GPEx Policy Development Co-ordinator candidates

As voting opens for the Green Party of England and Wales’ (GPEW) internal elections, candidates for the position of GPEx Policy Development Co-ordinator explain why party members should vote for them.

GPEW internal elections 2020 GPEx Policy Development Co-ordinator
GPEW internal elections 2020 GPEx Policy Development Co-ordinator
Green World
GPEW internal elections 2020 Peter Sims and Sam Alston

Peter Sims and Sam Alston

We are putting ourselves forward for this role because we feel this is a critical time for Green Party policy.

We are putting ourselves forward for this role because we feel this is a critical time for Green Party policy. There is more scope for society to change direction now, than there has been for a long time. The pandemic, school strikes and Black Lives Matter protests all highlight our broken system and the desire for a better world. Our policy needs to continue to meet the challenges and opportunities of our accelerating world. We hope in our one-year term to empower members, to do that by following these principles:

  • We recognise the importance of continuity and consistency in this role.

  • We feel there is significant scope to improve how the party defines its policy and communicates it to wider society, See the ‘new-policy-process’ space. Policy should be an effective tool to grow and empower our councillor base.

  • Party policy needs to be disseminated more broadly within the party, in part by engaging local and regional parties in policy discussions. Our policy needs to be useful to our growing membership expanding councillor base and their communities, as well as having a more general role in political education.

  • Groups marginalised and oppressed in society should have a powerful voice in our policy making and development, whether they be young people, the Gypsy Roma Traveller community, women, LGBTQIA+ people or others.

  • We feel it’s important that the Policy Development Co-ordinator ballot has a nomination from the parties Policy Community.

  • As Green policy becomes the mainstream in a post-pandemic world we need to build links and highlight policy alignment with external organisations such as: trade unions, professional bodies and research organisations.

Peter Sims is heavily involved in the Green Party policy process and is deeply involved in many policy working groups including Tax & Fiscal and Land use policy working groups. Outside the Green Party he is a member of the core group of the Green House think tank where he has taken a leading role in the climate jobs modelling work. He has a masters degree in Electronic Engineering and was a general election candidate in 2017 and 2019 .

Sam Alston is completing a Masters in Climate Change and Energy Policy at SOAS, and works in home care. He was Campaign Manager for Oxford in the 2019 general election, responsible for social media during the 2019 South East European election campaign and is founding member of Jewish Greens and is a former Co-chair of South East Young Greens.

GPEW internal elections 2020 Vix Lowthion

Mick Gregg

I will enhance how the Committee supports our Policy Working Groups and individuals, and plays its part in the wider development of our Policy and the workings of Conference.

Having been involved in the inner workings of the Policy Development Committee since 2017, I see what works and also what needs to improve. I will enhance how the Committee supports our Policy Working Groups and individuals, and plays its part in the wider development of our Policy and the workings of Conference.

I have been continually dismayed at how few members know what PDC does and see the value of the committee. This Committee needs to earn your respect.

I have lost count of the different PDC Co-ordinators in the last three years – some only being in post for a matter of months, one only for hours. If we, as a Party, want to see continuous growth and development of our Policy processes, we have to change the ‘stop/start’ way that PDC has been operating.

My commitment to you is to say that I shall seek re-election for at least three continuous years. I am a long way from knowing all that is needed to make this Committee function as well as you deserve, but it is an obvious shortfall to expect someone new to drop into the role, alongside equally-new Committee members, and function effectively.  

I will take my place on GPEx and represent our Policy processes; challenge where challenge is required from our ethical and policy base.

I am as skilled manager of people and a calm and confident person.

I simply do not have the energy for more internal reviews. We are at risk of fiddling whilst the world burns. However, I will always listen and change what needs to change.

You will know what you can expect from us and measure us against standards that have been created through open consultation – a contract between you and the Committee I will lead and represent.  

GPEW internal elections 2020 Vix Lowthion

Vix Lowthion

I believe that there is no more important role than Policy Development Co-ordinator to ensure that our policies remain robust, contemporary and progressive in order to properly equip our spokespeople and leadership team to give the Green Party the platform and direction we need.

Our policies are the central hub and life of our party: linking the membership, campaigns, political strategy, leadership roles, external communications and – most importantly – our electoral successes.

I believe that there is no more important role than Policy Development Co-ordinator to ensure that our policies remain robust, contemporary and progressive in order to properly equip our spokespeople and leadership team to give the Green Party the platform and direction we need. 

As an ordinary/paper candidate in 2015 on the Isle of Wight, and since then a national spokesperson (Education) and target candidate in 2017 and 2019, I know first-hand what it’s like as a local candidate on a doorstep to get to grips with our policies, and as a national spokesperson on a podium the difficulties in utilising our policies most effectively to react to the news agenda. With my experiences as a spokesperson and candidate I am in a unique position to understand and bridge the external and internal workings – which is critical to supporting the development of good policies. 

Next Policy Development Co-ordinator (and Committee) should prioritise:

  • Overseeing an updated policy process to streamline procedures (and much work has already been done on this).

  • Monitor and review our extensive list of policies and support working groups to develop new and to build on existing policy – particularly Wildlife, Crime & Justice, Peace & Defence, Education, Social Care, Europe, and more!

  • Support and encourage the participation of party members such as through Policy Working Groups, Policy Fest and a potential new Policy Network.

  • Work with elected Greens across the regions to support policy needs

Strength in our policies gains us strength as a party. I believe I have the skills and experience to help lead the party through an exciting year ahead.

GPEW internal elections 2020 Liam McClelland

Liam McClelland

My Policy Development Coordinator mini-manifesto for the 2020 Internal Elections contain seven key points required to help start refreshing and reviewing the policy process within our party. 

My Policy Development Coordinator mini-manifesto for the 2020 Internal Elections contain seven key points required to help start refreshing and reviewing the policy process within our Party. 

  1. Start a skills audit of the directly elected members and then seek to co-opt a further five members for the policy development committee seeking to increase representation from communities and experiences currently underrepresented in the party.

  2. Remove all public-facing policy and replace with a brief synopsis that best captures the spirit of our policy.

  3. Once we have created the public facing synopsis page I would like to review all our current policy to see what needs updating highlighting areas that contradict. Where it is possible to amend these to do so and where these changes need to be brought to conference to do that.

  4. Create videos utilising the studio space we have with YouTube. First for members on the policy creation process, helping them navigate the journey from enabling motion to presenting at conference. And then a number explaining our different policies to sit on the public facing policy page.

  5. Creating a framework in which policy creation and accreditation is run past Liberation Groups and the Equality and Diversity Committee to ensure our policy is inclusive. This framework would include an evidence-based stress test too.

  6. PolicyFest is as important as conference and is the perfect place to discuss, learn, and promote policy within the party and wider. I would like PolicyFest to have a guaranteed slot within the Green Party events calendar.

  7. Policy and Motion writing introduction classes for elected officials to help bring the Party’s short-term policy ideas to local authorities. This could also be extended to help members petition their councils too.

Voting for the GPEW internal elections for leadership positions and the Green Party Executive (GPEx) will run until 31 August. If you are a GPEW member, you can cast your vote on the GPEW members’ site.