Greens on course to make big gains in County Elections

County Hall group photo

As their membership continues to grow across the County, the Green Party in Devon are campaigning hard to gain seats in the County Council elections next May. Devon Greens will be standing a record number of candidates, allowing more people than ever the chance to vote Green in 2013.

Green Party members are currently developing a Devon-wide manifesto that will offer fresh and realistic approaches on issues such as public services, the local economy, energy, planning, waste management and transport.

There are currently nine local Green Parties operating across Devon, who promote and deliver Green Party policies via their elected Town, Parish and District Councillors and hard working members and supporters.

Town Councillor Katie Reville is the Green Party Prospective Candidate for Ivybridge: “I recognise that the role of County Councillor comes with great responsibilities such as social care and education but also with great opportunities to influence how Devon develops into the future. I will bring energy, enthusiasm and initiative to the County Council and am proud to be giving my local residents the chance to vote Green.”

Andrew Bell, who achieved 20% of the vote in the Exeter City Council elections earlier this year, will be standing for the County Council in Exeter St David’s and St James: “As people become aware of the dreadful reality and outcomes of Tory policy; as the Lib Dem vote collapses and people realise Labour have nothing new to offer, the Green Party offers a real alternative. We know we can win seats in Devon and bring a much needed distinctive and common sense approach to Devon County Council.”

Sharon Pavey joined Honiton Town Council in May 2011 and has been selected to stand in Honiton St Michael’s: “The East Devon Green Party came second to the Tories in Honiton in the District Council elections last year. Greens are the opposition in Honiton and with support constantly growing, we are confident of a breakthrough very soon.”

To find out more about your local Green Party please visit www.greenparty.org.uk

Honiton Foodbank

free-foodHad a really interesting meeting with Honiton Foodbank this morning, they do so much more than just give out food. They offer debt advice, addiction support, counselling, re-housing etc. I was there with two hats on really – as a member of Transition Town Honiton and a Honiton Town Councillor. I’m also following up on some fundraising I did with the Midweek Herald earlier this year where a team of us raised £1000 for the foodbank (see http://bit.ly/O5gQso)

It must surely be a sign of the times that these Foodbanks are opening up everywhere but finding out more this morning about how many people volunteer to help others, I am astonished and extremely pleased to be reassured that there really is this supportive community aspect to Honiton.

So – next time you’re doing your weekly shop, buy a couple of extra bits to donate to the Foodbank. Really doesn’t have to be much (a tin of beans!) and you can drop them off at various points around town – the doctors, banks, town council, St Paul’s Church or to the King’s Centre, Lees Buildings.

If you, like me are angry about people going without food and shelter as a direct result of the cuts this government is making – join the Green Party or at least VOTE GREEN at the next election, so you have Green Councillors fighting Tory & Lib Dem austerity cuts and making our society a fairer place for EVERYONE to live.

See our local Green Party website http://eastdevon.greenparty.org.uk/

Greens gearing up for County elections

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From left Sharon Pavey, Ben Jones, Emily McIvor and Ana Pulteney
The East Devon Green Party were out in force in Axminster on Thursday raising funds and chatting to locals about the things that matter to them in the Axe Valley. Local Green Party Coordinator Sharon Pavey says “Unlike the larger political parties, the Green Party does not receive funding from unions and big business but we are managing to get more Green councillors elected here in East Devon because people like our policies and see that we work hard.” Axmouth member Emily McIvor added “The East Devon Greens have now selected several candidates for the County Council election which is only eight months away. We are not happy with 55 of the 62 councillors on Devon County Council being either Conservative or Liberal Democrat and will be giving East Devon voters the chance to vote Green in May 2013. Local Green Party Fundraiser Ana Pulteney from Ottery St Mary said “Contesting elections is expensive so if anyone is able to support us in making Devon County Council a more balanced and representative body, please contact us via our website www.greenparty.org.uk/localsites/eastdevon or call us on 07447 597390.”

Exeter Elections

Sharon&EmilyatExetercount2012With my fellow GREEN parish councillor Emily McIvor (right) at the Exeter City Council election count on Thursday 3rd May 2012. The Exeter Green Party stood candidates in all 14 wards and did well. Emily & I went over to help out with campaigning and it was great to be part of such a big team there on the night of the count. We would love to see our urban Green neighbours make that breakthrough to the City Council soon.

Fingers Crossed for the Planet!

Another climate change convention over and other year draws to a close. With 2012 just around the corner is it enough for us to be sat with our fingers crossed for the future of our world or worse still not really caring or even aware of what is happening as the temperature is rising higher and higher…

Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP
Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

While millions are traipsing up and down the high street with plastic bags full of plastic gifts for their loved ones, are we all missing the bigger picture. Leaders of the world are tussling over the financial chaos affecting the richest countries while the poorest get poorer and children are still starving and dying this Christmas time….

…add your comments below.

South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival 2011

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BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH TO PERFORM AT DEVON’S ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BU

Sunday 27 November 2011

10am-4.30pm

FREE ENTRY

Benjamin Zephaniah, the nation’s favourite performance poet, will be the special guest at this year’s South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival on November 27. Benjamin will be reading poems (at around midday), signing books and chatting with visitors.

The pioneering, eco-friendly Festival offers visitors the chance to buy Christmas cards and innovative, cruelty-free gifts in the sure knowledge that they are supporting good causes and creative local companies. Products will range from fairtrade clothes and jewellery to cosmetics and skin care products, handmade chocolates, games for children, pottery and oils made in Palestine and sold to provide poverty relief for the local population, wildlife photographs, and Devon grown olive trees.

Everything on sale will be free from animal products.

Charitable organisations taking part include Survival International, CND and the Palestine Solidarity Group, Devon Wildlife Trust, Sea Shepherd, the League Against Cruel Sports and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection – emphasizing the core message of non-violence to people, animals and the environment. The South West Green Party will also be there.

According to Mark Gold, who is organising the Festival for Animal Aid,

We’re particularly thrilled that Benjamin Zephaniah has kindly agreed to join us this year and add another great attraction to our popular festival. We’ve really built the event up over the last four years and it’s been wonderful to see increasing numbers of visitors seeking to buy imaginative and unique presents for their family and friends.

It’s part of the ethos of the Festival to keep admission free, so that people can spend everything they can afford at the stalls. At the same time, we want them to feel they’ve had a special and fun day out, so we also have a fabulous restaurant and great live music – as well as Benjamin’s guest appearance, of course.’ Photo from www.benjaminzephaniah.com

For further details of the South West Christmas Without Cruelty Festival contact Mark Gold on 01395 579353 (07796 581915) or email mark.54.gold@googlemail.com


Sponsored Bike Ride

The South West Green Party raised over £300 on Saturday 8th October with a sponsored bike ride & walk along the canal in Exeter. The funds will go towards the campaign to get a Green MEP elected in the South West.

bike ride group
From left: Tris & Rob Woodland from Bridgwater Greens, Lizzie Woodman from Exeter Green Party, me in the pink scarf and my nine year old Natasha & Adam (Lizzie's son) on far right

The weather was much better than expected and we did about ten miles from the Quay right down past the Double Locks pub to the Turf and back again.

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Natasha having a break at the ferry crossing to Topsham
Rob & Tris took the ferry over to Topsham
Rob & Tris took the ferry over to Topsham
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Adam & Lizzie taking a break
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A lovely place to enjoy some free time, either walking or cycling. We saw lots of wildlife along the way - herons, cormorants, dragonflies, ducks and lots of swans

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Tasha enjoying a hot chocolate at The Turf
Tasha enjoying a hot chocolate at The Turf
On the way back to Exeter
On the way back to Exeter

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Back on the train on the way home!
Back on the train on the way home!

Energy efficiency must be a priority, says Green Party

Tackling fuel poverty, addressing climate change and creating jobs – A win, win situation

Energy efficiency must be a priority, says Green Party

Rising unemployment and increasing fuel prices could lead to far greater fuel poverty unless more is done to invest in energy efficiency, warned the Green Party today.

Households are considered by the Government to be in fuel poverty if they have to spend more than 10% of their household income on fuel just to keep their home in a ‘satisfactory condition’. Research shows that consumers are wasting £2.5 billion because they don’t have adequate insulation – of the 26.5 million homes in the UK, just 12.3 million have sufficient loft insulation and only 10.3 million have cavity wall insulation.

The latest figures (2009-10) show that there were 23,100 additional winter deaths among people over the age of 65 in England and Wales. For every additional winter death, there are also around 8 admissions to hospital, 32 to outpatient care and 30 social services calls. The cost to the NHS has been calculated to be in excess of £1billion.

The Green Party believes that a free insulation scheme for every household that needs it is the way forward. By investing in energy efficiency, thousands of  jobs across the country could be created reducing the unemployment figures as well as improving the housing stock. Investing in energy efficiency is a win, win situation.  It helps reduce fuel poverty, tackle climate change, creates employment and generates money for the local economy.

Darren Johnson, Councillor and London Assembly Member, said, “Everyone has the right to have a warm home and be able to pay their fuel bills. Persistently cold homes contribute to misery, ill-health and social exclusion – and the fact that the UK consistently has more winter deaths than countries colder climates is an indication that we have got things wrong. We already have the technology to build zero carbon housing and this should be the standard for all new developments.”

Green Councillors are leading the way in developing energy efficiency. In Kirklees, Green Councillors delivered a project to provide free loft and cavity insulation to every house that could benefit. They are providing loans for more expensive insulation measures, loans which only have to be paid back when the property is sold again. Council officers in Kirklees calculate for every £1 that their council spent on a similar insulation scheme, a further £4 was generated in the local economy.

www.greenparty.org.uk
Published and promoted by Penny Kemp for the Green Party, both at
Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.

Food Inc. – post film discussion

Thank you to everyone who came to see the East Devon Green Party film screening of Food Inc. at the Broadclyst Victory Hall yesterday afternoon. We had a good turnout and lots of interesting comments afterwards. A positive reaction to the short film on local organic farming Henry commissioned which was shown beforehand.

Here’s a place to discuss the film itself, green party farming policies, the future of food production etc – please add your comments below and join in the discussion (whether you came to see the film or not).

Here’s a link to the Food Inc. website www.foodincmovie.com

The East Devon Green Party webpage

The Soil Association website