Monday, 4 September 2017

Letters to Kent Police

I said that I would write to them and I have. Looking forward to the responses!

Dear Mr Pughsley,

I was surprised to see a Kent Police van at the Cuadrilla site on Preston New Road in Lancashire last week, I can only assume that Kent Police are providing support to your Lancashire colleagues.

Given your force's previous interest in fracking at a university debate in Canterbury in 2014, I would welcome your explanation as to why you are supporting your colleagues at the opposite end of the country when almost every other force in the country will be closer to them. I would also be grateful if you would confirm whether Kent Police have funded this support and if not whether the funding was from Lancashire Police or a central fund.

As a Kent tax payer I would rather Kent Police focused on stopping criminal activity in Kent (such as the potential hate crimes being committed by Britain First in Maidstone most Saturdays) than getting involved in lawful protests elsewhere.


Stuart Jeffery

Dear Kent Police

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act I would be grateful if you would provide the following information:

Firstly, for the period from April 2015 to end of August 2017 and relating to each time Kent Police provided officers to support other police forces:

    Which force was supported
    The reason for the support, e.g. protest march, criminal investigation, etc.
    The date the support commenced
    The number of officers loaned
    The length of the support
    The cost to Kent Police of the support

Secondly, for the period from April 2015 to end of August 2017 and relating to each time Kent Police were supported by other police forces:

    Which force provided support
    The reason for the support, e.g. protest march, criminal investigation, etc.
    The date the support commenced
    The number of officers loaned
    The length of the support

Feel free to provide this in spreadsheet form if it is easier for you.

Stuart Jeffery

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Who fracking knows why are Kent Police working in Lancashire?

A Kent Police riot van was filmed on the Preston New Road (PNR) site where the anti-fracking demonstrations have been held for many months now. PNR is currently the front line of the anti-fracking campaign after Lancashire County Council turned down an application to frack there only to have it overturned by the Secretary of State.

Importantly PNR is nowhere near Kent, so what are Kent Police doing there almost 300 miles away at the opposite end of the country? Who is paying for them? What are they there to learn? Who decided that it was ok for them to go there?

A couple of years ago Kent Police went undercover to infiltrate a university debate on fracking in Canterbury. They asked for the names of people who would be in the audience and they planted a senior officer in there too. What are they worried about?

I visited Preston in 2015 and will be returning in a couple of weeks to show my solidarity with the protesters and to make a protective offering!

See this video from PNR starting at 13:50

Kent Police have an unhealthy interest in fracking. Three years ago they went undercover to infiltrate a university debate on fracking in Canterbury. They asked for the names of people who would be in the audience and they planted a senior officer in there too. Now we find them working in Lancashire as part of the ridiculously huge security detail that is guarding the Caudrilla site against peaceful protestors.

I want to know what they are doing there and who is paying for them. I want to know why they have an interest in the anti-fracking movement when there are crimes being committed on the streets of Kent. I want to know who decided it was OK for them to travel 300 miles to Lancashire rather than policing the towns in Kent.

I will be writing to the Chief Constable to ask for an explanation.

Britain First may inadvertently raise funds for the Maidstone Mosque

I love this idea. It came from a town in Germany that donates money to anti-fascist causes whenever the fascist march there - and they taunt the fascists as they march, letting them know how much money they have raised so far.

So here in Maidstone, which has seen numerous protests by Britain First this year who don't want the Maidstone Mosque to be rebuilt, the Maidstone Anti-Fascist Network which I proud to be a member of, have decided that when Britain First come down to protest we will raise £10 for each one of them who turns up and donate it to the Mosque to help get it built more quickly.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Air pollution letter to Kent on Sunday

Letter to Kent on Sunday:

Dear Editor,

Terry Hudson's claim that the huge death toll from air pollution is a lie is frankly bizarre. He claims that the science is flawed while stating that he isn't a scientist. It is easy to shouts "lies" at things that you don't like to hear but the death toll from air pollution, a significant proportion of which comes from traffic, must not be allowed to continue.

He is right to claim that the figure of 29,000 deaths each year is wrong though. This is the number of deaths from just one of the pollutants: particulate matter, if you add in NOx then the figure is around 50,000. These figures are from  scientists who work for the government, a government that should have a desire to suppress the truth of the air pollution problem rather than exaggerate it.

While scientists can make mistakes, these are usually isolated examples rather than large bodies of evidence from multiple sources. The evidence on air pollution and its primary sources is well understood so let's not argue about facts, let's try to find solutions to reduce the number of people dying because of the pollution that our vehicles pump out.

We must stop using the air that we breathe as an invisible sewer. It is killing us.

Stuart Jeffery, Co-Chair of Kent Greens

Thursday, 17 August 2017

KCC’s £3m six lane bottleneck on Sutton Road

I am deeply concerned that spending £3m on making Sutton Road six lanes wide for a short stretch around Willington Street will be a complete waste of money and simply create bottlenecks at either end of the road widening.

The loss of mature trees and green space which protects Sutton Road residents from traffic noise and pollution cannot be justified.

To reduce traffic and congestion the council needs to put a bus lane in from the new housing on Sutton Road to the centre of Maidstone, increase the frequency of buses and reduce the fares. Only better public transport will reduce traffic, congestion and pollution.

I’m also concerned that local residents aren’t being properly consulted. The residents on Sutton Road who are most directly affected by the scheme found out by accident after KCC failed to notify them. I am writing to KCC to oppose the scheme and to ask them to properly consult with local residents.”


Picture: Me in front of the oak tree on Sutton Rd that will be removed under the proposals

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Paul on Politics

I had my first appearance on KMTV's Paul on Politics (Freeview channel 07 in Kent). We discussed the governments ban on petrol and diesel cars due in a mere 23 years time, brexit and its impact on nursing numbers, and passenger satisfaction of rail services.

I was on with Cllr Tristan Osborne, a Labour councillor from Medway, a very nice guy. Interestingly he called for the railways to be run as cooperatives rather than re-nationalised. Clearly a better option than the mix of corporations and foreign states who hold the franchises currently but I don't think it is any where near as good as being in public hands as long as there is strong political will to ensure the right level of investment.

The piece on electric cars was good. I have a Renault Zoe, it's very cheap to run and zero emission, especially as a charge it with 100% renewable energy from Ecotricity, but we can't replace every car with an electric one. I'm lucky that I have a driveway to park on and charge in the evenings. Without that I would spend an hour or two every other day sitting at a charging point. Most people live in homes without drives and we would need charging points at every place where it is possible to park, i.e. every 15 feet along the road. And the amount of electricity required would be enormous:

  • 26 million cars in the UK
  • Assume 10,000 miles per year per car
  • 5 miles per KwH (best case: driving very carefully in the summer, i.e. like a saint)
  • would need 52 million MwH for a year
  • or 6,000 Mw of constant generation (6 additional nuclear power stations)
  • add 50% for lorries, vans and buses: 9 nukes or 75 Twh
  • passenger miles are around 700 billion Km per year in the UK 
  • 5 miles per KwH (best case: driving very carefully in the summer, i.e. like a saint)
  • equating to 437 billion miles and 87.5 billion KwH or 87.5 million MwH (with lorries etc. around additional 15 nukes)
  • the UK produced 389,000,000 MwH in 2008
  • and 52 million MwH from nukes
  • i.e. a 25% increase in electricity generation if everyone drives like a saint
  • normal driving doubles energy use...

So if everyone drove like a saint the best case would be for a 20% increase in electricity generation (9 additional nuclear power stations) or likely case around 50% increase or 30 nukes.

The London Array (wind in the North Sea) with 175 turbines produced 2.5 TwH in 2015. We would need between 20 and 70 additional London Arrays to meet road electricity use.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

MGGS and Discrimination

I was shocked to read about a student at Maidstone Girls Grammar School, a school to which both my wife and daughter went to and where I was a parent governor for a short period (I was expelled from the governors for speaking out against the selective system), being told to cover her shaved head. Read more here.

She shaved her head for charity, a noble act and one that raises awareness, and unlike a boy who did similar last year, she was told to put on a head scarf. This is from a school which has previously prided itself on women's rights.

I have written to the head teacher Miss Stanley, please add your voices too, their email is

This is my letter:

Dear Miss Stanley

I was saddened and disappointed to see your comments in the KM Online yesterday, asking Maddie Santon-Williams to cover her head. I do not accept your excuse that you are concerned about other pupils with health conditions - one of the points of a shaved head is to show solidarity. From the information I have this seems to be a straightforward case of gender discrimination .

Given the good history of your school championing women's rights I urge you to reconsider your stance and apologise to Maddie.

Kind regards