Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Better Plan for our Railways in Reigate: Take Back Control of Southern, Fair Fares and Invest Locally

As a regular member of the Reigate, Redhill and District Rail User Association (RRDUA) and commuter I am passionate about how we can improve train services in Redhill, Reigate and our local stations. I think there is (still) much to do, and a clear role for government to make it better. This should include:

  • Take Back Control of Southern (just like the London Mayor holds TfL to account) and taking failing franchises back in-house (including Southern)
  • Bringing in Fairer Fares with the new 2018 timetable (which could still be better) – and 3-day a week season tickets on Oyster; and
  • Working closer with Network Rail to secure longer term plans including a flyover for the Redhill line at Stoats nest to speed up our London journey, a pedestrian footbridge at Redhill and electrification of the North Down’s Line

Continue reading A Better Plan for our Railways in Reigate: Take Back Control of Southern, Fair Fares and Invest Locally

Provide the truly-affordable homes we need to address the fastest rising cause of homelessness

We all need a place called home – which is why making that affordable for all sits at the heart of the Green Party’s election manifesto. Our key policies require government intervention – to ensure we have a national target for affordable housing, to introduce private rent controls to better regulate this sector, and to protect the Green Belt. How would this play out here in Surrey?

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A Better Plan for Schools starts by reversing the Funding Cuts

I am shocked that this government thinks that it can cut school’s annual (mainly teaching) budgets without this having an impact. With average class sizes already above 30 in many schools this will have a significant impact. The way to reverse this is not the Conservative promise to end free school dinners for all, while forgetting about the impact of academies on budgets. And The IFS has today exposed that this unfair idea would still lead a to 3% a year cut by 2021.

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Why I’m standing in the General Election

I have lived in Redhill for nearly 20 years. I serve as a councillor on Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey County Council, where I was recently re-elected with a greater majority.

I am a chartered civil engineer working (part-time) in international development and serve as a trustee of two local charities, Furnistore and Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead. Previously I have helped set up new social enterprises to reuse building materials and preserve architectural heritage.

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No New Runways at Heathrow or Gatwick – A Sustainable Future is a far more credible alternative.

The South East Green Party, which includes communities at Gatwick and Heathrow, is calling for an end to airport expansion and real action on climate change in response to the Airport Commission’s recommendations this morning (July 1) that a third runway is required at Heathrow. But the uncertainty remains as the Commission has also said that Gatwick expansion remains “a credible alternative”. This announcement comes less than 6 months before international leaders meet to negotiate their commitments to climate action in Paris this December – and just one day after the independent Committee on Climate Change published an update on the government’s progress on this issue.

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UK ordered to cut NO2 Air Pollution – will Surrey play its part?

On Thursday, the UK’s highest court ruled that the government must take immediate action to cut air pollution. Campaigners had started the legal action because the UK is breaching EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air. NO2 is produced mainly by emissions from diesel vehicles and is linked to a range of respiratory illnesses. It’s also caused by burning waste.

Continue reading UK ordered to cut NO2 Air Pollution – will Surrey play its part?

Protect our Green Belt and Provide the Affordable Homes we Need

Protect our Green Belt and Countryside

Green Belt prevents housing sprawl: vital to sustain the balance between Surrey’s settlements and our fantastic countryside. But Green Belt planning permissions have doubled since the coalition government’s new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, which three developers drafted) was adopted in 2012. Why? Because the government’s new planning framework has made it easier to do so – and has set higher housing targets based on the ‘housing need’.

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Follow the Money? – Why Incinerators cost more and lead us to recycle less

Decision time this month

The final decision on whether to progress with a so-called ecopark in Surrey was not made in the planning meeting (2 days before the planning permission granted in 2012 was due to run-out) but is due to be made when Surrey County Council Conservatives review a value-for-money assessment later this month. But whatever this concludes – whether Surrey saves or loses money from building the ecopark – it will cost British taxpayers a lot of money every year it operates. Here I briefly explain why. And set out a clear alternative.

Continue reading Follow the Money? – Why Incinerators cost more and lead us to recycle less