The Oxford East environmental hustings took place on 22 April. Candidates attending were
- Chaka Artwell – Independent
- Ann Duncan – Green
- Tom Hayes (representing Andrew Smith) – Labour
- Alasdair Murray -Liberal Democrat
- Kevin Parkin – Socialist Party GB
The meeting was chaired by Barbara Hammond, CEO of the Low Carbon Hub. BBC Oxford filmed the proceedings and a brief report was shown on South Today on BBC1 on 23 April. There is also an article about the hustings on the BBC Oxford website. The questions asked were:
- What is it feasible to achieve at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December and what will you be pushing our government to press for?
- Thinking of flooding in Oxford – do you think that the proposed flood relief channel will provide an effective solution?
- Are any of the parties considering overpopulation, which is probably the basic issue of all our problems? Too many humans depleting resources and piling up polluting waste.
- What are your priorities for protecting the natural environment for future generations?
According to the IPCC the fossil fuel industry has between 3 and 5 times as much coal, oil and gas as can safely be burned, yet they continue to explore for yet more. Divestment from fossil fuels is rapidly gaining traction as a way that public institutions can take a moral and economic stand against this dangerous industry. Do the candidates support moves by the local authorities, universities and churches to divest?
- What can government do to stimulate investment in making the UK’s housing stock better insulated and warm? What steps will you take as our MP to bring this about and cut domestic carbon emissions?
- How will you reply to your daughter or granddaughter when she asks you in fifteen years what you did as an MP to get a grip on climate change and keep the rise in global temperatures below 2C?
- Do you support fracking and are you prepared to sign a frack-free pledge?
- How many new nuclear power stations do you want to see in the UK and do you think they should be subsidized?
- Both the coalition parties have spent too much on road-building, a fair amount on main-line rail, almost nothing on local rail and has cut bus funding. Britain is 25 years behind Germany and Austria, where since the late 1980s, visually-impaired and hearing-impaired
passengers are helped by ‘next stop’ announcements and displays. Shouldn’t we scrap HS2 and new roads and invest in buses and local rail?
- If elected, how would you personally use parliamentary processes to promote Active Travel?
More photos of the evening can be found on Flickr.