Originally posted as a comment on the Epping Forest Guardian story ‘Green Party candidate criticises Andrew Smith of UKIP after ‘dangerous’ climate change comments‘.
Even if Andrew Smith is correct about anthropogenic (man-made) climate change, which would fly in the face of the vast majority of expert opinion, what harm is there in us reducing CO2 emissions anyway?
By investing more in renewable energy we’d reduce our reliance on energy imports and create thousands of jobs in design, construction and manufacturing. It doesn’t all have to be huge projects like wind, solar and tidal: local renewable energy cooperatives reduce the ‘big six’ stranglehold on energy supply and, by extension, pricing, while reducing fuel bills and helping local economies through training and installation. Making energy generation and supply more local is a major part of Green Party energy policy and would stop us shovelling money into the pockets of European energy companies’ shareholders’ pockets, something I’d have thought UKIP would support.
Our policy of cutting VAT on housing repairs from 20% to 5%, in support of the Federation of Master Builders campaign, could create 42,000 construction jobs while making housing more energy efficient. More jobs, lower fuel bills and reduced CO2 emissions. Who could argue with that?
Andrew Smith might not believe in anthropogenic climate change but he should support renewable energy even if only for the economic benefits to Britain.
Dave Plummer, Green Party town and district candidate, Waltham Abbbey South West.
1 Greens pledge to cut VAT on housing repairs
Partial reprieve for 505 bus route is welcome but nothing to gloat about
News that the 505 bus route from Chingford to Harlow has been granted a partial reprieve  is welcome but its reduced service will still cause problems for the elderly, disabled, students and carers, say Waltham Abbey’s Green Party coordinator. With just six services a day many people will face being stranded or forced onto longer routes. Dave Plummer, Green Party candidate for Waltham Abbey South West, started a petition calling on the council to ensure the 505 is replaced with a service which is at least equal to the current one. The petition has raised nearly 500 signatures to date.
“While it’s good news that there will still be a 505 service after 9th May six buses a day is clearly inadequate. We need to keep the pressure on to ensure the full 505 service is maintained.”
Reacting to news that Waltham Abbey Conservatives are claiming credit  for keeping the vastly reduced service running, Dave said,
“My petition was specifically non-party political so it is particularly disappointing to see Waltham Abbey Conservatives trying to make political capital out of the 505, especially given their part in its reduced service. The Coalition government’s cuts to local authority funding, equating to a 4.3%  cut in Epping Forest’s spending power for 2015 – 16, and Conservative led Epping Forest Council’s stubborn refusal to raise council tax  have both contributed to a drop in provision of essential services. Not only are they claiming a reduced 505 service as something to be proud of, but they’re also failing to acknoweldge that their own policies have led to the service being reduced at all.”
Notes for editors
Waltham Abbey resident launches petition to save the 505 bus service
A Waltham Abbey resident has launched a petition to save the 505 bus service, which is under threat of closure from 9th May. The current operators, Arriva and Network Harlow, say that the service is underused and running at a loss. The petition, hosted on the 38 Degrees website, call on Essex County Council to ensure that the 505 bus route from Chingford to Harlow remains operational, with its current or increased level of service, from 9th May 2015.
The petition was set up by Dave Plummer, who’s standing in the local elections on 7th May for the Green Party in Waltham Abbey South West.
Dave said, ‘The 505 route is vital for disabled people, the elderly, students, carers and the low waged/unwaged. With the imminent closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) the loss of any local transport service will be particularly hard for disabled people. The 505 might be running at a loss but public transport is a public service – profitability should be irrelevant. The council has said that other operators have expressed an interest in taking the route over. Let’s keep the pressure up to make sure the Council finds a replacement operator or takes over the service itself if necessary.’
Dave added, ‘The petition already has three hundred signatures, many coming after it was shared on Facebook by Keep It Local Waltham Abbey and Waltham Abbey Residents’ Association. It’s a non-party political petition and I encourage local groups to get in touch to organise their own paper versions and collect signatures to demonstrate our community’s support for the 505 bus route.’
Dave can be contacted via the online petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/savethe505