Councillor on Medway Council: The Issues


John Ward

The local environment is under ever-increasing threat from pollution. Not only is the number of road vehicles increasing generally, the M2 widening and the "gateway" at Blue Bell Hill will inevitably worsen this situation.

This looks like a never-ending problem that will in time become so bad that it will be like Los Angeles in many parts of the country. Medway might not be one of the very worst places in this respect, but it certainly won't be any fun living around here in years to come.

The threat of a cement works appearing right on Medway's doorstep, as has been reported in the local media, will only make matters significantly worse, at least in part of the Medway area. Although the full Council majority vote went against the proposal to continue to fight the cement works, John was one of those who voted to continue the fight. The major problem with this is the anticipated cost of fighting on; but if the previous (Labour) administrations hadn't frittered away most of the Council's substantial reserves on just about nothing this would not have been an issue.

John has for decades been a strong environmentalist and has been urging all and sundry to push for non-polluting road vehicles. The only way to combat the largest source of air-borne pollution—fossil-fuelled road vehicles—is to force the manufacturers to switch to something more modern than the nineteenth-century technology they are foisting onto a far-too receptive market. It would need millions of drivers to refuse to update their vehicles except for non-polluting models to force the vehicle makers to realise that the only way they can survive is to move forward instead of the technological stagnation we see in that industry.

For the record, John has never had—and never will have—any polluting vehicle on principle, and usually walks instead, even though this means more than an hour's trek to either of the main Council venues for meetings, and the same for the homeward journey.

Meanwhile, to provide more oxygen and to improve the appearance of the area, we have completed the first phase of new tree planting and other plants at various locations including City Way, outside the College, and near the Tiger Moth as the picture below shows (click on it for a larger version):

New trees outside Tiger Moth