Adam Van Coevorden

party: Green Party
constituency: Cheltenham

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How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

The Green Party oppose any case for secret unaccountable mass surveillance of the type exposed by Edward Snowden. We do accept that
government law enforcement agencies may occasionally need to intercept communications in specific circumstances. Such
specific surveillance should be proportionate, necessary, effective and within the rule of law, with independent judicial approval
and genuine parliamentary oversight.

To that end, The Green Party Replace the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which has failed
– to regulate the deployment of undercover police;
– to support the confidentiality of journalistic sources;
– to support legal confidentiality; and
– to enshrine an open and effective right of redress.

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Absolutely- the Green Party would do this through the introduction of a mandatory licensing scheme for landlords.

To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

The Green Party will:
- Support and protect Internet freedom.
- Follow human rights judgements limiting surveillance and data retention in full.
-Support the EU’s proposals to strengthen data protection laws against opposition from large US data-driven companies.
-Limit the censoring or take-down of content or activity to exceptional circumstances, clearly set out within a comprehensive legal
framework.
-Make copyright shorter in length, fair and flexible, and prevent patents applying to software.
-Introduce a more satisfactory law on so-called malicious comments made on social media than the blanket and crude section
127 of the Communications Act 2003.
-Oppose the privatisation of data held by the government that should be open to all, such as the Postcode Address File, or by
companies providing public services, such as data on the progress of buses that can be used by Smartphone apps to predict
waiting times.
-Oppose the sale of personal data, such as health or tax records, for commercial or other ends.
-Use government purchasing power to support open standards in information technology.

The right of parents to remain with their children in hospital has been established for over forty years. How would you ensure carers of people with dementia are equally welcome in hospital?

organisation: John's Campaign

The Green Party are committed to the integration of health and care services so as to look after carers as well as those they care for. We want to engage, empower and hear patients and carers at all times, treating both with dignity. More specifically, we have pledged to invest in dementia services, ensuring that support is available for all affected by this debilitating disease, including families and
carers.

If elected as MP, I would be honoured to work with John's Campaign to fight for this humane and compassionate cause.

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

Absolutely- freedom of speech is a right that shouldn't apply in different proportions across national boundaries.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

Absolutely- The Green Party is committed to making renting normal and not a rip-off. We would seek to reform the private rented sector by introducing a ‘living rent’ tenancy (including five-year fixed tenancy agreements), a smart rent
control that caps annual rent increases linked to the Consumer Price Index, security of tenancy and local not-for-profit letting
agencies, and abolishing letting agents’ fees and insurance-based deposit schemes.
We would set up a Living Rent Commission to explore whether controls could bring rents more in line with local average incomes

Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes- the Green Party actually want to see more spent here. We want to provide 500,000 social rented homes to high sustainability standards by increasing the social housing budget from £1.5 billion a year to £6 billion a year in the lifetime of the Parliament, removing borrowing caps from local councils, and creating 35,000 jobs.
Successive governments’ affordable and social housing policies have failed. There is not enough housing for those unable to afford either to buy or to pay market rents. The time has come to reverse the decline of council housing, started by the‘Right to Buy’.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes they are. House prices continue to rise quicker than wages and inflation, and first-time buyers find it almost impossible to buy a home. If wages had gone up by as much as house prices since 1997, the average person would be earning almost £30,000 more a year. When house prices crash there are consequences for the whole economy.
The Green Party will aim for house price stability by making property investment and speculation less attractive and by increasing housing supply.

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

The Green Party have committed to abolish landlord perks, such as tax deductions against a variety of expenditures, including mortgage interest relief. Ending mortgage interest tax relief alone will raise £5.8 billion a year.

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

Absolutely. The Green Party want to adopt an evidence-based approach to the step-by-step regulation, starting with cannabis, of the drugs currently banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act as well as ‘legal highs’, with a view to introducing a system that reduces harms and brings the market under state control as a potential tax revenue generator. A Royal Commission or similar body would be established to review currently controlled drug classifications, within a legalised environment of drug use.