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.

12
Mar 21

Become a Friend of the Green Party

GREEN FRIEND
The Green Party is the only UK party inviting everyone to become a Green Friend.

You don’t have to be a member of the Green Party to show you care about politics and the planet.

Together, our Friends are helping to strengthen the voice of progressive green leadership in British politics.

So whoever you are, whatever matters to you, be that. And be Green too.

Your voice matters to our democracy.

Click HERE to become a Green Friend today!

 

23
Feb 21

Green’s call for Universal Basic Income trial in Mendip

At the Mendip District Council meeting on Monday, 22nd February, councillors passed a motion overwhelmingly to support a trial of Universal Basic Income in Mendip.

The motion was proposed by Cllr. Shane Collins, leader of the Green Party Group, and seconded by Cllr. Ros Wyke, LibDem leader of Mendip – and passed with cross party support.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr. Collins said:

“Tonight the council voted overwhelmingly to support our motion for a UBI trial in Mendip. Many thanks to the 29 Green and LibDem councillors who voted in favour. Our next step is to write to the government asking for a trial – so don’t hold your breath – but Mendip is now one of many councils who have asked for a trial. This is progressive pressure to make sure UBI is debated at (and before) the next election.”

“In a time of COVID, Brexit, Artificial Intelligence, the ‘gig economy’, and Climate Emergency, the amount of paid jobs are shrinking and with 5.8 million people on Universal Credit and often falling through the net, now is the time for a UBI trial in Mendip.”

“UBI would simplify and replace benefits such as Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits and work alongside housing benefit and carers allowance, with additional UBI payments for groups of people who experience barriers to working, including disabled people, single parents and people of pension age – offering basic financial security for all people at a time when it is needed more than ever.”

The motion in full:

A Universal Basic Income Trial in Mendip

Motion to be moved by: Shane Collins, Keyford Ward Green Party Councillor, seconded by Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of MDC.

Date submitted: 9th February 2021.

Passed: 22nd February 2021.

This council notes:

1. The drastic impacts of the Covid pandemic on employment and household incomes in Mendip, in particular the self employed, those on zero hours contracts and people working in the arts, festival and cultural industries.

2. The threat to income and employment from Brexit, climate breakdown, automation and artificial intelligence, which could affect a great many more jobs in future;

3. The development of universal basic income (UBI) trials in other countries, which offer a non-means-tested sum paid by the state to cover the basic cost of living, which is paid to all citizens individually, regardless of employment status, wealth, or marital status, which has been widely debated in recent months;

4. The resolutions of other local authorities including Sheffield, Bristol, Oxford, Birmingham, Lewes, and Brighton and Hove (with cross party support) calling for trials of UBI;

5. A network of Universal Basic Income Labs has been set up and works with local authorities across the UK developing UBI proposals to address problems such as poverty, inequality, discrimination and environmental damage, long-term and immediately, in relation to coronavirus.

6. UBI has been Green Party Policy since the 1970s and now taken up by the Liberal Democrats and more recently the Labour manifesto calling for a UBI trial.

7. The time has come for Universal Basic Income.

This council believes:

1. That the current benefit system is failing citizens, with Universal Credit causing hardship to many communities;

2. A UBI is the fairest, most effective way to mitigate the effects of coronavirus on people’s incomes as it does not discriminate between employment status, caring responsibilities, age, or disability when providing basic support;

3. There is a danger of increasing numbers of people facing poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis;

4. Testing a UBI is needed, as a UBI has the potential to help address key challenges such as inequality, poverty, precarious employment, loss of community, and breach of planetary boundaries through:

i. Giving employers a more flexible workforce whilst giving employees greater freedom to change their jobs;

ii. Valuing unpaid work, such as caring for family members and voluntary work;

iii. Removing the negative impacts of benefit sanctions and conditionality; and

iv. Giving people more equal resources within the family, workplace and society;

v. Breaking the link between work and consumption, thus helping reduce strain on the environment.

vi. Enabling greater opportunities for people to work in community and cultural activities or to train or reskill in areas that will be needed to transition to a lower-carbon economy.

5. The success of a UBI pilot should not be measured only by impact upon take-up of paid work, but also the impact upon communities and what the people within them do, how they feel, and how they relate to others and the environment around them; and

6. Given its history of social innovation, wealth of expertise, and active networks across community, business and public services, Mendip is ideally placed to pilot a UBI.

Full Council calls on the Chief Executive / Leader to:

1. Send a joint letter with the other party leaders to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the leader of the party in Government, their counterparts in all opposition political parties in parliament, and all local MPs, and media asking for a trial of Universal Basic Income in Mendip citing the above reasons.

14
Sep 20

Join The Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign!

Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr. Jon Cousins, joins Extinction Rebellion outside the Town Hall to call on Somerset County Council to divest from fossil fuel companies.

At the end of August, all five councils in Somerset were targeted by Extinction Rebellion over investments in fossil fuels by the councils’ pension fund.

Somerset is on the front line of climate change. Climate Change has caused, and is predicted to cause, a much greater risk of flooding and extreme weather. After the devastating floods of the Somerset Levels in 2013, Somerset County Council saw the terrible impact of climate change first hand. The Council recognises the potential impacts of climate change yet its pension fund invests over £120,000,000 in the very fossil fuel companies that are causing climate change!

Since 2015, Greens in Mendip have been leading the call for Somerset County Council to divest from fossil fuel.

Green Party district councillor for Frome Keyford, Shane Collins, who is leading the campaign for the SCC pension fund to divest, said: “Somerset County Council recognises that it must do whatever it can to tackle climate change and it has a responsibility to divest from an industry that jeopardises the future of our planet.”

“Instead of fossil fuel investment, SCC Pension Fund Committee should invest in solutions to climate change; investments that protect pensions and planet, joining The British Medical Association, Bristol City Council, and Oxford City Council – who have all recently agreed to make the commitment to no direct investment in the fossil fuel industry.”

Please sign our petition, and share widely.

Over one thousand people so far have signed the petition urging the council to heed the advice of financial experts and remove its investments from overvalued fossil fuel companies, but so far the council seems unwilling to acknowledge how it contributes to climate change with these unwise investments.

Useful links:

Our petition - please sign!

Fossil Free UK

28
May 19

Molly is re-elected!

The Green Party is celebrating a spectacular election result that has seen the number of MEPs in England double, rising from three to seven!

The first Brussels Green Party representatives were elected in the Eastern, North West, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber regions.  Greens seats were retained in London, the South East, and here in the South West, where Molly Scott Cato was re-elected.

Nationally, our votes topped 2 million and we finished fourth in the total vote above the Conservative Party, the first time the Greens have beaten the Tories in a national election...

Green co-leader, Sian Berry, said: “Following on from our spectacular local election results where we more than doubled our representation, tonight’s result is proof of the size and power of the Green Wave that is sweeping across the country.  Our message of ‘yes to Europe, no to climate change’ clearly resonated strongly with voters, many of whom will have been casting their vote for our party for the first time.  We topped the poll in Bristol, Norwich, and Brighton and Hove, and scored brilliant seconds in Sheffield, Cambridge, and Oxford.”

In Mendip, we came third – beating both Conservatives and Labour – taking a staggering 22.8% (302,364) of the vote!


6
May 19

European Parliamentary Elections, Thursday 23rd May 2019

Help re-elect Molly Scott Cato as Green MEP for the South West

Molly has been clear on Brexit and has campaigned across the region for a People’s Vote and to stop the Brexit chaos.

Molly has been strong on climate, campaigning for rapid investment in renewables, working on sustainable finance law, and helping shaping a Green New Deal.

Molly is an economist who has challenged rising inequality and fought tax avoidance by large companies and the ultra-wealthy.

As well as Molly, we have five other outstanding candidates on the Green list: Cleo Lake, Carla Denyer, Tom Scott, Martin Dimery, and Karen La Borde.

Why is this election so crucial?
This European Parliament election on 23rd May is the most important in our history.  As we teeter on the brink of a catastrophic Brexit it offers us a vital opportunity to show that the will of the people has changed.  Molly is the most clearly Remain MEP in the South West.  A strong vote for Molly and the Green Party will help increase pressure for a People’s Vote; and we can use the European Elections as a proxy referendum.

Just as importantly, you can help make sure that EU policies develop in a way that’s good for the environment, good for the climate, and good for people’s quality of life.