Local Liberal Democrats are supporting World Environmental Day on Sunday 5th June
By Alan Wells for Medway Liberal Democrats
World Environment Day - a UN initiative - takes place each year on the 5th June, and it's a day that raises awareness on environmental issues and challenges. This year's theme is Only One Earth, highlighting the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature by bringing transformative changes - through policies and our choices - towards cleaner, greener lifestyles.
Local Liberal Democrats have vigorously [successfully ] campaigned to protect Medway's environment and recently have opposed developments on orchards located in Lower Rainham and rural land in Capstone Valley.
We want to protect these spaces as a vital local asset for everyone and call on the Council to improve environmental standards in our towns. Adopting a coherent, credible Local Plan would help protect the surrounding environment against developments of this nature, by building on 'brown build' sites as opposed to destroying Green Belt sites.
We recognise the need for new housing, but it must be in the right location, where there is a good provision of infrastructure. Concentrating developments in areas with good bus and rail links and provide decent cycling and pedestrian walks will reduce car usage.
Recent proposed developments will have a devastating impact and drastically change the face of our rural areas. A Local Development Plan must protect our environment against such developments, giving clear guidance on where to build sufficient housing to meet government targets and simultaneously improving the quality and quantity of new residential development that will stimulate regeneration in our town centres.
Alan Wells, for the Liberal Democrats said "Liberal Democrats want to preserve open spaces around our towns, giving the local community space for leisure and recreation, without causing harm to Medway's most sensitive wildlife habitats and species. We would improve the connectivity of habitats to provide robust ecological networks and provide new allotments on 'brown build' sites to provide for an increased population. Medway's parks and green are vital resources for us all, bringing our communities together and benefitting our physical and mental health and wellbeing."
During the lockdown in Medway, it was tremendous to see families getting outdoors together, around our towns' countryside, and when able, exercising with friends. People around Medway and Kent are talking about what they've seen in their local area or done in their gardens. Making space for and living with nature is possible; it's been great to see and hear people recognising the benefits for their mental health and wellbeing; taking more exercise and enjoying the wildlife within the built environment. This should become our new normal.
Liberal Democrats want to secure the provision of Medway's green infrastructure, fully supporting adaptation to climate change, improving flood management and prevention, and improving urban air quality as well as providing other important benefits which underpin sustainable economic growth.
We recognise that there has been local environmental progress, with Coney Banks being given 'village green' status in Horsted Valley, and the planting of over 13,000 trees in our area, and the creation of an urban forest which represents a serious innovation taking place in Medway. However, for all the progress that has been made, there is still undoubtedly more to be done.
NOTES FOR EDITORS & ADDITIONAL TEXT
Earth faces a triple planetary emergency:
the climate is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt;
habitat loss and other pressures mean an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction;
pollution continues to poison our air, land and water.
The way out of this dilemma is to transform our economies and societies to make them inclusive, fair and more connected with nature. We must shift from harming the planet to healing it.
The good news is the solutions and the technology exist and are increasingly affordable.
#OnlyOneEarth is the campaign for World Environment Day 2022. It calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.
Please visit for more information: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/