Policies for 2023 Council Elections

Feb 20, 2023News

The Green Party: Fairer for everyone

  • A green economy that works for all
  • Protecting our environment
  • Protecting public services
  • Educational achievement for all
  • A positive future for young people
  • Decent homes
  • More cost-efficient management
  • A people’s democracy
  • Effective transport system

Covid

As we deal with the consequences of 2 years of dealing with COVID-19 we must make a Green Recovery, rather than ‘business as usual’ Most people recognise that we need cheaper and cleaner energy and insulating our homes maximally saves us money. Green jobs must be at the heart of the Green Recovery.

During Covid communities of people appeared to support, and check in with each other. We want this community caring to continue. More people are working from home and more flexibly, so our high streets must be flexible and cater for this change in work culture. More people started to cycle to get around and explore the countryside.They appreciated nature more and what a loss of green spaces and biodiversity would do to their mental and physical health. They started to grow vegetables, become aware of how to look after their health through food and exercise.

Climate Emergency and Environment

TMBC recognises there is a Climate Emergency and is committed to become carbon neutral by 2030. The council’s current policies will not deliver this we need to be more ambitious to embrace a new Green industry. We want to see less: flooding in the town and homes and the associated costs; reduced crop reduction due to drought or erratic or unseasonal weather patterns; loss of biodiversity and food production; loss of opportunities due to the increased cost of energy, food and other necessities for living. We would:

Promote carbon neutral housing

Improve home insulation throughout Tonbridge and Malling to reduce energy consumption and energy bills

Community energy, solar panels

Explore generating electricity locally from renewable sources, including solar and wind power to encourage energy self-sufficiency

Solar panels on all suitable council-owned buildings or green roofs if solar panels are not viable.

Community-owned energy company

Promote the use rainwater harvesting and grey-water systems to reduce water use and protect residents when water consumption reduces during drought periods

Promote biodiversity with planting and re-wilding projects around the borough

Collaborate with shops and businesses to encourage alternatives to plastic packaging

Promote good public transport, encourage electric vehicle use including buses and taxis, to reduce atmospheric carbon and air pollution

Ensure that the council procure its electricity from renewable sources

Protect wildlife habitats and enhance biodiversity. 

Plant more trees in streets, parks and green spaces.

Housing and planning

Provide more affordable, well-insulated social housing to reduce waiting lists

Zpods (zero energy prefabricated dwellings) over car parks

Push for more secure tenancies for renters and smart controls to stabilise rents.

Ensure that residents have the final say over regeneration proposals.

Protect greenfield sites around Tonbridge and Malling from building development. 

Hold local housing providers to account to ensure good environmental standards are maintained

Insist that future housing developments has appropriate infrastructure, such as schools, surgeries, dentists and transport prior to habitation.

Protect greenbelt land and agricultural land used for local food production from development.

Transport

Increase low cost bus services including regular evening and weekend services to encourage people to leave their cars at home

Support the introduction of electric buses to reduce air pollution within the town

Encourage regular and low-cost buses from outlying villages into Tonbridge town to promote the local economy, avoid social isolation among the elderly and freedom of movement for young people.

Encourage the timely maintenance of footpaths, street lights and cycle lanes to ensure safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Encourage active travel for children and parents to walk or cycle to school. Decreasing traffic congestion during school runs, cleaner air by avoiding engine idling at school gates, thus improving children’s health.

Install Electric Car charge points in new build housing and on-street charging points

Young people and Health

Support state schools to provide excellent standard of education for all children

Support initiatives that encourage young people to work on community projects

Promote public health education about balanced diet and exercise, and dangers of substance misuse

Collaborate with higher education institutions to encourage courses that meet local employment needs e.g. energy efficient home insulation

Collaborate with higher education institutions to encourage youth engagement in the democratic process

Support local services working with victims of domestic abuse

Promote good mental health for young people by encouraging active travel, sports, arts, clubs, access to outdoor spaces, and facilities

Community

Protect local public services that are under threat from central government cuts

Challenge the reduction in central government funding to TMBC resulting in cuts to services

Support organisations that work with families living in food and energy poverty

Protect libraries, post offices, bus and other local services from cuts and closures

Lobby for prompt emptying of council bins and the return of bulky waste collection

Fight for social justice, offering support and advice to those who are affected by the cost of living crisis

Continue to fight for equal rights for disadvantaged and minority groups.

Promote active travel by establishing and maintaining footpaths and cycle paths

Encourage grassroots/local democracy by regularly consulting with residents about their views on traffic, waste services, housing or other issues raised by residents

Encourage and support Tonbridge & Malling’s arts scene and seek to protect live performance venues from threats of closure

Economy

Support smaller, local businesses and grow our local economy. 

Encourage local employers and council contractors to pay the Living Wage.

Support the introduction of UBI (Universal Basic Income)

Champion local food production and farmers markets.

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