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Nicholas Brown, Green Party – Chester – GE19 candidate

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We are providing all 39 parliamentary candidates across Cheshire the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.

We’ve asked the same five questions of each candidate, for the simplest comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.

In this article, we speak to Nicholas Brown, standing for the Green Party in Chester.

 



 

1. What is the main reason you’ve decided to stand in this election?

Chester is full of people that care. Vibrant and diverse communities like ours in the Garden Quarter or over in Hoole make the city a fantastic place to live.

The city is home to a huge network of people that are campaigning and acting to make the city, country and planet better, but they need support and the Green Party is the political home for all these groups.

I wanted to stand for the election as I know the potential of the city and am frustrated in seeing a lack of action on a number of issues that are important to me.

The current electoral system and table tennis of power between the Tories and Labour Party is short term and divisive.

When it comes to the climate emergency and other pressing matters I didn’t want to be another social media warrior, I wanted to stand up and be the amplifier for those voices that were not being heard.

I am tired of political lies, political inaction and politicians that avoid questions from people who care. We need a new type of progressive, co-operative and transparent politics.

 

2. Which local priorities would you take forward as our MP?

Over the last 10 years I have been saddened to see a gradual rise in the cities homeless population.

The reaction to this across the city has varied showing a mixed level of understanding of the plights of these individuals. I would aim to ensure this situation is put right.

The Green Party has pledged to give local councils a £10bn uplift in funding to spend on the issues that matter to local communities.

I want to ensure that we prevent people getting in to these situations rather than funding crisis management.

Provision of new, energy efficient council houses and the repeal of the Vagrancy Act 1824 will allow people to have safe, warm and comfortable homes that can allow them to progress.

Chester’s air quality falls well short of national requirements and monitoring in the city is virtually non-existent. This is an issue that affects the health and wellbeing of the cities residents.

I will work to improve this situation by looking to introduce low cost, electrified public transport, charging stations across the city for those with electric cars, and the potential introduction of a city wide diesel car emission reduction scheme.

Warm homes are a human right and not a luxury. Many of the residents in the city have to choose between heating and eating and this is not right or fair.

I will introduce insulation schemes to reduce peoples fuel bills, improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life and reduce carbon emissions.

 

3. Which national priorities would you take forward as our MP?

My three most pressing national priorates should really be those that every prospective MP should be tackling the Climate Crisis, supporting children in schools and ending the purgatoric Brexit debacle.

The Climate Crisis is the biggest challenge our civilisation has ever faced, and it has been created by us. Ecosystems are being destroyed, food chains are collapsing, the ice caps and glaciers are melting and the sea level is rising.

This issue is not one that is far away in the future that we can kick down the road, it is a day to day reality for billions of people around the world.

Locally we are seeing increased flooding, summer droughts and more extreme weather patterns. 

We need to take fast and decisive action on this issue and support it with the funding required. 

The Green Party are the only party promising £100bn per year spend on the climate emergency. 

We will all need to make changes to our lifestyles but we are intending to ensure people make these choices themselves.

Decarbonisation of the transport system, movement over to electric cars, affordable and accessible public transport and household insulation are the first steps along this road.

We are aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, no excuses, we have big plans as we are running out of time.

As a school teacher I have seen the punishing effects that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat austerity has had on pupils families and school budgets.

I teach pupils that live in food poverty and struggle to afford lunch at school.

Special Educational Needs are grossly underfunded, pupils are being left to struggle with their conditions and families are having to take legal advice on how they can get their children assessed.

This situation is breaking families apart. School funding is a national crisis and something that I will take a special and keen interest in.

When it comes to the question of Brexit, I voted to remain in the EU and would do this again. Chester is supported by the multinational corporations that circle our area.

Airbus, Toyota, MBNA and Vauxhall all provide direct and indirect jobs pumping millions of pounds into the local economy.

If the UK leaves Europe without a deal, or in an uncompetitive situation these businesses may choose to relocate.

Many of them have clearly stated that this is an option. If they do then the economy of this area will spiral down.

Our local farms and hospitality all rely on migrant workers to keep them going. The Countess of Chester, care services and local GP’s utilise international expertise to ensure everyone gets the care that they need.

EU immigration was used as the scapegoat for many of the social issues the country was facing, when really the Conservative austerity policy was to blame.

Boris has now done a deal with the EU. The Green Party want this deal fully and clearly explaining to the people, and then we should have a Peoples Vote to finally decide once and for all whether we are in or out.

The Conservatives like to say ‘get Brexit done’ but they need to be honest and open about what this means to food and medicine supply, cost of living and the effect on jobs.

 

4. What is it about your party and/or its manifesto that makes you proud to represent your party? Are there any manifesto pledges or commitments you’d like to see changed?

We are a party that cares, and a party that acts. The party has stuck by its beliefs for decades, it does not follow the trends like the other parties who are ‘Green Washing’ many of their actions.

We have two party co-leaders and they both have the ability to lead this country into the future that we need, either as individuals or even co-PM’s.

They are compassionate, dedicated and honest.
Some leaders are focused on power, some are focused on the people they represent. Both Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry are totally focused on the Green agenda.

In fact during the recent Climate Protests in London Jonathan Bartley was one of those that got arrested for laying in the street for his beliefs.

They are inspiring and fearless and that is what we need in this country right now.

The Green party is the political home of groups like Extinction Rebellion, and the Fridays for Future children that have accelerated the conversation to the top of the political landscape.

Where Green go, other parties follow!

 

5. Please tell us a little about yourself.

(ie: your background, your experience, your hobbies, your non-political interests)

I was born in Blackpool, and as a child we used to come on holiday to Chester every Christmas.

I used to love going into the Warner Bros store which was on Eastgate Street, but that has long since gone.

Chester was always magical to me back then and this love for the city has not gone away. For the last 15 years I have lived in the Garden Quarter.

After spending 14 years in in the commercial world, I went back to university and retrained to be a teacher. I am currently the Head of Geography at a local secondary comprehensive.

In summer I love to go down to the River Dee with family and friends and get on the water. We have canoes that we use to explore the river.

It’s wonderful that we can be immersed in nature in such a tranquil space 5 minutes outside the city centre. It truly feels like another world.

I also enjoy the huge amount of live music the city has to offer. From the outstanding buskers on Eastgate Street to the live music venues across the city, the talent here is second to none.

 

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