Join in the climate debate. Free tickets to attend an ‘Any Questions’ style debate attended by local candidates for Wealden.

19th November

This is an opportunity for the Wealden electorate to take part in a Wealden “Question Time” Hustings, which takes place at Michael Hall School in Forest Row on 27th November, it will focus on the Green Deals of prospective Parliamentary Candidates – the main topic will be are we already too late to avoid environmental and social collapse?  Local residents will be able to decide for themselves. Tickets are FREE and can be accessed via the link below.

The environmental crisis is top of mind with many people and trying to understand the policies of all of the prospective candidates’ parties isn’t an easy task. This July, with Extinction Rebellion local activists at the council doors, Wealden councillors voted in favour of declaring a climate change emergency and committing the authority to becoming carbon neutral – by 2050, which is also the Government’s current target.

“We need to get our focus away from Brexit and towards our current Climate Emergency. We did invite the Brexit Party candidate, but unfortunately he stood down to give way to the Conservative candidate, the current Wealden Member of Parliament Nus Ghani.” commented an XR spokesperson. The Green, LibDem and Labour candidates are all confirmed to appear on the “Question Time” panel, but as yet no word from Nus Ghani. All the candidates hope she will accept the invitation to this “Question Time” event.

The Wealden XR Group

The Wealden XR groups believe that this general election is likely to be one of the most critical we have ever faced. “Given how urgent action is needed to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, the policies of our next government will have a huge impact on our own, and our children’s future.”  In response to international scientific opinion that we are in a time of climate and ecological crisis, Extinction Rebellion – a non violent, peaceful group of people who have become a global force for change – came together to demand that the government tell the truth about the crisis and act now. There is a growing local membership in Wealden with active groups in Ashdown Forest and Hailsham. 

East Sussex has 7 internationally important wildlife habitats and an amazing 286 local Sites of Nature Conservation Importance, yet Sussex as a whole has 472 species which are globally threatened or in rapid decline. Sussex Wildlife Trust states that we are already seeing changes locally – shifting species ranges and breeding success, changing migration patterns, changes in the annual timing of flowering and the migration of birds and butterflies, food availability and other important ecological factors, including the spread of diseases and different patterns of water availability. 

The Labour candidate Angie Smith is likely to reflect on the necessity for social justice when transitioning to a low carbon economy, and Georgia Taylor for the Green Party should be in her element as a staunch advocate of stronger environmental policies. 

Following the format of the BBC’s Question Time, this event will feature questions from audience members to a panel that will also include a local mother and author Anna Hope.  

Anna was arrested in the April Rebellion, after listening to Emma Thompson’s speech from the now infamous pink boat in Oxford Street, and she represents the almost 3,000 arrestees from the Spring and Autumn London rebellions. Anna has collated “Letters To The Earth”, published this month by Harper Collins – letters of love, loss, hope and action written by over 1000 people worldwide, from 4 year olds to great grandparents, authors, scientists and nurses – about the current Climate & Ecological Emergency.

The Climate & Ecological Emergency Election “Question Time” Wealden Candidates takes place on WEDNESDAY 27 NOVEMBER 8PM-9.30PM at MICHAEL HALL SCHOOL THEATRE, KIDBROOKE PARK, FOREST ROW, RH18 5JA. Entry is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance as the audience is limited to 450 people.

Tickets are available for free using this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/climate-ecological-emergency-election-question-time-wealden-candidates-tickets-80789683117

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Wealden Groups

Extinction Rebellion does not support any political party. It is a network of individuals who are deeply concerned about the environmental crisis and are making three demands to government – to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency, to act now to reduce climate heating emissions to net zero by 2025, and to achieve this through the setting up of a citizen’s assembly. It fosters a culture of respect in which it aims to hold our elected representatives accountable. 

Ashdown Forest and Hailsham Extinction Rebellion are the Wealden groups of the UK

Extinction Rebellion, is a growing and diverse network of activists and campaigners concerned with ecological collapse. IT believes we are unprepared for the danger our future holds. Mankind face floods, wildfires, extreme weather, crop failure, mass displacement and the breakdown of society. Extinction Rebellion considers that the time for denial is over.

ABOUT THE PANEL

Angie Smith, Labour

Angie Smith, Labour

Angie Smith was Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Wealden in 2017. In this role, shedoubled the vote for Labour, who came second only to the Conservatives. Angie is a Wealden resident and a mother of two young adults and works as a domestic violence professional and a Town Councillor in Uckfield. She is Women’s Officer for the Labour Party in Wealden and Chair of Uckfield branch Labour Party. Angie cares passionately about social justice and campaigns about the injustice of welfare reform. She is an animal rights activist and an active member of Uckfield Town Council’s Climate Change Committee. Angie is a strong believer in workers’ rights, having previously been a shop steward for USDAW, she is now a member of UNISON and the Cooperative Party.

Chris Bowers, Liberal Democrats

Chris Bowers, Liberal Democrats

Chris Bowers is the LibDem parliamentary candidate for the forthcoming general election. A Lewes district councillor from 2007 to 2015, he has immense experience at both the local and national level. He has lived between Uckfield and Lewes for more than 20 years, so knows and loves Wealden as a local. A writer and broadcaster by profession, Chris is well known to tennis fans as a commentator, and earlier this year was heard on national television commentating live on the historic, first-ever 12-12 tie break at Wimbledon. Chris has a very strong environmental track record and was the founder of the Environmental Transport Association in 1990. He has also worked for the European Federation for Transport and Environment since 1991, and earlier this year he led the transport chapter in the Lib Dem’s new beefed-up strategy to tackle climate change, which sees the party commit to make the UK net-neutral in greenhouse gases by 2045.

Georgia Taylor, The Green Party

Georgia Taylor, The Green Party

Georgia lives in Forest Row, has been a Parish Councillor, run her own social enterprise championing gender equality all over the world, and worked in government in the Department for International Development. Along with many other Green Party members she joined Extinction Rebellion on the streets in London during October as a passionate protector of our planet. Georgia has worked in countries where climate disaster is already a reality and affecting the most vulnerable people. She has seen how power and money in the hands of a small number of polluting companies and global elites has led to environmental disaster and conflict. She has worked on projects to enhance women’s and children’s health and rights within these contexts.

Anna Hope XR

Anna Hope

Anna Hope is a mother and a writer based in Forest Row. Her work has been translated into 20 languages. She is a proud member of Extinction Rebellion and the co-founder and co-curator of Letters to the Earth. Anna was arrested in the April Rebellion after listening to Emma Thompson’s speech from the now infamous pink boat in Oxford Street, and she represents the almost 3,000 arrestees from the Spring and Autumn London rebellions. Anna has collated “Letters To The Earth”, published this month by Harper Collins – letters of love, loss, hope and action written by over 1000 people worldwide, from 4 year olds to great grandparents, authors, scientists and nurses – about the current Climate & Ecological Emergency.

Nus Ghani – The Conservative candidate has yet to confirm her attendance

Viki Hall, The Chair – Viki is a Coach, Facilitator and Learning Partner.

This event is organised by Extinction Rebellion. You can find out more about their environmental campaigns:

Extinction Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/

Anna Hope’s book is Letters To The Earth: https://www.letterstotheearth.com/