Council candidates urged to back CPRE’s “Manifesto for Surrey”

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By craigfreeman
16th April 2021
With the 2021 local council elections just a matter of weeks away, Surrey Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Surrey) is calling on all candidates standing for elected office to endorse the charity’s “Manifesto for Surrey”.

Tim Murphy, Vice President of CPRE Surrey and Chair of the South East Regional Group, explains that “CPRE Surrey looks to all candidates at the forthcoming local elections to endorse the commitments in its Countryside Manifesto at a time when, due to the pandemic, our precious rural areas have become more valued than ever.”

The CPRE Surrey Manifesto sets out 10 main goals:

  1. Protect all of our precious countryside and open spaces, our Green Belt, Local Green Spaces and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from inappropriate development, urban sprawl and noise pollution, so that our county remains attractive and tranquil for future generations;
  2. Preserve the special character of Surrey’s towns and villages, our conservation areas and historic buildings, and safeguard their historic setting from intrusive development;
  3. Meet local housing needs in our towns and villages by ensuring the provision of well-designed, appropriately-sized, high-quality homes that local people can afford – including social housing for rent – and by encouraging sustainable high-density developments on brownfield, urban sites.
  4. Enable everyone, including our younger generation, to enjoy our environment and reconnect with nature in safe, accessible, local countryside, with well-maintained walking and cycling routes in every Surrey district;
  5. Promote public health and well-being by properly maintaining parks and open spaces so that all communities have opportunities for outdoor recreation in their own neighbourhoods;
  6. Improve environmental quality through the introduction of Clean Air Zones to reduce nitrogen dioxide and particulate air pollution, by promoting car-free housing developments, and striving to meet and exceed current targets for waste reduction and recycling;
  7. Ensure dark night skies – an essential part of our rural landscape and vital for our wildlife – through measures to reduce light pollution and ‘night blight’;
  8. Promote nature conservation, wildlife protection and increasing biodiversity through policies that encourage sustainable farming and land-use, and by fully recognising the crucial importance of the natural environment to our entire way of life;
  9. Support sustainable local food production by encouraging farm shops and farmers’ markets and by supporting community allotments, and maintain the vitality and prosperity of our town and village centres, local shops and services;
  10. Reduce traffic congestion by promoting sustainable transport, cycling and walking, and boost investment in local bus services.

“These are essential policies for the protection of Surrey’s countryside, towns and villages”, says Tim Murphy “and we call on all election candidates to endorse this Manifesto. We are also urging voters to challenge candidates on these points. The future of our environment and quality of life is at stake, and at this critical time, as they seek our votes in the forthcoming elections, we need candidates to affirm their support for a clean, green county.”

About us
We are the Surrey Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Our aim is to protect, promote and enhance the countryside and natural environment of Surrey. We work with local communities and their elected representatives to find positive and lasting ways to enable our countryside and nature to thrive – today and for generations to come. Our goal is for a beautiful and vibrant countryside that sustains our wildlife, contributes to public health and wellbeing, and enriches all our lives.

We are an independent charity but are also part of a nationwide network, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which was formed in 1926.

Tim Murphy is available for comment or interview. Please contact Craig Freeman on cfreeman@cpresurrey.org.uk or 07793022925 to arrange.

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