Green Party Conference – Eastern Region steps up

News release from Eastern Region Green Party
Green Party Conference, September 5th – 8th London
–  Norwich City Councillor expected to be elected as first ever Green Party Deputy Leader
–  Greens gear up for more election wins in 2009 and first seats in Parliament
The Green Party meets in London for its 4 day Autumn Conference on Friday September 5th. For full details visit 
The 2008 conference will be an historic occasion for the party. Following the debate and referendum carried out earlier this year, the Greens decided to go ahead with the election of a Leader and Deputy Leader.
The contest for Leader is between Dr. Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for South East England since 1999, and TV actor Ashley Gunstock.
The sole Deputy Leadership candidate is Councillor Adrian Ramsay, Leader of the Opposition on Norwich City Council, where the Greens have 13 seats – the largest Green Group of Councillors in the UK. Adrian was one of the youngest councillors ever elected to a principal authority and is the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate in Norwich South, trying to unseat former Home Secretary Charles Clarke. At both the 2007 and 2008 local elections, the aggregated party votes across the constituency put the Greens in first place. 
Major conference themes are the expectation of the Greens winning their first Westminster seats at the next General Election and a Green New Deal to help families out of the economic crunch into a more sustainable, secure future.
Cllr. Adrian Ramsay said:
“There is a real determination in the party to take a big step forward over the next couple of years and in particular to elect the first Green MPs at the next General Election. I am excited about playing a central role in this, particularly as the Norwich South constituency is one of the best prospects in the country for a breakthrough into Westminster. The Green Party is already in first place across the Norwich South constituency on local election vote share – we need to repeat this at the General Election to defeat Charles Clarke”.
“At a time of rising fuel prices and increases in the cost of living, Green policies have a lot to offer the British public. We support a free insulation scheme to help tackle fuel poverty, large-scale investment in clean renewable energy and the development of cheap, reliable public transport. We need action to create a more localised economy to secure more local jobs but also to help reduce the distances that goods are transported. This will reduce carbon emissions and also mean that our food and other essential goods are less dependent on fossil fuels, the prices of which are rising fast. It is important that we reduce packaging on goods for the same reasons – it is time that the Government introduced taxes on packaging.”
The results for Leader and Deputy Leader will be announced at 8pm on the Friday. If elected, Adrian Ramsay will deliver his acceptance speech at 10am on the Monday.
Also at conference alongside many other Greens from Eastern Region will be Cllr. Dr. Rupert Read, Lead Candidate for the European Elections in Eastern Region.
Cllr. Rupert Read said:
“It’s a tremendously exciting conference, because of the big change that is coming this year, with the Green Party getting itself a Leader for the first time. It’s wonderful for East Anglia that Adrian Ramsay, my fellow Councillor from Norwich, is going to hopefully become the inaugural Deputy Leader of the Party. It reflects very well on Green achievements in this part of the country.”
“I am hoping to win the support of conference for some important policy changes this year. For example, I am proposing a motion to reduce society’s reliance on the major banks for providing the country with money. The fiascos of the last year show clearly that a different basis is needed for banking and finance. It should be the Government, not private banks like Northern Rock, that takes the lead on the control of money.”
“I’m also proposing a change in policy that would commit the Green Party to backing a longer British Summer Time period, leading to us all being able to enjoy more of our waking hours while the Sun is up… I really hope that that will happen; it wouldn’t be before time!”

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