We are providing all 39 parliamentary candidates across Cheshire the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.
We’ve asked the same five questions of each candidate, for the simplest comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.
- Click here to read other Green Party candidate interviews.
- Click here to read other Congleton candidate interviews.
- Click here to read other 2019 general election candidate interviews.
1. What is the main reason you’ve decided to stand in this election?
I am standing because I believe that only the Green Party will address the Climate Emergency by cutting our CO2 emissions.
Other parties will talk about it, and some seem to be getting the idea – but don’t seem to grasp fundamentals, like the need to stop expanding our economy.
The Green Party has been thinking and planning for this for years.
Secondly, our society lacks fairness. Particularly in the last 10 years, the government has removed vast swathes of our social estate – the backbone of life in Britain which is there to support and benefit us all.
We must replace that with a proper end to austerity – not just for this election year.
We need more resources for education; for children’s and adult’s mental health; for an NHS with fewer pills and quick fixes, and more physiotherapists and osteopaths; for a law system which can properly represent those of us without a six figure bank balance; for libraries and public spaces; for the police; for local councils and their staff; for the Civil Service to support government and MPs; and for services for the elderly in order to allow them – and us in the future – to continue to live decent, dignified lives.
2. Which local priorities would you take forward as our MP?
My first local priority is to stop HS2 – it is dangerous, expensive, completely unjustified and – even if it could work, would lead to a huge increase in CO2 emissions.
HS2 Ltd hasn’t paid any attention to Cheshire’s very unusual geology.
Instead, the money should be distributed all around the country to be spent on local transport initiatives, decided upon by local people.
Secondly, I would improve the lot of fostered children by increasing social care funding for local authorities in general, and to better support carers (fostering or otherwise).
Every fostered child, his or her fostering family and friends has to live with trauma and the effects of trauma.
In the last decade, instead of helping these people, the Conservatives have stripped away funding and created a society that breeds mental unwellness.
In the next decade, we must now fund the clean-up operation – social workers, support staff, psychologists and child psychologists – or we face a snowballing of the mental, social and emotional problems that we already have.
Finally, I would address animal cruelty – end the pointless and brutal badger cull (known to be ineffective before the government started it) and outlaw ‘pretend’ hunts, which are frequently shown to be real hunting.
3. Which national priorities would you take forward as our MP?
Like all Greens, my national priority is to address the Climate Emergency – using our Green New Deal to do it- and quickly bring down CO2 emissions.
We would double the present planned offshore wind capacity, from 30GW to 60GW by 2030.
We’ll need a lot more renewables, because they won’t just be providing our present electricity needs – they’ll have to power virtually everything else as well.
Secondly, we’ll train hundreds of thousands to retrofit homes – to the very high passivhaus standard, to stay warm in the Winter, but also cool in the hotter climate-changed summers.
This will make it possible for us to replace our carbon burning heating systems with clean electric heating –powered renewably. We’d also add 100,000 new Local authority homes per year, built to the same standard, to address homelessness and affordability
We would change our agriculture, giving more land for crops for humans, and more land for forestry or rewilding – both allowing space for the natural plants and creatures of Britain, and providing all of us humans with natural temperature and flood management, as well as learning and leisure areas.
Finally, we would revamp our surface transport – all to be powered renewably, and mostly electrically. We would do similar with shipping, and aim to reduce flying until it can be made more sustainable.
4. What is it about your party and/or its manifesto that makes you proud to represent your party? Are there any manifesto pledges or commitments you’d like to see changed?
I am most proud of the respect given in the Green Party. Respect for all other humans, and for the animals, plants and the complicated web of life systems with which we share this planet.
That respect goes a long way. It keeps us trying to think about everyone. It requires us to stop holding the threat of nuclear weapons over most of the rest of the world.
It means that even if every constituency voted Green in this election, despite wanting to revoke article 50, we would still have a People’s Vote.
I am proud that we recognise the inherent goodness in all of us, and that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We value truth, trust and integrity – and see these in others.
And I am proud that we don’t just take what our leaders say as gospel. We know that they do a fantastic job – but they are only human, and can make mistakes.
My only personal critique of our manifesto would be that I feel that we need to do more to reduce flying, while it is so pollutive.
As well as our frequent flyer levy and carbon tax on aviation fuel, I would advocate a sellable rationing system for flights, so that each person living in Britain would be entitled to perhaps two international flights a year, and those flights could be sold to others.
This would approximately halve our number of international flights per year.
5. Please tell us a little about yourself.
(ie: your background, your experience, your hobbies, your non-political interests)
I grew up in Warwickshire but have lived in Cheshire East for more than 10 years. I have lived and worked in a variety of locations and contexts in Britain.
I studied maths and economics at university in Aberystwyth, worked temporary jobs in London, and then studied energy systems and environmental management in Glasgow.
Immediately after that, I worked as an environmental volunteer, joined and campaigned with FoE Scotland and Greenpeace.
I worked with the national Scottish charity, Energy Action Scotland (EAS) – training people to carry out home energy audits, and promoting energy efficiency for affordable warmth.
I met and got married to my wife, became a (secondary maths) teacher, became a father, and eventually ended up in Alsager 12 years ago, where, apart from a four year stint in Congleton, we have remained since.
During that time, we have also experienced being foster carers.
In my spare time, I sing with Alsager Community Choir (fabulous!), do my best to stay reasonably fit (gym), learn languages (German – my wife is German, Spanish and French), read up on energy for the Green Party, and with my wife (she does all the technical stuff) research and record a podcast – “Dithering on the Edge of Europe” with a twitter handle of @DitheringE.
I too am trying to ‘get with’ social media, and am reasonably au fait with Twitter, but an absolute beginner with Facebook!
Further links (as supplied by the candidate)