Members of Cambridge Doughnut asked candidates standing for the upcoming elections in Cambridge and surrounding areas to answer three questions about how they will look after the needs of citizens while taking into consideration environmental limits and the climate emergency. We received responses across party lines and a number of candidates referenced Doughnut Economics during their campaigning as well.
- How will you ensure the new Local Plan alongside council initiatives improves the living standards of the less privileged and those for whom ‘affordable housing’ is not affordable?
- How will you seek to ensure the city as a whole delivers what’s needed to address the climate and ecological emergency (climate emergency was declared by the city council and Parliament in 2019)?
- Will you work for (and how?) passage of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill?
1. How will you ensure the new Local Plan alongside council initiatives improves the living standards of the less privileged and those for whom ‘affordable housing’ is not affordable?
Our Labour Council has made significant process in ensuring access to nutritious food, decent housing, etc. for citizens of Cambridge in a sustainable way. If elected to represent those in Market Ward who are concerned about inequality and poverty, I will work to support implementation of Labour’s 4 manifesto pledges for the city, that is, (1) to reduce poverty and inequality and promote food justice, (2) to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies, including a net zero emissions city council by 2030, (3) to build 1000 council homes in the next ten years, reduce homelessness, and give rough sleepers new opportunities, and (4) to protect local services despite Tory cuts, helping the most vulnerable during the pandemic and beyond. These aims can be achieved by ensuring a Labour majority in the city council, where all our councillors are committed to voting for legislation, resolutions and policies that will support these objectives.
The Greater Cambridge Local Plan needs to ensure that there are sufficient council homes available as ‘social housing’ in new developments such as we have in Trumpington leaves people paying 80% of market rents, which is too high for many, following a decade of wages being frozen. The Plan should also ensure new developments have good transport links and enable the use of cycling, walking and public transport into and around the city, thereby reducing travel costs and supporting the environment. New developments should also encompass green space for all to enjoy, as we are lucky to have so many green spaces, including nature reserves and community gardens in Trumpington. The provision of allotments has enabled people to grow their own food, and supports sustainable food initiatives, such as the ‘grow a row’ scheme which supports the community food hubs. We also need to consider community wealth building and ethical procurement, supporting businesses which pay a living wage and benefit the community.
We would encourage both the Council and local industry including the university, tech, bio and pharma to create more truly green jobs and projects, working proactively with other groups to seek funding for jobs that are not environmentally damaging. We are all supporters of Universal Basic Income, and have signed the pledge from the UBI lab network to push for Basic Income pilots in their communities (https://www.ubilabnetwork.org/councillors-pledge). The goals of this are to significantly reduce poverty and act to address lack of equality for individuals and communities. People in Cambridge who are not lucky enough to be at the wealthiest end of the income spectrum are living lives that are becoming increasingly more insecure. Many are caught between the demands of a precarious labour market and needing to care for elderly or disabled relatives or young children. We support a UBI pilot here in Cambridge, which, based on previous evidence, should reduce poverty and improve wellbeing for many of those involved in it. The Cambridge Green Party is very concerned at the current focus on top-down economic growth for our region. The thousands of new homes now being built will mainly benefit developers and those with money to invest. The fact that ‘affordable’ housing is too expensive for those ‘ordinary’ people needing homes in Cambridge has been often reiterated by the Cambridge Green Party. “Sustainable homes should be on sale at prices which are genuinely affordable for lower income households”, stated Naomi Bennett. We would work to lower the percentage of the market price currently used from 80% to 30% and increase the requirement for such provision to 50% or more of the total for any new development, and we would back the Council’s Planning Department in not allowing developers to change these figures. The Green Party would like to see a large increase in council owned and managed secure rented property. “We will also push for a significant increase in council -owned and managed secure rented property, backed up by community ownership cooperatives, housing associations and co-housing projects”, said Hannah Charlotte Copley. See https://southcambs.greenparty.org.uk/news/local-green-parties-respond-to-housing-consultation.html. We would seek to empower local communities to shape their environment through genuine engagement in planning and housing policy, following the excellent example set at Marmalade Lane.
This is a key priority for Labour and we have been working hard to tackle poverty and inequality, but we know that this can’t be done in isolation. The most direct action we can take is to provide good housing that people can actually afford. Cambridge Labour already have plans in place to deliver 540 new council homes and has pledged to build a further 1000. The City Council has already delivered 40% of affordable housing in major developments including 30% affordable rent in Cambridge South, which is essential given that housing purchase costs are beyond reach for more that half of our residents. We also ensure there are community centres and support for vulnerable families moving into new developments.The next local plan must provide new homes, infrastructure and jobs along with strong evidence to support the development plan and supporting policies, and make sure that provision is balanced. Cambridge Labour will ensure that blue collar jobs, industrial jobs and key worker jobs are provided for, while recognising the needs and requirements of existing companies and organisations.But improving living standards also means ensuring that our environmental goals are met. We have recognised the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UK in 2015, as a commitment to action to end poverty, protect the planet and enable all people to thrive and enjoy peace by 2030, and we will work to ensure the priorities identified through the Issues and Options consultation process in January 2020 are integrated throughout the next Local Plan. This covers Climate Change, Biodiversity & Green Places, Wellbeing & Social Inclusion, and Great Places
“We will enable more homes to be built. Without new homes being built, Cambridge will continue to become a more expensive, exclusive and divided place, giving rise to more congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution from long distance commuting. It is also necessary to build more homes in order to have the land to secure more affordable housing which must be 40% of any development. We particularly want to see a focus on homes for key workers in the city. In the interest of our city economy itself becoming more inclusive, we aim to carve out affordable employment space through the new Local Plan, which in the face of high land values, would enable more diverse employment activity extending opportunities to the whole community, not just life sciences and hi-tech. We also will work through the Greater Cambridge Partnership to improve skills training and careers advice for those young people not choosing university but looking for opportunities with local employers. We propose to introduce a new community wellbeing strategy to define priorities within council responsibilities and capabilities which address the range of factors constituting a healthy society, which correspond closely to the doughnut definition in Doughnut Economics – some of which are financial, some of which are not. We aim to survey residents and measure progress – and to engage partner bodies in complementing this work. In common with fast growing economies elsewhere, our area experiences the social stress of change where the same community encompasses both those benefitting from prosperity and those not. Local authorities do not share proportionately in the new prosperity and lack coercive powers of extra taxation. So, we aim to engage local businesses much more as partners in the social cohesion of the city they operate in, building on the good examples that already exist.”
What we would like to do is launch the building of the £100k homes project in Cambridge. People cannot afford to buy in Cambridge and if James Palmer is elected as Mayor this plan will be put in place in Cambridge. The minimum earnings Cambridge residents will need to qualify to buy in this scheme will be a salary of £18,500 per annum. Only those living and working in Cambridge will qualify for this scheme. Residents who live and work in Cambridge should be able to buy at a cheaper price than investors. Also plan to build more council houses as people should not be sleeping on the streets. Everyone deserves to have a roof over their heads.
We are extremely concerned at the current focus on top-down economic growth for our region. The thousands of new homes now being built will mainly benefit developers and those with money to invest. We want to see greater discounts on ‘affordable’ homes compared to market rates, and a minimum of 50% of homes in new developments to be affordable. We would like to see a large increase in council owned and managed secure rented property backed up by community ownership cooperatives, housing associations and co-housing projects. See https://southcambs.greenparty.org.uk/news/local-green-parties-respond-to-housing-consultation.html. – We’re encouraging our candidates to sign the Universal Basic Income pledge, which commits councillors to push for Basic Income pilots in their communities (https://www.ubilabnetwork.org/councillors-pledge). – We would seek to empower local communities to shape their environment through genuine engagement in planning and housing policy.
I have previously served a 4 year term as a Cambridge City Councillor, 2012-2016. I witnessed, first-hand, of property developers committing a provision of 40% social housing in developments and then not delivering and using expensive lawyers to get out of their commitment, there was no action available to the City Council Planning Committee to hold the developers to their commitment, the system, as it is, does not work. The Conservative Government will be in power for a long time now and so is in a good position to make long term plans for change for the better. James Palmer, if re-elected, plans to build and offer £100k price freehold 1 bedroom homes for local working people who cannot currently afford to buy a home. There is funding available for this project. Rents are also far too high in Cambridge. I will work with James to put a cap on rents in Cambridge. We must care for our local people, community comes first. Something must be done quickly and the Conservative Party majority, and with a Conservative Mayor, we can do this.
The three big themes which have underpinned my campaign are co-ordination, community, and communication. All of these are essential to achieving the goals espoused by Cambridge Doughnut, as only by bringing these together can we hope to achieve the system-level change which is required. With reference to the Local Plan, it’s important to acknowledge that the City Council does not have complete freedom of movement as whatever policies and priorities are adopted need to be compliant with, for example, the National Planning Policy Framework. It is also the case that housing (in)affordability is not just a supply-side problem, ie building more housing won’t by itself solve Cambridge’s housing crisis. There’s an excellent explanation of why that is in a recent Cambridge Commons talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV0NVqKcgl8&t=3s So of course we need to make sure that any housing development achieves its maximum possible quota of affordable housing (and within that, the maximum possible social rented housing), but that shouldn’t be the only tool in our toolkit. Given the constraints we’re operating under, I want to see this next Local Plan take a much more judicious approach to the creation of employment sites. To give you one example of why this is necessary, let’s look at the numbers for the North East Cambridge development already going through the planning process. There are 8350 homes planned for development and 20000 jobs. The 8,350 homes are expected to accommodate about 18,000 people, of whom about 10,500 will be in employment (69.5% of Cambridge residents are aged 16–64, and 83% of them are economically active), some self-employed. The addition of 20,000 new jobs at NEC will therefore create at least 9,500 new jobs for which housing will be required elsewhere. In other words, this development will increase, not decrease overall demand for housing, exacerbating an already acute and worsening housing shortage in Greater Cambridge. Cambridge Ahead and the pro-growth lobby are pushing for an “employment-led housing strategy” – but if we keep allowing unbridled growth of employment sites, then housing supply will never get a chance to reach equilibrium. This will be a challenging message to communicate and get accepted, but is a necessary part of the culture change inherent in moving away from the fixation on growth at any cost. With reference to how to improve quality of life for the economically marginalised, we have run a multitude of ward-level ‘experiments’ in Queen Edith’s to see what works, including the repurposing of un(der)-utilised green space for community purposes; good neighbour volunteer schemes; redistribution of clothes, books, toys; and the food hub. We are learning how these projects can evolve from crisis responses to more ambitious permanently embedded assets, and we are seeing the power of a community which feels the sense of agency and ownership derived from “doing with/by” rather than “doing to/for”. I am keen to explore how this learning can be applied at different scales and in different contexts. The gold standard is the Participatory City work going on in Barking and Dagenham.
2. How will you seek to ensure the city as a whole delivers what’s needed to address the climate and ecological emergency (climate emergency was declared by the city council and Parliament in 2019)?
If elected, I will ensure our new council homes are built to passivhaus standards wherever possible, city council vehicles are replaced with electric vehicles as the default option, and I will champion the restoration of the chalk streams in and around Cambridge, especially Jesus Green Ditch, Vicar’s Brook, Cherry Hinton Brook, Coldham’s Brook and Byron’s Pool. I intend to promote the Cambridge Climate Charter, asking all residents and businesses to sign up to build a partnership to reduce our city’s carbon footprint. Labour will invest in our council buildings to significantly reduce their carbon footprint as well as replacing city council vehicles with electric vehicles as the default option. Residents have told me that we need to develop the electric vehicle charging network throughout our car parks and work with the county council to make EV charging available on residential streets. Furthermore, I would put the River Cam and the resilience of our water supply at the heart of our planning and environmental policies, working with all statutory bodies and local partners to protect and replenish our aquifers. We will champion the introduction of an ambitious clean air zone for Cambridge, consult on greater pedestrianisation, and increase the proportion of low emission and electric vehicles in the city. As a Labour councillor, committed to sustainability, I will assess all our policies against their impact on the environment before voting for them.
If elected, we would work to deliver the Council’s Climate Change Strategy, which includes the building council houses to a higher specification than current building regs., supporting cycling, walking and public transport to support more environmentally friendly travel and to decrease air pollution; and continue to reduce carbon emissions in order to reach net zero by 2030. We’d also continue to support initiatives to increase biodiversity, such as tree planting, the development of nature reserves and the maintenance of chalk streams. The Council is doing a lot here and we need to also continue discussions with large employers such as the University and technology companies, to ensure that good practice is shared and extended throughout the city. If not elected, we will continue to campaign on these issues in our ward.
In order to get away from Greenwashing, we would insist that the emergency is taken into account in every decision the council makes and that there is an integrated approach to this vital issue. The Council budget would have to be revisited and monies moved away from other areas, as the present allocation is far short of what is required. Jeremy Caddick, Green Party candidate for the Abbey District Cambridgeshire County Council District said “We have raised this issue of inadequate funding for dealing with Climate Emergency at the budget setting meeting of the City Council and we will continue to do so.” We have also made the commitment in our manifesto to use the concept of doughnut economics for decisions made by elected councillors, which changes the goal and dialogue to focus on ensuring the needs of everyone are met, whilst not exceeding planetary boundaries. The climate and ecological emergencies require co-ordinated action in all policy areas. Elected Greens would work with other parties to push for action across all levels of local government (City, County and Combined Authority). Key areas to tackle include investing in a reliable and affordable public transport network, retrofitting housing to be energy efficient and requiring the highest environmental standards for all new builds, and formulating a plan to address the looming water crisis for our region (as set out by the Cam Valley Forum among others https://camvalleyforum.uk/publication-let-it-flow/). We care very deeply about protecting nature and green space. Rather than building over the green space we have left, we need to be setting aside more land for nature. Currently our Green Belt is being sacrificed for development (for example here is our consultation response regarding the relocation of the Waste Water Treatment plant to Green Belt land https://cambridge.greenparty.org.uk/news/submission-to-(cwwtpr)-project-phase1.html) while the planned new settlements have an alarming lack of green space provision – see our joint consultation response with South Cambridge Green Party (https://southcambs.greenparty.org.uk/news/north-east-cambridge-development-our-response.html). We have pushed for divestment already with the County Council and when elected Greens would push for the County Council to divest its pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. – See also our local manifesto for more information: https://cambridge.greenparty.org.uk/elections-may-2021/green-manifesto-2021/
The City Council has cut its emissions by 29% since 2014 and has adopted a detailed strategy this March that will deliver real change. We will be building the partnership with residents and businesses so that they also sign up to the 2030 commitment for Net Zero the Council is working to itself. In support of these goals, Cambridge Labour has committed the City Council to adopting a model for addressing inequality and promoting sustainability, based on the concept of ‘doughnut economics’ promoted by cities like Amsterdam and Berlin.As a first step, we will set out how the City Council can help prepare a City Portrait along with CamDEAG and other organisations. This will bring together existing data and reports and assess them against the social and environmental criteria set out by Kate Raworth as part of the doughnut economics model. This will provide a snapshot of how well (or badly) Cambridge measures up, and will be a baseline against which to measure strategies and action plans.The Labour City Council also declared a biodiversity emergency motion in 2019 as well. Biodiversity loss is happening every day, but we do not truly understand the extent of the loss. We are working with organisations and residents to understand what we have, and then work to conserve what is special, and restore where possible, then also to establish new areas.For further details please refer to http://cambridgecarbonfootprint.org/charter/
“The council must take a surer grip on its vital role of city leader. Recent progress has relied too much on national decisions and a lot that is inconsistent still seems to occur as a result of local decisions. We will properly embed climate change in all that the council does and build it into its corporate and financial planning processes. We will define a detailed roadmap to zero carbon as far before 2050 as is achievable, encompassing its housing and commercial property estates, and hold offsetting measures as supplemental or a last resort. And we will share and export our approach with other organisations. We aim for the council’s waste service to play a core educational role in waste reduction as a contribution to encouraging behaviours consistent with a more circular local economy, recognising the carbon footprint of almost everything we buy. We will use the council’s regulatory roles to influence the wider city contribution to carbon emissions. We will ensure that housing is located in sustainable locations, such as Marshals airfield and North East Cambridge, and that it is not permitted at the cost of ecological impact from exhaustion of natural resources such water supply – a key local element on the planetary boundary of Doughnut Economics. We will fight to exact the most sustainable design and building standards we have the powers to achieve as a planning authority and model high standards in the council’s own building projects in a way that had not recently happened. We will use our role in the Greater Cambridge Partnership to pursue the goal of a ‘low traffic city’, not only to reduce carbon emissions, but congestion and pollution too. We support a long overdue integrated policy to both reduce car journeys within the city and transform public transport through public subsidy into a mainstream alternative – allowing also more safe space for cycling and walking. “
Try to cut down to zero emissions by encouraging more cycling and walking in Cambridge. Put a proper plan in place rather than a rushed decision which affects other people’s lives. An example of our ideas is the Mayor’s launch of the E-Scooters in Cambridge to reduce the number of cars on the road. Users must be over 18 years of age and have at least a provisional driving licence. We also think people should be required to wear helmets. We will work directly with the local communities and the climate action groups in Cambridge, bringing them together to work on practical action. Low recycling levels is a big problem in Cambridge. I will work with all community centres to increase education, understanding and action by residents to recycle more. If you don’t directly engage residents with the knowledge of what to do people don’t know what to do.
The climate and ecological emergencies require co-ordinated action in all policy areas. Elected Greens would work with other parties to push for action across all levels of local government (District, County, Combined Authority). Critical areas to tackle include investing in a reliable and affordable public transport network, retrofitting housing to be energy efficient and requiring the highest environmental standards for all new builds, and formulating a plan to address the looming water crisis for our region (as set out by the Cam Valley Forum among others https://camvalleyforum.uk/publication-let-it-flow/). – We are passionate about protecting nature and green space. Rather than building over the green space we have left, we need to be setting aside more land for nature. Currently our Green Belt is being sacrificed for development (for example the relocation of the Waste Water Treatment plant to Green Belt land https://southcambs.greenparty.org.uk/news/local-green-parties-respond-to-sewage-works-consultation.html) while the planned new settlements have an alarming lack of green space provision – see for example https://southcambs.greenparty.org.uk/news/north-east-cambridge-development-our-response.html. – Elected Greens would push for the County Council to divest its pension fund from the fossil fuel industry – See also our local manifesto: https://southcambs.greenparty.org.uk/local-elections-2021/our-policies-s-cambs-local-elections-2021.html
Our young people are being educated to think about what their own “footprint” is. The rest of us are not currently being actively engaged and educated about these issues and we are not going to let go of old habits easily. We need to make sure alternatives are available and affordable, that they are convenient to use and are easily accessible. As an elected councillor I plan to work with James to ensure that alternatives, such as the E-Scooters, are available in greater numbers in locations all over Cambridge. Cambridge has the potential to do so much better in recycling waste, educate, motivate and we will succeed. I will work to set up stalls all over Cambridge to educate residents by talking with them about how they can practically reduce their own footprint and support this with easily understandable images and guidance on how to engage.
There are some very obvious comments to be made here about active travel, building standards, green infrastructure, water security, etc. Yes of course we should be prioritising all of these, but as piecemeal interventions they don’t begin to scratch the surface of what’s required. Again, we need to look at this through a systems lens to link the ecological and social domains. Specifically, to return to the three key themes I identified above:
- Coordination – attempts to address the climate emergency are fatally undermined by the separation of powers and responsibilities across multiple tiers of local government (City Council, County Council, GCP, Combined Authority and whatever governance arrangement is put in place to deliver the OxCam Arc). As a result, everything operates in silos, not just across these organisations but even within them. For example, in Queen Edith’s the County Council provided a pot of money to build the Hills Road cycleways, but there was no appetite to improve climate resilience through sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) or street trees, and there’s no maintenance budget either. Similarly the GCP is planning a controversial and hugely expensive busway from the A11 to the Biomedical Campus but lacks ambition in terms of active travel connectivity and biodiversity enhancements alongside it. And the City Council recently gave outline planning permission for 400 houses on Green Belt land at Wort’s Causeway without requiring the developer to provide a safe and convenient walking and cycling connection to the rest of the neighbourhood. We have to have better transparency, accountability and integration otherwise we will struggle to make any real progress. Furthermore I would like to see much more emphasis on adopting a place-based approach, to ensure that multiple separate interventions work together to create (rather than undermine) liveable neighbourhoods.
- Community – as I mentioned above, we’ve been experimenting in Queen Edith’s with how we can create a more redistributive and circular local economy. Bearing in mind that the first item in the hierarchy is ‘Reduce’ followed by ‘Reuse’ and only then ‘Recycle’, we need to be creating the circumstances under which communities can more easily embrace these principles, and a key issue in Cambridge is the cost of property, where exchange value outstrips use value making it very difficult for non-commercial actors to access space. Imagine if each neighbourhood in the city had one or more community spaces which hosted not just activities but also a repair café, a Library of Things, a book exchange, a community wardrobe, a street party kit, etc etc – everything you need for a convivial and sustainable communal life.
- Communication – there needs to be a really determined effort to communicate both the need for mindset and behaviour change, and the means by which individuals, communities and corporations can play their part. This needs to be consistent, coherent and authentic (ie not just talking the talk, but walking it too), which brings us back full-circle to the co-ordination point above. People will be asked to make changes to their lives which they may regard as unwelcome, and it is imperative that those bodies asking them to make those changes cannot be criticised for inconsistency or, worse still, hypocrisy.
3. Will you work for (and how?) passage of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill?
If I am elected to represent Market Ward as part of a team of councillors in a majority Labour-run City Council, we will work together with Daniel Zeichner, our Labour MP, to make sure that the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill becomes a household name, building public support until it is passed in parliament, with Cambridge leading the way in terms of implementation of actions that address the climate crisis, such as approval of a new Joint Local Plan that promotes sustainable development and meets the local demand for affordable housing and a range of jobs, taking into account water, infrastructure, community, transport and local needs. We will promote a sustainable food system for Cambridge by becoming one of the first local authorities to sign up to the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration. We plan to create more allotments, help residents form community gardens, and consider more temporary ‘meanwhile’ growing spaces. I would champion the elimination of herbicides on public land, including grass verges, and work towards Cambridge becoming a herbicide-free city. A Labour city council would provide over 100 hectares of new public open spaces, create more nature reserves and double the number of wildflower meadows. We will also plant another 1000 trees on our land in the next year, work with residents and schools on their own tree-planting projects, and commit £500,000 for environmental improvement projects over the next two years. Seeking to include and support all our citizens, including our river residents, we will provide a new boat pumping station and continue to invest in cycling and walking initiatives, making good use of the £1.5million A14 mitigation funds, and consult on increasing the number of pedestrianised areas. Despite the highways and roads being under the remit of the Tory County Council, I would, in response to please from local residents, be a champion for the city, e.g. lobbying for repairs to pavements and potholes, work on dangerous junctions, improvements to Newmarket Road, more residents’ parking zone consultations, and enforcement of the 20 mph speed limits. In addition, as someone who gave up their car over 4 years ago, I intend to campaign for better, and subsidised, public transport, with ‘joined-up’ routes that really benefit residents.
Yes, we will encourage our Labour MP, Daniel Zeichner, and Cambridge City Council to support the Bill. We can work with others to hold events, pass motions, and raise awareness of the Bill.
Hannah, Matt, Jeremy and Naomi are strong supporters of the CEE Bill and have all signed the CEE Bill Pledge. The Climate Emergency is the defining issue of our time. We need to be throwing the same energy and resources into solving it that we have done into Covid pandemic. The CEE Bill, tabled by Caroline Lucas MP represents our best chance to make the required changes at a national level. If elected, we will do everything we can to try and get the CEE bill passed, and will take a motion of support for the CEE bill at the first available Full Council Meeting. This will up the pressure on MPs to back the Bill in Parliament. We raised the CEE bill as a discussion point at the Council’s environment committee in March 2021. Matt Howard says, “There are no issues more pressing than the Climate and Ecological Emergencies which represent social injustice at a global level. The political cycle is so short-sighted it sees decade timescales to be ‘normal’ despite the last 200 years seeing a complete runaway of human global impact. We are sleepwalking into disaster, with elected officials failing to see the dramatic changes we need to make as a society in order to even partly minimise the harm from the inevitable ecological shifts already baked-in to the planetary ecological system. I will raise the issue of support for this vital Bill in every possible forum”. Dr Hannah Charlotte Copley says “The climate emergency is a health emergency. We are not even on track to limit global heating to 2 degrees. There is an unacceptable risk of both simultaneous crop failure (which could result in mass starvation) and sea level rise that would make many places in the world (including the fenlands in Cambridgeshire) uninhabitable, this is already affecting communities in countries such as Bangladesh. We are currently undergoing the sixth mass extinction – this isn’t just about the loss of some animal species – ecological collapse will prevent achievement of any of our shared goals as a society of reduction of poverty, food security, access to safe water for everyone and protecting human health and wellbeing.”
We support many of the aims set out in the CEE Bill and the Alliance has done an excellent job in listing the measures that need to be taken if we are to avert disaster. The Bill, however, is a Private Member’s Bill, and while it is an effective way of drawing attention to an issue, given the way Parliament works it is clear that it is not going to become law. We therefore feel it is most appropriate to follow the CEE Alliance itself and focus effort on securing amendments to the Government’s Environment Bill 2019-21, in order to reflect the CEE proposals. Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner has been very active here, and he is also supporting other parliamentary measures that seek to implement many of the principles laid out in the Bill. As local councillors we want put our effort where it might make a difference, and work with Labour MPs to achieve the CEE Bill’s outcomes using the tools available to us, rather than campaign for something that will not happen.Full details of the CEE Bill are in this note from the House of Commons Library https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9135/
“All Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament are already supporting the bill and we are keen to participate in ways to encourage others.”
I will work actively with the elected MP for Cambridge, my party and local residents to engage the local community. I will collect petitions from local residents and present the facts from local climate action groups and resident petitions to the elected MP for Cambridge.
Yes, we fully support this bill, which as you know has been championed by Green MP Caroline Lucas among others. Elected Greens would work to make the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill law. As a first step we would seek to bring a motion to Council in support of the CEE Bill.
To do this, most importantly you need local residents behind you. With their written support and details from local climate action groups, elected councillors and MPs can demand action from the Government ministers.
I fully support the aims of the CEE Bill and would lobby both the City Council and my MP (Anthony Browne, as Queen Edith’s is in the South Cambs constituency) to advocate for it.