MP’s opinion: Action taken to retrieve Bretton Park

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow says UK has been reducing carbon emissions
MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow EMN-210505-163102001MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow EMN-210505-163102001
MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow EMN-210505-163102001

Once again, we have an unauthorised travellers’ camp in Peterborough. This time, Bretton Park saw the arrival of caravans.

I went to look myself. Instead of sports being played and children running around – or simply people being out for a quiet walk – a row of white caravans and vehicles has taken this public space from the public.

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The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is giving the police the power to intervene immediately, to confiscate vehicles and make arrests.

This should already be part of the law. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t have a majority in the House of Lords.

Their lordships (of the Labour, Lib Dem and Green variety) have been holding it up with endless amendments. The Bill reached the red-leather benches last July, but they are still sending amendments to the Commons.

We take them out. Labour-led peers put them back in again. This process is known as ‘ping-pong’, because it’s like playing ping pong, but without any of the fun.

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Their latest amendments have been about helping Extinction Rebellion activists to glue themselves to roads and bridges, while allowing months-long protests by loudmouths with megaphones.

This is Labour’s idea of how the right to protest should work. It’s most people’s idea of chaos.

Thankfully, the government will eventually get this legislation through. Not quickly enough for Bretton Park, however, or the other public spaces that have been affected.

Not quickly enough to stop the disruption to fuel supplies this week, either.

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We have enough problems around energy costs and supplies right now, without adding to it through the self-indulgent vandalism of eco-activists.

These activists will never be satisfied.

The UK has consistently been reducing carbon emissions. We have some of the most ambitious targets and plans anywhere in the developed world.

Our offshore wind generation is now a significant chunk of supply and is rapidly increasing. We have just announced a huge increase in nuclear power for the years ahead, which has near zero carbon emissions and reduces our reliance on imports of foreign gas.

More UK vehicles than ever are electric or hybrid. We can’t – and shouldn’t – change everything overnight, but we are absolutely going in the right direction.

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A fortnight ago, I wrote about Peterborough Labour’s plans to seize control of the city council through an unwieldy alliance of red, yellow and green. Their group leader has written to say this is exactly what he wants.

If you vote for the Greens or Liberal Democrats, you will get “a Labour-led council”, with his party “working in collaboration with others”. Oddly enough, these coalition plans don’t feature in any of their leaflets.

I described it as a coalition of chaos, mostly because I believe it would be chaos. I have seen them in action.

He objects. Apparently, it would be a wonderful assortment of like-minded leftists, all in harmonious pursuit of abstract and uncosted ideals.

Buyer beware, is all I’ll say to that!