Yesterday Caroline Flint, shadow energy and climate change minister, visited Hove and Portslade. She spent the afternoon talking to residents in Hangleton, after which the two of us joined a public meeting to discuss a Labour approach to tackling our environmental challenges. 

The debate was excellent, with extremely knowledgeable and passionate members of the public in attendance. I made a basic but fundamental political point in my opening remarks: we need to learn the lessons of why the Green Party is so unpopular in Brighton and Hove which is to make sure we get the basics right when we regain the council and win parliamentary seats. Residents don’t like those who can’t empty bins on time lecturing them about how to save the planet.

I was asked about what I would like to see more of locally. My answer was micro-generation and investment in alternatives to car use by visitors – such as park and ride – instead of the wholly punitive measures we see now. These are two areas I’ll be discussing with my council colleagues going forward.

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