Derbyshire Dales Group Meetings

The Derbyshire Dales Green Party Group will be meeting in the Remarkable Hare DE4 3LT on Wednesday 28th August at 19:00. All welcome. Agenda and reports can be seen here

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Super Day Out….

A super day out at the Wild Justice Hen Harrier Day at Carsington. A great buzz around the stall, lots of interest, the raffle was a great success and we sold some stuff too! Huge thanks to all our volunteers ūüôā

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Hen Harrier Day At Carsington

Derbyshire Green Party will be present at the Wild Justice Hen Harrier Day at Carsington Water on Sunday 11th August¬† with our stall, eye catching flags and banners and absurdly expensive T-shirts and other regalia for sale! The day is FREE but you should REGISTER first and Wild Justice will ask for an entirely voluntary donation at that point. Car sharing offers are also on that site as there are no buses to Carsington Water on a Sunday (grrrr!) The event runs 12:00-17:00 with a star studded cast of speakers including Chris Packham.¬† So come along, say Hi, blow your life savings on a t-shirt, convince people to join the Green Party and generally feel good about helping nature! See you there ūüôā

Post 6 golden Geoff Harries

Photo courtesy & copyright of Geoff Harries stuartpics.co.uk

Derbyshire Dales Green Party Group Selection Process Meeting

The Derbyshire Dales Green Party Group will be holding a Selection Process meeting (with some other items) at the Remarkable Hare, Matlock, DE4 3LT on Wednesday 31st July 2019, gather 18:30 for a 19:00 start. The venue is five minutes walk from Matlock train and bus stations and car parking is available around the back (pay and display) and there are things to lock your bicycles to as well. All welcome, as ever, but the business is mainly Derbyshire Dales constituency related. The agenda is available here. 

 

 

Green Party In Derby City.

Green Party In Derby City are meeting in the back room of the Brunswick Pub, Derby, DE1 2RU on Wednesday 17th July at 19:30. It’s 5 minutes walk from the station and well worth a visit anyway if you enjoy decent food and interesting historic industrial architecture!

Derbyshire County Council Climate Emergency

There was a good turnout overall for the Climate Emergency Lobby at County Hall Matlock this afternoon and plenty of Derbyshire Greens among them. Councillors were lobbied on entry and on the steps, councillors announced their recent Derbyshire Climate and Carbon Reduction manifesto (all of 4 hours old) which whilst welcome, I think you’ll agree it’s simply NOT ENOUGH ! https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/environment/climate-change/carbon-reduction-manifesto/derbyshire-climate-and-carbon-reduction-manifesto.aspx

Election Successes 2019!

Congratulations to our newly elected District Councillors.

Matt Buckler was elected as District Councillor for Stanton ward.

Neil Buttle was elected as District Councillor for Tideswell.

(Matt Buckler was also elected to Matlock Town Council for the Starkholmes and Riber ward).

And of course many thanks to all those who voted for Green Party candidates across Derbyshire, put up signs, posters, knocked on doors and posted leaflets. Well done everyone.

Across the East Midlands as a whole the Green Party have more than quadrupled our presence on district councils. Let’s try to make sure the trend continues!

 

Derbyshire Council Elections 2019

Derbyshire Green Party have the following candidates standing in the council elections of May 2nd 2019.

Chesterfield Borough Council:
Walton – Dave Wadsworth

Derby City Council:
Spondon – Vic Wood

Derbyshire Dales District Council:
Ashbourne South – John Hill
Calver – Rob Scott
Darley Dale – Emma Hickling
Hartington and Taddington – John Youatt
Masson – John Green
Stanton – Matt Buckler
Tideswell – Neil Buttle

North East Derbyshire District Council:
Clay Cross South – Yvonne Rowse
Dronfield South – Neil Jackson
Eckington and South Renishaw – Dave Kesteven
Wingerworth – Frank Adlington-Stringer

High Peak and Amber Valley Green Party groups maintain their own web sites, details can be found here:

Amber Valley Green Party https://ambervalley.greenparty.org.uk/
High Peak Green Party https://www.highpeakgreenparty.org.uk

Ian Sleeman, Alvaston Candidate 2018

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Ian Sleeman

My name is Ian Sleeman and I am the Green Party candidate for Alvaston Ward. I was brought up in Devon but have since made Derby City my home. I work at in the Aerospace Division of Rolls-Royce managing a team of Design Engineers. I am a strong believer in listening and collaborating to get the best results.  Sustainability is my key overarching aim in politics; sustainability in terms of our environment, our economy and our society.

Alice Joy, Abbey Candidate 2018

I was born in New York and moved to the UK in the early 70s, becoming a naturalised citizen in 2012.  My parents were dedicated conservationists and ecologists, so I grew up respecting the planet and all that it contains and supports.  My career centred on healthcare and care quality improvement.  I retired from paid employment in 2015 and now work on a voluntary basis for several organisations that promote the voice of the lay person, patient and carer.  My beliefs are based on respect: respect for other people, their values and needs and respect for the wonder and complexity of nature, without which we cannot exist.

James Lanser, Darley Candidate 2018

Formal Photo Landscape

I’m standing to be your Green candidate for Darley Ward because I believe everyone has the right to affordable housing, clean streets and to¬†be listened to. I’ve spent the last three years studying for a Politics degree at Hull University, which included an internship working for an MP at Westminster, and I aim to use my experience and expertise to bring bold and fresh ideas to Derby City Council.

Derby Council Election Candidates 2018

Hello Green People of Derby and beyond!

We’re pleased to inform you of the candidates standing for the Green Party in Derby City on May 3rd. We’ll hopefully have additional information on the candidates in the next couple of days, but until then we’re contesting 7 wards as follows –

 

Abbey – Alice Joy

Allestree – Dan Holme

Alvaston – Ian Sleeman

Chellaston – John Hill

Darley – James Lanser

Mackworth – Naomi Wilds

Spondon – Vic Wood

 

More info coming soon, any inquiries to DGP Coordinator Dave Wadsworth – d_wadsworth@hotmail.co.uk

A flawed local plan

Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Local Plan for most of the constituency is currently being Examined in Public at the Town Hall. There are several sessions still to run, up to 23rd May. After that and after 8th June we‚Äôll have a result.

It is a rampantly Tory driven Plan, unrelentingly relying in part on very harmful greenfield extensions to towns and villages. It is trying to justify a target of 6500 houses against local wishes.

GPEW policy favours community led development

As planner and green activist, I’ve put forward

  • reasons why the so called Objectively Assessed Need is mainly external demand, is not local need and is only a target, not a mandate
  • that the target should be reduced, because half the housing area is in the Peak Park
  • that there is a radical alternative for about 2000 houses – a community-led new village in the lowland south
  • that heavy reliance on commercially led town and village extensions is a bad strategy

The officers are stubbornly resisting all alternatives. Liberal and independent councillors have voted against the allocations. 3 of 4 Labour councillors have, to my disappointment, voted for it.

Contact me if you want to know more.

John Youatt          john@youatt.co.uk               01629 636241

Candidates General Election 2017

We are happy to announce the candidates for the Derbyshire Green Party in the 2017 General Election.

Chesterfield: David Wadsworth
Derby South: Ian Sleeman
Derbyshire Dales: Matthew Buckler
Mid-Derbyshire: Sue MacFarlane
North-East Derbyshire: David Kesteven
South Derbyshire: Marten Kats

We are not standing in Derby North and Bolsover. Other constituencies are covered by other local parties.

Derby Food Assembly

Derby Food Assembly is a not for profit food organisation, part of the wider foodassembly2Food Assembly network around Europe. It’s an online farmers market where customers can buy food from local producers and collect it from them directly at one location during the week. Food assemblies encourage people to buy directly from local producers, to link people to local produce and create a community around this food. If you’re in or around Derby, why not sign up- there’s no membership fee and no commitment to buy! https://foodassembly.com/en/assemblies/8002

Once you’ve ordered your food, you can pick it up on Tuesday 5pm – 7pm from the Greyhound on Friar Gate,¬†where you’ll meet the farmers and other food producers.

The food assembly provides producers with a regular market place and allow them to harvest or produce exactly what has been ordered, reducing food waste and time. All producers are from within 30 miles (further for fish of course), reducing the carbon footprint of the food and the project champions local produce. It puts money back into the local community (rather than offshore bank accounts!). It offers a fairer deal and better experience for all.

Greens are enthusiastic supporters of initiatives like the food assembly. The current system of food production and distribution, dominated by industrial agriculture, multinational food corporations and supermarket chains is one of the biggest obstacles to fighting climate change and building a fairer world with resilient local communities. It is also extremely inefficient. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN, the value of  food wasted in the world in a single year is around 750 billion pounds and the amount wasted in Europe alone (and yes, the includes the UK) would feed 200 million people!

Congratulations to Derby for having the first food assembly in the county. If anyone has the time and commitment to start one elsewhere, you’ll find some guidelines here https://foodassembly.com/en/p/open.

An act of incredible irresponsibility

On her first day as Prime Minister and just  days after the Committee on Climate change issued a risk assessment warning that the UK is ill prepared to meet the problems brought by climate change, Theresa May has decided to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change and to transfer its responsibilities to the a new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.clim_change

Climate change is too large and wide-ranging an issue to become subsidiary to business, energy and industry and this decision displays an belief based on ideology rather than evidence of the capacity of business and free trade to resolve all problems.

Business and industry can certainly have a part to play in innovating to meet our changing climate but that must be within ¬†a policy directive that identifies action on climate change as¬†the challenge of our times that determines which industries are developed, how we manage our land and our agriculture, what kinds of transport infrastructure we can and can’t develop. And all that calls for a co-ordinated plan – not an inconsistent mass of half-hearted afterthoughts from a range of departments that have other priorities.

Can we really believe that a business, energy and industrial strategy can really contain the actions needed to face the dangers of widespread and recurring flooding, water, food, and energy insecurity, loss of biodiversity, and risks to health from new pests and diseases that are predicted to arise as temperatures increase?

This challenge could be an opportunity to build a clean and fairer economy ‚Äď a chance to bring forward¬†new industries providing rewarding jobs, and improve health and wellbeing. But this new government looks like¬†throwing that chance away.

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Sustainable housing in the High Peak

persimmon1The High Peak Local Plan, adopted in April this year, commits the borough council to pursue sustainable housing policies that provide for new building of affordable housing, while respecting the landscape and the natural habitats of this beautiful region. But, faced with a shrinking budgets and weak planning legislation, does our borough council have the means to stop unsustainable plans from going forward?

There`s really no argument against the perception that more housing is required within the UK, but there are plenty of arguments against the method of planning that the current government has imposed on councils and the people they should represent. The National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) is not overtly a bad process. It allows for adoption of a local plan and for people to organise to submit neighbourhood plans. But despite the fact that plans have been approved and accepted by government inspectors, the council are often left without any real power to uphold the plans when planning applications that have been refused go to appeal.

Large building and speculative interests have fortunes at their disposal and so can wreck the democratic process by employing expensive legal representatives against which most councils cannot respond. Why? Because the current Tory government has more or less bankrupt most authorities and how can you justify expensive legal costs when you have schools and adult care to consider? No contest really and so our sympathy must be with councils who do try to protect their environment against unsustainable and inappropriate developments.

Aside from the appeals issue, the NPPF, just doesn’t work very well to deliver the housing we do need. The problem is, there’s no obligation on developers to actually build the houses once the permission is obtained. Foot-dragging keeps the supply of houses well below demand, raising the price developers can obtain per unit built.

It’s a recognised problem that delivery of built houses is well short of what is planned for and we can now look forward to the latest government response to this – the Housing Delivery Test – yet another example of attempting to solve the wrong problem. The Housing Delivery Test will force councils who do not meet house building targets to release more land for development – which of course is more likely to be on greenfield sites than the original land allocated for building. So, instead of being penalised, foot-dragging developers are rewarded by being given access to land not previously available for building! Does anyone really believe that this is not deliberate?

Take a look at this blog post on the issue by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

So what can we do? Easy answer in my view:

  • Join the Green Party, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Friends of the Peak.
  • Get the facts about so-called sustainable development
  • Start writing to your MP and the Communities Secretary, Greg Clark. Write in your own words and spread the word ‚Äď it is the only weapon we have against what is essentially the destruction of the democratic process.

Currently in my part of the world, Burbage, Buxton there are two contentious planning applications (HPK/2015/0573 & HPK/2016/0234) and another in the pipeline. None of these fit the criteria for ‚Äėsustainable development‚Äô and all three are on greenfield sites which in all cases form part of the boundary that should exist between development and the National Park.

persimmon

Meanwhile large areas at Harpur Hill and opposite Staden Lane plus ‚Äėbrownfield‚Äô sites in Buxton remain empty and up for sale despite planning permission having been granted. It is not too late to let the ‚Äėpowers that be‚Äô know what you feel about this situation and if you would like to object to applications as noted above the application references are as above. You can submit comments and objects to planning applications on the High Peak Borough Council website.

Paul Waring

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Against the politics of hate and fear

For a Europe of welcome and hospitality

world-refugee-dayTomorrow, June 20th, is World Refugee Day and last week, refugees  lost a passionate advocate when Jo Cox was murdered by a man who appears to believe he was defending our country.

We cannot know yet what exactly triggered this atrocity and I truly believe that political leaders were sincerely shocked and horrified. But there’s no doubt that the referendum campaign has become poisonous – full of fear and hatred.

So, for World Refugee Day, it’s high time to stand up to the fear and hatred, and turn to our basic humanity and to call for our country to stay in Europe, to be part of a caring and compassionate response to the desperate plight of people fleeing war, economic meltdown, and environmental catastrophes (which will only get worse if we don’t work together).

We say no to:

  • Participating in or sponsoring wars that bring about death and destruction, and force thousands of people to flee.
  • The closure of borders and to the inhuman treatment of people who are seeking safety in our countries.
  • Shameful agreements with Turkey and Libya that allow for deportation of refugees in direct violation of¬†Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
  • The senseless differentiation between war refugees and people fleeing economic and environmental catastrophes. Wars, the global economic crisis and environmental disasters have causes that are directly connected and they all rob entire populations of the possibility of survival.

We also need a responsible media that refuses to take part in spreading disinformation and unfounded alarmism about¬†non-existent “invasions” and rising threat¬†of terrorism from refugees. In fact, the numbers are manageable with cooperation between European states.

On World Refugee Day, let’s reject the barbed wire, fences, detention camps, and the fear of the “other”, the “different”. Let’s build a Europe of welcome and hospitality.

 

Why we will vote for the UK to stay in the European Union.

Professor Michael Dower, former director of the Peak District National Park and John Youatt, a life member of the Green Party based in Derbyshire Dales, talk about their reasons for voting to remain the the EU.

We have been reading the material published by those who are for and against the UK’s continuing membership of the EU. Much of the debate seems to focus on the economic impact, either way, and on migration. We are not economists, but feel we are best served by staying in the EU, with a full voice in its future, while trading with others around the world. The economic debate seems to be drifting into a stalemate.

Meanwhile, our wish to stay in the EU is driven by six other principles – peace, freedom, citizenship, protection, solidarity and the rich exchange of ideas.
Peace

After two terrible world wars, we value highly the peace that Europe has enjoyed for over 70 years. The founders of the European Union believed, rightly, that peace could be secured by former enemies talking and by creating, eventually, a prosperous transnational community. Britain’s presence in both the EU and UN is vital in order to balance the economic and political power of other nations. It enables us to promote mutual trust and cooperation, to anticipate tensions and resolve conflicts, rather than to go to war.
Freedom of movement

We are deeply moved to see the attraction of freedom, for which people flee here from zones of conflict and economic hardship. We should be deeply proud of this view of the UK and Europe, as a theatre of human freedom, and believe we should respond generously, within reason, to the needs of these refugees and migrants. Within the EU, the freedom of movement and of trade is a net benefit to the United Kingdom, bringing skilled workers to sustain our national health service and other sectors, and offering opportunity for our own citizens to travel, work and live anywhere in the Union. We must make proper infrastructural provision for net growth in our population and not pretend otherwise.
Citizenship

We value greatly being both a citizen (not subject) of the UK and a citizen of the European Union. This means that we can vote for, lobby and consult councillors or members of parliament at parish, district, county, national and European level. It means that we can move freely around Europe, benefitting without charge from the national health services of all EU countries.

Protection

While mutual and cooperative models are growing, private sector companies predominate in the UK’s mixed economy They are required by law to maximise profits for shareholders. During right wing governments, the EU has and will provide balancing protections for human rights, workers’ rights, and consumers’ rights, and for the protection of the environment, habitats, climate and wildlife.

Solidarity

The EU is committed to raising the standards of living throughout the 28 member countries. Its regional funds are used to strengthen the economies of the weaker regions, including four UK regions and elsewhere. Its agricultural and rural funds help to sustain the farming industry, rural economies and the environment in the whole of rural Europe, including our own country. Its support to the ‚Äėaccession and neighbourhood‚Äô countries which lie near, but still outside, the Union is a powerful force for promoting democracy and the rule of law in those countries. The UK should continue to contribute to, and to benefit from, this process of social and economic development on a continental scale.

Exchange of ideas

The high diversity and cultural wealth of Europe makes available to all its citizens an extraordinarily rich array of experience and ideas, which we can use to strengthen the society, economy and culture of the UK. This is reflected in many fields ‚Äď tourism; twinning of towns and cities; access to European universities for our students through the Erasmus programme; massive opportunities for our researchers to launch multi-national projects, in cooperation with the brightest brains in many countries. We believe that this exchange, in all its forms, is deeply enriching to life in the UK.

For all these reasons, we hope to keep our European citizenship and be part of a United Kingdom which is fully committed to sustaining peace, freedom and solidarity in Europe; which contributes actively to the great exchange of ideas in Europe; and which puts continuing energy into building a shared and prosperous European economy.

Michael Dower is Visiting Professor of European Rural Development at the University of Gloucestershire. He has a long career in civil society and in government in England. For the last 30 years, he has also been actively involved in rural affairs in Europe, as a consultant to governments, as a teacher, as an adviser, and as a leader of civil society movements – ECOVAST, PREPARE, ARC2020, Euracademy and others.

 

What Europe is and what it could be

natalie

 

We trade air and water pollution. We share wildlife and fish, who don’t carry passports

Europe is our geography and its political, security and environmental problems are ours.¬†Voting to leave the EU won’t change that but it will deprive us of a voice in Europe’s future – in our future.

Natalie Bennett may be stepping down as leader of the Green Party, but she isn’t slowing down just yet. She’s on an almost non-stop tour of England and Wales in support of the party’s Greens for Europe Campaign and she visited Loughborough last Thursday and Sheffield last Friday.

Lamenting the poor quality of much of the debate so far in the mainstream media ” a Tory leadership contest masquerading as a referendum campaign ” Natalie contrasted this with the Green Party’s commitment to ” what the EU is and what it can be “. Asserting the general principle that ” we flourish best when we work together to confront the common problems that we face ” Natalie applied this to the UK’s position in the Europe, whose people shared common problems and aspirations.

Workers across Europe had a common interest in protecting their health and safety and employment rights, and to avoid being undercut in a ‘race to the bottom’. Multinational companies sought to avoid paying taxes and there needed to be European wide initiatives to tackle this. We cannot rely on our own government to address this. Indeed George Osborne used UK taxpayers money to make a legal challenge when the EU acted to cap bankers bonuses.

On¬†the issue of immigration Natalie said that we should celebrate the free movement of labour and of people. Over a million UK citizens worked elsewhere in the EU, and others had retired to the Mediterranean, to enjoy the sun and full access to local healthcare. The real concerns that people had about pressures on public services and housing were not the fault of immigration but rather of failed government policies and a failure of ‘ free market’ policies. Pointing out that EU citizens ” are more likely to be treating you as health workers than being treated as patients ” in the NHS, Natalie reminded us that almost twice as much is spent on healthcare in both France and Germany as a proportion of national wealth.

We need to Stay in Europe to change Europe  and this was the best way to defend and enhance the wellbeing of both people in the UK and across the EU. Popular protest against the proposed free trade agreement with the USA ( TTIP) which threatened the higher environmental, consumer and employment standards which applied in Europe and which multinational companies wished to challenge, had already delayed and might permanently prevent implementation of the agreement. European governments had been required to take notice of the three and a half million EU citizens who had signed a petition against TTIP ( perhaps the biggest  petition in history ) and the 250,000 who had marched in Berlin in opposition. Green MEPs , working together from across Europe, had led the opposition to TTIP in the European Parliament.

Natalie welcomed the militancy of French trade unionists who were currently taking action to defend workers rights and the fact that millions of Germans ( 7-8% of the population) had actively helped refugees arriving in their country- donating food, clothing and money, and rooms in their homes. It was encouraging to learn that opinion polls indicated that UK citizens were the most sympathetic to refugees in the whole of Europe, which was in sharp contrast to the picture often painted in the mainstream media. A fair and reasonable formula for distributing refuges across Europe had been proposed by the often demonised European Commission. It had been rejected by ( mostly right wing) national governments, including our own unrepresentative one ( elected by only 24% of eligible voters as Natalie said she was always anxious to remind her audiences )

Natalie concluded by reaffirming that ” we need to improve our quality of life whilst reducing our environmental impact” and that this would not be helped by voting to leave the EU. Rather a Brexit vote would empower racists and reactionaries across Europe. Polls indicated that the result was likely to be close and Greens should do every vote counted equally , there were no ‘ safe seats’ . There were many who were alienated from and angry with our unjust and unequal politics and society and who may be tempted to vote¬† ‘ Leave’ as an outlet for their frustration. Some could¬† be persuaded by our positive Greens for Europe ¬†message and activists should make an effort to reach as many of them as possible in the last few weeks of the campaign.

Natalie speaking in Sheffield, 3rd June 2016