One of my main campaign platforms is to preserve the wonderful way of life we have in East Surrey, and so I was more than happy to sign up to ‘ 2026 – A Vision for the Countryside ‘ – the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s manifesto. CPRE has been a strong voice for maintaining our countryside as a working concern – showing that conservation can work alongside a growing rural economy. In CPRE’s own words, the manifesto calls for progress in three areas: ? Twenty-first century planning: it’s time for politicians to stop rubbishing planning and recognise its potential – as the best and most democratic system we have to protect and enhance the countryside, promote urban renewal and improve people’s quality of life. The next Government should also back higher development targets for brownfield land and invest heavily in low carbon travel, including in often-neglected rural areas; ? Protecting the human habitat: the next Government should champion National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The creation of the South Downs National Park should be the starting point for better protection of these crown jewels of our countryside, and they should be no-go areas for intrusive development. And politicians need to stand up for Green Belts, with no more nibbling away at their edges to allow urban sprawl, and support the creation of new areas of Green Belt; ? Action on litter and fly-tipping: it’s time for political leadership to prevent us drowning under an ever-rising tide of rubbish. The next Government needs to recognise that we won’t solve our litter problem without a strong campaign to change people’s behaviour, and to support the bodies, like local councils, that clear our litter up. Politicians should also introduce a national deposit scheme for drinks containers, which would reduce litter, boost recycling and reward good behaviour by consumers.