A Green candidate has announced her party’s plans for stopping the flight of young workers to big cities by calling for high speed broadband – and small farms.
Speaking on the BBC’s Look North election special Dr Vicky Dunn, the Green candidate for Great Grimsby said the way to rejuvenate areas such as Lincolnshire was to stop the area being dominated by large industrialised farms.
Responding to a younger member of the audience who said that virtually everyone she was at school with has left the area, Dr Dunn said people would be encouraged to stay in rural areas if they had better communications and farms which only tended to employ a small number of full time workers were replaced with small units which young people could then work on.
The environmental campaigner, who is currently a director of a project helping small businesses with renewable energy, was dismissive of other candidates’ suggestions that what areas like Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire needed was a proper road network, mobile phone reception and a decent railway network.
Both Tory, UKIP and Labour candidates supported investment, with Victoria Ayling saying it was unlikely that any private companies would invest in the area if they saw it was neglected by the government. MPs Diana Johnson and Karl McCartney defended their party’s records in government despite the most deprived seats in the country being in previously ‘safe’ Labour areas for decades.
Dr Dunn had previously told the audience that she did not think there needed to be a review of EU directives, saying that it would mean MPs in Westminster spending years going through laws and deciding which ones to keep and which ones should go.
She also used the time allocated to attract voters to her party by instead attacking UKIP, saying they were the party of fear and ‘climate change deniers’.
A key topic at hustings has been the renewable energy hub in the Humber Estuary. Supporters say it will bring in thousands of jobs to coastal towns which have been suffering since the decline of manufacturing and fishing. Opponents point out that the subsidies transfer money from the poor to the rich and much of the money doesn’t benefit Britain.
Dr Dunn, whose website says she is ‘fascinated by economics’ has based her campaign on the renewables industry bringing in thousands of jobs for Grimsby despite the proposed numbers dropping from 10,000 to just 2,000 over the last few years.