Let’s Talk – East Devon Issues

The East Devon Green Party is just getting going after being formed in Sidmouth on Saturday 16th January 2010. Our next meeting is planned for Saturday 13th February at The Honiton Baptist Church on Honiton High Street (2.30pm – 4.30pm). All welcome.

We will be chatting about local policies for part of the meeting but as local issues (and our own experiences of them and personal opinions) can take some time, this blog is the ideal place to have an open discussion on the issues that really mean something to you – whether you are a Green Party supporter or not.

Simply add your comment below, what issues are important to you in East Devon. I’m sure I don’t need to add that we keep our comments clean and friendly. I love a good discussion but no nastiness please. All comments are moderated before going live.

So who is going to get us started….?

7 Replies to “Let’s Talk – East Devon Issues”

  1. Hi Sharon
    What are the EDGP policies for farming and tourism two big business sectors for East Devon.?
    How is the EDGP going to help these two important sectors develop and evolve?

  2. Our water bills seem to be increasing all the time. I appreciate we need to pay for services but costs here seem to be way out of line for the rest of the country.

  3. Hi Michael – one way the EDGP (East Devon Green Party) is directly helping local farmers is by supporting their applications to put up wind turbines. Officers from the EDGP are attending a meeting in Luppitt tomorrow evening concerning local farmer Gavin Brake who has applied to put up a wind turbine on his farm – read more here Luppitt Meeting 9/02/10

    Energy expert Mark Newton believes ” Every farm in the UK will have a wind turbine in five years’ time. With 75% of the UK’s land in the agricultural sector, on-farm wind power can represent a significant business opportunity for farmers and landowners, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.”

    Dr Jonathan Scurlock, the NFU’s Chief Adviser on renewable energy and climate change says “The NFU’s aspiration is that every farmer should have the opportunity to be a net exporter of low-carbon energy. National targets and government incentives for renewable energy are creating significant new business opportunities.”

  4. Hi Sharon, great to hear the EDGP is off to such a good start – keep up the good work!

    Concerning farming policy, the South Devon Green Party’s manifesto for the County election last year in June included a strong section on this topic. Robert Somervile is our chief expert on the farming and he organised a highly successful event about the future of farming just prior to the election. The following is taken from our manifesto:

    South Devon Green Party Manifesto: Farming Policy

    Devon County Council currently owns 91 farms, down from 116 in 2002. The Green Party believes that the sale of these farms should cease, and that the management aims and objectives should be re-written to support sustainable soil management and ethical food production in the face of climate change and oil peak.

    The Future of Farming
    Climate Change and Oil Peak will undermine world trade in food, and present the UK with a food crisis. Conventional farming is heavily reliant on oil, so new forms of farming that require fewer artificial fertilizers and less mechanical power will be needed. The County Farms are an asset to develop these new sustainable ways of farming that will prove invaluable as demonstration farms in the future.

    Sustainable Practices
    Currently, County Farms are biased to livestock and dairy.
    There are many forms of food production depending on geology, local climate, soil types, land formations, the existing natural environment, and the existing traditions and culture of food. Some land is very productive and some is marginal. Devon Farms vary in their produce accordingly and include dairy, livestock, market gardening of fruit and vegetables, orchards, arable and potentially biomass for energy and fuel production. Farming systems that best mimic nature include mixed farming, organic farming, permaculture and biodynamic farming. Food production that best utilises the diversity of land available will also reflect in a diversity of farming systems and farm produce. So it would be wrong to promote just one type of farming practice. However, proposed farming methods for County farms should consider the following:

    • Rebuilding soil fertility
    • Carbon sequestration
    • Greenhouse gas emissions
    • Fossil fuel reliance
    • Reliance on petrochemical inputs
    • Low energy requirements
    • Dependence on imported grains and soya feedstuff
    • Health value of food
    • Biodiversity of the farm wildlife
    • Diversity of farm produce
    • Productivity
    • Profitability
    • Public access to the farm

    Animal Welfare
    Intensive indoor production of meat, eggs and dairy would not be permitted.

    Letting policy
    All Devon County Council Farms should be progressively transferred to sustainable husbandry as tenancies become available.
    Rents can be adjusted to take into account such things as conversion times to organic husbandry, planting of orchards that take several years to bear fruit, and the rebuilding of fertility in soils that have been exhausted by conventional practices.

  5. Thanks Peter, really appreciate your comment. Would love to read the whole South Devon manifesto at some point. might see you at the AGM on Sat?

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