Network Day

27th September 2008

St Andrews Church Hall, Cheltenham

THE FoE NETWORK DAY DAWNED WITH BRIGHT SUNSHINE, and, with October practically upon us, we realised that summer had arrived at last.

As we faithful turned up to St Andrew's Church Hall, we were greeted by tea and coffee in splendid abundance, and by three commendably-fearless politicians, who had kindly agreed to turn up and give us their views, and a fourth, Ricky Knight, the Green candidate for Barnstaple (delayed due to railway maintenance in Newport, and therefore potentially scoring the most green points in the room!) joined us in due course.

Debate was lively but gentlemanly, kicked off by Mike Birkin from our own camp, asking the question of why it should be up to the public to combat climate when the government is so much better placed.

Lawrence Robertson MP, the Conservative delegate, weighed in on the side of making energy cleaner, rather than reducing our use of road and air travel.

Martin Horwood MP of the Lib-Dems was keen on improved recycling, micro-generation and an end to stand-by buttons on home applicances, and fervently against nuclear power as an answer.

Glyn Ford MEP also acquitted himself well, favouring a strong Europe, the Lisbon and Kyoto treaties, better house-building regulations and, unfortunately, the Severn Barrage.

As the final speaker, Ricky Knight of the Green Party had little new ground to cover, but also weighed in heavily against nuclear generation and in favour of offshore wind power.

All this was followed up by an excellent buffet lunch and an equally excellent quiz in the afternoon, accompanied by tea, organic wine and the local produce of the Battledown brewery!

Can I personally extend a vote of thanks to Waitrose, who lent us glasses free of charge on the day and avoided the need for disposables (eek). And well done to Richard C for getting it all together!

Lawrence McIlhoney

Read also about Network Day 2007

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