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New Year message from Suffolk’s Green council leaders

Happy New Year - a message from Green Party leaders of two of Suffolk's district councils

As Green Party Leaders of two of Suffolk’s district councils, we are writing to thank residents for the opportunity given to us in last May’s elections to lead Mid Suffolk and East Suffolk District Councils for a four-year term.  Later in the new year, a third Suffolk council will also have a Green leader as Councillor Deborah Saw takes over the rotating leadership at Babergh.

The mandate given us, to steer these councils in a different direction to that of the party previously in power, is both a privilege and a hefty responsibility. As we enter a new year, we will continue to take every opportunity to address both the grave climate crisis and the serious social challenges many people face, recognising that bold action is called for.

Inevitably we are constrained by Government financial cuts and ever-changing legislation. However, it is vital to give local residents better opportunities, in terms of how we all live, travel, consume, stay warm and healthy, manage our finances, and engage with each other. Policies to provide warmer homes, more sustainable travel, improved recycling and green growth opportunities, are vital.  Alongside this, we must continue to give extra support to individuals and families facing times of particular difficulty.

There will always be voices criticising Green low-carbon and social justice policies, and opposing how we spend and invest public money.  However, tackling social inequalities and reducing carbon emissions is most effective when it has broad-based support, and we hope our political opponents will work with us to achieve these urgent goals.

Such goals are ambitious and will take time as we work to reverse regressive policies within our districts. We will work faster wherever we can. Honesty, transparency, listening, and explaining will all be key to our approach.

We look forward to working with our residents for a better New Year.

Andy Mellen, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council

Caroline Topping, Leader of East Suffolk District Council