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Action on Crises : Greens will work cross-party, will others?

Protest outside Dover Town Hall

The mission of Dover and Deal Green Party is to resolve or mitigate the interlinked crises of climate and ecological emergency and cost-of-living. With a 40degree heat wave experienced in the UK in July 2022, the climate emergency is not a party political slogan. It is reality; things are worse than when we initiated 3  Town council Climate Emergency declarations in June and July 2019, when DDC passed a climate emergency declaration in Jan 2020. Many parties now talk the talk on the climate emergency.

In April 2023, before the May elections, executive officers of our Green Party met and agreed that no new Green Party DDC councillor would prop up a minority Conservative group at DDC.

We are delighted to see Cllr Kevin Mills become the Labour leader of DDC, very ably backed up by Cllr Jamie Pout as deputy Labour leader. They are both people who we’ve learned to trust.

We will be presenting to them the masses of evidence that shows how together, in partnership with town councils, and with civil society, DDC can walk the walk much more effectively 2023 – 2027 to make the whole district zero carbon, to make all homes energy-saving homes, before the ‘long grass’ date of 2050.

This is what many, many climate, nature and cost-of-living concerned residents in our Dover district say they want. We note that Conservatives in central government have betrayed the hopes of many, enabling profiteering energy corporates to make things much worse, increasing poverty, attacking nature and wildlife.

Deal Clim8 Emergency protest

May 2023 saw our Green Party councillor groups elected on to three of the town councils, 3 councillors to Dover, 3 to Walmer and 4 to Deal. Many thanks to voters for your trust.

These are town councils where Green councillors had served 2019 -2023. In Dover and Deal Town Councils 2019-2023 it was often very difficult to get the Labour leadership of those town councils to respect suggestions that our councillors made on help for residents with low carbon options and to meet the commitments made in 2019. This culminated at Deal Town’s full council meeting on 28th Feb 2023 (Agenda Item 7, Attachment 4 refers*) when Labour Cllr Sue Beer (deputy chair), made a recommendation to disband the Environment Cttee, a controlling move designed to stop elected councillors of different parties working together. This recommendation was voted down.

In Walmer Town Council, 2019 -2023, a small Green group of 2-3 was able to work constructively with the Independent leadership to get a number of services (secure cycle hub at Walmer Station, thermal camera service, off-street EV chargers) put in place.

In May 2023, with a different set of councillors voted onto Dover, Walmer and Deal town councils, our minority groups have had to make difficult, least-worst, decisions about who to vote for, in order to protect the mission of helping residents cut energy bills, and to protect the natural world.

This has resulted in Cllr Sue Jones (Lab) being elected to lead Dover Town Council as mayor (deputy Cllr Ed Biggs (Lab));  Cllr Trevor Bond (Con) being elected to lead Walmer Town Council (deputy Cllr Lou Ludwig (Ind)), and Cllr Oliver Richardson (Con) being elected to lead Deal Town Council (deputy Cllr Les Craggs (Lab)).

It has meant in 2 cases (Deal and Walmer) voting against a nominee wanting to dissolve the committee or working group responsible for local low energy innovation and natural protections.

Dover and Deal Green Party councillors look forward to working constructively with councillors of all parties and none, with the many volunteers and community groups, and organisations, who share with us the determination to protect our communities and our natural carbon-capturing environment in very tough times.

* Deal TC Agenda 28 Feb 2023: Re Environment Cttee, Recommendation : That DealTC disbands the climate committee from May 2023 and that climate change becomes the direct responsibility of the Full Council.

Statement agreed by exec officers and cllrs of Dover & Deal Green Party Fri 26 May 2023.

Dover District Council protest