Independent EDA candidates’ statement on climate and environment

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Seaton Wetlands

The Independent East Devon Alliance candidates for Axminster (Paul Hayward), Seaton and Colyton (Martin Shaw), and Sidmouth (Louise MacAllister) aim for the County to develop the widest possible range of policies to tackle not just the climate crisis, but the broader environmental damage which our society is causing.

Devon Carbon Plan

We support the ongoing project to develop a Devon Carbon Plan aiming to make the county carbon-neutral by 2030. Green and Independent councillors, including Martin, originally proposed the 2030 target when the Conservatives were insisting on 2050. However even if this is achieved, Devon will not be fully carbon-neutral as Devon consumers are responsible for emissions elsewhere, so more radical action will be needed.

Wider environmental agenda

The Carbon Plan must not be a reason to bypass the wider environmental agenda. We support the action plan proposed to DCC by retiring Independent councillor Claire Wright, which includes full legal protection for all pollinators; stopping the sale of bee-harming pesticides; and the council phasing out glyphosate pesticides. It also aims to encourage the Council’s tenant farmers to phase out the use of inorganic fertilisers, develop soil-health good practice, and set aside part of their land for tree planting and for wildlife and/or wildflower mixes for pollinators.

Environmental issues in all policy-making

Environmental aims must be recognised in all policy-making, e.g. developing public transport, promoting local cycle/walking routes, providing health services at the most local level so as to minimise travel, reducing street lighting to minimise harm to insects, and increasing take up of the ‘Life on the Verge’ scheme across Devon.

United action by progressive, environmentalist councillors

We believe that the progressive, environmentalist forces must unite against the complacent local Conservatives, as has happened at EDDC where EDA, the Lib Dems and Greens have combined to form a new administration (of which Paul is a part). EDDC now has a cabinet member responsible for Climate Action. We aim to foster similar developments at the County Council.

We welcome the Green Party’s decisions not to stand against us in the three divisions, and will work with their councillors as Martin and other Independents have on the County Council for the last four years. 

Cooperation with the local movement

Last but not least, we recognise that we don’t have all the answers. We aim to work with local groups like Seaton Environmental Action, Sidmouth Plastic Warriors and the Axe Vale Conservation Society, as well as broader bodies like the Devon Wildlife Trust, CPRE and the Woodland Trust, to develop solutions for our areas and for Devon.

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