Discussion Forum
Big Green Weekend Debate

From Craig Whittaker
Sunday, 24 May 2009

Can I please take the opportunity to thank the Rev. Tony Buglass for his warm welcome to the Methodist Church yesterday & also his Chairing skills during the debate. To Jason Elliott for organising and for the opportunity to participate in the debate - congratulations also on an excellent first day of the Big Green Weekend.

Thank you to my fellow panelists; Kate, Hilary & Steph but most of all, to all of the people who came along to listen to the four often differing points of view and asking some incredibly important questions around sustainibilty and the issues which we face around climate change.

I think this format of debate is vital for the electorate to hear and see the candidates that are putting themselves forward to represent the people of the Calder Valley at the next General Election and I look forward to the next opprtunity of doing so. Thank you.

From Susan Press
Sunday, 24 May 2009

My question was on the third runway at Heathrow. I just want to make it clear that Chris McCafferty, our MP, signed an Early Day Motion opposing this.

Steph Booth is of course entitled to a different view , although her only apparent reason for being in favour of it was that that was the line from UNITE.

But, as the Hebweb states in its report, her views on rail re-nationalisation and nuclear power do not necessarily reflect the views of Labour Party members in Hebden Bridge. It is in fact Labour Party policy (as decided by Conference) to take the railways back into public ownership but sadly the Government hasn't taken up the call by activists and the rail unions which was made in 2003 when I was a delegate. If the Government were to re-nationalise the railways, end its obsession with privatisation, and abandon its plans for a new generation of nuclear weapons then frankly Craig Whittaker would be seriously worried.

From Matthew Baker
Sunday, 24 May 2009

Good to see the Conservatives taking part in this debate, Craig. Things have gone very quiet in your party on green issues of late so it's pleasing to see a Conservative wanting to push the debate forward. Where has Cameron's eco adviser Zac Goldsmith gone? He seems firmly sidelined these days.

It's right that the Government is put under most scrutiny over the environment at the moment but given the poll lead your party currently has, that level of scrutiny must fall on Conservative candidates too.

While the Conservatives are against the third runway, are you in support of Boris Johnson's alternative Thames Estuary Airport plan, which has been slammed as "disastrous" for the environment - and in particular the hundreds of thousands of wildfowl and wading birds?

Also, I wonder if you noted the investigation by the Times into Conservative parliamentary candidates recently? The survey, carried out in seats on a list of the 100 most-winnable constituencies and those already held, shows those most likely to be Tory MPs in the future are oppoosed to green taxes and generally not concerned about climate change. The survey also finds that only 15 per cent believe climate change is a more important issue than terrorism.

How do you fit in with such findings and do you still think your party's 'vote blue, go green' slogan has any substance to it?

See also: Hebweb report of the Big Green debate