A Plastics Free Council

There is a general awareness across the country that plastics are damaging our environment – especially our oceans.

Groups like ‘Deal With It’ are showing a brilliant example with cleaning our local beaches.

How can DDC help?

Deal and Dover Green Party will do what we can. As a start we will make DDC a plastics free council and extend this to council subcontractors.  We are working with Transition Dover that tackling plastic pollution is discussed by Dover Town Council followed by action.

Recycling in our area can be improved and we also would introduce bulk collections and reduce fly tipping.

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits
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Yes to support for electric cars

DDC needs a clear policy on electric charging facilities.

There needs to be more public charging points. In residential streets no-one should be more than a few hundred yards from a charger. 

A franchised bus service could ensure that when old buses are withdrawn they are replaced with electric buses. 

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits

 

Action on Climate Emergency

Theme 1 of our Action Plan 2019

Dover District Council needs to take steps to ensure our district is carbon neutral by 2030.

On current trends, world temperatures will overshoot the global target of restricting temperate rises to 2 degrees centigrade, which will already have extremely serious effects.

Not enough is being done.

Kent County Council and Dover District Council can do much more.

We will:

  • make sure DDC use information provided by the Association of Green Councillors so that best practice is adopted by DDC.
  • work cross-party for radical change that will impact all areas of KCC/DDC activities.

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits

Planning Policy that Works

Dover District Council (DDC) should use all its planning powers to ensure:

  • more trees are planted
  • there are electric car points for all new houses
  • buildings are as far as possible insulated to the highest standards
  • buildings are carbon neutral. 

DDC should resist any pressure from developers to build fast to lower standards.

We will take on board what Parish Councils have to say – in particular about the need for infrastructure to support development and environmental impact.

Section 106 should be spent on local amenities such as playgrounds, putting in car club space and electric charging points. It should not be spent on subsidies to private bus companies.

Many ‘affordable’ homes built by developers are not affordable at all and DDC should return to providing good quality council housing.

We know in reality much planning is controlled by central government through its National Planning and Policy Framework – but DDC could do better.

We also need a good system of cycle routes.

DDC is working on a new district plan to run until 2037. We hope to see more well-designed, higher density developments that cut down on urban sprawl and make walking and cycling to work easier.

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits

Open Government

Theme 2 of our Action Plan 2019

We at Deal and Dover Green Party (DDGP) want Dover District Council (DDC) to work more openly.

Local people need to be empowered so they can know what is really going on and become empowered to make a real change.

  • All council meetings should be videoed and published on the internet.
  • Council officers should be directly accessible to the public to answer questions.
  • Records of internal council deliberations should be available.
  • Documents should be written in plain English not bureaucratic jargon.

When a council like DDC is run without effective opposition for many years there are bound to be problems of accountability – shutting out communities.

In the UK, the government has become an establishment run by experts who control the flow of information too closely.  Open government means choice.

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits

Improving Democracy

Theme 3 of our 2019 Action Plan

In the UK, for local government, each elected member represents 2,605 people compared to 250 in Germany. Our system of government is too complex and distant.

We think DDC should work with local community groups and concerns – ‘open government’.

Deal and Dover Green Party would work for an increase in the powers of Parish Councils – as the level of government closest to local communities.

Parish Councils should:

  • have an obligation to consult with their local communities and express their views
  • have the right to receive a clear and reasoned response from KCC and DDC.
  • organise ‘community consultations’ and inform their local communities through their web sites and meetings.
  • have more say in housing developments, especially environmental effects and infrastructure needs.

We would give support to Parish Councils on safe speeds for cars through their villages, where limits are placed and putting in speed panels.

We want local people to have more say. 

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits

 

Value for Money

Theme 4 of our 2019 Action Plan

Value for money is a Green issue – too many resources are wasted by our current distant and opaque local government.

It is value for money to use planning powers to make sure new housing is Carbon neutral. Spend a bit more today to save a lot tomorrow.  The choice is between cheaper heating bills for homeowners and a reduction in CO2 emissions or more profits for volume builders. 

What certainly is not value for money is Dover District Council (DDC) spending our council tax money taking a case to the Supreme Court in defence of a luxury housing development, at Farthingloe, on an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Especially since the judges found that DDC had given no adequate reasons for their planning decision.

Value for money has been used as an excuse by Kent County Council and Dover District Council to pass on devastating budget cuts and allow our environment to deteriorate.

They have allowed public services to be run by financialised corporations. This doesn’t work, as we see in the privatised bus network etc.

It is a myth that the market always provides better value for money than publicly run utilities.

The culture of ‘leave it to the market’ has resulted in too close a relationship between lobbyists, PR, politicians and corporate managers.

The Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, and the Stagecoach service cuts and price rises show what can go wrong.

Value for money requires proper democratic decision making informed by open government. 

This article covered one of the 14 Themes of Dover and Deal Geen Party Action Plan:

  1. Action on Climate Emergency
  2. Open Government
  3. Improving Democracy
  4. Value for Money
  5. Policies to Support Local Business
  6. Planning Policy that Works
  7. No to Fracking
  8. Yes to support for electric cars
  9. A Plastics Free Council
  10. Ending Live animal exports
  11. Better Air Quality
  12. Support for Bus Transport
  13. Better Amenities – Especially For Young People
  14. Universal Credit and Other Benefits