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.
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 Sunday, 10th June, Green Councillor Alyson Black was formally inaugurated as the Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury at St. John’s Church.
Alyson, who is Chair of Glastonbury’s Fairtrade Town Steering Group, will also become Chair of the Town Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee as part of her new role. Outside of her work as a Town Councillor, Alyson spends time volunteering for Glastonbury Abbey’s wildlife area and for rescued horses.
Speaking about being Deputy Mayor, Alyson said, “This year, as my focus, I would like to work with the wildlife organisations in our area to protect and develop wildlife sanctuaries, and also Glastonbury’s wildlife corridors – as mentioned in the Neighbourhood Plan.”
“Make a difference to your local community through volunteering” was the message when CSW You Can Do joined Glastonbury’s new, Green, Deputy Mayor Cllr. Alyson Black to celebrate the launch of Volunteers Week 2018 by hosting a Volunteer Fair at Glastonbury Town Hall, on Friday 1st June.
This was Alyson’s first official engagement as Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury, a role in which she will be formally inaugurated on Mayor’s Sunday later this month!
Glastonbury & Street Green Party is delighted to announce that Green Councillor Alyson Black was elected Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury with a unanimous vote at last night’s Town Council ‘Mayor Making’ meeting.
Although she is our new Deputy, Alyson is no stranger to Mayoral Engagements because she was the Deputy Mayor’s Escort to Glastonbury’s first Green Deputy Mayor – Cllr. Denise Michell – in 2014/2015.
Alyson’s formal Civic Inauguration will take place at St. John’s Church on Mayor’s Sunday, 10th June.
Message from GSGP Coordinator, Denise Michell:
“A video featuring Deputy Leader Amelia Womack explaining to members and activists why it is so important to get out canvassing in the run up to local elections. We here in Glastonbury and Street do not have any elections coming up at this time, but I believe this is a useful piece of kit to have in our tool box!”
“Together we can make a difference!” An excellent video from the Association of Green Councillors on why people from across the country stand for election and become Green Councillors.
David Attenborough: “Unless the flow of plastics and industrial pollution into the ocean is reduced, marine life will be poisoned by them for many centuries to come.”
GSGP are very pleased to announce that on Tuesday, 14th November 2017, the following motion – proposed by Green Mayor Emma George and seconded by former Green Mayor Jon Cousins – was passed… although not after some heated discussion across the Council Table about the ‘relevance’ of the subject matter:
“That this Council aims to become a ‘single-use plastic free’ council by phasing out the use of unnecessary and unrecyclable single-use plastic (SUP) products such as bottles, cups, cutlery and drinking straws in all council activities by April 2018, and to encourage our facilities’ users and local businesses to do the same by championing alternatives.”
As far as we are aware, Glastonbury is the first Council in Somerset to take this stand.