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Medway Green Party select 2017 General Election candidates

By Press Officer on May 12, 2017 | In Medway | Send feedback »

Medway Green Party select 2017 General Election candidates

Members of Medway Green Party have chosen three local people as their parliamentary candidates to stand in the Medway constituencies in the upcoming General Election on June 8th.

Teacher Sonia Hyner has been selected to stand in Rochester and Strood. Sonia’s career background is in social care and support. She worked for Citizens Advice for 21 years, seven of those in Medway, actively supporting members of the public to help alleviate poverty and secure housing, before retraining to teach English to adults at Further Education College.

Sonia has been politically active for a number of years and took part in the London march in 2003 against the war in Iraq. She has attended many anti-discrimination protests against racism and homophobia and was part of the protest that took place during the by-election in 2014 when the people of Rochester united to prevent Britain First from marching.  Sonia is keen to promote a Green economy and protection of our public services.

Sonia says: “As an active peace and climate change campaigner for many years, my beliefs have been further enhanced by embracing Green politics, particularly in terms of the promotion of a Green economy that looks at sustainability in terms of local economies producing goods for their own communities, thus becoming more resilient as well as reducing our Carbon footprint. I am also concerned that our public services are protected, our young people are supported, and that our housing crisis is averted in a way that will still protect our natural environment.

“As a regular on the doorsteps of Rochester residents as part of our ongoing campaign for the Council Elections in 2019, I am looking forward to this opportunity for explaining our brand of Green politics to the people of Rochester and Strood and how things could be better for them”.

To contest Gillingham & Rainham, the Green Party has selected local businessman Clive Gregory. Clive is a freelance musician and sound engineer who runs a PA/sound services and hire business. Alongside this, he is a part-time carer for his parents.

Clive stood for the Greens in Rochester and Strood in the 2014 by-election and 2015 General Election and strongly campaigned against the proposed Lodge Hill development.  He is concerned about the expansion of development locally and keen to promote a new kind of politics that challenges elitism.

Clive says: "We live in a world where politicians are to some extent controlled and manipulated by powerful forces that are not elected, nor have any respect for democracy and the rights of the majority of the population.  Big banks and mega corporations, many of whom have budgets greater than some countries, control much of the real power of the world.  There needs to be a quantum shift in the way we vote and run our politics and financial systems.

“This requires a voting system that delivers a parliament that represents the political makeup of voting intentions – proportional representation and a chance for real democracy.  I am concerned that the obsession with private profit aided and abetted by politicians is ruining our public services”.

In Chatham and Aylesford, the Green candidate is Bernard Hyde, a self-employed chartered architect and town planner specialising in energy efficient buildings, both locally and overseas. He wants to create a sustainable future in which people and the environment that supports them matter most.

Bernard says: "The physical resources of the world in which we live are finite and we have already used up substantial quantities of them. We inherit the planet from our parents, but we also borrow it from our children. It is our duty to act in an intelligent, mature and compassionate way towards those around us and those who come after us.

Although our resources are finite, our potential to create innovative solutions to a myriad of problems is infinite. Every single person has a role to play and has potential to contribute to a better future. Educational opportunities must therefore be equal for all, healthcare must be equal for all, housing must be available to all. How else can everyone contribute unless they have reached their potential in mind, body and well-being?"

Steve Dyke, Medway Green Party co-ordinator says: “We are delighted to have three great candidates with strong local connections in Sonia, Clive and Bernard to represent us in the forthcoming General Election.  The Medway Greens look forward to supporting them in explaining how our brand of Green politics could make things better for the people of the Medway Towns.”

 

Strood South candidate, Steve Dyke, on local housing priorities

By Press Officer on Oct 12, 2016 | In Medway, Housing | Send feedback »

Please see below a letter that Green Strood South candidate, Steve Dyke, wrote to the Medway Messenger.  

***

Dear Editor,

With one eye on the Strood South by-election, Roy Freshwater again used his Party People column (29th September, Medway Messenger) to raise the need for the Council to focus on the housing crisis in the Medway Towns, but seems to be misled in thinking that EU and international migration is a major factor. According to the supporting evidence provided by Medway Council as part of the recent Local Plan consultation, domestic migration from neighbouring towns has had far more impact than international immigration here in recent years. [1]

In her recent letter to your paper (16th September), MP Kelly Tolhurst gave a panicky message suggesting that the Tories are building a case for concreting over our green spaces, while, as part of her Strood South by-election campaign, Conservative Josie Iles has recently championed the new Redrow development at Temple Waterfront in the ward [2]. This is despite the likelihood, in keeping with other recent new housing developments, that the majority of the homes built there will be too expensive to meet the needs of local people.

According to the North Kent Strategic Housing and Economic Needs Assessment [1] (used by the Council to predict housing need in the Medway Towns), from around 2011 there had been a stark rise in inward domestic migration from neighbouring towns and South East London. Before this, the net direction had been outward. Could it be that this is a direct response to the building of costly new developments such as that planned for Temple Waterfront?

We will never meet the housing needs of Medway people if we allow our valuable land to go to building executive homes that the majority of the local population cannot afford. We are also at risk of destroying our rich local natural environment in an effort to chase a goal that is forever moving – fuelled by political decisions which have led to a decline in decent social homes and encouraged financial housing bubbles. Shortages are not simply a result of population figures outweighing the numbers of homes available, but other factors, like income inequality, play a part and must be taken into full consideration when planning future allocations.

It is shocking that in the latest housing report by the Office of National Statistics, Medway featured as having the biggest shortfall in social housing in the country! [3]. A clear objective therefore must be a focus on putting this right. The way forward must be based on a clear understanding of the relationship between social, economic and environmental factors, but I fear that many of our current and prospective councillors have the wrong priorities.

Yours,

Steve Dyke

Green Party candidate in Strood South by-election

Notes:

[1] http://www.medway.gov.uk/pdf/North%20Kent%20SHENA%20Baseline%20report.pdf

(page 19)

[2] https://rochesterandstroodconservatives.org.uk/blog/temple-wharf/

[3] http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/housing/articles/housingsummarymeasuresanalysis/2015-08-05#social-housing-shortfall

 

Green Party by-election candidate calls on Medway Council to reduce landfill

By Press Officer on Oct 12, 2016 | In Medway | Send feedback »

Steve Dyke, Green candidate in the Strood South by-election is calling on Medway Council to increase its efforts at encouraging recycling and move towards eradicating the use of black bags; reducing the waste that goes to landfill and incineration.

Mr Dyke says: “If elected as the first Green Party representative on Medway Council, I would seek to work with Councillors from other parties to introduce or support measures and policies that move the council in a “greener direction”.

“One of the projects that Medway Green Party is currently working on is our ‘Less Litter to Landfill’ campaign. We have been investigating the impact of litter in Medway, especially in relation to plastics, wildlife and reducing our dependence on landfill sites.

“Medway Green Party acknowledges that Medway Council work closely with EU directives and have successfully managed a decrease in the use of landfill over recent years. They are proactive with community litter picking sessions and have raised awareness of fines attached to litter dropping and fly tipping but we feel a lot more can be done”.

Sonia Hyner, Green Party Officer and lead of the ‘Less Litter to Landfill’ subgroup says: “There is a need for greater transparency and better systems to build confidence to support people with recycling and reducing waste.

“For instance, although Medway Council have a voucher scheme aimed at helping new parents build up a supply of renewable nappies (they can be used with flushable liners, dispensing with the need to send the end soiled product to landfill; they also save money)  it is unclear how accessible this information is to new parents, outside of the Council website.

“More worryingly, there is lack of transparency about where waste such as disposable nappies and cat litter goes. The Local Authority is encouraging people to use black bags to dispose of it, but it is deemed as unacceptable waste by the incineration company which receives the Council’s black bag waste [1].  And yet the Council claims that the 18% of waste that continues to go to landfill only consists of bulky household items [2], so what happens to disposable nappies and cat litter? Are these toxic waste products, still going to landfill?”

For Green candidate, Steve Dyke, much can be achieved by the local community working together to seek solutions. He says: “The new ‘post-EU Referendum age’ should give local people the opportunity to take greater control over local decision-making. It is a chance for us to explore our own creative solutions to eradicating landfill sites for the benefit of our environment. We urge Medway Council to join us in seeking not only to maintain EU standards on recycling and waste but to exceed them.

“Medway Green Party hopes to build on the good work of Medway Council in both highlighting existing recycling initiatives in Medway and proposing new ones, therefore assisting it to become a flag ship authority on the environment”.

Anyone wishing to make comments or suggestions is welcome to contact Sonia Hyner, ‘Less Litter to Landfill’ subgroup lead, email – recycling@medwaygreenparty.org

For information on where your rubbish ends up see:http://www.medway.gov.uk/binsrubbishandrecycling/wasteservicestandards/whereyourrubbishendsup.aspx

A-Z recycling in Medway:

http://www.medway.gov.uk/binsrubbishandrecycling/atozofrecyclinginmedway.aspx#R

Information on the Council’s reuseable nappy scheme can be found here: www.medway.gov.uk/binsrubbishand recycling/reduceyourrubbish/reuseablenappies.aspx

Details of community litter picking up sessions are provided at:www.medway.gov.uk/.crimenuisanceandsafety/communityclean-up.aspx

Litter dropping and fly-tipping – any suspicious behaviour can be reported by telephoning the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506.
NOTES:

[1] “Animal or human remains or waste” is deemed unacceptable to SELCHP the “Energy Recovery Facility” where Medway Council sends non-recyclable waste – http://www.selchp.co.uk/your-waste/unaccepted-waste/

[2] Medway Council claim that “The only household waste sent to landfill is bulkier items” http://www.medway.gov.uk/binsrubbishandrecycling/wasteservicestandards/whereyourrubbishendsup.aspx

Medway Greens announce Strood South by-election candidate

By Press Officer on Sep 21, 2016 | In Medway | Send feedback »

Steve Dyke has been selected as the Green Party’s candidate for the upcoming by-election in Strood South.

Steve moved to Strood in 1966 at the age of five and has lived in the area most of his life since.  Educated at Elaine Avenue School and then Rochester Math, he currently commutes to London for his job in insurance.

Steve says: “I have seen much change in the area, some of it positive, some negative.  I feel that this side of the River Medway often gets taken for granted by the Council.  It seems to me that Strood and surrounding areas are often regarded as places to be crammed with more and more housing without the need to make improvements to infrastructure and facilities or to build sustainable communities.

“There is pressure from all sides to build in and around Medway, such as the Council's plan for 30,000 houses and the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, which will impact directly on Strood South.  The recently announced Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission chaired by Lord Heseltine adds further uncertainty by including the Medway area within the scope of its vision for what it calls ‘high-quality growth’.

“Our schools, medical facilities and public services are suffering from being subjected for many years to a failing political programme imposed by central government. While some areas of Medway have benefitted from investment, others have been left behind. 

“Now, more than ever, Green voices on Medway Council are needed to protect and improve what we have, both for ourselves and future generations, to create a better local environment resilient to climate change and to build healthier communities.

“If elected I will work with local residents and Councillors from other political parties to introduce or support measures and policies that move the Council in a greener direction.  This means that a Green vote would be a vote for taking local democracy seriously. It would be a vote for reducing pollution levels and providing sustainable and affordable housing and transport, for local clean energy production, for protecting our public services, and for valuing and seeking to protect our green spaces and wildlife. 

“As a lone voice on the Council, this may be a gradual process but voting Green on October 20th would be a step in the right direction.  Local government in Medway has got stale.  ‘Politics as usual’ is clearly not working in the interest of most people locally and nationally. The Green Party is not afraid to do things differently in its pursuit of building a society that works for the Common Good.”

Medway Greens say "Yes" to Europe

By Press Officer on Jun 10, 2016 | In Medway | Send feedback »

Over the last few weeks Medway Greens have been chatting with many people in the Medway Towns, through canvassing and street stalls as well as social media, to explain their support for remaining in the European Union.

Medway Green Party Membership Officer, Steve Dyke, says “We are giving people a positive message about Europe that is in sharp contrast to the scaremongering and negativity from some other parties.  We emphasise the many good things that membership of the EU has brought to the UK, from environmental protection to human rights, from arts funding to gender equality.  For us it is not a case of taking our country back, but of wanting to take it forward, and we believe this is best done as part of the family of democratic nations that is the EU”.

“We know the European Union is far from perfect and needs change in many ways, but the Greens want to remain and work with other like-minded people to achieve this, rather than walk away to the margins of Europe.  Many of the major issues that affect the UK are global ones that cannot be dealt with effectively by one country alone, such as climate change and terrorism”.

Former Green Party parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood, Clive Gregory, is particularly interested in the relationship between the EU and global corporations. He says:  “The people of Europe need to be united against the power of the mega corporations and mega rich elites – we will not be able to do this alone.  Many of those speaking for an exit want us to be helpless and alone as then we’ll be easy game for global banks and corporations. By staying in, we can be part of a movement for true democracy, a movement that is beginning to take real shape, not for left against right but for people and democracy against the powerful, whether corporate or dynastic”.

The people of the Medway Towns will be able to discuss any issues they have around the EU – or raise anything else that concerns them – with members of the Medway Green Party at their next street stall in Rochester High Street from 10 a.m. on Saturday morning (11th June).