THE joint leader of the Green Party is to say that the North-East needs a new voice and “fresh ideas” when he speaks at a conference in the region.

Jonathan Bartley will speak to Green Party members at a conference in Newcastle at the weekend and reveal it hopes to make gains in the next round of council elections next year.

He will criticise the downgrading of some hospital services in the region along with rising homelessness and “countryside being handed over to the frackers”.

In a speech Mr Bartley will say people are being “let down by Labour councils” and they need to believe there can be an alternative.