VG acts according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim of thinking globally and acting locally. Below you will find the party’s main policy positions.
- Ambitious nature conservation policy — wilderness without power plants.
- Successful merger — emphasis on the uniqueness of each community.
- Diverse economy and culture – sustainable employment policy.
- Safe transport — completion of the Fjarðarheiði Tunnel and a year-round road across Öxi will be a priority
- University activities — year-round employment on the basis of education, research and innovation.
- We are part of the global village — we should welcome refugees.
- Children made a priority — strong primary schools, preschools and music schools, diverse leisure activities and revised tariffs.
- Support to victims of violence — viable and visible remedies.
- Diverse housing solutions — meeting the different needs of residents.
- Climate policy — formulation of a climate policy and action plan.
- Health promoting community — health promoting thinking in all decision-making.
- Diverse community — the acknowledgement and full rights of all members of the community, irrespective of their age, origin, economic status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual characteristics or gender expression.
The municipality’s goal should always be to promote equality through its decisions and to integrate equality objectives into all policy development and decision-making.
- The new municipal council must prepare an equality plan with measurable objectives during its first year.
- Gender studies and equality education must be promoted on all school levels as well as at the administrative level.
- The municipality and its institutions need to maintain updated response plans and procedures for gender-based harassment, gender-based violence, sexual harassment and sexual violence.
- Remedies for victims of violence need to be supported. It is important to ensure acceptable procedures for victims of gender-based violence, for instance by way of consultation between social services, the police, healthcare workers and organisations such as Stígamót. Clear work procedures are essential.
Bringing young people to the table in the new municipality
- It is vital to listen to all social groups in the community when making important decisions.
- The party supports the involvement of young people, the generations that will inherit the community, in all discussions and decision-making concerning major issues in the municipality that can have a significant effect on future generations, including environmental issues.
- VG trusts young people.
Issues concerning the elderly and people with disabilities
- The municipality needs to pay more attention to accessibility issues.
- Those who depend on the welfare system for sustenance must be safeguarded, and services must be made accessible for the most economically vulnerable groups, e.g. with special tariffs.
- All services for pensioners must be developed in collaboration with and according to the needs and expectations of users in each case.
- The aim should always be to help this group gain access to the labour market and participate in the community on their own terms.
Issues concerning queer people
It is important for every member of society to feel free to define themselves on the basis of their unique gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual characteristics or gender expression.
- LGBTQ+ education is needed on all school levels and at the administrative level.
- More gender-neutral public bathrooms are needed.
Issues concerning immigrants
The key to a successful multicultural society is mutual integration. Just as immigrants are enabled to adapt to society by learning the local customs and language, the community and its institutions must adapt to diversity and accept people as they are. It is important to increase services for immigrants and ensure information supply about language education, rights, obligations, employment and housing.
- Information from the municipality, including on its website, must be available in other languages than Icelandic.
- Language education for children who speak Icelandic as a second language must be emphasised.
- People’s native culture should be respected and facilitated.
- Our aim should be to provide cost-free Icelandic courses for immigrants available.
- Icelandic courses must be held regularly and be accessible to all
Reception of refugees
The municipality should declare, as soon as possible, its willingness to receive refugees, in consultation with the government, whether these are groups invited to the country or people who come on their own and are granted protection. The municipality has all the infrastructure necessary and should take part in the important task of welcoming people in need.
Health services are one of the cornerstones of each society and good access to health services is a matter of common interest for residents of the municipality. Public health must be emphasised and health-promoting thinking must be applied in decision-making, planning and implementation, with the well-being of all residents in mind.
- There is a need to push systematically for healthcare improvements, based on the Health Policy until 2030.
- Health services, including emergency services in Egilsstaðir, must be protected and strengthened.
- The East Iceland Model should receive more support and professional entities should collaborate more closely.
Sports and leisure activities
More equal opportunities for sports and leisure activities have to be provided to children in the municipality.
- Collaboration with local sport clubs must be supported.
- We must ensure that leisure activities are diverse and of high quality and they should be kept in line with the students’ school day.
- Leisure activities grants for all children in the municipality must be ensured and coordinated.
Education is one of the most challenging and important tasks of municipalities. Education and school-related activities must be regarded as value creation. A comprehensive school policy for all educational levels must be developed in consultation with stakeholders during the term.
- We must safeguard further education in the municipality, support and bolster Egilsstaðir Junior College, protect the future of Hallormsstaðir School and support the LungA school.
- In the long term, we must increase the general education level in the area.
- Systematic work on establishing a university centre in East Iceland must continue. University-level research and education must be supported with the aim of creating university-related jobs on a year-round basis in the municipality.
- The lack of academic qualifications among preschool staff must me addressed swiftly by reviewing and increasing educational support for current preschool instructors.
- It is essential to ensure the continuing successful operation of all preschools and primary schools in the municipality. We refuse to close or merge schools to improve short-term financial gains.
- The professional independence of each school community must be promoted.
- The internal quality evaluation in each school and the external quality evaluation of the municipality have to be strengthened, e.g. by appointing a representative from the municipality to support school administrators in preschools and/or primary schools.
- In general, preschool fees have to be lowered and access to quality preschool education, irrespective of economic status and residence, must be ensured.
- Efforts must be made to ensure that children everywhere in the municipality can enter a preschool as soon as possible after the end of their parents’ parental leave.
- Educational and vocational guidance in all primary schools must be ensured.
- The services of a speech therapist in the municipality’s schools must be ensured.
- Adequate support for bilingual children must be ensured in consultation with local school administrators.
- Educational resources for students with serious health or learning disabilities must be strengthened and developed.
- Art and crafts education in all schools must be boosted and vocational education implemented in primary schools according to the needs of the students.
- Students and staff must be provided with a competitive environment with regard to the use of technology in school activities.
- Housing facilities of schools must be reviewed and a programme for improvement made.
It is important to maintain cultural distinctions within all localities. Each community and the area as a whole has a remarkable history, buildings and cultural artifacts that must be protected. There are many opportunities within the municipality regarding the cultural heritage.
- There are dynamic and varied cultural activities within the municipality. A comprehensive plan shall be drawn up for the role, progress and development of the cultural centers within the municipality, with the aim of operating strong cultural centres in each area. The cultural centres must have specialised presentations and services for visitors and residents of the municipality, and a degree of coordination in their operations.
- The aim should be to maintain and promote all major cultural events, such as Bræðslan, the Hammond Festival, Summer at Havarí, Ormsteiti, LungA, List í ljósi and Rúllandi snjóbolti.
- Current museums must be protected, and collaboration within the municipality considered where appropriate.
- Education services and general exhibitions of cultural centres must be supported, especially work aimed at children and students, and the access of children to cultural centres in all communities must be ensured.
- Efforts should be made to disseminate art events and other events within the municipality to the extent possible, in order to benefit as many residents as possible.
- The operation of public libraries must be ensured during the term and libraries should take steps towards increased digital services.
It is crucial for the municipality to have a thriving and diverse economy, where initiative and innovation play a major role and where most people can find an outlet for their talents.
- We have to strengthen agriculture in the area, aim for further processing directly at farms and support organic cultivation.
- All agricultural sectors must have an equal status when it comes to resorts to counter temporary setbacks.
- The possibility of HEF supporting possible greenhouse farming and local production, with sustainability in mind, must be investigated.
- A food policy for the municipality must be developed.
The fishing industry
- The municipality must take action to counter further reduction in traditional fishing and fish processing, as well as the further concentration of fishing rights.
- The stronger status of inshore fishing and small boat fisheries must be promoted.
- Further local processing of fish products should be encouraged, as well as innovation and food development in the sector.
- Fish farming must be sufficiently monitored to prevent conflicts with the environment and the community. Such monitoring operations should be conducted close to the operations, thus increasing public employment in less populated areas.
- Fees that are collected from fish farms should, to an increased extent, go towards infrastructure development in the municipalities themselves.
- We want the work on the organisation of ocean and coastal areas to be considered when it comes to the general organisation and exploitation of fjords, and that other interests than fish farming be considered.
- We must support forestry and the production of forest products, and encourage full processing and innovation in the industry.
- We must encourage further support for forestry in the context of the climate situation.
- Tourism is an essential part of the municipality’s economy. The importance of co-operation in the municipality’s tourist industry must be considered. The new municipality must be marketed as a single entity.
- Winter tourism must be considered and the municipality’s unique position emphasised with a view to lengthening the tourism season.
Highland national park
- VG sees the highland national park as an opportunity for economic development and nature conservation. Management jobs, services, research, tourism and land protection are examples of secondary jobs at the national park.
There are many opportunities for local industrial development within the creative industries. These include cultural activities, research and entrepreneurship, information technology and communication, to name a few. The budget shall provide for grants for creative industries and cultural activities in the municipality. Examples:
- Grants shall be awarded for grassroots work and innovation in activities related to arts and culture.
- Research on the economic impact of cultural activities and creative industries must be supported specifically and the results presented annually to council members and residents in the next two years.
- Research on relics and cultural artifacts in the area must be supported and the results presented annually to council members and residents in the next two years.
- Foreign and/or domestic innovation projects related to cultural tourism and/or community services shall be presented to residents and local government officials annually for the next two years, at the initiative of the municipality.
- Creative summer jobs for young people in the municipality’s communities should be supported even further.
- Increased support for innovation and cultural activities from the State to the municipality should be demanded and jobs at government agencies should be advertised without a location being specified.
A new land use plan for the municipality must be prepared, with an emphasis on the quality of life and environment of the residents. Specific plans must focus systematically on developing core areas in each community to increase their attractiveness and quality of life. Cyclists and pedestrians must be separated from heavy traffic to the extent possible.
Safe, high-quality transport is one of the prerequisites for the new municipality to function in a social and economic sense. There must be a push for continual improvements of transportation, high-quality winter services and domestic flights as a viable transport option for the general public.
- Active pressure must be applied to ensure: a year-round road across Öxi, the Fjarðarheiði Tunnel, a surfaced road on Borgarfjarðarvegur and a new bridge across Lagarfljót.
- In the long run, public transportation in the municipality must be improved in order to make a car-free lifestyle a viable option. The possibility of providing public transport in the municipality free of charge must be investigated.
- Domestic flights should be defined as public transport.
The municipality’s wild nature and untouched wilderness are valuables that must be protected. Further protection in the municipality should be encouraged, and development in already protected areas must be continued. We must also continue restoring disturbed ecosystems and promote their sustainable use.
- All plans for new power plants must be rejected, including in the untouched wilderness of Hraun and the surrounding river basin.
- If more rivers have to be harnessed in the future, the areas that have already been disturbed due to large-scale power plants should be considered.
- Education and discussions on nature preservation must be ensured, and a distinction must be made between the generating stations of farmers for private use and plants of up to 9.9 MW that are referred to as minor plants.
- VG supports the development of a highland national park that includes highland wilderness areas.
- Disturbed ecosystems must be restored, e.g. by reclamation work on erosion sites and recovery of wetlands.
- Areas where pollution accidents are foreseeable have to be cleaned.
Climate and environmental issues
Environmental and climate issues are among the most important issues of our time, and VG intends to address these issues with force in the new municipality. It is important to develop a comprehensive environmental and climate policy for the municipality.
- An environmental plan pertaining to the municipality itself and its activities, must be developed.
- Environmental and climate education must be ensured at all school levels, and environmental awareness must be raised in the whole community.
- A climate action plan for the municipality needs to be developped in accordance with the goal of a carbon neutral Iceland in 2040 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
- Refuse collection and waste management in the municipality has to be considered, as waste must increasingly be regarded as raw material for recycling. Work on closing landfills must be carried out.
One of the biggest tasks of the new municipal council is the merging of the municipality. We want the administration to be characterised by the active participation of residents, a good flow of information, sound planning and responsible financial management. A large portion of the new municipal council’s work will revolve around integrating the new municipality’s infrastructure, but we also want to look towards the future, despite the short term ahead. We want to immediately begin to take advantage of the growth opportunities for the whole municipality. Digital processing and services will become a major part of the new municipality’s activities, e.g. the development of powerful teleconferencing facilities. It is important to respond to the Institute of Regional Development’s 2018 population forecast, which assumes a great population reduction in East Iceland, and make a plan for the next 5 years.