Westerham Landfill Site
Opposition to the proposed landfill site in Westerham
Plans for a new landfill site in Westerham, Kent, are being opposed by local MEP Nigel Farage.
The quarry on Covers Farm could result in 32 tonne lorries travelling along the A25 up to the site once every one minute 46 seconds or 67,000 trips a year.
These calculations are based on 250 working days at eight hours per day or 2,000 hours a year.
Landowner John Warde of the Squerryes estate has asked for permission to dump some 6,750,000 tonnes of waste at Covers Farm in the town.
Westerham is known as a haven for antique hunters and has huge numbers of listed buildings which provide a great draw to the town.
Mr Farage, a local resident as well as the MEP for the area, said that if the plans went ahead it would "destroy" Westerham as it is, "one of the most picturesque and beautiful towns in Kent."
In 2005, Westerham was listed as an Air Quality Management Area, with the highest levels of air pollution in Kent.
On top of that the town has over 140 listed buildings, many along the A25 where the huge lorries will pass.
Mr Farage has undertaken media interviews to raise awareness of the topic and activities will be continuing which those who wish to oppose the landfill site should join in with.
Kent County Council has extended the consultation limit to the 9th August so all those opposed to this proposal should visit Contact Nigel on this website
Hampshire Against Fluoridation
Fluoride: The Campaign for Direct Democracy
In 2008 the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) carried out a public consultation on whether to add fluoride to local water supplies. They were responding to a request by Southampton City Primary Care Trust who argued that dental decay rates were high. The SHA is located in Berkshire and is goverened by an unelected board, none of whom live in the local area.
There were over 10,000 responses to the consultation and 72% were opposed to the proposals.
In a telephone poll of 2000 people 38% opposed and 32% supported the proposal. All local councils except Southampton City Council opposed the plans and the City Council voted by a small majority to support the plan.
Despite this, in February 2009 the Board of the SHA voted unanimously to approve the proposal as they felt the health benefits outweighed all other considerations. As the current regulations are worded the SHA has the right to ignore any local opinion.
A petition (sent to Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009) after the decision contained 15,300 signatures. This was ignored by the Prime Minister and also by the Department of Health.
Since that time, a letter sent to the Department of Health minister Anne Milton MP has resulted in a letter quoting incorrect findings from an investigation into Fluoride in water supplies.
A local resident took the SHA to Judicial Review but in hearings this year the judge ruled that the SHA had acted within the legislation. He commented that as written, even if 99% of consultees opposed the plans the SHA was within its rights to decide to fluoridate. It was argued in the Judicial Review that in fact the government (in 2003-2005) had stated that water fluoridation would only proceed if there was local support. However, when the legislation was passed in 2005 it contained no such assurances.
Since the SHA’s decision all MPs and local councils have expressed concern about the decision – including the two City MPs who have previously supported water fluoridation and the City Council which has now voted that a local referendum should take place before any scheme is introduced.
Current government proposals are that SHAs will be abolished in 2012 and responsibility for water fluoridation decisions will be passed to local councils. South Central SHA has stated that it intends to implement fluoridation as quickly as possible, an assumption for this is to do so whilst it has the power to.
Under new legislation on local petitions, Hampshire Against Fluoridation has collected over 6000 signatures calling on Southampton City Council to withdraw its support for water fluoridation and to commit to not implementing any scheme in the city when they have the powers to do so.
The Council will be debating the petition and the motion on the 14th September.
Local MEP Nigel Farage is supporting the Hampshire Against Fluoridation group and will be joining them as they raise awareness of the debate and the petition.
"Having looked at the research into this it is clear that not nearly enough medical research has been done on the effects of fluoridation in the public water supply." he said
"This is also a matter of democracy and ethics: in the 1950s when fluoride was done on a matter of course there was not the opportunity for people to have easy access to fluoride in dental products. Things have changed since then and those people pushing this decision should remember that they are servants of the people and need to listen to what people want."
A recent investigation has discovered that the areas with the worst tooth decay in Southampton will not be getting the fluoridated water despite this argument underpinning the reasons for ignoring the wishes of local people.
Those affected by these proposals can sign the petition here
Hugh's Fish Fight
Letter to those who have been contacted by Chris Davies MEP:
Where Mr. Davies claims that UKIP and the political group we are attached to, does not have its views represented on the CFP reform is simply not true.
Many thanks to everyone who has sent me letters regarding the disastrous and morally bankrupt Common Fisheries Policy. This is something which I have been campaigning against for many years and as a Sea Angler is a policy very close to my heart.
Please find below my response to your enquiries:
Thank you for your email regarding reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The CFP has, quite frankly, been an economic and environmental disaster in which the UK fishing industry and fish stocks have suffered terribly.
The draconian quotas system, forced on to us by the EU, has led to the throwing of dead fish back into the sea. For example in the North Sea, nearly half of all fish caught are thrown back dead. That is nearly one million tonnes a year.
But the question remains what we can do about it?
As I'm sure you are aware, the UK gave up regulation of the fishing industry to the EU. So not one MP you or anyone else elected in the UK can propose or amend law regarding discards or the wider fishing sector. The government repeatedly comes out against discards, as was seen by the recent "fish fight" (CFP reform) campaign led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. What is laughably called the Fisheries Minister, supports Hugh, but can do nothing about it.
So Hugh went to the top. He met with EU Commissioner Damanaki (Fisheries portfolio) and for the cameras, she said that "you the people can make this change" - when in fact this isn't true. The EU parliament has very little say and is easily ignored by the Commission, which is the only body that can really regulate.
The UK MPs you elect can't do anything about it, the UK government can't do anything about it, the MEPs you vote for are powerless to initiate reform. No one you vote for can initiate or substantially change any CFP reform. It is at this point I have to ask the question, what sort of democracy do we live in when we can't change a policy by the ballot box?
This gets to the core of my position. The only way we can deal with the problem of discards is by taking back control of fishing policy and instituting policies to end such waste - which means kicking the EU out of Britain.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more and more areas becoming an EU "competence"; look at environmental legislation and the effects of bio fuels on developing countries, look at the Common Agriculture Policy - one disaster after another and there's nothing we can do about it because the Commission calls the shots, and we can't vote them in or out.
UKIP policy on fishing can be summarised as below:
• Immediately withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy
• Reassert our territorial rights, reclaim our fishing grounds, restore our fishing fleet and support our fishing industry for future generations
• Return £2.5bn a year in fish sales to the UK economy
• Establish an ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ extending 200 nautical miles from the UK’s coastline over which the UK exerts total control
• Abandon all EU quotas and strictly forbid the shameful discarding of dead fish - sometimes up to 70% of catches or 800,000 tons p.a.
• Require all commercial species of fish caught, regardless of size or species, to be landed and recorded. This will allow the Government to determine how best to manage the recovery of UK fishing grounds. To preserve fish stocks, UKIP will establish a system of moveable ‘No Take Zones’ allowing fish to spawn and assisting recovery in overfished areas
• Ban all forms of industrial fishing and pair trawling for bass. Industrial trawlers have helped cause a catastrophic decline in key fish species
As a member of the Fisheries Committee in the EU "Parliament" I have made many speeches against discards.
Here is one from the hearing of Commissioner Damanaki:
I shall, of course, vote against the quota system any chance I get, and will continue to speak out against discards as much as I can in the media.