Lib Dems announce plans to plant 60 million trees a year

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will plant a tree in Hampstead today (Saturday 16 November), as the party announces ambitious proposals to undertake the largest tree-planting programme in UK history. A Liberal Democrat government will plant 60 million trees every year, increasing UK forest cover by 1 million hectares by 2045.

Just 13% of the UK is currently covered by woodland, far below the European Union average of 35%. The Conservatives have woefully failed to meet their own targets for planting trees in the past year. Only 1,420 hectares of trees were planted in England in the year to March 2019, 71% short of the Conservative government’s target of 5,000 hectares for the same period.

Planting trees is one of the most viable ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere and is vital for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative will be a key part of the Liberal Democrat party’s plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to halve emissions by 2030 compared to today.

Reforesting will have other benefits such as helping reverse our declining biodiversity, reducing air pollution and improving public spaces. It will also increase use of timber products in construction, which capture carbon and reduce construction emissions. 

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Leader said:

“The climate emergency is destroying our natural environment and threatening our children’s futures. We will tackle the climate emergency by taking bold action to rapidly reduce carbon emissions as quickly as possible, and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. 

“Our plan includes the largest tree-planting programme in UK history, which will green our towns and countryside to absorb damaging emissions. This will help us reach net-zero emissions, and will nurture biodiversity, combat air pollution and improve public spaces.

“It’s clear that the Conservative Party doesn’t take climate change seriously. Only the Liberal Democrats have a radical plan to make a real impact in the fight against climate change and build a brighter future for our planet.”

Angie Curwen’s Top 3 Priorities for North Thanet

Homes for All

Angie is fighting for everyone to have a safe, affordable home as a basic human right.  She is actively working with local communities to deliver community-led housing.  She is working to develop locally affordable housing for local people.

If elected Angie will challenge the national formula that dictates 17,400 homes must be built on Thanet by 2030.  Angie firmly believes this should be between 9,000 – 12,000 homes. 

Angie will also challenge the current planning system whereby local councils and residents have very little power over what type of homes are built, where they are built and what infrastructure needs to be put in place to support existing and new homes.

Protect our NHS

Angie will support Save Our NHS In Kent (SONIK) in their fight to keep stroke services, A&E and Maternity services at both QEQM and KCH.  She agrees with their statements that to remove these services will cost lives and is not supported evidentially to improve outcomes, especially in North Thanet where we have a growing elderly population and areas of deprivation which naturally makes it harder for people to access services.

Tackle Climate Change

Angie will FIGHT for GREEN energy, GREEN transport and GREEN investments.  Climate change and air pollution threaten our lives now! 

We have known that air pollution blackspots exist in North Thanet for far too long and nothing has been done.  This is adversely affecting people’s health now.

If elected Angie will fight for affordable green transport to be introduced locally and on a national basis for diesel engines to be phased out.  We have the green technology, it is now up to government to legislate for it to be put into use. Angie supports the Campaign for Better Transport in their aim to launch a programme to replace the entire bus fleet with zero emission vehicles by 2035 and all new buses being zero emission from 2025 ..

Nationally The Liberal Democrats proposal is to expand renewable energy generation to 80% in just ten years and to insulate 30 million homes within 10 years from a standing start and to achieve carbon neutrality for the UK by 2045. The 2045 date is in line with many environmental groups, such as WWF and Friends of the Earth, it’s also in line with existing technologies available to us.

No Deal is a No Go

by Angie Curwen PPC for North Thanet – 4th September 2019

I read an article by Sir Ivan Rogers in the Spectator today and it hits the nail on the head of Brexit so well that I have been moved to share it with as many of my friends, relations and colleagues as possible and so I have decided to post some key points it makes here as well.

Ivan Rogers was Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union from 4 November 2013 until his resignation on 3 January 2017 following a leaked memo in which he expressed the view that a settlement between the UK and the European Union might not be reached for 10 years, if at all.


Sir Ivan states “As so often in the last three years, much of our political debate is ducking the central strategic questions and is obsessing about tactical ones.”

He goes on to say that while it is right and proper to be preparing for the immediate aftermath of leaving with no deal, “Remarkably little of the debate is about our real long term options. We should be thinking 10 to 20 years ahead, not 10 weeks.”

Business Clarity

On the subject of Business he says “The idea, peddled by ministers, that businesses would have the ‘clarity’ and ‘certainty’ they need about the UK’s ultimate destination after a ‘no deal’ exit in eight weeks time, is laughable. They would not even know whether there would be ANY sort of preferential trading with our largest trading partner, let alone what sort and when.”

Blame Game

Discussing the apportionment of blame he writes “The blame game on both sides, as both recognise – belatedly – that the potential landing zone for an agreement has all but disappeared, is therefore already well under way. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around.” He goes on to say “It (leaving with no deal) would also mark both a UK government failure and an EU failure. It takes two for a negotiation to fail”


Sir Ivan states that our political elite, by which I take it he means the PM and his cabinet, are in denial: “No amount of repetition of ‘this will all be terribly easy’ ever makes it true.  It is not unpatriotic or ‘declinist’ to point out that a process of ‘differential disentanglement’ – which is actually what Brexit is –  will be hard, complex and lengthy. How, seriously, after more than three years can so much of our political elite still be in denial on this?”


A well argued point by many but I still think Sir Ivan puts it rather well: “If you leave a club whose other members are prepared to integrate more deeply politically and juridically than you, because they see economic and political benefits from doing so, you cannot tell the public that any adverse consequences of leaving are all the club’s fault, for wilfully not carrying on giving you club benefits when you leave.”


It is incredibly frustrating that so many including refuse to admit the definition of a border. Sir Ivan makes a succinct statement about borders: “Nor can you just wish away issues at borders, whether on land or cross-Channel, when the entire purpose of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union must be to run deliberately different regulatory regimes – chosen by your own Parliament – where you believe it suits you. Such choices by definition entail a hard border. Borders across the whole world demarcate different regulatory regimes.”


We are in unchartered territory deciding to leave a trading bloc says Sir Ivan: “No developed country has taken itself out of a trade bloc since the war because the costs of deliberately making trade substantially more difficult with your closest neighbours are obviously large. No trade deal has ever been struck between partners actively seeking to get further apart. Trade deals have always been between those aspiring to converge and to increase trade flows, not diverge and decrease them.”

“We face the most explosive political week for years, perhaps decades” writes Sir Ivan.” As I write this, 20 eminent MPs from the Conservative Party have stood up for honesty and integrity and have as a result been thrown out of their party. MPs across all political spectrums are standing up against lies being told frequently by our Prime Minister and his cabinet. It is my belief that we must all follow their lead and call out lies and manipulative behaviour wherever we see it.

What’s wrong with the Thanet Local Plan

I have been asked what I know about the local plan

I know that it is based on a central government formula that dictates that TDC has to make allocation for 17,400 new houses to be built on Thanet by 2031. This is 3.5 times more than the average to be built on Thanet for the next 10-15 years. I don’t believe this national formula is working properly for Thanet and don’t believe we need that many houses. I couldn’t put it better than the CPRE: Continue reading

Blue Monday

Blue Monday falls this year on the 21st January. Following on from the Christmas festivities and New Year it is easy for people to get down when heading back to the reality of work and school. It is calculated to be the most depressing day of the year taking into account several factors such as weather, debt and motivation levels.

The day needn’t be so bad and so here are the top 10 tips on how to ‘Beat Blue Monday’.

  1. Try Something new: Trying something new and stimulating your brain is a great way to stop dwelling on the old.
  2. Get physical: This can be done easily by something as simple as a shoulder shake at work or walking that extra bit further for lunch to a full work out in the gym. Getting physical is a great to change the way you feel and release some endorphins.
  3. Contact a friend or relative: Get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, this can take your mind off yourself and your worries.
  4. Take a break: Head somewhere different for your morning coffee or even treat yourself to a trip away. Changing your physical location can change your perspective on the world.
  5. Be nice to a stranger: Do something good for another by doing a random act of kindness, this is one of the best forms of self-satisfaction.
  6. Help the planet: Help the planet by being green for example cycling rather than driving.
  7. Pamper yourself: Treat yourself to a small indulgence or something you’ve been promising yourself for a long time.
  8. Plan something new: Give yourself something to look forward to. It can be something as little as a plan at the weekend or a holiday for later in the year. Looking forward to something can be refreshing and uplifting.
  9. Share your thoughts: A problem shared is a problem halved so don’t be afraid to speak to others.
  10. Speak to the Samaritans: The Samaritans are always reachable and there to help. Visit them at or call 116 123 for free.

Mental Health is an important issue and something the Lib Dem’s have always campaigned about passionately. In government we fought to reduce the historic inequality between the way physical and mental health are treated in the NHS and are proud of the strides forward we made, but we know there is still so much more we can do. Find out our plans for the future of mental health below: