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.
Do we want to create a new type of community-owned, mutual bank in the South West? This was the question posed at a meeting held on 12th October in Glastonbury Town Hall – organised by the Last Bank Standing team with the Royal Society of Arts and the Community Savings Bank Association…
Do you want to own a Community Bank?
Imagine if there was a bank dedicated to the South West that put the welfare of its local communities before profits. A bank that helped local economies to grow by supporting all residents to upskill, regardless of their financial means. A bank that empowered people to grow their ideas into thriving local businesses. A bank that people trusted. What might the South West look like in twenty or thirty years time?
During the evening, the RSA’s Director of Economics, Tony Greenham, discussed the economic and social case for regional banks, and explored the opportunities and challenges of creating a truly co-operative bank dedicated to the South West.
The need for regional banking was highlighted in the RSA’s Inclusive Growth Commission, which highlighted that the lack of access to appropriate banking and financial tools can have a serious impact on people on low incomes or with a poor financial history, as well as on SMEs and micro businesses.
Incredibly, there are over 1.7 million adults in the UK that don’t have a bank account, while at the same time the pace of branch closures has accelerated rapidly, leaving 1,500 communities without a bank – as we are well aware here in Glastonbury!
Whilst already severe, these challenges are likely to become even more acute in the context of Brexit and upcoming reforms to local government financing. There has never been a more urgent need to rebalance the UK economy.
The RSA are supporting the Community Savings Bank Association to create a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks to serve the everyday financial needs of ordinary people, local community groups, and small and medium sized companies.
The Glastonbury event explored the motivations and barriers in Glastonbury – and other local areas – to establishing this kind of bank, and the role that different stakeholders could play in catalysing the establishment of a South West bank.
To find out more, please visit the CSBA website HERE
On Tuesday, 9th May 2017, Cllr. Emma George became the 318th – and third successive Green – Mayor of Glastonbury!
Out-going Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins, proposed his Deputy for the position as the final motion of his Mayoralty, telling the assembled Councillors and members of the public: “It is with great pleasure that I propose Cllr Emma George for election to the role of Mayor of Glastonbury. I feel that the election of the current Deputy Mayor to the highest office is something that is both seemly and worthy.”
“Seemly because as Deputy Emma has been a great support to me in my year of office. Joining me on many Civic Occasions, and representing Glaston admirably and capably when I could not.”
“Worthy because time and again she has show real leadership and professionalism with regard to the Council’s business.”
“May I remind Councillors of how she negotiated favourably with Weedingtech; has worked diligently on helping to develop the Youth Council; has worked closely with the Police and One Team to help address anti-social behaviour in the town; has chaired with great skill the Town Centre Working Group, and supported the various projects and campaigns that have evolved from this forum.”
“Her contribution to the Council’s Staffing Committee and as Chair of the Communications Committee reflecting the expertise and experience in these related industries.”
“Finally, I would like to say that the role of Mayor demands that we rise above the petty divisions of politics to represent the whole community; to truly encapsulate the role of First Citizen.”
“This is something that Emma has fully achieved in her capacity as Deputy Mayor. And so, without further ado – I recommend that this Council elects Cllr Emma George as the 318th Mayor of Glastonbury.”
Emma’s nomination was seconded by Conservative Councillor Steve Henderson. There were no other nominations, and Emma was elected Mayor by a unanimous vote.
In her acceptance speech, she said: “I will make sure to do my best to represent you all. Jon is a hard act to follow. He has been an absolute pleasure to work with.”
“I know I am heading into this year with great people around me.”
A first for Glastonbury!
Emma’s first act as Mayor was to preside over the election of Liberal Democrats Councillor Denise Abbot as Deputy Mayor; a first for Glastonbury – as the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor have never been held by two women during one Mayoralty before!
As the third Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Emma follows Cllrs. Jon Cousins (2016-17) and Denise Michell (2015-16); a major achievement for the Green Party’s members and supporters in the South West.
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’.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.”
On Tuesday 10th May 2016, following the successful Mayoralty of Cllr Denise Michell, Cllr Jon Cousins became the second Glastonbury Green Councillor to be elected as Mayor of Glastonbury!
Cllr Cousins was unanimously voted into office by the full Town Council, and said afterwards: “Being elected the 317th Mayor of Glastonbury is something I truly never expected to happen… It is a huge honour to have this opportunity to serve Glastonbury, and – therefore – it seemed appropriate to have three words added to the ‘Declaration of Acceptance of Office’ before I would agree to say/sign it… They are: ‘and serve Glastonbury’ – I don’t expect any future Mayors will remove them! ”
The new Green Mayor was inaugurated on Sunday 22nd May during the Mayor’s Sunday Civic Service at Glastonbury’s St. John the Baptist Church.