WORKING across political divides and in spite of austerity for a better world lies at the heart of the Green Party manifesto for the Somerset West and Taunton Council elections.

Ahead of the May 2 poll, the party has unveiled what it hopes will be winning pledges as it fields candidates in four wards.

Clive Martin, who is running in the South Quantock ward, said: "We need Green voices on our new council, now more than ever, as we are at a time when there is a growing realisation of the dangers we face from climate change and the destruction of our environment.

"The decision of the new council to approve the “climate emergency” motion moved by Green Party Councillor Dave Mansell is only a first step.

"Greens will be pressing to turn those fine words into action."

The manifesto outlines the Green Party's intention to work for change across the new authority area.

"Wherever we are elected, we will work for all residents of the area," it read.

"We will work with other parties where we can to achieve our objectives.

"We recognise that local government has been decimated by years of austerity policies, but we believe that even in this strained financial climate, we can offer policies and insights based on our years of campaigning for a better world."


Among the party's pledges are commitments to:

  • Encourage development on brownfield sites, avoiding building on greenfield land.
  • Support a new generation of social housing.
  • Ensure that practical help is available to homeless people.

On transport, the manifesto pledges to support the pedestrianisation of Taunton town centre, to create bus lanes and integrate bus and rail links and to back plans for a mainline station at Wellington.

With regard to the local economy, the Green Party says it wants to be 'a friend to local businesses'.

It opposes the development of Nexus 25 - the business park on the outskirts of Taunton - instead preferring to encourage businesses and offices to the centre of Taunton.

"We want to see more made of Taunton as the County Town of Somerset, with more focus on the arts and culture," it reads.

"If those who work in that field were more supported, it would bring benefits to the whole community, from more trade for local businesses through to greater wellbeing for us all."

Candidates for the Green Party at the polls on May 2 are:

Alan Debenham - Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove
Andy Pritchard - West Monkton and Cheddon Fitzpaine
Clive Martin - South Quantock
Dave Mansell - Wiveliscombe and District