Sunday, 14 April 2013

Anger at Library eviction in Maidstone

14th April 2013
Maidstone Greens are calling on Kent County Council to work with a group of young people to find them a place to live after the Council evicted them from the old library in Maidstone on Friday. The group had started to live in the building after it had sat empty and unused for the past year. Stuart Jeffery met with representatives from the group on Sunday and was impressed by their ideas.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party: "This group of young people were putting an unused building to good use as a home but thanks to the actions of the County Council they now have to find somewhere else to live while the building goes back to being empty. They were evicted despite causing no damage and despite the growing problem of homelessness in the town.

"The group are keen to live sustainably, growing food and working for a living, they just need a place where they can do this. Maidstone Library has sat empty for the past year after it was moved out of the town and while it might not be an ideal building, it could help this group.

"Bring unused buildings back into use, especially if it is meeting a real need to meet, such as housing, has to be a good thing. We are therefore calling on Kent County Council to rethink its strategy towards its empty buildings and to carefully consider whether they can be used as homes in either the short or long term."

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Full slate of Maidstone Candidates in County Council Elections

13th April 2013
Maidstone Green Party has a full slate of candidates, standing candidates in each seat across Maidstone in the elections on May 2nd.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Central candidate: "We are challenging the rather miserable vision of hopelessness and austerity presented to voters by other parties. We are a rich country and the other parties pretend we are poor, continuing to support cuts and low pay for most people - as if ordinary people were to blame for the long recession.

"Our manifesto can be seen as being covered by three themes, the economy, transport and the environment.

"We want to see real improvements in the quality of our economy. We will create jobs – real jobs in industries that we urgently need, public transport, energy efficiency, insulation, sustainable farming, renewable energy, education. We will tackling poverty with a  living wage and 10:1 wage ratio in KCC.

"We will improve the quality of travel in Kent with 20mph limits where people live. We will make it the socially acceptable speed to drive in residential areas. We will investing in public transport, walking and cycling, making them the first choice for travel.

"We will tackle air pollution from roads that kills 700 people each year in Kent. We will improving the quality of the environment, conserving and enhancing the natural environment for tourism, forestry and biodiversity - for future generations and we will protecting green spaces, farmland and woodland – spaces such as Oaken Wood."
    Our candidates are:

    Maidstone Central (1):     Stuart JEFFERY
    Maidstone Central (2):     Wendy LEWIS
    Maidstone North East:     Andrew WALDIE
    Maidstone Rural East:      Penny KEMP
    Maidstone Rural North:   Ciaran OLIVER
    Maidstone Rural South:    Robin KINDRADE
    Maidstone South:            Ashley WAKELING
    Maidstone South East:     Steve MUGGERIDGE

    Notes:
    1. More than 1200 people are paid less than £7.45 per hour while 5 staff are paid over £74.50 and almost 500 paid over £25 per hour.
    2. 70 to 80% of people back 20mph limits 
    3. 29,000 deaths directly attributable to air pollution from traffic each year across UK - Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants – and 200,000 suffer the effects.

    Monday, 1 April 2013

    Buckland community against supermarket development

    2nd April 2013
    Over a hundred residents have signed a petition to the council's planning committee which has been submitted with Maidstone Green Party's objection letter. The letter sets out significant concerns about the current level of traffic in the area which will increase by 54% if the supermarket is built.

    Stuart Jeffery: "There is overwhelming opposition to a supermarket on St Peters Street as the petition shows. Local people have suffered since the St Peters Street was turned into a shopping area and the roads now regularly turn into gridlock. Increasing the number of cars on them by 54% is madness."

    "With six supermarkets within a mile of the site and a seventh planned for the old Army and Navy store, there is no need for one here. It will simply damage existing businesses.

    "There is no bus service to the site and the nearest stop is 400 metres away so the majority of people will be driving there. Coupled with the drive thru McDonalds by Maidstone West, the area is in for a huge inlux of cars."

    Our objection letter is available here.