Green Party candidate Adrian Ramsay claims other parties are out of touch as battle lines are drawn for Waveney Valley seat
Battle lines are already being drawn ahead of the next general election, which will feature a new Waveney Valley constituency for the first time.
The Green Party has set its sights on the seat, which straddles both Norfolk and Suffolk, including Diss, Eye and Harleston, with Adrian Ramsay, the party’s current co-leader, wasting no time in putting himself forward as a candidate.
Mr Ramsay, who is confident he will take the seat, believes the region is essential to continuing the ‘Green surge’.
“We have Greens as the largest party on three out of the five district councils in Suffolk and we’re the main opposition on Suffolk County Council,” he told the Diss Express.
“East Anglia is leading the way into success at the general election with that Green surge.
“As a native of East Anglia, I’m very clear that I will be East Anglia’s voice in Westminster.”
Mr Ramsay said one of his biggest priorities would be tackling the current housing crisis, something which, he believes, would strengthen the local economy.
To do that, he will push for a policy package designed to ensure everybody has access to a warm, secure home.
“The other political parties are simply not living in the real world when it comes to dealing with the housing crisis, while reaching the critical net-zero target,” he said.
“Only by having more Green MPs will we have people in Parliament advocating the solutions to the country’s housing crisis.”
But the Green Party’s vision has come under scrutiny, with James Mallinder, one of the candidates on the Conservative shortlist, accusing the Greens of flattering to deceive.
He said: “The Greens are very good at highlighting the issues, but they fail time and time again to give practical solutions.
“They talk about environmental issues, but that’s where that conversation stops.”
Mr Mallinder believes a balance has to be struck between environmentally friendly and affordable housing.
“I believe that the Conservatives are the only party that is able to offer proper solutions that, in the cold light of day, incorporate what things actually cost,” he said.
Mr Ramsay, however, pointed out that some of these issues are a result of the Conservatives failing to invest in public services, leading to crises within the likes of healthcare, education and public transport.
In an area historically controlled by the Conservatives, the recent local elections saw the Greens dramatically increase their numbers, particularly in mid-Suffolk, now the only local authority fully controlled by the Greens.
Mr Ramsay claimed many people are fed up with the status quo and have reassured him of their vote, with many lifelong blue voters.
Mr Mallinder disagreed, saying people remain “enthusiastic” and know “the Conservatives have the answers”.
The new Waveney Valley seat was implemented by the Boundary Commission following a review of constituencies across England.
MP Richard Bacon, who has represented South Norfolk since 2001, has already announced that he will stand down at the next election, which is expected to be called next year. Latest opinion polls point to a Labour victory, with the Greens improving their share.