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What Green candidates do for the environment

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Social and economic justice are key parts of the Green Party’s mission, but environmental justice is perhaps what the party is best known for, and many of its candidates in Thursday’s local council elections are involved in the environmental movement in various ways. This article focuses on three of them.

Val Saunders, candidate for Farmhill & Paganhill

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Raising awareness of nature loss: Val at a march for nature in London last year.

An art tutor who taught young people at South Gloucestershire College in Stroud for 14 years, Val Saunders regularly volunteers at Paganhill Community Hub to run after-school art classes. 

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The tulip-themed ‘thank you’ card to voters in Val’s ward, designed by her art students. 

It was young artists in one of her classes who designed the recent tulip-themed Green Party ‘thank you’ card that is being delivered locally.

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Val with Cllr Chloe Turner, Green chair of the Stroud District Council environment committee. 

Val also created a map of the local beauty spot the Heavens, and is donating the proceeds of the sale of prints of the map to the Heavens Valley Action Group. 

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Val is an art tutor, and runs after-school art classes at the Paganhill Community Hub.

As well as supporting the campaign to buy the Heavens, Val supports the Stonehouse community in their campaign to preserve community access to Verney Fields.

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Sarah with her husband Matt, at Woodchester Parish Council’s annual litter picking event.  

If elected she will work to help the council protect these and other green spaces and meet its goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2030 or before. 

Val, whose day job is a support worker, is active in various environmental campaign groups, including Friends of the Earth, and her hobby is making her garden wildlife friendly. 

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Sarah Canning is the co-chair of Nailsworth Climate Action Network.

She has campaigned against controversial road-building projects and against the costly and environmentally damaging HS2 rail project. 

“I’ve always had this absolute need to do something to sound the alarm and raise awareness about threats to the environment,” she says. 

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Sarah’s job involves encouraging politicians and government departments to improve their waste-related policies, and networking with key figures in the industry, including the Wombles! 

A former Stroud town councillor who is standing for the first time for Stroud District Council, Val says she’s constantly inspired by the many other Stroud residents active in various campaigns. 

For more information about Val, visit https://stroud.greenparty.org.uk/your-candidates/stroud-farmhill-paganhill-district-candidate/

Sarah Canning, candidate for Amberley & Woodchester 

Sarah works as the sustainability and social value lead for a major resources and waste management company. A key part of her job is to encourage politicians and government departments to develop and deliver more effective waste-related policies. 

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Animal lover Sarah Canning with her dog Zeus, enjoying one of the many beautiful walks around Amberley and Woodchester.

If elected she will work to help the council do even more to protect the environment. She says: “We are doing a great job within the district, but there is much more to do, from finding more ways to help people reuse and repair their things, to helping nature to thrive.” 

Sarah is the co-chair of Nailsworth Climate Action Network, the chair of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management’s south-west centre and a Fellow of the Institute of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.

For more information about Sarah, visit https://stroud.greenparty.org.uk/your-candidates/amberley-and-woodchester-candidate/

Martin Brown, candidate for Bisley

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Martin Brown at the Bisley community compost site. Martin is also helping to create the Cotswolds National Landscape’s climate action plan.

Martin Brown is chair of the Bisley, Eastcombe and Oakridge Climate Action Network (BisCAN), which he founded in 2020. He is on the boards of Bisley Community Composting Scheme and of the Cotswolds National Landscape, where he is helping to create the climate action plan for this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

He is also a trustee of environmental charity Stroud Valleys Project.

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Martin is chair and co-founder of the Bisley, Eastcombe and Oakridge Climate Action Network, and a trustee of Stroud Valleys Project.

His dream for a better country and world is fairer distribution of everything; fewer cars; less conflict; less harm to nature/more recovered habitats; more local, organic food production; and less industrial farming and other forms of animal exploitation.

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Keen cyclist Martin Brown would like to see better public transport so that there are fewer cars on the road. 

If re-elected he would aim to help Stroud District Council to achieve more nature recovery and increase the number of nature habitats.

For more information about Martin, visit https://stroud.greenparty.org.uk/your-candidates/bisley-with-lypiatt-candidate/

Promoted by Rob Brookes on behalf of Stroud District Green Party, at 17 Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5QT

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