Maurice Fantato – Musings of a Green Party Candidate and Supporter

About …

Maurice has lived in Oxfordshire since 1996 though he has resided in the UK for over 30 years having completed his higher education in this country with a 1st class Honours degree that led him to represent Great Britain at the Global Geographical Union Conference in Moscow in 1994.

He is originally from Italy, but spent his youth in South America where in his teens he travelled widely as a volunteer for the WWF, reaching into the depths of the Amazon jungle at the age of 15. His passion for the environment has remained a constant source of inspiration throughout his life.  He currently lives in Bampton where he has actively campaigned for more integrated and affordable transport links (delivering a petition to David Cameron in 2010), safer rural roads and better environment.  Following that campaign he co-founded a local pressure group (Witney Oxford Transport) working on sustainable alternatives for the A40.

He is a trustee of two charities, one on international education and another on poverty relief, as well as an active Fellow of two chartered institutions.  In his professional life he has been a specialist marketing communications professional, specialising on digital, new media and international communications.  He has worked as a senior PR and marketing consultant in a number of projects, including work for a government agency, as freelance writer and consultant and has recently written a book on work in the new economy.

maurice fantato

WHAT THE GREEN PARTY STANDS FOR NATIONALLY:

  • A fairer distribution of the world’s and the country’s resources.
  • Making sure that we pass on a safe and healthy environment to our children and grandchildren.
  • A fair deal for all who work and decent humane support to those who can’t.
  • Protection for the public services that we all need.
  • Cleaner air, greener transport.

IN WEST OXFORDSHIRE:

  • A strong sustainable local economy, with encouragement for local food production and coupled by micro-scale sustainable energy developments. We often neglect that many of today’s issues could be resolved if we addressed them at local level first.  Generating power and saving energy must necessarily start at small scale, before they are amplified more widely in order to be effective.
  • Affordable and energy efficient housing for everyone backed by appropriate public services.  While on one hand we need to build more and more affordable houses, we often omit to make them energy efficient, as well as failing to create proper communities using imaginative design and affordable new technologies.
  • A modest rise in Council Tax to maintain vital services for the elderly, disabled, children and young people. Central government has continuously reduced local subsidies and as a result services have been eroded.  Youth centres have closed, libraries are in danger and even if they didn’t close their stocks are depleted.  Local roads have been patched up, costing us more money in the long run and public transport grants have been reduced to the bone.  How long could we go on cutting essential services before we all felt the pain and had to spend even more to put things right than what we were asked to cut?
  • Improved public transport with bold actions like reinstating a rail link from Witney to Oxford, including a spur to Carterton.  This is not as far fetched as it sounds.  In 20o1 the County Council carried out a pre-feasibility study on the possible re-opening of this link.  However, back then, the Council was still hoping to have a guided transport link along the A40 for buses to use to and from Oxford and the consultants were asked to look primarily at the reinstatement of a heavy rail link.  We all know that the guided transit route was never built.  In the meantime traffic has increased exponentially and will continue to do so, with the growth of Carterton and new housing developments proposed in Witney.  We strongly believe that a light rail link using part of the still existing route would provide a feasible option to ease congestion in the area, as well as providing other opportunities for tourism and alternative economic models.  A possible light rail link would need to be looked at in the context of nodal transport interchanges, with the provision of Park&Ride schemes, cycle routes and enhanced buses to neighbouring villages.  We have no option.  We need to look at problems boldly and imaginatively.
  • Re-energising the arts, libraries and museums as vital community resources.  The arts are one of the first casualties of any economic recessions.  Yet we express our inherent creativity through the arts.   Economic growth devoid of cultural spaces and in which the arts were stifled or non-existent would offer us a barren and uninspiring landscape in which we would be unable to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  We urgently need to foster these activities at local level re-energising those centres that already exist, as well as creating new ones.
  • Safeguard access to equitable, broad and inclusive education protecting it against marketisation and the politicising of the curriculum.  While we welcome difference in educational models, we can’t afford to leave this to market forces and we must ensure everyone is given an equal chance in society.  We advocate retaining and creating smaller schools as this will also create a safer environment, enhance local collaboration and reduce transport costs.

 

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Watch this short video by Caroline Lucas about our vision for a Green Future

Disclaimer:

The views expressed across all pages of this site are those of the writer in questions and they don’t necessarily reflect the official ones of the Green Party.

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