Tag Archives: Derbyshire Green Party

Sue steals the Duffield hustings!

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Sue MacFarlane, nearest the camera, a Green Party candidate from Belper gave a very credible showing at Monday’s Mid Derbyshire Hustings at Ecclesbourne School in Duffield, hosted by The Duffield Christian Council.

In front of a very full and lively audience, Sue, who is the prospective parliamentary candidate for Mid Derbyshire, made a lot of new friends as she debated issues ranging from farming to the NHS, and housing to defence. Sue gave direct examples of how the Green Party manifesto addresses the issues people are concerned about, and spoke with passion and authority on what were clearly hot topics for the locals attending – and in some cases for the country as a whole.

The Green Party’s membership ranks continue to swell and earlier this month hit 60,000 nationally, a growth of over 300% in less than seven months, overtaking both the Lib Dem and UKIP memberships in the process.

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Belper Greens and local residents take town council to task!

The following press release was issued today:

Mid Derbyshire Green Party has helped overturn plans by the chairman of Belper Town Council’s finance working party to spend two thirds of their £350,000 reserves by not charging any council tax precept for Belper this year.

At a meeting of the council on Tuesday evening (20th Jan), strong concerns were voiced by councillors that the decision to recommend refunding £243,125 to the townspeople via their tax bills was made at a working party meeting – attended only by Cllr Alan Cox and his wife Cllr Jackie Cox – on December 18 last year.  Four other members of the working party couldn’t get to the meeting and sent apologies, but Mr and Mrs Cox decided to proceed with the meeting even though it was inquorate.

Members of the public, many of them from the Green Party, attended the full meeting of the council at St John’s Chapel in Belper to protest at the proposal.  Without exception, public speakers said that the money in reserve should be spent on projects to benefit the town.

Comments made by residents who had signed a 174-name petition against the proposal were read out before it was officially handed over by their spokesman.  The improved provision of public toilets was high on the wish list of the residents many of whom said they felt the council was out of touch with public feeling.

Four people, two of them Green Party candidates standing in Belper at the elections in May, spoke out against Cllr Cox’s recommendation before the final decision was made.  The majority of the councillors, including the Mayor and his son Dan Booth, the deputy Mayor, backed the public opinion and when it came to the vote, only Mr and Mrs Cox voted in favour of the recommendation.

So now the normal precept is going to be charged for the year 2015/16 and a decision on how to spend the money will be made at a future meeting.

The vast reserve of money accumulated over a number of years was last discussed in public last January (2014) when it was agreed that it needed to be spent by March 2015. At the time Cllr Alan Broughton suggested that the townspeople be asked for ideas on how to spend it.

Various grants have been made to charities and groups in the town during the year as usual but none of that has come from the reserves and no obvious attempt to gauge public opinion has been made.

Sue MacFarlane, the Green Party’s candidate for Belper North in the upcoming Amber Valley Borough Council elections, wanted to know why Cllr Broughton’s suggestion to ask the townspeople what they wanted to spend it on 12 months ago had not been followed up.

“Whilst I can understand how a cut in the Precept in an election year may appear to be the right thing to do if you are hoping to get re-elected to this council, I don’t think it is appropriate to use this money as a pre-election rate cut. A cynical person could surmise that the council did not want anyone to come up with any ideas,” she said.

Both Sue MacFarlane and John Devine, the Green Party candidate for the Belper North Ward for Belper Town Council, offered to help in any way possible to generate public discussion on the matter.  “Maybe we could have an open debate at an event in the Strutt Centre so we could decide how the money could best be spent for the long term benefit of the people of Belper,” said John, offering Green Party local members to help this to happen.

Another member of the public, Maurice Neville, who has worked as a senior local government officer, said “I was very surprised to find that there was no information at all about the reserves on the council’s website,” adding that other councils did provide such details and he was able to find them at the click of a mouse.  Mr Neville pointed out documentation was vital if people were going to be able to assess the wisdom of the proposal.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact Sue MacFarlane on 01773423758 or 07774004240, or email her (see contacts page).

Finally – a fun group shot with Natalie Bennett

Unbelievable!  Time ran out in the Q&A session and still students’ hands were up for questions.  Still, just time for the quick group shot with Natalie!

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Come and Celebrate a 'Green' Christmas

Come and Celebrate a 'Green' Christmas'

Come and Celebrate a ‘Green’ Christmas’

Come and enjoy our ‘Green Christmas’ event at No.28 at Belper Market Place on Saturday, 29th November between 1pm & 5pm.  We’ll have live music from Red Ruff, Amy & Lilly and others including ‘spots’ from your local Green Candidates!!  There’ll be refreshments from Reminiscence Vintage, craft stalls, face painting and, of course, information about the local and national Green Party  … there may even be a visit from ‘Green Santa’!

Come and Celebrate a ‘Green’ Christmas

Come and Celebrate a 'Green' Christmas'

Come and Celebrate a ‘Green’ Christmas’

Come and enjoy our ‘Green Christmas’ event at No.28 at Belper Market Place on Saturday, 29th November between 1pm & 5pm.  We’ll have live music from Red Ruff, Amy & Lilly and others including ‘spots’ from your local Green Candidates!!  There’ll be refreshments from Reminiscence Vintage, craft stalls, face painting and, of course, information about the local and national Green Party  … there may even be a visit from ‘Green Santa’!

New Belper Green Party Candidates selected!

At a recent meeting of Mid Derbyshire Green Party, Sue MacFarlane was voted as lead candidate for Belper North Ward in next year’s Amber Valley Borough Council elections. SONY DSC

At the same meeting, John Devine was voted as lead candidate for Belper North for the Belper Town Council elections.John-Devine-002

 

Mid Derbyshire Green Party will be fielding candidates in all four Belper wards next year, and Derbyshire Green Party is currently in the process of selecting candidates for the General Election.  Given the record Green Party membership levels, recent defections of Lib Dem councillors to Greens, and the Greens showing ahead of the Liberal Democrats in recent polls, Mid Derbyshire Greens feel that the time is right to field candidates in local and national elections in 2015.

 

Natalie Bennett, leader of The Green Party of England and Wales is visiting Belper on 17th November to meet the candidates, visit the greenfield sites that are still within Amber Valley’s proposed Core Plan, and to attend a public meeting where she will talk about Green Party policies and progress ahead of next year’s elections.