Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

Election candidates make environmental pledges at hustings

An environmentally themed election hustings event saw council candidates make a series of pledges

Hero for Election candidates make environmental pledges at hustings
The future of Edmonton Incinerator was one of the key topics of discussion at the event
By Quentin Given 21 April 2022

More than 70 people joined an online hustings to hear the local party commitments on climate and environment issues.More than 70 people joined an online hustings to hear the local party commitments on climate and environment issues.

Organised by Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Haringey Cycling Campaign and Living Streets and Sustainable Haringey, the parties were represented by candidates Claudia Matthews (Conservative), Emma Chan and Harry Chrispin (Green), Mike Hakata (Labour) and Scott Emery (Lib Dems). It was chaired by Henry Mance, chief features writer at Financial Times.Organised by Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Haringey Cycling Campaign and Living Streets and Sustainable Haringey, the parties were represented by candidates Claudia Matthews (Conservative), Emma Chan and Harry Chrispin (Green), Mike Hakata (Labour) and Scott Emery (Lib Dems). It was chaired by Henry Mance, chief features writer at Financial Times.

All four parties represented recognised the importance of tackling climate change and encouraging more walking and cycling, and the need to improve home energy efficiency to cut emissions and cut rising energy bills, both in the council’s own housing stock and in private rented housing.All four parties represented recognised the importance of tackling climate change and encouraging more walking and cycling, and the need to improve home energy efficiency to cut emissions and cut rising energy bills, both in the council’s own housing stock and in private rented housing.

They said they supported new segregated cycle lanes north-south and east-west across the borough – although it wasn’t clear if they would all support this in Green Lanes – and better and safer walking routes.They said they supported new segregated cycle lanes north-south and east-west across the borough – although it wasn’t clear if they would all support this in Green Lanes – and better and safer walking routes.

Liberal Democrat, Green, and Labour representatives said they supported the extension of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) to cut toxic emissions and cut congestion. Tory Claudia Matthews disagreed, claiming that LTNs do not cut traffic or pollution and are unpopular, and that councillors have to represent car owners as well as others. But Cllr Emery, from the Lib Dems, cited the growing evidence showing that LTNs do cut car use and pollution, that traffic increases on surrounding roads are often small and short-term, and that once installed they are mostly popular with residents.Liberal Democrat, Green, and Labour representatives said they supported the extension of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) to cut toxic emissions and cut congestion. Tory Claudia Matthews disagreed, claiming that LTNs do not cut traffic or pollution and are unpopular, and that councillors have to represent car owners as well as others. But Cllr Emery, from the Lib Dems, cited the growing evidence showing that LTNs do cut car use and pollution, that traffic increases on surrounding roads are often small and short-term, and that once installed they are mostly popular with residents.

There was general support for more electric vehicle charging points, car clubs and electric bike schemes. Cllr Emery said they would look at allowing charging outside homes using channels under the pavement.There was general support for more electric vehicle charging points, car clubs and electric bike schemes. Cllr Emery said they would look at allowing charging outside homes using channels under the pavement.

The Lib Dems would also pull out of supporting the proposed new waste incinerator at Edmonton and put the money into recycling – the borough’s recycling rate has fallen in recent years. But Labour's Cllr Hakata said the new incinerator would be the cleanest in Europe, emitting less pollution than the existing plant, and the waste energy will heat many local homes, avoiding emissions from the gas they would otherwise burn. He pledged to increase the recycling rate and press for measures at Edmonton to reduce the amount burnt.The Lib Dems would also pull out of supporting the proposed new waste incinerator at Edmonton and put the money into recycling – the borough’s recycling rate has fallen in recent years. But Labour's Cllr Hakata said the new incinerator would be the cleanest in Europe, emitting less pollution than the existing plant, and the waste energy will heat many local homes, avoiding emissions from the gas they would otherwise burn. He pledged to increase the recycling rate and press for measures at Edmonton to reduce the amount burnt.

All the candidates favoured more trees, wildflower patches and green space. Cllr Hakata pledged to create an urban forest with 10,000 new trees, and the Lib Dems a net increase of 2,000 trees. Cllr Hakata didn’t rule out using green space for new council housing, saying that new developments could incorporate natural habitat. Cllr Emery also called for the Pinkham Way wildlife site to be saved and managed for nature.All the candidates favoured more trees, wildflower patches and green space. Cllr Hakata pledged to create an urban forest with 10,000 new trees, and the Lib Dems a net increase of 2,000 trees. Cllr Hakata didn’t rule out using green space for new council housing, saying that new developments could incorporate natural habitat. Cllr Emery also called for the Pinkham Way wildlife site to be saved and managed for nature.

The Labour and Lib Dem representatives both pledged to work towards 100% divestment of pension funds from fossil fuels.The Labour and Lib Dem representatives both pledged to work towards 100% divestment of pension funds from fossil fuels.

Summing up, Harry said electing even a few Green councillors would make a big difference; Cllr Emery said a Lib Dem council would get going on cycle lanes and tree planting straight away; Cllr Hakata pledged to make Haringey one of London’s greenest boroughs within four years; Claudia said the government was on track to meet its climate targets and that we could rely on Conservatives to deliver.Summing up, Harry said electing even a few Green councillors would make a big difference; Cllr Emery said a Lib Dem council would get going on cycle lanes and tree planting straight away; Cllr Hakata pledged to make Haringey one of London’s greenest boroughs within four years; Claudia said the government was on track to meet its climate targets and that we could rely on Conservatives to deliver.

The recording of the hustings event can be watch in full online: https://youtu.be/O4kn1YS81sQThe recording of the hustings event can be watch in full online: https://youtu.be/O4kn1YS81sQ