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SOUTH HOLLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2019: Greens make their presence felt as signs of future promise start to show

The Green Party did not win any seats but its candidates did win admirers at this year's election count.

Nine candidates were put up across five of Spalding's six wards, with the closest race putting the Greens within less than 60 votes of victory.

Alistair Crisp ran a strong campaign in Spalding Castle where he out narrowly to incumbent councillor Gary Taylor in a ward which produced the highest turnout anywhere in the district (33 per cent).

Coun Gary Taylor (Con) gives his acceptance speech after a close fight with Alistair Crisp (Green) in Spalding Castle ward.
Coun Gary Taylor (Con) gives his acceptance speech after a close fight with Alistair Crisp (Green) in Spalding Castle ward.

After the count, Alistair said: "There was only nine per cent between me and Gary so it's a massive base to build on.

"If we can work well with the Independents, in terms of targeting wards next time, I think we could very much be in for a win.

"It's great to see, a great position to build on and I'm looking forward to the next four years."

Alistair paid tribute to work done by Greens parliamentary candidate for South Holland and the Deepings, Dan Wilshire who impressed many when running for the general elections in 2015 and 2017.

"Dan really hit the ground running and he was such a charismatic candidate," Alistair said.

"Without him, we wouldn't have got to the position where we are and, in four years' time, who knows what will happen."

One of the hallmarks of the Greens' list of candidates was the diversity of ages and nationalities, with two of eastern European origin.

Rustana Zamara, who stood in Spalding St John's ward and is originally from Lithuania, said: "It was a new experience for me but it was like one big community in taking part in the process.

"Nowadays the whole environment situation is only getting worse so it really important for use to unite and make a difference for the future.

Rustana Zamara.
Rustana Zamara.

"Clearly, there are quite a lot of people who do believe in the Green Party, but there are quite a lot of people who are unsure and simply don't know what the Green Party stands for.

"If enough information is given out, it will make a very big difference."

Jonans Sandijs, who stood in Spalding St Mary's ward and is originally from Latvia, said: "It was harder being a younger candidate, but it was a good experience and I enjoyed it.

"We're really proud to stand up and do something for our community because we all need to come together and there is a lot for me to take from this for the future."

Jonans Sandijs (Green).
Jonans Sandijs (Green).

Heather Violett, of South Lincolnshire Green Party, said: "We fielded more candidates than ever before and Alistair's result was way above anything we've managed before.

"The Green Party is no longer seen as a fringe party and the issues we've been fighting for now go into the mainstream.

Heather Violett (Green) (8980928)
Heather Violett (Green) (8980928)

"It's the Green Party that had young people as candidates, with two of eastern European background, a cross-section of the population that wasn't evident in the other parties.

"That's what we've strived to do, to engage the whole community, not just a very narrow section of it."

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