East Devon Green Party comes to Life!!!

Thank you to everyone who came to the founding meeting of the East Devon Green Party on Saturday. We had a great turn out with 19 people attending the meeting in Sidmouth. The new group (founder members pictured) was officially formed and Sharon Howe kindly offered to take the minutes – which will be circulated by email by the end of the week. If you are reading this and would like to be included on our mailing list – simply contact me.

We have three officers elected – Diana is our Local Party Contact, Kerry is Treasurer and Geoff is Election Agent and will cover our Press Officer role. I will carry on as coordinator at least until the next meeting although I am hoping to stand as parliamentary candidate for East Devon – so might have my hands full with that and running my own business. Ballot letters have been sent to all our East Devon members today to see if they would like me to stand – so fingers crossed !

If you came to the meeting or would like to come to the next one (date tba) it is very easy to join the Green Party. Please click here for details about joining (from just £10 per year).

We have an East Devon Green Party page on the Devon CAN (Climate Action Network) website – please join it by clicking here.

Be lovely to get some comments on here (add below) from the people in the picture at the top, perhaps say who you are, where you live and why you came to the meeting on Saturday – what you hope the new group will achieve and what you want it to do. I’ll start it off:

I’m Sharon, that’s me standing in the middle (green top, pink scarf). I live in the sticks near Membury which is about 5 miles from Axminster, 8 miles from Honiton. I run my own business working from home with husband Daniel. We sell toys and run a web design and blog writing business. We have two children, Natasha is 8 and Aleck is 4 and they are the reason why I’m trying to make a difference. I’m worried about the effect of climate change on their futures and feel that I need to do something active NOW.

I’m also fed up of labour and I’m extremely worried about the conservatives getting back in. I feel that to make change happen – it needs to start on my doorstep. I’m looking forward to meeting more like-minded people, meeting other local environmental groups and attracting enough East Devon members to hopefully start getting onto the local councils – as other regional Green Parties have done lately.


Sidmouth Community Market backs “Meat-Free Monday” campaign

On Saturday 16 January, the Vision Group for Sidmouth will be holding a Community Market with a difference! This time the event will have a “meat-free” theme, to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption and provide information on the wide variety of alternatives to meat-based meals.

Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for at least 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector. According to the head of the UN climate change panel, Rajendra Pachauri, “People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming.”

In May 2009, Ghent City Council in Belgium attracted worldwide media and public attention when it announced that it would promote one meat-free day a week for environmental and health reasons. Meanwhile, the “Meat-Free Monday” campaign continues to snowball around the world, led by high-profile chefs and celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney.

Now Sidmouth too is doing its bit to support this important initiative. According to the market organisers, “Going meat-free one day a week is an easy step we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint – and it’s good for your health, too!”

The market takes place as usual from 10 am – 12.30 pm at St John’s Ambulance Hall. In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables and the other usual stalls, shoppers will find a vegetarian food stall, information on meat-free alternatives, recipes and free food samples.

For further information on the “Meat-Free Monday” campaign including weekly recipes, see www.supportmfm.org

Update on New East Devon Green Party Group

Quick update on what’s been happening with the formation of a new East Devon Green Party. I posted a blog a few days ago mentioning people who are keen to get involved and since then – yet more people have expressed an interest so it’s really starting to get exciting! Here are the people who will be making up our fledgling group so far…(more details about people in bold on previous blog ‘Let’s get this Party Started‘)

Sharon Pavey – can come to the meeting

Sharon Howe – can come to the meeting

Isaac Price-Sosner – hoping to be at the meeting

Amy Teague – Local Party Support Worker – cannot make meeting but is being a great help over email.

Cherry – can’t make meeting but is/will be our designer!

Geoff – can come to the meeting

Diana – can come to the meeting

Andy has just got back to me, can’t make first meeting but is interested in taking on a role

Kerry – can come to the meeting is interested in the treasurer role

Michael – not sure if he can make it

Emily – wants to be on mailing list but not sure if can make meetings

Update on publicising the first meeting & generally promoting the group’s existence.

1. The People’s Republic of South Devon added an article today.

2. Article published today in Sidmouth Herald.

3. Group started on the Devon CAN (Climate Action Network) website – please join the EDGP group and set up a page for yourself.


Let’s Get This Party Started!

I’m feeling very inspired and industrious today after meeting Isaac and Paula of The Exeter Green Party! Got lots of ideas on getting the NEW East Devon Green Party started. I’ve designed and printed off some posters to put up to advertise our first meeting. Thanks for your offer to design our posters properly Cherry – I will mention this at our first meeting and just use the basic ones I’ve printed off for now as the first meeting will be upon us extremely soon!! Sat 16th January is just around the corner now…

I could really do with someone who has the use of a car (I don’t drive, although learning intermittently!!) to ferry me around East Devon to put up posters EVERYWHERE. Please email me if you can give up a couple of hours and some petrol to do this. I’d love to say I could cycle round and do this – but realistically that would take three weeks (day & night) so we’ll have to make use of the demon car this time for the greater good! Can anyone please help?

I’ve drawn up a draft agenda and a contact list of local members, national members and other useful people. Here’s an update on who can come to our first meeting (so far!)…

Sharon Pavey (me) – lives near Membury/Stockland (will possibly take on the position of Local Party Contact and will be putting name forward as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate or PPC for the East Devon consituency).

Sharon Howe – in Sidmouth (will possibly be our Election Agent – Sharon has a lot of extremely useful experience of being involved in Green groups in East Devon for quite some time).

Isaac Price-Sosner – Local Party Contact for Exeter Green Party – is hoping to come along to help us get the new group started.

Amy Teague – Local Party Support Worker for Green Parties in Cornwall, Devon and South Somerset. Has been invited but as yet, I’ve not heard back but it is still Xmas hols etc…

Geoff in Budleigh (I’ve not included surnames at this stage as not sure if you want to be mentioned on my blog?) – is a shiny brand new member (like myself) and tells me he’s “happy to fill one of the roles needed” (be careful what you put in writing Geoff – as you can see you’ll be blogged !!!)

Diana in Exmouth – another positive response by email. Diana says “Yes, I will come to the meeting, and probably could take on one of the posts–though I’d like to hear more about what’s involved before fully committing myself.”

Cherry says “I would like to become a member but being a lot of the time abroad can’t make the meetings. My contribution would be on the design side.”

I’m emailing you all (mentioned above) now – so do please add a comment at the bottom of this blog entry if you have a particular skill to offer, fancy a certain position (eg secretary, press officer etc) or can think of anything which needs to be on the agenda – or just want to say HELLO and tell us a bit about yourself. Click here to read a bit more about me. It would be fabulous to get more comments on this blog – and get people chatting online prior to that first meeting, then we won’t be such strangers will we!!

I also emailed another three people who were kindly passed over from the Exeter group, awaiting replies. I have another ten or so East Devon members to email and three people to call (who don’t have email addresses). Fingers crossed, it’s all looking great isn’t it.

And – so I don’t forget to mention, and to make that first meeting a bit special – please bring along some nice foodie bits/cakes/delights etc to share. I suggest bringing your own flask of coffee/tea etc as we don’t have facilities (unless we pay more I think). Sharon Howe has organised hiring Twyford House for the meeting, thanks Sharon (full details of the first meeting here) which costs us £12 so any donations for that would also be good, although we should have our own funds very soon!

Add your comments – and we’ll all get chatting…

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” Ellen Goodman

Meeting The Exeter Green Party

I went over to Exeter today to visit the Exeter Green Party stall outside Boots on the High Street. I’m on the right of Isaac Price-Sosner who is the Local Party Contact for Exeter. Paula Black is on the left and is a Green Party County Councillor representing Totnes and Rural in South Devon. Paula is also running for the UK national elections in 2010. She is a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green Party for the city of Exeter….so it was a really lovely unexpected surprise to meet her today. If you’d like to know more about Paula’s life since becoming a Green Devon county councillor in summer 2009 – click here to read her blog. I have read it and it’s very a very honest and personable account of what the role of a county councillor involves.

Isaac was a great help with advice for the new East Devon Green Party group – which is officially forming on Saturday 16th January in Sidmouth (click here for details of the meeting) and he might even be able to come over to Sidmouth to help us get started, which would be wonderful.

Thanks guys – great to meet you & I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.

Sustainable Seaton – a Transition Town

Did you know Seaton is a transition town?

But what does this mean? Well…transition means ‘the process of changing from one condition to another’ and with transition towns that idea is applied to the whole community. A transition in order to adapt to a world affected by climate change, and an increasing price of oil etc.

The Seaton transition town group is called Sustainable Seaton and it wants to prepare Seaton for a time when oil may not be so readily available. The group wants to create a positive outcome by planning for the challenging future events which have been predicted.

Transition Town status is a very positive and fast growing reaction to planetary destruction that is taking place in the modern world. It will assist the Government to meet environmental targets; help re-build communities, provide local employment, promote health and well-being, as well as cutting down on CO2 emissions etc. It gleans the best of the modern and combines it with the good practice from the past. It endeavours to re-cycle, re-use and localise where ever possible. The Seaton group strives for a way of life that is more resilient, more fulfilling and more equitable, with a dramatically lower level of carbon emissions.

Here’s the link to the Sustainable Seaton website www.sustainableseaton.com

Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 20th January from 7pm – 9pm at The Community Centre, Fore Street in Seaton.

Boxing Day

Had a lovely Christmas with the family and managed to not look at my email for a whole day! It was worth it though as when I switched it on today there were some lovely messages from the people behind the scenes trying to make the new East Devon Green Party a success. You know who you are – you stars!!!

I’m feeling really positive about everything today hence me smiling out in the Boxing Day cold feeding the chickens this afternoon (pic above). Sharon Howe and I are just trying to work out which ‘jobs’ we’ll be taking on in the new East Devon Green Party and still trying to find a treasurer…

But…two out of three aint bad – so we’re getting there.

More soon…

First (Founding) Meeting of East Devon Green Party

Following the meeting in Sidmouth on Saturday 12th December organised by Ricky Knight (thanks Ricky), Sharon Howe and myself have set a date for the first East Devon Green Party meeting. It will take place at the same venue as last time – at Twyford House in Sidmouth at 2pm on Saturday 16th January 2010.

There’s a community market in Sidmouth that morning – which should be finished at about 1pm if you fancy combining the two events – I know I will be!

We still need at least three founding members to set up the group – so if you think you could commit to being the treasurer, the coordinator/local party contact or the nominating officer PLEASE contact me asap. My email is sdpavey@googlemail.com

Nigel’s Eco Store

Stumbled upon a great webstore advertised on The People’s Republic of South Devon website. Nigel’s Eco Store is full of fantastic green shopping ideas like Soapnut Shells, an eco friendly, natural and organic way to wash your clothes and a whole range of solar ipod/mobile phone chargers (a particularly gorgeous silver version pictured below). Eco kettles are a revelation too and I really must have an eco stapler in my office (pictured above)! According to Wasteonline “If everyone in UK offices saved just one staple a day, we’d save 72 tonnes of metal a year”.

I particularly like Nigel’s helpful articles like How to Have a Green Christmas and Reduce your Carbon Footprint: Nigel’s Top 10 Energy Saving Tips for the Home. Great site – we’ll ask Nigel for a donation towards a raffle we’ll hold at our next event to raise funds for the East Devon Greens – what do you say Nigel? Can you spare anything for our Green Raffle?