With elections looming in May, we write to county’s political hopefuls

Thursday, May 6, is election day in Essex.
Seats on the county council, the two unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock and some district councils will all be contested.
We have written to most of the candidates stating our position on environmental matters and asking they make a public pledge to tackle what we see as four principal issues should they be elected to office.
CPRE Essex is well aware of the need to rejuvenate our economy in the wake of the mayhem caused by Covid-19, but we firmly believe the county’s natural and built environment should not be sacrificed in this push.
As the letter, signed by CPRE Essex chairman David Knight, says: “The next few years will be critical to ensure that we provide the new houses and infrastructure we desperately need. However, this need not come at the expensive of our beautiful, living landscape.”
Our manifesto cited in the letter calls on all those elected to:

  • promote countryside solutions to the climate emergency
  • build a planning system that works for people, nature and the environment
  • deliver a comprehensive bus network for rural communities
  • develop an ‘all-in’ Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers

Our letter also highlights the pressure being placed on Essex farmland by over-development, mineral extraction and solar-farm proposals.
The pandemic has shown how critical our countryside is to all of us. Next month’s elections will give politicians of all persuasions the opportunity to show they have witnessed that value are alert to the possibilities as well as the problems ahead.

  • You can read the CPRE Essex letter with manifesto here