In Brent Labour’s local election manifesto contract they pledged “better cleaner, greener, healthier spaces’. As Barry Gardiner Labour MP for North Brent is the shadow minister for Natural Environment, Fisheries and Climate Change and signatory to this contract you might have thought he could explain to his local party why this pledge is important to keep.
As a reminder on the 15th December the Brent Labour Cabinet will start to consider a set of proposals that includes:
· Closing Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre
· No litter clearing on residential roads
· No weekend litter service in parks
· Deleting Environment Projects and Policy Team and
· Ceasing a grant to Energy Solutions
A public attitudes survey from the Department of Energy and Climate change found that nearly half of people (47%) reported they were fairly concerned about the impact of climate change. The same proportion of people recognise that Climate Change is partly caused by natural processes and partly caused by human activity. Yet the same survey shows that it is near the bottom of people’s priorities list. It is understandable, that when people’s primary needs are not being met it can be difficult to think about aesthetic and altruistic matters such as climate change and the environment. However, Greens understand that the world is interconnected and as such believe that there does not have to be a choice of either / or. Green policies are such that can have a beneficial impact upon our well-being, save money in the long run and create prosperity.
If, as the public attitudes survey shows that unemployment is top of people’s priorities, what sense does it make to close Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre which amongst other courses inspires children about renewable energy and how to conserve it. It is only the Greens that will kickstart our economy through investing in a renewable energy, creating Green Jobs perhaps for these very children.
The second highest concern relates to the NHS and it shouldn’t take The Department of Health to run a advertising campaign to reiterate that food scraps and other rubbish have lots of germs and sometimes parasites upon them. The spread of disease can be exacerbated by weather as well as our wildlife creatures and at a time where our local hospitals A&E departments are under increasing pressure it should be clear to most that litter clearing in Brent is a protective factor.
At a time when 10.4% of British Households are in fuel poverty, in a borough that is the 12th most deprived in London support provided by the council to help people improve energy efficiency, which is a key driver of fuel poverty should only have a beneficial impact on people experiencing inequality.
Whilst the Labour Group makes a choice to implement the cuts, blaming the Tory and Lib Dem Coalition, the reality remains that each of them have pledged to continue the flawed economic policy of austerity. There is of course another way, one where people and the environment take precedence and faceless corporations are made to pay their way when trading in our country.
For that, you’d have to vote Green.