Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green leader lends weight to Rose Cottage campaign

Green Party leader Dr Caroline Lucas MEP has become the first national party leader to support the campaign to save the historic Rose Cottage in Wythenshawe's Woodhouse Park.

Dr Lucas, who has campaigned nationally and in the European Parliament for an end to airport expansions and a fairer tax regime for the aviation industry, said today:

"Rose Cottage is an important piece of local heritage, but this is definitely not just a local issue. If Manchester airport increases its air freight capacity, Rose Cottage won't be the only casualty. There will be bad consequences in terms of climate change, as well local traffic generation, local air and noise pollution and resulting ill-health effects.

"The airport will talk about jobs, but the truth is that we can create huge numbers of jobs by greening the economy. Manchester and North West England could become major centres, and even leaders, of the green industrial revolution that Britain urgently needs.

"We could fund much of Britain's economic recovery if we stopped giving aviation its billions of pounds of tax breaks every year, and if we made airports and airlines pay the full costs of their pollution.

"And Manchester airport could start by developing a proper sustainable development strategy. That would mean scrapping plans for new air freight facilities - and Rose Cottage would be saved."

Speaking for Manchester Green Party, Withington parliamentary candidate James Alden added:

"It's completely irresponsible of Manchester airport and other airports to keep driving the expansion of the most highly-polluting form of transport when the rest of the world is trying desperately to tackle climate change.

"We need Manchester airport's surpluses to be diverted away from further airport expansion into sustainable industry. That way we could pump money into new industrial sectors like renewable energy that could sustain thousands of jobs in Manchester."

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