Since taking minority control in 2011, Brighton and Hove City Council has been at the centre of the Green Party’s attempt to demonstrate that they can match their policies with power. It has not been an easy ride for the Party, which has been limited in its ambitions as they currently hold just 20 of the 54 seats on the Council – only 2 more than the Conservative group, which has an opportunity to regain control of the Council on May 7.
The Greens have faced significant local criticism and could suffer at the ballot box in the local elections. Controversy has focused on: increased parking charges, lower speed limits, local strikes, low recycling rates and the attempted introduction of ‘meat free Monday’ in council owned canteens.
However, the Green’s only Westminster seat – Brighton Pavilion – falls within the local authority area. Caroline Lucas remains popular locally and, with much of the Party’s national campaign focused on holding this seat, it could be that Green councillors do not suffer as much as the Council’s unpopularity would suggest.
Measurement and evaluation