Blog

28th November 2018

Letter to the Bridport News, from Julian Jones, Bridport Green Party Councillor

Brexit Fiasco

I see that Oliver Letwin has decided to give us the benefit of his infinite wisdom over the Brexit withdrawal deal.  Having conceded that it will please nobody he concludes that it is a sensible compromise.  Presumably on the basis that when you are in a hole the best thing to do is dig more slowly.  I have to doubt his sincerity since he argued in favour of remain and knows that pressing on with Brexit will take many more years of negotiation and extensions to so called transition periods.

Why can’t he just be honest and admit that the whole Brexit fiasco has been a disaster from the outset.  The truth is that the voters on both sides had very little knowledge of how the EU operates and how closely the UK is bound into it after more than 45 years membership.  What they mostly did appreciate from personal experience is that increasing inequality in the UK, of class and region, has made their lives or the lives of people they know more difficult.  This meant that millions of people, who have been failed by the political choices our own politicians made, were vulnerable to the lie that the EU was in fact responsible.

The electorate were sold a pig in a poke by fantasists who knew nothing about the EU except their own baseless prejudices.  Now we hear many of them saying they would rather remain in the EU than agree to this withdrawal agreement.  It looks highly likely to be rejected by the Commons, and the far more absurd notion of crashing out of the EU with no agreement would be intolerable to even more MPs.  

So where does that leave us?  Almost certainly the only way out for the government is a referendum, whether or not that is the current one or a Labour led one, following an election.  Some people argue that this would be undemocratic – what a bizarre notion that a democratic referendum is undemocratic.  This one should be based on reality now that it has become quite apparent that there was no possible arrangement that could have matched the benefits of EU membership.  A vote to remain would put an end to this all-consuming saga that has left government completely distracted from all the important issues our country faces.

Julian Jones

Bridport Town Councillor, Green Party

 

18th November 2018

Letter to Bridport News from Kelvin Clayton, Bridport Green Party Councillor and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

Government Needs to Wake Up on Climate Change

Anyone who takes the threat to human flourishing from climate change seriously, and hopefully that is all of us, should be be feeling angry, very angry, at the lack of leadership and strategic direction coming from our present government. They are so caught up with resolving the Brexit fiasco, a problem completely of their own making and totally unnecessary, that they are neglecting the most important issue that any government has ever had to face.

The recent report in the Bridport News (Green plan is scrapped) on the Government’s plan to not only scrap the feed-in tariff for new installers of solar panels, but also for existing participants in their Green Energy Scheme, is a prime example of their almost criminal negligence. This tariff was an essential incentive for people to install solar panels – the only way most people could afford to do so. If we are serious about halving our carbon emissions by 2030 (only 12 years away) then we should be doing all we can to encourage the generation of this form of unlimited green energy, not erecting barriers!

Whatever our political persuasion, surely we can all agree that a role of government is to ensure the long-term safety and security of its population. Failing to take the threat from climate change seriously is a gross neglect of this role. We should be demanding that the Government wakes up and accepts its responsibilities.

Kelvin Clayton, Bridport Green Party Councillor

 

11.06.18

Breakthrough on Castle Cove beach campaign - read all about it on the Echo news website:

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/16281811.Fundraising_campaign_launched_after_beach_access_campaign__breakthrough_/

 

6.02.18

Letter to the press by local Weymouth member, David Smith:

Ballot box On 6th February 1918 the Representation of the People Act passed into law, extending voting rights to some women and all men over 21 for the first time. Until then, around 70% of the adult population were not allowed to vote.

Today all adults are allowed to vote but - thanks to our First Past the Post voting system - most of us still don't have a vote that counts. In the 2017 general election, 68% of votes had no impact on the result, either going to losing candidates or piling up in safe seats without influencing the makeup up Parliament.

Some of us are hunger striking on Tuesday 6th to draw attention to the injustice of a voting system that denies representation to millions, returns Parliaments that don't reflect the voters, and gives us governments that most of us didn't vote for.

We face momentous change over the next few years over which we have no control. We voted for Brexit but not for the vital detail. Taking just one example, during this parliament we are likely to see the wholesale privatisation of the NHS. American experience suggests this will double the overall cost of the health service for a diminished service. Thus health care free at the point of use will become unaffordable. Most people in Weymouth will simply not be able to afford it. Many families will be bankrupted trying to care for someone who has become sick. My wife knows too many people in the USA who have suffered this way. Did we vote for this?

Regrettably, most MPs oppose changing the voting system for two reasons, holding onto their safe seats with all the perqs involved, and 'tribal' loyalty. They do not have the foresight that this will come back to bite them as things in Britain deteriorate; but it may be too late for most of us.

David Smith

30.11.17

Herbert's Record of 20th Century Life in Weymouth

 

We are supporting the Dorset Archives Trust crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to digitise local photographer Graham Herbert’s collection.

The collection of over 7,000 packets of photographic negatives, is a unique record of the social history of the area. He captured many aspects of local life, including festivals and performances; shop displays and interiors; street scenes and every-day occurrences; and agricultural and industrial work. 

 

Herbert's Weymouth Collection

The negatives are on acetate which decays over time. Vinegar syndrome leads to warping, bubbling and channelling which destroys the photo forever. There is no treatment to stop or reverse this condition.

It’s a race against time to digitise the collection to save these photographs for future generations. The collection is housed in climate controlled storage at Dorset History Centre.

Dorset Archives Trust has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to save this collection. The aim is to raise £8,000 to digitise the photos before they decay. Donations can be pledged at crowdfunder.co.uk/save-herberts-weymouth or made by post to the Dorset History Centre labelled Save Herbert’s Weymouth. Cheques should be made payable to Dorset Archives Trust.

We think this is well worth supporting and would encourage people to help with the crowdfunder - after all, we need to know our history if we want to change it!

Green Party County councillor Clare Sutton said the images provided a "fascinating window" into the county's past. "I very much hope they can be preserved for future generations".

For pledges of £8 or more, there are some exciting ‘rewards’ on offer that range from a set of four postcards featuring already digitised images to a VIP tour of the Dorset History Centre with the County Archivist.

There's more info on the project here:

dorsetforyou.gov.uk/dorsethistorycentre/herbert

and a here's short youtube film:

 

 

24.09.17

Letter from local member, David Smith, to Richard Drax MP for South Dorset.

PR DEBATE

Click on image above for full pdf version

 

17.09.17

Let’s not give up our local hospitals without a murmur of protest

Green Party's Jon Orrell writes to the Echo to call for protest against NHS cuts.

He writes: 

"There is something in the English nature that takes adversity on the chin stoically.

Maybe it is coping with the weather.

So we shrug and meekly accept messages of austerity and see wages shrink for the many, whilst the elite few double their income and pay no tax.

What will next week’s Clinical Services Review decision date mean for Weymouth and Portland?

We stand to lose all 12 Portland beds at a stroke and later Westhaven beds with only some of the current 36 transferred to the Melcombe Avenue site.

Here we have already lost our dementia beds.

At Linden we are set to lose our 12 mental health beds entirely with no alternatives in the town.

Others may crow that Bournemouth will benefit and won’t that be great for us too?

Never mind the travelling. Look at the beds being lost.

Our town is being sacrificed to balance Dorset’s books and build empires elsewhere.

Yet there is another side to the English nature, one of dissent and assertiveness.

Look back to our history of the Peasant’s revolt, the Lollards, the Levellers and Diggers in the Civil War, the Chartists, Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Suffragettes echoing down the centuries to the great post war reforms that established the caring welfare state and the NHS.

So for any in this fine tradition join us outside the Dorford Centre in Dorchester on Wednesday, September 20th at 9.30am.

MPs have voted for the national under-funding of social care and health that forced the Dorset CCG to cut beds but let’s not give up our local hospitals without a murmur of protest."

The full letter and comments is here:

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/15538711.LETTERS__As_a_doctor__let_s_not_give_up_our_local_hospitals_without_a_protest/

17.09.17

Water Fountain Proposal

Our proposal for a water fountain in Bridport was accepted by the town council committee on the 6th September. We look forward to this improvement to the town!

From the minutes (available on the Bridport Town Council website):

from minutes

08.09.17

Campaigners "over the moon" as Councillors at Dorset County Council vote to restore access to Castle Cove beach

Congratulations the Friends of Castle Cove beach and to everyone who has been working tirelessly to regain public access to Castle Cove.

Our thanks especially to Cllr Clare Sutton who says

“We worked incredibly hard in the build up to this to make as strong a case as we possibly could, and I am absolutely delighted with the decision. There’s still a lot more work to be done, but this was a very significant milestone and takes us that bit closer.”

Read all about it in the Echo:

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/15514101.Campaigners__over_the_moon__as_councillors_vote_to_restore_access_to_Castle_Cove_beach/

27.08.17

Weymouth will need a Town Council if Unitary Plans go ahead

Green Party county councillor for Rodwell in Weymouth, Clare Sutton is calling for Weymouth to have its own town council should the plans for the unitary authority go ahead.
 
Clare says "should some portion of the current Dorset County Council area become a Unitary Authority, Weymouth's residents would in my view be seriously disadvantaged should we not have some form of 'second tier' representation. As the largest conurbation, with (along with Portland) the most concentrated levels of deprivation on a range of indices, we need strong and cohesive representation."
 
The consultation ends on Friday September 1st, it can be accessed from this link:
 
https://news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/2017/06/30/views-weymouth-town-council/

 

21.10

Dorset Climate Change Action Conference  is to be held on Saturday 21st October at St Aldhem’s Church Centre, Spa Road, Weymouth DT3 5EW.

Its objectives are to inform about climate change and promote action, to challenge politicians to take action and to recruit new Transition Town Weymouth and Portland members.

Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party will be coming!

It’s a full day conference with speeches in the morning and workshops in the afternoon.

Climate Flyer

PROGRAMME. 10 am – 4 pm overall.

10.00 -  10.05.   Welcome and introduction – Chair: Dr Jon Orrell, Dorset CC. & Chair of TTW&P.

10.05 – 10.30.  Climate Change Science – John Tomblin, Chemist and TTW&P Trustee    (20 +5 mins: Qs.)                                                    

10.30 – 10.55.  What needs to be done – Raja Jarrah (Bridport), ex Oxfam Field Director, Brazil. (20 +5 mins: Qs.)

10.55 – 11.10. REFRESHMENT BREAK: choose workshops and view displays                                                             

11.10 – 12.10: Parties’ policies and actions. (15 mins each)

  • CONSERVATIVE: Simon Hoare, MP North Dorset
  • GREENS: Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader Green Party
  • LABOUR: Lee Rhodes, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate W Dorset
  • LIB. DEMS: David Harris, Dorset CC for Weymouth

12.10 – 12.40 pm Questions to panel of above politicians (30 mins.)

12.40 – 1.30 pm:  LUNCH – provided – choose workshops and view displays (50 mins)

1.30 – 1.55 pm: Renewable Energy (RE) and energy efficiency: Pete West, ex RE Officer Dorset CC (20 +5 mins: Qs.)

1.55 – 3.20 pm: Six workshops on Climate Change: choose two out of six. (40 mins each)

  • Campaigning – Lucy Sommers (Bridport) & Emily Bullock (Bournemouth)
  • Sustainable horticulture/agriculture – Judy Edwards & Kate Forrester (Dorchester)
  • Personal action eg. No fly/no car – Chit Chong (Bridport)
  • Countering climate change sceptics – David Smith & John Tomblin (Weymouth)
  • Species extinction by Climate Change – Sebastian Brooke, MEMO project (Portland)
  • Communicating Climate Change: Sam Wilberforce (Bridport)

3.20 – 3.55 PLENARY: report back from workshops and Qs to panel of w/shop leaders (35 mins)

3.55 – 4.00 pm Summary and conclusions: Chair.

 4.00 pm: TEA and DEPART.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

REPLY SLIP TO: John Tomblin, 1 Stanier Road, Preston, Weymouth, DT3 6PD

                                 jvtomblin@aol.com  Tel: 01305 832180

I would like to reserve ………………. places at £ 5 each and enclose cash or cheque for £ ……….. payable to:

Transition Town Weymouth & Portland.

NAME: …………………………………………………………………….. ORGANISATION: ………………………………………………………………

EMAIL/ADDRESS: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

TEL. NO: ……………………………………………………………… DATE: ………………………………………………………

 

22.08.17

Letter from local member, David Smith, to the BBC to complain about appearance of climate change denier Lord Lawson (click on the image below to link to a pdf document)

Climate Change letter

18th August

Please fill in the consultation on pedestrianising the top of South Street in Bridport. You have until the end of September. Find the link and read more about it here.

6th August 2017

We're pleased to support the campaign to reduce plastic waste. We’re making enquiries in Bridport to see if we can get this public water tap working again, so tourists and residents have the option of a refill instead of buying plastic water bottles. 

Water fountain in Bridport fountain 2

UPDATE: apparently the fountain originally stood elsewhere and was moved as a way to preserve it - so it's never been connected! We will look into possibilities for connecting it

 

Community Litter-Pick on Tuesday 8th August:

Please be invited to join our next clean up in central Weymouth on Tuesday 8th August....the alternative summer fun  :)

Litterpick

 

30.07.17

Trade deal with the USA? Local member David Smith's letter to Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset.

Click on the image below to link to a more easy to read pdf version

Letter to Drax