If we’re going to create the global change we need, the best thing we can do is start by transforming where we live.

Moorlands Climate Action (MCA) is keen to know how candidates will help to tackle the CLIMATE EMERGENCY in Staffordshire if elected.

We want to work with councillors to try and make Staffordshire net zero. The County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019:

"We recognise the importance of climate change and its impact on the residents and business of Staffordshire. In July 2019 we declared a climate change emergency to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 across every aspect of our service provision and estate." - https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/environment/Climate-change.aspx 

The candidates were contacted on the 12th April 2021 with a questionnaire from Moorlands Climate Action (www.MoorlandsClimateAction.org.uk). The deadline for response was the 21st April 2021.

Table 1 - Candidates contacted

Staffordshire Moorlands Division

Candidates

Conservative

Green 

Independent

Labour

Liberal Democrat

Biddulph North

Ian Lawson

Ian Waite

 

Nigel Yates

 

Biddulph South & Endon

Keith Flunder

   

Jill Salt

John Redfern

Caverswall

Ross Ward

Andrew Sharrock

 

Andrew Church

 

Cheadle & Checkley

Mark Deaville

Danni Vickerstaff

Peter Wilkinson

Debra Gratton

 

Churnet Valley

Mike Worthington

Helen Stead

 

Bill Cawley

 

Leek Rural

Gill Heath

Jonathan Kempster

Linda Malyon

Matt Swindlehurst

 

Leek South

Joanne Cox

   

Charlotte Atkins

Roy Gregg

From tackling air pollution, to improving public transport and housing and creating more green space – councillors have the power to deliver initiatives that will not only help local people, but also play a part in tackling this global crisis.

 

Climate Action Pledge

Moorlands Climate Action is affiliated to Friends of the Earth, and we are supporting their national campaign to ask candidates to pledge their support for Climate Action.

The following councillors (in order of response date) agreed to this pledge;

“If elected I pledge to ensure that our council works with local residents to rapidly implement a Climate Action Plan which drastically cuts emissions over the next 10 years, and that the climate and ecological emergency is a deal breaker in all council actions.”

 

Table 2 - Candidates who agreed to the Climate Action Pledge

Name

Party

County Division

Date

Nigel Yates

Labour

Biddulph North

12/4/21

Matt Swindlehurst

Labour

Leek Rural

12/4/21

Charlotte Atkins

Labour

Leek South

12/4/21

John Redfern

Liberal Democrat

Biddulph South & Endon

12/4/21

Debra Gratton

Labour

Cheadle & Checkley

13/4/21

Ian Sinnett Lawson

Conservative

Biddulph North

14/4/21

Helen Stead

Green Party

Churnet Valley

17/4/21

Daniella Vickerstaff

Green Party

Cheadle & Checkley

18/4/21

Andrew Church

Labour

Caverswall

19/4/21

Linda Malyon

Independent

Leek Rural

20/4/21

Peter Wilkinson

Independent

Cheadle & Checkley

20/4/21

Roy Gregg

Liberal Democrat

Leek South

20/4/21

Jonathan Kempster

Green Party

Leek Rural

21/4/21

Jill Salt

Labour

Biddulph South & Endon

21/4/21

Gill Heath

Conservative

Leek Rural

22/4/21*

Joanne Cox

Conservative

Leek South

22/4/21*

Keith Flunder

Conservative

Biddulph South and Endon

22/4/21*

Mike Worthington

Conservative

Churnet Valley

22/4/21*

Ross Ward

Conservative

Caverswall

22/4/21*

Mark Deaville

Conservative

Cheadle and Checkley

22/4/21*

Ian Waite Green Party Biddulph North 23/4/21
Andrew Sharrock Green Party Caverswall 23/4/21
Bill Cawley Labour Churnet Valley 24/4/21

*responded as a joint response.

 

In the questionnaire Moorlands Climate Action asked:

What three things are you going to do to advance the Climate Emergency agenda in Staffordshire, in the Moorlands, and in your Division, if elected?

The following are quotes submitted by candidates, these quotes are copied verbatim (word-for-word).

 

Priority 1

“Prioritise the development of Renewable Energy on Council Land - look to create CIC”

Nigel Yates, Labour Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Developing a better understanding of the science through education. Analyse curricula to ensure this is has a suitably high profile.”

Matt Swindlehurst, Labour Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“Trying to get the County Council to really work in active partnership with local community groups, district and town councils on our local priorities. At the moment, there is much talk but little action and no joined up cooperation at local level. So the climate change response is totally disjointed and ineffective.”

Charlotte Atkins, Labour Candidate for Leek South

 

“Reverse the policy of removing subsidy from Public transport to encourage more and better use of public transport to reduce dependence on cars and encourage the electrification of our public transport such as buses.”

John Redfern, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Biddulph South & Endon

 

“To reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 or as soon as possible after.”

Debra Gratton, Labour Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“The reduction of Co2 gas  in daily use.”

Ian Sinnett Lawson, Conservative Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Push for the councils at all levels to lead on the Climate and Nature emergency by example! 

by: Retro fitting their buildings with energy conservation and production measures, re thinking the management of their land to benefit nature.”

Helen Stead, Green Party Candidate for Churnet Valley

 

“Require every question asked, in any council meeting, to have the associated measures for environmental change answered in detail.”

Daniella Vickerstaff, Green Party Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“Support enhanced local transport; more green buses, cycle lane and walking routes.”

Andrew Church, Labour Candidate for Caverswall

 

“Work towards less emissions e.g. encouraging people not to sit in their cars with it running move that the council introduce a fine, giving parking attendant the power to enforce and ask the police to work with us”

Linda Malyon, Independent Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“My first priority is to get residents to make changes to how they live their lives by making adjustments that they can easily achieve for example low energy lighting , grow more vegetables, plant trees, cut down on food waste, move to electric cars or bikes, shop local etc”

Peter Wilkinson, Independent Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“I’m a member of MCA and as a graduate Chemist, took a Masters degree in Environmental Resources. I worked as a Water Pollution Control Officer for the Environment Agency to clean up local watercourses including the River Churnet. 

My campaigning priority would be to restore the bus network between and around our small towns. It will reduce our carbon emissions, improve our air quality and as every bus journey comes with a walk to at least the bus stop it will also help to get people active.”

Roy Gregg, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leek South

 

“First and foremost, it’s important to collate and consolidate research in the Staffordshire Moorlands in order to identify where/who the key contributors to climate change are in our area.  Only by knowing where the key issues lie can we significantly address them.  Local targets for achieving carbon neutrality can be set using this research and appropriate action formulated in an ongoing and responsive way.”

Jonathan Kempster, Green Party Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“Campaign for sustainable public transport in the Moorlands.”

Jill Salt, Labour Candidate for Biddulph South & Endon

 

“Create a Nature Recovery Network to join up green spaces, increase biodiversity and protect our local environment”

Conservative Candidates for the Staffordshire Moorlands including Gill Heath (Leek Rural), Joanne Cox (Leek South), Keith Flunder (Biddulph South and Endon), Mike Worthington (Churnet Valley), Ross Ward (Caverswall) & Mark Deaville (Cheadle and Checkley).

 

“Every local decision should be assessed against a climate emergency backdrop”

Andrew Sharrock, Green Party Candidate for Caverswall

 

“Commission research to identify the sources, quantities and costs of mitigating, industrial and domestic global warming gasses. To then work with stake holders at all levels to prioritise the actions needed to reach the target of zero carbon by 2050, if not earlier.”

Ian Waite, Green Party Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Improve the energy efficiency of Staffs County Council buildings”

Bill Cawley, Labour Candidate for Churnet Valley

 

Priority 2

“Introduce cycling routes and safer walking routes to schools - improve Biddulph Valley Way to make it a cycleable commute route into Stoke and Congleton”

Nigel Yates, Labour Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Our relationship to the environment in terms of our health, with particular reference to mental health and public health. This is my specialist background.”

Matt Swindlehurst, Labour Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“Some progress has been made with County highways on the reduced cutting of grass verges. As a quick win, I want to build on that by turning grass verges and often neglected grassed areas into wildflower meadows if that has the support of the local community. In conjunction with that we can then explore more tree planting and other green community initiatives.”

Charlotte Atkins, Labour Candidate for Leek South

 

“Implement a meaningful Tree planting policy in the Moorlands something I called for over 5 years ago. To date no resources have been set aside for this the council owns much land ang it should be using this and producing incentives for private land owners to do the same.  Trees capture carbon and increase wildlife.”

John Redfern, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Biddulph South & Endon

 

“Support, promote and invest in renewable energies and sustainable travel.”

Debra Gratton, Labour Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“RTo fill any spare ground with communal Orchards.”

Ian Sinnett Lawson, Conservative Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Planning, Housing and Transport : Introduce a retrofit scheme to improve the energy performance of the existing housing stock, council, rented and private. Push for all new housing to be zero carbon in construction and use.

Push to improve public transport, active travel infrastructure and to reduce speed limits on some roads to make active travel safer. This would include improving road surfaces, potholes!”

Helen Stead, Green Party Candidate for Churnet Valley

 

“Enforce detailed weekly and monthly targets from all departments to be aired at council meetings. We can not make progress if we don't know the targets.”

Daniella Vickerstaff, Green Party Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“Alleviate flooding through the Moorlands”

Andrew Church, Labour Candidate for Caverswall

 

“Encouraging everyone to plant more trees. Plant more flowers for the bees. Encourage schools to have vegetable gardens so the children can learn the value of working with the earth”

Linda Malyon, Independent Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“I will lead by example accelerating changes in how I address climate change in my personal circumstances for instance installing solar panels, encouraging holidaying at home staycation and installing electric charging points.  We need the infrastructure in place to make change possible.  I will lobby and encourage Parish/Town and District to promote climate change policies.  I am on planning and I am already stating that climate change issues need to be considered on all new developments.”

Peter Wilkinson, Independent Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“The Lib Dem/Independent administration in SMDC between 2003-2007, had a Climate Change working party which I chaired. With the sale of new diesel and petrol cars being banned from 2030 Leek’s economy, with its poor public transport links, will benefit from having a good provision of e-charging points. My campaigning choice is thus making the provision of e-charging points taking a high priority. This will matter to shoppers and tourists alike and Leek can thrive if it’s ahead of the pack.”

Roy Gregg, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leek South

 

“Secondly, an educational and incentive driven programme needs to be rolled out to encourage key contributors to climate change to alter their practices towards more environmentally sustainable ways of working and living.  This includes offering free energy audits for homes and businesses, grant support schemes for electric vehicles and cycles and grants for businesses to take on innovative environmentally sustainable practices in their work places.”

Jonathan Kempster, Green Party Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“Ensure Carbon Reduction is a part of every decision making process over all areas of the CC’s  remit.”

Jill Salt, Labour Candidate for Biddulph South & Endon

 

“Address the Climate Emergency with a Council Action Plan to reach Net Zero with transparent and annual reporting on progress made”

Conservative Candidates for the Staffordshire Moorlands including Gill Heath (Leek Rural), Joanne Cox (Leek South), Keith Flunder (Biddulph South and Endon), Mike Worthington (Churnet Valley), Ross Ward (Caverswall) & Mark Deaville (Cheadle and Checkley).

 

“Engagement of the local community in green space management, by  engagement we should aim to empower and educate. Actively promote developments that promote green solutions”

Andrew Sharrock, Green Party Candidate for Caverswall

 

“Reduce fossil fuel use:

Housing: Domestically Oil and Gas Heating is  the main contributor to pollution and Global Warming Gasses. So I would work to move the existing housing stock to electric (heat pump)

Transport: Petrol and Diesel engines need to be phased out as soon as possible. I would work to encourage and enable the switch to electric vehicles for both private and public transport. I would also be in favor of reduced speed limits on some urban roads to encourage walking and cycling. ”

Ian Waite, Green Party Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Support rural bus services in Staffordshire.”

Bill Cawley, Labour Candidate for Churnet Valley

 

Priority 3

“Substantial and sustained tree planting and re-wilding, by reviewing all SCC greenspaces and co-ordinating response with SMDC and BTC”

Nigel Yates, Labour Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Building new economic models e.g. green tourism, food production. In particular, the relationship between the green agenda and local procurement policies.”

Matt Swindlehurst, Labour Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“I want to encourage greener transport solutions but we have been going in the wrong direction with the withdrawal of the Youth Bus Card,  scrapping of bus subsidies and little interest in tackling the idling car menace outside schools that I raised recently. Cycling initiatives are not being promoted in the Moorlands because the focus is just on commuting routes. That must change as must our dearth of electric charging points, and the lack of local flexible transport solutions to reduce car use.”

Charlotte Atkins, Labour Candidate for Leek South

 

“In my division I would be using my grant money to encourage green projects in the community as it is often local people rather than council officers who know what is best in their area.  In addition the highways budget (DHP) you can prioritise better routes for cycling rather than just concentrating on highway projects which happens presently.”

John Redfern, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Biddulph South & Endon

 

“Support, promote and invest in native afforestation.”

Debra Gratton, Labour Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“Change over any machinery (cars , heavy traffic etc) as quickly as possible.”

Ian Sinnett Lawson, Conservative Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“If progress is too slow, call on the council to set up a citizens assembly to come up with a set of proposals for the councils to action.”

Helen Stead, Green Party Candidate for Churnet Valley

 

“Involve all council and public to be proud of wanting to change, bucking the trend and thinking as a community. Don't let the nay sayers win, councils as they stand now are not and can not be effective with so many people who don't want change.”

Daniella Vickerstaff, Green Party Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“Promoting the take up of greater energy efficiency in our homes.”

Andrew Church, Labour Candidate for Caverswall

 

“Work with communities to keep their villages/towns cleaner and tidier so that wildlife both animals and plants can flourish.”

Linda Malyon, Independent Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“The massive changes will need to come from big businesses so I will ensure the County Council tackles the big corporations and put measure in place to penalise/tax those that do not show climate change mitigation measures”

Peter Wilkinson, Independent Candidate for Cheadle & Checkley

 

“We are fortunate in having a well-informed campaigning group in MCA and a Town Council that is enthusiastic about tackling Climate Change. Sadly the Tories controlling the SMDC since 2007 have taken so little interest in it.  My campaign on this would be to get the SMDC to fully engage with MCA and others to speedily come up with a number of small targeted initiatives bringing maximum climate change benefits and capable of being put into effect quickly, tree-planting being an obvious example.”

Roy Gregg, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Leek South

 

“Thirdly, there needs to be ongoing monitoring of the effects of the educational and incentive driven programme, so that additional measures can be put into place if needed.  This may include penalties along with additional incentives.  Further targets for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions can also be set, using the data derived from monitoring.”

Jonathan Kempster, Green Party Candidate for Leek Rural

 

“Tree planting”

Jill Salt, Labour Candidate for Biddulph South & Endon

 

“Work with communities to establish an infrastructure of sustainable transport, including improved walking and cycling routes and EV charging points.”

Conservative Candidates for the Staffordshire Moorlands including Gill Heath (Leek Rural), Joanne Cox (Leek South), Keith Flunder (Biddulph South and Endon), Mike Worthington (Churnet Valley), Ross Ward (Caverswall) & Mark Deaville (Cheadle and Checkley).

 

“Campaign for the reduction in waste locally in the manufacturing processes”

Andrew Sharrock, Green Party Candidate for Caverswall

 

“Nature: The destruction of the natural environment and loss of species diversity is a direct result of climate change. I would work with farmers and conservation groups to protect nature, produce wholesome food, energy crops and building materials. This would involve planting more woodland and bringing existing woodlands into management, conserving and enhancing moorland peat and working with farmers considering how best to use our land.”

Ian Waite, Green Party Candidate for Biddulph North

 

“Encourage the improvement and safety of cycle routes in Staffordshire”

Bill Cawley, Labour Candidate for Churnet Valley

 

We cannot just rely on the Council to save our future! We need you too!

If you would like to work with us, please keep in touch and stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter (https://tinyurl.com/MoorlandsClimateAction ), we are a local community group with a lot of interest and passion surrounding the issues of climate change and the Staffordshire Moorlands.

What we do in the next few years will determine the future of our world. We know the solutions to climate chaos and there's still time to act – just.

In the hope to achieve a more sustainable future for the Staffordshire Moorlands we need as many people as possible to stand with us and support our cause in climate action.

If you would be interested in becoming a member of Moorlands Climate Action sign up today - https://tinyurl.com/MoorlandsClimateAction

If you have any interest in Energy, Transport, Nature, Sustainable Consumerism, Youth Engagement, Communication or Events, please consider joining the team!


This report was compiled by Alana, Admin & Communications, Moorlands Climate Action - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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