Green candidate present at fox hunting demonstration

Leeds West Green Party candidate Andrew Pointon and his wife Tina  joined other demonstrators at Leeds City Square on 27th May to protest about Theresa May’s plan to hold a free vote on ending the ban of fox hunting if the Conservatives form the next government.

Despite torrential rain for much of the route, a large group of people united by their love of animals and loathing of cruelty to animals, marched through the streets of Leeds city centre to draw attention to the current Prime Minister’s support for a return of fox hunting, and to call on people not to vote Conservative. The heavy rain did not dampen spirits and the noisy but peaceful demonstration seemed to have the backing of the majority of the public passing by.

Andrew said of the event:

“Since my mid-teens I have been passionately opposed to fox hunting and at that time I was a member of the League Against Cruel Sports. I was delighted when the Hunting Act in 2004 banned the barbaric act of hunting foxes and indeed other wild animals, although personally I felt it should have been stronger. Sadly it comes as no surprise that Mrs May said that if re-elected as Prime Minister she will set in motion a chance to repeal that legislation and look to bring back fox hunting.

How anyone can derive pleasure from seeing a beautiful creature torn to shreds meeting such a violent and horrific death is beyond me. Both my wife and I are passionate advocates of animal rights so clearly it was important to us both to be here to help raise awareness that a vote for the Tories is among other terrible things, a vote to bring back fox hunting. We must keep the ban in place and strengthen legislation to protect our wildlife even more.”

The Green Party opposes the return of fox hunting and has comprehensive policies on animal welfare. The Greens For Animal Protection Group is a Green Party initiative which aims to develop policy on animal protection issues and also campaign for animals. The Green Party’s Animal Rights policies in full can be found here.

 

Find out more about Andrew

Andrew in the Lake DistrictIf you want find out more about Andrew and what you can expect if you elect him as your MP, you can read about:

His views on the key issues facing the country.

His background and why he wants to become your MP.

Green Party candidate secures best ever result in Leeds West

Andrew (left) at the count

Andrew (left) at the declaration of the result

In the 2015 General Electcion Andrew Pointon, the Green Party candidate for Leeds West, returned the best ever result the party had achieved in the constituency. Andrew polled 3,217 votes (8.4%) and finished fourth. David Blackburn had previously polled the highest Leeds West Green tally in 2001 with 2,573 votes (8%). Labour’s Rachel Reeves was re-elected as the MP for Leeds West.

Andrew said of the result:

“Today is a day of mixed emotions. I was proud to stand as the Green candidate in Leeds West, and I am very pleased to have achieved the best result the Greens have managed in Leeds West. It is great to be able to see Green Party policies becoming attractive to more people in this area. Nationally the Green Party has made advancements and it was wonderful to see Caroline Lucas deservedly re-elected in Brighton Pavilion with an increased majority. But my personal satisfaction is somewhat negated by the return of a Conservative majority government which I fear will be disastrous for this country. That result makes it more essential that the Green Party continues to grow in influence to stand up for people and planet alike. 

I would like to thank all the people of Leeds West who voted for me, and contacted me during the campaign. I would also like to thank all the people that helped me, especially the local council candidates whose work in the four wards no doubt increased the vote I received. I’d like to thank my agent Nick, but most of all my wonderful wife Tina who put up with hardly seeing me over the last year as I was out campaigning.”

The full results for Leeds West follow below:

Surname Forename Votes Elected Description
COYLE Laura 1495 Liberal Democrats
MAYOR Ben 205 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
MURGATROYD Anne 7104 UK Independence Party (UKIP)
PIERRE-TRAVES Alex 7729 The Conservative Party
POINTON Andrew Mark 3217 Green Party
REEVES Rachel Jane 18456 ELECTED Labour Party
WEST Matthew Graeme 217 Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
Andrew listens to the victor's speech after the announcement of the result

Andrew listens to the victor’s speech after the announcement of the result of the Leeds West poll

Election Day: One clear choice

Andrew on election dayToday you can go out and cast your vote. I urge you to do so. Your vote can make a difference.

Are you are fed up with “business as usual politics” where politicians say roughly the same thing, squabble with each other, and then fail to deliver their promises? Are you fed up of them turning up just at election time after your vote, only for them to let you down for the rest of the time?

Well you have a real positive alternative. You can vote for the Green Party. This is a party that is still based on principles and creates policy through its members, not dictated to by those at the top. It is a party that doesn’t just change what it says to please the audience it has in front of it. It is a party that has policies that puts people and the planet first. It is a party that looks to make things better for all not just the elite in society. It is a party that will look after the vulnerable members of society. It is a party of hope, not negativity and fear.

Just a few of the things the Green Party want to do:

  • Ensure we have a safe planet to live on with a whole range of measures to tackle Climate Change while helping people reduce their cost of living at the same time.
  • Create hundreds of thousands of new jobs that are actually secure, well paid and something you can build a life on.
  • Build 500,000 new social homes for affordable renting to help tackle our housing crisis.
  • Keep the NHS public, fund it properly, and remove privatisation.
  • Introduce a minimum wage that is a living wage of £10 per hour.
  • Renationalise the railways, and regulate buses enabling us to drop fares. We’d immediately reduce fares by 10%.
  • End university fees, reintroduce grants to replace loans, and write off the student loan debt. We’d reintroduce the EMA to help young people stay on at school.
  • Create an economy that works for all not just the wealthy. We’d tackle tax avoidance, ensure big corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and raise the top rate of tax for the very wealthy.

Find out more here: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/we-stand-for/

If you want a real progressive change, vote for it. Vote for what you believe in not the least worst option. Vote Green Party. Please vote for me, Andrew Pointon, in Leeds West. It’s time we had a change for the better.

Thank you

Andrew

 

 

Leeds West candidate supports unions on May Day Rally

Leeds Greens at TUC rally

The dull weather and rain showers didn’t prevent the largest number of Leeds Greens joining hundreds of other marchers on the traditional May Day march through Leeds city centre today. Headed by a brass band, trade unionists, political parties, and other activists marched through crowded streets of shoppers to celebrate International Workers’ Day, and to send out the message that “Austerity must end”.

Leeds Greens valued the opportunity to show their support for this annual TUC event as the Green Party’s manifesto contains economic policies that closely match the alternative anti-austerity budgets drawn up by unions like UNISON and PCS. The Green Party also believe in investing in public services rather than cutting them, and fights to keep the NHS public, rejecting any form of privatisation in the health service.

With policies such as putting the railways back into public ownership, building more social housing for rent, and creating one million new jobs through green measures like renewable energy and insulation schemes, the Green Party represents the ideals of many trade union members. The Green Party also recognise that the rising cost of living combined with pay freezes and cuts have forced more people into debt and below the poverty line.

Leeds Greens on TUC marchWhile the introduction of a Basic Citizen’s Income is the Green Party’s target, one step in the right direction would be paying workers a Living Wage of £10 an hour by 2020. At the same time it is important that working conditions continue to be improved and not put a threat by the policies of the Coalition government. Both public and private sector workers deserve decent rights at work and being in a trade union plays a crucial role.

The Green Party candidate for Leeds West, Andrew Pointon said:

Andrew on the TUC march

Andrew Pointon on the TUC march

As a UNISON Convenor and Branch Officer I am proud to have been amongst fellow Green Party members at the TUC May Day rally. It is important to remember the contributions the trade unions have made to working conditions over the decades of struggle, and to realise that the unions are vital in the defence of those rights and to fighting for further improvements. We need to establish a decent living wage that people can live on and do away with the instability of zero hour contracts. The Green Party support these campaigns, and recognise that when all else fails workers have the right to go on strike to defend pay, pensions, conditions, and to ensure that vital public services remain.

In local government we are seeing horrendous cuts, driven not by necessity, but ideology. The Conservatives do not like the public sector and are hell bent on destroying it, lining up services to be privatised and sold to their corporate mates. If we do not fight back we will see public services disappear. Public services used by the many and needed by some of the most vulnerable in society will be gone. The Green Party shares the unions’ desire to fight for working people and society’s vulnerable and less well off. That’s why I was here today.

The march ended with a rally in Leeds Victoria Gardens in front of the Art Gallery, and a series of passionate speakers.

Greens say end austerity and invest in our public services

Leeds West could benefit from nine new railway stations

No to HS2 yes to new stations

Andrew Pointon at the site of the former Armley & Wortley station

Green Party parliamentary candidate, Andrew Pointon, believes that two key Green Party national policies could help Leeds West see a huge improvement to local rail services. The Green Party want to see the railways renationalised which would enable greater control over investment in the rail network. The Greens also want to scrap the £50bn HS2 project and spend some of the money on local transport systems.

In Leeds West this could mean the opening of 9 new stations on 4 different lines that run through the constituency. These would include the reopening of 7 former stations, and the creation of 2 new ones. Construction has already started on one of the 9 stations at Kirkstall Forge, but the Green Party believes that there is scope to aim for a more ambitious target to open an additional 8 stations. These would give local people a more rapid journey to the city centre and help cut down on road use.

Andrew says of the proposals:

“As the son of a retired railwayman I am passionate about the railways and seeing them back in public hands. It is a disgrace how much taxpayers’ money is given to private companies to run overpriced rail services for profits. By renationalising the railways we could have lower fares and more investment in new stations. In Leeds West the Green Party have highlighted 8 additional new locations that would really benefit local people. This would be a far better use of public funds than the HS2 vanity project”.  

The following briefing paper lists the nine possible new stations:  Urban rail network in Leeds West constituency

Return the railways to public hands  Vote Pointon 7th May

Save our NHS – Vote Green

Vote Green to save the NHS

I would like to offer my strong support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015.

The Coalition government has presided over the privatisation of the NHS by stealth. The previous Labour Blair and Brown governments are not without blame either. Labour started the marketisation of the NHS which laid the foundations for the current government’s attack on the NHS.

The Green Party believes that healthcare is not a commodity to be bought or sold. The National Health Service must provide healthcare, free at the point of need, funded through taxation. It must be a public service funded by, run by and accountable to local and national government and devoid of all privatisation, whether privatised administration, healthcare provision, support services or capital ownership. The NHS is concerned with healthcare provision and should not be subject to market forces either internal or external.

As well as being a Green Party candidate I am also a trade union convenor / branch officer with UNISON. One of UNISON’s key campaigns is fighting to oppose NHS cuts and privatisation. On a personal note, during 2009 I lived in the USA for 6 months so have direct experience of the American health care system and the NHS. One of my huge fears is that the UK’s health care ends up like the USA’s based around insurance payments. We have to fight hard to stop that happening. The NHS is a national treasure and should not be run by private companies for profit. My American wife also loves the NHS. Like millions of others, she could not afford health care in the USA and the NHS has helped change her life with treatments she would never have had on the other side of the Atlantic.

If elected I would be delighted to support a Bill to reinstate a NHS that is a publicly funded and publicly accountable, and get rid of the disgraceful marketisation that recent governments have introduced. It is one of the Green Party’s key campaigns for this General Election and one of my priorities.

Andrew Pointon

The Green Party’s full policies about health can be found here