Swale Green Party is your local Green Party for the Faversham, Sittingbourne and Sheppey areas.
Members of Swale Green Party believe in a positive vision for Swale, rejecting austerity and working instead for the common good: high-quality housing we can all afford, a living wage, affordable and reliable public transport, our railways in public hands, an end to the scandal of families being driven to food banks and real action on the environmental crisis.
We are continuing to welcome new members - if you would like to join the party, click on the box at the top of this page. We would love to welcome you at one of our regular local meetings.
RICH LEHMANN is our councillor for SWALE EAST, a constituency that runs in a ring around Faversham and includes many of the Swale Villages.
In 2021 we stood more candidates for Kent County Council than ever before, and won our best ever result, we plan to do the same in 2023!
We need help with all aspects of campaigns, even if your just delivering leaflets to your street or village. We rely solely on volunteers and donations from individuals. Every action helps. Please get in touch with email@example.com if you can help.
At the June 2019 Swale Borough Council meeting, Tim Valentine proposed a motion to Declare a Climate & Ecological Emergency, the motion was passed and council staff have been working towards making the council's operations carbon neutral by 2025. Sittingbourne, Sheppey and Faversham intend to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.
The Council have developed a Climate Action Plan and have set some of the most ambitious targets not only in Kent, but in the UK! The council have prioritized the improvement of energy efficiency and making space for nature, they are pursuing the Swale Strategic Air Quality Action Plan and have called on the Borough's MPs to support the motion.
Tim Valentine is a Cabinet Member focusing on climate change and improving biodiversity in the borough, his committee appointments include the Planning Committee and Planning Working Group. Alastair Gould is Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning and his committee appointments include the Local Plan Panel and Swale Joint Transportation Board.
In 2020 Swale Borough Council made significant achievements in their Climate Action Plan, including:
The council have also fined residents and business owners thousands of pounds for fly-tipping and littering. They have been cracking down on illegal littering in the sea and encourage local residents to contact them to report anyone who is illegally dumping waste. You can report an incident of littering or fly-tipping here or call 01795 417850.
Our councillors in Boughton & Courtenay have also succeeded with their campaign to improve the cycle lanes between Boughton-under-Blean and Faversham and are working towards making cycling safer and easier throughout the borough.
Since being elected, Swale Borough Council have made significant moves towards making the council's operations carbon neutral by 2025.
Zero-emission electric vehicles
The fleet of council vehicles has been replaced with nine new Nissan Env200 electric vans, saving 30 tonnes of carbon every year and making long-term cost savings.
The previous fleet of diesel vans was due to be replaced at the end of 2020 and the new zero-emission vehicles will help to improve the air quality in Swale. The fleet regularly travel through the borough's air quality management areas (AQMAs) where vehicle pollution contributes to poor air quality.
Electric vehicle charging bays installed
New charge points have been installed in central car parks across the borough to encourage as many people as possible to switch to zero-emissions electric vehicles, to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. There is currently no charge for the electricity used, and the parking tariff for the electric vehicle charging bays will remain the same as the rest of the car park. Vehicles can be charged by downloading the free Pod Point app.
When they stood for election, Tim and Alastair called for more affordable homes in towns, close to transport links, where people could meet their daily needs without having to use a car every time they left home.
This vision has taken a great leap forward; the Rainbow Coalition running Swale Borough Council is setting up a local housing company to meet the need for affordable housing that is not being provided by the market.
The housing company, Swale Rainbow Homes Ltd, will be wholly-owned by the council. It will not place any financial burden on the council or the taxpayer. Council-owned land at the old bus depot in East Street, Sittingbourne, and the car parks at Fountain Street and Cockleshell Walk, also in Sittingbourne, will be transferred in exchange for equity in the company. The sites will be used to provide around 139 new homes. The development will provide an income from assets that will appreciate over time.
Setting up a local housing company will enable the council to intervene directly in the local housing market to provide decent affordable housing. It will give the council control of the number, location and energy efficiency of affordable homes, meaning that the council will not be at the mercy of developers trying to maximise profit.
The number of local people in need of affordable housing is rising. The company will enable us to build affordable housing in addition to those provided through the planning system, enabling Swale Borough Council to begin to meet that need.
Our Green Councillors really have proved that they can make a difference and get things done. Working together, the Rainbow Coalition have made impressive steps towards a zero-carbon future for Swale.
The Green Party do politics differently. We believe decisions should be taken as locally as possible. Politics is not restricted to the council chamber but happens through actions in the community. From picking up a piece of plastic waste to running a group like the Brownies, positive actions make our villages the great places they are to live. We want to support positive action by everybody. So get in touch. Let us know your priorities, and what we can do to help.
You can contact Alastair at AlastairGould@swale.gov.uk
and Tim at TimValentine@swale.gov.uk