Tuesday 9th July 2024

The Future Holds Hope

 

How will the 2024 general election be remembered, if at all? For some, there is a resounding feeling of karma witnessing the Conservative Party’s rule finally being brought to an end, after 14 years of chaos and corruption. For others, there is a reserved feeling of relief and a sceptical outlook on whether this ‘changed’ Labour Party will address the burning issues in society. Newly elected Reform MPs are sure to try and make immigration the number one topic in parliament, and breakthrough Independent MPs may look to build wider movements to continue to disturb the two-party system.

As for the Green Party, the success was likely underplayed by the media, but was seismic. There are now 4 Green MPs, spread across the country in Brighton, Bristol, Waveney Valley and North Herefordshire. Across the country, the Green Party secured nearly 2 million votes almost doubling its previous record set back in 2015. Not to mention, a wide range of seats in which the Green Party attained 2nd place, making them well placed for successful campaigns in years to come to secure more Green MPs. This achievement has set a new foundation to be built upon, one which holds enormous hope for the future.

Here in Medway, we have also set new heights despite the short election timeframe. For the first time, we were able to secure over 5% of the vote across Rochester & Strood, Chatham & Aylesford, and Gillingham & Rainham. The significance of this is that we were able to retain our deposits which allows us to build towards a more effective and strategic campaign. We have overtaken the Liberal Democrats across all 3 seats too, solidifying our status as the 3rd strongest party in Medway, of those that participate in local and general elections.

We owe a big thank you to everybody who voted, joined, supported or donated to our campaign efforts. Of course, none of it would’ve been possible without the tireless commitments from our candidates who went over and beyond expectations to be visible and respondent to residents.

To conclude, how will this general election be remembered? It probably won’t. It was fairly quick, disinteresting, no key policies were on the line and it returned one of the lowest voter turnouts in history. However, that’s not to say this election wasn’t significant, and as time ticks on we will begin to see whether this election was a key turning point for real hope and real change.

For now, we’ll have to hold this Labour government to account, and with 3 new Labour MPs in Medway, as well as a Labour-run Council, you can be sure we won’t accept excuses. After all, we’ve all been promised ‘change’.

 

ENDS

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Thank you for

Voting

Green

on July 4th

By doing so you voted for honesty, integrity and balance.

6% of the voters voted Green and that saved our deposits, a important milesstone in politics. Thank you again.

REAL CHANGE, for REAL HOPE.

Social Housing

Rent Caps

Ending Right to Buy

Free Education at any age

Writing off existing Student Debt

Free school meal for all children

Free breakfast club up to year six

A Fully Funded NHS

Properly paid Doctors

Properly paid nurses

Proper pay for all NHS Staff

Animal Rights

More Dentists

Social Care

(because if we can't care for the sick, and elderly, what kind of people are we?)

Read our manifesto here

VOTE GREEN

 

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Monday 22nd April 2024

Medway Green Party Announce their first Candidate for the forthcoming General Election.

Medway Green Party have selected their first candidate for the three constituencies that cover the Medway Towns. Cat Jamieson has been voted for by members to be the parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood.

Cat says" I am immensely proud to be the Green Party candidate for my home constituency. I have been promoting environmental and social justice issues through my work with various groups in Medway and look forward to engaging even more with the local residents "

Cat works for a national youth charity empowering voices of young people and is passionate about addressing  climate change, the ecological crisis and addressing inequality. Previously Cat worked for Medway Youth Trust for 15 years and was a Trustee of a Medway Charity that supported families with young children.

 

"I have been an active campaigner in Medway for Medway Green Party for 5 years and spoken to residents across Strood, Rochester, The Peninsula towns and villages, Cuxton, Halling, and the constituency areas of Chatham and Gillingham. I understand the issues that people are concerned about including health and public services, the environment, over development, politicians not working in interests of residents, and I pledge to represent everyone regardless of their personal political choices".

Trish Marchant, co-chair of Medway Greens, said "We are fortunate to have a such an outstanding candidate representing not just the Green Party but the diverse needs and aspirations of the Rochester and Strood constituency and the wider Medway Towns. Cat has the experience and skills needed to connect with people across Medway."

See the video here

ENDS

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Our second named Candidate is Kate Belmonte.

We are delighted to announce that Kate Belmonte will be standing as your Green Party candidate for Gillingham and Rainham.

Kate has lived in Gillingham since the age of 5. As well as bringing up 2 children with her husband, Daniel, she is also well known for running an award winning local non-profit social enterprise, tasked with fighting loneliness and isolation across our towns.

Kate is a keen environmentalist and has campaigned to protect our green spaces and agricultural land in Rainham, Twydall and on the Hoo Peninsula. Kate was instrumental in saving 126 acres of prime agricultural land in Rainham.

Kate continues to work within Gillingham & Rainham's diverse communities to help prepare us for the many challenges that the climate and biodiversity crisis is bringing.

Kate is passionate about improving our communities and getting the infrastructure we need to thrive. Kate wants to bring focus to the provision of homes, health and education for all. "When the time comes, I want my children to be able to fly the nest, and be able to afford a decent, clean, warm and energy efficient home."

When told about her selection, Kate told us "I'm absolutely delighted to have been chosen to represent a party, which not only reflects my personal political beliefs, but also a party that can think creatively about the issues that face our community and find solutions that help the majority of people."

We very much look forward to a general election being called, and helping to change the way that this country does politics. Bringing back integrity and honesty to the people of Gillingham and Rainham.

 

Watch Kate's video statement

 

 

 

ENDS

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Monday 20th May 2024

Medway Green Party Announce their second Candidate for the forthcoming General Election.

Our third named Candidate is Kim Winterbottom.

We are proud to have selected Kim Winterbottom as the candidate for Chatham and Aylesford Consistency, for the General election.

Kim has lived in and around the Chatham and Aylesford area for many years. Raising her children here, and teaching in a nearby school has given her an acute insight into the real impact that poor policy has had on the community.

Kim has always used her voice to stand up for what she believed to be the right thing. Whether supporting the 'Save Chatham Docks' campaign, or working with unions to support rights, or challenging decisions which affect local amenities.

She is pleased the voice of Greens has grown consistently over recent years, bringing level-headed fairness into politics. Our single MP has been a strong advocate, in parliament, fighting for the right decisions to be made.

Kim is angered that the government has stripped back, and intentionally underfunded, essential public services, leaving them on the brink of collapse. And allowed the mismanagement of public funds, so the shareholders of utility companies have received large dividends whilst the service provided is left to limp along. Meanwhile, the average person is left facing enormous financial strain.

Kim said “Now is the time to look towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to live in a way that is not plagued with worry. We are at a crucial time, with climate crisis and bio-diversity collapse, there simply must be real action taken to stop the damage being done to our planet.

The detrimental impacts of these failings are getting worse, with every passing year.

I am fully committed to investment in green industry, and growing our economy in a way that benefits everyone, and not just the few elite.”

Kim Winterbottom

 

 

END

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PHINIA strike goes on

27th March 2024

PHINIA workers are striking again this week, even as the deadline looms for them to sign a new contract, or lose ther jobs.

The immoral 'fire and re-hire' tactic has been used against them, as we feared. If they do not sign by Thursday, they will be sacked, not made redundant, because their job still exists. These workers have partners and children, and some have worked there for decades. But their employer cares nothing for that. They will be making them work more hours for less pay. The government we have had for the last 14 years has supported this Victorian style of draconian control over the workforce, who do the work that makes the company, and particularly these days, the board of directors, rich. There are better ways to increase productivity, and the end of a 'them and us' mentality, that would lead to a more harmonious and more inclusive company.

 

 

Phinia strikers

ENDS

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26 March 2024

Politicians Fake Outrage Dis-United:- it’s a team sport

It’s not every day that you get politicians from Labour, Conservative, and LibDems, all in agreement with each other, on the same issue. Yet, after the release of the England Men’s football shirt, we saw a united outrage across these parties, who slammed Nike and the FA. (1)

You may wonder, like I did, what could have been so wrong about the shirt that warranted our politicians getting so upset? Well, a small re-designed England flag, about the size of two stamps, at the back of the collar, was enough to send them into emotional disarray. (2)

Like you, I am stunned we haven’t seen this type of energy from these parties directed to much more serious, and pressing, issues in society.

Why is there no collective outrage by these parties at the fact that around 1 in 3 children, in the UK, live in poverty? (3)

Why is there no united anger at the fact that homelessness has risen by 14% in the last year, amidst the backdrop of huge corporations making billions in profits? (4)

Why is there no combined action to help people who are pulling their own teeth out, at home, because they cannot access, or afford, an NHS dentist? (5)

Why is there no togetherness to help teachers who are dependent on food banks, because of skyrocketing basic living costs? After all, our children’s education relies on the efforts, and wellbeing, of these, too poor to buy food, teachers. (6)

Why is there no shared frustration at water companies, who are dumping raw sewage into our rivers, and seas? (7)

Why is there no joint fury at the fact that upwards of 30,000 innocent people have been killed in Gaza, in the space of a few months, by a regime we’ve been giving military support to? (8)

Why is there no unified response to save the planet, by investing in renewable energy resources, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuel companies? (9)

These are just some of the pressing issues that come to mind, when I think about the state the world is in today. Yet, here we are, talking about a small amendment to a flag, for a football shirt, which, by the way, costs over £130 (What? That’s the real crime).

Fortunately, the Green Party recognises the real issues that are making people, and nature, suffer. The more Greens that we have elected, the sooner we can make a difference, and relieve the pain being felt by so many, all over the country. The time has come to vote Green, and only then can we re-unite politics around the serious issues that politicians are elected to resolve.

If you feel the same way then become a member today, and join the effort to influence the future we want to see. Join

Jeremy co-chair Medway Green Party

 
END
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14th March 2024
 
"It is difficult to imagine the lives they have lived and the adversity they have endured.” 
 
Recently one of our members, Wasim Ahmed, volunteered for Care4Calais, a charity created to deliver essential aid to refugees in the UK, France and Belgium. As part of the 5-day volunteering Wasim helped provide warm clothing, bedding, food and medical assistance to people in desperate need, often some of the most vulnerable, who have had to flee persecution or war.
 
 
You can read more about Wasim’s experience here:-  https://drbackpack.org/2024/02/21/calais/
 
The Green Party seek to provide asylum to those forced from their homes, and will work towards a world in which no-one has to flee their home. In the build up to this year’s general election, please be mindful of the increasing dangerous and violent language that’s directed to refugees by other political parties. Please remember to always encourage those around you to act from a place of compassion, rather than from an attitude of contempt.
 
If you would be interested in volunteering for Care4Calais then follow this link https://care4calais.org/get-involved/volunteer-in-calais/

 

END

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11th March 2024

The industrial action goes on at PHINIA still. Today, a non-strike day, the American bosses were said to be visiting the Gillingham facility.

Medway Green party turned out to form a presence to remind these bosses that 'Fire and Re-hire' is not a deceent way to behave. Everything, even wars, can be solved through negotiation. So, come on PHINIA, get down to treating your employees like real human beings, with partners, mortgages, kids and a cost of living crisis to live with. Get down to negotiating as honest brokers.

END

 

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4th March 2024

The strike goes on for the workers of PHINIA. Their morale is high, the weather has improved, and todays picket line was considerably bigger.

We wish them well, and may the fight go on against 'fire and rehire' practices.

END

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1st March 2024

The industrial action at PHINIA goes on, even in the strong winds and pouring rain. The worried yet determined striking workers made their point today in bold and strong fashion as they formed a picket line at the place of work. Medway Greens again joined them as a show of solidarity.

The action has been forced on the PHINIA workers by the management decision to both take away the paid lunch break, which had been agreed through previous negotiations, and introduce a fire and rehire policy to force people to sign new, worse, contracts.

In February 2024, the UK Government issued the first Statutory Code of Practice relating to ‘Dismissal and Re-engagement', aka "fire and rehire" Subject to parliamentary approval the Code will come into effect in 2024 across England, Wales and Scotland. The Code demonstrates that 'fire and rehire' should be a last resort following meaningful consultation with employees or their representatives.

Sadly there is no ban on this practice in the new statutory Code, there are plenty of identified risks to reputation and possible costly claims but PHINIA management appear to be oblivious to these facts and are showing no empathy for the emotional and financial impact their proposals have had on staff.

The workers will be making thier stand again on Monday, and in the following days and weeks, until at least the deadline set by the management, but are hoping that the company bosses rethink their approach and provide an offer that can be accepted by the workers.

The Green Party supports the right of working people to form and join free democratic and self-governing trade unions, without restriction by employer or government, and for workers to follow the processes for strike action and negotiation. We believe that having robust union and management partnerships enable the best for both the company and the staff.

The Green Party believes that working people should be paid a decent, living wage and, like every other citizen, be entitled to a sufficient level of economic security to meet their needs.

 

END

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29th February 2024

Jeremy Spyby-Steanson on Medway Green Party’s involvement in the “Ceasefire Now” demonstrations:

From very early on, it became clear that Israel’s response to Hamas’ atrocity wJeremy "Ceasefire Now"ould be far from ‘proportionate’. Our political leaders, who we entrust to find diplomatic means to end conflicts, went on a long campaign defending Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ and anyone who questioned that line was accused of being antisemitic or being a terrorist sympathiser.

Since then, the ‘right to defend itself’ has materialised into the decimation of everything from schools, and universities, to hospitals and civilian housing. There has been no diplomatic efforts to create peace, and the UK have suspended funding to crucial aid lifelines for refugees. The death toll keeps rising, now standing at 30,000+ innocent people killed, mostly women and children, with 70,000+ seriously injured, and hundreds of thousands displaced. Even the likes of Joe Biden, President of the USA, described Israel action as ‘indiscriminately bombing Gaza’. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that there is a ‘plausible case of genocide’, yet the UK continues to sell weapons to Israel and refuses to apply any sanctions to its political leaders.

In stark contrast to our government’s response to Russia, with the invasion of Ukraine, we have seen almost no immediate calls for a ceasefire from politicians in the Labour and Conservative Party. In fact, doing so has led to a suspension for some.

Considering the lack of action from our politicians, many residents in Medway have come together to join peaceful demonstrations throughout Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham. They have been urging our MPs to call for a legitimate, immediate, and permanent ceasefire, to de-escalate tensions and restore peace. I have participated in these demonstrations and have listened to many people who are broken-hearted at the scenes we are witnessing.

The demonstrations have consisted of people from different political leanings, a variety of religious beliefs, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and people from many different parts of our society, who solely want an end to the violence.

The demonstrations have always been received well, and there has never been any police action towards protestors. If there are disagreements between protestors and the public, then they are also resolved in a respectful way. I have always felt safe in these demonstrations, and have shared my solidarity with everyone else who has come together in this dark period to demand a peaceful resolution.

As a group, the Green Party, will always demand peace at every opportunity, in the wake of war, or genocide. When our political leaders are silent on calls for peace, we will raise our voices in defence of the innocent. It is in all of our interests to de-escalate tensions, and ensure ever-lasting peace. The Green Party recognise this, and, in October 2023, were the first party to call for an immediate ceasefire. Since then, they have demanded a cessation of weapons sales to Israel.

This is consistent with the Green Party’s non-violent approach to demonstrating its opposition to breaches of human rights and international law. It is parallel to calls the Party has made for boycotts of a number of different countries in the past including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, China, and Qatar.

 

END

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26th February 2024

Medway Greens attend PHINIA workers picket as they strike to protect pay and conditions.

This morning, Monday 26/2/2024, Medway Green Party joined the picket line of Gillingham PHINIA's workers. They are striking, for the first ever industrial action as members at the plant continue their ongoing action in response to the employers unilateral changes to terms and conditions.

The action has been brought over the company's new proposals for the lowest paid staff to lose their paid half hour lunch break and work longer shifts. This will result will be to work longer hours for no extra pay.

The workers of PHINIA picket line

 

Richard Patey, Medway Greens liaison to Medway Trade Unions, said "This, apart from being an unfair approach, represents the blindness of PHINIA to how important these issues are to the lives of working people".

Unused to industrial action in their workplace, the Unite official on the line describes managements behaviour as belligerent but disorganised.

Richard adds "The Green party supports working people in their struggles for both fair treatment and the ability to have influence over their working lives. Acting through a organised trade union remains the best way to achieve these goals. It also opposes practices such as fire and rehire used to browbeat the people who do the real work".

Regional Unite Officer, Becca Johns-Lawrence, said: "PHINIA should be ashamed of how its treating its workers. A paid lunch break was achieved through past negotiations and Unite will simply not allow hard won rights to be undermined by a company seeking to further bolster its bank balance.”

Members of the union will continue with their strike action in the coming days.

Medway Green Party will always support working people in their struggle for both fair treatment and the ability to have influence over their working conditions.

 

END

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Image depicts the Homes England Logo and new builds

Medway Green Party has been campaigning to protect the internationally important, Hoo Peninsula from unsustainable over-development since 2013. Marilyn Stone, Green Party Parish Councillor for High Halstow and Bernard Hyde, Planning Advisor to Medway Green Party, have worked hard with local residents to create a viable and robust Neighbourhood Plan for High Halstow.

Since Medway Council secured the Housing Infrastructure Fund in 2019 we have been deeply concerned that the fund is simply not enough to support “sustainable” development on the Hoo Peninsula. The £170m would be barely enough to improve the infrastructure needed for the existing residents, never mind the addition of at least 36k new residents, which was always a clear and unambiguous caveat to receiving the funds.

The Labour Party are now responsible for the creation and implementation of the Local Plan, a plan which both The Conservative Party and The Labour Party have been unable to deliver for the past 2 decades.

The Labour Party must recognise the importance of the Hoo Peninsula both nationally and internationally. The plan to build 12k+ houses on farm land and flood plains when we are at the beginning of climate collapse, which will see more frequent and severe crop failures and a sea level rise which will impact the Hoo Peninsula directly is both short term idealism and the road to disaster.

Not to mention that the local housing needs assessment has already identified; the types of houses needed for Medway residents, those already on the housing list, and the volume needed (half of what we currently been told to build). Needless to say, the types of houses needed will not be provided for on the Hoo Peninsula with or without the HIF funding.

Medway Green Party understands the needs of residents, the Labour Party and the Conservative Party understand the needs of housing developers.

We want to see a local plan written for local people not for the profits of internationally owned corporations, to the detriment of our priceless ecosystems of international importance, and the land we need to feed this country.

Who are the Medway Greens?

Medway Greens is a group of active members of the Green Party. We work collectively to bring change to Medway protecting both the planet and the people from the damages of an ever apparent corrupt system. Our key priorities are:

Target To Win

One of our biggest priorities is getting an elected Councillor on Medway Council, this will allow us to affect real change in the areas that we really care about; the health and well-being of the people of Medway, and looking after our environment.

Over-Development

This issue is deeply affecting both residents and the environment across Medway. Despite the government u-turning on housing demands Medway Council are yet to formally state that 28k+ houses are not needed within Medway. Medway Greens believe that the only housing we need is social/council housing and genuinely affordable starter homes. Built on brownfield site and not on our precious green spaces and farm land.

Climate Emergency and Local Environmental Action

Medway Council called a climate emergency back in 2019 and the Medway Green Party feel that it is imperative that we remain up-to-date with the work that Medway Council are doing in this area, challenging and supporting as appropriate and being part of the conversation wherever possible. We feel it is important to be involved in local action on these issues to raise awareness and support change.

Well-being & Social Justice

Medway Greens strongly believe that the success of any society should be measured on the health, well-being and equity of its people and sustainability of its environment. This is a broad remit and relates to all areas of society and policy – education, health, transport, housing and so on.

In addition to our ongoing priority work we will also be engaging with the wider community, which will see us welcome experts, allies & community groups from across Medway to share valuable knowledge, keeping us inspired and energetic in our green journey.

If you would like to get involved please get in touch.

Image shows Medway Greens core members

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