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Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay speaks with primary school pupils and meets candidate Teresa Davis at local Veterinary Practice in Debenham.

Practice owner Jade Martin welcomes Adrian Ramsay to Debenham Veterinary Practice

On Friday 21st April, Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay visited Debenham Veterinary Practice in Mid Suffolk, where he met with teachers and pupils from Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School, members of the Debenham Green Team and volunteers campaigning for Debenham Green Party candidate, Teresa Davis.

Around 30 people attended the event, which saw Adrian Ramsay take questions from local school children who had travelled especially to meet the Green Party leader. The pupils, who were all members of the Eco Warriors team at Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School, had prepared an impressive range of excellent questions, ranging from questions on sustainable travel and house-building to questions about forest schools and education on gaming and design.

Adrian Ramsay Talking to pupils at Debenham Vetenary Practice

One pupil asked “How long will it take to stop pollution around the world?”, while another asked “How do you think we can help schools be more sustainable?” On the latter question, Mr Ramsay suggested that councils could make it safer and easier to walk and cycle to school, and that schools could increase biodiversity in the school grounds by planting bee-friendly plants and putting in a pond. He also said that around the country, schools have been investing in their own solar panels, helping them save on costs as well as help the environment.

Another pupil asked: “Do you agree with Rishi Sunak that children should be doing more maths, or do you think that Wild School should feature more in the curriculum?” Adrian Ramsay answered that even though maths is a very important and useful subject, children should be taught a wide range of skills and subjects. Equally important, the school day should not just include varied subjects but also varied activities, like forest schools, art and music, and physical activity.

Adrian Ramsay Talks to the Animals

During his visit, Mr Ramsay also got a tour of the award-winning Debenham Veterinary Practice by practice owners Jade Martin and Peter Wilson. In the last few years, Debenham Vets has grown to employ almost 50 people, handling referrals from other vets as well as looking after Debenham’s own animal residents.

Mr Ramsay said: “I am extremely impressed by the care Debenham Veterinary Practice shows to both its animal patients and fellow humans. It is great to see a business that thinks so carefully about its impact both within the community and for the environment. I was also happy to hear about their positive experiences with introducing a four-day week for their staff since the Green Party promotes a reduction in weekly work hours.”

Adrian Ramsay with Peter Wilson, Practice Owner and Veterinary Ophthalmologist at Debenham Veterinary Practice shows Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay the practice’s surgery theatre (in background).

But Dr Wilson, who is also a Veterinary Ophthalmologist, said things were not all plain sailing for vets at the moment: “Veterinary practices have been hit by a double whammy: first Brexit and then the Covid pandemic.” He explained that Brexit made a great number of vets leave the UK, leading to a shortfall of vets just before the pandemic led to an increase in pet acquisition. He said there is now a noticeable shortfall of veterinary doctors and nurses in the country.

The cost of living crisis adds to the worries for vets. Last month, the national charity, Cats Protection, warned that the cost of living crisis is having a bigger impact on animal welfare than the pandemic, saying thousands of animals could already be at risk because of owners cutting their veterinary care spending. [1] The Dogstrust have launched a petition to freeze VAT on pet foods and medical treatments.

Adrian Ramsay At Debanham Vetenary practice With the owner Jade Martin

Adrian Ramsay was elected as co-leader of the Green Party in 2021 and is the Green Party’s Parliamentary candidate for the new Waveney Valley constituency, which includes much of the Mid Suffolk district. The Green Party is currently the second largest party on Mid Suffolk District Council with 12 seats, compared to 16 for the Conservatives. They hope to become the largest party after the local elections on May 4th.

Adrian Ramsay with Debenham Green Party candidate Teresa Davis