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News from Kent Greens

Recent news from Kent Green Party. For older items visit our news blog. For a selection of our recent letters to the press, visit our letters page here.

Alarm at CQC findings in East Kent
Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Green Party Councillor and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, Ian Driver, has expressed his alarm at the publication today of the Care Quality Commission Inspection Report into East Kent University Hospitals Trust which has given the Trust an overall rating of inadequate.

Said Driver "whilst I applaud the excellent work and dedication of the doctors, nurses and ancillary staff at the QEQM Margate, I am astonished to learn that there is a divide between senior managers and frontline staff and astounded to hear that there is a culture of bullying and harassment at the Trust. These revelations suggest to me that there are extremely serious problems within the senior management team at the Trust"

I am also extremely alarmed by the reported lack of "appropriately trained staff across the three sites" and the Inspectors concerns about poor staffing of emergency departments and hospital wards at night.

I appreciate that the Trust has a tight budget, but surely senior managers should be getting the basics right such has having enough trained staff in A&E and sufficient ward cover at night".

The CQC is so concerned about the Trust that it has recommended it be placed in "special measures" allowing for extra support to be brought into the organisation to overcome its current difficulties. Driver said "I fully support this proposal. Its clear to me on reading the report that frontline medical staff have been badly let down by their senior management team who are clearly struggling. Special measures will hopefully get to the bottom of these failures and perhaps allow for the introduction of new managers who can ensure that the Trust runs a more effective service providing first rate patient care".

Fracking in Kent will meet with stiff opposition from the Greens
Tue, 29 Jul 2014
Kent Greens have reacted with dismay at today's news that more fracking licences are to be granted. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party has called for energy security to be met by renewables and has vowed to step up opposition to any fracking in Kent. The Green Party is the only party opposed to fracking.

Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party: "The Government is charging headlong into environmental disaster. The evidence from fracking sites across the globe demonstrates just how bad this technology is and to claim that it will be different in the UK is frankly ridiculous.

"The government has acknowledged that fracking won't reduce our fuel bills and if we want energy security then we need to be tapping into the huge amount of renewable potential that this country has.

"This summer, global temperatures are breaking records once again. Climate change is the greatest threat to mankind so we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground where they belong rather than increasing extraction.

"We will be watching closely where the licences are to be granted and stepping up our opposition to any fracking here in Kent."

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Notes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28513036

Change the approach to Defence
Wed, 16 Jul 2014
Kent Greens have written to the new Defence Secretary and the new Minister for Defence, Michael Fallon and Julian Brazier, congratulating them on their appointments and calling on them to bring a new direction to the government. They have called for an end to Trident and a reversal of the military intervention approach to foreign wars without a request from the UN.

Stuart Jeffery Chair of Kent Green Party: "Spending 25 billion on an unnecessary and devastating weapon of mass destruction is frankly obscene. This money should be used for socially and environmentally useful projects, such as renewable energy, public transport or improving health care. I have no doubt that the Kent MPs will continue with the disgraceful replacement programme but they must be challenged to reverse the decision.

"Military intervention should be last resort and only when requested by the UN. I want Julian Brazier to take a radical new approach to defence, one that doesn't have aggression at its heart."

Amelie Boleyn, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Sevenoaks: " Michael Fallon has an opportunity to change the way the UK is seen in the world. We want the UK to be seen as a nation that promotes peace rather than war. While I have no doubt the he will remain committed to trying to police the world, I hope that he will come to agree that this outdated colonial attitude must come to an end. Rather than promoting our military strength, which can only breed more fear, we must learn the lessons from our colonial past and work with the UN and INGOs in an exclusive peacekeeping capacity, setting a progressive example as world leaders for peace, not war"

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Notes: http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/no-to-trident



Dear Mr Fallon and Mr Brazier,

Congratulations on your appointments as Defence Secretary and Minister in the Ministry of Defence.

We are aware of Mr Brazier's military background and hope that you will be able to reflect on those experiences in your new role. Given Mr Brazier's knowledge of the military and Mr Fallon's standing in the Conservative Party we hope that you will be able to influence the government on the need for a new approach for defence, one that is less aggressive and not focused on direct military intervention.

In particular we call on you to reverse your previous support for Trident and to now champion its demise so that the funds devoted to this outdated, unnecessary and devastating weapon system are channelled into socially and environmentally useful schemes.

We also call on you to reverse your previous support for foreign military intervention, unless requested by the UN.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party
Amelie Boleyn, Green Party PPC for Sevenoaks

Message of Support to the Fire Brigade Union
Mon, 14 Jul 2014
Kent Green Party have sent a message of support to the Fire Brigade Union at the start of their strike against the increase in the age of retirement. The government want to increase the retirement age to 60 which the FBU deem as unsafe. Kent Greens have

Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party: "It is very clear that this is the latest in a long line of ideological attacks on the public sector and one that affects the safety of the service.

"Kent Fire and Rescue Service provide an excellent and vital service to Kent but our public sector services have, for decades, been systematically attacked. Workers are bearing the brunt of this, and are being expected to pay the price for an economic crisis not of their making.

"We are proud to be able to express our solidarity with the workers on strike who have done this as a last resort. We hope their action is successful."

ends.


Letter to the FBU 15th July 2014

Dear Mr Simmons,

On behalf of Kent Green Party, I wanted to drop you a short note to express our solidarity with your strike action.

We are disgusted by the approach of the government against all sections of the public sector and we have been supporting recent actions across the country. The latest attempt to increase retirement ages is simply another attack on the public sector and as you rightly point out, it impacts on the safety of the Fire Brigade.

It is very clear that you provide an excellent and vital service to Kent but our public sector services have, for decades, been systematically attacked. Workers are bearing the brunt of this, and are being expected to pay the price for an economic crisis not of their making.

We recognise that going on strike is the option of last resort. We sincerely hope that your action succeeds in defending your pensions and working conditions - all of which are vital if we are to protect the integrity of the service.

Kind regards,

Stuart Jeffery
Chair of Kent Green Party