Two areas of Medway have elections coming up and a better Medway is needed. It seems that people are rejecting the cosy coalition of the two-party system in the towns, now that the effects of Brexit + COVID are becoming apparent in what has been termed a “Britastrophe”. The UN red alert on climate has flagged up the long-term impact of Brexit on climate change:
- More disaster capitalism means tax avoidance and non-payment of taxes in nation states. This is bad for our environmental stewardship and our reputation as a world leader in ethical politics
- A bonfire on standards leads to moral hazard in product manufacture, with a return to shoddy products made in sweatshops and environmentally damaging materials. One hairdresser in Chatham told me that she was looking forward to the day when she could once again used banned chemicals on her clients’ hair. She seemed unconcerned that the chemicals are carcinogens when I explained as a Chemist.
- More global trade = more carbon footprint. You may say, I don’t care, but what legacy do we hand on to future generations.
Locally in Strood North, overdevelopment of the Hoo Peninsula is leading to the destruction of sensitive environments and threatens to gridlock residents in the Medway towns. Residents also have concerns about schools, lack of social housing, overdevelopment, litter, public transport and the capacity of the NHS to cope under Johnson’s sale of the century. It also seems that the issue that dare not speak its name aka Brexit is also causing residents real concerns. It starts to become clear that Brexit was not really about taking back control except in the sense that it has enabled Boris Johnson to give unprecedented amounts of taxpayers money to his cronies and blame all economic, social and political problems on COVID. Closer to home, food shortages are becoming visible as people realise that we are no longer self-sufficient in food. With a shortage of 100 000 foreign lorry drivers, the supply of 2000 HGV army drivers from the “Royal Cucumber Corps” is not going to make up the difference. Walking into Aldi in Strood lettuces are already brown in the displays. Yes, I know Aldi operate a Just in Time system system, but the food is not supposed to be rotten in the supermarket. This is just an hors d’ouevre …
Brands Hatch in Strood
Peter Bonney, an ex-deputy headteacher is a local activist for a 20 MPH speed limit in the rat runs along these roads in a congested part of Strood Weston, Cromer, Gordon, Jersey, Bryant, Brompton Lane, Cliffe Road etc. Peter is the model of an activist, having organised petitions, letters and been given airtime at the local council with his proposal. He thought all was well when he gained a warm reception across the political spectrum, but then the views of councillors were crushed by Councillor Alan Jarrett for no reason. Jarrett is a seasoned professional who I have dealt with. Prospective Green Councillor Cat Jamieson is to take the issue up. There are many schools in the area and the use of the rat runs presents both a safety issue for children and an environmental issue for all the residents.
Residents in Brompton Farm Road are concerned about the issue of overdevelopment on the Hoo Peninsula with houses for 30 000 people proposed in a sensitive natural habitat for birds and other wildlife. One resident described the problem:
“Boris the Builder just wants to build, build, build and the local Tory Councillors support this so they can line their pockets. Meanwhile Labour are just supine. We need an independent voice to hold Medway Council to account”.
It’s not just the people on the periphery of Hoo that are concerned. The housing development will also put pressure on the arterial roads into Strood centre, placing still more pressure on the rat runs. There are also issues with the lack of social housing in the new Riverside developments around the area of Strood Station.
Cat responded to the call from residents:
“Greenwashing won’t wash. We need to plan development within the towns in ways that are sustainable and sensitive to residents’ needs. In some cases, that means just saying NO. In other cases, it will be about finding much better ways to think about our natural resources in consultation with community leaders. What we have now is local government by diktat. We must Act Now, before the Green Belt turns Brown”.
The Green Party will hold the Conservatives (and the “official” opposition) to account if elected. Since there is already one Conservative and one Labour candidate, voters can cast their vote for a truly independent voice in the knowledge that they are not eliminating one of the parties, but simply enriching the mixture of views to make better decisions.
Find out more about voting Green at The Green Party.
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