News from Kent Greens
Rochester and Strood by-election candidate
Wed, 22 Oct 2014
The Green Party's candidate for the expected by-election in Rochester and Strood has been selected.
The candidate, Clive Gregory, has lived in Stoke on the Hoo peninsular for 22 years, and is a freelance musician and sound engineer by trade. Clive also runs the local PA hire business, Clive Sound. Clive joined the Green Party because of disillusionment with the other political parties and worry about the direction of the country.
Give youth a voice in Shepway!
Wed, 01 Oct 2014
Our excellent candidate for the upcoming Folkestone Harvey West by-election is 19 year-old Jasmine Heywood. She is the chair of Shepway Young Greens and would be a great addition to the District and Town councils. If you can help with her campaign, please contact out election coordinator, David Horton (email@example.com).
Jasmine is a former Folkestone School for Girls student who, through Shepway Green Party, has become involved with campaigning in local politics. She is keen to give a voice and engage with young people, and present a more positive alternative to the other political parties.
Among other things, Jasmine is carrying out a survey of local residents to help us to set our priorities for taking action locally. You can also fill out our survey online via this website (see front page).
Jasmine feels that more needs to be done to address road safety. In particular she is interested in making cycling a more accessible and safer mode of transport as it acts as a healthier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of getting around than any other. Campaigning for 20mph zones around schools and introducing more cycle lanes would play a vital role in achieving this.
Jasmine is also involved with the Local Works campaign to implement a tax on supermarket profits, which would then be reinvested in local business and the community, a similar scheme of which is currently in place in Northern Ireland. She is also keen to ensure that local residents have access to decent and affordable parking, and that the expansion of the Folkestone West Station does not infringe upon that.
If you would like to get involved in the campaign to elect Jasmine (the by-election is 23rd October), we'd love to hear from you!
Lodge Hill Decision - Disgraceful Hypocrisy by Medway Council
Thu, 11 Sep 2014
Medway Green Party has accused Medway Council of hypocrisy in passing plans for housebuilding at Lodge Hill and called on local people to contact the Secretary of State.
Medway Green Party members have expressed extreme disappointment in Medway Council's decision to approve the plans for 5000 houses at Lodge Hill. The party is also highly critical of the conflict between this decision and previous arguments made in Medway Council's campaign against an airport in the Hoo penisular.
Trish Marchant, parliamentary candidate for Gillingham and Rainham comments:
"Only last week, Medway Council Leader, Rodney Chambers, was celebrating the Council's anti-airport campaign for stopping (in his own words) "mass destruction of habitat and wildlife that could never be replaced". How is this any different? The hypocrisy of Medway Council is disgraceful!"
The Lodge Hill site has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as it supports the UK's largest nightingale population which could be destroyed if the development goes ahead. Campaigners claim that overruling the SSSI would set a dangerous precedent for many other SSSI's in the country.
Medway Green Party is urging local people to continue their support for the nightingales by contacting the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, who has overall responsibility for housing.
Clive Gregory, parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood says:
"So much for Medway Council putting local democracy first; these plans were opposed by the overwhelming majority of those consulted, a factor which Medway Council completely disregarded. There is still a chance to stop this unique site being destroyed, however, if we contact Eric Pickles, Secretary of State, who has the power to overrule this decision. Please ask Eric Pickles to call in this disastrous plan".
RSPB are heading a campaign to contact the Secretary of State regarding the Lodge Hill decision, called "Ask Eric Pickles to Step In". This is available on the following website address: http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/381776-Lodge-Hill
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".