General Election: Our Countryside Matters

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Countryside Charity CPRE Kent is calling on all political parties to embrace our vision for a countryside that is thriving, accessible, and makes a significant contribution to reaching net-zero carbon, We want to see sustainable rural communities, supported by investment from business and government, where people’s voices are heard in decision-making and local needs are met.

Our priorities are:

1) Tackling the climate emergency – the next government must commit to ambitious measures to reach net zero emissions by 2045 through implementing changes to farming practices, the balance of our energy supply and by promoting energy efficiency in homes;

2) A countryside for all of us – our countryside must be a source of wellbeing for everyone. The next government must improve access to green spaces especially for children and those who do not currently have access as well as helping create a litter free future with an ‘all-in’ Deposit Return Scheme for cans and bottles;

3) Planning for communities – the planning system is one of local democracy’s most powerful and effective tools. The government must support a well-resourced planning system that empowers communities and promotes development that responds to their needs. Greenbelt should be protected and a strict ‘brownfield first’ policy committed to; and

4) Creating thriving rural communities – the next government should commit to provide genuinely affordable homes and infrastructure, both digital and actual, such as rural transport that connects communities to employment opportunities and vital public services.

You can read the CPRE leaflet “Our countryside: a manifesto for the next government” here:

8th November 2019

Local elections matter!

All Kent’s local boroughs and districts, as well as Medway Council, will be holding elections on Thursday (May 2).
Local authorities control many of the decisions that we care passionately about at CPRE Kent. We depend on their decisions to keep our towns and villages vibrant, to ensure there are homes in which people can afford to live, and to make sure that services like public transport and waste collection and recycling are effective and efficient.
That is why it is so important to get out and vote, and to make your voice heard on Thursday! Whatever their political colour, the decisions made by your local councillors are important for your local community.

  • To find out in which local-council area you live, see here
  • To find out where your polling station is, see here
  • To find out who the candidates are, see here

In the final run-up to the election, you can contact your local candidates and let them know the most important things to you and ask that they reflect this in their election promises.
One of the easiest ways to engage with your candidates is to send them an email or a letter. You should be able to find their email and postal addresses using the links above.
We have drafted an email/letter that you could send them – see here. Our manifesto, Stand Up For Our Local Countryside, can be found here if you would like to include it. And you can see our short video here
In line with the manifesto, we ask you to think about supporting the policies that support Kent’s countryside in the following ways:

Best use of land: respecting the constraints of designated landscapes, making use of brownfield sites and prioritising sustainable, public transport.

  • Thriving rural communities: getting the local council building more homes for social rent and prioritising local housing need over market demand.
  • Empowered communities: championing and upholding the voice of local people through the planning system
  • An enjoyable countryside: developing light-pollution policies and encouraging outreach and engagement programmes to provide equal access to the countryside.
  • Climate change and the countryside: setting a local authority climate change strategy and embedding climate change into all local policy areas.

You have the chance to make your voice heard on May 2nd: don’t miss it.