3 April 2017
At a meeting at the Ashburton Quaker House on Wednesday evening, 29th March, members of South Devon Green Party thoroughly argued the merits of a potential local alliance to ensure that Green issues are heard in the run up to the County Council elections in May.
The meeting agreed, by a substantial majority, to ask Dr. John Green to withdraw his candidacy for the position of Devon County Councillor for Ashburton and Buckfastleigh representing the Green Party and instead to support Ron Fox, an independent candidate and an experienced Town Councillor.
Set against a background in which the local Green Party, under the leadership of John Green, has been pursuing the possibilities of a Progressive Alliance with other political parties, the meeting was faced with a new element of non-party politics.
The emergence of Ron Fox as an independent candidate was welcomed by the Green Party, given his active involvement in local community initiatives and his dedication to help protect the environment. And whilst the Green Party has strong local support, the meeting recognized that if the two candidates stood, they would split the vote.
Proposing a local alliance in this particular case, Robin Ladkin, the Communications Officer for the South Devon Green Party, suggested that by taking a pragmatic approach there was a greater chance of a candidate being elected who would champion social and environmental issues in County Hall. The Green Party members expressed their appreciation for Ron Fox’s focus on the importance of transparency in the democratic process between the County Council and local authorities at District, Town and Parish levels, which chime with Green Party’s principles of supporting more decision making at the local level.
Withdrawing his candidacy, John Green, Chair of the South Devon Green Party added, “We are encouraging local Greens to support Ron Fox, the Independent candidate, as we believe he will focus on promoting policies which are socially progressive and will protect the precious environment in which we live.”