Politics and the environment were centre stage at Newcastle's Green Festival in Leazes Park last week.
A Green Question Time panel, arranged by the Workers' Educational Association's (WEA) new Green Branch, included local Labour MP, Chi Onwurah, Lib Dem Councillor representing the Coalition, Gareth Kane, Green Party activist, Sandy Irvine and Ruth Hayward joint regional co-ordinator of Transition Towns Network in the North East.
This was one of the first events arranged by our new Green Branch which was formally launched at the Green Festival by Chi and Gareth just before the QT Panel session.
The questions to the panel brought some thoughtful as well as robust responses on trees and woodlands, economic growth and jobs, genetically modified food, cars and society, and co-operative solutions to housing problems.
Chi Onwurah is the Labour MP for Newcastle Central and her Party's Shadow spokesperson on science, Gareth Kane, is the Lib Dem spokesperson on environment on Newcastle City Council, and Sandy Irvine is an environmental campaigner working to protect the green belt.
Nigel Todd, secretary of the WEA North East Green Branch, said:
'This was the first public event arranged by the new Green Branch, which has very quickly attracted almost 50 members from across the Region. We're supporting WEA efforts to recruit more tutors with environmental specialisms so that we can respond to the threats posed by climate change that the UN believes are becoming more serious.
And, in advancing adult education with a social purpose, the Green Branch is identifying ways in which green activism can be supported. Next October, for example, we're planning a major regional conference, with support from the Co-op and the Federation of Community Farms, to bring together groups that are concerned about food growing and the ways in which land can be used more sustainably.'