I attended the Green Commission ‘in public’ meeting 2nd December 2014 at the Sheffield Town Hall. It was the Green Commission first hearing of evidence in public.
Three expert witnesses spoke at this hearing and gave strong presentations. They were: Dr David Pencheon, Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit. The NHS Sustainable Development Unit provides leadership, support and policy input to ensure the NHS in England is the leading public sector organisation in promoting sustainable development and mitigating climate change. There is an example from Dr Pencheon’s blog at http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2011/12/13/david-pencheon-sustainability-by-stealth-8-steps-to-heaven/. Dr Adrian Davis, Public Health and Transport Consultant with Bristol City Council. Dr Davis holds a unique post in UK local government with a focus on building the case for sustainable and active forms of travel. There is an example from Dr Davis’ blog athttp://www.travelwest.info/evidence Professor Christine Liddell, Professor of Psychology, University of Ulster. Professor Liddell is a key figure in developing understanding of the links between fuel poverty and mental ill health, whose research interests also include climate change and human factors, smart meters and effective customer interfaces, and health impact assessment. There is a biography at http://blogs.qub.ac.uk/fuelpovertysymposium2014/programme-speakers/guest-presenters/christine-liddell/ .
The hearing was held in public rather than a public meeting, therefore there was no public Q&A. The Commissioners asked questions and received answers from the expert witnesses in public.
The questions from the Green Commission members were weak from my point of view.
50 pre-registered people were allowed to sit in ‘audience’ but without opportunity to ask questions or make any statements.
There was a good representation from the Green Party. The commission members sat in a semi circle and listened to 3 presentations as described above. The Chair is the new cabinet member for Environment, Cllr Jayne Dunne. I noticed there was no one from transport on the Commission. I am looking into how the Commission members were appointed?