24
Sep 21

Glastonbury Declares Ecological Emergency

Global climate strike photo copyright © Garry Knight CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Glastonbury and Street Green Party is delighted to report that Glastonbury declared an Ecological Emergency at the September meeting of Glastonbury Town Council.

The Ecological Emergency Declaration Motion – proposed by Green Cllr. Serena Roney-Dougal and seconded by Glastonbury’s Green Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins – received cross-party support and was passed unanimously.  It reads:

This Council resolves to declare an Ecological Emergency – recognising that the planet is experiencing an Ecological as well as a Climate Emergency – and will take this into account in any decisions made.

Glastonbury Councillors vote in favour of the Ecological Emergency Declaration Motion.

Background Information for the Motion:

In addition to:

  1. adopting our ‘Glastonbury Charter for the Environment’ in April 2012,
  2. becoming a ‘Frack Free Council’ in February 2013,
  3. banning the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides on all council owned land and public spaces in August 2015,
  4. committing to be ‘single use plastic free’ in November 2017,
  5. declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ in February 2019 – pledging to make our operation carbon neutral by 2030 – and
  6. becoming the second ‘Earth Protector Town’ in the world in September 2019 – calling for Ecocide to be recognised as an ‘atrocity crime’ at the International Criminal Court.

This Council acknowledges that:

  • Our societies and economies are intimately linked with and depend on biodiversity and nature. The natural world is essential for the provision of nutritious food (with soil and pollinators having a vital role), clean water, clean air, medicines, protection from extreme weather, as well as being our source of energy and raw materials.
  • The recent outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease in the Republic of Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo have highlighted the relationship between people and nature. When we destroy and degrade habitats, we increase the risk of disease spill-over from wildlife to people.
  • The State of Nature 2019 report highlighted the critical decline in biodiversity in the UK. Changes in farming practices have had the biggest effect in recent decades and the impact of climate change is now increasing. 15% of UK species are classified as threatened with extinction and 2% are already extinct.
  • The State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020 report from Royal Botanic Gardens Kew estimated that 39.4% of plants are now threatened with extinction. This is a jump from one in five plants thought to be at risk in Kew’s 2016 report.
  • The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs’ Environment Bill will require the introduction of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy and Nature Recovery Networks.
  • Actions to restore nature and biodiversity, as well as being vital for their own sake, often have an important co-benefit of storing carbon, so help address climate change.
  • People’s access to ‘green spaces’ to understand and appreciate biodiversity and a rich, natural world, private or public, is unequal.

To support this declaration, this Council will:

  1. Rename the ‘Climate Emergency Advisory Committee’ to the ‘Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee’, to support councillors and council officers address these twin emergencies.
  2. Add ecological impact implications alongside those for climate and sustainability in committee and council reports.
  3. Ensure that addressing the climate and ecological emergencies and nature recovery are considered as strategic priorities – identifying appropriate areas for habitat restoration and biodiversity net gain, and ensuring that any potential development limits impact on existing habitats, whilst also working on the principle of increasing equality of access for people to natural, green spaces – for example: i) improving biodiversity by encouraging the rewilding of the natural flood plain areas of the Levels and Moors, ii) supporting the competent determination of planning applications by the Local Planning Authority and encouraging Habitats Regulations Assessments to reduce the high levels of phosphates in the Somerset Levels and Moors (designated as a Special Protection Area under the Habitat Regulations 2017 and listed as a Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Convention).
  4. In keeping with the urgency of this declaration, work with other councils to support the development of ‘Nature Recovery Networks’ and a ‘Nature Recovery Strategy’ for Somerset, as and when required by The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.
  5. Look for opportunities to work in partnership with other councils, local charities, and environmental organisations to deliver nature recovery in Somerset, and support local land management practices that protect and restore the natural world.
  6. Support the development of a county-wide ‘Tree Planting Policy and Strategy’ to support nature protection and recovery and carbon sequestration.
  7. Ensure the Council’s Property and Assets Committee considers opportunities for biodiversity enhancements and tree planting on Council landholdings, and formalising purchasing policies that are consistent with this declaration.
  8. Write to all Somerset’s MPs urging them to support the Climate and Ecological Bill, a private member’s bill, in keeping with the declarations of this Council.
  9. Listen to members of the community who report concerns or ideas relating to these issues.
    Have an ongoing approach to learn from best practice, as well as mistakes, and to share the ‘lessons learnt’.

 


 

8
May 21

Thank You to everyone who voted for Harry

Congratulations to the Conservative Party candidate Clive Bishop, who has won the Glastonbury Town Council by-election for the St Benedict’s Ward.  Clive Bishop took the seat with 278 votes, just ahead of Harry, who received 224 votes.

Glastonbury and Street Green Party would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted for Harry on Thursday; the local press are describing the election as the Conservatives “in a close battle with the Green Party”.

The other results were: the Lib Dem candidate Maggie Dear came third with 123 votes followed by the Glastonbury Independent candidate Emma Jane King, who polled 88 votes.

Posting on social media, Harry said: “Many congratulations to Clive Bishop on winning the by-election. I spoke to Clive at the count and he was gracious and generous in victory. I am confident he will work hard for the ward and the town, and I wish him all the best.” Adding, “Huge thanks to those who voted Green; I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get us over the line on this occasion.”

3
May 21

PCC Candidate Cleo Lake Visits Glastonbury!

GSGP members were delighted to welcome the Green Party candidate for the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner election – Cleo Lake – to Glastonbury today.

Cleo meets Harry and some of the GSGP team who have been canvassing over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Cleo met-up with Harry Wood, our Green candidate for the St. Ben's By-election and walked around town; meeting residents and listening to the issues that concern local people.

In a post from later that day, Cleo stated: “An inspiring visit to meet fellow Green Party friends and colleagues, residents and by-election candidate Harry Wood in Glastonbury today. Outstanding examples of Greens getting things done!”

We say: #VoteGreen #VoteCleo #VoteHarryWood on Thursday 6th May!

Find out more about Cleo's campaign HERE.

19
Mar 21

Harry Wood – Green Candidate for the St. Ben’s By-election

The St Benedict’s Ward by-election has been called following the tragic and untimely death of our well-loved friend and colleague, Green Councillor and twice Mayor of Glastonbury, Denise Michell.  Glastonbury’s Green by-election candidate, Harry Wood, is standing to make sure that Glastonbury Town Council remains Green, and that the social and environmental causes we champion in our town will continue.

About Harry:

I am standing as the Green Party Candidate for the St Benedict’s Ward by-election in May 2021. I have lived in Glastonbury since May 2018, having moved down from Bristol. I grew up in Leamington Spa, and lived and studied in Liverpool before moving to the South West. I feel very at home in Glastonbury, and know I am privileged to have become part of a diverse, unique community.

I work as a Rights of Way Modification and Commons Officer at Somerset County Council, and am interested in land management, rewilding, and public rights of way. I previously worked for Bristol-based reuse charity Children’s Scrapstore; my role concentrated on reducing waste, encouraging reuse, promoting recycling, and helping to develop a circular economy. I am a keen cyclist and walker, an enthusiastic but novice gardener, a bass player, and a long-suffering Coventry City fan. I am an active member of the Glastonbury and Street Green Party and have served as Local Party Coordinator and Membership Secretary since May 2019.

I have always been interested in politics and joined the Green Party in 2016. For me the Greens have always been on the right side of the key issues throughout my lifetime, from promoting investment in green energy through to the anti-austerity campaign, and from campaigning against foreign military interventions through to fighting for meaningful action on climate change. I also strongly believe in cooperation and dialogue, and feel that the adversarial nature of the current political climate is disastrous for democracy and political accountability. I feel that the climate and ecological emergencies should be the starting point for all political and policy decisions, and this shift in perspective is just as important at the local level as it is in Westminster.

1
Oct 19

Climate Emergency – People’s Assembly

Glastonbury’s Green Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins, will open Glastonbury’s Climate Emergency – People’s Assembly at 1 pm on Saturday, 26th October at Glastonbury Town Hall. Doors open 12:30 pm, event closes at 3 pm.

In February, Glastonbury became the first council in Somerset to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ – and pledge to make the operation of the council carbon neutral by 2030 – when it passed a motion to address the impact created through the misuse of our planet by mankind.  Many other councils have since followed Glastonbury’s lead, including Mendip District Council and Somerset County Council.

Our town, countryside, and the way we live will be increasingly affected by flooding, access to food sources, transport, and communication. How can we ensure that we have a resilient and sustainable community that we will be proud to leave for the next generation? What practical steps can we take? What can we offer? To learn more, join us to listen to presentations and view exhibits.

Come along and learn more about the depth of the issue and find out how to make your voice heard.

Speakers include:

  • Bruce Garrard: Resilience, Restoration, Relinquishment, and Reconciliation (the 4Rs)
  • Cllr. Paul Lund: the United Nations Conference of People 25 (UNCOP 25)
  • Cllr. Lindsay MacDougall, Green Mendip District Councillor for Glastonbury St. Mary’s Ward and Hayley Warren, Mendip District Council’s Climate Change Officer: Climate Emergency

After the speakers, a People’s Assembly will be held – this is a format which ensures every person’s voice is heard and, together, a community plan of action will be created.

For more information contact Glastonbury Town Council:
e-mail: office@glastonbury.gov.uk
telephone: 01458 831 769

To reduce your carbon footprint please either walk, cycle, car share, or use public transport.

10
Sep 19

Glastonbury Becomes World’s 2nd Earth Protector Town

Following a unanimous vote at the September meeting of the Town Council, Glastonbury has become the second Town Council in the world to become an Earth Protector Town and is now part of the programme which will be completed next year on World Earth Day, producing a framework which will then be rolled out globally.

This radical step means that the town undertakes to collaborate and cooperate with all to put the Earth First and support the realignment of Law, pledging to the moral code of: ‘first do no harm’.

It may sound like an impossible dream, given the precarious nature of systems in the World at the moment, but the Earth Protectors movement to Stop Ecocide has organised a Global Crowd Trust fund to provide legal support to small island states to go to the International Criminal Court and seek an Amendment to The Rome Statute to include a Law against Ecocide. Together we have the power to change the World, literally.

There are already four Crimes against Peace:

  • The Crime of Genocide
  • War Crimes
  • Crimes against Humanity
  • Crimes of Aggression.

The Crime of Ecocide was originally to be included in The Rome Statute, but was dropped at the last moment from undue pressure by four wealthy nations, including the UK.

From the moment an Application to Stop Ecocide is accepted by the ICC, there will be an immediate effect on multinationals’ and governments’ behaviour, as insurers and banks will gradually withdraw their support from any industrial activity that is related to ecocide.

From the moment Ecocide becomes a crIminal offence and not a civil offence, CEOs and Government Officials will risk going to jail, and insurers and bankers will cease to support their activities altogether. At present CEOs highest legal responsibility is to their shareholders to make a profit. This will come to an end.

The Earth Protectors movement Stop Ecocide continues to steadily gain ground, attracting support from a range of notable people and barristers, from Deepak Chopra to Dame Janet Goodall, from the late Michael Meacher to David Hart QC and Michael Stewart QC. Other towns are on the road to becoming Earth Protector towns such as Totnes, and Frome. There are also towns in Greece and Portugal moving towards pledging themselves.

In line with declaring itself an Earth Protector Town (working from the bottom at local level), Glastonbury has also passed a motion to support the passing of an Ecocide law at the Highest Judicial Court in the World recognised by the United Nations (working from the top down). It is envisaged that these two interlinked movements will pay a large part in the reshaping of the world in response to the current Ecological Social, and Economic climate, and will give our children hope for the future as we undergo a paradigm shift in order to survive.

There will be a short Ceremony marking the Pledge for Glastonbury to become an Earth Protector town during the Second Climate Emergency Event and People’s Assembly at the Town Hall on Saturday, 26th October. The entire community will be very welcome to attend on what the Council hopes will be a very special occasion.

For more information about Earth Protector Towns and Stop Ecocide, please click HERE.

31
Aug 19

Glastonbury Climate Emergency Day!

Glastonbury’s Green Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins, will compère this special Climate Emergency Day event, which focuses on “Lifestyle Choices and Sustainable Future for Our Community”; open from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday, 21st September 2019, at Glastonbury Town Hall.

Featuring key-note speaker Anita Van Rossum of Stop Ecocide, giving a talk on the urgent importance of ecocide being recognised as a crime and the Earth Protector Town initiative.

“We are facing an emergency and communities countrywide are trying to find ways to lessen its impact”.

This is a free event is organised by Glastonbury Town Council, Somerset Waste Partnership, local community food growers, Extinction Rebellion, Plastic Free Glastonbury, Friends of the Earth, and Earth Protectors.

There will be guest speakers, films, and stalls with information and advice on sourcing local food produce and growing your own; switching to renewable energy; how to reduce consumption; reducing plastic use; recycling; composting; and gardening for wildlife.

For more information please click HERE.