North Devon’s environment is at the heart of my campaign - Ian Roome

13 Jun 2024
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon Ian Roome at Ilfracombe Watersports Hub

Protecting North Devon’s natural environment lies at the heart of my campaign as the Liberal Democrat candidate at the election.

From our wild moors to our world-famous beaches, ancient woodlands to rolling farmland. North Devon has over a dozen ecosystems with hundreds of rare and unique forms of wildlife that we must further.

North Devon is more than simply a haven for wildlife in that our stewardship of the landscape attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year - a key part of our local economy, while the health benefits of our natural environment help to reduce the pressures on our health services.

The Government’s Office for Environmental Protection openly admits that the Conservatives fall ‘far short’ of what is needed to repair our natural environment. The government has stood by while South West Water rewards its CEO a £300,000 pay rise in the same month that dangerous bugs were found in Brixham's drinking water, and despite their failure to tackle the continued dumping of sewage in North Devon rivers.

For too long rivers like the Lyn, the Caen, and the Taw have seen less and less wildlife as the Conservatives' decimation of environmental protection damages our natural environment.

I have a bold plan to restore our natural environment, and ensure everyone has access to a clean and healthy natural world.

If elected I plan to:

  • Replace the toothless water regulator, OFWAT, with a Regulation Body capable of policing our waterways and with new powers to prevent sewage dumping.
  • Transform failing water companies into public benefit companies, banning bonuses and pay rises for water bosses who fail to meet stringent safety targets.
  • Create new forests in order to restore woodland habitats and increase the use of sustainable wood in construction. We will aim to double the UKs woodland cover within decades.
  • ‘Double nature’ by 2050 by setting meaningful and binding targets to stop the decline of our natural environment. In addition, doubling the size of the Protected Area Network, giving more space to vital important wildlife habitats.
  • Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organization guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency.
  • Strengthen the Office for Environmental Protection and provide more funding to the Environment Agency and Natural England to help protect our environment and enforce environmental laws.

We (the Liberal Democrats) are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 at the latest. In achieving this we will ensure that no family is left behind. We will help households meet the cost of the transition to net zero and make sure everyone reaps the rewards of Net Zero.

We will take the bold, urgent action needed to tackle climate change, cut energy bills and create hundreds of thousands of secure, well-paid new jobs. Together with innovative local businesses and along with local educators, we will bolster our natural industries while making our region a national leader in the clean technologies of the future.

We will:

  • Restore the UK’s role as a global leader on climate change, by returning international development spending to 0.7% of national income, with tackling climate change a key priority for development spending.
  • Appoint a Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury to ensure that the economy is sustainable, resource-efficient and zero-carbon, establish a new Net Zero Delivery Authority to coordinate action across government departments and work with devolved administrations, and hand more powers and resources to local councils for local net zero strategies.
  • Make homes warmer and cheaper to heat with a ten-year emergency upgrade programme, starting with free insulation and heat pumps for those on low incomes, and ensure that all new homes are zero-carbon.
  • Drive a rooftop solar revolution by expanding incentives for households to install solar panels, including a guaranteed fair price for electricity sold back into the grid.
  • Invest in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030.
  • Establish national and local citizens’ assemblies to give people real involvement in the decisions needed to tackle climate change.

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