Environmentalists Call On All Surrey Candidates To Protect The Countryside
The Surrey Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is calling on candidates for the county’s 11 parliamentary seats to endorse the charity’s “Manifesto for Surrey”.
Andy Smith, CPRE branch director, says they are “calling on candidates of all political parties and groups to pledge to defend the environment and heritage of our county”.
The manifesto sets out a series of commitments:
- Commit to tackling the single greatest challenge facing the world, the climate and ecological emergency, which has far-reaching consequences for us all, and which must take precedence over all other political, social and economic issues;
- Protect all of Surrey’s countryside and open spaces, our green belt, Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Areas of Great Landscape Value, and our precious woodland, from inappropriate development, urban sprawl and noise pollution, so our county remains attractive and tranquil for future generations;
- Promote public health and well-being by maintaining parks and open spaces so all communities have outdoor recreation in their own neighbourhoods, and to enable everyone, including our younger generation, to enjoy our environment and reconnect with nature, with walking and cycling routes throughout Surrey;
- Seek measurable improvements to environmental quality through the introduction of Clean Air Zones to reduce nitrogen dioxide and particulate air pollution, by promoting car-free housing developments, and trying to exceed current targets for waste reduction and recycling;
- Oppose all hydrocarbon developments in Surrey including oil and gas exploration sites which wreck our countryside, endanger public health and safety, and add to man-made climate change;
- Ensure dark night skies over Surrey, vital for our wildlife and for human health, through reducing light pollution and ‘night blight’;
- Promote nature conservation, wildlife protection and increasing biodiversity through sustainable farming and land-use, and by recognising the crucial importance of the natural environment;
- Support sustainable local food production by encouraging farm shops and farmers’ markets and by supporting community allotments maintain the vitality and prosperity of our town and village centres;
- Reduce traffic congestion by promoting sustainable transport, cycling and walking, and boost investment in local bus services;
- Preserve the special character of Surrey’s towns and villages, our conservation areas and historic buildings, and safeguard their historic setting from intrusive development; and
- Meet local housing needs in our towns and villages by ensuring the provision of well-designed, appropriately-sized, high-quality homes that local people can afford, including social housing for rent, and by encouraging sustainable high-density developments on brownfield, urban sites.
Mr Smith added: “The future of our environment and quality of life is at stake, and at this critical time, as the candidates seek our votes in this General Election, we need all candidates and parties to affirm their support for a clean, green Surrey.”
This article is based on a CPRE Surrey press release.