9 November 2014
The Green Party has taken advantage of a surge of support to select parliamentary candidates for all seven Suffolk constituencies, giving everyone in Suffolk a chance to vote for a Green MP for the first time.
The final three candidates were selected this weekend, including as another first for Suffolk, a Green candidate in West Suffolk.
Suffolk Green Party’s membership has grown by well over 50% so far this year, with new members currently joining every day while the party’s national popularity has climbed in recent opinion polls.
Ipswich Green Party has selected Barry Broom, 33, born and raised in the town, an IT consultant who has recently started his own family.
He said: "I am honoured to be selected by our local party to fight for the common good of Ipswich.
We are campaigning for fairness in work, fairness in pay and fairness of opportunity.
Critical to this is fairness in the voting system to ensure every vote counts.
We need proportional votes now for this new world of multi-party politics."
Barry helped build the Ipswich Green Party since the last general
election. The party contests more elections than ever and the number of
members and supporters has gone through the roof in 2014.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Greens have chosen Rhodri Griffiths.
A recently retired deputy headteacher, Rhodri served as a Green community councillor in rural Gower in Wales for four years and was the Green parliamentary candidate for Gower in the 2005 general election.
Rhodri moved to Ipswich in 2013, and then, in June this year, to Parham, where he has joined the local wildlife group and involved himself in community affairs.
He has also become active in the anti-Sizewell campaign.
“One of the biggest issues in the rural part of the constituency is the drastic cuts in bus services. We must reinstate decent services.”
In West Suffolk, the Greens, who have never had a candidate before, chose 23-year-old Niall Pettitt.
Niall was born and raised in Mildenhall and his family have lived there for generations.
After graduating in environmental studies from Bangor University, Niall worked as a teacher at an environmental study centre, a manager at an outdoor clothing store and as a teaching assistant at Mildenhall College Academy.
He is currently studying for a masters degree in public policy and the environment at the UEA, Norwich.
Niall said: “It’s clear that despite all the noise about our environmental problems, the main parties have not been listening. Nothing is going to change unless we make it happen.”
He added: “There is a growing disparity in West Suffolk, if you look at Newmarket for example, some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest live there and the Green Party is the only one talking about redressing the balance. In the villages there is no public transport and people are cut off.”
The other four candidates selected earlier are:
For Bury St Edmunds – Helen Geake, an archaeologist known from Channel 4’s Time Team who lives in Woolpit, near Bury with her husband and young children.
For South Suffolk - Robert Lindsay, 50, a Bildeston parish councillor, Babergh District Councillor, journalist and smallholder who lives in Bildeston with his wife and two young boys.
For Waveney – Graham Elliott. Graham was in 2007 the first ever Green elected to Waveney District Council where he still represents Beccles. He runs a smallholding on the edge of Beccles where he lives with his wife Nicky, a part-time teacher.
For Suffolk Coastal – Rachel Smith-Lyte, a 41-year-old teaching assistant who grew up and still lives in Woodbridge and was a pupil at the town’s Farlingaye High School.
Meetings & Events
- Mid Suffolk meetings generally held at Cafe 52, Crowe Street, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1DL
- Meetings occasionally held in Woolpit, Eye, Stowupland and Needham Market.
All Members and well-wishers welcome.