The policy of the Left-Green in Akureyri

Municipal elections 26 May 2018

The Left-Green is a movement of future-oriented leftists, feminists and environmentalists who want to build an egalitarian society and protect nature. We emphasise that municipalities are societies and not corporations and should ensure that all can enjoy equal opportunities and the important services financed by our mutual funds. Municipalities should bear all responsibility for our basic welfare and education, but not outsource or otherwise privatize it.

The Environment
Akureyri should maintain its leading role in recycling and assume leadership in environmental issues in Iceland. The emphasis should be on annihilating all pollution in our immediate environment.

  • Let’s make Akureyri a sustainable and environmentally friendly society and adopt internationally recognised accreditations as such
  • Let’s reach carbon neutrality by 2040
  • Let’s map habitat types in Akureyri
  • Let’s define environmental indicators that we can measure and monitor continuously
  • Let’s reduce airborne particulate matter through cleaning our streets, develop icing defence and reduce the use of studded tires
  • Let’s sort more garbage and oblige companies in town to sort their refuse
  • Let’s reduce waste and curb the use of plastic through all means
  • Let’s plant shrubs, trees and other sustainable vegetation for beautification and improved air quality
  • Let’s improve access and facilities in green spaces and walking trails
  • Let’s invite inhabitants to plant trees in our green cordon to help carbon neutralise households
  • Let’s invite inhabitants to adopt green spaces in town

Families with children

No child should be brought up poor. Every society that takes good care of their children and families is a good society. To care for each child is an investment for the future. Our main emphasis is that societies are children friendly, where every child is ensured the rights entitled to them under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and they are not discriminated against based on their origin or background.

  • Let’s adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as the basis for all policy and decision making
  • Let’s ensure access to kindergarten as parental leave is finished, at the same time we increase parental leave to 12 months
  • Let’s appoint a special representative of children

Gender equality
Municipal government is responsible for ensuring gender equality and equity for all its inhabitants. Municipal government is responsible for fighting gender-based violence, pornification, human trafficking and prostitution and fight the detrimental impacts of stereotyping.

  • Let’s eradicate multi-layered gender-based wage discrimination
  • Let’s increase equal choice for study and employment
  • Let’s provide more equal access to funds and decision making, e.g. with gendered financial planning and participatory democracy.
  • Let’s ensure gender and queer education along with prevention education for gendered based violence in all schools and youth upbringing
  • Let’s invest more in the current gender equality representative

Our schools represent the cornerstone of equality in our society. We want co-operation and communication with those who work in schools and kindergartens on how the municipality can best support their work.

  • Let’s make kindergarten, schools, school time recreation and school meals free of charge
  • Let’s increase support for children in kindergarten and elementary school, especially those of non-Icelandic origin
  • Let’s evaluate the ideas of equal schooling for all and explore where more support is needed
  • Let’s increase gender and sex education
  • Let’s reduce the number of students pr. teacher in both elementary schools and kindergarten in line with teachers’ stated needs
  • Let’s improve the working conditions of pupils and other school employees in collaboration with home and school

Public health and prevention
Good health is the most valuable asset of any person and it is in the common and financial interest of municipalities to support and encourage healthy lifestyles of its inhabitants. Education and strong role models are the most effective preventative means.

  • Let’s emphasise cultivating mental health, so far neglected for too long
  • Let’s improve prevention for drug abuse and advance support for addicts and their support networks
  • Let’s follow the recommendations of the The Directorate of Health as we review the municipal prevention policy
  • Let’s guard the efforts of NGOs which service and support health and prevention in a professional manner, support them in every way and show gratitude for their altruism and ideals
  • Let’s link children’s extra-curricular activities with schools and public transport
  • Let’s offer organised games in the town’s green spaces
  • Let’s shorten the working week through increasing opportunities for part time work and instating flexible working hours. It is imperative that full time day-jobs can support families
  • Job seekers and senior citizens get a free pass to the swimming pools
  • Let’s offer those working for the municipality transport contracts, funding alternative means of transport

A just society demands a welfare system that respects the rights of all inhabitants and meets their individual needs. Access for all to take part in society shall be guaranteed. It is important to ensure the participation of all in policy- and decision-making processes and services, thus ensuring empowerment, collaboration with and respect for all those who use the municipal services.

  • Let’s help people to help themselves
  • Let’s integrate home-nursing and home-services and make it user oriented and flexible
  • Let’s increase the offer of social housing and create a long-term housing policy reviewed regularly considering rental price developments
  • Let’s offer decent and humane solutions for the homeless, within our residential areas
  • Let’s ensure housing and services for the long-term ill
  • Let’s take on more refugees and ensure proper long-term services for them
  • The retirement homes of Akureyri should be run by the municipality

Arts and culture
Facilities for inhabitants to develop arts and culture will add life and colour to the town and make it a sought-after place to live. The arts and culture need to be considered as an integrated whole and we need to boost support for grassroot initiatives.

  • Let’s make sure funding is geared towards creativity rather than marketing and create scope for salary payments to artists
  • Let’s increase the education and mediation of arts, crafts and creativity in our schools
  • Let’s boost versatile studies and recreation related to arts and culture for all ages, creativity fosters relation building and mental health
  • Let’s emphasise creativity in employment offer to the young in summer by the municipality
  • Let’s support the development of art education at University level
  • Let’s make sure artist get paid for their contributions. We can set up a designated fund for all municipal offices to use for this purpose

Administration and democracy
The municipal administration is first and foremost in the service of the inhabitants. We continuously need to review how this can be improved and communication and consultation processes boosted.

  • Let’s analyse the needs of different groups as decisions are prepared and let’s offer a variety of means for people to express their opinions on these.
  • Let’s make available all documents that inform decision making through informative and varied means, unless law dictates secrecy
  • Let’s instate electronic administration in the municipality

Planning and transport
Planning needs to be premised on a holistic approach to improve public physical and mental health, in addition to maximise air quality. The town’s transport systems need to be developed and serviced to facilitate a car free lifestyle and encourage physical exercise.

  • Let’s improve and enhance public transport within the town and to the town by land, sea and air
  • Let’s expand the municipal bus system and ensure access for all to it
  • Let’s make it easier for children to use public transport by aiding them in the afternoon after school
  • Let’s improve connections to the island settlements of Akureyri, Grímsey and Hrísey
  • Let’s follow the plan for denser residential development of Akureyri
  • Let’s devote special efforts to maintain foot- and bike paths along with linking up all existing paths
  • Let’s start building the long overdue centre of public transport in downtown Akureyri
  • Let’s strengthen Akureyri international airport as a secondary airport for Keflavík and an independent international airport

Akureyri municipality is one of the biggest employers in town. As such it should lead by example when it comes to the welfare and wellbeing of its staff. Beyond managing funds in an exemplary manner, the municipality should support entrepreneurial, versatile, sustainable and environmentally friendly employment which champions social responsibility.

  • Let’s foster innovation and be perceptive of untapped potential and synergies with intuitions and companies in town
  • Let’s explore varied and environmentally friendly energy options in the region to propel the town’s industries into the future
  • Let’s make sure that Landsnet’s current transmission lines to and from Akureyri get upgraded
  • Let’s have the municipalities and industries in town join hands to develop a better family-oriented society and a shorter working week

Investment and development
It is important to cap municipal investment and phase larger investments if necessary. All development and investments needs to be carefully managed with foresight and detailed planning, where the costs are prudently tallied before construction starts

  • Let’s cap investment at one billion ISK pr. year (at current prices)
  • Let’s emphasise the careful maintenance of current assets and debt repayment
  • Let’s build a public transport centre
  • Let’s build the necessary facilities for all levels of educations in each of the town boroughs
  • Let’s build a network of foot- and bike paths, which link up internally and to neighbouring municipalities
  • Let’s build a 50m tournament and schooling swimming pool in Naustahverfi
  • Let’s ensure that parking houses are built downtown
  • Let’s develop the centre of Akureyri in line with existing plans