Keith Taylor's weekly update

Brockham: letters reveal oil firm warned at least twice it didn’t have planning permission

A row over unauthorised oil drilling in Brockham, Surrey continues as newly obtained documents confirm the oil and gas company Angus Energy was warned by Surrey County Council as far back as September 2016 that it would need planning permission to drill a new well on site.

Angus Energy has openly admitted that it drilled a new side-track well earlier this year but claims the work was covered by existing planning permission. However, a Freedom of Information request to Surrey County Council, seen by Green MEP for the South East Keith Taylor, reveals planners made clear this was not the case in two separate letters sent in September and December 2016.

Commenting on the revelations, Mr Taylor said:

“The drilling, without permission, of a new well is an outrageous breach of an already deeply strained trust. It is little wonder why residents and campaigners simply don’t trust the oil and gas drilling industry or the Government ‘regulations’ utterly failing to protect our environment and our local communities. Regulations that are being openly flaunted by the industry.”

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Keith Taylor MEP calls on Council planners to prevent oil drilling in South Downs National Park

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, has voiced his opposition to future planning policy for oil and gas exploration and production in West Sussex and the South Downs National Park.

Responding to the public consultation on the minerals plan, which dictates policy in the area until 2033, Keith, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, expressed serious concerns about the impact of the policy in its current form on both the environment and local communities and has called for it to be amended.

Keith said: “New and continued oil and gas extraction is not only incompatible with our commitments under the Paris climate agreement but also represents a dangerous distraction from the urgent, disciplined work that must be done. That is why I am calling for a complete embargo on all new oil and gas developments in West Sussex.”

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Greens welcome sanctions against misogynistic MEP as European Parliament votes for gender equality report

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, is welcoming the sanctions “of unprecedented severity” handed down by the European Parliament to a Polish MEP whose sexist comments “displayed contempt for our most fundamental values” as MEPs vote for more action on gender inequality across the EU.

Speaking after the vote, Mr Taylor said:

“The tough sanctions handed down to Janusz Korwin-Mikke by President Antonio Tajani are entirely appropriate and welcome; the European Parliament must be unequivocal in its condemnation of what amounted to vile misogyny. Korwin-Mikke does not speak for MEPs, the European Parliament, nor the overwhelming majority of the Polish people.”


Green MEP welcomes food waste crackdown

Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, is welcoming the adoption of ambitious EU food waste targets by the European Parliament on Tuesday 14 March.

Mr Taylor, who recently visited the innovative FareShare food redistribution charity in Southampton to see how EU funding was helping to turn food waste into nutritious meals for vulnerable people, said:

“I am pleased to join a majority of MEPs today who have voted for an ambitious plan for tackling a food waste issue that in the UK alone sees £13bn worth of household food needlessly wasted every year. And, in the UK, it’s a problem that is growing; the latest figures show that an estimated 7.3m tonnes of household food waste was thrown away in 2015 – up from 7m tonnes in 2012.”

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Green Party Animal spokesperson welcomes vote to #EndTheCageAge for caged rabbits

Green Party Animals spokesperson Keith Taylor MEP is welcoming the vote to #EndTheCageAge for farmed rabbits across Europe. The MEP for the South East was among a majority of MEPs who voted to support a report calling for the practice to be outlawed at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg this afternoon. More than 4,000 people across the South East had contacted their MEPs calling for action.

The report adopted by MEPs calls for higher welfare standards for rabbits and concrete legislation that would ban the use of cages. Responding to the result, Keith said:

“This is great news for millions of rabbits across Europe and a great example of how the EU can take a lead on animal welfare. Greens have always opposed factory farming and as the Green Party’s Animals spokesperson I wholeheartedly welcome the result of today’s vote. The report prioritises putting an end to the inhumane conditions in which rabbits are kept and eradicating the other problems associated intensive rabbit rearing. The current system leads to the spread of disease and the subsequent overuse of antibiotics.”

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