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. 


  • published Green action on single-use plastics in News 2018-04-24 08:48:38 +0100

  • Caroline Lucas launches Green City Manifesto in East Oxford

    Green MP Caroline Lucas, took time out before her appearance on BBC's Any Questions, to launch the Green Party's Oxford City Council Election Manifesto. A large crowd of Councillors, candidates and local people gathered on the Cowley Road to offer their support. 

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  • Join us for the launch, by Caroline Lucas MP, of the Oxford City Council Green Manifesto

    Launch of the Green Party Manifesto for the City Council Elections on 3rd May 2018
    13th April 3pm. Cowley Road (outside Tesco).

  • posted about Phone for us on Facebook 2018-02-18 13:13:02 +0000
    I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me!

    Phone for the Green Party

    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

  • posted about Home on Facebook 2017-06-04 12:30:05 +0100
    I pledged to vote for Oxfordshire Green Party in Oxford East

    3,706 VOTES FOUND
    12,000 votes
    Pledge your vote

  • published Homelessness in Campaigns 2017-04-09 22:09:51 +0100

    Ten Point Homelessness Action Plan

    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. 

    1. Reverse County funding cuts & increase the City’s homeless grant 
    2. Re-furbish and re-open Lucy Faithful House homeless hostel
    3. Change ‘local connection’ rules so more rough sleepers are helped
    4. Revoke the City Centre PSPO; which fines and criminalises the homeless
    5. Introduce an Empty Spaces Protocol to make vacant properties temporarily available for the homeless
    6. Change ‘severe weather’ rules to offer earlier shelter to homeless
    7. Introduce new Council-backed letting agency offering fairer rents and more secure contracts
    8. Make homes built on Council land 100% social housing - work with nearby Councils to build more affordable homes
    9. Offer more support to organisations that offer 'safety net' services such as the Oxford Homeless Project
    10. 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 

     


  • posted about Candidates wanted on Facebook 2017-03-13 23:05:14 +0000
    I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me!

    Ever thought of standing for election?

    This is a call for candidates to stand for the Green Party at the next elections to Parliament and to councils in Oxfordshire.

    Given the turmoil in the Conservative party, there may be a General Election in the next 6 months. In November, we will select our candidates for the 6 constituencies: Banbury, Henley, Oxford East, Oxford West and Abingdon, Wantage, and Witney. If you are interested, fill in the form below.

    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.

    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 2019 there will be elections for evrery councillor in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse and 1/3 of the counclllors in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire district councils. Then in 2020 there will be elections for 2 councillors in each of the new Oxford City wards.

    We need candidates to start right now, preparing for the elections in 2019 and 2020. 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 will arrange 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.

    Non-target candidates

    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:

    1. 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.
    2. Supply a photograph suitable for the web site.
    3. 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.

    Target candidates

    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:

    • join or build a campaign team, including a campaign manager, and senior roles to manage volunteers, publicity, data and fundraising,
    • work with your team to produce a campaign plan,
    • talk to hundreds of voters on the doorstep and at other events,
    • taking part in campaign team decisions, including campaign messages,
    • respond 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.

    Act now

    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.

    Become a volunteer

  • Green success as City decide to scrap plans for Waterways PSPO

    David Williams, Caroline Lucas and Hazel DaweCouncil 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]

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  • Plans to 'slash', 'trash' and 'privatise' NHS opposed

    City Council today (5th Dec) passes Green motion opposing NHS cuts and 'secret' Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Oxfordshire.

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  • published Oxford's future in the EU in News 2016-12-05 21:36:18 +0000

    Oxford's future in the EU

    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.

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  • Council should release funds for rough sleepers, say Greens

    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. 

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  • City Council backs Green motion to stay in EU

    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...

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  • published #decenthomes in Policy 2016-04-17 17:04:06 +0100

    #decenthomes

    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.

    Greens will:

    • 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
    6 signatures

    Do you support Green policies to provide more affordable housing?

    Add signature

  • posted about Petition on Facebook 2015-08-01 15:48:53 +0100
    Sign the petition: Save Our Community Facilities

    Petition: Save Our East Oxford Community Facilities

    CF_MAP.png

    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. 

    120 signatures

    Petition

    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:

    1. A Centre run for the community by the community 
    2. Improvements to the East Oxford Community Centre not to be made dependent on the closure of the Games Hall and Film Oxford.
    3. Proper public consultation on the future of community provision in East Oxford  
    Add signature

  • posted about Election day volunteer on Facebook 2015-05-05 23:49:46 +0100
    I signed up to volunteer for Oxfordshire Green Party. Join me!

    How you can help us on election day

    Let us know how you can best help on election day, 18 Oct. 2018. Tasks include:

    1. 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.
    2. Helping in a committee room.
    3. Giving lifts to voters with mobility difficulties who are otherwise unable to travel their polling station
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    Become a volunteer

  • published Full General Election 2015 Manifesto in Policy 2015-05-04 20:52:05 +0100

  • published Oxford_East_Feedback in Oxford East 2015-04-06 17:39:43 +0100

  • Greens propose an extra £2m to tackle homelessness and inequality in the City

    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.

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  • Labour Council refuses to take hard line on NHS privatisation

    A Green Group motion to a full meeting of Oxford City Council condemning NHS privatisation was today watered-down by Labour Councillors removing reference to, amongst other things, support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill.

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Craig Simmons runs an internationally recognised and respected sustainability consultancy based in Oxford employing people from around the County.