Phélim Mac Cafferty

Phélim Mac CaffertyWe have never lived in such uncertain times.

Our region's countryside is under siege from fracking and roadbuilding companies- handed carte blanche by a Tory government obsessed with growth at all costs. The air in many of our cities is unfit to breathe. Many in the region wait longer than a week to see their GP while our precious National Health Service faces backdoor privatisation. Our region is in the grip of a housing crisis with buying too often out of reach and up to 80% of people’s income spent on rent. Tory cuts have deprived some of our most vulnerable people of the care they deserve. And, of course, we have at absolute most 11 years to deal with the climate crisis.

While Brexit may yet derail much of the social and environmental progress that Europe has secured, we can once again change the course of our region’s history and have the ambition for a brighter future.

Since 1999 the Green MEP for our region has been working hard for a fairer region and sustainable environment. They’ve shared a vision of a truly sustainable transport network, campaigned for our NHS and fought for our planet. And their replacement must be someone who has the dogged persistence to get things done. I have direct experience of the work of Green MEPs working as the Sussex regional liaison officer for Keith Taylor MEP. I have a deep understanding of the Parliament and an MEP’s work in the constituency. I believe I have strong political understanding and am empathetic and dependable which mean I can continue the powerful contribution of a south east Green MEP.

That experience is matched by 13 years’ front line experience in Brighton and Hove where I’ve worked in helping Councillors, Caroline Lucas and MEPs get elected. I’ve been elected Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide in 2011 and in 2015 and repeatedly re-elected Convenor of the Green Group 2015-19. I’ve been directly involved in our council working on introducing a Living Wage and giving planning consent for the first council houses built in the city in a generation. I’ve been at the centre of phasing out single use plastics and calling for climate change mitigation with £1/2M investment. I’ve addressed climate strikers and spoken out against hate crimes. As Universal Credit continues to bite, I’ve campaigned for fairer council tax debt collection.

I'm in a strong place to bring the relevance of the European Union back to the south east. I'll bring the Green Party call for the necessary reform of Europe back to the Parliament too. We cannot go back to how things were and must be clear that Greens will work tirelessly to do two things: fight the climate crisis and ensure that Europe is on the side of the most marginalised.

This election must demonstrate how Green politics isn’t a lifestyle option but necessary for the future wellbeing, if not the survival itself, of our region’s environment and people.

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