Finding Common Ground with my Uninterested MP

Meet Eileen. She's in her nineties and passionately working for social and environmental justice. Our team aspire to be like Elieen where we're her age! Read her story meeting with climate sceptic Graham Brady MP below. If you would like any support working with your MP contact us here.

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I recently met with my MP, Graham Brady, to discuss my concerns around air pollution in Altrincham. I wanted to meet with Graham because I am very concerned about the health issues resulting from high levels of air pollution, especially for young children attending schools on highly congested roads.  I have met with Graham previously and although we have always had a perfectly pleasant conversation, there was never any outcome from the meeting. This time I wanted to see action taken on the issues that I am concerned about.

Following support and advice from Hope for the Future, I prepared some key facts for the meeting with Mr Brady, about the issues I planned to raise with him. This showed that I had done my research on the issue but also by providing a copy of this for Graham, I was able to offer information to enhance his knowledge of issues that matter to local residents.

I seemed to capture Graham’s attention when I told him that 4 nurseries in Trafford (out of 35 in Greater Manchester altogether) are close to roads that break legal pollution limits. After this, Graham agreed to find out who is responsible for the monitoring of local air pollution levels. I raised electric vehicles as a solution to the air pollution problem. Graham was sure that the electric vehicle market is going to expand rapidly so I asked him what we could do here in Altrincham to provide incentives for EVs. Though Graham had economic concerns around some of the incentives I suggested, it was agreed that the local council would look into incentives that would work best. Even though Graham and I differed on our views on climate change, we both agreed that electric vehicles could contribute to reduction of air pollution. Overall, my MP and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything but we found common ground on air pollution. Although at points the meeting was frustrating, Graham did agree to follow up on a few things and he wrote a letter to me confirming he would. We have also invited Graham to attend a local event on electric vehicles as the next step - and we intend to keep on building the relationship.

I encourage anyone with a concern relating to climate change to meet with their MP, no matter whether your political opinions differ or not. I learned that finding common ground is exceptionally important to establish a relationship, which I hope to strengthen in future meetings with my MP.