2 June 2017

Green Candidate for The Cotswolds, Sabrina Poole, was not asked to attend the BBC Radio Gloucestershire debate because of 'Ofcom Regulations'.  These regulations which are limiting the democratic right of all candidates to be heard are currently being challenged.

In the meantime, Sabrina has responded to the questions asked on the radio debate as follows:

Would you make fox-hunting legal again?

No. It is a barbaric ‘sport’ that needs to be left in the past.

It is common for hunting dogs to maraud through farms, disturb and kill livestock or pets, plus dangerously run across train tracks and roads, all of which our rural communities can do without.

How will you support the younger generation to get on to the housing ladder in the Cotswolds?

Firstly, most young people need to be able to save whilst renting. The Green Party has plans to build more social-rented homes and protect the rights of renters. We also want to extend housing benefit to under-21s. I would work to ensure jobs are more secure and that young people’s wages are adequate. The Green Party wants to scrap age-related pay bands and prevent employers from using apprenticeships and internships as excuses to not pay young people a living wage.

To have genuinely ‘affordable’ housing, a term that has been persistently re-defined to suit Governments instead of people, to buy, I would push us to look into different options of ownership. From co-operative ownership, to co-housing, to Community Land Trusts, we could find ways to let people take as big a stake in their home as they can afford, whilst also keeping homes permanently affordable.

The Cotswolds desperately needs a sustainable Local Plan (we still don’t have one at all!) that takes into account local opinions, our population, the environment, our public services and our infrastructure. For The Cotswold area, I would also support a crackdown on empty second homes. To buy a home in our area, you should have to prove you will either live in it or rent it to locals.

What type of Brexit will you support?

Myself and the Green Party would fight for us to stay in the single market, protect freedom of movement, keep environmental protections and retain human rights. We also want to ensure that the rights of EU migrants and British citizens abroad are not used as bargaining tools. However, we believe that, whatever ‘deal’ may come about in the Brexit process, there should be a 2nd referendum to give people the final say.

Will there ever be a solution to the A417 Missing Link?

Under the Conservatives, this is highly unlikely to be any time soon, before we even consider implications on sustainability. The proposed missing link will take over a decade to construct. Gloucestershire County Council has already wasted over £1million of our money on preparation works for a scheme that should be funded by the Central Government.

Imagine what that money could do for our public services.

My concern on the current plans, for what resembles a ‘Cotswold motorway’, is the inevitable increase in traffic. Traffic causes noise and pollution, both of which need to be reduced instead of increased. Without proper planning, a new road would move the problem to other ‘pinch point’s, most likely on our local and suburban roads, instead of solving it.

In the short term, we should aim to reduce congestion, and therefore pollution and noise, by using fixed speed cameras. These would keep traffic moving along roads and through junctions. They would also cost a lot less than other so-called ‘solutions’.

In the long term, I would welcome more consideration for why so many people are driving in the first place. A sustainable public transport system, locally and nationally, could help reduce the pressure on the A417.

Will there ever be a solution? Potentially. But I definitely don’t trust a Conservative government or council to put the interests of the people and our environment first.

We're an ageing population, can we afford the pensions triple lock anymore?

Absolutely. This is a question of priorities. We pay even more for shareholder vanity projects, such as HS2, and dangerous nuclear activities, such as Trident and Hinkley Point C, that are unnecessary and cost even more money. We need a Government that swaps these priorities for a more sustainable and humane society.

If elected on June 8th what would be your top priority for the Cotswolds?

The sustainability of our communities would be my priority. We need public services that are properly funded and kept public, democratic processes where every vote counts and environmental protections to defend our countryside from exploitation.