Friday, 20 December 2019

Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee Meeting- New Biodiversity Strategy for Sutton

I was out with the XR rebels last night for the launch of the new Biodiversity Strategy for Sutton. As we are not allowed to speak and express opinions on matters discussed we sent a message to the committee 'Why is the Climate and Ecological Emergency Not on the Agenda' in writing so to speak. Considering the London Borough of Sutton declared a climate and ecological emergency in the spring, one would have thought that would be an agenda item on every environment committee meeting until the emergency was solved? 

Will have a good read of the new biodiversity strategy. We did feed extensively and professionally into the consultation process but as usual I expect all our work was wiped up the cracks of the council officers and flushed down the toilet- standard democracy in Sutton. Maybe I'm being unfair as I'm not in the mood to have my soul destroyed at the moment but will have a read and report back when the will moves me. 

The Committee even decisively voted to not commit to not building and selling off the parks! This is the environment committee! 

Then they wonder why extremists start gluing themselves to bridges. 

While we are dealing with the niche interest subject of London Borough of Sutton eco-politics, we did have a bit of a surprise in the General Election where we accidentally wiped out Tom Brake, our liberal democrat MP and ended up with a Tory. What a balls up. We were trying to 'water board' him (not literally) so that he backs more radical environmentalism in the borough so we (the Green Party) refused to stand down (different members had different reasons of course) in the election (in a bid to keep the Tories out)  and we also teamed up with local activists and ran a small anti Lib Dem campaign. The plan from our end (not necessarily the Sutton Green Party overall)  was to give him a bit of a kicking and narrow his margin so that we had more leverage going forward towards the 2022 councillor elections. Unfortunately he lost by 690 votes and the Greens pulled in 700 votes so we (not just the Green Party)  literally destroyed him and now he's unemployed- Whoops!! I guess we shouldn't feel too guilty as Brexit and other issues were in play too but we were aiming to narrow his margin by about 500-1000 so that we had him by the balls but with other factors in play he lost over 2100 votes since 2017. Whatever the reasons, we certainly didn't help.

It's actually very disappointing as we did have more chance trying to radicalise the Lib Dems more than we ever will have with the Tories. Hoping we might be able to salvage something with the local lib dem councillors and sort something out before they face the public vote in the 2022 councillor elections. If we end up with a Tory controlled Sutton, I don't think any of our radical proposals have much chance of taking off. I think we shot ourselves in the foot on this one.  That's the perils of giving someone a kicking- you can accidentally kill them! Happy Xmas Tom!

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