Candidate Q&A

In the run up to the local elections, Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Green Party are hosting a Candidate Q&A which will give you the chance to question those who are representing you. The candidates are keen to share their vision with you as well as litening to you and hearing which local issues you want them to tackle. Come along on Thursday 15th April at 7pm and get involved – sign up to the online event here

In preparation for the event the Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire have published their manifesto and local plan, the document sets out a bold vision for Derbyshire and the exciting progress the local greens will achieve for our communities once elected. If you’d like to read the manifesto it is available here

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 15th April at 7pm : )

Sherwood Green SOS

Sherwood Green

Generations of Bolsover families have enjoyed the green oasis that surrounds Sherwood Lodge. Although the bandstand has gone, andmore offices have been built, it is still a tranquil park and it’s not too late to stop it being lost forever.

How we can save Sherwood Green?

By law, open land that has been used for 20 years by the public for leisure can be registered. There are over 3,000 registered greens including one beach! The protection lasts forever indeed it is illegal to build on a registered green, even if planning permission is granted. In considering applications the County Council will review evidence gathered from members of the public.

You can give your evidence on our special form available for download here:

Evidence Questionnaire OSS

or by emailing:

Just a few minutes of your time could preserve this green for future generations.

Also, using the link below you can find out how to oppose Morrison’s application to put a large superstore and petrol station on what is now Sherwood Green and Lodge, and to oppose Bolsover Council’s plan to put an office building on Middle Street car-park:

How to object to the Morrison’s application and/or the loss of Middle Street car-park

Use it or lose it

Come and show you care about your green spaces by joining one of our community picnics on the first Sunday in every month starting at 3pm.

Find out more

Members of the Green Party and BADGL have joined with local residents and traders to organise a Public Meeting on Tuesday 8th May at 7.30pm in the North Star Club. You’ll be able to ask questions, meet the District Councillor who is fighting Morisson’s proposal and hear about the campaign.

The Experts Agree: Bolsover’s Councillors Have Been Too Greedy


Councillor Duncan Kerr

16th July 2011 not embargoed

In a late report just released by Bolsover Council the expert members on the Council’s remuneration panel have unanimously backed Cllr Kerr’s claim that the Bolsover’s members have granted themselves excessive allowances and have called for these payments to be slashed by 46% saying “their work cannot be substantially different from members of other authorities”, precisely the point that Cllr Kerr has been campaigning about. Commenting on the development Cllr Kerr said:

“I am grateful that the experts on this panel have been brave enough to stand up and speak the truth that Bolsover Councillors, led by its Labour administration, have been helping themselves to far too much of the tax-payers money. By my reckoning during the four year term of the last council members took in total over £1M more in allowances when compared to some other authorities. This is money that could, and should, have been spent on delivering services. We will wait and see whether the Council accepts this report and apologises to the people of Bolsover.”

Whilst Cllr Kerr is supportive of the Panel’s view on basic remuneration he is concerned to see that they propose substantial increases in the “Special Allowances” paid to some Councillors such as the Leader, Cabinet and Committee Chairs by 31% in some cases and 94% in others. Commenting on this Duncan said:

“Whilst the panel have collected data from six other similar authorities near-by to make their recommendations they do not appear to have taken any account of the fact that all these authorities have significantly higher populations (on average over a third higher) than Bolsover. If this had been taken into account several of these special allowances would not go down not up, so I will be asking them to reconsider their recommendations”.

Cllr Duncan Kerr is a Green Party Councillor representing the Whitwell ward on Bolsover District Council. He was elected in May 2011

Email:  or
Tel: 07522116609 or 01909 726349

The Bolsover Council meeting is at 10am on Wednesday 20th July, in Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover. Agenda item 14 refers and it was issued on the 14th July, three days after Cllr Kerr’s question was submitted.

Further information on other activities and a copy of the question Cllr Kerr has placed on the Council agenda for the 20th July is on his blog

Bolsover: The Rotten Borough


Councillor Duncan Kerr

13th July 2011 not embargoed

Duncan was elected for the Green Party to represent Whitwell on Bolsover Council two months ago but has been appalled by the selfish practices of the controlling Labour group. He will be calling Cllr Eion Watts the Leader of the Council to account by posing a question at the Council meeting in Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover on Wednesday the 20th July.

Duncan said “I am determined to expose the scandalous practices that have turned Bolsover into a rotten borough to the embarrassment of  residents, the MP Dennis Skinner and the leadership of the national Labour party who will be as shocked as I was to learn that:

  • The basic allowance that Bolsover Councillors have voted themselves is over £10,000 pa, higher than all the other 300+ District Councils. Similar Councillors in Derbyshire take less than half this although their house prices and cost of living are higher.
  • Not satisfied with double pay, up to half the Labour members get even more money for chairing Scrutiny Committees because they have ignored recommendations from their own government to hand these roles to opposition Councillors.
  • Although Bolsover is one of the smallest, and poorest Councils in Derbyshire the greed of its Labour Councillors makes the total cost of Democratic representation and management over £1.1M that’s nearly £1 in every £5 collected in Council tax for the District.
  • Public confidence in the Council is so weak that in the last 10 years no-one has ever attended a Council meeting to ask a question. Unlike local Parish Councils the over-paid Labour Councillors refuse to help hard working people by meeting in the evenings.
  • Cllr Watts talks endlessly about the need for cuts and redundancies but his own financial plans show that in the next two years the Council will increase its balances by at least £4M to over £10M as it pockets the £4.2M transition grant from the government. This should be invested not in another Icelandic bank but in insulating homes, generating renewable energy and creating new green jobs.
  • Whilst Council staff have been told to budge-up so their offices can be rented out, the Labour group have abused their position by turning the members areas into a private, under-used social club for their members only leaving new non-Labour councillors without a dedicated desk or PC let alone an office.

Duncan says “I may be a single green voice in a sea of red but I believe that the best disinfectant is the glare of public opinion and I intend to carry on exposing hypocrisy until every Councillor in Bolsover understands that the public will not tolerate excesses here anymore than they have in Westminster. The Labour Councillors need to start putting the needs of communities first before their own pockets. Their actions are crippling residents with high tax bills, creating unnecessary redundancies and dragging down the good name of Bolsover.

If any member of the public or press shares my indignation at this scandalous situation I would urge them to come and show their support at the Council meeting at 10.00 on Wednesday the 20th July in Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover. I’m sure we will all be fascinated to hear what Cllr Eion Watts Leader of the Council has to say”.


Email:  or
Tel: 07522116609 or 01909 726349

There will be a photo-call at 9.15am on Wednesday the 20th July at Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover when Duncan will attempt to present a bill for £1 million to the Bolsover Labour party representing the cost to residents of the over-payment of member expenses from 2006 to 2011.

A copy of the full question that is being put to Cllr Watts is available from

Elected – Duncan Kerr for Whitwell

Duncan Kerr

Congratulations to Duncan Kerr who has been elected to Bolsover District Council and Hodthorpe parish council.

Whitwell should be the best place to live in Bolsover, but we’ve fallen behind. Creswell got the industrial units, and Clowne got the shops, but we’ve got lumbered with a derelict pit site and now Alkane. But we don’t have to accept this. You can do something about it. Send a clear message to Bolsover by voting for Duncan a local campaigner who pledges to:

  • Secure a sustainable use for the pit site to provide jobs, homes and green spaces.
  • Develop community-owned renewable energy.
  • Lobby for effective traffic calming.
  • Get help for the elderly to insulate homes.
  • Fight cuts to the services we rely on.
  • Campaign for more facilities for the young.
  • Run a surgery giving free help and advice.
  • Clean-up derelict and untidy sites.

You have two votes for Bolsover, use one for Duncan Kerr

Who will deliver for Whitwell?

We have not done well from Labour’s domination of Bolsover and the Resident’s Association who run the Parish Councilhave given us the highest Council tax in the District. Both parties have had their opportunities, it’s time for a change.

Vote Duncan Kerr in the Bolsover election on May 5th

Alkane: No ifs, No buts, No way.

The Green Party supports farm-based anaerobic digestion plants but Alkane’s plant is too large, in the wrong place and far too risky. Even the Environment Agency strongly object to the idea of storing waste in the open and it gives green energy a bad name. Duncan’s record on taking action is second to none. Ask the other candidates whether they have:

  • Publicly challenged Alkane at their Meetings?
  • Served Freedom of Information requests on EMDA (who own the land) and the
  • Environment Agency to find out what’s been going on behind the scenes?
  • Written to every members of the EMDA board to protest at the sale of this land?
  • Called on the Councils to work together to buy the land and thwart development?
  • Signed-up to Whitwell Against Alkane’s (WAA) pledge?
  • Studied the documents and pressurised Alkane to give the answers we need?
  • Regularly attended meetings of the WAA and written newsletters for them?
  • Duncan is the candidate who has done most to support Whitwell Against Alkane

Duncan will listen to your views. Duncan is active in the community.

This is a disgrace

Over three thousand people are waiting for a Bolsover Council home so why have eight properties in the Holmefield Road area been boarded-up for months? Residents have told Duncan that they are an eye-sore and encourage anti-social behaviour. With rents of over £60 a week the Council is not only depriving a family of a home but losing up to £2,000 a month! At a time when many families are suffering because of the cuts the Council needs to sharpen up its act. Families deserve better care than this.

Good news, but they could do better!

According to their glossy newsletter Bolsover Council is trying to improve its cumbersome recycling service, but they don’t say why, so we will. Government statistics show that Bolsover’s recycling rate is the worst in Derbyshire. Over 90% of Councils in England recycle more than us, sometimes nearly twice as much, and it actually costs them less. But don’t blame the bin-men they’ve not been given the tools to do the job. Residents are fully committed, so why has Bolsover been so slow to improve this important service?

“He knows how to get things done”

Duncan, who is married and lives locally, has over 30 years experience in working for Councils. Qualified in Housing and Environmental Health for 10 he worked at the highest levels in Local Government before starting his own consultancy. Now, more than ever, we need councillors like Duncan who have the knowledge, passion and contacts to make a real impact. The Alkane proposals make this election the most important in Whitwell’s history, so think long and hard about who has the qualifications, stamina and vision to serve for four years on Bolsover Council. Whitwell’s future depends on your vote.

As a community activist Duncan has written funding applications, arranged social events, and set-up a local film club. He is a keen allotment holder, runner and cyclist. Last year he was selected as the Parliamentary Candidate for Chesterfield. Duncan says “I joined the Green Party because like many of us I was let down by the old parties who make grand promises then do as they like”. The Green Party is different, we stand by our principles, fights for fairness and have a positive approach. In a fast changing world we need Councillors who make things happen and shape the future.

To contact Duncan, or get a window poster:
Tel: 01909 726349.
Visit: “Duncan for Whitwell” on Facebook and

Transport In Derbyshire And Beyond

Tranport policy is a fundamental failure of this and previous governments. We need a carefully planned and boldly implemented transport system if we are to build a future to cope with climate change.  Until the recession, CO2 emissions from transport had been rising inexorably. In the long term, only good public transport can reduce emissions.


Nationally, trains have been neglected for many years. Most money goes to London and the South East, now under the guise of catering for the Olympics – a party that will last for 3 weeks! You only have to compare with European continental trains to see how far behind we have fallen in this country. Important in an election? Yes to Greens. Trains (and trams) powered by renewable electricity will have to be the main source of long distance transport to reduce climate change and to overcome the lack and high price of oil supplies.

Nationally, one of the longest intercity train services is between Liverpool and Norwich, via Sheffield, Chesterfield and sometimes Long Eaton and Alfreton. Many of the trains are two coaches only. These have been overcrowded for years between Manchester and Nottingham. We were promised at a meeting in Chesterfield in March that the trains would be expanded to 4 coaches in May. We later heard they were talking about May 2012!

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) have been lamentable on this issue. The reopening of the Matlock to Buxton line was a “key” element in their Local Transport Plan 1 in 2000. They contracted Scott Wilson to produce a feasibility study which stated that it would be relatively easy to reopen the line as most infrastructure was still in place. DCC  (then Labour) got cold feet and refused to proceed with it. The Multi-Modal study on the East Midlands section of the M1 recommended that the East-West rails lines, some intact, should be reopened to passenger traffic. This report was supported by DCC and Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC).  Virtually nothing has been done to implement this recommendation. It was DCC that cut off Chesterfield Town Center from the rail station by building the so-called “bypass” between the two. There are no bus services of any use to the station, and only a few per day to Bolsover. DCC refuse to support anything to provide such a service.


In general DCC has been very supportive of bus services, and their support of Community transport has also been excellent. Unfortunately their information systems are awful. Take the journey by bus from Chesterfield to Wirksworth for example: we assume there must be reasonable services, but they do not give details in their timetable booklet that we all have to pay for. Information at bus stops is either non-existent or poor quality. Our case is that,  for a little more money, good information could persuade more people to use buses, thus reducing the necessity for so much subsidy.  The bus companies are equally guilty here, but they are let off the hook by bad management at DCC. The bus companies tell us that it is DCC’s job and not theirs to provide bus information, while DCC tell us the opposite! Nothing gets done except one playing off against the other. As the licensor and contract provider DCC should be in the driving seat.