Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Friday 14 June 2024

My pledge as a workers' MP for Chorley - for people and planet

Chorley voters have been writing to me to ask that I pledge support for issues that are of particular concern to them. So that they are on the record for all voters, I am posting my response on some of the key issues here, on my blog:

A good starting point to explain my position on the environment is the following article that I have just had published on the pollution of our water, rivers, seas and lakes by profiteering privatised companies :

In addition, one of the key areas highlighted in our campaign leaflet is the nationalisation of the water, transport and energy companies to allow planned investment in 'green jobs' to combat climate change, without short-term profit being put ahead of the long-term needs of people and planet:

I should add that such necessary and bold steps should not be held back by arguments from big business politicians that it will require excessive expenditure on 'compensating' the big corporations and shareholders. But, as I say in the article, "why should these fat cats receive a penny more? They’ve already fleeced billions out of the public purse and billpayers. Compensation should only be paid where there is a genuine proven need, for example to safeguard workers’ pension investments or small shareholders – but certainly none to the big corporations".

Investment in insulating and improving our outdated and inefficient housing stock would be a key part of such a plan. Friends of the Earth data shows how significant an issue this is for Chorley - where 50% of homes are rated EPC “D” or below,  and where there are 11 areas that FoE describes as "energy crisis hotspots" ( where incomes are below average, but bills are above average) and thousands of homes that would benefit from loft and/or cavity wall insulation.

I note that FoE also points to the growing risk impact of flooding, an issue which will become a growing problem with a warmer, wetter atmosphere and more extreme weather events. Rewilding and tree-panting can provide one important strategy to mitigate these risks. 

A sustained programme of rewilding - not to mention a rapid reduction in fossil fuel use - may, of course, require taking on powerful vested interests, at which point some politicians may waver in their determination! I can assure you that as someone with a long campaigning and trade union history, I will press for the justified demands of my constituents to be carried out.

In conclusion, my position also reflects the national platform of TUSC which is as follows:

● Prioritising major research and investment into replacing fossil fuels and nuclear power with renewable energy to achieve deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – otherwise climate change, caused by capitalism, will destroy us.
● Nationalisation of the energy companies, under democratic control, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need, in order to invest in publicy-owned and controlled renewable and affordable energy for all. Oppose fracking.
● Move to sustainable, low-pollution industry and farming – stop the pollution that is destroying our environment. No to profit-driven GM technology.
● Produce for need, not profit, and design goods for reuse and recycling. End the use of single-use plastics.

[See also this accompanying response on climate change:]

Martin Powell-Davies
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Candidate for Chorley.

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