by Dr Richard Tabor.
Published in the Central Somerset Gazette on Thursday, 28th February 2019.
In a rare moment of consensus ten of eleven Glastonbury Town Council members attending a meeting depleted by illness on Tuesday 12th February voted to pass a motion declaring a Climate Emergency put forward by two former mayors. Only Conservative representative and County Councillor Terry Napper abstained as other members from all parties voted in favour.
Green Party councillor Jon Cousins spoke to the motion which was supported by his colleague, Emma George. Citing the dire consequences of a 1.5 degree rise in global temperatures highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming’s 2018 special report on Climate Change the council’s ambitious Climate Emergency committed Glastonbury to:
“1) Continue to show foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having adopted an Environmental Charter, opposed fracking in the Mendips and throughout the UK, installed solar panels on the Town Hall roof, and banned single use plastics;
2) pledge to make the operation of Glastonbury Town Council carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.”
After reading out the motion Councillor Cousins spoke of the “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”, reminding his colleagues that Climate Change is a serious issue effecting everyone. He noted that Town Councillors as representatives of the community needed to take action because seemingly insignificant every-day actions, such as discarding a plastic bag, can have far reaching consequences as demonstrated by the vast amount of plastic waste floating in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
He went on to say that the decisions we make now as individuals, as communities and as a nation will be judged by our children and grandchildren who will have to deal with the consequences. In calling for the motion to be adopted he concluded that the council had a duty to future generations to be on the ‘right side of history’. He received eloquent support from Councillor Emma George who explained that other Councils across the UK had already passed similar motions and had pledged to make their towns carbon neutral by 2030. Only Councillor Napper was unwilling to support the motion as he felt that the word ‘pledge’ was too strong. The passing of the vote was received with huge cheer from an uncharacteristically full public gallery.
Glastonbury’s Green Councillors are absolutely delighted that – this evening – Glastonbury Town Council declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ and pledged to make the operation of Council carbon neutral by 2030; with cross-party support for the Climate Emergency Motion proposed and seconded by Green Councillors Lindsay MacDougall and Jon Cousins.
Climate Emergency Motion:
In light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming’s 2018 special report on Climate Change – warning of the dire consequences of a 1.5 degree rise in global temperatures, and highlighting the need for rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society – this Council declares a ‘Climate Emergency’ and will:
1) continue to show foresight and leadership when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having adopted an Environmental Charter, opposed fracking in the Mendips and throughout the UK, installed solar panels on the Town Hall roof, and banned single use plastics;
2) pledge to make the operation of Glastonbury Town Council carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions.
Have you got that burning sense of injustice and would like to channel it on the front line of debate? …then please come and stand with us!
There are many ways in which you can help get your voice heard:
In Glastonbury, there are 16 seats on the Town Council, and we already have more Town Council candidates confirmed than any of the other parties! However, we want 16 GSGP members to stand; ‘a full slate’ – which proved a winning strategy last time.
Find out more, please contact Christine Prior – Local Party Contact & Membership Secretary, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The votes for the Green Party Leadership, Executive, and Policy Development Committee elections are in and have been counted.
The results are as follows:
Co-Leaders: Jonathan Bartley & Siân Berry
Deputy Leader: Amelia Womack
Campaigns Co-Ordinator: Britta Goodman & Caroline New
Chair: Liz Reason
Elections Co-Ordinator Tom Beament & Judy Maciejowska
Equalities and Diversity Co-ordinator: Claudine Letsae
External Communications Co-Ordinator: Rob Shepherd
Finance Co-Ordinator: Sebastian Sandys
International Co-Ordinator: Michal Chantkowski & Alice Hubbard
Management Co-Ordinator: Zoe Nicholson
Policy Development Co-Ordinator: Ronald Stewart
Trade union Liaison Officer: Paul Valentine
Policy Development Committee (PDC): Emma Robson, Ben Samuel, and Linda Freeman
See more details on the GPEW website
Thank you to everyone who voted. The Green Party is proud to be a grassroots democratic movement and these important elections can’t happen without you.
Deputy Electoral Returning Officer, Green Party of England and Wales
Message from GSGP Membership Secretary, Christine Prior:
“GSGP are holding a regular local Green Party branch members’ meeting on the first Wednesday of each month, at 7 pm in the Morland Room of the Red Brick Building. It is a good meeting place and it would be great to see you there one of these days.”
Up-and-coming 2018 GSGP members’ meeting dates are as follows: 1st August, 5th September, 3rd October, 7th November.
The Red Brick Building is on the Morland Enterprise Park, (Morland Road, Glastonbury BA6 9FT).
On 23rd June, Green Party members joined over 100,000 people who marched on Parliament Square to demand a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.
Green Party Leader, Caroline Lucas, was among the speakers who argued the case for Britain to remain in the EU at the rally in London. Caroline said that a new political consensus needed to be built around the campaign to remain in the European Union.
“We can’t afford to be defenders of the establishment, of some kind of vapid centrism that has failed in the past and will fail again. Our campaign must be radical, it must be young, it must be diverse; it must listen to people, empower them and create reasons for hope; it mustn’t simply make economic threats and call those who threatened to leave ‘stupid’. We must be different to win and we have to win.”
On freedom of movement, Caroline said that it was a “precious gift to be able to travel, work, study and live and love in 27 countries,” continuing: “We should be celebrating freedom of movement, not apologising for it!”