Greens will promote 'Meat-free Mondays' for Bishop's Stortford
Our current political party has failed to enforce policies that prevent catastrophic global warming. Legislation has us on track for an increase of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees; scientists agree we need to aim for 1.5-2 degrees.
Green Party councillors are a voice for the environment. In 2011, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas wrote of planning law changes: "These alarming proposals, which include scrapping the policy of building on brownfield sites before greenfield sites and the duty to ensure that new developments minimise road traffic, would give the green light to countless inappropriate schemes in cherished landscapes.”
How true for people living in Bishop’s Stortford! Under the Tories, Green Belt land has not been protected, money has been wasted on the Henderson /Causeway scandal and our council has still not declared a climate emergency.
The first point in the Green Party manifesto is this declaration. Our Tory-filled district council ignored the concerns of residents, passing planning permission for Bishop’s Stortford South, a plan that would have been rejected under previous legislation.
We insist that developers must build houses supporting a zero-net carbon future, not with plans below the environmental standards required by other councils and using fossil fuel-burning gas boilers, due to be banned in six years’ time.
If elected, we will demand solar panels, use of grey water systems, insulation and eco-heating for new-builds and support green retro-fitting for older properties.
On a local level, Greens can push for infrastructure improvements, making walking, cycling and public transport easier and more affordable while encouraging planning of amenities within walking distance.
All community centres, council and publicly used buildings and car parks should have bike racks installed or increased. A network of safe cycle routes is essential alongside Bikeability and Bikeability Plus training.
We will strive for a better bus service and more seating and shelter at bus stops.
Food has an enormous carbon footprint. We will promote Meat-Free Mondays across the town. Additionally, schools and council-run catering should offer a minimum of one vegan meal. We would look at implementing the Incredible Edible initiative in community planting and increase allotment space.
We would invest in renewable energy in council-owned properties and incentivise businesses and residents to do the same, and we would increase availability of electric car charging points.
We will fight for an increase in affordable housing. However, we also call for a pause, to assess the impact current house-building has on our town, before hurtling into new developments.