Glastonbury & Street Green Party

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A Community Savings Bank for Glastonbury!

Do we want to create a new type of community-owned, mutual bank in the South West?  This was the question posed at a meeting held on 12th October in Glastonbury Town Hall – organised by the Last Bank Standing team with the Royal Society of Arts and the Community Savings Bank Association

Do you want to own a Community Bank?

Imagine if there was a bank dedicated to the South West that put the welfare of its local communities before profits.  A bank that helped local economies to grow by supporting all residents to upskill, regardless of their financial means.  A bank that empowered people to grow their ideas into thriving local businesses.  A bank that people trusted.  What might the South West look like in twenty or thirty years time?

During the evening, the RSA’s Director of Economics, Tony Greenham, discussed the economic and social case for regional banks, and explored the opportunities and challenges of creating a truly co-operative bank dedicated to the South West.

The need for regional banking was highlighted in the RSA’s Inclusive Growth Commission, which highlighted that the lack of access to appropriate banking and financial tools can have a serious impact on people on low incomes or with a poor financial history, as well as on SMEs and micro businesses.

Incredibly, there are over 1.7 million adults in the UK that don’t have a bank account, while at the same time the pace of branch closures has accelerated rapidly, leaving 1,500 communities without a bank – as we are well aware here in Glastonbury!

Whilst already severe, these challenges are likely to become even more acute in the context of Brexit and upcoming reforms to local government financing.  There has never been a more urgent need to rebalance the UK economy.

The RSA are supporting the Community Savings Bank Association to create a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks to serve the everyday financial needs of ordinary people, local community groups, and small and medium sized companies.

The Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Emma George, with the organisers of the South West Community Bank event. L-R: Paul Manning (Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce), Tony Greenham (RSA Director of Economics), the Mayor, Mark Hall (RSA Deputy Head of Engagement), and Kevin Redpath (Last Bank Standing).

The Glastonbury event explored the motivations and barriers in Glastonbury – and other local areas – to establishing this kind of bank, and the role that different stakeholders could play in catalysing the establishment of a South West bank.

To find out more, please visit the CSBA website HERE

 

Yes We Can Ban Fracking

On Tuesday 12th February 2013, Glastonbury Town Council passed a motion against Hydraulic Fracturing; opposing Fracking in the Mendip area and throughout Great Britain.

With your support, we can all help to recreate Nationally what happened here in Glastonbury – please take a look at the link below, and add your name to the list of people calling for a ban on Fracking throughout the country.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200307

Speaking Truth To Power – Greens’ Autumn Conference 2017

 

Speaking Truth To Power – Autumn Conference 2017, 7th-10th October, Harrogate.

You’ve got just enough time to join us for Autumn Conference 2017.

You’ll be at the heart of big conversations on the economy, the environment and the future of UK politics, so come to learn, listen, and share as we push forward tomorrow’s ideas.

What a conference this will be! Here’s some of what you’ve got to look forward to:

A Green Economy: a radical vision of an economy that works for everyone by firmly putting our planet at the heart of politics. We’ll have sessions on how do we get out of this economic mess?, what should the new economy look like? And meetings of the Economic Policy Working Group, the Basic Income Policy Working Group, and the Tax and Fiscal Policy Working Group.

A Green Planet: as the only Party recognising the urgency of dealing with environmental and climate threats, these issues will feature heavily. We’re launching our new Climate Change Campaign and looking at what does Brexit mean for our environment?. You can get involved via the Climate Change Policy Working Group. The agenda will also feature two important voting papers:
•Climate Change
•Forestry and Woodlands

What Next For The Green Party And For UK Politics?
Jonathan Bartley will chair a session on developing the Party’s political strategy. Then we’ve got motions on the following:
•Election Messaging Strategy
•Changing the Green Party Message
•Future Electoral Deals with other parties

Register now, and let’s make this the best conference yet!

Green Party member challenges TORY-DUP £1billion deal

A member of the Green Party in Northern Ireland has begun a legal challenge to stop the proposed £1 billion deal between the DUP and the Conservatives.

Green activist Ciaran McClean says the pact breaches the Good Friday Agreement and the Bribery Act.

Under the arrangement, the DUP guarantees that its 10 MPs will vote with Theresa May’s minority government on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and legislation relating to Brexit and national security – while Northern Ireland’s Stormont Executive will receive an extra £1 billion over the next two years.

Ciaran McClean has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the judicial review.

Ciaran McClean, Green Party member challenging the UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement.

On his crowdfunding webpage, Mr McClean, who stood as parliamentary candidate for the Green Party in West Tyrone in June’s election, says the government is “threatening hard-won peace” with its DUP deal.

The Tories are being propped up by the DUP in order to cling to power after the recent election. This horrifies me. It’s straight bribery – money for votes.”

Ciaran McClean has instructed his solicitor to serve a letter on the government; pointing to the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which states that the government undertook to exercise its power in Northern Ireland “with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions.

The letter states that any agreement between the DUP and the Conservatives would compromise the government’s independence and breach the reasonable expectation of the citizens of the North, that the Conservatives will act with rigorous impartiality.

David Greene, McClean’s solicitor, said there had been a “public outcry” over the deal.

It’s not a question of foisting views and the important point is this is about the rule of law,” he said.

This is about a citizen’s entitlement to go in front of a court and say that doesn’t look right and to be able to challenge it in some meaningful way.”

While other rival parties in Northern Ireland have largely welcomed the additional funding, concerns have been raised that the deal could undermine the peace process and devolution negotiations, with the UK government dependent on the support of the DUP.

If you wish to support Ciaran McClean’s crowdfunding campaign please click HERE.

Autumn Conference 2017

The Green Party Autumn Conference 2017 will be held at Harrogate Convention Centre, from Saturday 7th to Tuesday 10th October.

REGISTRATION
Members can register online via the members’ website from 1st July. They can book for as many or few days as they like, and can even pay on the door if they don’t wish to book in advance. Non-members are also welcome to attend as ‘Observers’. There is a limited access fund for members who would struggle with the costs.

For more information on travel, accommodation, and crèche, please visit the website.

TIMETABLE (what is happening when)
There will be a stimulating and packed four-day programme of policy-making, topical discussions, governance review, training and evening social sessions. By the end of August there will be a detailed timetable including the topics of the panel debates and fringe sessions and the training programme. In the meantime, members will be able to see an outline timetable on the website very soon.

Deadlines and online forms for applying to run a fringe or panel will be published soon, please check the website for more details in due course.

AGENDA (motions and voting papers)
Members will find detailed info on the Policy Process page on how to submit motions to conference.

Please note the agenda timetable:

30th June (midnight) – Pre-Agenda deadline: final date for posting of motions and policy papers to the policy discussion forums on the members’ website

14th July (midnight) – First Agenda deadline: Final date for notification of text of motions and policy papers to SOC

28th July – Publication of First Agenda.

18th August (midnight) – Final date for posting of amendments to the members’ website

25th August (midnight) – Final Agenda deadline: final text of amendments to SOC soc@greenparty.org.uk

15th September (midnight) – Final date for Late Motions to Conference (See Section A, clause 9 of the Standing Orders for the Conduct of Conference updated after Autumn Conf 2016)

Keep up to date with the plans for Autumn Conference on social with #GPConf and there is a facebook event here.

Chris Briton

We are very sad to learn of the passing of our dear, amazing friend and colleague Chris Briton. His family issued a short statement this afternoon:
Some of you will be aware that in March Chris was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He spent four weeks in hospital, then returned home to be cared for by us. He died at home on Monday 29th May shortly after dawn. We’re thankful to friends for all the help and support, as well as the medical and personal care that was available. Chris was content that, in his own words, he had 65 wonderful years.
Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Sarah and all of Chris’ family.
Rest In Peace.

Glastonbury elects 3rd Green Mayor!

On Tuesday, 9th May 2017, Cllr. Emma George became the 318th – and third successive Green – Mayor of Glastonbury!

Out-going Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins, proposed his Deputy for the position as the final motion of his Mayoralty, telling the assembled Councillors and members of the public:  “It is with great pleasure that I propose Cllr Emma George for election to the role of Mayor of Glastonbury.  I feel that the election of the current Deputy Mayor to the highest office is something that is both seemly and worthy.”

Out-going Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins, proposes Cllr. Emma George as his successor.  photo: Claire Herbaux, Central Somerset Gazette.

Seemly because as Deputy Emma has been a great support to me in my year of office.  Joining me on many Civic Occasions, and representing Glaston admirably and capably when I could not.”

Worthy because time and again she has show real leadership and professionalism with regard to the Council’s business.”

May I remind Councillors of how she negotiated favourably with Weedingtech; has worked diligently on helping to develop the Youth Council; has worked closely with the Police and One Team to help address anti-social behaviour in the town; has chaired with great skill the Town Centre Working Group, and supported the various projects and campaigns that have evolved from this forum.”

Her contribution to the Council’s Staffing Committee and as Chair of the Communications Committee reflecting the expertise and experience in these related industries.”

Finally, I would like to say that the role of Mayor demands that we rise above the petty divisions of politics to represent the whole community; to truly encapsulate the role of First Citizen.”

This is something that Emma has fully achieved in her capacity as Deputy Mayor.  And so, without further ado – I recommend that this Council elects Cllr Emma George as the 318th Mayor of Glastonbury.”

Emma’s nomination was seconded by Conservative Councillor Steve Henderson.  There were no other nominations, and Emma was elected Mayor by a unanimous vote.

The new Mayor of Glastonbury reads the ‘Declaration of Acceptance of Office’. photo: Claire Herbaux, Central Somerset Gazette.

In her acceptance speech, she said: “I will make sure to do my best to represent you all.  Jon is a hard act to follow. He has been an absolute pleasure to work with.”

I know I am heading into this year with great people around me.”

A first for Glastonbury!
Emma’s first act as Mayor was to preside over the election of Liberal Democrats Councillor Denise Abbot as Deputy Mayor; a first for Glastonbury – as the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor have never been held by two women during one Mayoralty before!

Cllrs. Emma George and Denise Abbott enthroned as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury. The first time that two women have sat at the top of table in the Council Chamber! photo: Claire Herbaux, Central Somerset Gazette.

As the third Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Emma follows Cllrs. Jon Cousins (2016-17) and Denise Michell (2015-16); a major achievement for the Green Party’s members and supporters in the South West.

General Election announcement

Our local Green Party members from the Sedgemoor, Mendip Hills, Glastonbury and Street branches have voted not to stand a candidate for the Wells Constituency in the forthcoming ‘snap’ General Election on 8th June 2017.

A party spokesperson stated today: “Last-minute efforts to forge a workable alliance have not borne fruit – during which process the decision not to stand a candidate was taken.

Hope that our position would informally support an ‘alliance tactical vote’ arose from strong feeling among the majority of local Green Party members for removing the Conservative MP in Wells.

The vote, however, was not unanimous, and there was a healthy, broad spectrum of opinion – from those who wished to stand a candidate, to those who did not wish to support any alliance, to those who felt the Green voters should vote tactically if they wish.”

Somerset Election Results!

In a day and night full of drama, the Green Party won its first seats on Somerset County Council.

Formerly held by the Liberal Democrats, Martin Dimery secured a stunning victory for the Green Party in Frome East with 983 votes; with another victory for the Greens in Frome West: John Clarke took the seat from former Independent Cllr Derek Tanswell with 987 votes.

John Clarke and Martin Dimery who won the first Green Seats on Somerset County Council

However, by far the largest Green Vote went to Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Jon Cousins – who received a massive 1,196 votes.  However, this was not enough to win a seat in the unique ‘double’ Glastonbury & Street Division.

Jon Cousins said after the result was announced, “We know from the verification of the ballot papers that only a handful of voters in Street voted for me – the incredible result is that over 1,100 people voted Green in Glastonbury!  This is a phenomenal vote.  It is higher than the vote that won Green seats in Frome.”

Jon Cousins received the largest ever vote for a Green at County level!

If Glastonbury was a single Division, Somerset could arguably have three Green Councillors returned this morning.  We need to ask the question:  Have the people of Glastonbury been disenfranchised by the cynical, politically motivated creation of this double Division?  I suggest that to anyone looking at the situation from outside, it could appear to be outright gerrymandering – the result of which means that no one in Glastonbury is now represented by a Councillor from Glastonbury…”

On a positive note, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.  1,196 votes is quite possibly the largest ever vote for a Green at County level in Somerset.  Thank you to all those hard working members and supporters of the Green Party in Glastonbury.  Together, we are a flourishing, strong, and stable political voice for the Common Good.”

Full results will be published on the Mendip District Council website, HERE:

Vote Today, the 4th of May!

Voting in the Somerset County Council Election, 4th May 2017.

The Greens Can Win This Election In Glastonbury & Street!

The Glastonbury & Street Green Party Candidate is Glastonbury Town Councillor Jon Cousins.

You can vote for up to two Candidates.  However, to give Jon the strongest Green vote, you can – if you wish – just vote for him only.

A single vote for Jon is completely acceptable, and will be counted.

HOW TO VOTE?

You do not need your Polling Card to vote, but you must be Registered as an Elector.

To find which Ward you are in, you can see a Glastonbury and Street Ward Map HERE.

The Polling Stations are open from 7 am until 10 pm.

WHERE ARE THE POLLING STATIONS?

Situation of Polling Stations for Glastonbury and Street:

Glastonbury Town Hall, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury, SOMERSET BA6 9EL
Polling Station 26, for Glastonbury St. Benedict’s Ward
Register Numbers beginning with AI

Glastonbury St Edmund’s Community Hall, Windmill Hill, Glastonbury, SOMERSET BA6 8EW
Polling Station 27, for Glastonbury St. Edmund’s Ward
Register Numbers beginning with AJ

Glastonbury United Reformed Church, The Meeting Room, High Street, Glastonbury, SOMERSET BA6 9DZ
Polling Station 28, for Glastonbury St. John’s Ward
Register Numbers beginning with AK

Glastonbury Town Hall, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury, SOMERSET BA6 9EL
Polling Station 29, for Glastonbury St. Mary’s Ward
Register Numbers beginning with AL

The Whithys Communal Hall, 24 The Whithys, Street, SOMERSET BA16 9PL
Polling Station 30, for Street North Ward No.1
Register Numbers beginning with BF

Street United Reformed Church, Orchard Road, Street, SOMERSET BA16 0ER
Polling Station 31, for Street North Ward No.2
Register Numbers beginning with BG

Street Wessex Hotel, Wessex Suite, High Street, Street, SOMERSET BA16 0EF
Polling Station 32, for Street North Ward No.3
Register Numbers beginning with BH

The Victoria Field Social Club, Victoria Field, Leigh Road, Street, SOMERSET BA16 0HB
Polling Station 33, for Street South Ward No.1
Register Numbers beginning with BI

The Victoria Field Social Club, Victoria Field, Leigh Road, Street, SOMERSET BA16 0HB
Polling Station 34 Street South Ward No.2
Register Numbers beginning with BJ

Brookside Primary School, The Community Room, Brooks Road, Street, SOMERSET BA16 0PR
Polling Station 35, for Street West Ward
Register Numbers beginning with BK

Full details on Mendip District Council’s Website HERE.