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General Election 2024 : Ealing Central and Acton hustings

As we gear up for the General Election on 4 July 2024, residents in Ealing and Central Acton have been given the opportunity to meet and question the constituency candidates in events known as hustings.

Ealing Central and Acton hosted its second hustings in the constituency on Wednesday evening (26 June 2024) in St Mary’s Church on The Mount, following the first hustings in the borough at Acton Mosque on Monday.

The local community heard from the same seven out of eight candidates, which were: Stephen Balogh (SDP), Julie Carter (Independent), Kate Crossland (Green), Rupa Huq (Labour), Nada Jarche (Workers GB), Alastair Mitton (Lib Dems), and James Windsor-Clive (Conservative).

All candidates were present, bar the Reform candidate, Felix Orrell, who was contacted on numerous occasions but failed to attend both events.

This hustings was organised by Churchfield Community Association. The organisers told EALING.NEWS: “As a local community organisation, we in the Churchfield Community Association wanted to give local people a chance to hear all the candidates’ views and have a chance to question them. It’s part of our aims to promote local democracy and encourage participation.”

The event brought together around 100 people from diverse faith communities across the Ealing Acton constituency.

The event had a strict no video or audio recordings policy, but this did not stop some members of the audience from attempting to film inside and outside the church.

The audience were reminded by the moderator at the start of the event to avoid heckling and interruptions as this will only add to the candidates’ air time. However, the jeering and disruptions continued throughout.

The audience were invited to submit their questions via written cards to be taken up directly to the panel, where each candidate had 2 minutes each to respond. A range of topics were discussed across the night including those on Gaza and social care, which was covered previously last time. Here are the highlights from this hustings focusing on the new topics we could not cover in our previous hustings coverage.

Housing Question: What are the candidates going to do on section 21, leasehold reforms and how will you provide affordable and safe tower blocks to avoid another Grenfell disaster?

For context – Section 21 refers to the current Government policy of ‘no fault’ eviction of tenants, which you can read more about here.

Julie Carter (Independent): “So, housing is a problem. In terms of private landlords, I do know that private landlords are charging very high rents in the area and everywhere. And it’s their privilege. It’s their prerogative to do so. As long as they offer very good housing and very good security for tenants, I think that’s fine for them to do that. If they work hard to buy the houses to rent them out. In terms of evictions, I do believe that if the tenant doesn’t behave or overstays his lease and cannot pay. Yes, he should be evicted after a short amount of time, being able to sort it out and come to some sort of arrangement.

“The second one is the tower blocks. Yes, an awful lot of tower blocks have gone up in this area, and they all look very nice and very fancy. I have looked at some of the prices, none of them are affordable to anybody. And I have to think that a lot of people from foreign buyers or people from the city are coming out to buy them. Totally against that, they should go to people in the area. And that’s something I will address. They all look very nice. 

“The third thing is the lease holds. It’s a very unusual situation in this country actually. With one of the very few places that have leasehold properties. I’ve always stayed clear of being interested in looking at the price at the leasehold property because it’s not clear what you’re getting. You’re paying something and then you have 20 years to live in it or five years and then you have to go and buy the lease. I’m not quite sure how it works. I don’t know if it’s a good idea for people to buy the lease out or whether they should just be offered another lease at a decent price.”

Stephen Balogh (SDP): So on the three items I want to start with affordability – so the SDP policy is to revive the social housing sector by building 100,000 social housing units a year to go on top of the roughly 200,000 provided by the private sector and housing associations, at least making some inroads into the backlog. In terms of social housing, it would be given priority to local families. So local builds for local families, they would get priority.

“Second thing is order leasehold reform. We support Michael Gove’s leasehold reforms. And on the third one was quality assurance. So the SDP would introduce a new condition certificate like a housing MOT issued by a new housing standard inspector and it would be illegal to collect rent on any home that has failed its conditioned certificate, for example for the four poor standards of property maintenance, for the full period it has no condition certificate. We believe that that should be incentive enough, but of course with huge sanctions for continued lack of compliance. It would be a statutory body that would be in charge of the new social housing, the British Housing Corporation that would oversee local, I think they call them County Housing corporations, who would actually be responsible for the local bills so that it doesn’t feel like a monolithic state corporation not understanding local areas.”

Nada Jarche (Workers Party GB): “So today yes, we are facing a housing affordability crisis. Hardworking families are being priced out of homes, forced into higher rents and living in fear of evictions. This, obviously we are looking into it. So our party will push for more affordable homes, strong tenant protections and the scrap of lease holders. We will ensure fair rents and safeguard the dream of homeownership. Everyone deserves safe, secure and affordable homes. So obviously we will also be proposing a 5% of wealth tax on all the states worth over 10 million pounds as well.”

James Windsor-Clive (Conservatives): I will tackle on the leasehold reform and no more evictions [question] first. As you know the government under Michael Gove’s Rental Reform Act were championing this bill. We want to ‘turn ground rents to peppercorns’ to quote Michael Gove. And the no more evictions one is a slightly more difficult issue. I think we want to get rid of it in principle, but as we saw as the build progressed, it was slightly more difficult. And we’ve got to get the balance between the landlord and the tenant and make sure that we’re not going to compromise the rental market which plays such an important role in our housing mix. 

“Now in terms of the you know, the towers and selling right homes, I think there needs to be more yimbyism (an acronym for ‘Yes in my back yard’) rather than nimbyism (an acronym for ‘Not in my backyard’, meaning the behaviour of someone who does not want something to be built or done near where they live, although it does need to be built or done somewhere).

“We need to get communities on board. Talk to them about what they want? What’s this development going to mean for them? I know we’ve had issues here with you know, the council imposing tall towers on metropolitan open lands and we need to sort of think, you know, gentle gentrification, homes that work for people, the right affordability, you know, criteria and mix. And, you know, also looking at the demand side, trying to get mortgage access that’s why we’ve got that kind of ‘Right to Buy’ scheme and we’re going to build 1.6 million homes and the Conservatives really is you know, the party that’s going to make the long term decisions for a brighter future.

Alastair Mitton (Liberal Democrats): “We will build 380,000 new homes a year, of which 150,000 will be social homes. We will abolish the section 21 No Fault evictions. And more importantly, we will replace the current default, which is six months tenancy with a default of three years to give renters some kind of stability. We’ll also abolish residential lease holds and we will cap the ground rents at a nominal fee, because I certainly have come across some outrageous hikes in ground rents, when landlords are imposing these massive figures, and then not actually using the money for the very things that they said that they wanted to do. So we will cap those for a nominal fee.”

Dr Kate Crossland (Green Party): “I’m gonna start just with the word crisis because we talk about the housing crisis, but we’re talking about so many different things. We’re talking about the factors that drive people into homelessness. We’re talking about rental prices. We’re talking about the right to buy and we’re talking about the energy efficiency of our homes. So it’s really important to be clear on what aspects of that we’re talking about. And I think the breadth of questions illustrates the scale of the challenges. So what are the green party policies? So we’ll start with social housing, we need to build more, we have a similar approach to the Liberal Democrats. We also want to bring those empty homes into social housing control and give local authorities the power to do that and we want to end the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme because we need to keep those social housing properties in the system. 

“When it comes to rental prices. We want to give local authorities the power to introduce rent control where private rents have got out of hand in the local area. We know that we’ve seen a lot of building and we know that’s very contentious. And what we also know, as one of the questions alluded to, is that that’s not working to make housing more affordable. We’re calling for a complete reform of the planning system, and in particular, to bring more powers to the local community who need to be listened to about where that housing should be and what it should look like. 

“And of course, being the Green Party. I’m going to say that it should be built to the highest environmental standards. So it’s future proof and residents don’t have to put up with extensive refurbishment projects 10 years later. The towers – I just want to remind everyone that people live in the towers. Sometimes there is this language about the people who live there, that’s really quite discriminatory. They’re also victim to the leasehold crisis. And you’ve reminded me that that’s not covered in the Green Party manifesto. And I’ve got an email sitting in my inbox about it that I need to escalate to a central party for our policy. And finally we would end the section 21 evictions, but we would also bring in a private renters arbitration process so that we can try and resolve some of those conflicts rather than just kicking people out.”

Rupa Huq (Labour): “Every week in my advice surgery, so many different manifestations of housing come across my desk, so be it overcrowding you know, a whole family and maybe two small rooms, multiple children. Also poor standards damp and mould, Awaab’s law you might have heard of (referring to the law named after Awaab Ishak the two year old boy who died from mould exposure). Then even for middle class people planning permissions to expand their home. Their children can’t afford to live nearby, because of the escalating costs. So it’s a supply demand thing really, and it all has its roots in Thatcher because we originally had social housing council housing, housing associations for modest and average incomes, those things all got sold off on the open market and now you’ve got the receipts of sale we’ve never used to replenish that stock. So now you have things that come to the open market they go for above the price, so labour is proposing to build 1.5 million new homes. 

“Again, this Neo-feudal tenure of leasehold. This is the only place on earth, not even in Scotland do they have that, we want to abolish that because it handcuffs people forever. So yes, it’s true that there was a renters reform bill in that last parliament. But I’m afraid Michael Gove caved into the fact that 1 in 4 Tory MPs are private landlords and they bent his ear so it all collapsed at the end. None of it was actually enacted. They’ve had 14 years they could have very easily done it. They didn’t they dumped it, they chickened out. 

“We will also look at Section 106 improvements. So when you have a big private developer, they’re meant to do this thing called ‘Planning game’ where you have money for parks, Doctor surgeries, those things at the moment it seems to be being swallowed up. So there’s one of the first things I spoke about. I had an article in the Evening Standard in 2015 talking about the ‘who stole my cheese’ generation because, you know, I had a staff of five people in their 30s, they’re all good money. They’re all in rented rooms. You know, it’s not a way of life for our generation. In fact, anyone older than me, you would imagine life would get better for your children. Whereas for our children, you know, I’m a mom myself it’s getting worse. Standards of living are falling. So what I would say is, yeah, that these 1.5 million will be on new terms, eco new terms. So that will build on our green policies as well. You don’t have to have a tower block on every street. 

Brexit Question: Why is no one talking about Brexit and how will you fix the problems caused by ‘Getting Brexit done’?

Rupa Huq (Labour): “So this constituency was a 72% remain constituency. On my last election leaflets, I think we had a EU flag on them. So it’s our friends or neighbours. I know there were tears in the playground in many schools after that horrific vote in 2016. And you know, if it was done today, it would be the other way around. So it’s a lot of people the older generation that are sort of fallen off the rug. 

“Brexit has been an unmitigated flop. I want to agree with everyone who said that and for the youth of academic exchanges. I was an academic, we did a lot of collaborations the MP 5 programme. I don’t know what number they’re up to now, but it’s stopped academic collaborations. Those kinds of things. Academic Exchange, my son is going to Madrid Lexia yet only because his university has a bilateral. I went to Strasburg for a year to fit in any university. And that was everyone’s right in those days. I think it’s awful. I think there should be a queue that says ‘don’t blame me I voted remain’ at the border when you’re queuing up with your passport when you’re coming back from away. 

“So what I would fix is the so-called Windsor framework agreement and the Brexit deal that Boris wanted to get done. Because anyone who works in import/export will know that the red tape is strangulating, even for things like exchanges, because you’re honoured by consumer law, you are duty bound to honour there. The amount of tariffs it goes through, even if it comes from America and you go over to Europe to get it, every border that the paperwork and all that stuff is packed with animals with medicine with every possible angle you can think of. So I mean, we’re not going to rejoin the EU, we wouldn’t get the same terms and conditions that we had. We were only in 60% of it. We were not in Schengen, we were not in the Euro, but we will look at closer alignment. We’re not rejoining the Customs Union or the single market yet but I’m hopeful maybe in my lifetime these things may happen. for now, we will look at improving the mess that the Tory party has made of this.”

Dr Kate Crossland (Green Party): “Right so I’m just gonna start by saying some parties are talking about it and I’m gonna do a bit of a fact check here, here’s our manifesto. ‘Britain’s future in Europe’ – It’s in there, including the word Brexit it’s mentioned. We are talking about it and it starts by saying the Green Party is pro European and proudly so.

“Well we are where we are, so what are we going to do about it? What we’re gonna do is rejoin the EU and I love the way this is worded because it’s very diplomatic. As soon as the domestic political situation is favourable, because we have to acknowledge that there was a vote and we do need to decide as a country what we do about that. As soon as EU member states are willing, because they might not want us back, and we need to acknowledge that too. 

“We would want to rejoin the Customs Union as the first step because that’s where the worst of the damage is. I particularly want to just name the drug shortages that we’ve been experiencing as a result of Brexit. Yeah, some calls in the room of acknowledgement there. We want a speedy return to the free movement of people. And I think that also recognises some of the labour shortages we faced post Brexit and then finally the word on lost opportunity for young people and probably the easiest thing we could do, the first thing we could do is rejoining the Erasmus programme, yet again, some nods of recognition. So this was the programme where you could go and study abroad for a year, so that’s something we might be able to negotiate quickly. So proudly pro European. How we get there is a little bit harder.”

Alastair Mitton (Liberal Democrats): “This is a subject that’s actually deeply personal to me, because I grew up in Southern Spain. My mum died about six years ago, and together with my sisters, I inherited the house that I grew up in. I can’t live there anymore. I’ve been banned from my childhood home, can you imagine how that makes me feel? What also makes me feel incredibly angry, is that due to Brexit, we’ve lost around 40 billion pounds a year in tax revenues. We could be putting that into Kate’s hospital. We could be putting that into Rupa’s universities. We could be spending it where it’s actually going to do some good and yet that was taken away from us. 

“Now the sad truth is that right now, if we try to rejoin the single market, or the EU generally, they wouldn’t have us. Trust is gone completely. And we’ve got to rebuild that and we have to start rebuilding it by rejoining Erasmus, rejoining the European Aviation Agency, improving cooperation on environment, on defence, and just generally showing that we can be trusted because right now the Europeans don’t trust us. And bit by bit once that trust has been built back up. I think you all know the Lib Dems are famous for being pro European. We will rejoin the single market, we will rejoin the Customs Union and maybe sometime we’ll rejoin the EU.”

James Windsor-Clive (Conservatives): “So I said at the start, one of the reasons I stand here was because I was a Remainer. Now, Brexit’s done. I was very disappointed but I am not a Remoaner. We have to deal with the circumstances we’ve got. And we’re starting to see some of the dividends. We were the first people to approve the COVID vaccination, because we were lighter on our feet. We’ve started to see trade deals with US states, with Australia, with New Zealand. Yes, sir you laugh about but since 2010, we’ve grown faster than France and Germany. So why do you want to be attached to the rotting Europe that is growing slower than us, when we can increase trade and export to faster growing economies in Asia? We’ve also signed a deal with CTTP (Army Collective Training service).

“Labour is even taking advantage of the VAT rules to tax schools which would only be possible with, you know, our new European freedoms.. So maybe they even like some of the benefits it’s giving them. No, I know it, you know, there is so much more to come. We’ve been slightly derailed by COVID, but once we start cutting away the bureaucracy and the way Europe has treated us through this negotiation, is that is that really something we want to be part of? With no democratic deficit being told by Brussels and Strasbourg what we should do? The answer is no. Let’s be proud of our capabilities. Look to the future, look to the fastest growing areas in the world and then have our cake and eat it and we will carve out deals with the rise in Europe on defence, so there’s plenty to come. 

Nada Jarche (Workers Party GB): “So the Workers Party views Brexit as a regressive step that will harm workers rights, the economy and International Cooperation. To address these concerns, we propose re-establishing trade links with the EU, protecting workers rights, addressing immigration issues, and maintaining reinstating programmes benefiting EU students. Tackling Brexit requires a collaborative effort and a communication to work together towards a shared future, a better future. So let us set aside our differences and we need to find common grounds in terms of working together, striving forward and ensuring there’s an inclusive future to all.”

Stephen Balogh (SDP): “First of all, I’d like to thank James for doing a lot of heavy lifting on the other side of the arguments. I am the son of Hungarian refugees. I absolutely love Europe. I’m an absolute Europhile, but I don’t I’m afraid love the EU. My party the SDP strapline is: ‘family, community, nation’ and this is where nation and the ability to sack your MP who is 100% responsible for the governance of your country becomes important once more. 

“It is a fact that the EU is declining quite rapidly in terms of global GDP, as James has said the UK since 2010 and since 2016, in fact, has been ahead of all of the major EU countries in GDP growth, it is just a fact. And Brexit, Britain recovering London, recovering the financial crown, however you think that might be, you know destabilising to balance the economy, most of the doomsayers have been wrong. So I am and my party are ones who want to build from here, continuing to build trade relationships with parts of the world that is growing. I’ll keep it short because James has done most of my work for me. My son spent a year in Texas on an academic exchange year.. Absolutely fantastic year for him on an opportunity that he wouldn’t have had under Erasmus and wouldn’t have been permitted were we still part of the EU. So it is not all one way. Students these days can have a global output not just an European output.”

Julie Carter (Independent): “Just before the Brexit vote, I went to the Institute of Directors, I believe it’s in Pall Mall, it’s a beautiful building and I went to a lecture there on all the directors of various companies. At that point, nobody thought there would be a Brexit and it was all you know, it was all well this is not going to happen, but if it does happen, this is what can happen. 

So they used as an example they use the import and export of a car and in theory, it should be every single little car part, every component and a car that has to be reevaluated and checked and goes through VAT and all the paperwork, which will be an impossible process but they did explain that certain things that are in place like cars, they already have a sort of package as such, where that one particular thing is passed and goes through and there is nothing stopping, easy, import and export of these vehicles. 

Now, there are products that do have problems. I know that but it’s not as bad as you think. I think people should spend more time with the Institute of directors. These are people that know what they’re doing. Nobody is picking their brains to ask them how to end this and the vote was thrown by somebody who didn’t expect the results. And also had no plan for any exit plan. So yes, it does need to get done but we need to go to the right people and they’re at the Institute of directors. They’ll tell you how to speed things along.”

Environment Question: What would you do to address the climate and ecological emergency and how would you help the UK work towards net zero? 

Stephen Balogh (SDP): “I have our manifesto in front of me which I am going to be quoting from rather than trying to riff it. So the SDP very much accepts the broad consensus that fossil fuels are contributing to climate change. Our concern is that unfortunately, we are going unrealistically fast. I know that’s not what most people are going to want to hear. In my opening statement, I was trying to highlight one of the things that is gradually going wrong – that we are losing our energy independence at the moment. Three days ago, we imported 23.7% of our electricity and quite a lot of our gas we are having to import now. And like it or not, when that need arises it is because there’s a general loss of energy generation across Europe, which is where we get our imports from and so it is likely to be coal and oil fired power stations that are providing us when we need it, and we’re paying very high prices for it, for peak demand. So I’m just trying to illustrate that we are completely committed in carbonising, but it has to be done in a way that’s not going to impoverish Britain. For very little actual results. There’s no point in going down that road. 

“We are absolutely committed to environmental improvements. So water supply and management is a natural monopoly and we will definitely bring it back under national ownerships so that it is being done properly for citizens rather than foreign profits. We will have because we love place, we have a huge programme of local ecological improvements to look after our nature and our countryside and to involve citizens in the upkeep of it so that there is a binding of people with the nature that they are a part of.”

Julie Carter (Independent): “Can I start with anyone that takes the E3 bus and sits in traffic at the traffic light and sees the fumes coming through the window, breathing them in, that has to stop. It’s just such a simple thing to do. I don’t know how we’re going to get buses moving exactly. Likely cycling seems to have taken over. I don’t think any of you are going to be going on a bike anytime soon. You probably take the bus, all I see is vigilante bike cyclists that should be in the Tour de France on those bike lanes. Those need to go, we need to get those lanes back. So we could drive our buses and cars down the street and we don’t have sit in fumes.

“One thing that is very close to my heart is the fact, how much in England we’re paying for electricity and heating. That is just ridiculous in this day and age. We should not be giving half our wages to heating our homes. So we do need to work on Home Insulation. That should be number one, but more importantly lowering the electric bills and, as Stephen said, not spending so much on energy in this country.”

Dr Kate Crossland (Green Party): “So I’ll start with the first part, which is the urgency. This is one of the reasons that the Green Party is being honest about the need to borrow, because we’ve left it so late, we’ve got so much to do. And we also need to talk about the fact that there’s mitigation, which is how we reduce the emissions that we are producing, but there’s also the adaptation that we have to do. We don’t have air conditioning in here. 

We’ve got two challenges that we have to face. We do have to get to net zero. And I was at the Cop 26 conference in Glasgow, I was very privileged to be able to go there with a community organisation. And what really struck me is how many delegates from the global South were there and how much support and help they were looking for and really weren’t getting. So investing in global aid and looking at debt relief from the global south so they can be meet their challenges. It’s also in our manifesto. 

“What do we need to do here in this country? What are the policies that we need to get to net zero. So its energy, transport and food. These are three things that contribute to our carbon emissions in the greatest way. So quickly, energy – insulating our homes quickly, that’s the first thing we do and it drives down our energy bills. Transitioning to renewables. So one of our policies, for example, is bringing the Crown Estate into public hands so it’s easier to do offshore wind. Community Energy is something that really excites me. So you can have solar here that you own as a community and be able to harness the power of that to reduce your own bills, and maybe to give something back as well. Not nuclear, we don’t have time, and how do you get a community to accept a nuclear power station on their doorstep and it’s gonna take at least a decade to build so, not nuclear. Transport frequent flyer tax. We’ve got some proposals on how to do that. 50% of our journeys in towns and cities by walking, wheeling or cycling. Yes, I’ve seen you. The reason you’re stuck in traffic is because of the traffic. Nationalise the railways finally. Food I won’t dwell on because we’re in Ealing Central and Acton, we don’t have any farms. But let’s just acknowledge that it’s a climate and nature crisis. These things are related and we need to do something about that.”

Rupa Huq (Labour): “We only have one planet and if we carry on at the rate we are, we’re not going to have very long. So we have our flagship policy of a green investment prosperity plan, which is 15 billion pounds, including it’s backed by a green investment bank and this will be high quality goods in sustainable professions for example, home insulation, this doesn’t happen in this country. So therefore, we’re going to ensure that’s a central part of that. 

“We know that when labour was last in power, the feed in tariffs that we did the solar panels people have that, in the end electricity pays for itself was done away with by the conservatives. So we’ve got a package of new measures to ban microplastics those things that fish ingest. We’re a very species depleted nation, so stuff, the PPE mask that wash up on beaches are killing our sea life forms. The Conservative government scrapped the animal welfare bill we will bring about that, we’ll bring our beefed up version of that. We will ban the import of foie gras, this very cruel luxury food and poppy smuggling and we’ll crack down on that because again, that’s been allowed to go on unabated. 

“A lot of these decarbonisation plans of Rishi Sunak’s government, I think he’s angered people like Zach Goldsmith because of it. It was meant to be 2030 that there will be a ban on all internal combustion engines. They pushed that forward to 2035, we want to be bolder with all these targets. We want to be a green energy superpower with increased investment in onshore wind and solar power, opposite shore wind. So we’re going to start a new company with great British energy, because for too long, actually, the Ukraine crisis has highlighted how dependent we are on Putin’s Russia. Now that all those things have been cut off and we’re sanctioning all the oligarchs, we’re in a bit of a hole, everyone’s energy bills have massively rocketed. So we would have our own great British energy, part private, part public, so that we’re not dependent on Russia anymore. And I’ve cycled here today.”

Nada Jarche (Workers Party GB): “So of course, Ealing residents care about the environment. They should be aided, not made the enemy here. Climate change exists. But let’s also be clear, forcing people to drive on 20 miles per hour and drinking from paper straws is not going to save the environment. Large corporations must be forced into taking the responsibility as well. They should not be able to pay off MPs for their silence. Clear energy schemes must be encouraged such as solar panels. And this way, it will be a norm for all Londoners to be in a safe, clean environment.”

Alastair Mitton (Liberal Democrats): “We would restore the requirements to have all new cars sold by 2030 to be zero emissions, which has been scrapped. We will also introduce an emergency Home Energy Upgrade because a lot of the problem is our existing housing stock is just leaking energy and we can massively reduce the emissions down by upgrading those houses. All new homes will have to be rebuilt to a zero carbon standard. We’ll also remove restrictions on new solar and wind installations, which are currently in large parts of the country. You simply can’t put them in and will also encourage innovation in tidal power. In fact, it’s something that we wanted to do years ago, and the tidal lagoon in South Wales got scrapped by the Tories. We will also implement our G7 promise to end fossil fuel subsidies because we’re still doing it. And you know, if we end those subsidies, that will again reduce down the fossil fuels that we use. We will improve the incentives for heat pumps. And on a day like today, we could probably keep the whole country going. And finally, we will insist that all landlords upgrade their rental properties to EPC 3 (Small existing buildings with heating systems less than 100 KW and cooling systems less than 12 KW) or above, because it’s not fair on the renters. And it’s not fair on the community.”

James Windsor-Clive (Conservatives): “I remember very fondly David Cameron being pictured with those huskies up in the Arctic Circle and since then, our party’s green transformation has been remarkable. We enshrined net zero in law, one of the first countries to do it. We’ve halved emissions from 1990 levels. We have embraced not just net zero but jet zero. We are a leader in sustainable aviation fuel. And we’re also a world leader in wind power. We’ve got five largest wind farms in the country. 

“But the quick wins have been done. I agree with Stephen, we’ve got to start being pragmatic. You know the transition from the boiler systems to heat pumps, that’s seven or eight grand per house – who is going to pay for that? So we’ve got to start making difficult decisions. We can’t rush it, especially when the biggest emitters,  the US and China, are not signed up. We care about households and their living standards and don’t want to impose costs that other countries aren’t also bearing. If you stick with the Conservatives, you could vote blue and go green.”

Click here for all Ealing Central & Acton candidates standing.

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