THE CO-leader of the Green Party paid a visit to north Essex to boost the party's prospects for the forthcoming elections.

In four years, the Colchester Green Party has gone from having its first councillor elected, to influencing Colchester Council with representatives standing in each ward for Thursday's elections.

In a bid to strengthen the party’s position, Adrian Ramsay, the co-leader of the Green Party visited Colchester and shared his views on the city’s future.

Mr Ramsay also joined Green councillor Richard Kirby-Taylor for an afternoon of canvassing and assessing the level of water pollution in the River Colne.

Speaking on how the Green Party can boost its influence in Colchester, Mr Ramsay said: “I’m delighted that the Green Party has broken through to Colchester Council in recent years, it gives a Green voice in the room to influence the discussions held.

 “Whether it is how to improve public transport, protecting nature and green spaces, how we ensure developments are built to high environmental standard.

“The more people that vote Green in Colchester, the more councillors we can have making these important changes.

On his vision for a greener Colchester, Mr Ramsay said the implementation of policies for a greener future as well as improved transport services are key.

He said: “We want to see lots of polices put in place in Colchester, for instance, improving access to bus services will improve people’s every day lives, as well as the community. Ultimately climate cause will be improved with emissions reduced.

Gazette: Green - Green Party leader, Adrian Ramsay, and Green councilor, Richard Kirkby-TaylorGreen - Green Party leader, Adrian Ramsay, and Green councilor, Richard Kirkby-Taylor (Image: Newsquest)

“In Colchester, we have several different bus services not properly co-ordinated, some with high fares.

"We would like to see far more done to co-ordinate bus services, such as a bus station to keep fares down and improve the routes as well as ways to improve routes for walking and cycling."

He added: “There is lots that can be done to make Colchester a greener place, including issues on housing.

“If we build new homes to a higher standard, we can keep bills low for the people who are living there.

"New buildings should be built to high environmental standard with renewable energy like heat pumps and solar panels.

 “Why would we not build new homes that are carbon neutral, when all buildings need to be zero carbon in the coming years?”

On the biggest obstacles for turning Colchester into a more sustainable city, Mr Ramsay identified several key areas.

He said: “It’s about political will, we have Greens in the room that can work productively with other parties, but there is still some work that needs to be done.

“We need policies across the board that make it easier for people in their everyday lives to benefit from better access to bus services, lower energy bills, protecting green spaces and restoring nature.

“If the council is clear in its planning policies, transport policies and energy policies, it can make a difference.

Gazette: Adrian Ramsay being interviewed by Gazette reporter, Liam MaynardAdrian Ramsay being interviewed by Gazette reporter, Liam Maynard (Image: Newsquest)

Speaking on the controversial 15 minute cities, he said: “There have been all sorts of connotations attached to it to the phrase, but if you strip it back and look at what it means, the idea is that if you live in a town or a city you can have access to the services you need.

“If you live in a town or city, you ought to be able to have access to these facilities, it certainly makes things more practical. That idea of having services available locally is important.

“It's about transport measures, if we improve public transport and make it safer and cleaner for people to get around, that has to be a good thing.

"How you do that is a matter of question, but the idea of having everything you need in a community, I don’t understand what’s not to like about it.”