Political Party Founded in Coventry Finally Gets Seat on City Council

Stephen Gray, Green Councillor for Holbrook (photo Ellie Brown)

At the elections in May 2022 the Green Party, which was founded in Coventry in 1972, finally achieved a seat on the City Council.

Originally known as the “People Party” the Green Party was founded in Coventry in 1972/3 by four professional friends (Michael Benfield, Freda Sanders, Tony Whittaker and Lesley Whittaker). It then changed its name to the more descriptive Ecology Party in 1975, and to the Green Party ten years later.

Fifty years after the party was formed it finally secured a seat on Coventry City Council. Stephen Gray won Holbrook Ward, following the retirement of long serving Labour Councillor Ann Lucas.

Interestingly, one of the four co-founders of the party, Michael Benfield, was the son of long serving Conservative councillor and Lord Mayor of Coventry in 1978, Ken Benfield.

Michael Benfield now runs a company building environmentally friendly timber framed buildings in Wales together with Freda Sanders, another of the four founder members. He is also a visiting Professor of Civil & Construction Engineering Research at the University of Wales.

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