Our Manifesto for Kent
Kent Green Party wants to create a fair and sustainable society in Kent.
What does this mean?
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." World Commission on Environment and Development - Our Common Future, 1987.
Fairness begins with taking responsibility for what we are doing:
We do not have the right to live as if we could squander everything Kent, or our country or the Planet has to offer. We have a duty, to our own children and future generations, to ensure that we pass on a better Kent to those who follow us, not one which continues to be damaged by Conservative misrule. In practice, this means having private and public sector activity contributing to the greening of life in general. A sustainable economy is our aim. We need private and public sectors working for the common good throughout Kent. But there is a major obstacle:
Unfortunately, the Coalition's unimaginative worship of austerity measures has cut public services, cut jobs and undermined the private sector as household incomes have declined. This is particularly evident in the decline of local government and its services. The Conservative Party is also plagued by luddites who imagine they can deny the evidence about climate change, or the usefulness of wind turbines to electricity production or the desirability of keeping development off our countryside and agricultural land. None of this is necessary. Another Kent is possible. But developing and encouraging the basis for hope must include shifting the burden of tax to those households and corporations most able to bear it. The Coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has consistently failed to collect taxes from corporations, has failed to shut tax havens and has not raised taxes on cigarettes, alcohol or Air Passenger Duty enough to bring down the Public Sector Deficit. And all these criticisms can be directed at the previous Labour Government as well.
The Coalition's strategy has failed. A triple dip recession is imminent.
The deepest and most damaging cuts have been made to local government. These include a massive 60% cut in housing expenditure. But every area of local government spending is shrinking and there are not enough staff to run essential services like education, social services or youth programmes throughout Kent. As the Coalition promises yet more cuts until 2015 against increasing opposition from business, the public and even the International Monetary Fund, it emphasises that its cuts are ideological and not necessary. The Coalition is determined to undermine the State and local government and substitute the private sector instead, at greater expense to the public than ever before. And how are the public to afford to pay more when most households have been experiencing declining income for years? As we have all seen, privatization of the railways has produced the most expensive train fares in the world here in the UK. Our country has become the most unequal society in the industrialised world. And the failure of the Government to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of safe, renewable energy technologies is part of an appalling history of incompetence.
Here in Kent, we have the largest 'rotten borough' in the UK. The Conservatives have been in power in Kent since 1889 almost without interruption. The results have been a catastrophic record of over-development of warehousing, badly planned road schemes, under-development of essential services for the elderly and the young and a persistent record of creating and maintaining low quality secondary schools because of an education system divided by class through the Kent Test. Similar divisions exist between primary schools too. We need a fully integrated schooling system with equal opportunities for all and smaller class sizes.
So why should you vote Green?
The Green Party has consistently offered the best alternative policies of any Party in Kent to the Conservative regime. We commit ourselves to work to undo the comprehensive failures of Kent County Council under the Conservatives, in areas of manifest inadequacy like over-priced public transport, excessive class sizes in schools, very poor walking and cycling policies and under investment in efficient, safe energy technologies.
Consider our policies in the separate Greening Kent - policies section of our manifesto.
Our policies can be seen as being covered by three themes:
- Ending poverty, increasing employment opportunities and improving services
- Making public transport, walking and cycling the most favoured means of transport
- Conserving and enhancing the natural environment for tourism, forestry and biodiversity - for future generations
The detailed policies available in the Policy section of our manifesto are divided as follows:
- Environmental Policies
- Democracy Policies
- Transport Policies
- Tourism Policies
- Education Policies
- Employment Policies
- Policies on Services
- Policies on Crime and Policing
- Policies for Health, Recreation and Leisure
- Energy Policies
- Policies for Local Economic Regeneration
More information on many areas of our policies can be found in our publications and submissions.