Standing as a Candidate

February 4, 2017 by

photo02272016 was the year of rising nationalism and populism. The outcome of the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections shocked us all. Now more than ever we have to stand up for our Green values. Let us turn 2017 into the year of fighting these reactionary tendencies. Let us fight for pluralism, diversity, solidarity, public services and a clean and healthy environment. The fight starts locally.  Would you consider standing as a candidate in the County Council Elections?

The Greens have always and will continue to be the natural antidote to populists and nationalists. Hence, we can and should play an important role in opposing the Conservatives and UKIP.  The Greens have always been the political party that is fighting against racial and religious discrimination, for gender equality and LGBTIQA+ rights. This is a core element of our Green identity. Fighting discrimination is not merely about protecting minorities, it is also an important contribution to an open and inclusive society. We believe in a culture of solidarity, which is open to migration and takes responsibility for people fleeing war or persecution. We want immigration laws instead of walls and fences. We stand for local co-operation and for global multilateralism.

Since 2008/09 Northamptonshire County Council has cut more than one quarter of a billion pounds from County Council spending, with dyer consequences for council services and local people. They have reduced their staffing levels from 17,000 to a few thousand, and are on course for less than 500 staff by the end of the decade.  Northamptonshire has turned off speed cameras and removed half of the street lighting in the county making many urban areas much less safe for local pedestrians and drivers.  They have radically reduced funding for more affordable ‘prevention’ and low level support services, and taken nearly £50 million from Adult Social Care and Children’s Services with devastating consequences for local people and the NHS.

Many of us are appalled by these actions and have spoken up but to little avail.  With the Conservative’s considerable majority in the Council they can afford to ignore even the most constructive of suggestions from politicians, residents or professionals, and they regularly do.  Would you consider standing as a candidate in the County Council Elections?

On Monday 20th February Northamptonshire Green Party are holing a meeting to give people the opportunity to understand why the Green Party tries to stand candidates at Council elections and what procedures are involved to get your name on the ballot. We will be looking for candidates from across the County, and it would be great to see you there, if you think you might be interested in putting your name forward in the area where you live. This meeting is for Green Party members only in Northamptonshire and the East Midlands.  The meeting starts at 7pm and finishes at 9pm in the Doddridge Centre, St James, Northampton. NN5 5HF

Citizens Income Talk & Discussion

February 1, 2017 by

green-party-conference-2015On Tuesday 7th February, Shirley Jones will be leading a talk in Kettering about the Citizens Income; what it is, and how it could work. As you may know, this was a part of the Green Party Manifesto at the General Election in May 2015, and it is an idea that has gained wider support since then. This will be a good opportunity to discuss the Citizens Income and to understand how we can get involved in campaigning to support the policy.

A citizen’s income has a long history and its genesis, at least as an idea, is now hundreds of years in the making. Many distinguished economists of the 20th Century have considered the idea and the Citizen’s Income Trust itself was formed about thirty years ago, with academics honing workable economic schemes and promoting it. Dr Malcolm Torry is the Trust’s Director and his latest book is ‘The Feasibility of a Citizen’s Income’. He’s also written ‘Money for Everyone’ and ‘101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income’: both a lay person’s guide.

It is now coming into the mainstream: as well as the (albeit unsuccessful) Referendum in Switzerland, the policy might be due to be trialled in Scotland and Professor Guy Standing, of both the Basic Income Earth network and Citizen’s Income Trust, has run successful trials in India.

Shirley Jones has worked, in the distant past, for an MP and MEP. She writes and dabbles in drawing and painting. She also dabbles in deep-space astronomy and astro-physics, botany and other natural history. As well as comets and planets, she loves trees and bats, and all sorts of music.

The Citizens Income Talk and Discussion is on Tuesday 7th February from 8pm till 10pm at The Keystone Community Centre, Kettering. NN16 9AA

Event is on Facebook

Air Quality Campaign is Bearing Fruit

December 13, 2016 by

Towards the start of this year, I started doing some digging into the air quality around Northampton, and discovered that although we had several areas in the town with recognised air pollution problems, the Borough Council didn’t seem to be doing an awful lot about it.

Since then, we’ve made FOI requests, published Press Releases, asked questions of Council, carried out our own air quality testing, produced more Press Releases, we’ve been interviewed on BBC Northampton and BBC Look East. We have presented to several audiences, spoken at Council several times, attended meetings of the Scrutiny Panel and generated a front-page story in the Chronicle & Echo.

Our aim in this was to generate awareness of both the air quality issues in the town, and the Public Consultation that was taking place about the Low Emission Strategy. This strategy is now making its way through the Council’s Scrutiny process and recommendations / actions from that process will be taken back to Cabinet for approval.

I spoke at the start of last night’s meeting of the Full Council, addressing again the issue of air pollution around Northgate Station. At most of the meetings I’ve been to this year, whether I have been asking questions or addressing Council, I’ve tended to be the only person speaking about Air Quality.

At last night’s meeting, everybody wanted a piece of the action.

The Liberal Democrats had a motion asking for traffic analysis to be carried out in the town centre because the new Bus Station is obviously inadequate. Air Quality was one of their reasons, and it was mentioned a lot in the surrounding debate.

The Labour Party then proposed a motion suggesting that the Council should immediately start fining drivers who don’t switch their engines off when they are stationary. This included a contribution from the leader of the Labour Group on the council advising that “Everybody is talking about the air quality issue.”

Both of these motions were, unsurprisingly lost. The Labour one, in particular, seems a bit pointless when the overall strategy is still going through the scrutiny process.

But two things are very clear.

1 – We’ve successfully raised awareness of the air quality issue. The opposition parties are looking to make political capital of it, even if they don’t really understand the issues.

2 – There’s going to be a lot more of this over the next few months.

Steve Miller 13th December 2016

Emerging from the Green Closet

November 23, 2016 by

As you may have noticed this blog has been on a fairly long hiatus in 2016 and now  has changed hands, so I’ll start with a “hello!”.

My name is Scott and I was nominated at our local AGM to take over running of the website and social media presence. I am Northampton born and bred and work in the county, in healthcare not computing so I’m no master of code or web design but I will try my best to at least keep things up to date.

I joined the Green Party in 2015 but had been a closet Green Party supporter since about 2010. I say closet because I come from a blue family in a blue town so the subject was largely avoided at family and social gatherings. Anyone I did tell usually garnered the response.

“So are you hippy now or something?”

This usually means I have to explain myself, which tends to work out positively.

There are 3 main reasons I joined and am keen to be active in the Green Party.

1: They actually do something locally. I live in South Northamptonshire which is as safe a Tory seat as they come, so have never been heavily canvassed by anybody. The only time I ever saw local politics in action was when the Green Party had a stall in town, were protesting against something or undertaking litter picks. I had received a couple of lib dem leaflets whilst living in the town centre, but nothing of any consequence. Currently, fellow local party members are trying hold our council to account on air pollution, traffic and provision for safe transport. This is being done without any representation on the local council. Imagine the work we could get done with elected members.

2: They  aren’t the  Tories/Labour/Lib dems: Since graduating in 2009, I have worked in the NHS and have seen the problem change from overburdening targets and bureaucracy to overburdening targets, bureaucracy and chronic under funding. As far as I can see the only difference being the  colour of government. I am quite sure the current government want to remove the N in NHS. Evidence for this is seen in Health & Social Act 2012, Scrapping  nursing bursaries and the upcoming STPs. Whilst the lib dems seemed to temper the Tory excesses in 2010-15 I can’t vote for them due to crossing their own red line of Tuition Fees. My experience of the labour party in this time seems to suggest they can’t even decide what or who they stand for let alone fight an election. A number of times I’ve hoped they would oppose something e.g. Trident or Heathrow expansion, but have been found wanting. As yet the Green Party have not been mired in corruption, scandal or betrayal. Maybe it’s naive to suggest they never will be, but it is a good place to start.

3: I actually agree with their policies: Kind of an important one, No? No political party can completely align with ones world view but I think the Green Party aligns closest of all the parties. I feel that the biggest threats to our long term safety and well being are not Islamic terrorism or feckless spending but climate change and poverty so tackling these in my view transcend party politics and should be centre stage of any policy. With Brexit and Trump it feels like the world is moving away from Green issues, and people are looking for alternatives to the establishment. This is exactly why we should become a bigger political force in the coming years. It would be nice to dispel the “mad hippy” myth.


Our focus for now is to prepare for local county council elections in 2017 and continue the Air Quality Campaign in Northamptonshire. We meet every month and I was hoping the blog could be opened up to our members to post about local or national issues that are  close to their heart. If you have something you would like to write about that you think would fit with the Green ethos please message me via Twitter and see what we can do!

2015 in review

January 4, 2016 by

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

No Minister, this winter’s floods are not ‘Unprecedented’.

January 1, 2016 by

East Midlands Green Party Blog

David Cameron was ill advised to brag about how much flood defence work has been done during his premiership – surrounded as he was by flood water in York. “Like much of the rest of what you have done as prime minister David, your actions on flood prevention have been demonstrably inadequate. That’s why you were surrounded by flood water!”

The line being taken by this lamentable government is that the floods of this winter were ‘unprecedented’. The impression that they want to leave with the public is that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent them and that they are a one-off event, unlikely to be repeated. “So, Environment Minister Truss” [who has repeated the ‘unprecedented’ line like well trained parrot] “were the floods of 2007 or of 2014 also ‘unprecedented’? Doesn’t ‘unprecedented’ mean ‘not happened before’?”

After the 2007 flooding in the West country, there…

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The Curate’s Egg of the Paris Agreement

December 27, 2015 by

COP12 – Last Chance Saloon?

December 8, 2015 by

What does the World need from Paris?

November 29, 2015 by

Reflecting on the slow death of Britain’s Green Deal

November 24, 2015 by

Energy in Demand - Sustainable Energy - Rod Janssen

Many posts have been written in recent years about the rise and then demise of the Green Deal. Andrew Warren, a regular contributor to EiD and undoubtedly our most prolific commenter, writes an important post in the November/December issue of the magazine Energy in Buildings and Industry, questioning who is responsible for its slow death.

From insomnia to extinction

This summer, just after Parliament rose for its summer break, the Government unceremoniously killed off its flagship energy efficiency programme.

The Green Deal Finance scheme had initially been intended to be biggest home improvement programme since 1945, improving 15m homes during this decade, according to its lead minister, the Conservative Greg (now Lord) Barker.

He it was who memorably went on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme in March 2013, shortly after a less than triumphant launch. And admitted that “if we don’t have 10,000 Green Deal plans by the…

View original post 839 more words