To fail to act would be to fail our children and planet

Cllr Daniel Yates, leader of the Labour Group on the Brighton & Hove City Council
Cllr Daniel Yates, leader of the Labour Group on the Brighton & Hove City Council

We are all very lucky to live in such a brilliant city as Brighton and Hove.

Nestled between the sea and the South Downs we have always had a reputation as a city which cares very much about its environment and natural resources.

That’s why I was proud to support the city signing up to declaring a climate emergency last year and am pleased that Labour’s manifesto for the city is focused strongly on addressing this emergency.

We have been very clear that a future Labour majority council would take all actions required to address the climate emergency. There is no greater threat to the future of the next generations than climate change and humankind’s other destructive impacts on our environment.

Labour is ready to rise to the challenge and make the city carbon neutral by 2030, but this will mean that over the next 11 years the city will have to address some very serious issues.

In transport we will have to identify and deliver a city-wide park and ride scheme as an interim measure to reduce the impact of car journeys on our city centre and to make space for better more sustainable transport initiatives. For our utilities, we need the city to be producing and managing more of its own zero carbon energy, and ensuring that our water infrastructure is fit for purpose and water is treated as a key natural resource.

As a Labour majority council we will also commit to introducing a food waste collection and composting scheme and to roll it out city-wide – reducing our impact on the environment in a practical way that all households can support and take part in.

Labour will also ensure that the city’s council-run spaces are herbicide-free. We have already reduced use to a low level, but even this residual use needs to stop. The potential impact on our biosphere could be of enormous benefit, and Labour will also encourage partners to go herbicide-free in line with our biosphere commitments.

This isn’t an easy set of changes and will require additional support and cooperation from all residents and partner organisations to make it work, but the alternative does not bear considering. To fail to act would be to fail our children and our planet’s future.