Glastonbury & Street Green Party

Archive for Jon Cousins – Page 2

Switch EDF Off !

East Mendip Green Party will pay you to switch from EDF* to Ecotricity or Good Energy

• £40 for switching gas and electricity dual-fuel
• £20 for switching single fuel

Leader of the Green Party group on Mendip District Council and initiator of ‘Switch EDF Off’, Councillor Shane Collins posted on social media: “Feeling frustrated over Hinkley? So are we. EDF are in deep debt – 38billion and counting. Let’s switch EDF off by boycotting them. Please spread the word and let’s break EDF – and nuclear – and support renewables. It pays to go green!

Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Jon Cousins, endorses ‘Switch EDF Off’

Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Jon Cousins, endorses ‘Switch EDF Off’

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please take a look at the ‘Switch EDF Off’ website.

* As well as EDF, who are 65% nuclear, East Mendip Green Party will pay you to leave any provider of nuclear energy. For instance, British Gas is 35% nuclear. Check the fuel mix of your energy provider HERE.


Association highlights GSGP achievements

The Association of Green Councillors (AGC) has highlighted Glastonbury & Street Green Party’s members in their national review of ‘Green Councillor Achievements – Changing the way councils think 2014-2016’

Glastonbury’s Green Councillors feature at the top of the list of ‘Firsts’ – “celebrating Green solutions are cheaper and better for people”.

Featuring the Green led Town Council’s ban of chemical herbicides – proposed by Cllr Alyson Black in June 2015 – and the Council’s subsequent adoption of non-toxic weed control, the AGC website states:  “Glastonbury Greens managed to implement what is thought to be the country’s first ban on chemical herbicides (for use on council owned areas). They introduced Foamstream, an eco-friendly herbicide as a replacement.”

To find out more please visit the AGC website HERE.

Nationwide to open in Glastonbury!

Glastonbury’s Green Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins announces: “The Nationwide Building Society is opening a new branch in Glastonbury!

Following our community’s high profile Last Bank Standing Campaign earlier this year, the Nationwide Building Society has spent the last three months exploring the viability of opening a new branch in the town – consulting with various stakeholders, holding an on-line poll, and taking part in the Neighbourhood Plan consultation event on 14th and 15th October in the Town Hall.

On 18th November, the Nationwide issued the following statement:

Thank you to the whole Glastonbury community and those who have joined in showing their support for us coming to the town. We’re delighted to announce that Nationwide Building Society will be opening a branch in the heart of Glastonbury next summer with the location to be agreed early next year.

We’ll work closely with the local community to make sure your branch understands the services and facilities that you need. Above all, we want to provide a branch that works for the community and that will lead to local people actively using the service and opening accounts.

There will be lots of opportunity for the town to influence and help shape the branch over the coming months and you’ll be instrumental in its future and success.”

To find out more – visit the Nationwide’s website HERE.


Green Mayor meets Police & Crime Commissioner

Mayor of Glastonbury, Green Councillor Jon Cousins writes: On Tuesday 18th October, I met with Sue Mountstevens – the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) – at Glastonbury Town Hall.

The background to our meeting has been my attempt to help address the increasing anti-social behaviour that our community has been suffering for quite some time – the intimidation, drunkenness, racial and verbal abuse, and open drug dealing that so many of you have raised with me – a situation which came to a head with the serious assault near St. John’s Church on 14th September…

In preparation for the meeting, I’ve had several conversations with the local Police Beat Team; and the Deputy Mayor and I also met with Sergeant Slade and Inspector Nicholson… I also talked with an Area Commander, and I can tell you that – from Constable to Commander – I received the same response to my questioning:

The force seriously lacks resource; six years of cuts to the Police budget mean a loss of apparently 600-700 officers to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary…

13th September 2016, Green Mayor invites Glastonbury’s community to ‘Have Your Say’ to the PCC.

On 13th September 2016, Green Mayor invites Glastonbury’s community to ‘Have Your Say’ to the Police and Crime Commissioner.

On 13th September, I also asked you – Glastonbury’s community – for your thoughts on what I should raise with the PCC; to tell me your concerns; your issues; your ideas. I received lots of feedback from you, and I took a long list of the issues you raised to the meeting.

Finally, in the week before I met with Sue Mountstevens, I helped to arrange and took part a ‘multi agency’ meeting about crime in the town – with representatives from the police, town and district council, a number of support services, the PACT team, and the Church. This was very productive, and also gave me further points to raise.

Sue Mountstevens came to the Town Hall with her Staff Officer, Detective Sergeant Ashley Jones, and met with me and the Deputy Town Clerk, Gerard Tucker.

‘Give us back our town’ front page – Central Somerset Gazette, 22nd September 2016.

‘Give us back our town’ front page – Central Somerset Gazette, 22nd September 2016.

Not surprisingly, the first issue we discussed was anti-social behaviour; the main concern for so many of us in the town. I asked the PCC why there was a lack of a visible police presence in Glastonbury; why there was not a beat officer patrolling, on foot, up and down the streets in the centre of our town? Many of you had fed-back that you felt the lack of police presence contributed to the rise of anti-social behaviour over the summer.

Part of Sue Mountsteven’s response was a practical point – since PC Mark Pople moved to Street, Glastonbury’s Police Beat Team has been short staffed, with a number of officers coming into post and leaving again… However, the good news for Glastonbury is that Sergeant Martha Spikes – who previously worked in the town a few years ago – has transferred from Wells to join the local team.

The PCC also confirmed that in the future, Inspector Nicholson would be able to re-deploy officers to a ‘permanent’ day-time police presence in the High Street – something would certainly be prioritised next summer. However, the PCC did comment that with the reductions in the police budget officers could still be called away to other areas if required.

She informed us that the new Public Space Protection Orders – which Mendip District Council are currently developing – would also provide Glastonbury with a number of additional ‘Enforcement Officers’, who would work for the District Council.

We discussed the ‘multi-agency’ approach; particularly the work of the ‘One Team’ in dealing with troubled families and individuals. The PCC was pleased to hear about the meeting of the multi-agency group in Glastonbury the week before. One of the points raised at the Glastonbury multi-agency meeting was the proven effectiveness of ‘Street Pastors’ in dealing with street drinkers, addicts, and anti-social behaviour in Bristol. Sue Mountstevens told us about possible funding available to support Street Pastors team in our town.

‘Vicar: “This is worst I have known the High Street to be”.’ & ‘Mayor calls for more visible police presence’ – Central Somerset Gazette, 22nd September 2016.

‘Vicar: “This is worst I have known the High Street to be”.’ & ‘Mayor calls for more visible police presence’ – Central Somerset Gazette, 22nd September 2016.

Another issue that many of you are concerned about is the increase in drug dealing in the town – particularly of the most harmful and addictive Class A drugs, like heron and cocaine. This is something that the Police are fully aware of, however, as the PCC reiterated, without residents reporting incidents, there is a disconnect between police intelligence and local knowledge.

We discussed the fact that many people who have got in touch with me about witnessing crimes – such a drug dealing – are scared to report these incidents to the Police for fear of reprisal. Sue Mountstevens understood people’s reticence, and reminded me about Crimestoppers – the national confidential reporting charity (independent to the police) to which the public can make truly anonymous reports about any criminal activity of any kind. This seemed like a very useful option, and I am providing a link HERE for anyone who is interested:

We discussed issues around health and wellbeing, and the impact on policing from cuts in the support services for people with mental ill health, for the homeless, for vulnerable people, for addicts.

I mentioned the recent closure of Turning Point’s centre at the Old Library; the County Council’s cutbacks to the drug and alcohol service – this was an area that Sue Mountstevens was obviously passionate about, and she was not impressed by Somerset County Council’s performance. She said that as a result of the increased impact of mental ill health on the police service, she had placed professional mental health workers into the police call centres. Apparently, the only large authority in the Constabulary’s area not to financially support this service is Somerset County Council… !

I was amazed to hear the PCC talk about how 86% of the incidents Avon and Somerset deal with are not crime related – e.g. mental health incidents, safeguarding, and missing persons! I was shocked to discover that in the Avon and Somerset area, there are over 5,000 missing persons – many of them children…

Sue Mountstevens was very candid about the impact of the austerity funding cuts imposed by central government on the Police service as a whole, and that Avon and Somerset had been intentionally ‘dampened’ – provided with less resources than other constabularies, resulting in £14 million ‘missing’ from the budget; which means 350 fewer officers, PCSOs and staff than the average! Apparently, the PCC doesn’t have the power to set the amount of funding, and couldn’t explain why Avon and Somerset has seen a disproportionately low amount of funding!

I explained to the PCC that I was very disappointed to hear, from every level of the force – from Constable to Commander to Commissioner – about lack of resources. I asked: “If you are not responsible for funding the Police, who is?” “Brandon Lewis”, she replied, “the Policing and Fire Minister…

I will attempt to arrange a meeting with Brandon Lewis MP, he threatened to come and see me earlier this year, but he pulled out at the last minute…

In concluding our meeting, we discussed a number of options which might help the situation in Glastonbury.

1) as mentioned above, the deployment of officers for a ‘permanent’ day-time police presence in the High Street;

2) developing a Street Pastor team, to work as part of a multi-agency approach to addressing the anti-social behaviour;

3) encouraging people who are concerned about reporting crimes and incidents, for fear of reprisal, to use Crimestoppers

4) Special Constables – residents who have had enough, and would like to make a difference, could apply to join the Special Constabulary… There are apparently vacancies for over 300 Specials in Avon and Somerset! I have asked the PCC to contact the Special Constabulary Coordinator in respect to recruiting for Special Officers in the Glastonbury area, and to make a closer collaboration with the Town Council and Special Constabulary

5) Finally, there is the potential for Glastonbury to fund an additional PCSO post for the town… However, that is something I would like to know your thoughts on…

With regard to a Glastonbury funded PCSO:
a) there has already been some discussion by the Council’s Town Centre Working Group about funding a private security firm to ‘police’ Glastonbury…
b) until 2002, Glastonbury Town Council used to annually fund Glastonbury Fire Station’s second Fire Engine…
c) a Glastonbury PCSO, funded through the Council Tax would probably cost each household around £1 per month…

What do you think? Is £1 a month worth a dedicated Glastonbury PCSO?

I look forward to your comments.

Cllr Jon Cousins
Mayor of Glastonbury
Glastonbury Council, St. Edmund’s Ward
Town Hall, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury,
Somerset. BA6 9EL

Community invited to ‘Have Your Say’!

13th September 2016, Green Mayor invites Glastonbury’s community to ‘Have Your Say’ to the PCC.

13th September 2016, Green Mayor invites Glastonbury’s community to ‘Have Your Say’ to the PCC.

Dear Glastonbury community,
I have made arrangements to meet with Sue Mountstevens (the Police and Crime Commissioner for our area) in October – and would like to know what issues you feel should be raised with her about policing and crime in Glastonbury.
If you would like to share your thoughts and concerns, please send me an e-mail to

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Cllr Jon Cousins
Mayor of Glastonbury

Glastonbury Council, St. Edmund’s Ward
Town Hall, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury,
Somerset. BA6 9EL


Vigil For Nagasaki

Lest We Forget…
As a member of the international movement ‘Mayors For Peace’, Glastonbury’s Green Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins invited the community to join him in a vigil at Glastonbury’s Peace Pole at 6.30 pm on 9th August to remember Nagasaki.

Cllr Cousins read a message from the Mayor of Nagasaki, which was followed by a Silent Minute.

Cllr. Jon Cousins at Glastonbury Peace Pole.

Cllr. Jon Cousins at Glastonbury Peace Pole.

At 6.50 pm, he welcomed all those present to accompany him to the Town Hall, where at 7.02 pm a Silent Minute took place in the Council Chamber at the start of the August meeting of Glastonbury Town Council.

Following the Silent Minute, a number of those present addressed the Town Council about Nagasaki, the horror of nuclear war, their opposition to Trident, and the positive message of Mayors For Peace.

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Nagasaki following

Nagasaki following the atomic bomb attack, 9th August 1945

On 9th August 1945, Nagasaki was the target of the world’s second atomic bomb attack at 11.02 am, when the north of the city was destroyed and an estimated 40,000 people were killed by the bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man’.

According to statistics found within Nagasaki Peace Park, the death toll from the atomic bombing totalled 73,884, as well as another 74,909 injured, and another several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to fallout and other illness caused by radiation.

For more information about Mayors for Peace, please click HERE.

MEP Molly Scott Cato visits Glastonbury

South West MEP Molly Scott Cato visited Glastonbury recently to catch up with the town’s Green Mayor and Green Deputy Mayor, Cllrs Jon Cousins and Emma George.  It was a great photo-opportunity, and – obviously – a chance to discuss the impact of the Brexit vote, and Molly’s ideas about where she believes we need to go next.

Molly Scott Cato with Glastonbury’s Mayor, Jon Cousins and Deputy Mayor, Emma George.

Molly Scott Cato with Glastonbury’s Mayor, Jon Cousins and Deputy Mayor, Emma George.

Molly’s statement:

Many people are feeling a profound sense of sadness at the prospect of the UK, or England and Wales at least, leaving the EU.  I share this feeling and remain convinced that our future would be much safer and more prosperous inside the European Union.  This is not the result that Greens wanted; many activists and Green Party members worked tirelessly for many months to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU.  Personally, I worked as hard as I know how, travelling the region, making the arguments and listening to people on both sides.

People are understandably searching for reassurance and the referendum result has prompted a plethora of reactions and ideas about what we should do now.  Many people feel that the referendum was won on a false prospectus, and was a vote against something that had been turned into a bogeyman and with no alternative on offer.  I agree with this.

I was also profoundly shocked by the tactics of intimidation that were used during the campaign, and the inability of people to listen to views they did not share.  Being able to do so is the basis of democracy and I feel our most important task now is to stand together to defend democracy and the standards of public debate that we have traditionally enjoyed.  We must stand with communities across the UK to fight racism, xenophobia and discrimination; stronger communities can help heal the divisions caused by the referendum campaign.

I believe that the calls for an immediate rerun of the referendum would be undemocratic and add strength to the argument of those who say their voice is not heard.  However, this voice was only one of opposition, with no clear sense of what the alternative to EU membership might be.  I therefore believe that it would be valid to allow a second vote in the future, when it is clear what the alternative to EU membership would look like.

Although many of the debates during the referendum campaign were focused on European issues, underlying it was a power grab by senior politicians seeking to move our country radically to the right.  Since people from both right and left voted to leave the EU and there are a wide range of views about how we should proceed post-Brexit, the result has no weight in terms of what happens at Westminster.  Also, because the Prime Minister has resigned and Brexit will bring huge political upheaval, including the possible breakup of the United Kingdom, people should have a chance to have their say on the sort of country we want to build together.  This means that in my view an early general election before the end of year is inevitable.

Greens will be campaigning hard for democratic reform in the UK and for changing our outmoded electoral system to one that is truly representative.  We will explore possibilities for electoral alliances and pacts where we can agree on a progressive programme and commitment to proportional representation. 

I thank those of you who worked so hard to preserve our place in the Union that we value so much and I appreciate the very many messages of support and solidarity that you have sent.  These are dark days but by showing each other compassion and by standing together strongly in support of a revitalised democracy we can find a way to build a stronger and more peaceful country.”

To link to Molly’s website, click HERE

The magic of Glastonbury town!

As part of the ongoing policy to positively promote Glastonbury, the town’s Green Councillors were delighted that the BBC broadcast a feature on the town as part of its coverage of this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

Mayor Jon Cousins said:  “Getting maximum exposure for the town during Pilton was a priority discussed with the Festival’s representative on the Town Council’s ‘Promoting Glastonbury Committee’ during May’s meeting, and the idea developed from there.

The feature was shown prime-time on BBC 2 on the evening of Friday 24th June, and again on BBC2 on the afternoon of Saturday 25th June.  An estimated TV audience of 420,000 people watched Friday’s coverage!

Mayor of Glastonbury Jon Cousins and BBC presenter James Ballardie at Glastonbury Town Hall

Mayor of Glastonbury Jon Cousins and BBC presenter James Ballardie at Glastonbury Town Hall

BBC Radio 1 also got involved in promoting the town during the Festival, featuring Glastonbury’s Mayor on the Greg James Show’s ‘Mayor of Where’!

Chris Smith ‘with the News’ and Greg James go head-to-head in the Mayor Of Where, to guess where the Mayor comes from.  They asked me if the town had a Roman name, and I said that it was once called ‘Ynis Witrin’… they obviously thought I was in Wales, and seemed quite lost, until they asked if the town was known for any events.  I said: well we have an annual carnival and a cultural festival with theatre, arts, some comedy, and the odd Rock ‘n’ Roll band.  This seemed to have them stumped for a moment, and then Greg James said wait a minute…  It was great fun!

Mayor’s Tour of Glastonbury Festival

On Tuesday, 14th June, Glastonbury’s Mayor, Green Councillor Jon Cousins, visited Worthy Farm as the VIP guest of Michael Eavis in the annual ‘Mayor’s Tour’ of the Glastonbury Festival site.

Joining Jon on the tour were the Mayoress Lucia Forge and Deputy Mayor, Green Councillor Emma George.

Michael personally chauffeured the Mayor’s party around the festival in his Land Rover – stopping at various locations, including the world famous Pyramid Stage. Following the tour Michael treated his guests to lunch at ‘Goose Hall’.

Glastonbury Mayor Jon Cousins and Mayoress Lucia Forge, with Deputy Mayor Emma George (left) and Michael Eavis – at Worthy Farm, following their tour of the Glastonbury Festival site [photograph by Jason Bryant].

Talking about the visit later that day, Jon Cousins told GSGP’s Paul Lund: “It was absolutely wonderful to take the tour with Michael – what a privilege to see the site in the latter stages of preparation before the big event; to take a walk on the Pyramid Stage was a real highlight. It’s incredible how much hard work and dedication goes on behind the scenes by Michael and his amazing crew; it is huge, exciting, and marvellous – in the truest sense of the word – and that’s before the ticket holders arrive! No wonder Glastonbury is the most important and prestigious festival of the year. As Mayor, I know that Glastonbury is rightfully proud that our festival is the best in the world.”

Foamstream, a Green alternative to glyphosate!

In 2015 – following a resolution made by Green Councillors Alyson Black and Emma George – Glastonbury became the first UK Council to ban traditional, chemical herbicides such as glyphosate.  This film looks at the alternative weed-control method that Glastonbury Town Council has chosen: Foamstream.

Glastonbury Town Council’s resolution to ban chemical herbicides and use a plant-based alternative has been used as an example by both Bristol City Council and Shaftesbury Town Council in their moves to change from chemical herbicides to more environmentally friendly solutions; the Green Councillor’s initiative has been praised by literally thousands of people on social media and Glastonbury’s story has featured in articles and publications.

If you would like your Council to ban chemical herbicides – please share and re-post this video.  Let’s show that there is a different way of doing things for the common good!

Town hails weed control after banning chemical from Horticulture Week (29 April 2016).