Jan 16

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part one]

Natalie’s visit reported in the Central Somerset Gazette, 28th January 2016.

Natalie’s visit reported in the Central Somerset Gazette, 28th January 2016.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett visited Glastonbury on 26th January to meet with the Last Bank Standing Campaign.

Natalie’s visit certainly caused a stir, with a collection of photographers, press, and microphones following her in a walk around town, to meet with shop keepers, traders, and businesses; to hear directly how they will be affected by the threatened closure of Glastonbury’s two remaining banks.

Natalie Bennett walks around Glastonbury to hear about the impact of bank closures.

Natalie Bennett walks around Glastonbury to hear about the impact of bank closures. Photo by Laura Zaky.

A Green Man welcomed the Green leader, as Natalie was formally met at Glastonbury Town Hall by the Worshipful Denise Michell, Green Mayor of Glastonbury, her Deputy Cllr Jon Cousins, and key members of the Last Bank Standing Campaign.

Greenman welcomes Green leader - Natalie is formally welcomed by civic dignitaries and Last Bank Standing campaigners .

‘Green Man welcomes Green leader’ - Natalie is formally welcomed by civic dignitaries and Last Bank Standing campaigners. Photo by Ewan Jones.

During the visit, Natalie discussed how being denied access to a bank had social and economic impacts on a community.  She was delighted that Glastonbury’s Green Councillors had taken an active role in the campaign and creative action, saying, “Listening to the High Street’s businesses and traders; talking with people about the situation, Glastonbury clearly needs a bank.”

Natalie at Heaphy’s Café, photo by Laura Zaky.

Natalie at Heaphy’s Café, photo by Laura Zaky.

Natalie listening to businesses and traders during her visit

Natalie listening to businesses and traders during her visit - clockwise from top left: The Goddess and The Green Man, Dilliway & Dilliway, Blue Cedar Print Works, and Glastonbury Post Office. Photos by Laura Zaky.

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part two]

Natalie’s visit to Glastonbury [part three]

Jan 16

Casual Vacancies on Street Parish Council

There will be a by-election for a seat in Street Parish Council, caused by the resignation of Councillor Melanie Reynolds.

The vacancy is in Street South Ward; the poll will take place on Tuesday, 23rd February 2016.  Please note that the Green Party are not standing a candidate in this by-election.

However, two other Street Councillors, Joyce Smith and Bob Smith, have also stepped down from the council.  Their resignation could mean that Street may see another by-election this Spring!

Any West Mendip Green Party members who would like to find out more about how to nominate or be nominated as a candidate for any by-elections that may take place as a result of the resignation of Cllrs Smith, should contact West Mendip Green Party's Local Party Contact:  Hazel Pegg
01458 831686

Read more about the resignations in the Central Somerset Gazette HERE

For more information about the Street by-election, please click HERE

Jan 16

Last Bank Standing - Glastonbury Flashmob film

Published on 12th January 2016, the official film of the ‘Last Bank Standing’ Glastonbury Flashmob is now available on YouTube.

Made by local film-maker Kevin Redpath, it was uploaded onto the video-sharing website after receiving its first public screening at January’s meeting of Glastonbury Town Council.

Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon said  “Following the Flashmob, the profile of our campaign has grown massively overnight and Kevin’s film has only just been released!  I have worked closely with Kevin over Christmas ensuring everything fell into place on the day.  It is fair to say no Kevin, no flash mob, no press...   The town is indebted to Kevin for his support and selfless giving.

Kevin's description on YouTube states: “Glastonbury, Somerset is campaigning against the closures of the last two remaining banks in our town.  Here is our spirited version of Jerusalem!  A huge thank you to everyone in Glastonbury who contributed to our Last Bank Standing campaign film – our residents, visitors and all our wonderful businesses.”

Sign the petition at: tinyurl.com/lastbankstanding

The Creative Team:

Beautiful opening vocals from Silver on the Tree:
Dreow Bennett
Oshia Drury
Viv Andreae

Location Sound Recording by the perfectionist:
Paul Lund

Location Photography in all weathers:
Dan Gale
Graham Trott
John Mason
Kevin Redpath
Paul Collins

Location Catering and great coffee:
Dave Kendrick and the Heapheys team

Editor, Sound Mixer, Picture Grader:
Dan Gale, Right Smart Video

Crowd Director and man with Loud Hailer and Louder Shoes:
Councillor Gabriel Avalon

Props Manager and Brue Boy:
Councillor Ian Tucker

The tireless Charles Hazlewood

Vocals and banner holders:
Too many people to thank but every single voice was really appreciated

Friendly local Methodist and very enthusiastic supporter:
Michael Eavis

A film by Kevin Redpath for our town’s Last Bank Standing Campaign

Made with love in Glastonbury, England
January 2016

Jan 16

Flash Mob to keep the Banks in Glastonbury!

Message from Glastonbury Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who was involved in making today’s flash mob in Glastonbury such a success. Even the rain didn’t stop a massive crowd from turning out to show the banks that Glastonbury will not go down quietly.

There are so many people to thank that to do so individually would take all day but I would like to pay special mention to Charles Hazlewood for conducting on the day and for being an all round good egg and getting right behind us.

Also mention goes to Kevin Redpath who even as I write this is working away to create the YouTube video of the weekend and who also rewrote the words that we sung today.

Dave and John and the staff of Heaphys Café who have put up with us taking up his tables while we have had the many meetings needed to organise today. Dave also very kindly supplied the coffee for the videographers and press and TV people at the town hall.

Paul Manning from the Blue Cedar Print room and Jan and Shirley from Fragrant Earth have also given invaluable input and help to make today happen.

And let’s not forget the towns taxi drivers who made such a wonderful end to the day.

And finally thank you the people of this wonderful quirky, unique, town for showing you care and for literally singing in the rain. Thank you all for coming.

This is just the start. We are already working on new and exciting ways to show the banks that we will not be left without banking provision and that the economy of our town will not be broken just because an accountant miles away decides to shave a bit of the running costs of the branches.

Please share this message so that as many as possible can see it



Cllr Gabriel Avalon
St. Benedict’s Ward Councillor
Glastonbury Town Council

Jan 16

Lighten the Load A361

Up-date from Green Councillor Lindsay MacDougall:

Glastonbury’s Green Councillors fully support the Lighten the Load campaign – please add your signature to petition HERE.

Lindsay MacDougall, one of our new Green Town Councillors – who lives on the route – has been involved in the Lighten the Load A361 campaign since the beginning of the year.  She writes …

“We have been tirelessly tramping the streets gathering signatures for the petition asking Highways to divert HGVs from the A361, with over 6000 people now having signed (combining paper and on-line petitions).

“However, recognising that there is as yet no obvious magic bullet to the question ‘Where do the HGVs go?’, we have looked at this with a variety of tactics.

“In the summer I approached the full gamut of local and national road action groups and we now have the support of a number of these bodies to help us achieve a 20mph zone throughout the town, which will at least improve safety and noise levels.

“The next step will be to conduct a community-wide survey to garner support. The success of this venture depends very much on vocal and visible support, so please do sign all the various petitions, paper copies of the ‘Divert HGVs’ petition may be found at a number of locations around town, including Earthfare (the health food shop), the Red Brick Building, and outside no.69 Bere Lane.  Alternatively, you can sign the on-line Change.org version HERE.

“Letters to the ‘horse’s mouth’ can be very effective; please write to:
David Fothergill, Highways Officer at Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset. TA1 4DY
e-mail: DJAFothergill@somerset.gov.uk

“For specific incidents, log your accounts with our local Highways Office:
Mendip Area Highways Office, Wells Road, Glastonbury, Somerset. BA6 9AS
e-mail: countyroads-mendip@somerset.gov.uk

“Local press and media continue to champion our cause with regular coverage, and in September our MP finally came to see the A361 route through Glastonbury in person. However, not much sympathy there, with vague promises of a new north-south road development across Somerset in the distant future, dependent upon economic need, and suggestions of a bypass paid for by sacrificing currently protected countryside around the Tor to housing estates. In other words, the usual message that ‘no money is available’.

“In November we handed to our County Councillor an A361 residents’ petition to install a Zebra-crossing in Chilkwell Street to provide pedestrians from the Drapers’ carpark and residents with a safe crossing point; we are yet to receive any concrete response from County.

“Residents and campaigners are presently continuing with their own vehicle counts in order to challenge County Highways’ figures. Times and locations for such surveys are crucial, since vehicle numbers, data around pollution and noise and accident reports seem to be out of kilter with the lived experience of pedestrians, residents, and other road users.

“In the New Year we will be presenting a further petition to the town to demonstrate support for a 20mph zone throughout the residential areas of Glastonbury including the A361 through town.

“And finally, please do attend the monthly full Town Council meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. Our County Councillors, local police, and other influential people should be made aware in a public forum of the strength of feeling. If you would like advice on how to present the issues you wish to highlight do contact me:
e-mail: lindsay@macdougall8.wanadoo.co.uk
Telephone: 07582 599 049
I look forward to seeing you there!”

If you would like to contact Lighten the Load direct, please email: solutions@lightentheloadglastonbury.co.uk


Jan 16

Green Party Leader announces Glastonbury by-election candidate

Left to Right: Molly Scott Cato MEP, Paul Lund Green Candidate for the St. Mary's by-election, and Natalie Bennett Green Party leader.

Left to Right: Molly Scott Cato MEP, Paul Lund, Green Candidate for the St. Mary's by-election, and Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, stopped off in Glastonbury before Christmas, on her way to the Paris climate talks, to formally announce Paul Lund as the Green candidate for Glastonbury St Mary’s by-election on February 11th 2016. 

Natalie said “I have great pleasure in introducing Paul Lund; we have a fantastic Green councillor group here in Glastonbury – let’s strengthen it”.

Dr Molly Scott Cato, South West Green MEP, who was visiting Glastonbury with Natalie, also heralded Paul’s selection saying “Paul is just what Glastonbury needs”.

The Greens have been gathering pace in this area over the last few years and are keen to consolidate their position on Glastonbury town council.


Jan 16

Glastonbury’s Greens lead campaign to stop bank closures

Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon contemplates virtual banking...

Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon contemplates virtual banking...

Glastonbury’s Green minority-controlled Council is increasing efforts to stop Glastonbury being left without a bank.

At the end of 2015, following the closure of NatWest and HSBC, it was revealed that both Lloyds and Barclays would close their doors by April, leaving Glastonbury with no banks or ATMs in the centre.

But the community and local businesses have joined with Glastonbury’s councillors in a bid to stop at least one of the banks from closing, and on Saturday 9th January hundreds of people are expected to take part in a flash mob.

Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon, said: “It is going to be a major, major event. A flash mob will take place at midday at the market square and we want everybody to turn up, as many people as possible.  About 30 seconds before midday we will be calling in the taxis who will block the High Street to stop the traffic, then we will migrate on the street.  Flash mobs are known to be very successful – we are hoping to go viral.”

Conductor Charles Hazlewood is expected to be at the event and Cllr Avalon said other celebrities could be joining the crowd, including Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis and Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden!

Following the news of the closures, Glastonbury Council contacted Lloyds and Barclays in the hope one would reconsider, but it has only had a response from Barclays.

Cllr Avalon said: “Representatives from Barclays have attended a meeting at the town hall – we discussed various options. We suggested they would consider a six-month deal for people to show they will support the bank and then they might think it might be worthwhile to stay.  They appeared open to looking at this.  In their opinion, they are closing – but they are approaching these talks with an open mind. We will be meeting with them again.  No other bank has made any contact.”

Cllr Avalon also said that in response to the campaign the Co-op shop was planning to get an ATM cash point installed, but he added that the town centre needs more than one.

The flash mob will be held at midday on Saturday 9th January at the market cross and Cllr Avalon is urging everyone to get involved.

To sign the petition to save one of the banks, visit: www.change.org/p/rt-hon-sajid-javid-mp-last-bank-standing-don-t-let-communities-lose-their-only-bank.

Read more: http://www.centralsomersetgazette.co.uk/Flash-mob-set-held-stop-Glastonbury-banks-closing/story-28462423-detail/story.html#ixzz3wSfaIB8l