Thursday, 16 June 2011

Parking, charging and zonal marking

Letter to the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian

Dear Mr Yeatman

The Green Party wishes to again register its support for the residents and traders of Wanstead and also South Woodford.

As is well known the Greens are not great fans of the car, doing all that we can to encourage the use of public transport whenever possible. However we do not believe that Redbridge Council's latest parking charges and zone schemes have much, if anything, to do with a desire to reduce car use.

Therefore it appears that, yet again, the council is attempting to refill its coffers - which have been depleted by historic and ongoing financial mismanagement - and, as is often the case, it is the Wanstead and South Woodford targets which our local government administrators, in their infinite wisdom, have set their sights on.

In view of this we fail to see how the council can justify levying onerous parking charges, as well as introducing a harsh and restrictive parking zone. Such strategies, in effect, literally drive people to places that have free car parking which will mean that their money will be spent at, more often than not, supermarkets from where it will taken out of the local community. In these exacting times people need more (not constrained) local freedom of movement and to not have their money taken from them by stealth tactics - which they would otherwise spend on local goods and services - in order that they may take part in the regeneration of their local economies.

Unfortunately our local (just as our national) powers that be simply don't get it - insisting, as they do, on their demands for short-term financial gain - which will only cause further long-term economic pain.

Yours sincerely

Ashley Gunstock
Lead Speaker
The Green Party - Redbridge

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Population! Population! Population!

Letter to the Observer


Andrew Rawnsley’s article (“Thatcher’s dream becomes a nightmare for a jilted generation”, Comment, last week) highlights an issue which I am sure that he did not intend to address. His assertion that: ‘The goal of a property-owning democracy will wither and die if Britain doesn’t start building many more homes’ initially and simply begs the answer to the most obvious of questions: Location? Location? Location?

In view of this the most important and difficult matter which this government and its opposition must address – in order to make housing more affordable, as well as for a catalogue of other positive reasons – is not whether to abolish the capital gains tax exemption and/or use the tax system to force down prices but, especially as it is a question of supply and demand, how to implement a tax incentive to confront the most pressing problem of: Population! Population! Population!

Yours faithfully

Ashley Gunstock

Monday, 4 April 2011

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Small is Right?

Letter to The Observer:

Dear Sir

David Cameron's suggestion, especially being delivered in soundbites, that his ideological brainwave was fathered by Schumacher, is a mockery of a lifetime of high intellectual thought ("Small is beautiful: the father of Cameron's Big Society", News, last week).

In fact the government's programme of cuts seeks to remove the tools and dismantle the very intricate network structure, i.e. the devolved levels of responsibility and care, which would be essential if one truly wished to make Schumacher's vision a reality.

What the Prime Minister's BS will, in truth, create is a centrally managed amorphous mass, offering no light to the individual who will be left to flounder in a new dark age.

Yours sincerely

Ashley Gunstock

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Cuts & Thrusts

Letter to Wanstead & Woodford Guardian:

Dear Sirs,

The Green Party completely understands the anger and frustration felt by the British population in reaction to our local, regional and national governments' handling of the economic crisis, which is chiefly of their making.

Your last two front page stories perfectly illustrate the fact that these administrations have no idea of how to address the problem of the recession - Fury as tube and bus prices soar (January 6) and Full force of cuts revealed (January 13).

We believe that now is the perfect opportunity to invest in services and green job creation, which would provide work for people who would produce an environmentally sustainable, money saving, energy infrastructure. In this way people would be able to earn and spend money in order that the economy may be regenerated. Furthermore the public should be encouraged to use an affordable public transport system, rather than (as at present) being squeezed dry for every last penny to travel on it to get to work and for our leisure. In this way our roads would be decongested, allowing everyone to travel more freely with less pollution.

However - although this quadruple whammy addresses the issues of the recession, unemployment, Climate Change and transport - the powers that be are heading (in gas guzzling mode) in exactly the opposite direction!

In any event, rather than cutting jobs and vital services, we strongly feel that the government should stop fretting over the size of bankers' bonuses and simply freeze these awards, so that it may first ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society are not being left out in the cold.

Yours sincerely

Ashley Gunstock
The Green Party
Leading Spokesperson - Redbridge