Category Archives: News

Stop Exploitative Developments in Dover District

Is there is a lack of political will at Dover District Council (DDC) cabinet to stand up to aggressive volume developers?

We have the evidence of how, elsewhere in England, developers are made to listen to more democratic councils.

There are fine words in the early DDC 2018 documents on regeneration and the new Local Plan which will shape how urbanised our district becomes between 2020 and 2038. But the subservient relationship with developers, is already shaping irresponsible policy.

If the Green Party had seats at DDC, we would be speaking up loudly for a much more robust new Local Plan with firm commitments to:

  • resolving the social and climate injustices in our district
  • a much more transparent planning process, with a consultation period longer than Jan to March 2020.

We urge all district councillors to show backbone and fight:

  • against a wholesale urbanisation of our rural district
  • against a rise in house prices (because developers want sky-high profits selling to commuters fleeing London’s corrupted property market)
  • and against further traffic congestion in our towns.

Our Green party parish and town councillors are on the case.

Dover District needs quality social rented housing, homes that are cheap-to- rent and cheap-to-heat near railway stations and shops, schools and workplaces and health centres.

We also need genuinely affordable new homes with prices linked to local incomes.

But we must protect woodland and coastal flood plain, our carbon sinks and flood sponges and biodiversity, and our Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

We must protect our food sources and farmland, especially if we are to be hit by a damaging no-deal Brexit.

The Town and Country Planning Association recommends that local authorities plan for the climate crisis. We agree. Our local authority DDC should stand up to corporate greed in the public interest.

Thanks to all who participated in our Whitfield workshops on planning and housing in Dover District on 20TH July 2019.

Join the campaign to Stop Exploitative Developments in Dover District

Fab family afternoon gets us all thinking green

A great time was had by all at the Green Thinking Fair on Mill Hill on Saturday 23 February.

Seaward Band played a toe tapping set for us

Seaward Band kept us entertained

Crabs made from rubbish collected on Deal Beach Clean, including lego bricks, Smint boxes, various plastic lids etc

Kids got involved in making crabs from Deal Beach Clean waste

Kids getting their hands dirty assembling their grass caterpillars

Kids were invited to make grass caterpillars at one of the craft stalls

Poster encouraging local families to come along to our fun afternoon in Mill Hill

Poster advertising the Fair

Held at St Richard’s Church Hall, the Green Thinking fair was a really upbeat and inspiring event.

Mike Eddy said, “Thanks to all who joined us in Mill Hill especially the fantastic local stallholders (Anne’s reflexology, Mrs Howie’s Eco stall, Future Foundry, Margie’s vegan cakes, repairers from Dover Repair Café), artists (Penny Bearman, Pam Cutler and Kath Love and Plastic Free Deal + Dover) and musicians (the spine-tingling Seaward Band).

We could see how much excellent work is being done in the community, which my new colleagues are fully involved in. Thanks also to all who donated to the raffle; the first prize was a family cycling voucher donated by Betteshanger Community Park.”

There was a lively discussion on the problems of austerity Britain led by former Green Party Leader, Natalie Bennett. Natalie pointed out how, on many councils up and down our land, new ways are being found by Green Councillors to make councils carbon neutral by 2030. Bristol, Scarborough and Oxford are some of 25 examples of commitments made in the last two months.

One of the Green Party organisers, Christine Oliver, said, “This was an exchange of the sort of ideas that really give people hope for a fairer future.”

Should more funding be made available for research and treatment of mental health issues?

Press clipping

Press clipping

MUCH more funding should be available for the treatment of mental health, not research. We know what the problems are, and what helps IF it is available, how many health service cuts there’ve been and how harsh austerity policies push more people to the edge.

Caseloads are so high and staffing levels so low that people who have attempted suicide are falling through the gaps, as the report by CQC on Kent and Medway NHS Trust said last year.

Kent police have had an 18% cut in funding, but have to step in for public safety reasons when those who need to be admitted for care are turned away, and nationally it’s the same.

Our young people are driven to the edge. A recent BMJ article mentions a 68% increase in hospital self- harm presentations in 13-16 year olds between 2011 and 2014.

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) are under-resourced. NHS England admits that only one in four under-18s with a diagnosable mental health problem receives treatment.

If a Dover youngster does get a bed it is miles away at Ticehurst. This, in the sixth richest country in the world?

Ah, but we’ve the greatest level of inequality in Europe. Our NHS money must not slip into the shareholder pockets of Circle/Virgin Healthcare through NHS privatisation.

The dominant model of psychiatry is driven by pharmaceutical companies. Acute conditions are treated by hospitalisation, top-down diagnoses by psychiatrists, then some pretty heavy-duty medications.

Chronic conditions, treated in the community, are also heavily dependent on drug therapy, because cheaper than other, more effective therapies.

In contrast, the Green Party believe that the best mental health care is informed by the experiences of mental health service-users themselves.

Evidence shows that more equal societies have lower levels of ill health.

Green party campaigners protest to save trees at Aldi site in Deal

East Kent Mercury press clipping May 2018

East Kent Mercury press clipping May 2018

Environmentalists held a small demonstration in the car park on the proposed new Aldi store in a bid to save nine mature trees.

The German chain plans to remove the features to make way for its brand new 1,254 sqm supermarket and 128 space car park on the current Co-op site in Park Street, Deal.

In a stand against this, members of Deal and Dover Green Party held a “love-in” where they tied messages to the trees and handed out leaflets to shoppers.

Green Party parliamentary candidate for the area, Beccy Sawbridge, said: “It’s not about not wanting the supermarket there but making sure these trees aren’t unnecessarily taken away.

“Trees do so much for us to protect our increasingly fragile eco system.

“Given that these mature trees already have Tree Preservation Order’s on them, people were astonished and rather angry that Aldi seemed to feel justified in chopping them down.

“It’s important to remember we share this earth.”

The activists argue that the mature trees currently in existence – one oak, two lime, two beech and six sycamore – are not only loved for their visual amenity but because they all also help clean the air, contribute to people’s health, help save energy and benefit wildlife.

They feel in the rush for development, Deal would lose some of its character.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We agree that trees have many benefits for an area, and where possible we will maintain existing trees and plant new trees within our proposed development in Deal.

“As part of the planning application submission we will provide an assessment of the existing trees on site. Whilst nine trees are proposed to be removed to allow the Aldi development to come forward, Aldi will be replacing these with 13 mature specimens throughout the site, w’hich will be supported by the required infrastructure to allow them to grow successfully within the car park and ensure their longevity.

“Overall, the additional trees and landscaping proposed, in addition to the introduction of a modem and highly sustainable Aldi building, will regenerate the site and enhance the local Conservation Area setting. We are delighted that an overwhelming number of local people have already shown their support for the proposals and can’t wait for Aldi to open.”

Aldi will submit a planning application to Dover District Council this month. If it is granted the store will open during 2019.