Saturday, December 8, 2012

Beverley Town Meeting 7 Dec 2012

Beverley spoke!  Feathers were spat....
A packed Toll Gavel Methodist Church was full of (about 400) seething Beverlonians!   Sandy Patience for the Civic Society introduced the issues - East Riding  of Yorkshire Council  proposals to:  replace the setts/cobbles in Saturday Market;  demolish Longcroft School for housing; build more housing in the north and south of the town;  allow more retail on the Grovehill site. 
The Mayor chaired, and speaker after speaker asked why ERYC behaves in the arrogant way it does. Why were the Council leader and chief exec not present?  Why does the council do whatever it wants without consulting? Why do they want to destroy the historic fabric of the town rather than improve council housing?  Why is there no Beverley Councillor on the Cabinet?   Why did ERYC set targets for new houses in Beverley which far exceed (proportionately) anywhere else in the country? 
Resolutions were : to retain the granite setts (and the character of the Market Place);  to leave Longcroft School on its current site; to reduce the housing targets for the town as a whole; to prohibit supermarkets on Grovehill.  Other points were to take infrastructure implications of more building (re flooding) to the Ombudsman....and to get the MP to ask why there is no VAT on  newbuild when there is  VAT on renovation.
Friends of the Earth and the Green Party pointed out that land is no longer in production, and must be prioritised for food and not for building.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Redefining Business Success 3-4 Dec

As part of our Earth Charter in Business project (DfID funded), we instigated this Consultation at St George's House, Windsor Castle .  St George's was set up in 1966 by the Duke of Edinburgh and the then Dean, Robin Woods, as a place where people can come together to explore contemporary excellent idea.
On this occasion a group of  people from business (global and local) met with academics, NGOs and people from media, economics,  the arts, education, faith groups and government ministries  to discuss how we can redefine success in business - ie move away from profit as the sole measure of success.  Business could be the engine which moves us towards a sustainable world instead of away from it....but it will need education and encouragement, legislation from governments,  regulation and enforcement. Some very useful ideas and connections came out of the 24 hours, so,  many thanks to St George's House for this valuable opportunity.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coalition of Resistance AGM - Dec 2nd. London

COR Chair , Romayne Phoenix of the Green Party,  with new COR president, Tony Benn.  A very busy day, meeting colleagues to resist the appalling cuts to services which are devastating to the most vulnerable members of society.  That a government made up of millionaires can do this is truly grotesque.  NEF's Olivier Vardakoulias , a Greek, and member of Syriza, gave a particularly insightful analysis.   Across Europe it's the elite on one side, the people on the other.  It's not an economic crisis - it's a political crisis.  Welfare provision has been funded by borrowing from future generations instead of a fair contribution from the rich.  Powerful interests prevent change.  

Saltaire: Yorks and the Humber Greens

Saturday Dec 1st.... members of Hull and East Riding Green Party (Martin Deane, Mark Maloney, Bill Rigby and Shan Oakes) , along with the Party's deputy leader, Will Duckworth, and other Yorks and the Humber Greens - at Titus Salt's magnificent Saltaire Mill,  that once thriving hub of the wool industry - now a gallery dedicated to David Hockney's work.  After the AGM and  hustings  for the  European candidacy, we visited the community hydro-scheme and the Mill.  Its always good to meet party members from across the region - and what great stuff they are all doing!