JULIE HOWELL, GREEN PARTY: On offer - a different view of politics

PUBLISHED: 16:45 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:22 20 April 2017

Julie Howell

Julie Howell

Archant

Alternative transport infrastructure should be considered to help older people and the disabled, as well as the environment, according to Green Party mayoral candidate, Councillor Julie Howell.

Cllr Howell, who joins the race to become the first-ever mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, says different ways of getting around need to be made “more desirable”.

“I care very passionately about social justice and believe the way disabled and older people are treated in this country is a national disgrace,” she said.

Cllr Howell, who has multiple sclerosis, said she believes she is the only candidate living with a chronic condition, and that she champions the inclusion of the disabled.

“I am concerned that we create a transport infrastructure that meets the needs of our older population and our residents with disabilities. Many disabled and older people rarely leave their homes as it is so difficult to get around the county independently,” she added.

“And many older people drive because this is the only accessible, safe option available to them. We need to make other choices more desirable.”

Cllr Howell says these other choices need to move away from the use of cars, and that it is important to start considering the health of the planet.

“When it comes to Green Party philosophy, I wholeheartedly agree that it is high time we stopped taking from the planet as if there is a back-up planet we can turn to when the resources on this one run out. There isn’t.”

She added: “There is an over-reliance on the car. I don’t drive, so I walk or get the bus or train. Cambridgeshire seems to favour the car over all other modes of transport, including feet.

“I would like other means of trans-port, including walking, to be considered before the car.”

The new mayor will be responsible for £600 million when they are elected – £20 million a year for 30 years – as well as £170 million grant for afford-able housing.

“As everyone knows, we’re in the midst of a housing crisis,” Cllr Howell added.

“We do need to build more places for people to live but these should be homes within communities with excellent transport networks - especially for travel by cycle or on foot - and community facilities such as community shops, recreation areas and community halls.

“I live on a newly-built estate in Peterborough and it has none of these things. Property developers are motivated by money and hold residents in contempt. Roads are unfinished and public bins go unemptied.

“We must stand up to developers and ensure we create communities that people are happy to live in. We also need to build homes in villages so that young people can afford to remain in the areas where they grew up.

“However, this mustn’t be at any cost to the environment. Cambridgeshire is a desirable place to live because of its green spaces and we should do all we can to protect our natural resources while providing infrastructure fit for the 21st century.”

Cllr Howell has been a member of the Green Party since March 2016, and to stand for this mayoral election had to put down a deposit of £5,000. She and her supporters raised this from scratch – taking them just 42 days to get her on the final list.

Now the only female mayoral candidate is asking for an additional £2,000 for a campaign kick-start, including travel costs, printing and publicity. Ms Howell, who used to be a disability rights campaigner for sight loss charity RNIB, is a parish councillor in Peterborough for Orton Waterville and Orton Longueville. “I believe that many residents want change and appreciate the choice of a different kind of candidate, one that is not as entrenched in local government politics,” she said.

“I’m very visible in the areas where I am a parish councillor and I would ensure that I continue to be visible if elected mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as visibility matters to residents.

“I will be a highly consultative, listening mayor and I will work very hard to seek out the voices of our many minority groups and ensure that everyone’s views are considered.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 15:22

A five bedroom, two storey farmhouse has been put forward to East Cambridgeshire planners by Charles Shropshire on his company’s Dimmocks Cote Farm at Stretham.

Yesterday, 11:53

A major road through the Fens re-opens on Monday following a £1 million improvement programme.

Yesterday, 17:31

A weather warning was in place on the day that a bouncy castle blew across a fairground with Summer Grant inside it, a court heard.

Yesterday, 13:04

The team at Ely’s new leisure centre, The Hive, will be out and about on the Market Place tomorrow morning.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter