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Elphicke’s Jump : Proof We Need Cleaner, Green Housing & Planning Policies. 

What was especially sickening in news of Elphicke’s defection to Labour, was to hear that Elphicke ‘has been offered a role advising Labour on housing’ (BBC-SE TV 6pm). So self-interest from Elphicke, a new low in UK politics. Her welcome from Keir Starmer doesn’t reflect well on the Labour front bench either. 

Green Party MP candidate, Christine Oliver, pointed out, ‘This was cynical behaviour bringing UK political system into disrepute, from died-in-the-wool, hard-right, ERG, Conservative-until-yesterday, Ms Elphicke MP,  and from Labour leader of the opposition. The UK needs people and parties who will restore public faith and cleaner government, make our political system more democratic, more accountable, instead of what we saw on 8th May 2024.’  Poor, poor Dover and Deal constituents deserve so much better than Charlie (jailed for sexual assault in 2020) and Natalie Elphicke, a disgraceful couple this constituency has suffered since 2010, 14 years ago. A number of Conservatives are known to have left their party, when Ms Elphicke was selected in a rush in November 2019.  

Natalie Elphicke is well known locally for being very unavailable to constituents, unless a fawning photo-call is promised. We see no link on her website for constituents to email her, no public access to her X/Twitter account, so many constituents palmed off with emails signed ‘office of Natalie Elphicke, MP’, and a very shut door to her Conservative constituency office in Walmer. 

We have an inequality crisis in housing. Those suffering sky-high rents / mortgages are NOT helped by empowerment of a property developer lobby that likes to buy influence in govt, to achieve 20-30% profit margins.  Developers do this by ignoring, shrugging-off planning conditions requiring them to build ‘30% affordable homes’ to focus on executive investment properties built on much needed farmland, especially in Kent.  This can no longer be hidden by xenophobic, victim-blaming. 

The Right homes; in the right place; at the right price is the Green Party policy. 

The Green Party’s  plan would create hundreds of thousands of high-quality affordable homes as well as protecting renters and keeping homes in the community for good. This would be done by : 

  • Bringing in rent controls and end no-fault evictions (Con Party made promises in 2019 but failed to deliver on ending no-fault evictions)
  • Pushing for 150,000 new council homes a year to end the affordable housing crisis
  • Ending ‘right-to-buy’, and thus enabling local authorities to keep council homes available and affordable in the community for good. 

Right homes; right place; right price Green housing policy means homes that are energy efficient and cheap-to-heat, close to services, public transport and green spaces which are affordable to rent or buy.  Dover and Deal Green Party worked harder than any other to try to get these commitments into the Dover district new local plan. Other parties were conspicuous by their absence. 

To achieve these policies means cleaning up the UK planning system; electing people and parties who will say ‘no’ to being bought by big corporate lobbies, even if it means making appeals to the general public to help them fund campaigns. The property development lobby, was in a headline in Financial Times in July 2021, ‘Property sector donations rise to quarter of all funds gifted to Tories’. 

The story of Ms Elphicke MP leaving a sinking ship on 8 May 2024, having tired of being an MP, begs the question, is the property sector’s lobbying money now switching to Starmer-led Labour ? Will the property development lobby be allowed, under a Starmer govt, to block new regulations to make all new homes properly energy efficient as this sector got away with in 2017 under the Conservatives ? 

AND, will Dover and Deal voters find out about, and be attracted to, the better, cleaner housing policies of the Green Party in 2024?