19 April 2011
In a speech to a live comedy club audience, Lucas warns that what is happening in Britain is ‘no laughing matter' - and highlights the importance of electing politicians that we can trust.
The party's first MP acknowledges the widespread cynicism that surrounds all political parties, but says that Greens standing in the local elections are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society from the savagery of the Government's spending cuts and will put the interests of the many before those of the privileged few.
Greens in local government have produced alternative budgets showing that savings can be made without cutting vital public services.
In Brighton, for example, Greens helped persuade the ruling Tory administration to drop plans to rip out a cycle path at a cost of over £1million.
In Oxford, Leader of the Green Group, Cllr David Williams put forward a costed budget which would have reversed some of Labour's spending cuts. Greens wanted to cut the number of senior council officers and take back their recent 23% pay increase.
Lancaster Green Party's local manifesto puts forward its vision for a fairer, greener society and explains in detail what Lancaster Green Councillors have done for their city. Local Cllr Andrew Kay says, "We will not stand by and watch the rich get richer, while ordinary people lose their jobs and the services they depend upon."
In Norwich, where the Green Party is the second largest group on the Council, Greens have invested in renewable energy, spoken out against the crippling cuts and lobbied Government to deal with the financial difficulties in a fairer way.
Norwich's Adrian Ramsay, Deputy Leader of the Green Party said: "A Robin Hood Tax of 0.05% on banks' financial transactions, for example, could raise £20bn a year, more than the £18bn cut to welfare which includes housing benefits, disability benefits, child benefit and tax credits for the most deprived.
"Tax evasion and tax avoidance currently result in a national loss of almost £100bn. Collecting these sums would make our financial systems fairer and reduce the estimated UK deficit of £149bn in 2010/11."
Over 1600 Green candidates are standing across the country. In Norwich and Brighton, Greens could take over the running of the Council.
In Bristol, the Greens may go from 1 councillor to 3 councillors, and the council may pass from Lib Dem control to NOC, leading to far greater leverage for Green councillors there.
In addition to Southville (where there is one Green councillor and a former councillor running this year), there are 5 seats in Bristol where the Greens are currently placing 2nd (Ashley, Cabot, Cotham, Redland, Bishopston).
Reading, Bristol, South Hams and Reigate and Banstead are good prospects for the Greens attaining Group status. The party is also hoping to take its first seats on South Kesteven, Lewes and Bath councils. Greens have at least one candidate for 214 of the 281 Councils with elections.
The new Green Party local election broadcast can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BKo_NlwZOQ
Eastern: 244 / 339
North West: 191 / 238
South West: 210 / 239
West Midlands: 149 / 214
Yorkshire and Humberside: 106 / 169
Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Colchester, Epping Forest, Liverpool, North East Hertfordshire, Norwich, Reading, Redditch, St. Albans, Sheffield, Solihull, Trafford, Warwick, Watford, West Oxfordshire and Worcester.
Other large numbers include:
North Norfolk (25, up from 5 in 2007)