Benn backs campaign to increase urban planting

Defra minister Hillary Benn has given his support to the HTA-led Greening the UK campaign to increase green planting in urban areas, during a Labour Party conference fringe event that was held last week in Manchester.

"Can Politicians Save the Planet and Get Re-elected" - organised by the Fabian Society and sponsored by the HTA - brought together a panel that featured Benn, Charles Clarke MP, Greenpeace executive director John Sauven and RSPB head of climate change Ruth Davis. They discussed whether or not the political atmosphere in which they have to work has changed for the better or worse in the past few years.

HTA president Andrew Richardson asked the panel about the importance of increasing green planting in urban areas to help reduce local temperature hotspots and reduce flash flooding.

Richardson said: "The question provoked a very positive response from the panel. Benn agreed that more green planting is essential."

The HTA was also represented at the event by amenity suppliers group chairman Tim Edwards and policy adviser Mark Glover.

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