Green New Deal demonstrators saying ‘the time is now’ for green jobs in Havant call on MP to commit to investment

DEMONSTRATORS formed a line outside Havant Job Centre as part of a campaign for ‘green jobs for all’.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:40 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:48 pm
Lisa Bruni, left, and fellow campaigners queue outside the Job Centre on Elmleigh Rd, to call on their Conservative MP, Alan Mak, to support investment in green jobs in Havant. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Among those holding signs and placards on Saturday morning were students and people who had lost jobs during the pandemic.

The protestors, all from Havant borough, represent Havant Green New Deal.

They are demanding that the government and MP for Havant Alan Mak support investment in new green jobs for the borough.

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Campaigners, from left, Izzy Fletcher, Susie Caston, Margaret Lockyer, Keira Power, Philippa Gray and Lisa Bruni, queue outside the Job Centre. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Margaret Lockyer, a member of Havant Green New Deal and of Havant Climate Alliance, said: ‘We’re now calling on Alan Mak to support green jobs in Havant.’

New research from Green New Deal UK shows that Havant is likely to suffer over 1075 permanent job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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However, it suggests that more than 1,595 new jobs could be created in new and existing industries.

Campaigners, from left, Margaret Lockyer, Philippa Gray, Izzy Fletcher, Susie Caston, Keira Power and Lisa Bruni. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Philippa Gray is part of the Havant Climate Alliance and is also standing as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the upcoming elections.

She said: ‘I’m retired, but I want a green retirement. There’s room for a wide range of green jobs in our area - we want the right jobs in the right place.

‘I want green jobs for Havant because we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change course, start building resilient communities and create jobs that support our environment.’

With Philippa outside the job centre was Lisa Bruni, who held a sign reading ‘Your country needs green jobs’.

Going for Green

Lisa is part of the Portsmouth Oxfam group involved in the Green New Deal protests, and has spent the past year searching for and applying to jobs.

She said: ‘I’m passionate about this campaign. I’m a uni grad, I studied environmental science.

‘I’d like to see the government and the private sector making commitments, investing money in green jobs to mitigate climate change.

‘The time is now - there is opportunity to make changes happen.’

Fellow demonstrator Keira Power is part of Extinction Rebellion and is doing her GCSEs.

She said: ‘We should have a Green New Deal because anything we can do to help the climate is going to be a good thing.

‘Our government is letting us down, and I’m demanding that they implement greener jobs.

‘I am on the verge of entering the world of work and whatever I choose to do, it is imperative to me that I am not contributing to the climate crisis.’

Another member of Havant Climate Alliance, Sue James, was also in attendance at the demonstration.

She said: ‘I’m absolutely behind the idea that we need new green jobs, and I’m also concerned about the lack of training opportunities.

‘It should be a top priority for the borough. If the government put money into actually creating the way other European countries do, we could solve the problem.’

Demonstrators argued that Havant needs more good jobs in areas such as engineering, in digital technology and health.

Margaret added: ‘Our research shows that you can tackle unemployment and create jobs whilst tackling climate change at the same time.

‘We know that we can’t afford not to do this. There’s an unemployment crisis and a climate crisis and a Green New Deal can create thousands of good green jobs right here in Havant.’

MP Alan Mak was approached for comment.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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