I want to do all I can to help London survive and thrive in the face of the climate emergency
Bright Green is offering all the candidates standing to be on the Green Party’s list for the 2024 London Assembly election the opportunity to set out why they are understanding and their vision for London. This article is published as part of that series. The full series of articles can be found here.
I’ve been a core part of the Green Party in Richmond since 2015. A Green Party Councillor here since last May, I’m now standing for the Green Party list for the 2024 London Assembly elections. Former Co-leader of the Green Party Sian Berry has given me this endorsement: “Chas is a committed and multi-talented Green, with a fantastic way with words, a strong record of working hard as a councillor, plus real expertise in green energy and transport. We need to get more people with his kind of experience on the London Assembly in 2024 and I would love to gain him as a colleague.”
Richmond is the London borough with the highest number of Councillors. Our strategy and hard work over the past seven years has paid off, and I’m now one of five Green Councillors in the borough. We constitute the official opposition. When I was elected in May this year it was a huge moment for us collectively – I’m so proud of my colleagues and all our members who worked so hard to help us get elected.
I sit on the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee. I push the Council to be more ambitious in its recycling targets, to be more serious about tackling the climate emergency, and to be more genuinely involving of local people. In my work as a councillor I’m urging the Council to do all it can to help residents insulate their houses and install low-carbon technology like solar panels. As a group, we have been pushing for our Council to become a registered social landlord so that we can insist on the highest standards of energy efficiency in future housing and ensure there are more genuinely affordable homes in the borough. We’ve also made sure that our Council gives more help to residents on low incomes.
I’m focusing on these areas because I have knowledge and experience that would be vitally useful for our team of Assembly Members. I have been involved in many community projects – for example, I led a community group trying to get a hydro power project built on the River Thames, and I ran energy advice projects to help people save money on their energy bills and cut carbon emissions. I also ran projects to help residents in Lewisham and Greenwich get grant funding for vital upgrades to their insulation and heating systems. Now I work for a renewable energy company that installs solar PV and electric vehicle charge points. My aim is to get elected as a London Assembly member, so I can use the experience I’ve gained to build better policy and better outcomes for everyone. It’s absolutely vital that the Mayor ramps up support for home insulation and renewables.
I got into politics because I saw that we need a positive vision in government at all levels. In the Green Party we share a common purpose. We all want to build a sustainable way of life, to preserve the planet’s biodiversity and resources, to create a future for future generations. It’s that positive vision that people are crying out for – because we all know that time is running out.
I’ve lived in London for a total of 25 years. I’ve known it as a student, as a parent of small children, as a small business owner, as a freelancer and now as a parent of my grown-up children. In the 1990s I ran an environmental business. In 2008 I gained a distinction in my MSc in Sustainability & Management from the University of London. I’ve done almost everything possible to reduce the carbon footprint of my home and my lifestyle. I’ve also lived and worked abroad, understanding and respecting other cultures. I’ve been concerned about the climate emergency for the last twenty years – I want to work for the next twenty years or more to do all I can to help London survive and thrive in the face of it. Please give me your vote at number 1 on the list.
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