Do you feel passionate about protecting all that we love from climate change? Do you want to see our elected MP Sir Hugo Swire take action on this issue? If your answer is yes, please come to an informal conversation with Sir Hugo Swire MP over a cup of tea/coffee and the WI’s fabulous cakes at 11am on Saturday 29th October in The Institute, Yonder St, Ottery – and visit Ottery’s dynamic Community Market at the same time. All are welcome!

The conversation with Sir Hugo has been organised by Christian Aid and is supported by the local branch of the Women’s Institute, Ottery St Mary United Reformed Church, and Sustainable Ottery. It is part of the national Speak Up for the Climate week of action promoted by The Climate Coalition (http://www.theclimatecoalition.org).

Officially the national week of action finished last Saturday with nearly 300 events taking place with local MPs all over the UK. Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond were among the MPs who participated in local constituency events. A very constructive meeting was also held with Ben Bradshaw MP in Exeter. In Ottery we thought it would be good to wait till our monthly Community Market (organised by the United Reformed Church) which typifies Ottery’s community spirit, our support for local produce and crafts, and our commitment to more sustainable shopping and living.

There is no strict agenda for this event. Christian Aid will briefly kick things off and ask Sir Hugo to press his government to draw up a national plan for reducing carbon emissions (in line with the Climate Change Act) – as this is what The Climate Coalition has been calling for throughout the week of action nationally.

After that, we will all be free to share with Sir Hugo our personal reasons for taking climate change seriously – and what we would like him to do about it, both locally and nationally. Some of us will be moved by the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest communities. Others may want to talk about the impact on bees and other wildlife, our coastline, our farming, or our health. Some of us may be worried about floods in Ottery; others may be excited about the opportunities to scale up renewable energy or to promote cycling and cleaner transport. Whatever climate change means for you, come and share it with your local MP on 29th October.

This is the start of a conversation with Sir Hugo which we hope will be ongoing over the coming years.