The ambitions of the new alliance made up of GroenLinks, PvdA, Party for the Animals, SP and ChristenUnie in Groningen have been translated into four tracks. With the 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. These are the main topics:
Track One: Providing Livelihood Security
To achieve livelihood security and equal opportunity, you have to invest unequally. The Alliance will focus entirely on this in order to bridge the growing inequality gap in our society in the areas of housing, employment, education, income, health, and the 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 basic jobs will receive a huge boost: from 50 to 250.
With a total of 2,500 additional social rents and affordable owner occupied homes, the Alliance is fully committed to providing affordable housing.
The coalition wants Groningen to be safe for everyone, and therefore is making extra efforts to ensure the safety of women and children, exit programs and tackle human trafficking.
Track 2 Groningen is growing green and fair
Groningen will grow rapidly in the coming years. The choices made by the country’s sixth municipality have an impact on the residents of Groningen, the North and the Netherlands. That is why the alliance will actively and accurately manage spatial planning. It chooses green and equitable growth: combating the climate crisis through reduced energy consumption, more sustainable energy, and more 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, a new type of stewardship to keep Groningen livable for future generations. 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 be modernized and strengthened, forming an important framework to ensure that the growth of the municipality and nature conservation are properly shaped.
Track 3 equal opportunity for all Groningen residents
Everyone deserves equal opportunity. To make this possible, municipal inequality must be addressed and the gap between differences in life expectancy and health must be bridged. 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 alliance will focus more on sponsorship and support, with less room for market forces. It invests in quality education, in employment for all and in a vibrant 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.
The construction of new schools will continue unabated. There will be an extension of the extended school day, so that students are offered additional activities. This mainly happens in schools where it is most needed and in a way that suits each school.
Track 4 Together we make Groningen
Improving the links between the population and the government is a top priority. Society cannot do this alone. Working together on social issues is essential. 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.
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.