Greens’ conference call

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UP to 1,000 Green Party members are heading to Sheffield for their national conference this weekend - but it won’t be a boom for city hotels because many delegates are being put up in members’ homes.

The event, between Friday and Monday, is the second time in six months that Sheffield has hosted a gathering by a national political party after the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference in March, which attracted 3,000 delegates.

The Lib Dems’ event is believed to have brought in £2 million for the local economy, due to increased trade for hotels, restaurants and shops but was criticised over the heavy policing bill.

Bernard Little, co-chairman of Sheffield Green Party, said: “It’s great for Sheffield that another national party conference is being hosted here. Up to 1,000 delegates are expected and we have been busy finding accommodation for them.

“Many people are being put up at members’ and supporters’ homes.”

Debates will all be held in the Pennine Lecture Theatre and Atrium at Sheffield Hallam University’s city centre campus, off Howard Street.

On Friday, there will be a walking tour by Deputy Leader Adrian Ramsay in central ward, home to the Greens’ two Sheffield councillors, a speech by national leader Caroline Lucas at 1.40pm and a debate about how to reduce tax evasion, at 6pm, chaired by Ms Lucas.

Saturday’s programme features a speech by Mr Ramsay, then debates on air pollution at 1pm and inequality at 6pm, plus a question and answer session about how the UK’s first Green Party council has been run, also at 6pm.

On Sunday, there will be a debate about nuclear power at 6pm, and on Monday, there will be a discussion about care for the elderly, at 11am. Debates are open to the public, subject to a £5 entry fee, or £3 for concessions.

■ For full conference details, log onto www.greenparty.org.uk/conference.