Glastonbury & Street Green Party

Archive for Denise Michell

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.

Promoting Glastonbury’s strong participatory democracy!

When first elected in 2011, Glastonbury’s ‘Green Four’ championed the creation of a new Town Council advisory committee dedicated to developing an integrated tourism and pilgrimage strategy to promote Glastonbury as cultural and spiritual centre of worldwide significance importance in the 21st Century.

As a result, ‘Promoting Glastonbury’ was convened as a forum for dialogue between councillors and the various stakeholders including our visitor attractions, independent shops and high street traders, tour guides, and the Tourist Information and Pilgrim Reception Centres.

A key development from Promoting Glastonbury was the town’s involvement with the EU’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate General’s new pan-European spiritual and cultural tourism route based on the legend of the Holy Grail:  The Grail Project.

Green Cllrs Jon Cousins (left) and Denise Michell (right) meet with the Grail Project’s Sharon Cooper and Professor Paul Fidgeon at the University of West London.

Green Cllrs Jon Cousins (left) and Denise Michell (right) meet with the Grail Project’s Sharon Cooper and Professor Paul Fidgeon at the University of West London.

Following the election in 2015, a stronger Green representation on the council reinvigorated the Promoting Glastonbury into a fully-fledged committee of Glastonbury Town Council, and reviewed its aims, objectives, and terms of reference.

As part of this review, a non-councillor member of the committee – Paul Lund – was appointed to the role of Deputy Chair; an unheard of departure from convention; demonstrating the Green’s commitment to their election manifesto to “foster strong participatory democracy”, within the council.

Wishing to increase non-councillor involvement, Cllr Jon Cousins researched the potential for unelected members of a committee to vote; discovering that – by virtue of the obscure Article 3 of the Parish and Community Councils (Committees) Regulations 1990* – non-councillor members of committees do have voting rights in respect of any function under s.144 of the 1972 Act relating to “the promotion of tourism”!

On Monday 23rd May 2016, history was made in Glastonbury’s Council Chamber when the first non-councillor Chair of a committee – Morgana West – was elected!  Non-councillor Paul Lund was duly re-elected as Deputy Chair…  This was followed by the first ever non-councillor proposal of a resolution; seconded by another non-councillor, and voted on by all the members of the Promoting Glastonbury Committee – elected and non-councillor members together!

 

* Section 102(3) of the Local Government Act 1972 provides that a local council can appoint persons who are not its members to committees and sub-committees (including joint committees and sub-committees).  By virtue of s.13 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, non-councillor members of committees and sub committees do not have voting rights except in respect of certain council functions.  By virtue of Article 3 of the Parish and Community Councils (Committees) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990/2476), non-councillor members of committees have voting rights in respect of any function under s.144 of the 1972 Act relating to the promotion of tourism.

South West Greener In

On 23 June, the UK goes to the polls to make a big decision: whether or not to remain a member of the European Union.

Greens believe that we must work together to address our greatest challenges, such as limiting climate change, stopping international tax avoidance and securing our future peace and security. It is essential that we make the case for the environment in this referendum campaign – as the establishment parties will not make it, because they are in hock to their corporate and wealthy individual funders.

We need your help so that the Green Party can make the responsible case for the UK remaining a constructive part of a Greener Europe, and to help us elect more great Green Councillors across the South West, like those featured in this short film.

Please donate what you can. here:
http://www.swgreenerin.org.uk/donate/

Any surplus funds raised and not used for the Greener In referendum campaign will be split equally between the South West’s 2019 European Parliamentary election campaign fund and Green Party South West’s day-to-day budget for supporting Green Party activity in the South West.

Rik Cook for St. Ben’s By-election!

The candidates have been announced for the Glastonbury St. Benedict’s ward by-election, which will take place on Thursday, 5th May 2016.

Glastonbury Green Party have selected Rik Cook as their candidate for the seat, which fell vacant earlier this year after Green Councillor Paul Sander-Jackson was forced to resign due to ill health.

St Ben's by-election Rik Cook and Mayor Denise Michell

Rik Cook with Glastonbury’s Mayor, Cllr Denise Michell at last year’s ‘Mayor’s Sunday’ celebration.

Rik is a local businessman who has lived in the St. Benedict’s ward for 25 years.  He is a single father, living with his daughter Hazel and their dog Ziggy.

For more than 20 years Rik worked in the Licensed trade in Glastonbury; first at The Market House and then at Tor Leisure, and has a great deal of experience supporting community ventures and dealing with Glastonbury Town Council on planning and licensing applications.

In 2010 he set up his own successful small business as a specialist painter and decorator, using eco-friendly paints and plasters to restore and refurbish traditional properties.

Rik helped establish a number of ongoing  community run events, including the Riders in the Sky Annual Ride Out, the Medieval Fayre, and the Glastonbury Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.  He also used sponsorship and promotion to build positive relationships with the town’s more traditional local clubs and associations such as Sea, Air, and Army Cadets, Skittles, Pool, Darts Leagues, local photography, Chess clubs, as well as local Rugby and  Football clubs, and pub cricket leagues.

Interviewed recently, Rik said, “I know the issues that concern St. Benedict’s residents, and understand the task we face as a community. These are difficult times and we’re facing many challenges, but I believe these can be overcome if we work together. I would be honoured to continue working for the community, as your representative on Glastonbury Town Council.”

St Ben's by-election nominations as published by Mendip District Council on Thursday 7th April

St Ben’s by-election nominations as published by Mendip District Council on Thursday 7th April

The Glastonbury GREEN – By-election Special !

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#VOTEPAUL2016

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part three]

Natalie Bennett’s visit to Glastonbury on 26th January, saw the Green Party leader meeting with members of the Last Bank Standing Campaign; listening to residents on Chilkwell Street and Cottle Close – to learn more about ‘Lighten the Load A361’; she also found time to meet some of Glastonbury’s Green Town Councillors, and to visit West Mendip Green Party members and supporters with Paul Lund – the Green Party Candidate in the Glastonbury St. Mary’s By-election (on 11th February).

At Glastonbury Town Hall, Natalie was delighted to meet with Glastonbury’s Green Mayor, Cllr Denise Michell, and Green Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jon Cousins in the historic Council Chamber.

Green Mayor, Green Deputy Mayor, and Green Party Leader by Ewan Jones

Green Mayor, Green Deputy Mayor, and Green Party Leader in Glastonbury’s Council Chamber. Photo by Ewan Jones

With the Greens holding minority-control of the Council, Natalie was very interested in the potential of Paul Lund’s election as an eighth Green Councillor (which would give the Greens a working majority), and she talked with Paul about the work he currently does as Deputy Chair of the Council’s Promoting Glastonbury Committee (Paul is the first non-councillor to hold such a position in the Council).

Natalie was also keen to hear about Paul’s pioneering work as the author of the town’s ‘Charter for the Environment’, which was adopted in 2012.

Paul Lund shows Natalie Bennett Glastonbury’s ‘Charter for the Environment’. Photo by Gabriel Avalon

Paul Lund shows Natalie Bennett Glastonbury’s ‘Charter for the Environment’ in Glastonbury Town Hall. Photo by Gabriel Avalon

In the afternoon Natalie and Paul visited Green Party members and supporters on the Redlands Estate, listening to their concerns and thoughts about the future of Glastonbury the A361 petition, the Green’s success at banning the use of the toxic herbicide glyphosate; protecting the town’s green spaces, the renewing of Glastonbury’s Fairtrade Town status, the new Green-led Neighbourhood Plan, and of course the loss of the banks.

Photos by Laura Zaky and Gabriel Avalon.

Photos by Laura Zaky and Gabriel Avalon.

Paul Lund, Green Candidate in the St. Mary’s By-election with Natalie in front of the Draper’s Factory mural. Photo by Gabriel Avalon.

Paul Lund, Green Candidate in the St. Mary’s By-election with Natalie in front of the Draper’s Factory mural. Photo by Gabriel Avalon.

Reflecting on her visit, Natalie said that the threatened closure of the town’s last two banks gave “One more example of our financial sector failing to meet the needs of communities; threatening businesses through lack of access to cash and lost custom.”

To support the Last Bank Standing Campaign, please click HERE.

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part one]

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part two]

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part one]

Natalie’s visit reported in the Central Somerset Gazette, 28th January 2016.

Natalie’s visit reported in the Central Somerset Gazette, 28th January 2016.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett visited Glastonbury on 26th January to meet with the Last Bank Standing Campaign.

Natalie’s visit certainly caused a stir, with a collection of photographers, press, and microphones following her in a walk around town, to meet with shop keepers, traders, and businesses; to hear directly how they will be affected by the threatened closure of Glastonbury’s two remaining banks.

Natalie Bennett walks around Glastonbury to hear about the impact of bank closures.

Natalie Bennett walks around Glastonbury to hear about the impact of bank closures. Photo by Laura Zaky.

A Green Man welcomed the Green leader, as Natalie was formally met at Glastonbury Town Hall by the Worshipful Denise Michell, Green Mayor of Glastonbury, her Deputy Cllr Jon Cousins, and key members of the Last Bank Standing Campaign.

Greenman welcomes Green leader - Natalie is formally welcomed by civic dignitaries and Last Bank Standing campaigners .

‘Green Man welcomes Green leader’ – Natalie is formally welcomed by civic dignitaries and Last Bank Standing campaigners. Photo by Ewan Jones.

During the visit, Natalie discussed how being denied access to a bank had social and economic impacts on a community.  She was delighted that Glastonbury’s Green Councillors had taken an active role in the campaign and creative action, saying, “Listening to the High Street’s businesses and traders; talking with people about the situation, Glastonbury clearly needs a bank.”

Natalie at Heaphy’s Café, photo by Laura Zaky.

Natalie at Heaphy’s Café, photo by Laura Zaky.

Natalie listening to businesses and traders during her visit

Natalie listening to businesses and traders during her visit – clockwise from top left: The Goddess and The Green Man, Dilliway & Dilliway, Blue Cedar Print Works, and Glastonbury Post Office. Photos by Laura Zaky.

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part two]

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part three]

Glastonbury is the “the mega-node” for the Holy Grail!

‘EU experts on trail of Grail in effort to boost tourism’ - 5th November 2015, Central Somerset Gazette.

‘EU experts on trail of Grail in effort to boost tourism’ – 5th November 2015, Central Somerset Gazette.

Glastonbury’s Green Councillors have taken an active role in ‘The Grail Project’, which seeks to develop and promote a new pan-European spiritual and cultural tourism route based on the legend of the Holy Grail.

The route endeavours to combine and number tourism destinations linked by an association with the Grail outlined in a set of stories myths and legends.

The project is sponsored by the EU Enterprise and Industry Directorate General (Directorate E – Service Industries).

Of all the European Holy places and sacred sites involved, only one is connected to all traditions: Glastonbury…

We are “the mega-node!” according to Professor Fidgeon…

Find out more information about The Grail Project here.

Honorary Freeman Ceremony for Geoffrey Ashe MBE FRSL

A magnificent day indeed: Geoffrey Ashe MBE FRSL is formally adopted as an Honorary Freeman of Glastonbury.

‘Ashe made Freeman and says: this recognition is magnificent’ - 15th October 2015, Central Somerset Gazette

‘Ashe made Freeman and says: this recognition is magnificent’ – 15th October 2015, Central Somerset Gazette

Glastonbury at the Green Party Conference

Glastonbury at the Green Party Conference with Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Her Worship Denise Michell - Mayor of Glastonbury, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury Cllr Jon Cousins, and Cllr Emma George

Left to Right: Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Her Worship Denise Michell – Mayor of Glastonbury, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury Cllr Jon Cousins, and Cllr Emma George

Wells meets Wales - the Green Party's Candidate for Wells, Cllr Jon Cousins, meets the Leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, at the Green Party of England and Wales Conference - also in the picture is the Right Worshipful Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Denise Michell.

Wells meets Wales – the Green Party’s Candidate for Wells, Cllr Jon Cousins, meets the Leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, at the Green Party of England and Wales Conference – also in the picture is the Right Worshipful Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Denise Michell.