Sustainability is necessary for the future of our communities. We will ensure that we protect and enhance the environment our livelihoods, wellbeing and economy rely upon.
We will protect our agricultural industries, rural jobs, and the rural economy by setting minimum prices that agricultural goods cannot be sold below, and a government programme to source goods directly from producers wherever possible. This will make the agricultural market more stable and reliable for farmers and their families.
We will directly fund the transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture, including measures to protect soil health, renewable energy generation, and adopting farming practises that provide natural carbon sequestration and improved biodiversity.
We will also support communities that wish to establish agricultural co-operatives by providing startup funding and guidance. This will allow more communities to share the responsibility for the land they live on and the goods they produce.
Quality Farming Standards
We will not allow our food standards to be watered down for the benefit of international agribusiness. We will subsidise grass-fed, low-intensity, high welfare production and oppose ‘factory farming’. We will vote against any attempts to remove regulations that protect the incomes of rural people and the quality of our food.
Sheep worrying is a menace to farmers. Dogs being allowed to run free in fields of sheep more often than not results in sheep being injured or becoming so stressed that they miscarry their lambs. This has a direct emotional and financial impact on farmers. We will increase penalties for sheep worrying and fund better enforcement of these penalties in rural areas.
We will remove currently allocated fishing quotas from huge international fishing companies and return them to sustainable, local fishing communities. Fishing communities in the North can sustainably manage their stocks and it is time we let them, instead of allowing corporate monopolies to put livelihoods at risk through overfishing.
We will maintain the ban on neonicotinoid based pesticides and regulate the use of all pesticides to minimise their harm to our environment and rural communities. Our pollinator species are under critical risk of total collapse, threatening our food production. If they should disappear, they will be gone forever.
We will build more flood defences and fund the refit of homes and businesses in high-risk areas to make them more resilient when they do get flooded. It is an unfortunate inevitability that we will experience floods whatever we do to tackle climate change, but we can make it easier to bounce back from them.
We will invest in natural flood management, including restoring uplands and floodplains alongside other historic mitigations.
We will prevent building on flood plains by giving planning departments more power to block developments that have a high flood risk. This will stop property developers from putting communities in danger just to maximise their profits.
We will also undertake urgent reviews of all flood defences in accordance with climate change readiness needs, providing investment to remedy or replace those assets which do not meet requirements.
We will increase the Environment Agency’s funding so that they can undertake their vital work in improving our flood defences and making sure they will continue to work as intended as our climate changes.
We will ensure at least 50% of waste is recycled by ensuring all waste sent for recycling is actually recycled and not sent abroad to be dumped. Furthermore we will make sure that all areas of the North have the same access to recycling facilities, ending the postcode lottery of what can be recycled where.
We will expand food waste recycling across the country, recycling it in community-owned anaerobic digesters, which will produce biogas to reduce fuel poverty in the North by lowering energy costs. We will also establish community composting schemes, which will provide a free source of compost for gardeners and allotments.
In local government, we will only grant planning permission to buildings which will last and are environmentally sustainable in the long term. We will invest in a climate change resilient future.