Local GP is the Green Party Candidate for the General Election.

The Faversham and Mid Kent Constituency have selected Dr. Alastair Gould from Faversham as their candidate for the General Election on 8th June. He qualified as a doctor in 1986 and can speak Italian fluently. He is also a leading member of Faversham Baptist Church. THe Hollingbourne Polling Station is at the Cardwell Pavilion which will be open from 7am to 10pm. The local Electoral Services Helpline is 01622-602007.

Alastair Gould has been a GP in Faversham for 26 years. He graduated from Oxford University and then trained at Kings College Hospital London before moving to Kent.He is married with 4 children aged 22 to 10 years all of whom have attended local state schools. He is involved with Swale Friends of the Earth , and is helping to plan a forthcoming climate change awareness day in Faversham in June .

Alastair Gould writes:-

The main reason I have become involved in the Green party and am standing for the election is the threat of climate change.  The scientific evidence for this is totally convincing , and we are very rapidly running out of time to avoid catastrophe. However , there is a almost total lack of urgency about taking the actions that are necessary. The problem is that in the short-term, these actions often are more expensive or time-consuming than continuing with “business as usual” , and so there is a need for government action to ensure that they happen . This particularly applies in rural areas, where distance, poor public transport and inadequate broadband add to the difficulties.

Many of changes that need to occur ,such as moving electric vehicles ,useable public transport and walking and cycling, would also have immediate benefits, especially in people’s health. Much of my life as a GP is dealing with preventable diseases , and while medicine has a role, the real impact would come if people were enabled to live healthier lifestyles, particularly  if we could move away from a car-dependent culture and bring exercise into everyday life. This also needs action to overcome barriers that prevent people from making these choices, hence my support for the 20’s Plenty campaign for 20mph speed limits in residential areas.

With regards to impact of  lorry traffic on villages like Hollingbourne,the local transport plan was assuming 3% annual growth in freight, which means well over 30% in 10 years.No amount of road building / lorry parking will cope with this, and the environment will not cope with the pollution and carbon dioxide that comes with it either. We need to start looking at greatly expanding rail freight : If lorries can be transported via the channel tunnel, it is not impossible that those types of trains could make much longer journeys,  and with more electrification, it could be done with much less harm to the environment . It is not a short-term solution I know , but whatever is done about Operation Stack the issue will only get worse unless we change course.

On the economic front, there is huge potential arising from the work that needs to be done to move to a sustainable future, in areas such as home energy efficiency and renewable energy, but the current government has taken a whole series of steps in the wrong direction.

These are the issues I see as most important , but the ideas of sustainability and fairness , both now and for our children, are themes found in all areas of Green party policy

Dr Alastair Gould 

Dr. Gould can be contacted at alastair.gould@greenparty.org.uk

Pictured below is Dr. Alastair Gould.