Now the election is upon us it begs the question whether we vote for the party or the MP. It is a great pity that party politics are involved in local councils. In a local election I thought you voted for a candidate that would represent the people of your ward. It appears to me that this is not the case. Those who represent a party have to follow the party line to the extent that it overrides their duties of representing ward residents. It also excludes those Independents who try to do the right thing but are kept out of the loop due to the parties. It is a shame that the current TDC Conservative lead council have upset so many local people with their Asset Disposal policy and desire to cover Thanet in concrete. I am in no way suggesting which party you vote for but if voting for the MP and not the party then Roger Gale appears to me to be a jolly good chap. However looking at what happens at TDC if that represents the face of conservatism in the country one has to ask How Green is your MP?
This was sent to me by the Open Spaces Society:
Open Spaces Society’s ten-point action plan for candidates in the 2010 general election
The Open Spaces Society is Britain’s oldest national conservation body. We campaign to create and conserve common land, village greens, public paths and open spaces, throughout England and Wales. Our members include individuals, organisations and local authorities at all levels.
We advise on and assist in the protection and enhancement of paths and open spaces. We are by law consulted on all applications for works on, or exchanges of, common land, and for the alteration of public paths.
Paths and open spaces are vital to us all. They provide opportunities for quiet recreation close to home and further afield, they promote health and wellbeing and, by their use, may generate income for the local economy.
In this general election we aim to get parties and candidates to commit themselves to the following:
· a right of appeal, and a requirement to provide suitable alternative land, before public open space is taken for another purpose,
· law change to give county and unitary authorities a duty to take action against unlawful works on common land,
· legislation throughout England and Wales to enable people to reclaim ‘lost’ commons for the common-land registers,
· a timetable for processing town and village green applications, so that legitimate applications are swiftly resolved (and mischievous ones swiftly rejected),
· requirement to include on planning-application forms questions about the existence of public rights of way, common land and town or village green within or adjacent to a proposed development,
· law change to require an independent review to protect users’ rights when there is an opposed order to gate an alleyway, and to prohibit the use of permanent gating orders,
· repeal of the provision for seeking changes to footpaths and bridleways in the magistrates’ court, as this is intimidating and costly to members of the public,
· swift implementation of the new English coastal route and associated access land (the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009),
· greater use of agricultural subsidies to secure new rights of public access, and ensure existing public paths are not obstructed,
· all public paths in England and Wales recorded, open and easy to use, with a formal definitive list of all public highways, from roads to footpaths.
The Open Spaces Society
25A Bell Street
Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA
tel 01491 573535
registered charity 214753
So if you want to find out how green your MP is ask them to comment on that. I would add that WASPS are not political in any way but questions need to be asked at a time when votes are being wooed.