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Keith Tordoff
Independent

Survey responses 

Pollarded willow, Thirsk

YNY carbon-negative ambition

The ambition for YNY to be England’s first carbon-negative region is at the heart of the devolution deal and the Routemap to Carbon Negative developed by the former YNY Local Enterprise Partnership (now integrated into the CMA). Would you as leader of the new Combined Authority be fully committed to this scale of ambition?  What specific actions would you take in your first two years of office to deliver on that commitment? Can we rely on the sourcing of wood pellets (including from Canadian old growth forests) for use as biomass at Drax and  on ‘negative emissions technology’ such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reach that target?”

If elected  as Mayor of York and North Yorkshire as an Independent candidate I will not be subject to following Party political lines. As Mayor I will of course adhere to legal statutory requirements and the will of the people. Targets set are there to be met and I will work with the Councils and combined authority transition team to build on what they have already strategically put in place for the incoming Mayor. I will develop the strategies put in place by establishing a steering group of outside experts to put together a plan for me to deliver which would include advice regarding Drax.

Jobs and skills

The new mayor will have responsibility for developing the region’s skills base as we transition to a low-carbon economy. That is a major challenge as we will be starting from a very low base. What areas do you see as requiring priority action in your first two years as Mayor? What measures will you introduce to support employers in low-zero carbon sectors?

As Mayor I would be looking to work with education providers and with employers in the sector, where possible funding training and apprenticeships. I would be negotiating at Westminster for additional funding and seeking investment from the private sector which I have experience of. For ten years I worked in business banking and this experience will help me deliver from a low base starting point.

Housing and energy efficiency

How would you approach the challenge of making our existing and new homes in YNY zero carbon? What is your target for upgrading poorly insulated homes, and how do you propose to eliminate fuel poverty?

As Mayor I will be bold and visionary in my approach in delivering existing and new homes net zero. As per my previous answer as a skilled businesses man and with the experience of having worked in business banking the starting point is hard negotiating for additional funding from Westminster. New buildings whether residential or commercial will require solar panels and be fully insulated to be compliant for ground source heating to be effective. The Mayor and Combined Authority working with energy providers need to work out a plan to help eliminate fuel poverty.

Transport 

Transport will be a major area of responsibility for the new CMA. At present, it’s also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and has proven to be one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise. If elected, what would be your priority actions to create a transport system fit for a low-carbon future?

As Mayor I will produce a transport plan where possible with integrated transport systems. I will work with experts from transport bodies including the public  private and other interested parties such as charitable backed groups to bring the plan to fruition. I have experience of doing exactly this and delivering. I will look to work with other mayors to provide integrated transport systems across the whole Northern region. The transport plan must increase public transport including rail, buses, cycling and walking routes. Around all major towns and cities the park and ride schemes need delivering. Bus operators in the main are rolling out electric buses and I will as Mayor support this by working with power providers and Government to provide the necessary infrastructure. Electric bikes and charging stations will be part of the Mayoral Transport Plan.

Energy infrastructure

The Local Area Energy Plans (LAEPs) produced by the former YNY Local Enterprise Partnership are broadly focused on increasing the supply of clean, renewable energy to replace fossil fuels and on radically improving domestic energy-efficiency. What actions will you prioritise in your first two years to implement these plans?

I am aware the Combined Authority Transition Team have started to prepare Strategic pillars ready for an incoming Mayor and I will assess those and develop from them a plan which I will prepare in my first 100 days in office if elected.

Nature and biodiversity

The UK as a whole is in the bottom 10% globally and is the worst G7 nation for biodiversity loss.  What do you propose to do to address the nature crisis in our region? How do you intend to involve the food/agricultural sector in this work? What would your priorities be in your first two years in office? Will you commit to implementing the policy recommendations set out in the draft YNY Local Nature Recovery Strategy?

To address biodiversity loss as Mayor it starts with building on the YNY Local Nature Recovery Strategy. As Mayor I will be listening,  leading and being the Ambassador for the agricultural and food producers of North Yorkshire. My priorities would be to build on the Combined Authority Transition Team initiative,  ‘ Grow Yorkshire ‘ with its four strategic pillars  - Environment   Innovation Skills and Wellbeing  - investing in the growth and development that is needed for farming our food which helps improve the environment.

Circular economy

One of the pillars of the Routemap to Carbon Negative developed by the former YNY Local Enterprise Partnership is moving towards a circular economy. What do you understand by this and what actions would you take to drive that transition as Mayor in your first two years?

My understanding of a circular economy is that it is to reduce waste by reusing and regeneration of materials and products. The 4 ‘ R’s ‘  - Repairing , refurbishing, reusing  regenerating. Education starting in the schools at home, businesses and local authorities. As Chair of a Britain in Bloom Group we won the National Title and main stream media recognition for environmental projects working with the community which included, schools, youth groups,  Churches and businesses.

Carbon literacy

As mayor, you will oversee major policy programmes designed to take us towards a low-carbon future. Please confirm that you would commit to independent and accredited carbon literacy training (e.g. Carbon Literacy Project) for yourself and your Combined Authority staff to ensure that as a team you have a clear understanding of the underlying science and the policy implications.  If you are not able to make this commitment, please set out your views on carbon literacy training.

I understand the Carbon Literacy Project and would be very happy to pledge if elected Mayor I and that Combined Authority staff would be offered the opportunity to be provided with independent and accredited carbon literacy training.

Community engagement

In what way do you propose to create opportunities for community groups to influence future environmental policymaking by the CMA?

As I have throughout my working life I listen to people. The CMA sustainability agreements can only work if people believe and invest in the ethos. Education and promotion through the office of the Mayor. North Yorkshire must deliver on better quality air and water as well as conserving biodiversity and promoting the sustainable use of raw materials. As an INDEPENDENT Mayor with the support of the people we can make North Yorkshire the best place to live, work or visit  - the cleanest and greenest in the Country.

Open question

Is there anything else you’d like voters to know about your environmental or climate views and/or ambitions?

The electorate must by now realise the political parties will keep on promising the earth especially leading up to an election. I can’t promise you the earth but I can promise if elected as an Independent I will deliver for the people of York and North Yorkshire a very green and pleasant County. Time for Change.

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