Lib Dem candidates across Hull have received a survey from Friends of the Earth asking various questions about our views on the environment. The protection of our environment is so important - which is why we want to share our response.
Here are our answers to the Friends of the Earth Survey:
1. What are the three key environment issues that you think Kingston upon Hull Council needs to address?
o Air Pollution- particular around schools and parks. A number of schools in Hull have been identified as having playgrounds with excessive levels of pollution: https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/hulls-most-polluted-school-playgrounds-459143
o Sustainable Transport- the need for a modal shift away from car use to public transport, cycling and walking. At the same time, the use of electric vehicles should be encouraged over petrol and diesel vehicles
o Greener Homes- the energy efficiency of many homes, as well as businesses, in the city should be improved. Cold and inefficient homes can not only be dangerous, but they can be more expensive too. By prioritising efforts to make homes and other buildings more efficient, energy and money can be saved.
2. Would you support a scheme by which Kingston upon Hull City Council offered low or zero interest loans to schools and community groups to install solar panels or other types of renewable energy?
o Renewable energy schemes in Hull should be encouraged. Where the City Council is in a position to incentivise renewable energy, for example by offering loans, then this should certainly be looked in to.
There is a clear advantage in supporting renewable energy and a green economy, as this can help to support local jobs in the renewables industry.
3. Will you call for a reduction in procurement of products packaged in single use plastics?
o Every effort should be made to reduce the use of single use plastics in Hull. A number of businesses in the city have moved away from using plastics straws, for example. Initiatives like these should be encouraged and the City Council should lead by example through its procurement policies.
4. Would you support the introduction of a procurement policy to purchase sustainable, seasonal, locally produced produce for all catering-related services?
o We would support the introduction of a procurement policy to purchase sustainable, seasonal, locally produced food. As well as helping to support local suppliers and businesses, this would also reduce the food miles travelled – resulting in energy savings.
5. Would you support the development of a pollinator and bee action plan?
o Liberal Democrats – locally and nationally – are supportive of robust action to protect bees and other pollinators. The party has long been supportive of Natural England’s five point to create and support pollinator habitats: https://www.libdems.org.uk/national_pollinator_strategy_will_help_protect_pollinator_populations
Locally, we would support a Hull-specific bee and pollinator action plan.
6. Will you support a ban on the procurement and use of neonicotinoid pesticides by ground staff and contractors?
o Yes, as with single use plastics, the City Council should lead by example with a policy to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
7. Will you call upon Kingston upon Hull City Council to fund the development of cycling in the city at a level of £10 per head as recommended by the APPG?
o We would support the development of cycling in Hull at the level of £10 per head.
The Lib Dem party is supportive of this policy. In fact, this level of support was one of the recommendations made in the Cycling APPG’s Get Britain Cycling report (https://allpartycycling.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/get-britain-cycling1.pdf ), which was co-authored and chaired by a Liberal Democrat.
8. Do you support the introduction of a default speed limit of 20mph in all residential areas for the benefit of people walking?
o Walking should be encouraged across Hull. The Lib Dem Group in Hull has already been in contact with the Living Streets charity (https://www.livingstreets.org.uk) which aims to promote walking and works to make streets in the UK fit for pedestrians.
There are lots of ways to make walking safer and easier, where 20mph zones are appropriate these should be introduced. But we should also think creatively about how else we can incentivise walking in Hull.
9. Do you support the adoption of a new Air Quality Action Plan with tough targets and effective measures to achieve them?
o We would support the adoption of a new Air Quality Action Plan for Hull, including tough targets and measures to achieve them. More can certainly be done to tackle levels of air pollution in Hull, particularly near to some of the busiest and most congested roads, like the A63.
10. Please tell us your ideas to protect and improve the environment and well-being of the city:
o As a Group we want to work towards make Hull a greener, cleaner and safer place to live. Environmental issues, such as air pollution and local biodiversity, are vitally important and need to be taken seriously.
By protecting our environment and natural resources we can improve the health of residents in Hull and also boost our local economy.