A HUSTINGS event focussing on climate emergency in Settle attracted almost 100 people.

Organised by Action on Climate Emergency (ACE) Settle and Area, all candidates standing in the Skipton and Ripon constituency took part, with the exception of Conservative Julian Smith, who was first elected to the seat in 2010, and re-elected in 2015 and again in 2017. Mr Smith, who had a prior engagement and sent his apologies, was represented by Craven Conservative Councillor, David Staveley.

Also taking part were Andy Brown, Green; Brian McDaid, Labour; Andrew Murday, Liberal Democrat, and Jack Render, Yorkshire Party.

Richard Boothman, an environmental lecturer who lives in Long Preston, said the general election on December 12 had been described as the most important in a generation because of the unprecedented damage being caused to the climate and ecology and the world’s failure to act.

He believed that the next government would be the last that could make a difference and warned: “If that government fails to act, we will have to prepare ourselves for the worst consequences of climate and ecological breakdown that has been forecast. And let’s be clear this is not just an issue about climate breakdown, it is also an issue about social justice and inequality.”

The serious threats posed by climate change and the need for urgent action was acknowledged by all party representatives, who after outlining their own party’s policies on countering climate change, answered a wide range of questions from the audience.

The y included the number of diesel lorries passing through Settle, the implications of leaving the European Union on the policing of environmental laws and greenhouse gas emissions.

The session closed after 90 minutes by chairman, Brian Christian, who thanked the panel for the serious and positive approach they had taken to the hustings.

Tess McMahon ACE group member said:” People came to this event to listen to and ask questions of the politicians who want to represent them. Political parties can now have confidence that increasing numbers of voters will vote for those who seriously commit to measures - short and longer term - tackling climate emergency. And the talk, which followed the hustings, illustrated that lots of the things that we can do are fun, healthy and even save us money.”