[T]he Green Party have held an inaugural meeting in Penrith and are announcing that, due to growing numbers of members and active interest in Green politics and campaigns, they have started a branch of the party in the constituency.
Having elected members to key positions in the branch, they have already decided to start campaigning and lobbying. The branch will next be making decisions regarding where it intends to stand candidates in future local elections in and around Penrith and the Eden Valley.
The branch will be holding monthly meetings with members to plan their campaigns and activities.
“We have been encouraged by our membership numbers which have continued to grow and we were especially enthused by our General Election results in Penrith and the Borders,” said Richard O’ Brien, the branch’s first secretary.
“We were not even established as a branch at the time of the general election and with minimal spending of a few hundred pounds and some active street work we were able to secure 5% of the vote and keep our deposit. When we look at the sitting MP’s election campaign spend of £12,000 in a safe seat, I think we can be proud of what we achieved.
“We are keen to explore what we can achieve next with progressive alliances throughout Cumbria, and in local elections,” added Mr O’ Brien.
The Penrith and Eden Branch will be linking up with national Green Party Campaigns.
Wade Tidbury, newly elected chair of the Penrith and Eden Branch, said: “Some people assume that the Green Party is solely focussed on the environment and whilst a healthy environment is absolutely essential for all of us, we are really excited about Green Party campaigns supporting the NHS so that it continues to provide a health service for all and the profit motive comes out of healthcare.”
“I am also enthused by Green Party housing and education policies which I believe offer a vision which is lacking with our current government,” added Wade.
The Branch will be meeting regularly over the next few months to fully plan out its approach to campaigning and activities. There is already a plan in place to have an active presence in the various towns in the area over the coming months.