You might possibly be aware, there’s a general election this week. So what do Essex’s political hopefuls make of planning in our countryside?

So who deserves your vote?

CPRE Essex has been canvassing candidates in Thursday’s general election for their views on the natural environment, specifically in relation to their constituencies.
All those for whom we hold email addresses were contacted and given a copy of the CPRE document Our countryside: a manifesto for the next government. The candidates were asked if they supported the principles outlined in that manifesto.
It would be inaccurate to say we have been overwhelmed by responses, but there have been some and we are happy to present those here.
We thank all those who have replied.

Andrew Gordon, Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Basildon and Billericay:
More than happy to have a chat – if you want to drop me a line on my personal mobile [supplied].

Robin Tilbrook, English Democrats PPC for Brentwood and Ongar:
Thank you for your email.
As someone who lives in the countryside and whose family has deep roots in East Anglia, I was initially pleased to receive your email.
However, I thoroughly object to your suggestions about the “climate emergency” and “a countryside for all of us”.
Disappointingly, it seems that your organisation too has become infested with “woke” political correctness.

Oliver Durose, Labour Party PPC for Brentwood and Ongar:
Thanks so much for your email.
I’m pleased to tell you that securing a Green New Deal is the first key pledge of my manifesto.
This is our last chance to decarbonise the economy by 2030. When the richest 1 per cent are responsible for 50 per cent of global carbon emissions, it’s clear that the climate emergency is a product of a broken economic system defined by grotesque inequality.
By bringing energy into democratic public ownership, massively investing in renewables and guaranteeing green, unionised jobs, only the Labour Party is prepared to save our planet with radical change.
This clearly means we need to give a greater role to rural communities – as they form the backbone of our sustainable economy. That’s why I’m happy to pledge my support for the five demands [from the CPRE election manifesto] you set out.

John Howson, Liberal Democrat PPC for Castle Point:
Thank you for your email.
I am familiar with the work of CPRE from my time as a county councillor in Oxfordshire, another county badly threatened by insensitive government action. At least you don’t have the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway to cope with, although there are other key road projects that do affect Essex.
I gave up a car some years ago to make use of public transport and support actions to improve mass transit over individual journeys wherever sensible.
It is a bit late to meet now during the campaign, but afterwards, should the populace turn against the Tories locally, I would be happy to meet with you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019