Craig Simmons published Caroline Lucas launches Green City Manifesto in East Oxford in News 2018-04-14 20:03:11 +0100
Craig Simmons published Join us for the launch, by Caroline Lucas MP, of the Oxford City Council Green Manifesto in News 2018-04-12 00:12:33 +0100Launch of the Green Party Manifesto for the City Council Elections on 3rd May 201813th April 3pm. Cowley Road (outside Tesco).
Craig Simmons posted about Home on Facebook 2017-06-04 12:30:05 +0100I pledged to vote for Oxfordshire Green Party in Oxford East5,378 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 2021 elections to councils in Oxfordshire.
We need more Green councillors in Oxfordshire. Could you follow in the footsteps of our 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.
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 the Elections Committee will get back to you with more details.
If you want any more information on what is involved in standing as candidate, please contact the Elections Co-ordinator, David Newman.
We are looking for both target candidates, who will work hard to win in May 2021, and non-target candidates who need to do as little as getting their name on the ballot paper so that people can vote everywhere for a Green Party candidate.Become a volunteer
After failing in 2017, the Government, with the support of the Tory-run Oxfordshire County Council, look set to again try and reorganise the City and County Councils. A new Devolution White Paper - to be published in early September 2020 - is widely expected to revive previously rejected 'One Oxfordshire' proposals to create a single unitary authority. This would see Oxford City Council abolished, along with the four neighbouring district councils, and replaced with a new, most-likely Tory-run Countywide Council. Based on current and historical voting, this would most-likely be Tory-run. At the time, Green County Councillor David Williams called the plans 'crazy'.
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 far from 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.
We want to re-ignite our campaign to SAVE OXFORD FROM TORY RULE. 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.61 signaturesWe are opposed to any proposals 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.113 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 posted about Election day volunteer on Facebook 2015-05-05 23:49:46 +0100I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me!
Let us know how you can best help on election day, 7 May 2020. Tasks include:
- Reminding people to vote:
- Knocking on the doors of people who said they will vote Green (“knocking up”).
- Telephoning people who said they would vote green.
- Helping in a committee room.
- Giving lifts to voters with mobility difficulties who are otherwise unable to travel their polling station
- Taking voter numbers at polling stations (“telling”)—many voters don’t make up their minds until they are in the polling booth. A Green rosette and a welcoming face can help persuade them. Key times include 7am-9.30am, and 5pm-8pm.
- Tallying the votes at the count, so we know where in the county there are more Green voters.
Please tick the ways you can help below, and where you can help.Become a volunteer
- Reminding people to vote:
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, 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.