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Labour candidates back Green New Deal ahead of local elections

40% of the party's candidates have put their name to a local manifesto calling for climate justice and a 'just transition'.

Whats App Image 2021 04 20 at 8 47 35 AM

Sheffield Labour for a Green New Deal are calling on candidates to back their local manifesto.

Sheffield Labour for a Green New Deal.

40% of Labour's candidates in the upcoming local elections have put their name to a manifesto calling for a Green New Deal in Sheffield.

Campaign group Sheffield Labour for a Green New Deal, who designed the plan, say it would guarantee a "just transition" by linking decarbonisation with reductions in poverty and inequality.

Supporters say a Green New Deal would take the steps necessary to drastically reduce carbon emissions while also creating new jobs through big public investments in the green economy.

“Ensuring that our city council takes every possible action towards zero carbon is now of the very highest importance," said Ruth Milsom, a Labour candidate in Crookes & Crosspool, who supports the campaign.

"As a long-time health campaigner I’m really focused on realising the co-benefits of decarbonising local industry, energy production and transport, as well as making homes warmer – the harder we tackle these things, the sooner we will all feel the positive effects on our health, and there will be a further positive spin-off in relieving pressure on our NHS and care services."

The manifesto for Sheffield includes the creation of climate apprenticeships to develop the "green workforce of tomorrow" and the full retrofitting of the city's social housing.

The group also want to see long-lost train routes reopen in the Sheaf Valley, the city's failing bus network taken back under control, and a reduction in car use through the creation of a '15-minute city'.

This would involve creating neighbourhoods where most shops, workplaces and services could be reached in 15 minutes on foot or even quicker by bike.

Alison Norris in Broomhill & Sharrow Vale, one of 11 Labour candidates who support the manifesto, said that we need to "be bold" to reverse climate breakdown.

"The pandemic made many people's lives harder and more precarious. Unless we change tack as we rebuild, unless we share resources and opportunities much more equally, more and more of us will face an uncertain future."

The Green Party, who hope to increase their eight Sheffield seats on 6 May, have long put environmental issues, including street trees and a Clean Air Zone, at the centre of their campaigns.

The local Liberal Democrats, who are the main opposition group on the council, say they want to re-wild parts of the city and force developers to prioritise low-carbon homes on brownfield sites.

With a majority of just three and with 29 seats up for re-election, Labour could lose their majority on the council. A leaked party memo from last year revealed that the party believes Sheffield is one of the councils it could lose.

Sheffield Labour for a Green New Deal coordinator Kieran Walker believes the group's manifesto offers a way forwards for a party that is currently underperforming in national polls."

After 6 May we could have a significant cohort of Labour councillors with really ambitious vision for tackling climate change in our city – a vision of a local Green New Deal which is far more comprehensive and progressive than anything I have seen from any major political party at a local election."

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