National leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett, was in Lewes last week to meet with local businesses and organisations involved in the ’sustainable economy’.
On Thursday, August 27, the politician attended a reception at Skyhouse, a new ‘zero-carbon’ bed and breakfast in Lewes, to talk about the party’s vision for an economy based on local, sustainable and low-carbon businesses and a revived public sector.
Among local figures attending the event was Gus Christie, executive chairman of Glyndebourne Opera, solar energy entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett and living wage campaigner Tracey Allen.
Ms Bennett also toured the Phoenix industrial estate in Lewes, and met representatives of the Phoenix Rising campaign to protect small businesses on the estate from proposed development.
Miss Bennett said: “Lewes district is home to so many successful local businesses, social enterprises and non-profit groups.
“The area is especially strong in the green tech and renewable energy sectors, and the South Downs is a prime destination for sustainable tourism.”
On the evening of Wednesday, August 26, she will make her first visit to Newhaven to chair a panel discussion on the workings of the EU at Meeching Hall.
Natalie Bennett took to social media to comment on her visit. She said: “During last week’s visit to Lewes, I made my second tour of the brilliant Phoenix Estate community, where community and individual effort, ingenuity and creativity has created a vibrant, lively creative economy, with facilities currently used by 650 under 18s a week (ranging from an indoor skatepark to low-cost recording studios and music training), 450 jobs, 92 workshops and studios and six community enterprises. It’s all visited by 1,800 people a week and, you know what’s coming next - it’s under threat, from a joint development by a South African property company and the local council.
“The good news is there’s a lot of community goodwill and skills, and a plan for a community buyout - fingers crossed.”
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