GroenLinks, PvdA, PvdD, SP and ChristenUnie present a coalition agreement: “It starts in Groningen: for what really counts”

Groningen has a new municipal council. GroenLinks, PvdA, Party for the Animals, SP and ChristenUnie presented a new coalition agreement Monday morning titled: “It Starts in Groningen: What Really Matters.”

With this agreement, the Alliance wants to control and manage what is truly valuable: the well-being and dignity of people and animals, the security of livelihoods, the quality of the living environment and the quality of life on this planet.

“The alliance represents a government that trusts the population, and takes control when necessary, so that all Groningen residents have equal livelihoods, opportunities and the freedom to be themselves,” according to the municipality. “When there is more government control and less market forces, there is more scope for the residents to have a say in their street, neighbourhood, district or village and about the public facilities available to all.”

The new council consists of the mayor, eight aldermen and the following portfolios. These are:

  • Mayor Koen Schuling: Public Order and Security, Supervision and Enforcement of Public Spaces, National Program Groningen, External and Twin Cities Relations, Regional Cooperation, Media, Communications, Coordination Agreement for the Asylum Policy of Groningen in Relation to the Security Council, Public Affairs, Municipal Archives;
  • Mirjam Wijnja (GroenLinks) Finance, Green and Climate Adaptation: Senior Vice Mayor, Finance, P&O, District Action and Democratic Renewal, Management and Maintenance, Green and Climate Adaptation, Alderman Inner City District;
  • Carine Bloemhoff (PvdA) Education, Labor and the Economy: 2nd Vice Mayor, Education, Labor and Participation, Labor Market Policy, Economic Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation, Tourism and Leisure, Ports and Markets, Old Alderman Quarter;
  • Kirsten de Wrede (PvdD) Animals, Protein Transmission, Nature and Culture: 3rd Vice Mayor, Agriculture and Countryside, Protein Transmission, Nature and Environment, Animals, Circular Economy, Culture, Alderman Village Haren and Surroundings;
  • Eelco Eikenaar Districts (SP), Care and Income: Fourth Vice Mayor, Social Quarter Regeneration, Welfare and Housing, Domestic Help, Poverty, Income and Debt, Residence Policy, Alderman West District;
  • Inge Jongman Care (ChristenUnie), Shelter, Sports, and Enhancement: 5th Vice Mayor, Care, Care, Living, Protected Relief, Elderly, Sports, Exercise, Enhancement, Recovery, Alderman Ten Boer Village and its surroundings;
  • Philip Broeksma (GroenLinks) Energy and Sustainable Mobility: Sixth Vice Mayor, Energy Transition, Traffic and Transportation, Public Services and ICT
  • Rik van Niejenhuis (PvdA) Housing, Neighborhoods and Spatial Planning: 7th Vice Mayor, Spatial Planning, Housing, Physical Neighborhood Regeneration, Land Affairs, Social Real Estate, Eastern District Council;
  • Manouska Molema (GroenLinks) Youth, Health and Diversity: Eighth Vice Mayor, Youth and Youth Welfare, Public Health, Care and Safety, Integration and Liberation, Asylum Affairs, Juveniles, Southern Alderman Region.

The alliance’s ambitions have been translated into four tracks:

Track One: Providing Livelihood SecurityCommitment to closing the growing inequality gap in our society in the areas of housing, employment, education, income, health and energy transition. The Alliance works for a social community in which everyone has equal opportunities and in which everyone can participate.

This means providing a benefit to people with lower incomes by giving the individual income supplement early: two years later instead of five years as is the case now. The waste tax will also be waived for low-income earners after two years instead of three. There will be a pause button for people who already have debt, so people can catch their breath and a plan of action can be made for the future. The number of core jobs will receive a big boost: from 50 to 250. Focus on affordable housing with a total of 2,500 additional social rents, affordable owner-occupied homes, women and children safety, exit programs and a human-trafficking approach.

Track 2 Groningen is growing green and fair: The Alliance Chooses Green and Fair Growth: Fighting the Climate Crisis Through Reduced Energy Consumption, More Sustainable Energy and Affordable Housing in Safe Neighborhoods and Villages. In order to strengthen the municipality’s coordinating role and achieve the maximum possible result, a significant part of the energy conversion efforts and activities, along with funds and subsidies, are put into a municipal energy company. The power conversion box is also part of this.

In addition, there is a reconsideration of the relationship with nature and animals. Groningen wants to become a leader in protein and nutritional transformation together with knowledge institutes, companies and local authorities in the region. The Municipal Environmental Structure (GES) will also be modernized and strengthened to ensure that the growth of the municipality and nature conservation are properly shaped.

Track 3 equal opportunity for all Groningen residentsBridging the gap between differences in life expectancy and health. The coalition is accelerating and expanding its approach to northern neighborhoods and investing in social cohesion. It goes to villages and social neighborhoods and thus focuses on meeting places, sports in public spaces and courtyard houses.

The coalition invests in quality education, in work for all and in the cultural sector. It encourages sports and exercise and wants to be a municipality where everyone feels at home.

Neighborhood renewal in De Wijert, Beijum, Indische Buurt / De Hoogte and Selwerd will continue unabated. Financing a neighborhood renovation is essential in the long run because renovating a neighborhood requires a lot of patience. The approach will be extended to the Northern Neighborhoods Program which will extend the neighborhood regeneration to Vinkhuizen, Paddepoel, Oosterparkwijk and Lewenborg. More funds will be made available to these areas in the short term in order to make a breakthrough to the northern regions.

New construction of schools will also continue and the extended school day will be extended, providing additional activities for students. This mainly happens in schools where it is most needed and in a way that suits each school.

Track 4 Together we make GroningenImproving the links between the population and the government is a top priority. This happens in villages and neighbourhoods, where citizens have more scope for their opinion. This is also happening with the region in The Hague and Brussels.

finance

This alliance agreement came at a time of uncertainty. In light of the significant increase in costs that families are already dealing with, it was decided not to increase the property tax and to leave the flexibility alone. The finances of the municipality must be protective of the future. The coalition offers a balanced multi-year budget.

The coalition agreement and additional information can be found at: municipal.groningen.nl/coalitieakkoord

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