Promoting the Local Green Economy
A globally renowned City, Oxford’s economy is subject to many external influences. Whilst this has many positive benefits, the danger is that Oxford’s well-being could become too dependent on distant economies.
This is one of the reasons that Greens want to help build a stronger local economy to work in the interests of our communities, not those of big corporations. We need a thriving mix of industry and commerce with the economic resilience these will provide, including a retail offering which is not a cloned copy of what you can find in high streets up and down the country.
- With Green support, a local landlord twice refused to rent to large chains, preferring to rent his premises to small local retailers.
- Greens successfully mobilised local opposition to a planning application for change of use to a hotel-chain restaurant, thus saving Professional Music Technology Shop, one of our iconic Cowley Road shops.
- Blackwells changed their planning application for student accommodation to several small local retail units when Greens pointed out that it would breach the Cowley Road planning restrictions on balanced retail business.
- Our popular Winter Green Fairs have 35 years of success, involving many small local enterprises.
- We persuaded the council to consider a ‘Supermarket Levy’ recognising the harm these supermarkets do to local economies and to raise funds to invest in local communities.
- Greens helped attract the Ethical Property Company to East Oxford where they now manage the Old Music Hall on Cowley Road, which provides office space for small local charities and organisations.
- Support initiatives which make better use of the built environment and increase local employment in the building trade. Examples include converting long-term disused retail, warehouse and office space to housing.
- Continue to work with local residents to get a better planning regime to protect local traders on the Cowley Road, Iffley Road and St Clements.
- Continue our work with traders and the City Council to re-build trust between the parties and ensure a successful future for the Covered Market as a home for a wide variety of independent businesses.
- Support the Oxford Breakfast scheme to encourage overnight tourists to shop at local retailers.
- Support the Oxford Green Card to encourage tourists to use sustainable businesses.
- Re-launch the Oxford Pound, a local currency which aims to support the local economy.
- Try to use the local Council’s discretion to vary business rates to support social enterprises and co-operatives.
- Push for proper enforcement of existing planning restrictions on supermarkets. We lost Oxford’s B&Q store to another Sainsbury’s supermarket as a direct result of the Labour City Council ignoring the restriction on food retail in the John Allen Centre.
- Campaign to upgrade pay and conditions of work in tourism, which are amongst the worst of any industry in Britain.
- Seek to raise the Oxford Living Wage to the level equal to London.
- We will continue to encourage more small bed and breakfast establishments, rather than large hotel chains to provide for tourists in Oxford.
This summary contains on party of the Green Party's vision for Oxford. Return to the full version of this manifesto for more options.