By Lynette Aitken / Environment / / 0 Comments

Labour taking action for people and planet

As your candidate for Chestfield, I want you to know that I care about people in the local community and I care about the environment. That is why I am actively involved in projects that help make our environment a better place to live in, both locally and globally.

Reducing single-use plastics.

I was instrumental in setting up ‘Plastic Free Whitstable’ which aims to reduce the amount of throw-away plastic that ends up on our streets, on our beaches and in the sea, where it gets into the food chain, poisoning the fish we eat.

We started out as a small group of Labour Party members, then invited other members of the community, including the Green Party, to join us in our mission to reduce single-use plastics in our town. As the first town in Kent to be awarded ‘Plastic Free Community’ status from Surfers Against Sewage, we now have 16 businesses that have fulfilled the requirement to replace at least three single-use plastics (such as straws, cups, condiment sachets, packaging etc.) and there are many more in the pipeline working towards achieving this. We have also been awareness-raising alongside community organisations and schools to get our message across and have enlisted the support and commitment of Canterbury City Council, which has nominated Councillor Bernadette Fisher to be on our Steering Group. Working together with the council, we aim to support the whole district in achieving Plastic Free community status.

Repair Café – Avoiding waste and saving money!

I am also part of a small voluntary group that runs Repair Café. This is an opportunity for people to bring along things they may otherwise have thrown away, to get them repaired by a team of volunteers with expert skills such as sewing, darning, carpentry, electrical repairs, bicycle repairs, soldering, upholstery, jewellery repairs etc. We meet approximately once a month in either the Horsebridge Arts Centre, the Umbrella Centre or, once in the summer, in Stream Walk Community Garden. We invite people to come along and enjoy a friendly chat and a free cuppa and a biscuit while they either learn to do the repair themselves or have it done by an expert. This saves them money whilst reducing waste going into landfill sites and reduces co2 going into the atmosphere.

I wholeheartedly support our manifesto commitment to on-street recycling and other environmental improvements that will safeguard the health and well-being of local residents.

Pictured: Labour activists Lynette Aitken, Jean Fraser, Julia Seath and Councillor Bernadette Fisher as part of the Plastic Free Whitstable Team