I read a letter in the Sidmouth Herald last week from a Mr Tony Dustan-Smith of Manor Road, Sidmouth urging candidates to support the Campaign to Protect Rural England manifesto. Mr Dustan-Smith asks “With the General Election fast approaching, now is the time to ask those who aspire to be our MPs in the future what they will do if they are elected.”
As the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green Party in East Devon, I have replied to the newspaper and hopefully they will include my letter on Friday 19th February. I’ve said I’ll support the manifesto and even blog about it on here….so here we are….some info about the CPRE below:
Our countryside faces many challenges, but the coming election gives politicians the chance to shape the way we care for and use it now and in the future. Last year, Campaign to Protect Rural England launched a vision for the countryside in 2026, their centenary year. CPRE are optimistic that our countryside can be a better place than it is now, but that will depend on the decisions made between now and then.
As far as where the Green Party stands on the CPRE maifesto – our leader Caroline Lucas MEP actually gave the CPRE annual lecture last summer – on reconciling competing environmental objectives; ‘a market approach won’t protect countryside’.
Caroline called for an urgent reform of the UK’s planning system to put environmental sustainability at its heart – and encourage maximum citizen participation in key development decisions. She highlighted the need for improved dialogue in situations where there are pressures for conflicting environmental goods, such as the need to exploit renewable energy opportunities while also seeking to protect the UK’s rural landscapes.
The Green MEP said: “As the government prepares to publish its white paper on energy, now more than ever it is crucial that the UK seizes the opportunity to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions in revenue from new renewable technologies. Destroying our precious environment by building Tesco superstores does not suddenly become OK because CEO Terry Leahy promises to plant woodland somewhere. Expanding Heathrow airport does not suddenly become a green option because BAA invests in some bat boxes.”
I will blog more about the CPRE in the future – but for now will leave you with the very manifesto Mr Dustan-Smith highlighted in his letter. Thanks Tony. Hope to meet up with you in the future at some point. We’ll be in Sidmouth this Saturday morning outside the co-op actually if you want to pop and say hello. More details here www.sharonpavey.org/honiton-meeting-sidmouth-stall
The CPRE manifesto
Our manifesto for the countryside will help us achieve our vision of a better countryside for all. Please ask candidates of all parties to support it through making pledges and taking action. What we would like to see:
- a democratic planning system that protects and enhances the countryside, promotes urban renewal and improves people’s quality of life
- investment in public transport including bus, rail and coach, and safer walking and cycling
- support a national deposit scheme for drink containers, and ban free plastic bags if voluntary schemes do not work
Read more on the CPRE website www.cpre.org.uk