Jun 16

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!

Jun 16

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.”

Jun 16

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).

Jun 16

Promoting Glastonbury’s strong participatory democracy!

When first elected in 2011, Glastonbury’s ‘Green Four’ championed the creation of a new Town Council advisory committee dedicated to developing an integrated tourism and pilgrimage strategy to promote Glastonbury as cultural and spiritual centre of worldwide significance importance in the 21st Century.

As a result, ‘Promoting Glastonbury’ was convened as a forum for dialogue between councillors and the various stakeholders including our visitor attractions, independent shops and high street traders, tour guides, and the Tourist Information and Pilgrim Reception Centres.

A key development from Promoting Glastonbury was the town’s involvement with the EU’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate General’s new pan-European spiritual and cultural tourism route based on the legend of the Holy Grail:  The Grail Project.

Green Cllrs Jon Cousins (left) and Denise Michell (right) meet with the Grail Project’s Sharon Cooper and Professor Paul Fidgeon at the University of West London.

Green Cllrs Jon Cousins (left) and Denise Michell (right) meet with the Grail Project’s Sharon Cooper and Professor Paul Fidgeon at the University of West London.

Following the election in 2015, a stronger Green representation on the council reinvigorated the Promoting Glastonbury into a fully-fledged committee of Glastonbury Town Council, and reviewed its aims, objectives, and terms of reference.

As part of this review, a non-councillor member of the committee – Paul Lund – was appointed to the role of Deputy Chair; an unheard of departure from convention; demonstrating the Green’s commitment to their election manifesto to “foster strong participatory democracy”, within the council.

Wishing to increase non-councillor involvement, Cllr Jon Cousins researched the potential for unelected members of a committee to vote; discovering that – by virtue of the obscure Article 3 of the Parish and Community Councils (Committees) Regulations 1990* – non-councillor members of committees do have voting rights in respect of any function under s.144 of the 1972 Act relating to “the promotion of tourism”!

On Monday 23rd May 2016, history was made in Glastonbury’s Council Chamber when the first non-councillor Chair of a committee – Morgana West – was elected!  Non-councillor Paul Lund was duly re-elected as Deputy Chair...  This was followed by the first ever non-councillor proposal of a resolution; seconded by another non-councillor, and voted on by all the members of the Promoting Glastonbury Committee – elected and non-councillor members together!


* Section 102(3) of the Local Government Act 1972 provides that a local council can appoint persons who are not its members to committees and sub-committees (including joint committees and sub-committees).  By virtue of s.13 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, non-councillor members of committees and sub committees do not have voting rights except in respect of certain council functions.  By virtue of Article 3 of the Parish and Community Councils (Committees) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990/2476), non-councillor members of committees have voting rights in respect of any function under s.144 of the 1972 Act relating to the promotion of tourism.