Baroness Kate Parminter writes…Campaigning on green issues in the south west

With the Green Party announcing they are targeting 12 seats including a number of our key seats, and the Labour party acknowledging the threat they pose by appointing Sadiq Khan to lead the fightback, Green votes could make the difference between winning and losing – as we sadly saw with Graham Watson MEP.  So as our Environment Spokesperson in the House of Lords I’ve been keen to get out and help our candidates promote what we have achieved in Government and champion our 5 Green Bills which we’d introduce in a future Parliament.  Over the summer I spent two days visiting the Great Heath Project in Mid Dorset & North Poole with the Wildlife Trust and our parliamentary candidate, Vikki Slade.

This weekend, I was down in West Cornwall in Andrew George’s St Ives constituency.  On the Friday night Andrew and I addressed a packed public meeting in St Ives.  6.30am the next morning I saw 16 badgers from 7 setts being vaccinated at the first community-led badger vaccination trial in the UK, led by Andrew and the Zoological Society of London.  With many local farmers badly affected by bovine TB it’s an important project bringing together animal welfare volunteers and farmers to work together to respond to the challenges this awful disease poses to wildlife, farm animals and the farming community.

After this a visit to the St Just Library with Councillor Sue James to hear about the campaign to save this much-loved rural community resource, followed by a couple of hours leafleting and canvassing in St Just with local activists.  Donning hard hats and hi-viz jackets Andrew and I then went to Pendeen to attend the naming of an affordable housing development.  It was good to see what can be achieved through Community Land Trusts to help local people get their foot on the housing ladder.

Lunch with produce supplied by the local community farm was followed by some time to experience the magic of this very special corner of our country before speaking at the annual constituency dinner in Porthlevan to galvanize activists for the fight ahead.

Putting together a programme like this is no mean feat and special thanks must go to Penny Young. I hope the coverage from the local media makes this hard work worthwhile, squeezing those green votes.  I hope too it shows other constituencies that those of us on the red benches are happy to escape (with the Chief Whips permission, of course!) and come out to use our position in the House to help get more Lib Dem MPs, and Councillors, elected next May.



* Kate Parminter is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and spokesperson on DEFRA matters

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  • Neil Sandison 29th Oct '14 - 1:30pm

    Agree with your comments green agenda still very important for liberal democrats .I would advise members to breif themselves up on the new standing advice for anceint /vintage woodlands and woodland pastures much more comprehensive than the NPPF .support bovine TB buffer zones for vacination of badgers particuarly in Warwickshire.Get your local environment and green infrastruture plans updated .If you dont and our local policy is silent the NPPF with its slant to economics and housing could mean you are victims to unfettered development. New homes also need qaukity green environments for future generations to come

  • Paul In Wokingham 29th Oct '14 - 1:48pm

    Andrew George “urges 2015 pact with Greens” :

    A Liberal Democrat MP has called for his party to form local “arrangements or pacts” with the Green Party for the 2015 election.

    this a shrewd move or a sign of desperation? I would be amazed if the reaction from The Greens was anything other than outright rejection.

  • Tsar Nicolas 29th Oct '14 - 2:11pm

    Green/environmentally-minded voters are just another lost constituency, thanks to the u-turn on nuclear power.

  • Paul In Wokingham

    I think that Andrew George realises that this will be a non-starter for both Green and Lib Dem. I’d imagine he is saying this to reaffirm his left wing credentials and appeal for tactical votes from areas like Penzance and St Ives town (where the Greens won a councillor last May).

  • To Paul: These are signs of desperation from the LibDemsand I’m not sure what it would gain.
    If anything, what aren’t they offering pacts to their coalition partners!

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