Monthly Archives: April 2013

Not One Square Inch!

From meccano to legoland, here they come with a brick in their hand

Runnymede Borough Council’s plan to remove the 310 acre ex-DERA site on Chobham Common from Green Belt was described as ‘outrageous’ by the Open Spaces Society. The Green Belt should be preserved for future generations because once it has been concreted over, we will never get it back.

Chobham Common is home to rare wildlife and habitats which are almost unique in England. The surrounding villages already have problems with traffic congestion, pollution, noise and safety.

We need to keep our Green Belt to prevent Surrey becoming one large sprawl. New homes are needed but they should be on brownfield sites or areas not within the Green Belt. There are plenty of sites like this but developers prefer to use pristine countryside because it is cheaper for them so their profits are higher.

Down with sticks and up with bricks

Developers have great influence in the Tory-LibDem Coalition and Runnymede Borough Council. However, they are not the only influence. If we show local councillors and Eric Pickles that we will not stand for losing any of our Green Belt, they will be forced to think again.

Please sign my petition here. It doesn’t matter where you live, if you care about the Green Belt, you can sign it. Don’t forget to check your email, probably in the junk folder, for the confirmation email from SHBC. You need to click on the link there to confirm your signature.

This is the petition you weren’t supposed to see. It was pulled from the council’s website until we changed the ‘lead petitioner’ because they thought it would promote my election campaign. Many thanks (again) to Sue for helping out (again). They can’t stop the signal!

Tell them they will take ‘Not One Square Inch’ of our Green Belt!

Election Pledge 4: Protecting Our Environment

Save Our Green Belt

The Surrey countryside is a set of lungs for the villages of Bagshot, Windlesham and Chobham. We need the countryside around our villages in order to breathe. There are plans to damage these lungs by taking large sections of countryside out of the Green Belt to make it easier to build lots of new houses and a business park.

If I am elected on 2 May, I promise to oppose any plan to remove any land from Green Belt in Surrey. The Green Belt does not stop all development but new buildings there have to be ‘appropriate’. Chobham Common in particular is home to rare species of wildlife and unique heathland habitats which will be wiped out if it is removed from Green Belt and uncontrolled development takes place.

New homes are required and I will support developments in brownfield sites. There are plenty of such sites and they already have the necessary infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals nearby.

Save Our Planet

As well as protecting nearby countryside, I am committed to reducing climate change caused by man-made emissions. I will promote sustainable transportation like buses, trains, safe cycle routes and electric cars. Local buses should be much more frequent and fares lowered. Real-time information should be available on all bus stops, not just a few, now that the technology is much cheaper.

Surrey County Council should be investing in new green infrastructure. This will provide a far greater return for Council Tax payers than the near-zero percent they currently receive on their huge reserve cash pile. The Chief Executive of the Council told me that their reserves are about £100m bigger than required to cover for eventualities. This money could be used to make public buildings more energy-efficient or for micro-generation projects which would save, or make, the taxpayer significant sums of money over a long period of time.

Green policies are financial common-sense as well as our duty to the planet and its future occupants.

This is my fourth pledge: I will oppose the removal of any land from the Green Belt and ensure that the environment is considered in every decision the Council takes.

Richard Wilson

Labour Candidate for Surrey County Council 2 May 2013 

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