Fairtrade in Honiton

Take a Step in 2013 lockup (small)I asked Honiton Town Council to strengthen and renew it’s commitment to Fairtrade last week and here’s a little news snippet about that on the Midweek Herald website www.midweekherald.co.uk

I spoke at the Senior Voice (formerly Senior Council) on Fairtrade last winter during Fairtrade Fortnight and have been invited back again this year. I’ll be there on Wednesday 27th February from 2pm at the Senior Voice meeting, Methodist Church on Chapel St, Honiton. Come along if you can or see the Fairtrade website for more information. http://www.fairtrade.org.uk

Another way I’m involved in promoting Fairtrade in Honiton is via the Transition Town Honiton Sustainable Saturdays – a monthly event in the Mackarness Hall where we give away free Fairtrade tea and coffee during the event. See www.transitiontownhoniton.org.uk/2013/02/04/february-2013-sustainable-saturday

Honiton Swap & Share

Just letting you know about an event coming up in East Devon in February 2012. As ‘recycling champion’ for Honiton, my role on the town council is to support events like this and this brings a smile to my face as I’ve wanted to do one of these myself for a little while. So I’m incredibly glad that Honiton resident Karen Berger has put this idea together and I hope she gets a huge amount of support to make it successful. The new Transition Town Honiton group will also have a stall there on the day.

Welcome to Swap and Share, another step towards a sustainable future.

Many people already use Freecycle, via the internet, on a regular basis to pass on their unwanted items to others nearby, and to get things that they need. Now, for those who don’t have access to the internet, or have not heard of Freecycle, we are running a Swap and Share event in Honiton, so that everyone has access to quality goods at no cost.

IMG_1937 SF bric a brac bargainsHow does it work?

Simply bring any unwanted goods to Mackarness Hall next to St Paul’s church on the High Street on Saturday 25th February, pay £1 entrance fee, (towards the hire of the hall) and leave them with us, to be shared among anyone who comes along on the day. Even those who don’t have any goods to donate can choose items for themselves: as long as it’s kept out of landfill, it’s a win-win situation!

Thank you for your time

Look forward to seeing you there!

South West Green Party Cookbook

I’m extremely pleased to be able to announce that after many months of preparation – the South West Green Party cookbook is now available! Hot off the press from the lovely people at Axminster Printing, our book features over 60 vegetarian and vegan recipes contributed by Green Party members in the region.

The front & back cover of the book is one photo I took at the recent Embercombe apple day
The front & back cover of the book is one photo I took at the recent Embercombe apple day

You should be able to order the  book from your local Green Party here in the South West. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find your nearest group http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/region/southwest

Or contact the South West Green Party – see http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/shopgreen.html

As lovely as it is the turks turban squash is not included with the cookbook!
As lovely as it is the turks turban squash is not included with the cookbook!

Printed on 100% recycled paper, there are wonderful homemade soups, stews, salads, starters, main courses, cakes, biscuits, breads and more! And Caroline Lucas has contributed her delicious Christmas cake. It’s a great gift idea.

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A huge thank you to Green Party member Cherry Puddicombe who did all the design work for free! Check out Cherry’s website http://lifework.biz The book includes a chapter on ‘Green Eateries’ – a useful list of veggie and vegan restaurants and cafe’s in the South West.

There are photos of Green Party members throughout the book
There are some friendly familiar faces dotted throughout the book

BREAKING NEWS: AS OF THURSDAY 8TH DECEMBER WE NOW HAVE A FEW COPIES OF THE COOKBOOK SIGNED BY CAROLINE LUCAS – A GREAT GIFT FOR ANY GREEN FRIENDS. THESE SPECIAL EDITION COPIES ARE PRICED AT £10 EACH. POSTAGE FOR ONE BOOK IS £1.

Fruity Free-for-all at Community Market !!!

It’s just 5 weeks since our public meeting at Montgomery’s brought together enough like-minds to get a Transition Town group up and running here in Honiton. The steering group (Geoff, Chris, Charlotte, Colin, Rufus, Tina, Sharon, Michelle and Alison) are very pleased to announce the first little project – a fruity free-for-all.

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Transition Town Honiton will have a stall at the Community Market at the Mackarness Hall on Saturday 5th November. TTH will be giving away seasonal surplus fruit from the trees in and around Honiton between 9.30am and 12.30pm (or until we run out!). Everyone is welcome to come and make use of the fruit on offer to eat, juice or make into jams, chutneys and preserves. If you have spare fruit which you would like to give away, please bring it along on the day or contact Rufus on 07762 788206 to arrange to pick and collect. We also need a couple more helpers on the fruit stall on the morning – even for an hour, please get in touch with Rufus or contact me.

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We hope you can support the market which includes local food, wooden toys, jams, eggs, cakes, ethical clothing, jewellery, books, crystals & fossils and facepainting for the little ones. No entry charge and refreshments are available – free tea & coffee to all market customers!  Click here to read more about the market.

Food Inc Screening in Broadclyst 9th April

East Devon Green Party are screening the film Food, Inc. on Saturday 9th April 2011. The venue is the Broadclyst Victory Hall near Exeter. Entry is £2 in advance or £3 on the door & doors open at 2pm. Refreshments available afterwards, all proceeds to EDGP.

Food Inc is a 90 minute Oscar nominated film against factory farming in the USA. It encourages smaller organic farms and the production of fresh unprocessed local foods.

Any queries – please email sdpavey@googlemail.com or call Sharon on 07740973990.

More info about the film here http://www.foodincmovie.com/

Greens back Hugh’s Fish Fight at Sidmouth meeting

MEMBERS of East Devon Green Party have voted to support Hugh’s Fish Fight because it is in line with existing Green party policies.

At a meeting of the EDGP at Sidmouth on Saturday, January 15, Sharon Pavey, EDGP co-ordinator, members supported her suggestion they sign an on-line petition to support the Fish Fight.

Some half a million people have already signed the petition backing Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign to get people to petition against the throwing back of nearly half the fish caught in the North Sea, to contact MPs asking for their support of a Fish Fight early day motion and to try eating lesser-known species of fish.

Mother of two Sharon, from Honiton, said: “Like many people, I watched Hugh’s Fish Fight on television and was appalled to see so many dead fish being thrown away as the quotas did not allow them to be landed.

“I was particularly struck by the images of so many sharks being tossed into a heap to die, the unfortunate victims of intensive tuna fishing.”

Henry Gent, a Green Party member from Broadclyst, said the party wanted radical reform of agricultural and fisheries policies.

He said: “I think many people are concerned about the way food production is going, on land and on sea.

“Family farms are driven out of business by competition from factory farms, and those who fish with sustainable methods cannot compete on price with more intensive harvesting and farming of fish.”

The East Devon Greens meet monthly in different towns in East Devon, and will be holding a coffee morning at Christ Church Hall, North Street, Exmouth, from 10am to noon on Saturday, February 19. Contact Sharon sdpavey@googlemail.com for more details.

Uncaged – against animal experiments

Uncaged Campaigns, campaigning against vivisection

Thanks to Sharon Howe for recommending I check out the Uncaged website. Uncaged are a peaceful international animal protection organisation based in Sheffield, England. Their main campaigns are against animal experiments (vivisection); against xenotransplantation (animal to human transplants); the global boycott of Procter & Gamble; for animal rights and for democratic action on animal issues through the political system.

If you like me think the list below is simply not acceptable then STOP using products tested on animals and tell everyone you know about companies which test on animals including Procter & Gamble who produce well know household products like Ariel, Daz, Fairy, Max Factor, Olay, Pantene Pro-V, Herbal Essences, and Head and Shoulders.  There is lots of info on the Uncaged website. See www.uncaged.co.uk

Number of Experiments by Species (Great Britain, 2008)

Mice: 2,418,604
Rats: 355,370
Guinea Pigs: 29,293
Hamsters: 3,298
Gerbils: 1,092
Other Rodents: 866
Rabbits: 17,060
Cats: 360
Dogs: 6,105
Ferrets: 1,122
Other Carnivores: 1,264
Horses/Donkeys/Cross-Bred Equids: 89,365
Pigs: 6,824
Goats: 499
Sheep: 35,820
Cattle: 2,302
Deer: 63
Birds: 123,259
Reptiles: 109
Amphibians: 32,674
Fish: 605,155
Marmoset/Tamarin Monkeys: 368
Macaque Monkeys: 4,230
Other Mammals: 978
GM Animals: 1,335,560

Sustainable Ottery expresses horror at approval of 20,000 sq ft store

Sustainable Ottery is flabbergasted that EDDC’s Development Management Committee voted in favour of a full 20,000 sq ft Sainsbury store in Ottery at its meeting on 15 April. This decision went against the combined wisdom of EDDC’s own planning officers, the retail specialists GVA Grimley, and English Heritage who all recommended a smaller store. It was also contrary to the wishes of Ottery’s Town Council and of East Devon District Councillors for Ottery and West Hill, Roger Giles and David Cox. Even more galling was the fact that the decision was carried by only two votes, with seven in favour of a 20,000 sq ft store and five favouring a smaller store.

By Sainsbury’s own calculations, a 20,000 sq ft store will generate 20,000 car journeys a week, causing traffic chaos and gridlock in Ottery’s narrow streets, increasing pollution in the town centre and severely compromising the health and safety of pedestrians and schoolchildren.

The effect on local shops selling food and comparison goods will be devastating. GVA Grimley’s report of February 2010 (commissioned by EDDC at taxpayers’ expense) recommended that the store should be half the size proposed by Sainsbury – i.e. 10,000 sq ft. It pointed out that a 20,000 sq ft store would be seriously disproportionate to the rest of the retail space in Ottery. By comparison, it pointed out that the Tesco store in Honiton represents 25% of retail space in Honiton, the Waitrose store 20% of retail space in Sidmouth but that a 20,000 sq ft store in Ottery would represent a staggering 70% of retail space in the town.

The GVA Grimley report warned that a store of this size would result in a 20% drop in business for local retailers. SO’s own survey of local shops’ income in the summer of 2009 indicates that a such a drop would force around 9 existing shops in the town to close.

Sustainable Ottery will be seeking answers from EDDC as to how much money was spent on commissioning GVA Grimley to conduct its detailed assessment of the supermarket applications before a small group of far less knowledgeable district councillors decided to ignore its conclusions. We will also call on the councillors concerned to justify a decision which flies in the face of every report they were presented with and the views of those elected to represent the people of Ottery.

We will be urging SO supporters to e-mail English Heritage and the Government of the South West in the hope that both bodies can intervene, using their powers and responsibilities in relation to heritage sites. (SO suggests people e-mail David Stuart of English Heritage, david.stuart@english-heritage.org.uk, quoting the EDDC planning application number 09/2354 and the EH reference number P00081464).

We trust that the two district councillors for Ottery and West Hill and Ottery’s Town Council will raise their strongest objections to the Development Management Committee’s decision. Constructive suggestions by Ottery’s Town Council that a smaller store would enable the walkway on Hind St to run inside the listed wall and two-way traffic to come and go from the store along Hind St appeared to fall on deaf ears at the meeting on 15 April.

`It is not right that just seven district councillors can simply ignore the advice of those far more knowledgeable on Ottery’s needs than themselves and that two votes can seal Ottery’s fate for decades to come,’ said Helen Collinson of Sustainable Ottery. `And it is downright unjust that in planning law, those opposed to a 20,000 sq ft store now have no redress and no means of appealing against the decision.’

Former Ottery town councillor, Robert Baker commented: `As an ex-councillor, I am astounded that such an important decision could be made after such a dismally inadequate standard of debate from the committee. The councilors involved should hang their heads in shame for ignoring the vast weight of properly-researched evidence from professionals, local councillors and EDDC’s own experts.’

`One of the classic comments made by one of the councilors on the Committee was that Ottery ‘deserves’ a supermarket,’ commented Sustainable Ottery member Jill Dixon. `No, what Ottery deserves is a proper and fair consideration of all the facts and of the recommendations presented by planning experts employed and commissioned at taxpayers’ expense.’

`It has been said that Ottery is a “dying town”, ‘ said Clive Essame of Sustainable Ottery, `and while I do not agree with this, I do not see that imposing a giant supermarket on the town can do anything but harm the economic and community life of the town. Why is it that whenever regeneration of an area is on the agenda in East Devon the solution is seen to be to allow a supermarket to be built? ‘

`80p in every £1 spent in a big supermarket is lost to the local economy, while in locally owned shops 80p in every £1 spent stays within the local economy to be spent again. Our elected councillors have acted against the interests of the town in the name of regeneration. I fear we will all live to regret their decision,’ said Mr Essame.

To find out what Sustainable Ottery members said at the meeting, please see the website –www.sustainableottery.org.uk or click on http://www.sustainableottery.org.uk/#/sainsburys-horror-apr-2010/4540421897

If you wish to add your comments upon this decision then you might like to write to the papers

emma.silverthorne@archant.co.uk for the Ottery Herald) or  below are a list of contacts to whom you might like to direct them.

EDDC Development Committee members-

PDiviani@eastdevon.gov.uk (Chairman), ADinnis@eastdevon.gov.uk,RFranklin@eastdevon.gov.uk , IChubb@eastdevon.gov.uk , BBuxton@eastdevon.gov.uk ,DAtkins@eastdevon.gov.uk , MWilliamson@eastdevon.gov.uk

You may also like to contact Mr David Stuart at English Heritage  David.Stuart@english-heritage.org.uk and your two district councillors roger.giles@devon.gov.uk anddcox@eastdevon.gov.uk.

The planning details are –   EDDC planning application number 09/2354 and the English Heritage reference number P00081464.