3 May 2012
There are at least five good reasons to cast a ‘student vote’ on 3rd May and good reasons why that vote should be used to elect a Green Party Councillor to represent your interests on Oxford City Council.
1. Road Safety
Until quite recently, at least one student was killed or seriously injured and many more were hurt on the Roads in East Oxford. Thanks to support from past student voters, your Green Councillors were able to successfully lobby for the 20mph zone now in place on the Cowley Road. This has resulted in a 35% cut in accidents. With Green support, speed limits were also introduced in Iffley Road and on many side streets.
But there is still more to be done. We want improvements to be made to The Plain (an accident hotspot) and residential ‘home zones’ to further improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
2. Air Quality
Spending most of their time in the City Centre, students suffer when air pollution levels are high. Currently, NOx emissions are a particular problem and likely to get worse if the Labour and LibDem plans to triple the size of the Westgate shopping centre finally go ahead. The Greens have long argued that the City owned land next to the Westgate should instead be used for affordable, zero carbon housing. A strong Green voice on the City will ensure that air quality and affordable housing remains high on the political agenda.
3. Quality of Rented Housing
Anyone who has spent time in rented accommodation in Oxford will know that the quality is highly variable and it is expensive. Elected Greens are supporting the introduction of the new City housing registration (HMO) scheme but believe that Labour’s current approach is overly bureaucratic and hence costly to administer and for landlords to comply with. We want to ensure that costs and bureaucracy are kept to a minimum to avoid massive rent increases.
4. Representing Student Interests
Green Councillors have a long history of working hard to represent student interests. Our first Green City Councillor, the late Mike Woodin, was a tutor at Balliol. He was fondly described by the Oxford Student as the ‘Don on our Side’.
More recently, Green Councillors have worked on issues as wide-ranging as bicycle theft, student safety, college recycling provision, opposing student deportation, against the May morning closure of Magdalen Bridge and on energy efficiency in rented housing. The Greens have actively opposed tuition fees under Labour and Coalition Governments.
5. The Greens are best placed to beat the LibDems in many Central, North and East parts of the City.
By voting Green, you can send a message to the Government whilst making a real difference in Oxford.