Category Archives: Uncategorized

Labour group leader joins the Green Party

photo of Mike Eddy shaking hands with the Green Party co-leader Sian BerryOn Friday 2 November, the executive officers of our local party were delighted to welcome Cllr Mike Eddy on board as a fellow Green Party member. We know him to be very principled, knowledgeable and hardworking.

Previously he was leader of the Labour opposition on Dover District Council for 10 years. He continues to be keen to serve the people of his ward, Mill Hill, as a councillor both on Deal Town Council and Dover District Council. And we will work hard for his re-election in 2019 as a member of a party that is keen for local decisions to be made at a local level. National Green Party co-leader, Sian Berry, came to Dover to welcome

Cllr Eddy and she also reaffirmed our party’s commitment to securing a free flow of traffic through Dover with a democratic process. Berry said the people of Dover must “have a say on their future” after local freight clearance experts warned Dover would be hit by gridlock if the type of Brexit the Prime Minister is pursuing goes ahead.

Cllr Eddy was also motivated to make the change by the Green Party’s firm commitment to scrap Universal Credit, which has left people in Dover District facing poverty since its rollout in July this year, as well as our party’s campaigns to tackle air pollution and protect Dover and Deal’s green spaces and biodiversity.

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Is enough being done in our region to tackle the balance of social housing?

News clipping Dover Express article on social housingSocial housing, that is, homes that people can rent at a fair price, either from public or private owners, is different from affordable housing (a larger category including home ownership for people who can get a mortgage).

The amount of social housing has dropped dramatically since the 1980’s when the Conservative government forced councils to allow people to buy council houses but stopped councils using the money from the sales to build more council houses for the next generation.

The Green Party wants a major programme by 2022 to build 100,000 zero-carbon, socially rented homes nationally each year. We want to end council house sales and to legislate so councils have to bring empty homes back into use by refitting them as social housing.

We know that Dover New Local Plan Scoping Report 2018 refers to the East Kent Growth Framework and ‘enhancing town centres’ so that a town centre like Dover ‘becomes a location of first choice for young people and families’. The words are very appealing.

It is great when people can walk from their homes to their schools, shops and workplaces, without using a car. More quality homes that are cheap-to-heat, and cheap-to-rent in Dover Town would also be good for our independent shops (as would a cut in DDC business rates).

We welcome the No Use Empty scheme of DDC but feel it needs to have serious council investment in order to make it work.

To help young people, Greens would reinstate housing benefit for under 21s and reverse housing benefit cuts.

People who rent need more security so Greens favour rent controls, more secure tenancies for private renters, an end to letting fees and compulsory licensing of all landlords.

Housing and access to green spaces are a human right, so we say brownfield development first.

Please don’t vote for cruel, callous, chaotic extremist Conservatives

Beccy Sawbridge, your local Green Party candidate

Vote for Beccy Sawbridge, your local Green Party candidate

Text of letter sent in to East Kent Mercury:

An irresponsible Conservative government must not be given more power at Westminster in June; our rich country is already the most unequal on this continent.

Beccy and her election agent, Sarah  went with an East Kent Greenpeace delegation to the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015 and demonstrated with tens of thousands of others representing communities worldwide.

The Green Party believes that the dangers to life on Earth have never been more urgent. Civil society, communities, church groups, NGOs and many businesses and unions are stepping up to the plate, to divest fast from fossil fuels, to create an economy for the future and to mitigate the horror for those on the sharp end of climate change.

However, the Conservative Govt at Westminster is siding with Big Oil multinational corporations to protect ‘stranded assets’; while expert scientists worldwide warn of a species collapse.

After Brexit, we want a new Environmental Protection Act and a reformed farming subsidy that puts sustainable, humane agriculture first.

The Conservatives, who brook no democratic opposition, side with privatising healthcare companies and tried to delay the weak, new air pollution regulations until the judges stood up against early deaths and for the health of the people.

Let’s think of future generations and oppose the Conservative stranglehold on our democracy.

The Green Party nationally had 10% of the votes that the Conservatives had in 2015.  If we had a fair voting system, the Green Party would have had 10% of the 330 MPs the Conservatives have had at Westminster; the voice of 20 -30 Green MPs at Westminster to speak out for life on Earth; for a fairer Britain.

We could turn Dover district Green

For the first time, everyone in Dover district will have a chance to vote Green Party in the KCC ELECTIONS on 4 May 2017.

Currently in Dover District, there are no Green Party councillors at Town, District or County level. We think it is time to change that.

Our five candidates

  • Sandwich, Eastry and villages – Aidan Shanks.
  • Deal and Walmer – John Lonsdale.
  • Dover North villages – Nick Fox.
  • Dover Town – Beccy Sawbridge.
  • Dover West villages – Sarah Gleave

Working together for a brighter future

For the last 2 years your local Green Party activists have been working hard on local community initiatives with progressive councillors.

The two big parties are strongly against us getting any representation at all. But we stand with voters who want to be heard not herded by bigger parties more interested in Westminster power-grabs.

Suggestions to prevent ‘stack’

Scenic Dover deserves infrastructure money much more than London – so Westminster should spend London Green Bridge money here.

We Greens called for a shallow greened-over tunnel from A20 Western Heights / Aycliffe to Eastern docks for freight last year- like the A3 Hindhead tunnel or the M25 Bell common. Air pollution could be taken from tunnel out to sea. A better plan would diversify and redirect freight across the southeast using more ports, and by using RAIL links.

Big new roads and developments are just starting along A2 near Whitfield – If they want to put more freight on A2 it would need a fly-over or under at Duke of York’s roundabout for local traffic.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AOperation_Stack.jpg

Photo credit: By Barry Davis (originally posted to Flickr as Operation Stack) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


The planned lorry park at Stanford will prevent much-needed sustainable, radical solutions being put in place. It would not reduce air pollution and eat up 250 acres of farmland.

Progressive Alliance; the alternative to destructive conservatives post referendum ?

Natalie Bennett our Green Party star who was national leader 2012 –16 came to speak in Deal on 21 November 2016 on this subject, at the  Astor Community Theatre.

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There needs to be real constructive opposition and Caroline Lucas reached out to others in the Labour and Lib dem parties in July to suggest a Progressive Alliance. A cast iron commitment to making votes count, i.e. proportional representation is key.

A prog alliance would see discussions amongst Greens, Labour and LibDems in constituencies across the UK  in the lead up to the next General Election.

Libdem Vince Cable and Labour shadow minister Clive Lewis are some of the many who believe we need to come together for more accountable, inclusive govt than that  provided by the the risk-addicted conservatives. (The investigation of election expenses cheating in 29 conservative seats continues.)

Farthingloe and Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty high court decision

Housing developments: affordable, accountable and sustainable

Dover District Councillors (DDC) (chair cllr Scales) shouldn’t have okayed the Western Heights and Farthingloe development, according to High Court judges in September 2016.

Dover and Deal Green Party submitted the following planning objection to DDC in August:

“The local economy needs to support small, local, tourist businesses and the biodiverse Kent Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) underpins this, this is one of the many reasons it is not demonstrated that it is in the public interest.” . . .

“It is ridiculous to say it is sustainable development; creating as it does a national precedent for building on an AONB and being opposed as such by CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), Kent Wildlife Trust and Natural England; building on a much-loved greenfield site the Kent Downs AONB; having no commitment to low-carbon building methods or low-carbon building design. It is ridiculous to say that the development is in the public interest when it has no provision for affordable housing much less any provision for social, rented housing in a town which is crying out for it.”

D+D Green party activist Beccy Sawbridge was at Unite the union’s Housing roadshow in Dover on 21 Sept. Their campaign overlaps with ours a lot:

  • quality refits
  • building lots of social, council, quality, rented housing
  • introducing rent controls in the private rented sector.

We want to suspend the ‘right-to-buy’ Housing Association properties which cuts the social rented housing available.

The Conservative’s Housing and Planning Act 2016 is to blame for this and we oppose it.

We welcome the Connaught Park brownfield development whole-heartedly.