There is no need to be ashamed in wanting to know what the English Democrats Party is going to do for you.
We in the English Democrats Party think the state should serve the collective interests of its citizens rather than the citizen being a slave to the state. We wish to see a modern and wide-ranging Bill of Rights founded on traditional English civil liberties, and a far ranging freedom of access to information. Wherever reasonably practicable, public appointments should be chosen by direct election.
We believe there should be a far greater access to information and we believed power should be devolved through government and the Hertfordshire County Council to district, town and parish councils wherever possible, the aim being to enable all people to identify with their local authority. We strongly oppose regionalisation and the suggestion that our county council might be one of those in the shire counties to be abolished. An end to regional assemblies would provide more funding for all the councils in Hertfordshire of whatever level.
We feel it is necessary for all local authorities to make all their finances available for public scrutiny. While we accept that many of our local councils already do this, there are some councils, and parts of other councils where it is impossible to ascertain details of figures spent.
English Democrats seek a return to a system of policing which recognises the principle that all citizens are treated equally. In their efforts to prevent crime and catch criminals the police should not be hindered and demoralised by unreasonable ideological constraints.
In Hertfordshire it is essential that the police force is adequately trained and resourced. Officers should be more democratically accountable than at present and there should be an election for the Chief Constable of Hertfordshire and the police authority in the county. English Democrats call for the creation of a scheme enabling businesses to pay for their security staff to train and register as Special Constables.
There should be an independent and open minded English enquiry into alcohol and drug abuse and there should be greater provision for addicts to be subject to compulsory treatment in secure care. Those dealing in class A drugs should have longer sentences. Addicts with children will be put on the ‘at risk’ register and custody of children will be dependent on an addict’s ability to detoxify. We intend to set up a dedicated Hertfordshire-based Drug Management Service for those who are addicted to class A drugs.
The English Democrats favour the promotion of marital families, consisting of mother, father and children, as the preferred building block of our society. Raising a family is no longer seen as a second best option to the maximisation of wealth and leisure and we intend to create a social and financial environment where men and women can enjoy the opportunity of a career and also raise a family. In Hertfordshire the English Democrats wish to create a social and financial environment where men and women can enjoy the opportunity of a career and also raise a family.
Our county’s elderly citizens should receive a proper provision of finance and care so that they are able to enjoy a decent standard of living. They will be given the best pension entitlement that the country can afford and we will introduce a tax system that rewards rather than, as at present discourages thrift. The elderly will be subject to a more flexible retirement age, thus allowing people more freedom to choose the date of their retirement, and specialist medical care and services for the elderly will be improved.
A healthy economy is a mixed economy and we look forward to seeing expansion of our manufacturing sector and a halt to the trend towards an over-reliance on service industries. We plan a greater diversity of employment within Hertfordshire.
Planning and development
The East of England Regional Assembly, of which Hertfordshire is a part, has recently completed the first consultation on its draft plan for the region until the year 2031. The assembly will now consider comments and will issue the next draft in March 2010 with consultation on it during the summer.
The plan puts forward four possible scenarios for development in the region which show up to 107,000 new homes being built in the county. The rural areas of Hertfordshire will see its southern parts grow fastest in scenario 1 and scenario 3. In addition the area which includes Broxbourne and East Herts is considered ‘an area of serious water stress. In most of this sub-area water resources are over-licensed or over-abstracted.’ ‘This raises serious questions over the provision of fresh water to the new homes.
We in the English Democrats feel there should be much tighter restrictions on greenfield development and we will strive to use brown field sites where possible. Affordable accommodation for the young will be promoted in viable village communities and local councils will have far more say in the control of planning and other environmental issues. All major planning decisions will be subject to an efficient and speedy system of public enquiry with the final decision being made by an English Parliament.
Gypsies and travellers
Many residents of Hertfordshire have expressed concern over the East of England Development Agency’s plans for gypsies and travellers. The government is committed to ensuring that adequate provision is made for their housing needs and the development agency has now is see the planning circular to local authorities in order to assess the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers in the area and produce a strategy detailing how these needs can be met.
Above all, we in the English Democrats Party feel that you, the residents of our historic county of Hertfordshire, should be made aware of all the changes that are proposed and should be able to influence the decisions surrounding them.