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Thursday, 11 May 2017

My Top Ten Environmental Policy Prioities for Colchester

The grey parties are wilfully ignoring the environment as an issue in this general election. Environmental issues are getting barely a mention in the media but what sets the Green Party apart from the others is that we place environmental issues at the heart of our campaigning. Joint leader Caroline Lucas states:
"The need for the Green Party is greater than ever. Unless we have got a vocal Green Party then the environment is allowed to fall off the agenda".

Here are my top ten environmental priorities for Colchester:

1) Improving Air Quality: Some areas of central Colchester suffer from high pollution. Brook Street, East Hill and North Station Road all spring immediately to mind. As MP I would put pressure on our local councils to monitor the air quality of the town and around its major roads more rigorously and campaign for cleaner buses as opposed to bus companies using old polluting vehicles as a cheap option.

2) Promoting Solar Energy: There is much roof space above our major retail outlets and public buildings that could be utilised for solar panels. As MP I would set up meetings between representatives from businesses, local councils and solar power providers to facilitate greater use of this space.

3) Defending Our Green Spaces: As MP I would have a platform and the oxygen of publicity to really challenge the developers and central government over the huge overdevelopment planned for the Colchester area. I would rigorously campaign and lobby against unreasonable housing targets, weakening of the planning laws, encroaching on the green belt and more specifically West Tey and the concreting over of Middlewick Ranges.

4) Saving Our Wildlife: I would campaign for and vote for the Green Party's proposed Environmental Protection Act designed to protect the natural world in the wake of Brexit and the loss of the EU wildlife and birds directives. The act would set up a new environmental regulator and court.

5) Tackling Habitat Loss: The 2013 The State of Nature Report, launched by Sir David Attenborough, revealed that 60% of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether. As MP I would work with national organisations such as Friends of the Earth to lobby for the State of Nature report to inform all government decisions involving the environment as well as for the promotion of conservation work to reverse this decline to be a top government priority.

6) No To Fracking, Yes to renewables.  The current government's cuts to the subsidies provided for renewables should be completely reversed. As MP I would campaign for our government to learn from Germany and Scandinavia and put renewable energy first in order to tackle climate change, create jobs and avoid pollution. I would campaign for the creation of 2.5 million green energy jobs by 2030.

7) A Ban on Glyphosates: Glyphosate herbicides are over-used on our crops, paths and in Castle Park. I would use my position as MP to put pressure on the Borough Council to end this use locally and on central government for a national ban.

8) No to Foxhunting: Engaging in animal cruelty as a sport should remain illegal.

9) Subsidies For Farmers Who Promote Wildlife: Farmers who set aside land for nature or create wildlife meadows, ponds and other habitats should receive generous subsidies from central government. I would lobby hard for this.

10) Litter: Litter blights central Colchester far too often. I would use my position as MP to lobby the Council to ensure regular cleaning as well as set up local community volunteer teams. Bag it and bin it and that way we'll win it.

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