In November 2018, 4 members of HGN visited Jesse Norman in his surgery to discuss climate related issues and concerns effecting his constituents in Herefordshire.
Gareth Williams (HGN Chair / MD Caplor Energy), Kate Gathercole (HGN Secretary / Associate of New Leaf Sustainable Development), Nick Read (Director Brightspace Foundation / Agricultural Chaplain for the county) and Will Edwards (White House Farm How Caple / The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association), spent 90 minutes in discussion with Jesse.
Having gathered ideas from HGN members about issues they would like raised (click here to read them all) the four went along with a range of ideas, and some specific asks of Jesse for actions to take forwards.
Will Edwards invited Jesse to develop his understanding about the carbon sequestration benefits of grass-fed livestock, replete with an example he had prepared earlier – a clod of turf from White House Farm, rich with worms and microbial action.
Nick Read’s engagement with Jesse ranged widely across the moral ethics of international and UK climate needs and policy, and the mismatch of policies from central government and the concerns of Herefordshire communities. Nick has broad connections across Herefordshire communities from Herefordshire Diocese and the NFU, and he chairs the Local Nature Partnership. He wanted to explore how Jesse might contribute to important parliamentary debates that would be taking place on future agricultural and environmental policy, and how HGN might provide relevant briefings to him.
Gareth Williams focused amongst other things on concerns raised by the newly formed HGN Youth Council about plastics in our environment, and Kate Gathercole picked up on the failure of government to provide meaningful visible leadership on climate issues.
Specific outcomes included:
- Jesse Norman committed to Nick Read that he could help to organise some Westminster meetings on specific issues. Jesse indicated that meetings were most likely to take place if we were able to demonstrate the breadth of the groups and networks we represented.
- Jesse appeared to take on board Will Edwards concerns around grass fed meat, and seemed supportive.
- He acknowledged the need for two way communication with the Network, and offered to come and speak to the HGN in a public meeting to address our community’s concerns about a lack of Government leadership on climate.
- He was keen to hear about the youth group and perhaps engage directly with them
- He agreed to support Gareth Williams with a piece specifically focused on energy issues.
- He suggested that he would value meeting with HGN representatives every 6 months
- We agreed that we will invite Jesse to send us two articles per year on what he understands the Government to be doing to address climate change.
If you would be interested in contributing to the next HGN meeting with Jesse Norman please get in touch. We will be scheduling a meeting for March 2019.