Derbyshire Green Party

Local Councils and why you should vote

Local Green Party activist on why local elections matter…

Many people do not take an active part in elections and even less so in local council elections. Local elections may look unimportant compared to the national elections, yet councils decisions will have a more direct impact on your day to day lives. Of course we all like to moan about councillors and councils, about what they do or don’t do, but don’t think about how we can have a say on who and what councils do through the ballot box. After all it is our democratic right, which people in the past have considered important enough to have fought and died for.

The question is what is important to you and in what way the people in your local council could effect those things? Is your single vote able to make a difference? On it’s own it may seem that your one vote will have no impact, but what you have to realise is that you are not the only person voting and if enough people vote for a particular person then this will impact the election results and make politicians notice. Which means that even if you vote for someone who does not get elected your vote with will help reduce the margin by which the winning candidate won, making them very aware that come the next elections they will have had to listen to the people they serve (that’s you!) and that can help influence the agenda during their term of office.

Another aspect you may not have thought of is getting involved with your council and MP in letting them know what is important to you. You could even go a step further and get involved in politics yourself: do you have a passion for something like say the environment, would you like to make a difference? You could join a party and help campaign for a better world or stand as a candidate.

But what about councils, what are they responsible for?

Our local councils are made up of two tiers. There is the County council, in our case the Derbyshire County Council and the there is the borough council either North East Derbyshire or Chesterfield Town Council depending on where you live.

What are they responsible for?

The County Council are responsible for include

  • education
  • transport
  • planning
  • fire and public safety
  • social care
  • libraries
  • waste management
  • trading standards

And much more. You can find a full list here:

The day to day work is done by council employees, but the key policy decision are made by the elected councils members and our structured into the full council of all members, the cabinet which is formed by the majority political party, and committees which make decisions on separate aspects of business and advise the Cabinet or full council when necessary.

For more info:

Borough Councils are responsible for things like:

  • rubbish collection
  • recycling
  • Council Tax collections
  • housing
  • planning applications

You may also be in a Parish, Community or town council. This will have responsibilities for:

  • allotments
  • public clocks
  • bus shelters
  • community centres
  • play areas and play equipment
  • grants to help local organisations
  • consultation on neighbourhood planning

These councils will also have full council meeting to make decisions and committees to deal with specific topic and policies.

Hopefully this gives you an introduction to councils and their structure and gives you an incentive to find out about what they are doing and vote in the coming local elections in an informative way.

Further information can be found here:

Greens Celebrate Success Across Derbyshire in 2022

Greens Celebrate Success Across Derbyshire in 2022

Green campaigners in Derbyshire are celebrating the election of two more councillors –  Jamie Walls in Belper South and Alison McDermott in Duffield.

Jamie and Alison join Dave Wells to make three borough councillors on Amber Valley Borough Council.

Greens in Derby City have also had great results – standing 10 candidates, their highest number ever, representing wards all around the city. Candidates stood for the first time in Chaddesden, Chellaston, Littleover and Mickleover and voters across the wards thanked us for having the option to vote Green for the first time.

I want to thank the voters in Mackworth who cast their vote for me on Thursday. We’ve come from a standing start and increased our vote by 18% despite both the Labour and Tory parties pulling out all the stops against us.

Sam Ward, candidate for Mackworth Ward

A social event will be planned soon – watch this space!

A Message from Darren Yates

You can help us!

We are a volunteer led party and rely on our supporters to run our exciting campaigns! This means that Greens stand up for our communities in a way that the other political parties fail to.

In Derbyshire, we are on the brink of a number of significant breakthroughs. From our target wards in Melbourne and Wingerworth; increasing our presence on Derbyshire Dales District Council; getting our first seat on Derby City Council and gaining a presence on Chesterfield and Bolsover councils in 2023.

Not to mention the preparations for a general election, which may be closer than we think!

But to achieve all that we know we can, we need you. Your help so far has elected Matt and Neil in the Dales, and helped Frank an inspiring campaign in Wingerworth, finishing 2nd to the Tory Council Leader! We have stood a record number of candidates in Derbyshire, delivered an astonishing number of leaflets and achieved an unprecedented amount of votes.

None of this could have happened without you so thank you.

By coming along to one of our action days or taking on a delivery round in your local area you are helping us to get more greens elected. As you can see from the stories in this newsletter, getting involved is fun and a great way to meet up with other Greens and make a difference in our county.

If you cannot come along to an action day, please donate. Your local party only receives a proportion of your membership fees, the rest go the central party. That means we need to fundraise regularly to run our campaigns. 

An effective Target to Win campaign for a council election costs well over £1,000. General elections are even more expensive. In Derbyshire we have seven constituencies and so will need £3,500 just for the deposits. We have to pay the local authority £500 to stand a candidate and that is before we have even considered printing leaflets or campaigning.

Starting a regular monthly donation of just £5 will go a long way to helping us make Derbyshire greener.

For details of how to make a donation, please see our website at Donate (

Darren Yates

Co-ordinator – Derbyshire Green Party

Neil Buttle on Housing in the Dales

A potential new village in the Derbyshire Dales could be called for in a bid to meet big housing needs in the district over the next couple of decades.

However, this was only said to be possible if landowners put forward enough land to build enough homes on, in an area where the proposal is reasonable and supportable.

The potential site of the new village was not suggested, but Darley Dale Town Council suggested in 2016 that it should be in the south of the district – away from the Peak District National Park.

At a Derbyshire Dales District Council meeting, members also said they did not want towns or villages in the area to act as “dormitories” for Derby, Sheffield or Stoke.

Cllr Neil Buttle said: “I think we are in a really difficult position. We are kind of stuffed.

“We are going to have millions of refugees, climate refugees. We are going to have sustainable communities. We are going to balance not creating dormitory towns for Derby and Sheffield and wherever, Stoke.

“At the same time we are trying to stop the whole thing happening by reducing our carbon footprint and I don’t think we can win.

“I think we are going to lose this one and I think, really, we ought to take that into account and try to fail gracefully. I think it is going to be absolutely dreadful for this next few decades, they are going to be awful and I don’t know how to approach this.

“But I think we should try to be as supportive as we can to each other and to do what we can for our biodiversity and do what we can for the developers and do what we can for everything.

“Just try to be as supportive as we can to try to move this forward to make the Derbyshire Dales one of the places where people do take refuge.”

Cllr David Hughes said he recognised a new village may not be possible but that the idea of self-sustained communities was in motion, of which the Ashbourne Airfield site could be a prime example.

He said: “What we know is that around the world we are looking at ideas like 15-minute conurbations so that everything is available within 15 minutes of where everybody lives, so there are jobs, there are shops, there are recreational facilities, there is housing and those are all available by bike riding or by walking.

“I think some of the developments that are being proposed don’t necessarily have that full range of facilities and I would hope that in the Local Plan we will be trying to achieve something like the 15-minute conurbation and the five-minute neighbourhood so that we can have all those facilities and we don’t need to drive in our cars.

“Ashbourne and Matlock and Bakewell, they are reasonably large places, but in practice they work as 15-minute conurbations, so we have got a model already in our traditional developments.

“That is to get away from the idea of building for commuting. I am sure none of us want to be dormitories to Sheffield, Derby or Stoke.”

Councillors also approved a move to ask central Government for powers which would allow it to approve more affordable housing in rural areas.

It will ask for the powers to ask developers to provide affordable housing for developments of five homes or more, as opposed to 10 homes or more.

This would cover almost every parish of the Dales, minus Ashbourne, Darley Dale, Matlock Bath, Matlock, Northwood and Tinkersley, and Wirksworth.

Tansley was added to the list of areas after petitions from councillors at the meeting.

The full article can be read here: