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Forum has questions for candidates – national and local!

29 April 2015

As the voice of the environment in York, the most recent meeting of York Environment Forum was dominated by discussion of key questions for candidates in the upcoming elections – both local and parliamentary. Chair, Phil Bixby said:- “With ratification and adoption of the Local Plan still ahead of us, and other key elements of policy under scrutiny through means such as the proposed Congestion Commission, the upcoming local elections will have a major impact on the future of the city. Coupled with national policy having an increasingly major impact on local government and hence bringing into focus the local impact of national legislation, it’s vital that people know what they’re voting for. With so much media focus on a narrow range of policies we’re keen to ensure the environment gets considered, too”.

The Forum had these key questions for the York Central and York Outer candidates:-

  • What are your main policies for tackling climate change?
  • Do you support proposals for HS2, and what are your reasons whether for or against?
  • How will you work to address the national housing shortage and the issue of affordability in our local context?

At the local level, answers are invited from local council candidates to a number of big questions:-

  • What is your party doing to encourage large-scale renewable energy? Would you seek to implement this locally, and how?
  • What are your proposals to reduce air pollution in York?
  • Do you feel the Lendal Bridge trial points to ways forward for further transport change?
  • Do you see ways to enhance biodiversity and the natural environment within new development in the city?
  • Would you propose to build council housing, and if so how?

The Environment Forum is independent, and has non-voting representation from the political parties. Discussion about local environmental issues is often robust and shows the diversity of opinion even at the green end of the spectrum. Said Bixby “We look forward to engaging in dialogue with the council – and hopefully also with our parliamentary representatives – once the elections are over and proper discussion can start again. We feel we have had a constructive relationship with the council in the past and hope to build on this during what will doubtless be, whatever the political outcome, a time of great change”.

The questions to candidates have gone to the main political parties and any answers received will be published here!

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