Rasen health boss to stand for Green Party

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Fighting for the NHS has led the Deputy Director of North East Lincolnshire Care Trust to stand for the Green Party in Gainsborough.

Geoff Barnes, who lives in Market Rasen, has been involved in Green politics on and off for 10 years, with him previously standing for council in Liverpool.

“The Green Party is against the privatisation of the NHS, which is being pushed by both parties. It was started by the Conservatives 20 years ago, and then pursued by Tony Blair and it’s caused great damage to the NHS,” he said.

Geoff says the lack of public transport is another major local issue, along with moving away from carbon-based energy to tackle “climate change.”

“I’m fairly supportive of wind farms (but) they have to be developed with local communities,” he said.

Geoff says he didn’t know “the exact details” of the proposed Hemswell Cliff turbine project, but he hopes to attend this month’s public inquiry.

“It’s a difficult issue. I do understand why people are hostile to them. The companies behind them tend to drop them on communities rather than sell the benefits.”

The Green Party website talks of “radical Green agenda” for “the common good.” Economic growth “is a poor guide to human welfare” and we “cannot have continually rising affluence.” Britain should lower its population through voluntary means, but the Greens have a “liberal immigration policy.”

Geoff says Britons use “too many resources compared to others” and homes need to be more energy efficient.

However, he welcomes recent lower petrol prices saying many people are suffering fuel poverty. He also backs a “well managed immigration policy” but notes Britons do go overseas (Geoff recently worked a year in New Zealand) and some sectors like agriculture have trouble getting staff.

Asked if the Greens are ‘watermelons’- ‘Green’ on the outside and ‘Red’ in the middle, Geoff said: “The bulk of the (Green Party) policy would be more left than right. The impetus of the national governing parties is haggling over the middle ground- tinkering at the edges, both in hock to unions and commerce. By contrast, the Green Party is funded by the members and is more democratic as a result.”