Sue MacFarlane, Green Candidate for Belper North
I first moved to Belper in 1997 due to work commitments, and loved the town immediately. I went back to my home city of Sheffield for family reasons in 2004, but missed Belper so much I moved back here as soon as I could in 2013.
I am a professional singer and Natural Voice Practitioner, and perform at events in the town – often raising money or supplies for local causes such as The Basic Idea, Belper’s Food Bank.
I am also a freelance celebrant and conduct ceremonies such as marriages and funerals within the Unitarian movement and independently.
I enjoy supporting local groups whenever I can, and am the secretary treasurer to the trustees of Belper Unitarian Chapel. I’m also vice-chair of Accessible Belper, an organisation that aims to raise awareness of access issues within the town.
I am a keen craftsperson and run a skills share group twice a month in Belper.
Almost all of the work I do centres around finding out what people want and need, and doing my best to help them achieve it.
The same principles apply to my political work: I listen to what people want, and then strive to help them make it happen.
I attend town and borough council meetings to keep abreast of current issues, and would love the opportunity to represent and speak up for the people of Belper on the issues that they feel strongly about.
The Environment and Planning
Protecting Belper’s World Heritage Site is vitally important and the Green Party would do so by speaking up against unnecessary development, fracking, and other destructive activities.
There should be no green field developments and all new houses should be built to the highest energy efficient standards, such as PassivHaus, which is seen as the gold standard in energy efficiency and results in the best performing buildings worldwide.
Strutt’s North Mill, which is a Belper landmark, needs protecting and I am glad it now has a new manager. I am looking forward to seeing what changes he will make.
For all the above reasons we really need to adopt a sustainable Local Plan as soon as possible and if elected I would be pushing for this straight away.
The Community and Local Sustainability
I love the Belper arts and music scene and use independent shops in our town as often as I can. Like everyone else I was thrilled when we won the High Street Award, but it is important that we continue to support the traders if we want to safeguard the future of our community.
The Green Party supports the Living Wage and is against development of out of town superstores.
The Green Party is opposed to creating more Academies and Free Schools and will support community, school and parent campaigns that share this aim. The Green Party would integrate Academies and Free Schools into the Local Authority school system.
The EU Referendum
The Green Party policy is to stay in the EU, but there is no party whip so we are all able to vote with our own conscience.
I hope people will vote for me on May 5th and give me the opportunity to represent them on Amber Valley Borough Council.