact a statutory right to join a union, which shall apply to all workers of any occupation or profession; this will include members of the police, security and armed services. We support unions taking the unwaged and unemployed into membership. Discrimination against union members, and in particular refusal of employment or dismissal on grounds of union membership, shall be illegal.

WR411 Every worker shall have the legal right to be represented by an independent trade union in dealings with their employer. This should include the right to be represented in collective bargaining and to participate in decisions at work. Individual contracts signed between an employer and worker will not be able to waive the right of that worker to be represented by their trade union.

WR412 All employers, regardless of the number of workers they employ, will be legally obliged to recognise unions chosen by their workforce. Additional support will be given to small businesses to ensure this happens effectively. We shall provide a legally binding system of workplace ballots for union recognition on behalf of workers collectively. These will be held at the request of workers. Employers shall be required to recognise trade unions successful in such ballots, and to provide them with adequate facilities to represent their members in the workplace. The choice of a union or unions to represent them shall be the collective prerogative of the workers in a workplace. We would support workers choosing a single union for their workplace, but it shall be illegal for employers to enter into single union recognition agreements which seek to pre-empt the workers' choice. We encourage cooperation between members of different unions and welcome the formation of inter-union combinations at local, regional, and national levels.

WR413 We oppose and seek the abolition of those conditions and loopholes which unfairly restrict statutory union recognition. Current provisions which work to the detriment of workers include the conditions whereby (a) an employer is under no legal obligation to recognise a union if less than 40% of eligible workers vote in favour, (b) employers can recognise non-independent trade unions, thereby precluding the recognition of genuinely independent unions, and (c) employers can disregard demands for union recognition by bargaining units if those units are deemed not 'compatible with effective management'.

WR414 The collective and representative nature of trade unions requires that full membership and participation of the workforce should be encouraged; this should include managers. Unions should seek to recruit all eligible workers, including those traditionally under-represented in unions, women, part-time workers, volunteer workers, the low-paid and the unemployed. We welcome the steps already taken by some unions, and encourage others to do likewise. The cost of union membership subscriptions should not be allowed to be a deterrent; we shall develop a mechanism to ensure that the poorest paid workers can afford to join the union of their choice, and shall also provide tax allowances for their cost, as is done for subscriptions to professional bodies. However, we recognise that some workers will wish not to join a union, on grounds of principle. We are opposed to the closed shop, whereby union membership is a condition of employment.

Trade Union Democracy and Autonomy

Principles

WR420 The Green Party believes in the self-organisation of workers in trade unions. Every union should have the legal right to autonomously determine its rules of organisation and activity, free from employer or state interference, but subject to standards of internal and participatory democracy. Union organisation should emphasise the branch of members in a workplace. Responsibilities should rest and resources be controlled at the most local level appropriate.

WR421 A trade union should be a participatory democracy. Wherever possible decisions should be taken by union members voting in their workplaces after discussion there. We do not favour decisions being taken by a remote national executive for members, nor postal ballots issued in isolation by a national headquarters. We support the use of open ballots at workplace meetings to take most decisions, but with secret ballots available if desired, for example to elect representatives. Discussion and decision at local meetings are the basis of union democracy; they encourage members to empower themselves by active participation.

WR422 As Greens we support union members seeking to organise their unions on these lines. We shall enact the right of trade unions to the facilities needed for participatory democracy in the workplace. We do not believe participatory democracy in trade unions is best achieved by imposing particular forms of union organisations and balloting, but we accept that minimum standards of democratic procedure should be required by law. We believe that union members have to be convinced of the need for participatory democracy and that when they are, unions will have to respond to their aspirations. Our role is to encourage this.

WR423 A key factor in encouraging participation in trade unions is education. We shall encourage the provision of trade union education, in unions and the community. Such education must be adequately funded and more widely available. Union members must be able to attend it without obstruction by employers. Particular aims of such education must be to reach those traditionally under-represented in unions, and those under-represented as union representatives, including ethnic/[418] minorities.

Industrial Relations

Principles and Policies

WR430 The Green Party believes that good industrial relations depend on the achievement of consensus in the workplace, which recognises the interests of all those working in the undertaking. The best approach is through the introduction of workplace democracy, and that is our aim.

WR431 Meanwhile, we believe that it should be possible to reach a consensus by discussion and negotiations between the opposing parties. Where a consensus cannot be reached, we favour the use of conciliation and arbitration to resolve the dispute. In the public sector, we shall negotiate agreements with trade unions which will allow either party in a dispute access to arbitration; we shall encourage undertakings in the private sector to do likewise. We shall extend the work and facilities of the Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service of the Department of Employment.

WR432 The Green Party recognises the right to take industrial action without being in breach of contract and without the threat of dismissal or discrimination, in accordance with ILO Convention 87 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We will ensure this right is protected in UK legislation.

WR433 The Green Party recognises the economic and social costs of industrial action - and seeks increased resolution of industrial disputes through improved even-handed arbitration mechanisms. Where industrial action could create high levels of risk to vulnerable members of society, mechanisms would be developed for voluntary restrictions on industrial action, which guaranteed alternative means of obtaining fair resolution of claims and grievances. These mechanisms would not surrender the legal right to strike but would aim to reduce the need for trade unions to exercise that right.

Industrial Disputes

Principles and Policies

WR440 The Green Party believes that industrial disputes are most fairly and quickly resolved when the role of the law is simply to put the parties on equal footing, not to allow one party legal devices to handicap the other. Because the economic relationship between the employer and the employee places power in the hands of the employer, we believe that certain individual and collective rights of workers and their trade unions in disputes must be protected by statute.

WR441 We shall provide a legal framework which will enable employees and their trade unions to pursue legitimate trade disputes, and provide them with appropriate rights and immunities in so doing. This framework will recognise that the legitimate interest of workers includes any alternative provision of the jobs, goods and services which are the basis of their work, and the environmental and social consequences of their work. Thus the framework will provide limited scope for 'secondary' industrial action.

WR442 Workers engaged in industrial action shall retain their right to employment, and shall be protected from unfair dismissal on account of that action. They shall have the rights to strike and to picket peacefully; the latter will include rights to use the public highway for picketing and to speak with anyone crossing the picket line. A code of practice shall cover the use of these rights; it will emphasise non-violent picketing and non-provocative policing of pickets. Dismissal of a worker for refusing to cross a picket line shall be unfair. Lockouts shall be illegal. Trade unions shall not be allowed to sign away their legal rights, nor those of their members; 'no strike' and similar agreements shall not be legally binding.

WR443 Payments to workers under the Green Party's proposed Citizens' Income scheme will not depend upon their being in work, and thus will be made to strikers. Prior to the introduction of that scheme, we believe that workers on strike and their families/[419] should receive full Social Security benefits.

The role of unions

Objectives and Policies

WR450 The Green Party looks forward to a wider and changing role for trade unions as the United Kingdom moves to a Green society and economy. We believe that union members should be consulted through their unions on proposals for their industries and legislation affecting them.

WR451 We encourage the involvement of trade unions in workplace democracy. Unions should have the right to be consulted on the management of their members' workplaces, and to form combines of representatives of different unions there to respond to such consultation. Existing union initiatives such as specialist advice to members setting up co-operative undertakings, and the preparation of alternative plans for socially useful production, should be developed. These initiatives should involve the local community as well as members in the workplace.

WR452 We encourage trade unions to develop schemes of mutual aid, such as the NALGO (now UNISON) welfare fund. We shall provide tax incentives for this.

WR453 We welcome the involvement of trade unions in wider campaigns affecting their members in the community, particularly in relation to the environment and social/economic justice. Fine examples of unions taking action on environmental issues include the opposition to the dumping of nuclear waste at sea by the National Union of Seamen (now RMT) and the introduction of 'environmental' shop stewards by NALGO (now UNISON).

International

Principles

WR460 The Green Party supports the right of workers in every country to form and join free democratic and self-governing trade unions, without restriction by employer or state authority. We support the work of international organisations, notably the International Labour Organisation, to that end. We condemn all attempts to deprive working people of those rights.

Health and Safety at Work

WR470 Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy working environment. The Green Party would ensure that this right is protected in law.

Enforcement and the Labour Courts

Principles and Objectives

WR500 We shall ensure that all workers are covered by an ongoing system of liaison between representatives of the employees and employers. This will involve building upon the existing system of industrial tribunals; the health and safety legislation; ACASS and the best practice of collective bargaining.

WR501 Implementation of the new legislation will be in the hands of people directly effected by those decisions. By creating a separate system of industrial tribunals and labour courts, we will take employment law out of the hands of the existing judiciary.

WR502 Our approach will be based upon the principles of self regulation, flexibility, conciliation and arbitration.

Policies

WR510 Legal aid will be provided for cases brought before the Labour Courts.

WR511 The primary responsibility for supervising the legislation will be in the hands of workplace committees (in large establishments), or local committees covering a particular industrial sector. These will have a similar role to that of the existing health and safety committees, but will deal with the application of the legislation covering workers individual and collective rights. They will therefore have a structure and responsibilities, which are linked too, but separate from, those of the existing negotiating machinery. They will have responsibility for:

i) advising the local negotiators (where they exist) on the various acts and suggesting ways in which existing, or new, agreements can be improved;

ii) helping to resolve disputes prior to them going to a Industrial Tribunal, by hearing the grievances of any employee(s), who feel that either the spirit, or the letter, of the relevant acts are not being practised;

iii) where no union representation exists, they should oversee the drawing up of contracts of employment, the application of common industrial standards and any rules governing the practice of a particular workplace;

iv) advising the work of the inspectors appointed by the District Committee to enforce the acts (see WR353)

WR512 The District Committees will be composed of representatives from business, the unions and the local community. They will be funded and serviced by the local council. The Committee will have responsibility for:

i)Overseeing the work of the District's Industrial Tribunals;

ii)Appointing, and overseeing the work of, the local

inspectorate;

iii)Education about both the content of the act and best. practice;

iv)The enforcement (via the inspectorate and their guidance to the Industrial Tribunals) of workers collective and individual rights (outlined respectively in WR400 - WR453 and WR300 - WR356);

v)Helping to establish and maintain a full coverage of local workplace, or industrial, committees.

WR513 The District Committees will have the initial task of advising employers on such questions as what constitutes a genuine "occupational requirement" and what forms of ill health & disability/[420] make someone unsuited to a particular task.

WR514 he inspectorate will be made up of trained, full time staff who will be financed by the local council, but accountable to their District Committee. (see WR353)

WR515 Any one of the District Industrial Tribunals will be composed of three people: one from the trade union side; one from business and one from the community. They will be advised by the inspectorate and any decision which cannot be reached by consensus must be passed up to the Regional Industrial Court.

WR516 The Regional Industrial Court and the National Appeals Court will be staffed by "labour court" judges, who will have a professional training and ethos which is distinct from that of existing judiciary. However, the stress should be on self government in the workplace, with most problems being resolved through the active involvement of the main participants.

WR517 The Labour Courts should take heed of previous case law, but its main authority will be based upon a new series of acts covering:

i)Collective rights at work

ii)The Contract of Employment

iii)Employment and redundancy

iv)Discrimination

v)Time and Leave

vi)Income

vii)Health and Safety at Work

WR518 These tribunals and courts will have the power to make orders for remedial action, payment of wages and injunctions.

WR519 Apart from exceptional cases (e.g. strong evidence of violence at work) the workers should remain in employment pending a speedy hearing of their case. The employer should have to prove that a permitted reason for the dismissal actually existed; that the procedures leading to dismissal were fair and complied with any provision agreed with the unions; and that the dismissal was fair according to good industrial practice.

WR520 Re-employment should be the normal remedy for unfair dismissal, rather than a lump sum pay-off.

Green employment -Transforming the Nature of Work

Workplace Democracy

Principles and Objectives

WR600 A Green economy must be a more mutual economy, in which industries and enterprises which are run by and for those who depend on them and are affected by them play a significant role in the economy. We believe that the international co-operative principles provide the benchmark for such businesses. This means that the Green Party must enable both the creation of new mutuals and the greater involvement of stakeholders other than investors in existing businesses.

WR601 We cannot impose a system of workplace democracy upon society; the role of the Green Party is to assist in the evolution of this new economy. We can do this as workers and employers, as councillors and MPs and as consumers, investors and neighbours.

WR602 Our main priority should therefore be to support those people who are struggling to create alternative economic systems and Green ways of running society. The Green Party will provide advice, coordination and materials which help this transformation. A Green government would therefore promote legislation and action which freed working people to make the changes which they felt necessary.

WR603 The producers of services or products obviously play a key role within our economic system, but we recognise that other groups also have a stake in the process.

WR604 By giving workers the freedom to organise collectively, a Green government will enable trade unionists to prioritise demands for workers to have a greater say in what they produce and how they produce it. Sharing the responsibility for running a business will initially be achieved through a natural extension of collective bargaining, improved union facilities; training of workers representatives and access to company information.

Policies

WR610 We would broaden the existing legal framework away from its narrow focus on those people who "own" the majority of shares. We would promote the interests of the other shareholders and investors, with the ultimate aim of having capital provided by either those who work in the organisation, or by the immediate community on which it depends. The main stakeholders will become the workers, other businesses, shareholders, the local community and the environment.

WR611 We reject any scheme which uses the token participation of the workforce, as a way of increasing their exploitation.

WR612 Any scheme for workplace democracy introduced by either a Green employer, or under legislation laid down by a Green government, should be done in consultation with local trade unionists. However, the new channels of decision making should encompass all staff, not just those within a trade union. The trade unions should be encouraged to maintain their role as upholders of workers' rights and as a separate channel by which grievances can be aired. They should also monitor the effectiveness of democracy within the workplace and have a major say in any proposals to improve the system adopted.

WR613 We encourage Greens within trade unions to promote those policies, ways of organising and priorities, which are consistent with this new vision of the stakeholder and a decentralised, sustainable economy.

WR614 We support the use of Green strikes, occupations and other forms of industrial action which are aimed at protecting the environment and the communities within it.

WR615 The introduction of our Citizens' Income scheme (EC730) will enable people to have more choice in selecting both the work that they do and their employer.

WR616 As part of the process of moving towards the involvement of all the stakeholders, a Green government would introduce schemes in certain organisations which give workers greater control over internal decisions concerning how something is to be produced, or a service provided. These schemes would allow for either equal representation of workers and managers (at all levels), or for the election of certain key managers by the workforce. An extension of these schemes to allow for worker representatives on a "Board of Direction" would also give workers the ability to influence decisions about what is to be produced and what resources would be used. More general decisions about the allocation of resources within an organisation and its priorities, would be made by all the stakeholders concerned. These schemes could be triggered by the agreement of both management and the appropriate local trade union(s); or by a majority of 80% of staff voting for such a scheme to be introduced.

WR617 We value the skills of directors and managers, who act as the main coordinators and facilitators within an organisation. However, we do not believe that managers and directors should