[F]ormer Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett is to visit Penrith and Eden on the 4th and 5th of November as part of a fact finding visit to the area looking at the impact of floods on communities, flood prevention and building resilience in local communities. She will also be meeting with members of the newly formed Penrith and Eden Green Party Branch in Penrith on the morning of the 5th, in Penrith town centre.
“Having just formed our branch, we are delighted to be welcoming Natalie to Cumbria. We are keen for her to see how some groups in Cumbria have been working to help people recover from the floods and also how some groups are working to reduce the impact of climate change on our communities,” said Wade Tidbury Chair of the Penrith and Eden Green Party branch.
On the morning of Friday the 4th, Natalie, along with some local Green Party members, will be visiting the Community Emergency Response Team, CERT ( formally Eden Flood Volunteers) to find out first-hand about the recovery operations and the on-going need for flood support.
She will then be visiting Cumbria Action for Sustainability, CAfS, where she will be meeting their Chief Executive Officer, Hazel Graham.
Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) Chief Executive, Hazel Graham said: “Our recent partnership success in attracting £1 million of Lottery funding into Cumbria, to support people to be more resilient to extreme weather, has resulted in a lot of national attention.
“In partnership with CVS and ACT, we will be supporting individuals and communities to make the county more resilient and sustainable. With the Met Office clearly stating that extreme weather events are seven times more likely on a planet with human-made climate change, it is essential that we start to tackle the root causes.
“Through CAfS, households and communities will receive essential guidance on property refurbishments, integrating energy-efficiency improvements and retrofitting flood resilience measures. Communities who wish to take action to tackle climate change, as one of the root causes of recent flooding, will be given structured support to develop low-carbon projects, many of which will generate income for the local community.
“We are delighted that the former Green Party leader will visit us to learn about our work.”
“We are enthusiastic that Natalie is getting to hear about the fantastic work of the Community Emergency Response Team and the vital work that Cumbria Action for Sustainability is now embarking on, especially the low carbon projects that will generate income and jobs for the local community,” added Wade.
On Friday afternoon and evening Natalie will be continuing her fact finding in Carlisle and also speaking at a public meeting in Carlisle.
On the morning of Saturday the 5th of November, Natalie will be meeting with Penrith and Eden Branch members for discussions about campaigning and political activism, including ideas about forming progressive alliances. She will then be joining members on a street stall in Penrith town centre.
In the afternoon of the 5th of November, Natalie will be visiting Eden Rivers Trust and the Barnskew Project near Maulds Meaburn, where she will see work there that has changed the river course back to its previous meandering route, slowing it down and increasing the plant and wildlife diversity in the process.
“Whilst flood relief is absolutely vital to help individuals and communities recover, we have to be much more active as a nation to take positive and decisive action against climate change,” said Dick O’Brien, Secretary of the Penrith and Eden Green Party Branch.