19 April 2019
We don't just inherit the earth from our ancestors we also borrow it from our descendants.". This wise saying is attributed to a Native North American Chief and I believe this philosophy should underpin all our public sector decision making. We simply cannot continue increasing consumption indefinitely, trashing our planet, killing the eco-system and poisoning our children just to make more money. As policy makers we urgently need to face up to the fact that money cannot be eaten. Radical changes need to take place at all levels of Government.
Many people that I speak to in Berkhamsted recognise that we are heading in the wrong direction and activist campaigns have been sprouting up from provision of local health and social services, to transport, to housing development etc attest to the deep sense of frustration felt by many. People are crying out for change.
I am standing in the local elections in Castle Ward for the Green Party because the established political order in Berkhamsted and Dacorum seem simply not to "get it" that people care deeply about the community, locality and our environment and they want to have their say in what happens. Whether it is the sale of the old police station, the imposition of the multi-storey car park or new developments on green belt land, to name just a few things, these proposals have invariably been presented as done deals with a phoney consultation that ignores local opinion and rarely, if ever, changes anything.
If elected I will champion causes that aim to improve our collective quality of life and that focus on people and the natural environment and not just money. Causes such as:
1. Declaring a climate emergency and developing plans to make Berkhamsted and Dacorum carbon free by 2030 (following the lead of 40 councils across the nation already)
2. Protecting the Green Belt which is fundamental to preserving the market town character of Berkhamsted and the local eco-system. Developments that are in the best interests of the community should have the necessary infrastructure (water, access etc) developed alongside and must be at least carbon neutral.
3. Working with Herts County Council to ensure there is a sustainable transport plan that supports cheap and flexible public transport and promotes greater use of cycling and walking. This would ease congestion, strengthen the community, improve safety and reduce air pollution.
4. Restoring community facilities such as water fountains, green spaces and provision of flowers to improve the quality of daily life in the town.
5. Taking action on waste - particularly cutting plastic and other non bio-degradable packaging and improving waste recycling facilities. Clamping down on littering.
6. Promoting local industries and food production to keep local jobs for local people, reducing our carbon footprint and helping to bind our community together.
7. Strengthening local democracy by listening to people and ensuring there is real consultation at an early stage so local feelings can be properly considered before major decisions are made.
This list of priorities is only the start - the Green Party listens to and works with local communities and progressively minded politicians from other political parties in order to make peoples' lives better and our economy more sustainable.
Thank you for taking the time to read this statement.
Paul De Hoest
Green Party Candidate
Paul released this video ahead of the last general election in 2017 when he stood as the parliamentary candidate for South West Herts:
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