Making Tring a Truly Great Place to Live
Earth Day – Stop the Green Washing
by Jim Lawler, Candidate for Tring
Today April 22 2021 is Earth Day, I thought that this was the most appropriate day to share with you Labour’s plans for radically improving our environment while stimulating our local economy and managing the social challenges that we face locally. The new standards for running an outstanding Borough or County Council must have the Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) at the core of all decision making.
The LibDems & Conservatives have greenwashed their pledges without saying how they will be achieved. This is not Labour electioneering this is heartfelt and is reflected in our formal response to the Dacorum Development Plan which was published in February 2021. https://www.swhertslabour.org.uk/2021/02/12/dacorum-local-plan-labours-response/
I have listened and will continue to listen to the concerns raised by Tring, Dacorum & Hertfordshire residents regarding improving and protecting our environment. The environmental concerns that you have raised with me include:
- The need to keep our Chiltern Hills green and to protect our green belt
- The need to clear the litter from our streets and roads
- The need to ensure that we don’t become another Milton Keynes or Luton
- The need to improve the quality of our roads including the repairing of potholes & ditches and to improve areas where there are insufficient parking places
- The need for affordable housing, both private and social
- The need to protect our waterways and soils from pollution
I will be your strong and caring voice for all Tring residents therefore my environmental pledges include:
- When I am elected to the Dacorum and Hertfordshire Councils I will ensure that achieving zero carbon emissions, as swiftly as possible, Environment, Social & Governance will be at the core of every Council planning decision.
- Pedestrianising our town centre to stimulate economic growth while reducing pollution levels
- Creating a new green skills centre to upskill adult and youth training in new green technologies and workplace practices
- Improve the transportation infrastructure both in terms of the environment and services
- Develop cycle lanes that facilitate ease of movement between the town centre and Tring station
- Create special monthly events (e.g., Tring Environment Day, Tring Arts Day, Tring on the Water, Tring Protect Our Wildlife, Clean Up Tring) dedicated to stimulating the town’s economy while also protecting the Tring environment and character
- Protect our wildlife – 41% of all UK species have declined since the 1970s while 26% of mammals are at a very real risk of becoming extinct
The following tangibly illustrates how all this can be achieved.
Housing Delivery: Green from the Ground Up
Our town needs to build new affordable social and private housing which meets the standard of Zero emissions by 2030 laying green foundations from the ground up. That means ensuring that the building soil and materials comply with environmental standards. It requires that during the construction phase electric generation is achieved by installing solar panels, underpinned with maximum insulation, coupled with heat efficient air-source heat pumps.
Our town needs to be a beacon of light for all towns across the country. That means proactively supporting local new green businesses including green STEM business. It also requires developing close to home communal offices, together with the sourcing of local green goods, building and development materials and products.
It also requires the creative stimulation of employment opportunities in the borough, including the creation of a green skills centre, which will support the upskilling of our citizens, both young and old, so that they can directly benefit from the new green wave of employment opportunities.
Infrastructure & Connectivity: So that Tring can flow & Grow Green
Our town needs to rapidly develop a green infrastructure which requires that any residential developments greatly than 14 units are required to contribute to the electrification of an enhanced bus transportation system. It also requires that any housing development >30 must also create safe cycle pathways with publicly accessible bikes and electric vehicle fast-charging points.
Health: Putting a Healthy Heart at the Centre of our Community
Our town needs to ensure that a health impact assessment is undertaken before any new housing development are given planning permission. It would also be required that any new residential development > 20 units are required to contribute toward additional leisure and entertainment facilities. Developers must also contribute toward new health care facilities to support residents as a condition before granting planning permission.
Vibrant Town Centre: The Heart of our Community
Our town needs to ensure that our high street becomes a “lighthouse” town of the future and that it becomes the standard that other towns wish to aspire to.
This can be achieved by pedestrianising our town centre to stimulate economic growth while improving air quality. Pedestrianisation of the high street will also facilitate al fresco dining where street acts can entertain the public in a safe secure environment. The high street can also be incrementally supported by creating new monthly events (e.g., Tring Environment Day, Tring Arts Day, Tring on the Water), Tring Protect Our Wildlife, Clean Up Tring,) dedicated to stimulating the town’s economy while also protecting the Tring environment and character.
Protecting our habitat: Bring the Wildlife Back into our Community
Our town needs to protect and cherish our habitat. 41% of all UK species have declined since the 1970s while 26% of mammals are at a very real risk of becoming extinct. The climate & environmental emergency is now with us therefore we need to act now.
We can protect our environment by building affordable housing in urban areas with buffer zones to protect agricultural land. This will also protect locally sourced food products etc. Integrating green infrastructure into new developments will protect our natural ecosystems while rewilding and connecting habitats.
Before planning permission is granted, future developments need to undertake an environmental impact assessment. Development designs need to include green infrastructures such as green corridors, green walls, beehives, hedgerows and wildlife overpasses to name but a few.
We have an ecological emergency that has seen a massive erosion of biodiversity and our ecosystem, this includes pollination, food, water resources, flood prevention and decomposition. We need to urgently follow the guidance contained within the Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill https://www.ceebill.uk/
I have signed the Climate Ecological Emergency Bill. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to act now to protect Tring and the surrounding areas.
Let’s make Tring a “lighthouse” town of the future