2019 Cambridge City Elections: Coleridge Ward

 Cambridge City Council
Polling Date:2nd May 2019
Candidates (by surname):Donald DOUGLAS (Conservative Party)
Grace HADLEY (Labour Party)
Alex HARRISON (Liberal Democrats)
Sarah NICMANIS (Green Party)

Question 1

Do you agree that elected officials should now be responding to climate change as an emergency? Please answer yes or no. If ‘yes’, what do you mean by this? If ‘no’, why not?

Donald DOUGLAS (Conservative Party)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Grace HADLEY (Labour Party)Yes, I think elected officials have to tell the truth and admit that there is an emergency. There is overwhelming scientific evidence to suggest that transport, agriculture and business practices have to change in order that human life can survive and we can pass on a world that is fit to live in for future generations. The need to make change works at both the individual and national/ international level and elected representatives have to tackle all of these elements by supporting individuals to make greener choices, for example, by helping to make recycling easier, but by using their platform to state that national and international priorities have to change. We have to stop chasing unsustainable economic growth at the expense of the planet's resources and ecosystems. We also have to make sure that changes are not directed or blame is not placed on the poorest and most disadvantaged in society.
Alex HARRISON (Liberal Democrats)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Bill KAMINSKI (UKIP)No. Climate change is a global phenomenon and action at council level is inappropriate.
The build up of CO2 has been continuing for 250 years or more and cannot be reversed in a short period. It will take a similar number of centuries to even reach an equilibrium let alone reverse it.
Sarah NICMANIS (Green Party)Yes, I strongly agree. Climate change should have been considered an emergency years ago but I am heartened by the recent commitment by our City Council to declare a 'climate emergency' calling on government, industry and regulators to carry out the changes needed for Cambridge and the rest of the UK to reach net zero carbon by 2030. This means that the elected officials now need to follow through on their commitment to deal with this as a real emergency and call on Government to: invest in the national infrastructure needed to facilitate clean, efficient renewable energy to end CO2 emissions from the generation of heat and electricity; fund energy efficient incentives for home owners; invest in public transport that is energy efficient and create more affordable and accessible electric vehicles for individual and business use.

In addition, the council need to stick to what they have promised to carry out in their Carbon Management Plan for 2016-2021 which outlines how carbon reduction projects will reduce carbon emissions from the council's buildings and services.

Question 2

Do you support the setting of a net zero carbon target for the city of Cambridge? If ‘Yes’ when do you think we should be aiming for Cambridge to be net zero carbon? If ‘no’, why not?

Donald DOUGLAS (Conservative Party)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Grace HADLEY (Labour Party)Yes, I do support the aim of setting a net zero carbon target for the city of Cambridge. If elected, I would work as part of the council to establish a Cambridge climate charter to plan for how the city can achieve this by 2030, but if we find we can make quicker changes, then I would work hard to help achieve this too. The city council cannot do this alone and have made it clear that legislation and funding is necessary from government and therefore, we need a new government. This is part of the reason why I support and am part of the Labour Party and have become involved, to a far greater degree, with local politics. 10 years of austerity policies, stripping services and Brexit in the middle have allowed politicians in power take attention away from the environment and inequality and I want this to stop.

To deliver the aims of the climate charter, it will require the ideas and participation of as many constituents and residents as possible. Cambridge is home to people who are engaged in every element of environmental research, cutting-edge engineering, entrepreneurial growth and community activism and we know there are inspiring writers and artists in our city who can deliver this vital message. To achieve the aims of the charter, we need everyone to be involved and I would like to engage with as many people as possible to see that there is an emergency and that everyone has a valid and vital role in achieving this ambitious target.
Alex HARRISON (Liberal Democrats)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Bill KAMINSKI (UKIP)No. A conurbation will always produce more CO2 than a rural area and we share the atmosphere with the rest of the planet.
Sarah NICMANIS (Green Party)In its reading of the climate change agreement made in Paris in December 2015, Cambridge City Council originally pledged to achieve zero net global carbon emissions by 2050 against the advice of the local Green party to aim for 2030 and ignoring our submitted plan. Now thanks to a petition organised by Extinction Rebellion, in February a fresh commitment was made by the City Council to commit to 2030 as they declared a 'climate emergency.' I think it is really important that they re-organise and get on track to achieve this much better target of 2030.

Question 3

Cambridge City Council is a central organisation in Cambridge. What do you think its role is in local leadership in relation to climate action? What specific additional actions in relation to climate change do you support the City Council doing in the coming 12 months?

Donald DOUGLAS (Conservative Party)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Grace HADLEY (Labour Party)The city council has to maintain essential services for residents and will endeavour to make each of these core services become zero carbon by 2030. This can be done by continuing to invest in carbon reduction projects at swimming pools and council buildings (better heating systems, better insulation) and also investment in electric vehicles for the fleet of council vans when they need to be replaced.

Congestion and air quality continue to be problems for the city centre, but the city council is tackling these issues. The Labour-led city council have made a commitment to ensure that all licensed taxis are zero or ultra-low emission by 2028 and will continue to invest in 20 electric taxi charging points. As part of the climate charter, the council will lead by example and will encourage businesses and organisations to sign up to the same pledges over the next year. Working with organisations such as Camcycle over the next year, projects such as the Chisholm Trail and improvements to roads and junctions will aim to encourage more people to rely on their bikes.

As part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership, the City Council needs to use the next year to engage and work with local transport providers, such as Stagecoach, to ensure that buses are no longer seen as unreliable and expensive, but as a convenient alternative to cars- especially for shorter journeys.
Alex HARRISON (Liberal Democrats)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Sarah NICMANIS (Green Party)Considering its fresh commitments to climate action, Cambridge City Council has a vital role in setting and delivering its policies in order to achieve its aim of net zero carbon for the city in the next eleven years. It must show the public what it is doing to achieve this aim and engage its citizens on every step of the way following through on its commitments outlined in my answer to Question 1.
In addition, I believe that for the City Council to show they are serious about dealing with climate change, they need to:

- hold the region's homebuilders to account ensuring a provision of high-quality sustainable housebuilding that is fit for purpose and ask all homebuilders to be assessed and accredited by Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT), awarding contracts for those that score higher

- require all new developments to plant trees and include green spaces including ponds and wildflowers to encourage local wildlife to flourish

- enhance existing green spaces with more planting of trees and bee-friendly wild flowers

Question 4

Green spaces and trees remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere, provide shade, help reduce flooding and often contribute to a feeling of well being. Would you support a more ambitious tree planting programme in Cambridge city? Also, suggestions have been made recently to create new areas of woodland around Cambridge. Would you support ambitious tree planting programmes around Cambridge city?

Donald DOUGLAS (Conservative Party)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Grace HADLEY (Labour Party)We are so lucky that Cambridge has protected green spaces in the centre of the city with mature trees. The Labour-run city council have already committed to planting 7,000 new trees in Cambridge and I would support any other initiatives to plant more. I also thoroughly support the planting of wildflower sections on our green spaces such as Coleridge Rec and Parker's piece to improve bee population and increase biodiversity.

I would like to find out more about the suggestions to create woodland around Cambridge so please send to me- but, in principle, I support any initiatives for better management of woodland and monitored rewilding of spaces. I believe woodland management and rewilding are two key areas where green jobs could be created nationally; sustainable, fulfilling jobs that would help the environment.
Alex HARRISON (Liberal Democrats)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Bill KAMINSKI (UKIP)Yes. To do it properly, you would have to scrap having empty green spaces being used for fairgrounds and fireworks which are all adding to unnecessary CO2 emissions.
Sarah NICMANIS (Green Party)Yes, I would passionately support and would be proud to involved with any plans to create new areas of woodland around Cambridge - I think this is fantastic idea considering how much wide open space there is around Cambridgeshire that would benefit from forestation. As mentioned in my answer to Question 3, I would campaign for more planting of trees in Cambridge City especially on the commons and in the meadows (away from people's homes where they have a right to natural light in their homes and gardens).

Question 5

Finally, do you know the size of your own Carbon Footprint? Can you identify one thing you’d like to change but haven’t yet managed to move your own carbon footprint towards zero carbon?

Donald DOUGLAS (Conservative Party)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Grace HADLEY (Labour Party)I have calculated my own carbon footprint and can see where I need to make changes to my own lifestyle. Part luck but part design, I already lead a low carbon life. I can't drive, I am luckily able to walk for most of my journeys, my energy supplier, Ovo, is committed to renewable energy (but I chose them because they were the cheapest on the market) and I have been vegetarian for 10 years. I also have an amazingly talented, crafty Mum who makes beautiful clothes and soft furnishings, so I largely don't rely on shops for fast fashion. I need to commit to having more vegan days in my week where I do not eat dairy or eggs (to increase from 2 days a week). I know that diet and transport are the 2 areas where I can have greatest individual impact and so these are where I will continue to focus my attention.
Alex HARRISON (Liberal Democrats)This candidate did not respond to the questionnaire
Bill KAMINSKI (UKIP)No. Individual carbon footprints are meaningless. There are too many diverse services and circumstances to give it meaning.
Sarah NICMANIS (Green Party)According to the WWF, my carbon footprint is 95% of my target impact on the world, when measured against the 2020 target as set by the government (9.6 tonnes compared to the 10.5 tonnes which is the 2020 target). Travel takes up 14% of my carbon footprint which is mostly down to me using the bus on my maternity leave; this can be improved by me getting back on my bike soon with a child seat attached. I am looking forward to the increased amount of daily exercise too!