Ahead of the London Assembly hustings, I answered these questions asked to me by Brent Green Party members. I have removed their names to protect their identities. They are now published here for all members to read. Please feel free to ask me a question.
Have you read the new IPCC report, or even the summary for policy makers and created an action plan for how you, as my elected spokesperson, can best represent scientists’ recommendations to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 1.5 degrees with accessible recommendations to your constituents and party representatives?
I will admit I haven’t read the whole IPCC report, however on your recommendation I have read the summary for policy makers. I think a really accessible campaign and action that constituents can do is the divestment movement. Constituents can approach their workplace management about divesting their energy usage away from fossil fuels. The successes could be tracked on a borough wide level to encourage other authorities to do the same.
I saw a youth with 2 friends chuck a bag of mostly plastic rubbish in front of a car on Kilburn High Road recently which subsequently went everywhere. What campaign strategy will you use to make this behaviour less cool and help such individuals want to become part of the solution?
Outside of the Green Party, I currently work for UK Youth, the UK’s largest national youth charity. As a youth worker I believe early intervention of skills-based programmes and a full standardised youth service are the key to ensure young people are occupied, aware of the wider world and their impact on it, and able to form their identities in a safe place supported by trusted adults.
Will you have a section on your local website showing links to organisations that help people reduce their footprint and will you encourage such links on the national website too?
Thanks for this question, I think it’s a really good idea! Some simple ideas could be: links on the TfL and national rail site, car sharing stations, carbon offsetting charities in London, bike hangar locations, bicycle rental stations, recycling stations, linnks to sustainable brands, cosmetics etc). But it’s not just about encouraging green party members to do extra bits (as many of us are ecologically conscious anyway!), but the wider area too. I think we should lobby the Local Authorities to take on some of these things too!
What do you think are the two most pressing issues facing Brent and Harrow today and how do you intend driving forward with them?
I think the biggest issue is the horrendous one-party Labour council. How can we live in a democratic society when our representatives aren’t being held accountable for their actions? Also the increase of violence and sexual offences in Brent and Harrow over the past few years is shocking. It’s time for an urgent review of local policing and action to tackle this anti-social behaviour.
Do you think the Green Party should have links with trade unions? Please give reasons for your answer.
I do think the Green Party should have links to trade unions, and we should be the party leading on the trade union movement. The Labour Party are no longer the party of the working class, or the party of the blue collar worker. The Green Party have proven time and time again both in policy and in practice to stand up for the most marginalised and at risk people in society.
As many politicians now proceed from education via employment by political parties, N.G.O.’s or think tanks directly into elected office; I would like to ask candidates what experience they have outside these fields and how this influences their politics?
I am very clear when I say that I am not a typical politician. Outside of the green party as a youth worker, I regularly host residentials with large groups of young people all over the UK. I believe this shows my adaptability and approachability along with awareness of current youth and community issues. Many of the young people I support face multiple barriers and additional needs. I am confident and comfortable with the diverse and challenging needs of young people and the wider public.
What actions do you think the London Mayor/GLA should be taking to ensure that affordable housing is available for London’s key workers in education, health and the emergency services?
The housing situation in London is a crisis. Everybody deserves the right to an affordable, safe place to live. Key workers in emergency services and education should be prioritised households within a reasonable distance of their place of work and rent caps should be introduced to limit and stunt the growth in house prices.
What is your attitude to homeopathy and should it be upheld and encouraged in the National Health Service?
I believe all people should have the autonomy of choice whether they would like to be prescribed traditional medication or seek natural alternatives. However, I would always recommend traditional medication methods as the best and most scientifically tested way of treating ailments. I do believe homeopathic treatments should be freely available on the National Health Service, however traditional medication methods (with the best success rate) should always be encouraged first.