So what now?

Description: sunrise on a london cityscape including big ben, the houses of parliament and the london eye, central london, autumn. Author: Bertie Gregory - Bertie Gregory/2020VISION

The General Election is over…what happens next?

The results are in: The Conservatives have won the General Election, securing 364 seats nationally, giving them a large majority.  In Kent, they secured 16 of the 17 constituencies

The successful candidates are:

Constituency

Name

Party

New or returning

Ashford

Damian Green,

Conservative

Returning

Canterbury

Rosie Duffield

Labour

Returning

Chatham and Aylesford

Tracey Crouch

Conservative

Returning

Dartford

Gareth Johnson

Conservative

Returning

Dover

Natalie Elphicke

Conservative

New

Faversham and Mid Kent

Helen Whately

Conservative

Returning

Folkestone and Hythe

Damian Collins

Conservative

Returning

Gillingham and Rainham

Rehman Chishti

Conservative

Returning

Gravesham

Adam Holloway

Conservative

Returning

Maidstone and The Weald

Helen Grant

Conservative

Returning

North Thanet

Sir Roger Gale

Conservative

Returning

Rochester and Strood

Kelly Tolhurst

Conservative

Returning

Sevenoaks

Laura Trott

Conservative

New

Sittingbourne and Sheppey

Gordon Henderson

Conservative

Returning

South Thanet

Craig Mackinlay

Conservative

Returning

Tonbridge and Malling

Tom Tugendhat

Conservative

Returning

Tunbridge Wells

Greg Clark

Conservative

Returning

In their manifesto the Conservatives committed to reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.  They also pledged to plant trees, restore peatland, revamp agricultural subsidies and set legally binding targets for the restoration of nature and biodiversity.  It is vital that we hold them to this and much more.

Kent Wildlife Trust has written to all the new and returning MPs, offering our support as they get to grips with the very real environmental challenges they face. 

We need clear, strong laws to protect, restore and join up wild spaces, to revive our seas and support farmers to contribute to nature’s recovery.  Before the election, the Government was in the process of developing three important bits of legislation.  It is critical that these be brought back and fully developed:

1. An ambitious Environment Act that ensures nature’s recovery, with legally binding targets for nature and the creation of a Nature Recovery Network to recover wildlife and create and restore habitats.

2. An Agriculture Bill that establishes a payments system which supports land managers and farmers in delivering wide public benefits, including abundant nature and resilient ecosystems, healthy soils, clean water, and natural climate change mitigation.

3. A new Marine Strategy to revive our seas, including the implementation of Highly Protected Marine Areas.

We also need robust local action to implement these laws.  Kent is blessed with nationally and internationally important habitats, but faces serious problems including the dual difficulties of flooding and drought which climate change will only exacerbate.  If we harness Natural Climate Solutions – using the power of nature to capture and store carbon, and regulate the movement of water through ecosystems, for example - we can minimise and mitigate the impacts of Climate Change while supporting our habitats and species to thrive.  This can bring enormous benefits to our ecosystems and communities, not to mention our industries and economy.  Kent Wildlife Trust will be using our expertise and ongoing projects to show MPs the enormous potential for nature to solve our man-made problems.

If we work together, we can meet the challenge. 

Watch this space…