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.
As part of the national electoral agreement between the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, Cornwall’s Green Party will not be standing a candidate in North Cornwall.
Cornwall Greens’ press officer and parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth, Tom Scott, said:
“This was not an easy decision for the Green Party in Cornwall, but after consulting with our members we feel that this national agreement in a limited number of seats is a sensible way of helping to achieve two goals: stopping a hard-right government from pushing through a Brexit that would do great harm to our country, and returning more Green MPs to join Caroline Lucas at Westminster.
“We are in the middle of an accelerating climate emergency, and we desperately need more Greens at the heart of the political process to make sure that we start taking the urgent action needed to address it.
“No agreement like this is ever going to satisfy everyone, and there will be people saying that we should stand down in more seats, as well as people who say we should be running everywhere. We feel that this agreement strikes a fair balance.
“The huge plus from our point of view is that there is now a very good chance of seeing several more Green MPs in December. Here in Cornwall we’ll be working hard to build on our excellent result at the euro elections in May, and our five strong candidates will be making sure that the climate emergency is front and centre of the campaign.
“Of course, if we had a fairer electoral system that properly reflected support for smaller parties, this kind of alliance would not be necessary. The antiquated first-past-the-post system leads to large numbers of people feeling that their votes simply don’t matter.
“We think this feeling of being effectively disenfranchised was one of the factors that led to the result of the 2016 referendum, and we very much hope that one result of this election will be a government that commits to introducing a fairer and more representative system. This is an area on which Greens and Lib Dems are in strong agreement, and the most likely way for this to actually happen is through a coalition government in which both Greens and Lib Dems are involved.”
Notes for editors
For more information, please contact:
Cornwall Green Party Media Officer and PPC for Truro and Falmouth
Tom Scott, the Green Party’s candidate for Truro and Falmouth at the next general election, has reacted to the news that the constituency’s sitting Conservative MP has decided not to stand for re-election.
“I can well understand why Ms Newton has made this decision. As an MP who campaigned for Remain in a Remain constituency, the prospect of having to defend Boris Johnson’s deeply flawed Withdrawal Agreement can’t have been an attractive one for her. I believe Ms Newton understands how damaging Brexit is likely to be for her constituents, and how strongly many of them feel that the best deal is the one we already have as a full EU member.
“It’s very possible that the toxic atmosphere of abusive and threatening language that we’ve seen since 2016 has contributed to Ms Newton’s decision, and this is something that I absolutely deplore.
“I disagreed strongly with Ms Newton and her party about pretty much everything, and often wrote to her to politely explain why. But I do recognise that she was a hard-working constituency MP who took her duties as a public servant seriously, and I strongly believe that we should treat our democratically elected representatives with respect, however much we may disagree with them.
“The next election in Truro and Falmouth has become even more interesting with Ms Newton’s decision. I believe that what we are seeing is the complete breakdown of the two-party system that has dominated our politics for nearly a century. Increasing numbers of people can see that this system has served us badly, and that the parties that have got us into this mess are not best placed to get us out of it.
“At the euro elections, the Green Party got its best ever result in Cornwall, with nearly 20% of the vote. Our share of the vote in Truro and Falmouth was considerably higher than that, and I know there will be many people voting Green here at the general election too.
“We have a full range of joined–up policies to address the two biggest challenges of our times – the climate emergency and Brexit – and I’m looking forward to putting these to people on the doorstep over the coming weeks.
“On Brexit, we are, unlike Labour, a clearly Remain Party. But unlike the Lib Dems we think that simply revoking Article 50 is not a sensible solution. The only way to show that Brexit is no longer the Will of the People is to ask them in a People’s Vote. That’s what a million people were marching for in London last week, and I was proud to be one of them.
“On the climate emergency, the Green Party is the only party that is serious about making the far-reaching changes that are needed if we are to get to a net-zero carbon economy in the very short time that we have left before it is too late. We know that in the euro elections this was the most important issue for many people, and we think that the same will be true for many people at the next general election.”
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