FOLLOWING on from Theresa McManus's recent excellent letter which we fully support, East Dorset Friends of the Earth wants to publicise the policies we are currently asking all local election candidates to agree to push for should they get elected. We want to get the message out there that councils can and must make a difference with actions not idle talk.

Sustainable policies for local election candidates:

1. Create a robust Climate Change Action Plan, with the aim of reaching zero net carbon emissions by 2030, especially through Zero Carbon Social Housing and other council builds. Measures would include promoting energy conservation (domestic and business), domestic solar electricity and other forms of renewable energy as community generation schemes.

2. Reduce air pollution by the creating of Clean Air Zones, banning diesel delivery vehicles from residential areas, subsidies (or licence conditions) to encourage local bus companies and taxis to switch to electric vehicles, restricting business parking (including free parking at supermarkets) and embedding a 'net health gain' principle in all new developments and other council programmes.

3. Support pedestrian and cycle safety by: increasing the number of segregated cycle-lanes and removal of speed humps where roads are shared between motor vehicles and cycles; banning pavement parking.

4. Set a target of becoming a Zero Waste Authority: this to include free garden/food waste collections; reductions in frequency of black bin collections to encourage recycling; active policies to engage with supermarkets and other businesses to cease employing single-use plastics.

5. Promote biodiversity by policies which prioritise the retention and improvement of wildlife habitats, and phasing out herbicide and pesticide use, especially within community open spaces.


Co-ordinator, East Dorset Friends of the Earth,

Chigwell Road, Bournemouth