Members from across the South East heard the Green Party leaders and politicians set out a robust and challenging programme at the conference in Bournemouth on September 25-28. Members also voted to affirm housing as a basic human right, exploring innovative ways to tackle homelessness.
The “Housing First” approach provides people experiencing homelessness with accommodation as quickly as possible – and then provides the services they need such as treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.
The US state of Utah, an implementer of the strategy, has seen a 91% reduction in people living on the streets who have been there for more than a year. The state has also reduced its overall spending on its strategy, citing an $11,000 yearly cost per person to provide an apartment and social work as opposed to previous costs of $17,000 a year for hospital visits and imprisonment.
In the UK the number of homeless people has risen by 12% to 69,000 so the Green Party's new policy will aim to tackle that shocking figure.
Caroline Lucas's speech highlights:
- Leaders at the climate change talks in Paris have no option but to change everything
- The Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stone, it changed because we had a better idea
- The era of fossil fuels must end
- It is imperative that we see a realignment of progressive votes to maximise electoral impact
- We need a progressive Labour Party – if that's what Jeremy Corbyn transforms it to be – to do well. Because it’s part of the movement for change
- As Greens we are committed to the principle of EU existence, to working internationally on the shared issues we face, and to making Europe better from within
Natalie Bennett speech highlights:
- The aim is to elect many more Greens in the proportional representation elections – the fair elections – coming up next May in Wales, in London, and in Scotland
- Social and environmental justice are indivisible – and essential to all of our futures
- Green councillors and parties up and down the country at the forefront of the broad campaign to get institutions and pension funds to divest from fossil fuels
- Dealing with climate change has to be at the centre of every policy, every decision, the responsibility of everyone
- Special request to every Green Party in the country to hold at least one public meeting to raise climate change up the agenda in their community
Photo credit: Stuart Lane