Craig Simmons posted about Phone for us on Facebook 2018-02-18 13:13:02 +0000I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me!
You can help us campaign to win in Oxfordshire by telephoning people. We need people to:
- Invite supporters who have offered to help to come to action days.
- Talk to new members to find out what they would like to do.
- Call voters in places we cannot reach, such as rural villages and blocks of flats, to find out whether they might vote green.
- Ask for regular donations so we can build the party and extend our campaigns.
If you would like to help, even if only for 30 min. each week, please fill in this form to join our virtual call centre.Become a volunteer
Craig Simmons posted about Home on Facebook 2017-06-04 12:30:05 +0100I pledged to vote for Oxfordshire Green Party in Oxford East2,127 VOTES FOUND12,000 votes
With the massive cut in Oxfordshire County Council funding for homelessness (voted through in 2016 by the Tories supported by Labour and the LibDems) and rising numbers of homeless people in Oxford City and elsewhere, the situation has reached crisis levels.
The response from Oxford City Council, the authority with a statutory responsibility for housing and homelessness, has been poor. They tried to introduce a draconian Public Spaces Protection Order to fine beggars (which was considerably watered down after a Green Party campaign) and recently voted down a Green motion to divert some of the £4m allocated for spending on expanding a car park to re-furbish and re-open the City-owned Lucy Faithful House homeless hostel.
A leading Labour Councillor was recently forced - as a result of pressure from the Greens - to apologise after he said on BBC Radio Oxford that homeless people were a 'disgrace' and 'ought to have more respect'.
Homelessness is undoubtedly a complex issue but, after spending time supporting the Oxford 'Open House' movement and talking to individuals and organisations involved in homelessness support, the Greens have put together an achievable Ten Point Action Plan to help tackle homelessness in Oxford.
- Reverse County funding cuts & increase the City’s homeless grant
- Re-furbish and re-open Lucy Faithful House homeless hostel
- Change ‘local connection’ rules so more rough sleepers are helped
- Revoke the City Centre PSPO; which fines and criminalises the homeless
- Introduce an Empty Spaces Protocol to make vacant properties temporarily available for the homeless
- Change ‘severe weather’ rules to offer earlier shelter to homeless
- Introduce new Council-backed letting agency offering fairer rents and more secure contracts
- Make homes built on Council land 100% social housing - work with nearby Councils to build more affordable homes
- Offer more support to organisations that offer 'safety net' services such as the Oxford Homeless Project
- Use compulsory purchase powers to buy-up long-term vacant sites
UPDATE: MAY 2017
- Greens succeed in getting Oxford City Council to work on an Empty Spaces Protocol based on the successful Iffley Open House.
- Green Councillors donate some of their ward member spend (a grant given to Councillors each year to spend on good causes) to the Oxford Homeless Project
- Green motion to Oxford City Council (24th April) to re-open Lucy Faithful House fails to win Labour support. The meeting was filmed by a member of the public https://youtu.be/t9Sffshm9-A
Craig Simmons posted about Candidates wanted on Facebook 2017-03-13 23:05:14 +0000I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me!
This is a call for candidates to stand for the Green Party at the next elections to Parliament and to councils in Oxfordshire.
We need more Green councillors in Oxfordshire. Could you follow in the footsteps of our 4 Green Party councillors in Oxford, and stand for election? You could improve the quality of our councils by representing the people and views that the governing parties ignore.
Or you could help organise events and campaigns in your ward. Could you get local people to come out and join the campaign?
In May 2018 there will be elections for Oxford City and Cherwell and West Oxfordshire district councils. Then in 2019 there are all out elections for South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse district councils. And there could be a General Election to Parliament even before this parliament ends in 2022.
We need candidates to start right now, preparing for the elections in May 2018 and 2019. Voters like to vote for people they have heard from over time, rather than those who just turn up in the last few weeks.
We are arranging meets the councillors sessions, where you can find out what Green city, town and parish councillors do and how they got elected. To find out more, fill in the form at the bottom of the page.
What you need to do to stand as a candidate
Do you want to win, or just to stand? If you just want to give people in your area a chance to vote Green, rather than being forced to vote for a worse party, you just need to get your name on the ballot paper. On the other hand, if you want to help people as an elected councillor, you need to run a serious campaign as a candidate in a target seat.
There are places where we cannot win in the next election. It takes time to grow the Green Party in a ward until there are enough local supporters to run a campaign to win. In those areas we need a candidate to stand, while a ward organiser can run a few events and campaigns on local issues until the Green Party and the candidate are better known.
All you need to do as a non-target candidate is:
- Get nominated. You need to get 10 voters in your ward to sign a form saying they think you should be allowed to stand. They don't need to vote for you, or be Green supporters. They can be friends, family, or just neighbours.
- Supply a photograph suitable for the web site and the Oxford Times.
- Write a short election statement for the web site. A bit about yourself, and a bit about what you would do if elected.
If you are interested, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
There are a number of seats where we have won, or came close to winning in the past. If you don't know what a councillor does, take at look at this councillor role description.
Obviously, such a campaign needs more work than just getting nominated. Candidates are expected to take an active role in their election campaign, including:
- building a campaign team, including a campaign manager, and senior roles to manage volunteers, publicity, data and fundraising,
- producing a campaign plan,
- talking to hundreds of voters on the doorstep and at other events,
- taking part in campaign team decisions, including campaign messages,
- responding to voters questions and concerns.
Candidates selected for target seats who commit to work hard enough to win will get support from the Oxfordshire Green Party, including guidance, opportunities for training and mentoring, technical support and funding.
We are committed to supporting people stand for election. If you have support needs to allow you to stand for election—from childcare to disability support needs—please discuss these with us soon so we can arrange support. Being in the Green Party means we are committed to work as a team, no one has to do anything alone, we will find a way to help in any aspect of campaigning and when people become Councillors.
If you are at all interested in standing as a candidate, or helping organise a campaign for a candidate, please complete the form below, and I will get back to you with more details. Parliamentary candidates will be required to complete a questionnaire on their suitability as a candidate by 5 March 2018, then turn up at hustings in the week 19-23 March 2018 (date to be confirmed).
If you want any more information on what is involved in standing as candidate, please contact the Elections Co-ordinator, David Newman.Become a volunteer
Craig Simmons posted about Save Oxford from Tory rule on Facebook 2017-02-04 23:12:46 +0000Sign the petition: Save Oxford from Tory rule
Tory-run Oxfordshire County Council have published proposals which would see Oxford City Council abolished, along with the four neighbouring district councils, and replaced with a new Countywide Council. The 'One Oxfordshire' (see www.oneoxfordshire.org) proposals, labelled as 'crazy' by Green County Councillor David Williams, are also backed by Labour and LibDem County Councillors who seem to have fallen in line with the Tories.
No one can say for certain what changes a Tory-run Council would make to the City. However, historically the County Conservatives have not supported a number of policies which have been backed by the people of Oxford and its councillors, for example, policies on affordable housing, homelessness, the Oxford Living Wage and climate change.
They have also taken a very different approach to how the council provide services. Whereas Oxford has continued to operate its own services and held on to its assets, the County Conservatives have chosen to privatise services and sell-off assets. This means that as Government funding has reduced Oxford has not suffered any serious service cuts or redundancies in recent years.
Of course, Oxford City Council is not perfect but it is far more accountable and far more reflective of the electorate it serves than the Conservative majority that pervades the rest of the County.
Luckily there is still time to oppose One Oxfordshire as the proposals are out for consultation* (until end February 2017). Sign our petition and let the Tories, Labour and LibDem Councillors on Oxfordshire County Council know that you do not want to see Oxford City Council abolished and Oxford ruled by Tories.
*You can also respond directly to the online consultation here - www.oneoxfordshire.org/get-involved59 signaturesWe are opposed to the One Oxfordshire proposal that will replace local councils with a large distant bureaucracy covering the whole of Oxfordshire, which will not reflect the diversity of the county.
Craig Simmons published Green success as City decide to scrap plans for Waterways PSPO in News 2017-02-03 14:40:48 +0000
Council officers are recommending that the City Council's planned Waterways Public Space Protection Order (or PSPO) does NOT proceed.
The PSPO, which sought to criminalise the activities of boaters, and others using Oxford's Waterways, was opposed at the outset by the Greens who worked with representative groups and Council officers to try and ensure the draft Order never made it into law.
[Picture: Green Councillor David Williams, Caroline Lucas MP and Hazel Dawe at the Waterways]Read more
Craig Simmons published Plans to 'slash', 'trash' and 'privatise' NHS opposed in News 2016-12-05 23:56:52 +0000
City Council today (5th Dec) passes Green motion opposing NHS cuts and 'secret' Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Oxfordshire.Read more
A Green Party motion passed by Oxford City Council supports the right of citizens to choose to remain part of the EU and for regions to continue to abide by EU social and environment standards where they exceed those of the UK Government.Read more
Craig Simmons published Council should release funds for rough sleepers, say Greens in News 2016-11-29 22:40:21 +0000
Oxford Green City Councillors have called on Oxford City Council's Labour-run administration to release emergency funds from the Council's Homelessness Reserve to provide accommodation for the City's rising number of rough sleepers during the current cold snap.
Craig Simmons published City Council backs Green motion to stay in EU in Europe News 2016-04-23 11:06:59 +0100
At a meeting of the full City Council on 18th April, the Council unanimously backed a Green motion, proposed by Green Group Leader Cllr Craig Simmons and seconded by Cllr Elise Benjamin to stay in the EU. The full text of the motion can be found here. The Greens accepted a 'friendly' Labour amendment to secure cross-party support on this important issue. Read the full text of Craig's powerful speech here...Read more
We all want where we live to feel like home, to feel safe and secure. That’s why the Greens are making better, affordable housing a top priority.
Oxford has the least affordable housing in the UK. Costs in other parts of the County are also rising inexorably.
The housing crisis is affecting everyone; tenants are being ripped off by dodgy landlords, homelessness is on the increase and prospective owners are being priced out of the area. At the same time, funding for those in housing need is being cut.
Meanwhile, the super rich are speculating on housing and profiteering at our expense.
Many also suffer in cold and mouldy properties facing rising energy bills and soaring rents.
- Abolish the cruel and unfair bedroom tax
- Building 500,000 new Council homes
- Cap rents and introduce longer tenancies to provide greater protection for renters
- An end to £7bn of tax breaks for landlords
- Better insulated, energy efficient homes
Do you support Green policies to provide more affordable housing?
Craig Simmons posted about Petition on Facebook 2015-08-01 15:48:53 +0100Sign the petition: Save Our Community Facilities
The Labour-run City Council have seized direct control of East Oxford Community Centre (EOCC) on the Cowley Road) and plan to sell off half the Community Centre site and 'improve' the rest (funded by further sell-offs; East Oxford Games Hall and the Film Oxford building).
The Centre was run by the East Oxford Community Association before the Council power-grab. The Centre is home to many local groups (including Fusion Arts & Oxford Action Resource Centre) and most nights all available rooms are booked out. Both the Games Hall and Film Oxford are also well used.
The Greens are contesting claims by Labour that they can re-provide 'improved' facilities on a site half the current size whilst incorporating those activities previously carried out in the Film Oxford building and East Oxford Games Hall.
The Greens have put forward an alternative solution - to instead develop land in nearby Cave Street for housing and instead redevelop the Community Centre land for use by social and community enterprises. This will provide MORE housing and retain the integrity of the EOCC site.122 signatures
Green Councillors are calling on the Labour-run City Council to ‘think again’ about its decision to seize direct control of East Oxford Community Centre from the Community Association and rush through a redevelopment funded by selling off the East Oxford Games Hall and Film Oxford sites.
We are calling for:
- A Centre run for the community by the community
- Improvements to the East Oxford Community Centre not to be made dependent on the closure of the Games Hall and Film Oxford.
- Proper public consultation on the future of community provision in East Oxford
Craig Simmons published Greens propose an extra £2m to tackle homelessness and inequality in the City in News 2015-02-18 01:43:44 +0000
This evening (18th February), Oxford City Council will be setting its annual budget against a backdrop of rising inequality in the City and a housing crisis fuelled by ever increasing rents and rising house prices. Oxford officially has the least affordable housing in the country.
As the Government continues to cut the support given to local Councils, the Greens have sought to resist austerity with a bold budget which directs an additional £2m into frontline services targeted at the most vulnerable City residents.Read more
Craig Simmons published Labour Council refuses to take hard line on NHS privatisation in News 2015-02-15 15:24:02 +0000
Craig Simmons wants to volunteer 2015-02-15 11:52:51 +0000
When you have volunteered to help the Oxfordshire Green Party, please tell us something about your skills.
For some tasks, we need specialist skills, hence this long list.
But most tasks anyone can do, given the training we provide.Become a volunteer
@EastOxGreens tweeted link to Get Involved!. 2015-03-02 12:40:22 +0000I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me! http://www.greenoxfordshire.com/volunteer?recruiter_id=34719
We need you
The Oxfordshire Green Party is running campaigns to fight homelessness, save the NHS and improve the quality of your local council: by getting more Green councillors elected. Our Green councillors have already got local councils to disinvest from fossil fuels, improved cycling facilities and require 50% social housing in new developments.
We don't have much money, but we do have 3500 members and supporters in Oxfordshire. Will you join them to make a difference?Please sign up below to volunteer in any way you can.
Our elections are run entirely by volunteers, and the more of us get involved, the better we'll do. And so it's over to you. Whether you only have a few hours a month or spare days every week, whether you're a hardened activist or a political first timer, we need you.Become a volunteer
Oxford is now the most unaffordable place to live in the UK. Houses cost more than 11 times average wages. The country and Oxford's council have a housing crisis on their hands.
Too often, people paying rent get poor service from rogue agencies and landlords. Greens want to take action to drive up standards in rented housing and to tackle the burden of rent.
We believe that access to housing is a human right—the council must do more to meet the housing needs of people in Oxford. Greens support increasing the number of council and social homes available to those who need them.
No council houses have been completed in the last year in Oxford. So when suitable houses become available on the local market, Oxford City Council should purchase them to increase the council housing stock.27 signatures
We demand that Oxford City Council use some of the £10m it has set aside to buy properties for use as Council housing to purchase the Crown House Club on the corner of Crown Street and St Mary’s Road in East Oxford. The Council could then provide 4 flats for immediate rent and a potential additional 5 flats for rent once the non-residential parts of the building are converted for residential use.
We believe the £1m price tag for the Crown House Club, and the potential to create up to 9 Council housing units in an area of housing need, presents excellent value for money for the City Council. With a constant decline in social housing available in the city, it would be a travesty to pass on such a good opportunity to increase the Council's housing stock.
Craig Simmons, councillor for St. Mary's
Craig Simmons works for an internationally recognised and respected sustainability consultancy in Oxford. He is a City Councillor in Oxford, a former Deputy Lord Mayor, and was, for 13 years, an Oxfordshire County Councillor.
Craig is well known for his social and environmental campaigning. Amongst many other things, he founded the East Oxford Farmer’s Market, Low Carbon East Oxford, Magdalen Road Traders & Residents Association and helped start the Cowley Road Carnival.
Craig also oversaw the implementation of the Cowley Road safety scheme which led to a sharp drop in local accidents and injuries. Craig is a keen cyclist and sailor. In 2010 he cycled from Oxford to Cambridge raising money for the British Heart Foundation. In 2013, he sailed across the Atlantic raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.