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Manchester Friends of the Earth - Open Meeting

Contributed by Alice Litchfield on 20.04.2016

An Article about the Friends of the Earth open meeting held on the 12th April 2016, written by Alice Litchfield

Manchester Friends of the Earth hold several events throughout the calendar year, their most recent being on the 12th April running in the Green Fish Resource Centre from 7-9pm. The meeting’s aim was regarding the local elections coming up in May and what questions these election candidates should be asked. There was also a guest speaker, Mary Pegington, from the Sustainable Fish City initiative who was raising awareness of the issues around fishing and its sustainability and how people can get actively involved in the campaign.

Manchester Friends of the Earth is an environmental group that campaigns on local, national and international issues based around a range of subjects including sustainable transport, food, climate change and biodiversity, amongst others.

The meeting started off with a talk from Mary Pegington, about an initiative started by the Sustain, which began at the 2012 Olympics and sheds light on the fact that certain fish stocks are being overfished using unsustainable fishing methods. The campaign asks businesses to sign the Fish Cities pledge where they sell only sustainably sourced fish. The promotion of the campaign lies in their website, app and social media platforms which give an insight into fish that is acceptable to eat.

The meeting then moved onto a discussion about the sort of questions that should be asked to local candidates running for the boroughs of Greater Manchester. These followed the themes of Transport, Food, Housing, Energy, Air Quality, Divestment and any other suggestions, which included Fracking, Flooding and the TTIP campaign. The implications for the TTIP campaign were discussed and what it would mean it terms of trade for the UK, this was then linked back to the EU Referendum and the fact that if we leave the EU, we can negotiate our own terms of trade with the US which could be detrimental to workers and the environment.

The meeting involved a lot of contributions and questions asked by the group there which created an active discussion. It lasted two hours with informative discussions and conclusions about the questions that will be asked to candidates. It concluded with several topics being addressed and the overriding question regarding “Do they have general climate reduction tasks that they will be able to achieve in their Borough?”. The meeting’s goal was clear and the session was worthwhile and engaging.

For more information about Manchester Friends of the Earth Election Survey, click on the link www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/2016localelections/