Councillor Andrew Cooper - Candidate statement
I am a Kirklees Green Party Councillor and have been for the last 21 years. I have been elected and re-elected 6 times. During that time I have gained a wealth of experience as a Cabinet Member, Scrutiny Panel Chair and as a Leader of the Green Party Group. We have held balance of power and so have managed to implement a number of Green Party policies including the UK’s first universally free insulation scheme and what is effectively a ban on Fracking in our Local Plan.
I have lead on the Green Party response to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Devolution Consultation writing, collating and integrating responses from members. The response highlighted the lack of focus on climate change, the lack of accountability of the proposed Elected Mayor and the threat to local democracy posed by the Mayoral Combined Authority. The full response can be viewed here. https://clrandrewcooper.blogspot.com/2020/07/yorkshire-and-humber-green-party.html
In my Campaign to be the first Green Mayor of West Yorkshire I will focus on Jobs, Homes and Climate Change
Over 5 years I will seek to generate and influence the creation of 100,000 new Green jobs. In line with the landmark Campaign against Climate Change report. These jobs will be in renewable energy, sustainable construction, retrofit of buildings, establishing new public transport and active travel networks and through promoting rich natural environments in and around our communities.
I will campaign hard to have the ‘right to buy’ Council Housing suspended in West Yorkshire to protect valuable social housing and to help the business case for investment in more Council housing. This will also act as a check on house prices at the lower end on the market.
I will establish a Green Building Fund that all Local Authorities in West Yorkshire can access to support the development of homes and other buildings to the Passivhaus standard. This will reduce carbon emissions, energy bills and fuel poverty.
I will establish a new retrofit fund to improve the energy performance of existing homes, targeting those on the lowest incomes and seeking to draw in matched funding from energy companies and central government.
Tackling Climate Change
One of my first jobs in office would be to boost the ambition of our plan to deliver a Zero Carbon Economy. This would aim to bring the target date for a Zero Carbon Economy forward from 2038 to 2030 in line with the recommendations of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
I will cease all new road building projects and any project that supports the expansion of Leeds/Bradford Airport.
I will work with green industries on a plan to boost our renewable energy generation capacity across all appropriate technologies and seeking to support community owned and managed renewable energy projects.
A Green Team for West Yorkshire
If elected as Green Party nominee for West Yorkshire Mayor I will invite the second placed Candidate to be the named Deputy mayoral candidate. Normally Labour Mayors simply appoint them after and election.