There are two elections in Bridport on Thursday May 2nd:
BRIDPORT TOWN COUNCIL: voters get up to 9 votes.
The closest we get to proportional representation in Bridport! We are standing 2 candidates in each ward.
DORSET COUNCIL: voters get 3 votes each.
Everyone in the Bridport constituency can cast three votes for the new Dorset councillors. This gives a great opportunity to send three councillors who will challenge and hold to account what is likely to be a Tory run Council. We can share our votes between opposition parties to maximise the total for the lead candidate from each party. This would be Bridport style proportional representation in action. This town has always had a progressive majority of voters but Conservatives are frequently elected with under 40% of the vote due to a divided opposition. This time we must choose wisely so that Bridport stands out as a progressive island in a blue sea of rural seats.
We have chosen to stand just one candidate. Please vote for the Green Party’s Kelvin Clayton as one of your 3 votes so we return a strong Green voice for Bridport.
Greens are going from strength to strength in Dorset.
Clare Sutton was elected county councillor in Weymouth in 2015.
Dr Jon Orrell joined Clare on the council in 2017 representing Melcombe Regis in Weymouth where he works as a GP.
Help us add to our tally of Green councillors by electing Kelvin Clayton to the unitary authority to represent Bridport.
Bridport is a fiercely independent town with a strong identity. Like the towns of Frome and Totnes, Bridport could be a beacon of light for local democracy.
If you live in the town council area, please vote for both Green candidates in your ward!
“I want to help make Bridport a resilient and truly sustainable community. My particular interest is increasing democratic involvement in local decision-making. I’ve worked with volunteers (in adult education and local history projects), in community groups (supporting a women’s refuge and putting sustainability into practice) and as a volunteer (school governor, Trustee Bridport Museum). If elected I will bring energy and passion to working collaboratively in meeting the local challenges of climate emergency and biting austerity.”
Kelvin Clayton has served as a town councillor since 2015.
“Since being elected onto the Town Council I have become involved in a great many local projects, projects that I want to see through to a successful conclusion. I particularly want to help steer the development of our Youth & Community Centre and ensure that the Climate Emergency motion that I submitted to Council is fully implemented.
I will continue to hold weekly councillor surgery on Wednesdays at BearKat café and I will continue to be available to anyone with issues or concerns.”
“I’m standing again for the town council because I want to continue fighting for Bridport to make the differences locally that we all want to see: establishing our own bus service, saving the youth centre, supporting organisations to promote economic well being, and to continue my role of challenging cuts to local health, housing and services that support the most vulnerable.”
“After one term on the Town Council I would like to be re-elected as part of a larger Green Party group and would welcome the addition of Labour councillors to provide a better balance of political representation.
While much about Bridport is wonderful it could still be better and I am keen to see the town become more suited to pedestrians, cyclists and bus users, and less dominated by cars and lorries.”
Kelvin Clayton is our candidate for Dorset Council
Kelvin worked in the public sector all his working life, first as a firefighter, then as a careers adviser.
He is a passionate supporter of the need for public services.
He is currently chair of our local Green Party and the prospective parliamentary candidate for West Dorset. He is a trustee of Bridport Youth & Community Centre and a volunteer at the Bridport Job Club. He runs the Bridport Philosophy in Pubs group.
Kelvin’s statement: “I’m standing for election onto the new Dorset Council to ensure that many vital issues do not get drowned by the potential Conservative domination of this council. These issues include the need to respond to a fast approaching climate emergency, our desperate need for social housing, our equally desperate need to develop social care for anyone in need of it, and our appalling public transport infrastructure. Democracy demands that the views of all the residents of Dorset be given a voice on their council.”
Ros Kayes (retired county councillor) endorses Kelvin:
“We need someone who will stand up for Bridport in Dorset. Kelvin has a superb record of action - helping run our Job Club, fighting to save the Youth Centre, buses, our local hospital and pushing a Green agenda. He’s a nice bloke too! I wholeheartedly endorse him.”
Housing - council to build homes for social rent for local people
Climate emergency - 100% clean energy in Dorset by 2030
Public Transport - The bus service in a rural area needs to be recognised as a public service, not an opportunity for the private sector to make profits. The new Dorset Council must use the powers that are already available (since 2017) to regulate bus services to meet local need.
A Living Wage - council to work to ensure as many workers as possible in Dorset receive the Living Wage (currently £9/h)
Austerity - has increased inequality and decimated services for those who need it most—and it must end. We will challenge the cuts to services for people who are elderly, disabled or homeless.
Democracy - we’ll work to develop a citizens’ assembly to make sure local opinions are not drowned out in the new unitary giant.
Bridport Green Group meet around once a month. Please contact us for details of our next meeting. Our aim is to support the work of our town councillors, Kelvin Clayton and Julian Jones, to campaign on local issues and get more elected representatives. If you would like to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Issues we have campaigned on are: keeping the Youth Centre open, encouraging local employers to pay a living wage, and improving the town centre by pedestrianising the top part of South Street (though not everyone agreed with us about this!).
We are proud to have two Green Party town councillors, Kelvin Clayton and Julian Jones.
Elected in May 2015, they have already made an impact: the council is now committed to helping Bridport become the first Living Wage Town. And they also succeeded in passing a motion calling on the UK government to retain the Human Rights Act.
Committe representation is as follows:
Environment and Social Well Being: Kelvin and Julian
Finance and General Purposes Committee: Kelvin
Sub Committees: Best Value and Scrutiny: Kelvin
Highways Working Group: Julian
Every Wednesday, Kelvin Clayton will be sitting in the BearKat café (in the Lyric Theatre, Barrack Street) between 10 and 11 am, and invites anyone to call in and discuss any issue or problem that is on their mind.
Kelvin Clayton said: “First of all I must thank Don Brown, who runs the café, for allowing us this space. I feel that it is important for me to be available to listen to the concerns of local residents, and hopefully this will prove to be a relaxed and inviting environment in which to do so.”
Bridport's Green Party town councillors, Julian Jones (left) and Kelvin Clayton (right).
Here is a pdf version of our eighth Bridport Green Group newsletter. Click it to open a digital version.
Read all about our candidates for Bridport Town Council and Dorset Council
Here is a pdf version of our seventh Bridport Green Group newsletter. Click it to open a digital version. Below the image is a bit more info about the amount we spend on housing benefit.
In the newsletter we claimed "Currently in West Dorset alone, we spend £27 million a year on housing benefit." This information was taken from a government spreadsheet. Click below to download this 7MB excel file.
In the UK as a whole we spend around £20 billion each year on housing benefit. Much of this goes into the hands of private landlords.
Here is a pdf version of our sixth Bridport Green Group newsletter. Click it to open a digital version. Below the image is an extended story on renewables in Dorset.
In the newsletter one of our articles covers renewable energy in Dorset. Here is an extended version with more information in italics.
Dorset residents spend over £400 million each year on household energy with fossil fuel companies the winners.
According to ofgen we spend £1200 per year on energy for the home. So with 345,000 houses in the Dorset area (including Bournemouth and Poole), that adds up to £414 million.
Currently, renewable energy produced within Dorset accounts for only 6% of the energy required to power our homes.*
The figure of 6% is from the Dorset Energy Partnership Annual Report for 2015-2016. The report details how 168 Gigawatt hours are generated in the form of heat (mainly from domestic woodstoves) and 511 Gigawatt hours per year are generated in the form of electricity (mainly ground-mounted solar farms). So the total renewable energy generation was 680 GWh per year for electricity and heat for homes.
Although this is a big improvement on the 1% we produced in 2011, it is still totally inadequate given the scale of the challenge of climate breakdown, and since the government is withdrawing support for solar power it looks like progress will be halted.
And of course this is only 5.5% of electricity and heat for our homes - this does not include the following:
- road transport fuels
- aviation fuel
(Transport accounts for 40% of our energy demand according to the Zero Carbon Britian report produced by the Centre for Alternative Technology)
- shipping fuels
- energy used abroad to manufacture things we used to make in this country.
So renewables are still only producing a tiny proportion of our total energy use.
Bridport Green Party Town Councillor Kelvin Clayton says, “The Conservatives have put a stop to onshore and offshore wind energy projects in Dorset (such as Navitus Bay) and prematurely removed subsidies for solar PV.
Kelvin says: "We’re missing a trick here! The Green Party wants to see more community owned renewable energy schemes in Dorset. These would retain tens of millions of pounds in the local economy at the same time as creating hundreds of skilled local jobs.
We know we have to phase out fossil fuels entirely by 2050 in order to prevent catastrophic climate change so let’s do it now and then we all benefit.”
Here is a pdf version of our fifth Bridport Green Group newsletter. Right click on the image below and choose "Save Link As" (or similar) to download.
In the newsletter we promised more info on reducing plastic waste so ...
You can get a free refill when you are out and about thanks to the “Refill” campaign (run locally by “Litter Free Coast and Sea”) which promotes businesses who will happily refill your water bottle.
Locally, the following cafes and pubs have signed up:
- in East Street, Bridport, No 10 and Aroma cafes,
- and in Barrack Street, the Bearkat Bistro and the Green Yard Café
- in Burton Bradstock, The Three Horseshoes pub,
And of course many more places would oblige if asked!
- Never flush plastic down the loo!Only the 3 P’s go down the loo
- Many businesses could do more to consider how to reduce plastic packaging and as customers we can choose to for example buy our veg without plastic packaging - it’s easy in the green grocer! There are alternatives to straws, condiment sachets and polystyrene chip boxes.
- Sign the petition to bring back bottle deposits
Here is a pdf version of our fourth Bridport Green Group newsletter. Right click on the image below and choose "Save Link As" (or similar) to download.
Here is a pdf version (2.3 MB) of our third Bridport Green Group newsletter. Right click on the image below and choose "Save Link As" (or similar) to download.
Here is a pdf version (1.9 MB) of our second Bridport Green Group newsletter. Right click on the image below and choose "Save Link As" (or similar) to download.
Here is a pdf version of our first Bridport Green Group newsletter. Right click on the image below and choose "Save Link As" (or similar) to download.
Kelvin's twitter feed