Green campaigner Philippa Purchase is standing for the Green Party in the Bude-Stratton Town Council Stratton ward by-election on 19th March. Philippa is a Bude resident, and currently sits on the Town Council Climate Change and Environment Committee, helping the council develop its climate emergency action plan.
Philippa also volunteers at the Refill Shop in Bude, and for Friends of the Earth. The following is a brief insight into her campaign for the town council, currently in its second week, in her own words.
A busy week and lots of nice conversations
I’ve had a busy week this week, starting with my regular shift volunteering at the Refill Shop. We had a new till system installed so that took a bit of learning, but it should be a big improvement as we’ll be able to scan items with bar codes. We had the first customer to ask us whether we stock refillable hand gel – coronavirus worries are starting to surface in Bude!
I also joined a small group of keen gardeners from Bude Friends of the Earth to continue our maintenance work on the flower bed next to the old Pumping Station (by the Castle in Bude). It was wet and muddy work, but we managed to tidy the whole bed, while keeping the area vibrant and stocked with food for insects and birds. Of course, we don’t use any weedkillers so the work involves hand weeding and pruning. Unfortunately there’s always some litter and dog poo to clear up as well, but once we were finished the whole area looked much smarter and more cared for.
I spent some time this week talking to people in Stratton, asking them how they feel about the Town Council and whether they have any issues. Generally people seem very happy with the Town Council, which is great news, but issues people mentioned they were concerned about were the infrastructure needed to support new housing plans, parking problems, and feeling a bit neglected compared with Bude. Thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy days to speak to me, and I will pass your concerns on.
I also had an email from a motorcyclist who wanted to understand my views on promoting motorcycling as a less carbon-intensive way of travelling. I would support any methods of transport which encourage people out of their cars (particularly as there are now electric motorcycles available). My correspondent had loads of great ideas for encouraging two wheeled transport, and I will certainly be following those up in my role on the Bude-Stratton Climate Change and Environment Committee.
Talking of committees, Thursday is full council day at Bude-Stratton Town Council, and the councillors are voting on the first draft of the Climate Action Plan I’ve helped create. The public are welcome to attend so I’ll go along and let you know how the voting goes.
My Green Story – Karen La Borde
Green Party candidate for Camborne & Redruth
My Green Story – Tom Scott
I first became involved in environmental campaigning about 18 years ago, when my four-year-old daughter was nearly killed by a 4X4 mounting the pavement in Market Street in Falmouth. It was one of those big, shiny “urban tractors” with bull-bars that were then becoming popular with people who had absolutely no need for gas-guzzling off-road vehicles. I was so incensed by this that I started a campaign aimed at discouraging people from buying these ridiculous and dangerous status symbols.
This led to my first encounter with the Green Party, when I found out that Sian Berry – who’s gone on to become our party co-leader and a strong candidate to be Mayor of London – was also running an anti-4X4 campaign up in London.
I joined my local Friends of the Earth Group and campaigned with them for the proper pedestrianisation of Falmouth’s main shopping streets. My first experience of direct action was when we worked with a group of local schoolkids to make a giant papier-maché tortoise, which we paraded along these streets to slow down the traffic.
Not long after that I had what you might call a road to Damascus moment, or at least a road to Truro moment. I was driving back home with my family along the A30 when we were caught in a rainstorm unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It was so bad you couldn’t see even a few feet ahead, and we had to pull off the road till it was over. When we got home, we turned on the telly and saw that this storm had caused a massively destructive flood at Boscastle. I’d known about climate change for some time, but this really brought home what it meant.
It was around this time that my parents died, and I began to think about the challenges their generation had taken on in the shape of Nazism, and the sacrifices they’d made to defeat it. It seemed to me that my own generation was now faced with such an existential challenge, and was doing almost nothing about it.
Soon after that I started a campaign called Cornwall Switch, which was aimed at persuading people in Cornwall to switch to renewably generated electricity. It was moderately successful, but I started to realise that this kind of consumer-led initiative was hopelessly inadequate to the scale of what needs to be done.
Individual consumer choices are important, but while every aspect of our economic system remains dependent on fossil fuels, individual choices are only ever going to scratch the surface. I began to understand that what we needed was radical change to the whole system – and only the Green Party seemed to really get this.
Nothing I’ve seen since then has persuaded me otherwise, and in the last year or so millions of people around the world have started to demand just such systemic change, inspired by the amazing work of Greta Thunberg, the schools climate strikers and Extinction Rebellion.
Back in 2004, I’d never have imagined running for political office. Politics seemed like a grubby business best observed from a distance. But politics, in the widest sense, is what determines the shape of our lives and the future of our planet – and when we’re facing an existential threat like the climate emergency we all need to get involved.
If not us, who? And if not now, when?
Candidate for St Austell & Newquay constituency – Collin Harker
Collin Harker was born and grew up in Canada, married a Cornish woman, and the couple have chosen Cornwall as their home to live and raise a family. He has two children, and has been resident in Tywardreath, on and off, for 15 years where he operates a small guest house.
He has been a Green Party member since 2016, prior to which he was a member of the Green Party in Canada, where he also stood as a candidate in the Federal Parliamentary election.
Collin is a founding director and treasurer of a Community Benefit Society that has taken over a devolved athletics track and playing fields in Par, and is working to promote active and healthy lifestyles and keep the facilities open to the community for the long-term.
CONTACT COLLIN HARKER
Candidate for South-East Cornwall constituency – Martha Green
Martha Green is standing for the Green Party in the South East Cornwall parliamentary constituency. Martha is a qualified legal practitioner in the area of immigration, including Asylum cases, Human Rights and victims of human trafficking for modern slavery cases.
She moved to Cornwall in September 2014 from London and shortly after that joined the Green Party and stood for the Truro City Council and Town and Parish council elections for the first time in 2017. She has been very active since moving to Cornwall and has successfully formed and hosted two events (Cornwall diversity Food Festival and Every woman’s Hope event) in Truro.
Her qualifications include a degree in Biochemistry, law degree from Middlesex University and Postgraduate LPC from University of West England.
CONTACT MARTHA GREEN
Candidate for Camborne & Redruth constituency – Karen La Borde
My name is Karen La Borde and I am hoping to be elected as the MP for Camborne and Redruth Constituency in the west of Cornwall.
Now is not the time to shirk from the major issues facing our global future. The climate catastrophe is upon us and our environment is polluted by plastics, particulates and poor politics.
A pressing urgency requires the Green Party to assert itself as the party with the policies and strategies that can lead us out of this mess. This will take hard work, guile and opportunity of which I hope I have oodles.
I am a mother, grandmother, company director, political activist, parish councillor, knitter and dog lover. I live plastic free (ish) and have not washed my hair nor my home with chemicals, shampoo or soap for over 2 years. I buy and use as little as I can and will ditch my diesel vehicle for an electric car when it starts to fail (apparently this is best for my CO2 footprint).
In the next year I think it is important for Cornwall Green Party to explore all avenues to get our message ‘out there’. Media attention is crucial to a future election and we need to keep writing, speaking and ‘doing’ green politics. We lead by example, we hold out the beacon of hope and we will win our right to have a seat at the table where decisions are made.
CONTACT KAREN LA BORDE
Candidate for Truro & Falmouth constituency – Tom Scott
Tom Scott is a Falmouth-based writer, editor and university lecturer.
Over the past three years, he has played a prominent part in the anti-Brexit campaigning group Cornwall for Europe, and his ‘People’s Vote Trelawny’ and versions of various sea shanties have been sung by hundreds of protesters from Cornwall at several massive marches in London.
Tom has also worked closely with Green MEP Molly Scott Cato to expose the motives and methods of the people who have bankrolled and promoted Brexit. Earlier this year he wrote a major report on abuses of social media during the 2016 referendum campaign and presented it at both the House of Commons and the European Parliament.
A long-term environmental campaigner, Tom has previously worked with Falmouth Friends of the Earth on campaigns for pedestrianisation of Falmouth’s main shopping streets and against environmentally destructive dredging and ship-to-ship oil transfer in Falmouth Bay. In 2009 he organised the first big climate protest in Cornwall to coincide with the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
Tom, who has lived in Falmouth with his family since 2001, was a candidate for the Green Party at the euro elections in May, when the party won its highest ever share of the vote in Cornwall, ahead of both the Conservatives and the Labour Party by a wide margin.
Candidate for St Ives constituency – Ian Flindall
Local activist Ian Flindall has been selected to stand in St Ives. His mission is to promote Green policies on ‘destruction of the natural environment and our far-reaching policies for ecological sustainability.’
Local farmer Ian knows the ins and outs of the election business, having stood several times as a General and European election candidate during 40 years of active Party membership. Green through and through, Ian has worked in renewables, energy conservation and sustainable farming, and has been director of West Cornwall Community Power. Ian is well-placed to explain to voters how practical solutions, which we already have available, now desperately need to be pursued with vigour and determination.
“Humanity is clearly drinking in last-chance saloon,” Ian reminds us, “and yet mainstream politicians continue to regard this major threat as a mere side issue.”
Ian is also keen to promote the Party’s critique of economic growth and Gross Domestic Product as the sole measure of well-being; to argue for a society which aims to meet people’s needs rather than fuelling people’s greed; and to put the case for sustainable food production as an alternative to the current destructive agricultural practices.
“At a time when so much concerted global action is needed, I despair that the UK has chosen to leave the European Union,” Ian adds. “But above all, I believe that voters must have the choice to vote for an ecologically sustainable future”.
CONTACT IAN FLINDALL
Cornwall’s Green Party today announced that it has selected general election candidates for every constituency in Cornwall.
- Camborne & Redruth: Karen La Borde
- North Cornwall: Claire Hewlett
- St Austell & Newquay: Collin Harker
- St Ives: Ian Flindall
- South-East Cornwall: Martha Green
- Truro & Falmouth: Tom Scott
Cornwall Greens’ co-coordinator Philippa Purchase said:
“We’re delighted to have such a strong and diverse group of candidates to represent the Green Party at the next general election. Between them, they draw on a wide range of professional and campaigning experience – in farming, education, business, citizens’ advocacy, community engagement and environmental activism.
“The Green Party achieved its best ever result in Cornwall at the euro elections in May, beating both the Conservatives and the Labour Party by very wide margins. Our clear position on Brexit and our strong call for radical action to address the climate emergency cut through with many voters. Since then, disillusionment with the parties that have got us into this mess has only grown, as has the appeal of a party with bold policies that can get us out of it. We’re confident that this will be reflected again at the next general election. Whenever it comes, we will be ready for it!”
Two of the candidates, Tom Scott (Truro & Falmouth) and Karen La Borde (Camborne & Redruth) were also candidates as the euro elections.
Tom Scott is a lecturer who has been a prominent anti-Brexit campaigner over the last three years. Earlier this year he wrote a major report on abuses of social media during the 2016 referendum that was presented at both the House of Commons and the European Parliament, and his anti-Brexit versions of sea shanties and People’s Vote Trelawny have been sung by hundreds of Cornish protesters at Westminster as well as in Cornwall.
With a background as a company director running her own successful business, Karen La Borde, is one of Cornwall’s most tireless and effective climate campaigners. She is a parish councillor, and her hard-hitting presentations have helped persuade numerous town and parish councils to declare climate emergencies over the past few months.
Standing for North Cornwall, Claire Hewlett is a town councillor and currently Mayor of Camelford. She has worked hard for her local community – as a school governor, treasurer of the local youth club, and as a founding trustee of The Old Bank, a charity that runs a disused bank as a community space. Claire has also campaigned for Camelford to be declared an Air Quality Management Area, and led the successful delivery of a new skate park for the town.
Ian Flindall, standing for St Ives, runs an award-winning sustainable farm at Morvah with his family. He has also worked in renewables and energy conservation, and has been a director of West Cornwall Community Power.
Martha Green (South East Cornwall) is a legal practitioner specialising in asylum cases, human rights and support for victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. She has also initiated and hosted events celebrating diversity and women’s rights in Cornwall.
Canadian-born Collin Harker (St Austell & Newquay) runs a guest house in Tywardreath. He is the founding director of a Community Benefit Society that has taken over a devolved athletics track and playing fields in Par, and works to promote active and viagrarxhere.com healthy lifestyles in his community.
Tom Scott – Truro & Falmouth and Cornwall Greens Media Officer
Karen La Borde – Camborne & Redruth
07734 055306 / 01872 241146
Martha Green – South East Cornwall
Claire Hewlett – North Cornwall
Ian Flindall – St Ives
Collin Harker – St Austell & Newquay
PHOTO: Green Party candidates for Cornwall, left to right:
Martha Green, Collin Harker, Karen La Borde, Tom Scott, Claire Hewlett, Ian Flindall