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Pollarded willow, Thirsk

John T Law
Green Party


My priorities for the environment


I am an environmental professional with over 30 years working in the environmental sector in a variety of roles at local and national government at the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Forestry Commission, in private environmental consultancy practice and at two charities. I currently work at the Forestry Commission where I am the Nature Based Solutions Advisor. In the Sowerby and Topcliffe (S&T) division of North Yorkshire Council (NYC) my environmental priorities are the following:

  • Protect and improve the ecology of the Cod Beck

    • Look at ways to reduce agricultural, road and water company pollution into the beck and its tributaries and implement better pollution control.

    • Monitor and protect the freshwater ecology with better land management close to the beck.

  • Work with the farming community to maximise the uptake and benefit from the new and evolving Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS)

  • ELMS represents an enormous opportunity to hugely improve the environmental performance of our farms and rural parts of the division.

  • Farmers need help to understand how they can engage with and benefit from  ELMS. I was one of the founding architects of ELMS when I worked at DEFRA and despite the schemes now having many issues and problems I do still believe that farmers and other land managers can make a real difference by adoption and implementation of these schemes.

  • Increase tree planting and woodland creation across the division

    • Right across the UK, tree cover needs to increase massively for habitat creation, biodiversity increase, improved flood mitigation and  climate change reasons. S&T sits with the community forest called the White Rose Forest. There is lots of money available for tree planting and woodland creation schemes. I will help to increase the tree cover in the division by bringing land owners and sources of funding together.

  • Improve waste minimisation and recycling

    • Waste minimisation and recycling in the division is good, but it could also be better. I will work to make it easier and more natural for residents and businesses to be more waste aware and reduce water creation, and recycle waste where ever possible.

  • Increase the energy efficiency of homes and businesses

    • Energy efficiency in much of our housing stock and in most business premises in the UK is a national disgrace. I will work hard to find ways help people and businesses access good and affordable energy efficiency measures for their properties.

  • Increase green energy generation

    • I’d like S&T to become an example Unitary Authority division for green energy generation. This means lots more solar, wind, biogas, ground source and air source heat pumps installed at properties right across the division.

  • Increase safe cycling and walking infrastructure

    • Safe routes for cyclist and pedestrians is so important in our modern world. I will work to increase the availability of safe cycling and walking routes though negotiation with private land owners, businesses and NYC.

  • Increase the availability of electric car charging points

To increase the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK (and by default, decrease our reliance on conventional petrol and diesel cars) we need to make charging up EVs much more convenient an easy. I will work hard to install more rapid charging stations at convenient locations such as public building and businesses with large car park.

New comment added 23 November 

"The Local Nature Recovery Strategy is an extremely important new responsibility placed on local councils. I sit in on meetings discussing these matters on a daily basis. It’s part of what I get up and out of bed for everyday."

New comment added 27 November 

Good to see the graphic. Clearly environmental concerns are a real priority for many many people. I have certainly heard and seen this in my day’s canvassing for the local by-election. I’m pleased to see this. As we are all to aware, time is running out for us to commence real means action. There really is no Plan(et) B. 💚


Green Party Candidate

This page sets out John Law's environmental and climate views. Click here to read his wider election manifesto.


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