Saturday, 22 August 2015

22 Aug 2015 Greens join TTIP action in Maidstone

38 Degrees activists campaigning in Week St  against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) today were joined by local Green Party members. The Green Party is the only party opposing TTIP which will allow US companies to sue the UK Government using US law. Stuart Jeffery, Secretary of Maidstone Green Party and Fant Ward Candidate and Hannah Patton, former Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Maidstone met with campaigners to support the action.

Stuart Jeffery, Secretary of Maidstone Green Party and Fant Ward Candidate: "TTIP will be a disaster for democracy, environment protection, workplace law and will ensure that the remainder of our public services are privatised.

"The US laws on the environment and and worker protection are far more lax than the UK laws yet TTIP will allow US companies to sue our government using US laws. This is already happening in Australia which has signed a similar deal.

"The Green Party is the only party opposed to TTIP and we have been campaigning alongside 38 Degrees to stop this deal."



Links to photos:

https://flic.kr/p/xCAcwS
https://flic.kr/p/wHTGff

Thursday, 6 August 2015

7th Aug 2015: Greens announce Stuart Jeffery as by-election candidate for Fant Ward

Maidstone Greens have announced Stuart Jeffery as their candidate in the forthcoming local by-election for Fant Ward on Maidstone Borough Council. Stuart came close to winning the seat last year, missing out by just 83 votes.

Stuart Jeffery: "Fant and Maidstone urgently need a Green voice. The council are backing ever increasing, but unnecessarily high, housing numbers and are then building unaffordable executive houses on farmland around the town. I will continue to argue for affordable homes on brownfield sites, of which there are many.

"A Green voice is also needed to balance the car centric voices on the council. Our roads are gridlocked and air pollution kills an estimated 72 people each year in Maidstone while pedestrians and cyclists are increasingly marginalised. This has to change.

"I am proud to be given the chance to be that strong Green voice on the council and I will be working flat out over the coming weeks to win this election."



Notes: Current photo of Stuart: https://www.flickr.com/photos/38981733@N06/19892031199

Sunday, 19 July 2015

20 Jul 2015 Govt U Turn on fracking could be disastrous for Maidstone

Local Greens have issued a stark warning that the Government's U turn on protection against fracking in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and in groundwater protection areas puts Maidstone and surrounding areas and people living here at great risk.

The U Turn[1] announced on Thursday overturns previous promises to protect highly sensitive areas. Maidstone's drinking water is predominately from groundwater [2] and there are large areas of groundwater protection zones locally [3 and 4] ensuring that any contamination of groundwater supplies would be disastrous.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "This U turn by the government marks yet another step towards fracking across the Weald. With Maidstone on the northern edge of the Weald, this could spell disaster for our countryside, water supplies and health.

"Injecting high volumes of toxic water under high pressure through groundwater aquifers is not safe despite claims from the industry.

"Fracking is both unnecessary and clear danger to our environment. Maidstone Greens will fight fracking wherever it happens."


Notes:

  1. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/16/government-makes-outrageous-u-turn-over-fracking-in-precious-wildlife-sites
  2. https://shareweb.kent.gov.uk/Documents/environment-and-planning/environment-and-climate-change/water%20summit/state-of-water.pdf
  3. http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/wiybyController?x=357683.0&y=355134.0&scale=1&layerGroups=default&ep=map&textonly=off&lang=_e&topic=groundwater#x=586071&y=149580&lg=1,10,&scale=5
  4. http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/37833.aspx
  5. SSSI map available here: http://www.magic.gov.uk/MagicMap.aspx
  6. BGS survey of shale reserves here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/313702/BGS_DECC_JurassicWealdShale_study_2014_MAIN_REPORT_LOW_RES.pdf

Monday, 22 June 2015

23rd July 2015 Maidstone Greens support anti-austerity march in London

Maidstone Greens joined this week's anti-austerity protest in London. The protest saw 250,000 people marching against the government slashing support to the most vulnerable members in society and their cuts to public services. The Greens have called for an end to tax avoidance, plus a wealth tax and a tax on bank transactions to ensure that public services can be maintained and so the poorer members of society can be supported.

Hannah Patton, Maidstone Green Party: "It was incredibly inspiring to participate in such a well organised event in aid of such a good cause and the speeches in parliament square where very thought provoking and rousing. It was a truly peaceful protest with no trouble or incidents.

"We had the opportunity to meet and March with Green Party members and supporters from all over the county and even the Swedish Green Party. It was great to have so many organisations, groups and unions marching for a common goal."




Sunday, 24 May 2015

24 May 2015 Great results in the 2015 elections

Hannah Patton, the Green Party's parliamentary candidate for Maidstone and the Weald achieved 3% (1396) votes and Tim Valentine, our candidate for Faversham and Mid Kent achieved 4% (1768 votes). Maidstone Green Party congratulates both candidates.

Elsewhere in the country, Caroline Lucas was re-elected as the Green MP for Brighton and Darren Hall narrowly missed out from being the Green MP for Bristol West.

In the Borough Coucnil elections, where turnout was twice as high as normal due to the parliamentary elections, we did well too:

Bearsted: Ciaran Oliver - 4%
Coxheath and Hunton Ward: Mike Summersgill - 4%
Downswood and Otham Ward: Elaine Boylett - 3%
East Ward: Hannah Patton - 5%
Fant Ward: Ian McDonald - 10%
High Street Ward: Gareth Phillips - 6%
Marden and Yalding: Rob Millar - 4%
North Ward: Donna Greenan - 5%
Shepway North: Steve Muggeridge - 5%
South Ward: Guy Tanner - 3%
Staplehurst - David George 4%
Sutton Valence and Langley Ward: Derek Eagle - 9%


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29 Oct 2014 Hannah Patton selected as Green Party Candidate for Maidstone and the Weald

Maidstone Green Party has announced its parliamentary candidate for Maidstone and The Weald as Hannah Patton. The announcement comes after a tough selection process and ballot of all local members.

Hannah is 28, works locally as a youth worker and is a former Member of the Youth Parliament for Maidstone.

Hannah Patton, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Maidstone and the Weald: "I have been passionate about politics from a very young age, and have been actively involved since I became part of Maidstone Youth Forum 14 years ago.

"Young people have a lot to offer but the younger voter is under represented in parliamentary discussions. I would like young people to have the same opportunities to engage with politics that I have had.

"The future is starting to look bleak for young people, climate change is beginning to shape our weather while government has been hell bent on trying to force pupils through a one-size fits all education system than leaves them disillusioned and ill prepared for the future.

"But education can make a difference. Focussing education on skills for the future is essential. We need to teach young people to think for themselves and to engage with their communities. We must have more focus on citizenship education including sex and relationships, health, politics, alcohol and drug information, as well as money management.

"Our reliance on non-renewable energy must come to an end. The only energy sources that will last into the future are renewable sources and we must switch to these as soon as we can.

"I will be campaigning hard against ‘fracking’ which is likely to come to mid Kent very soon. Fracking is hugely polluting and completely unnecessary.

"And of course, I would really love to represent Maidstone again in Parliament!”

Monday, 20 October 2014

21 Oct 2014 Anger at Fant Farm housing plan

Local Greens have reacted with anger at plans to build on Fant Farm despite huge local opposition stretching back for many years. The Greens fought hard to get Fant Farm removed from the housing plan but the entire housing plan was rejected by Maidstone Borough Council and it has become open season for developers.

Ian McDonald, Prospective Green Party candidate for Fant Ward: "I was horrified to learn of the plans by Gleason Developments to press ahead with a scheme for 270 homes on Fant Farm, a beautiful green-field sit. This is in spite of highly publicised widespread local opposition to plans for new housing on this beauty spot and indeed on other Maidstone green sites, while so many more suitable "brown" sites exist.

"In Maidstone there is a real need for new homes especially social and affordable housing, however is is very doubtful that the Fant Farm development will be anything other than executive homes for the rich.  There is more profit to be made from unhindered new housing developments on green fields than by making former commercial or built sites suitable for homes.

"This is especially sad given our previous campaign to get Fant Farm removed from the local housing plan. While we were partially successful, the Council has thrown the entire plan out, possibly with good intentions, but meaning there is now no plan at all! It seems to be open season for developers.

"The developers' plans include a "country park" on part of the site, but it would be smaller than the present area, and nothing like the present farmland and vistas. In any case the present infrastructure, schools, health centres, bus services and congested streets in Fant cannot support an increase in residential demand on the scale envisaged.

"We believe our Council should get their act together to ensure they do everything they can to stop this unwanted development from going ahead."

ends

Leaflet from Gleeson is here:
http://maidstone.greenparty.org.uk/FF1.jpg
http://maidstone.greenparty.org.uk/FF2.jpg
http://maidstone.greenparty.org.uk/FF3.jpg