Mid Devon Green Party Open Nominations

Mid Devon Green Party is now in the process of opening nominations for the new constituency of Central Devon. A mailing should be going out tomorrow, and after nominations, hustings, voting etc the Mid Devon Green Party should be able to announce a candidate on Tuesday 23rd February.

If you are interested in being the new Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Central Devon – please contact me and I can pass your details on to Kate Povey – the Local Contact and Returning Officer for this Election for the Mid Devon Green Party.

Farm Animal Cruelty Shock in Devon

An article on www.meatinfo.co.uk reports that Animal Aid has announced it has obtained further footage of alleged cruelty, this time against birds in an organic and free-range poultry farm in Devon. The animal rights organisation filmed secret footage on two occasions in November and December 2009 at Otter Valley Poultry where it has alleged cruelty towards chickens.

A statement read: “The condition of the chickens was especially worrying. Several of the birds were so badly crippled that they were unable to stand. In addition, three dead turkeys were found in a shed with live birds, and three dead pigs were so badly decomposed that their original forms were barely recognisable.”

Animal Aid head of campaigns Kate Fowler said: “We believe that the gap between public expectations for organic poultry and what we filmed at this Devon farm and slaughterhouse is immense. The footage is distressing in terms of animal welfare and it also raises public health questions.”

This latest animal abuse revelation comes only a few days after three slaughter workers were suspended following a similar investigation of the slaughter of larger animals at another Soil Association approved abattoir, this time in Ashburton.

The This is Devon site reported on December 17th saying “An Ashburton abattoir could face prosecution and has had three of its slaughtermen suspended after an undercover investigation by an animal rights pressure group. The three employees were recorded on film by a covert camera at Tom Lang Ltd, Gages Farm, Buckfastleigh Road, by Animal Aid between October 19 and November 3 slaughtering sheep and pigs.”

The national campaign group claims its film shows livestock being ‘kicked, slapped, thrown and improperly stunned at the Soil Association-approved abattoir’. Steve McGrath, chief executive of the Meat Hygiene Service, said the Government body had ‘acted quickly’ when Animal Aid provided them with footage filmed at the slaughterhouse.

“We suspended three slaughterers immediately and evidence to support a potential prosecution of the slaughterhouse operator and slaughterers is being collated,” added Mr McGrath. The hygiene inspectors have installed a raft of measures since. Senior vets have visited the abattoir and additional staff have been installed on a temporary basis in the slaughterhouse to ‘ensure standards of slaughtering are acceptable’.

Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: “Just because pigs and sheep aren’t kept as pets, it doesn’t mean they don’t suffer like dogs and cats. The slaughterhouse environment they can sense is a very bad place for them to be. If, in addition, they are treated callously in the process of being killed, it is a nightmare for them. You can see the distress in the footage. I think it is for people who do eat meat to take a look at this footage and make a judgement as to whether it is fair that animals should be treated in this fashion. We think it is thoroughly immoral.”

Image above by Michael Timney | Slaughterhouse The Task of Blood (2005)

On the Buses!

Planning my journey this Saturday to the Green Party meeting on the coast in sunny Sidmouth (fingers crossed!)

Wanted to share the Traveline South West website with you as I’ve found it really useful. I’ll have to walk 4.4 miles to get to the nearest bus stop but once there, I’ll take two buses which is supposed to take about an hour.

Only snag is the change time in between the buses is just 6 minutes so high probability I’ll miss that then I have to wait an hour for the second bus making the whole journey take 2 hours – add on about an hour and a half walking time (in the snow!) we’re looking at 3.5 hrs worst case scenario. 2.5 hrs if my buses are on time and I manage to change!

You can see why cars are the easy option for most people can’t you – a car journey from here to Sidmouth is 16.9 miles and would take 34 mins!

There’s snow way we’re getting a 4×4!

We’re on day four of being snowed in up near Membury in East Devon. The kids were supposed to start back at Upottery School on Thursday but the school has been closed for the past two days and we’re not sure if it will be open on Monday. We’ve checked the Devon Council page but rather than that providing information on whether your school is closed prior to 9am on the day – it seems to be two days behind all the time, which is frankly – ridiculous! It’s Saturday now – and it’s showing the schools closed….last Thursday?

It’s irrelevant whether the school is open anyway as we can’t get anywhere on the snowy slippery hilly lanes near us with our little Ford Fiesta. We’re ok though as we heard about the weather forecast back on Tuesday and did a big shop. As much as it can be tempting to wish you had a 4×4 vehicle to get about in this weather, we don’t think a few days snow can justify buying a gas guzzling monster! It’s very dangerous out there (even for SUV’s) with local authorities urging to “Avoid travel unless absolutely essential”

They are saying this kind of weather only happens once in a generation – although we were snowed in for 4 days last winter too – our first winter in Devon…somewhere that supposedly doesn’t get this kind of weather. Two years in a row being snowed in – can this be due to climate change?


That’s me above (summer 2008) proudly wearing my Alliance Against Urban 4×4‘s T-shirt on a training walk for The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity where I raised £2000 walking up the highest mountain in North Africa. The T-shirt says “not safe, not clean, not cool.”

I understand that many farmers, foresters etc in my region need to use 4×4 vehicles to enable them to do their job properly – I see them every day loading sheep into them, scrambling up steep entrances to fields etc. but I don’t really understand why someone who is not a farmer needs such a high fuel consuming vehicle in or out of the city.

You see lots of these huge SUV’s parked in our local towns looking as shiny and clean as the day they were bought. If you are reading this and feeling your blood boil because you think I’m telling you which vehicle you should drive, please don’t just think you can do what you like and it won’t make a difference.

This earth of ours is running out of fossil fuels and we ALL need to take responsibility. Please consider choosing a cleaner, safer car with lower carbon dioxide emissions. I’ve listed some sites at the bottom which can help you choose a greener car.

I’m hoping to represent the Green Party at the next election and this is what they think about transport charges & taxes: The Green Party will introduce a vehicle purchase tax on the purchase of all new vehicles, which would be steeply graded according to a vehicle’s pollution level, fuel consumption and type of fuel.

Please choose a Greener Car – try these sites for info:

Clean Green Cars

What Car has a Green Car Guide

Top 10 Green 4×4’s

Tetrapak Recycling in East Devon

My little boy finished off the orange juice this morning, showed me the carton and said “Can we recycle this Mummy?” What a clever 4 year old!!! Now I know our kerbside collection doesn’t include juice cartons so I used www.recyclenow.com to look up how and where we could recycle drinks cartons here in East Devon. Cartons are now collected by over 370 local authorities across the country, which equates to 86 per cent of UK and Guernsey local authority areas.

Recyclenow advised me to use www.tetrapakrecycling.co.uk. I used the Where Can I Recycle button at the top of their site to look up where cartons are collected in my area and found this info below:

Picture 1The nearest place for us is Honiton so we’ve started a collection of tetrapaks. Now we just need to work out what to do with the plastic milk bottles!! Anyone?

Finding Local Information in East Devon

I was looking around the East Devon District Council website this morning and found a handy way to find really useful information in your area. Click on http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/my_neighbourhood.htm and scroll down to where it ways My Neighbourhood in green. Enter your postcode – this takes you to another page where you choose your address then click “view property details”.

It then provides you with lots of useful info like your recycling and refuse collection days, your nearest sports centre, library, swimming pool and electoral details. I’ve found out my ward is the Yarty Ward (as suspected when I was writing about the East Devon Constituency in December). My parish is Membury CP and my councillor is the Conservative Paul Diviani who lives just up the road from us in Yarcombe. Paul has been an elected member since 1999.

Westcountry Teenage Drink Crimes On the Rise

An article from www.thisisplymouth.co.uk says that new figures show that the number of children committing drink-related crime in the Westcountry has doubled in four years.

Almost 2,500 children in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset have been fined, cautioned or taken to court for abusing alcohol between 2003 and 2007. The record figures come after the Chief Medical Officer warned earlier this month that parents who had a “laissez-faire” attitude to their children’s drinking were putting them at risk. Sir Liam Donaldson said people who allowed their teenagers to drink alcohol with their friends could be storing up problems while middle-class families who diluted their children’s wine may also be misguided.

Personally I would offer my children a very small amount of wine occasionally with a meal so disagree with Sir Liam saying I’m a misguided parent! As someone who grew up with relatives and friend’s parents who struggled with alcoholism, I am very aware of the effect alcoholism has on children and am very honest with my own kids. I think that banning kids from drinking when they are teenagers will just lead to further problems down the line. Whatever you tell kids they can’t have – they’re obviously going to find mysterious, magical and very very attractive.

You can read the whole article on www.thisisplymouth.co.uk