News and Views

Select a topic from the menu(s) above, or keep reading for all our latest news and views. You can also download copies of our community newsletters, or read A Green Voice For Southwark, our blog about Southwark news and local issues, with a focus on Camberwell and Peckham.

Say No to Bus Cuts

Southwark Green Party stands against Transport for London and Sadiq Khan's proposed cuts to buses in Southwark.

If these cuts go ahead, it will harm many residents of Southwark who can least afford to lose these services. Many of us will find it harder to get to work, see family and friends, or attend essential services. During a climate emergency we need to encourage and expand these vital public transport options, not cut them and at the same time support and promote active travel options.

Local campaigner in Nunhead & Queens Road, Richard Taylor says "The loss of the 12 and 78 services would have a particularly bad impact on

 

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Show your support

On Thursday May 5, elections take place for Southwark Council.

Show your support for the Green Party by displaying a poster in your window.

 

Downloand and print in colour or print the black & white version onto your brightest green paper!

 

If you want to learn more about the Green Party's vision for London, see the most recent London-wide manifesto here and statements on some key topics from local candidates here. For a national perspective, the Political Programme truly is a vision of a better world.

Find a full list of Green Party candidates standing across Southwark here. And if you want your community represented by councillors that will work tirelessly for your community - Vote Green on May 5th.

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Social Care

All adults should have access to free social care, say Southwark Greens

The Green Party in Southwark has pledged to push for fully funded social care for all adults, which would put social care on a par with the NHS.

In the run up to the local elections

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Homes & Energy

Greens pledge to tackle cost of living crisis with a retrofit revolution

Southwark Green Party candidates have pledged to tackle growing levels of fuel poverty and the cost-of-living crisis

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Wellbeing Economy for Southwark

Green Party calls for health and wellbeing to be top of the agenda in Southwark decision-making 

Southwark Green Party is calling for a shift from traditional thinking to the embracing of “a wellbeing economy”. 

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Safe Streets for Southwark

Greens commit to Safe Streets for Southwark

Green Party councillors in Southwark will prioritise funding public transport as well as cycling and walking infrastructure if elected in the local elections next month.

As voters prepare to go to the ballot box on 5 May,

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Supporting Southwark's Small Businesses

Greens commit support for small business in Southwark

Southwark Green Party calls for measures to support small businesses green their operations, improve employee welfare and make it easier

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2022 Candidates for Southwark Council

The election for new councillors for Southwark takes place on Thursday 5 May.

Our communities and our environment can be better served with Greens elected to the council chamber.

We have seen the positive impact Green councillors have had in other parts of London and across the country - and it’s time to see the same here in Southwark. See a full list of Green Party candidates listed below.

Vote Green Party for Fairer, Greener Communities.

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Camberwell hustings 2022

Eleanor Margolies and Brian Symons are the Green Party candidates for St Giles ward in Camberwell, with Valerie Remy in Camberwell Green and Mike Millar in Champion Hill.

To book your place at the SE5 Forum hustings on 20 April: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/local-election-hustings-camberwell-tickets-310503473247

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Greens working hard all year round

Take a look at what three local Green activists have been doing in just one area of Southwark. Catherine Dawkins, Claire Sheppard and Richard Taylor are standing for election to Southwark Council as Green Party candidates in Nunhead and Queen's Road.

Catherine, Claire and Richard surveyed voters in the area to understand local issues and took action. The top issues included: fly-tipping, littering, safer streets, and support for local businesses.

In response to this, they have:

  • participated in regular litter picks
  • installed dog poo bag dispensers
  • reported fly-tipping to Southwark Council and got the mess cleared up
  • organised a regular speed watch on Queens Road Peckham and Consort Road
  • helped local traders find out about support from the council

Greens are standing in the local elections right across Southwark. Vote for hardworking local Greens on Thursday 5 May.

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Nunhead and Queens Road candidates May 2022

Catherine Dawkins, Claire Sheppard and Richard Taylor are the Green Party candidates in Nunhead and Queen's Road Peckham for the local elections in May.

 

Find out about what they have been doing locally...

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Greens speak at hustings organised by Black and Latin American communities

Peter Baffoe, Green candidate for North Walworth, and Lina Usma, Green candidate for Newington, represented Southwark Green Party at local election hustings held at Peckham Levels.

Green candidates Peter Baffoe, Liba Hoskins, Lina Usma

The event was organized by Southwark Latin American Network and Southwark's Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (R.E.A.C.H) Alliance, organisations campaigning for Latin American and black communities in Southwark.

Peter spoke about the Green Party’s long-standing and continuing support for the traders at Elephant and Castle. Southwark Green Party supports the efforts of the Latin American community to develop an official Latin Quarter at Elephant and Castle as a cultural hub for the community, and support the official recognition of Latin Americans as a separate ethnic group. It is estimated that more than 8,000 Latin Americans live in Southwark. It is a young community (two thirds are under 40) with many “highly skilled individuals with large numbers in work, but unable to obtain jobs in line with their professional skills” (Trust for London, Towards Visibility report).

Peter said the Green Party would actively involve minoritised communities in the design of council programmes and policies, and use council resources to support the work of local 'by and for' Black, minority ethnic and Latin American organisations.

His responses to questions from the public were very well received, not least a commitment to reinstate the Carnaval Del Pueblo, a Latin-American festival held in Burgess Park. Peter said: “We will do everything we can do to ensure the celebration can continue.”

Discussion after the formal part of the evening continued in both Spanish and English. Lina emphasised the Green Party's progressive policies, such as the universal basic income, four-day week and protection for tenants, and its commitment to work hard for and with local communities. 

Hear from Lina at the Peckham Levels hustings in this lively video en Español.

 

Peter Baffoe, a Black man in his thirties, wearing a green rosette, speaking into a microphone at a public meeting

Peter Baffoe grew up, and lives in Southwark. He is currently the Interim Director of South London Mission, providing strategic leadership and vision for the charity which provides support to those who are in extreme poverty or are marginalised and vulnerable in other ways. Prior to his work in community development, Peter managed a patient complaints and liaison service in the NHS. He has been a school governor and is now a non-executive director of Peabody Housing Association, a trustee of the Peabody Community Foundation, and trustee of the Maudsley Charity.

Lina Usma was born in Colombia and moved to London with her husband and young daughter in 1996. She runs Extra International, the largest largest newspaper in London for the Spanish-speaking Latin American community. Lina studied business management in Colombia and then Media and Journalism at the University of East London.

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Southwark Soapbox

Clare Wood from Southwark Greens is taking part in a Southwark News experiment to debate local issues ahead of the elections for Southwark Council on 5 May. The filmed debates are then shown to local people in a Gogglebox-style programme to hear their reactions.

The Greens and Liberal Democrats asked why the Labour-led Southwark Council hasn't held developers to their commitment to build 35% social housing. Clare mentioned that there are some 16,000 people on the housing waiting list in Southwark and said, 'Labour does have a very bad track record on making sure that new developments have space for social housing and local residents... and how affordable is it really for the local people?'

Clare pointed out that council consultation is too often about the Southwark Council telling local people what is happening, rather than responding to residents' concerns and needs.

Watch the film and make up your own mind:

https www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjCkueq0xXo&t=197s

 

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Don't Infill... Retrofit!

Residents of the Kingston estate in Walworth are among groups across Southwark campaigning against the council’s plans for new infill housing on their estate. Development here would lead to overcrowding and loss of light for existing residents, the loss of a communal garden (including veg-growing and children’s play areas) and the “relocation” of trees. The council wants to build a four-storey block with eight new homes on the site. 
Southwark has a housing crisis, with 16,000 people on its waiting list. But is infilling the answer? What other steps could the council take to find much-needed homes?
Empty homes on the Aylesbury estate in Walworth, awaiting demolition
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Is infilling the answer to Southwark's housing problem?

Southwark has more than 14,000 households on the waiting list for a council home and 3,000 in temporary accommodation.(1) The Labour-led council’s plan to tackle its housing crisis includes building new homes on green spaces and other communal areas on its council estates, a practice known as “infilling”.

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Climate Refugees

The Green Party has long championed the rights of refugees and in this piece, local campaigner and local party member, Helen Kilburn shares the facts on climate refugees and highlights the work of global, national and local organisations.

 

“...you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well...”

Home by Warsan Shire

 

The Green Party has been at the forefront of the fight for climate and social justice in the UK and abroad. We stand in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers and proudly echo the Refugee Welcome Pledge made by Caroline Lucas, MP at the last general election to champion the rights and human dignity of refugees and asylum seekers.

A “refugee” is defined as a person who has crossed an international border “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” (1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees). In some contexts, the definition extends to persons fleeing “events seriously disturbing public order” (1969 OAU Convention; 1984 Cartagena Declaration). To be recognised as a refugee, an individual must first make a claim of asylum. This is a legal right to which all human beings are entitled, but governments are entitled to reject that claim.

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Reflections on the May 2021 Elections

It’s now over three weeks since the Green Party’s record results in the London elections, and we’ve been reflecting on what the gains mean for us as a party, and on the changing political landscape in our city.

Claire Sheppard, Green Party candidate celebrates election result

Green Party candidate for Lambeth & Southwark celebrates a game-changing result with GP Lambeth Councillor, Scott Ainslie.

First and foremost a massive thank you to Green Party campaigners and candidates across Southwark and London. These monumental efforts saw voters seize their chance to vote Green outside the usual first-past-the-post system, where Labour and Conservatives inevitably dominate. The London List vote in the Assembly elections is proportional, making a Green vote far more than a gesture of support. Greens came second on this ballot paper, ahead of the Tories and with more than double the votes of the Lib Dems. This helped to give us a third member on the London Assembly: Zack Polanski now joins Siân Berry and Caroline Russell at City Hall, where he’s hit the ground running, pushing mayor Sadiq Khan on proposals for a Citizens Assembly for London.

Even in the first-past-the-post constituency vote, the Green Party in Southwark and Lambeth secured brilliant results. Our candidate, Southwark Greens’ Claire Sheppard, gained 19.7% of the vote, overtaking the Conservatives, to come second to Labour. Ours was one of only two constituencies where the Labour-Tory stranglehold was broken, the other being North East London, where Caroline Russell was in second place to Labour.

Results of Constituency Vote 2012 - 2021 

% of votes for the Green Party Constituency Candidates in London and in S&L constituency, 2012 - 2021

 Results of List Vote 2012 - 2021

% votes for Green Party ('List Vote') in London and in S&L constituency, 2012 - 2021

The vote for mayor – under the supplementary vote system – consolidated the Greens’ position as London’s third party. Siân Berry received 11.5% of first-choice votes compared with 8.8% in 2016, and a massive 28% of second-preference votes – the most for any candidate, clearly indicating that Siân and the Green Party can and do get support from across the political spectrum.

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Show your support for Siân

Let's all make our homes a billboard for Siân Berry's inspiring campaign for London Mayor.

The London Young Greens made these brilliant VOTE SIAN posters for everyone to print at home and post in our windows!

We look forward to seeing these around the borough in the next few weeks. Take a snap when you see one and let the Young Greens know @LondonYGs (twitter) and @londonygs (instagram).

Which one for your front window? Green or White? Or both?

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Southwark Council’s Commitment to Green Planning in the New Southwark Plan

Since declaring a Climate Emergency two years ago the Council has frequently stated its desire to engage with residents and community groups, to hear their ideas for tackling the environmental problems we face and to work together with people to create ’a cleaner, greener, safer’ Southwark.

In practice, however, very little has been achieved during these two years. There has been plenty of greenwashing but hardly any meaningful action. It’s true that the Council’s intended approach to engagement with the public on the issue, planned for April to June 2020, was dealt a severe blow by the rapid spread of Covid-19; instead of face-to-face consultation, residents and businesses had to be invited to air their views via an online portal. Inevitably the restricted contact meant that most of the comments received were contributed by people used to engaging with the Council, while the average person remained out of reach and in the dark.

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When Greens are in power

In the week that Southwark Housing cabinet member and Labour councillor Leo Pollak resigned from his post, here at Southwark Green Party we have been focusing on more positive news.

Landing in our inbox today was a snapshot of the positive and responsible impact that elected Green Party representatives are having around the country.

Rather than hiding behind anonymous twitter accounts (see Southwark News for details), elected Greens make good things happen for the communities they represent that are also good for the planet.

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