Election 2015 Q&A: ‘Green jobs’ vital, says Cathrine Simmons

Green candidate for Torridge and West Devon, Cathrine Simmons

Green candidate for Torridge and West Devon, Cathrine Simmons - Credit: Archant

In the latest of our series of features profiling each of this year’s General Election candidates, we meet Cathrine Simmons, the Green Party’s candidate for Torridge and West Devon

How long have you been in politics?

38 years.

Why have you decided to stand for election?

Green Politics are important to me and I want to get these views across.

What are the major issues facing Torridge between 2015-20?

Low wages, high house prices including rents, and poor quality housing which leads to fuel poverty.

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What would you like to see done to combat these?

Green jobs such as tidal, wind and solar provision together with energy efficiency improvements to homes would a source of interesting and productive jobs.

How would your party deliver on this for the people of Torridge and West Devon?

Talking to energy companies and councils to get these developments off the ground.

How much pressure do you think local services will come under should spending cuts continue? Can local authorities cope with these?

Local authorities are under tremendous pressure but I think Torridge with its recent cuts to staffing will cope although we have lost much expertise. This may unfortunately reduce the quality of advice and knowledge in the near future.

Do you support or oppose further housing and renewable energy developments in the constituency? Why?

I support limited housing developments if it provides much needed affordable housing especially in the villages. But we need to house local people not the retired from outside the area. I also support renewable energy as long as it is in the right place and does not use good arable land. If solar farms are to be built then wild flowers must be planted to improve the lot of bees who are suffering from modern farming practices.

How confident are you of a successful election campaign for your party, both locally and nationally?

I think the Greens will get a good vote if the large number of people joining and coming forward to help the party is anything to go by. I think we will do well locally too as we have really good district council candidates.

In one sentence, what would you pledge to offer to the people of Torridge should you be elected?

Well paid jobs is key to improving the area with local businesses supporting this, also we must look after our most vulnerable in society especially with health care.

Why should people give you their vote?

Green policies are sensible and fair, we are not in the pockets of big business or interest groups. We believe in looking after the environment and the vulnerable. Brighton and Hove City Council, where the Greens are in control, has been a real success story.

What would you say to anyone thinking about not voting in May?

People have died to get the vote and remember at local elections one vote can make all the difference.

Away from politics, give us a quirky fact about yourself?

I make a good Pavlova pudding with free range eggs which friends seem to enjoy.

Any other comments?

Too long Torridge and West Devon have been ignored because it is pretty and safe, but being rural has its down side and we must make any future government address the lack of funding for this area.

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