Frack-Free York members meet Labour Party Parliamentary candidate, Rachael Maskell

On Tuesday 17 March, several Frack-Free York members met up with Rachael Maskell, the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate to discuss their concerns about fracking and ask any questions they had about Labour Party policy.

Frack-Free York chair, John Cossham, was at the meeting and shares his impressions below:

Members of Frack-Free York recently met up with Rachael Maskell, the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate, to talk with her about fracking, other forms of unconventional gas extraction and a whole lot more. Rachael accepted the invitation because she is keen to meet real people, who in her words, are experts and good sources of information. We wanted to hear her thoughts about fracking. We were pleasantly surprised.

Rachael accepted the invitation because she is keen to meet real people, who in her words, are experts and good sources of information.

Rachael trained as a physiotherapist and still has NHS work, but for the past 17 years has also worked for the trade union Unite, proudly descries herself as an activist, and has campaigned against TTIP for a long time.

She was keen to know what Frack-Free York had done, and then shared her feelings about the issues. She is broadly anti-fracking and does not share her party’s views that unconventional gas should be exploited. She is very positive about renewable energy and reducing demand, and reminded us that Labour had brought the Climate Change Act onto the statute books. She talked about the importance of who owned the supply of renewable energy, and would like to see large energy companies nationalised, because she does not believe privatisation of this industry has been beneficial. However she also sees a role for renewable energy cooperatives in energy production.

She is keen to see a massive expansion of ‘green jobs’, such as in making our homes energy efficient, so that we don’t need to open up new fossil fuel resources. She isn’t keen on nuclear being part of the energy mix.

Rachael talked a little about the work she’s done on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee, and how important it is to lobby for change within the party. I have no doubt that if elected as MP for York Central, she will make her anti fossil-fuel views known amongst her Party colleagues, some of whom are wedded to the old ways of the 20th Century. I enjoyed meeting Rachael and hearing her progressive views. I wish her well and a fair fight over the next few weeks.

John Cossham

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