News from Kent Greens
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".
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."
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"
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.
Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party
Amelie Boleyn, Green Party PPC for Sevenoaks