New Year catch-up – Party People column

Next is a Christmas Party People column written by Steve and published in the Medway Messenger on 23rd December.

***

The year 2016 has not been the best for those who believe in progressive politics. As the year ends there are many things that are going wrong and need fixing, locally and nationally: shortfalls in funding for social care and the NHS, welfare cuts, dangerous levels of air pollution, struggling transport infrastructure, lack of affordable homes, growing income inequality, our relationship with Europe, climate change – the list is long and getting longer.

However despite political developments over the year I remain convinced that many people in Medway share the Green Party’s concern for social justice and environmental protection.

It is said that Christmas is a time of hope and so I want to use this last Green Party People column of 2016 to mention just two of my personal hopes for 2017.

First, I would like to see both local and national government taking action to resolve the problem of homelessness. Through focus on the issue by the Medway Messenger and local campaign groups and the amazing work on the ground of selfless groups of volunteers, homelessness in the Medway Towns is now very much on the local agenda. We must keep it there and with much cold weather still to come our Council should act urgently to protect and help these vulnerable people within our community.

Second, while the Referendum did not give the result that many people wanted, it may actually give the UK an opportunity to improve things for nature and the environment. The retention of existing EU legislation in this area should be regarded as the foundation on which to build even greater protection. The Earth is the only planet we have to live on and we must start to truly value and look after it.

I wish everybody a happy, peaceful Christmas.

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