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‘Lockdown highlighted the importance of Medway’s green spaces’ says Alan Wells, Lib Dems candidate for Strood North by-election'

August 11, 2021 3:42 PM
By Medway Liberal Democrats - Alan Wells

capstone valleyLockdown, highlighted the importance of access to green spaces and nature for physical and mental health has been starkly highlighted. Those who live alone across our towns, or without access to gardens, balconies, or green space, exposure to nature is a key factor in maintaining positive mental health.

Alan Wells, Lib Dems candidate for the upcoming Strood North by-election said "I want to bring green space's to the top of the agenda in every new local plan, and would improve environmental standards around Strood and the Medway Towns by adopting sensible and consistently applied planning policies which are in line with the surrounding environment. Any future local plan should emphasise the provision of green infrastructure, particularly in Medway's urban areas. In areas where there is planning of high density housing, its vital within the development for the provision of green and open spaces.

Whilst I recognise the need for new housing, it must be in the right places, and that any planning system delivers a comprehensive network of green spaces where there is a good provision of infrastructure. We would concentrate new housing developments in areas with good bus and rail links to reduce car usage, and in locations where there is scope to provide decent pedestrian, cycling and public transport connections.

The Conservative-led Council, by not having yet adopted a Local Plan and losing control of planning, has had less control over developments in order to meet the Government's housing targets and this means developers often win their planning appeals, thereby causing great harm to our green spaces.

In these challenging times, I want to preserve open spaces around Strood and Frindsbury and around our towns, giving the local community space for leisure and recreation, without causing harm to Medway's most sensitive wildlife habitats and species. I want to improve the connectivity of habitats to provide robust ecological networks and provide new allotments on 'brown build' sites to provide for an increased population.

The limitations imposed by the lockdown have brought to the forefront that Medway's parks and green spaces are vital resources for us all, bringing our communities together with appropriate adjustments for social distancing, that benefits our physical and mental health and wellbeing."

ENDS

Notes and additional text for Editors:

Alan Wells Strood North Candidate

Alan has been an active member of Medway Liberal Democrats since 2018 and has campaigned in Kent elections for the last 3 years. Alan has previously been a Candidate for River Ward in the 2019 local elections and has been Press Officer for the local party since January 2019.

Alan is a natural, enthusiastic campaigner on a wide range of issues. He has a strong understanding of social justice and campaigned in the our mental health unit campaign. He has been active on a number of our issues, such as defending the environment, homelessness issues and campaigning on air quality issues.

Alan Wells said "I feel privileged to represent the Liberal Democrats for Strood North. I have been working in the ward as a care assistant for 2 years and know the ward very well and I am determined to work hard to represent the residents of the ward"

A vote for Alan will be a vote to:

Improve Air Quality for Strood North & the area

Fight to protect local green spaces from unwanted development

Fight to keep local planning decisions under control of local people

Safer Streets

  • Alan has lived locally all his life and works as a care assistant in Frindsbury, Strood.

  • Alan also is a great believer in life-long learning, having done a foundation with the Open University and Medway Adult Learning as a mature student.

  • He is also a keen cyclist who understands the trials faced by those cycling around our towns, he lives in Chatham with a cat.

References:

The social impacts of Coronavirus (COVID19) on Great Britain, May 2020. Office for National Statistics

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-accessing-green-spaces-safely