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News from Kent Greens

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

Kent Police in Lancashire: Greens demand answers
Wed, 30 Aug 2017
A Kent Police riot van was filmed on the Preston New Road (PNR) site where the anti-fracking demonstrations have been held for many months now. PNR is currently the front line of the anti-fracking campaign after Lancashire County Council turned down an application to frack there only to have it overturned by the Secretary of State.

A couple of years ago Kent Police went undercover to infiltrate a university debate on fracking in Canterbury. They asked for the names of people who would be in the audience and they planted a senior officer in there too.

Stuart Jeffery, Co-Chair of Kent Greens: "Kent Police have an unhealthy interest in fracking. Three years ago they went undercover to infiltrate a university debate on fracking in Canterbury. They asked for the names of people who would be in the audience and they planted a senior officer in there too. Now we find them working in Lancashire as part of the ridiculously huge security detail that is guarding the Caudrilla site against peaceful protesters.

"I want to know what they are doing there and who is paying for them. I want to know why they have an interest in the anti-fracking movement when there are crimes being committed on the streets of Kent. I want to know who decided it was OK for them to travel 300 miles to Lancashire rather than policing the towns in Kent.

"I will be writing to the Chief Constable to ask for an explanation."

Notes:
See this video from PNR starting at 13:50 https://www.facebook.com/george.brown.10485/videos/1563863640323151/

Victory in the KCC elections
Tue, 09 May 2017
Martin Whybrow will once more take a voice for the environment and local communities to Kent County Council, having been elected to the Hythe West division. It was the only division of the six in Shepway that did not end up with the Tories and, indeed, across the district, the Green Party moved into second place, above all other opposition parties, in terms of the percentage of the vote.

Martin says: "In some ways, this was an even bigger achievement than when I was elected as the first ever Green Party member of KCC four years ago. This time around, we did not have the element of surprise and we also had to contend with boundary changes, which cut our traditional supporter base in Hythe in half. Added to this, we had a major swing across the county and across the whole country to the Tories, with many UKIP voters heading this way."

There were also strong performances from the Green Party's other candidates, despite a major focus of resources on Hythe West. It was a huge team effort, with may people putting in a great deal of time and effort. As well as local members and supporters, the party had support from people from other Kent Green Party branches and also visits from co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, and deputy leader, Amelia Womack. The Hythe West division includes Dymchurch and Lympne, where a great deal of canvassing and other work was done to communicate our key messages around protecting open spaces and front-line services.

Hythe West was a clear two-horse race between Martin and Tory town and district councillor, David Owen. Martin secured 41 per cent of the vote, 2234 votes, on a healthy turn out of 42 per cent, a majority of almost 200. UKIP was a distant third with 9 per cent, followed by Labour and the LibDems (6 and 5 per cent, respectively). Again, across the district, the Green Party's total number of votes increased from 2216 in 2013 to 4246.

Attention now turns to the general election, where Martin has been selected as the Green Party candidate for Folkestone & Hythe. Once more, our campaign will be hugely reliant on volunteers, so we'd be delighted to hear from anyone who is able to help in any way, including displaying boards and posters or leafleting.

Kent Greens press for county wide electoral alliance
Mon, 08 May 2017
In the light of the disastrous local election results in Kent for both Labour and the Lib Dems, Kent Greens have reached out to all constituencies in Kent for urgent talks on a Kent wide alliance to win parliamentary seats next month.

Labour lost 8 of its 13 seats while the Lib Dems failed to make any gains in Kent. Both Labour and Lib Dems had significant losses nationally, while the Greens made steady gains.

Stuart Jeffery, Co-Chair of Kent Greens: "With Labour and Lib Dems  losing ground and the Tories polling at record levels we believe it is time to do politics differently which is why we have once again reached out across Kent.

"The aim is simple, work together to field a single 'progressive' candidate in each Kent seat who is endorsed by all three parties. The candidates' have two key promises, to fight for proportional representation and to stop an extreme Brexit.

"Sadly there have been no positive responses. As none of us are strong enough to win any of the seats in Kent on our own it is almost as if they want the status quo of traditional party divides to remain and ensure another five years of Conservative government. Not to even be prepared discuss the possibility of such an agreement is short sighted in the least. I hope voters will remember this."

ends.

Email to Labour and Lib Dems in Kent constituencies on 6th May:

To Labour and Lib Dem contacts across Kent,

Nationally The Green Party have reached out to Labour and the Lib Dems to call for a progressive alliance to defeat the Tories, and at at a national level your parties have rejected this idea. Locally we have also reached out in some areas of Kent, but we have not been able to come to any meaningful agreements - although in other parts of the country grassroots agreements have been successfully reached.

The local election results have demonstrated how difficult it remains to beat the Tories while we continue to compete against one another.

Despite this being the 11th hour, we are not prepared to face another 5 years of Tory rule without one final call to bring Labour and the Liberal Democrats to the negotiating table.

Our proposal is simple - to stand independent candidates on a 'progressive' ticket with two key promises: to fight for proportional representation and to stop Brexit. We believe there is a good chance we can defeat the Tories in some Kent constituencies if all three of our parties formally back those candidates.

We live in hope that the critical situation we find ourselves in today is enough to demonstrate that continuing with tribal politics can only lead to defeat for all of us next month.

As we have only a few days before the close of nomination, we urge you to act now and talk to us.

Kind regards

Stuart Jeffery and Mandy Rossi
Co-Chairs of of the Confederation of Kent Green Parties

Greens stand record number of candidates in 2017 county elections
Fri, 07 Apr 2017
Kent Greens stand a record number of candidates on a radical manifesto in next month's county elections.

Greens across Kent are calling for:

- Significant reductions in air pollution which is responsible for up to 1,600 deaths in Kent each year.
- 21st century education for all, not 1950's selection of the few. Grammar and high schools to be replaced by comprehensive education which has been proven to be better than the selective system.
- The end of Kent County Council with the establishment of unitary authorities and a new Kent Assembly with devolved powers.
- Ethical investments by KCC: buses not bombs. Ending KCC's investments in fossil fuels, arms companies and tobacco industries.

Cllr Martin Whybrow, KCC member for Hythe and  candidate for Hythe West: "Air pollution is killing up to 1600 people each year in the county yet KCC is  failing to take a lead here, nor is it allowing air pollution to in anyway influence its 'business at all costs' decision-making. We need to drastically re-prioritise including improving public transport, encouraging cycling and walking, and protecting open spaces."

Henry Stanton, Green candidate for Canterbury City North: "Kent's education system is stuck in the 1950's and is failing young people. Comprehensive education has been proven to improve overall education. We want our children to have 21st century education, not one from the last century."

Mandy Rossi, Co-Chair of Kent Greens: "KCC invests heavily in fossil fuels, arms companies and tobacco industries. This is immoral and must be stopped - as other councils have done. We need to be investing in our future. We want investments in renewable energy, public transport and social housing."

Stuart Jeffery, Co-Chair of Kent Greens and candidate for Maidstone Central: "The Greens promise real change with our radical manifesto for Kent. We want to see the end of KCC and for unitary authorities to replace it bringing democracy closer to local people. We also want a devolved assembly for Kent, taking powers from central government."

Our policies are detailed here: http://kentgreenparty.org/policies.php