The Green Party has announced its candidates to stand in all six County Durham seats at the upcoming General Election for the first time ever. 

Candidates ranging from current county and parish councillors, a scientist and a welfare rights advisor will contest constituencies in the region later this year. The newly formed Blaydon and Consett, and Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor constituencies will be contested for the first time.

The party is currently represented in the region by Councillor Jonathan Elmer, member for Brandon on Durham County Council. 

Its manifesto for the county, revealed on Monday, pledges to bring local bus and rail services back into public ownership and control, so people can access “reliable and affordable” services with better connectivity to school, work and leisure. 

Addressing climate change is also front and centre of its plan. “Climate Change and the degradation of the natural world which supports and nurtures all of us, is integral to all our policies – it cannot simply be a 'nice to have' add on,” the manifesto added. 

The party also proposes calling for “comprehensive tax reform” including a wealth tax. The party added:  “The money raised will create the funds to lift the NHS and other vital public services off their knees.”

Water companies will also be brought back under public ownership, and the profits used to improve quality and infrastructure. 

The manifesto added: “We will no longer put up with water authorities shirking their responsibilities year on year, polluting our precious waterways, lakes and coasts. We will bring them back under public ownership so that profits can be used for improving water quality, effective flood prevention, and the repair and maintenance of infrastructure; rather than lining the pockets of wealthy shareholders.”

Fiona Shenton, co-ordinator County Durham Green Party, said: “The Green Party is the only one taking the threats posed by climate change seriously. The challenges are great, but so are the opportunities if we are prepared to face up to the need for change. The Green Party is the only party with a plan, and what’s more it’s a plan in which the gains are shared fairly.” 

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List of candidates

Richard Simpson - Blaydon and Consett

Sarah Hannan - Bishop Auckland

Jonathan Elmer - City of Durham

Sunny Moon-Schott - Durham North

Stephen Ashfield - Easington

Jack Hughes - Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor

More information on the candidates standing for election can be found here

The date of the 2024 General Election has not been set.