During July, Molly enjoyed a busy week of constituency visits across Dorset. A packed programme of events and visits included a visit to the Peacemarsh headquarters and eco-factory of Neal’s Yard Remedies, near Gillingham. The company was the first high street brand to become carbon neutral and has a number of accreditations including organic certification, fair trade and a strong stance against animal cruelty.
On a trip to Poole she visited the headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). Here she received a tour of the site, including the Sea Survival Centre, where she heard about the importance of wearing a life jacket; visited the new all-weather Lifeboat Centre, where life boats are built and repaired in-house; and the Sir William Hillary building, where she heard about their drowning prevention Respect the Water campaign, and the RNLI’s international work to prevent drownings in the developing world. Some 40 people die every hour of every day due to drowning, worldwide.
Molly also visited the Poole Housing Partnership (PHP) and a number of community projects, including the Alderney West Community Growing Project, to learn first-hand about their focus on sustainability initiatives including community food growing, renewable energy and energy efficiency in social housing. She was particularly pleased to hear about the positive impact food growing projects have had on communities in Poole.
In Blandford Forum she took part in a TTIP debate with Simon Hoare, the newly elected Conservative MP for North Dorset. She told the 100+ audience that the US-EU trade deal was a corporate charter and a serious threat to environmental and social legislation. The audience voted overwhelmingly in opposition to TTIP. See a separate report on this debate.
Molly also visited AFC Bournemouth – who are still celebrating their promotion to the Football Premier League for the first time in their history – to learn about their ‘Green Goals’ programme, a partnership with Bournemouth Borough Council which aims to improve the quality of the local environment and benefit the community, including engaging children and young people in healthy lifestyle activities.
Finally, she gave a well-received presentation to the Green Knowledge Network of Dorset businesses, which supports business in finding affordable approaches to sustainability.
Molly outlined the benefits that green policies can bring to the South West economy, focusing on renewable energy, tax, trade, banking and investment. She highlighted the impact that Government attacks on the renewable energy sector are having across the South West and the potential this sector offers for job creation.