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.

Westcountry Teenage Drink Crimes On the Rise

An article from 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

Shame on you China 你感到羞恥

I wrote a few days ago on this blog about the British man who was due to be the first EU national in 50 years to be put to death by the Chinese government. I am very sad to say that despite repeated last minute attempts by various organisations and the British government, British father of three Akmal Shaikh was killed by the Chinese in the early hours of this morning.

You can read the whole story here on the BBC site.

Here is my article from a few days ago.

If you like me are completely opposed to governments thinking they have the right to kill people (the death penalty) then do what I’m doing right now, support either Reprieve or Amnesty International by donating to them or simply buying a product off their sites below:

Don’t just sit there – DO SOMETHING !!!

Co-op Helping Fairtrade Fortnight in South West

The Co-operative Group is hoping to make Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 the biggest and best ever in the South West. It is offering a total of £40,000 to community groups to ensure their Fairtrade events such as fashion shows, coffee mornings and wine tastings are a great success.

The consumer-owned retailer has been a strong supporter of the Fairtrade movement for many years, since becoming the first high street retailer to list Cafedirect back in 1992. Now The Co-operative stocks the widest range of Fairtrade grocery products of any UK supermarket with 230 different lines.

To mark its support for Fairtrade Fortnight (22 February – 7 March 2010) and its ethical approach to business, The Co-operative’s membership department will share out a pot of £50,000 to community groups from Worcester to Wadebridge and Portsmouth to Portishead, to ensure their 2010 Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations are the best ever.

Co-operative and membership officer Pete Vallance said: “As the UK’s largest mutual retailer, we have been at the forefront of developing Fairtrade products and promoting the principles of Fairtrade. Our sales figures show how important Fairtrade is to our customers and, thanks to their continued support, we can ensure a better deal for growers in developing countries whose families can also look forward to a better future.

“This year, we are particularly pleased to be able to offer community groups throughout the South West a helping hand in making 2010 their best Fairtrade Fortnight ever. So if they’re organising events to raise the awareness of the support given to developing countries through Fairtrade, we look forward to hearing from them.”

To apply for a Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 grant please visit: or telephone the regional office on 01884 266892. The closing date for applications is 13 January 2010.

Click here to read the original article in the Midweek Herald

Transition Groups Together Event

Transition Groups Together

On Saturday 9 January 2010 Transition Town Exmouth will be marking what promises to be an exciting new year for Exmouth with the Transition Groups Together Event from 2.30pm-5.30pm at Glenorchy Church Hall in Exeter Road. This is a chance to get together, and discuss ideas, with guests from Sidmouth, Exeter, Ottery and other local transition groups. All are welcome – and people from all around the area – bring unwanted gifts for our Unlucky Dip. More details from Pete on 01395 224605.

Transition Town Exmouth also meets every month for Green Drinks

Green Drinks in Exmouth is hosted by Transition Town Exmouth at the Park Hotel, Exeter Road, Exmouth on the first Wednesday of every month.  It’s a chance to meet people in the local Transition movement and others and discuss green issues – and non green issues – in an informal environment.  Just ask at the bar where we are.

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

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