Making More of our road verges

 

 

The UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s, but we can mitigate this loss by changing the way we manage our road verges (see https://roadverges.plantlife.org.uk/). Over the next few years, I’ll be leading “species-rich grassland” trials on road verges in Barrasford and Wall. The aim being to mimic traditional hay meadow management by cutting the grass late in the summer (after the flowers have set seed) and raking up the clippings to deprive the soil of nutrients. This will promote rarer plants (including orchids and yellow rattle) which prefer nutrient-poor soil and suppress the commoner plants (brambles, nettles, cow parsley etc.) which prefer richer soils. The long-term aim is to create an attractive road verge that benefits wildlife (especially pollinating insects) while maintaining “line of sight” for motorists. The local school children have named the projects “Wild Wall” and “The Barrasford Bs” (the Bs being Bees, Butterflies, Beetles and Bugs) and created posters that I’m getting made into signs to inform passers-by. The children of Chollerton First School helped me with a “bioblitz” in July, and a botanist and an entomologist helped me with a more thorough plant and insect survey in June – we’ll repeat this annually to monitor the changes in plant and insect life. The Hadrian’s Wall 1900 team have encouraged me to register the projects with them – go to https://bit.ly/3xl7cg0 to read about the Barrasford Bs project on their website.

Nick Morphet

TGP County Councillor

The Rights and Responsibilities Policy Working Group – how you can get involved

Our Rights and Responsibilities chapter was put together some years ago with the very best of intentions, and it has been updated to a limited extent at various conferences. However, much of the text is now outdated and wholesale revision is needed.

A working group of Green Party Regional Council was asked to get this work underway, and we recruited some party members who committed to being part of the Core Team that will take responsibility for drafting the new text and consulting others about it. They successfully brought an enabling Motion to Autumn Conference 2021 and are now working in earnest to update our party’s policy. You can see, and join, our Green Space on the members’ website at Rights & Responsibilities Policy Work Group – Green Party Members Website

We are keen to expand the Core Team, especially to include Young Greens and people who identify as LGBTQIA+, as the members who have these characteristics, although they were initially active, are not currently involved in the Core Team’s work for different reasons. There will also be a wider ‘reference group’ who will be consulted on the text – this will include representatives of all the inclusion/liberation groups in the party and other interested individuals; consultation will also take place with external campaigning groups and other relevant organisations.

If you have a strong commitment to all aspects of equality, and a willingness to work cooperatively with others who may have different views and would like to join the Core Team, then we want to hear from you. If you have previous experience of writing policy (for the Green Party or another organisation) that would be great, but a positive and collegial attitude is more important. We have an Acting Convener for the Policy Working Group (and the Core Team) who intends to remain involved, but they would like to hand on the responsibility for driving this work forward. So if you are potentially interested in becoming our Convenor, or Co-Convenor to share the load with someone else, then do flag this up in your response.

Please send either a 250 word statement, or a 2-minute video or audio file of you reading your statement, to rightsandresponsibilities2020@outlook.com. Your statement should tell us why you are the right person to get involved in the Core Team, and explain your particular areas of interest and/or expertise in the field of Equality work. We look forward to hearing from you, and welcoming a few new members to our Core Team.

Support for Lee Williscroft-Ferris in Hexham East

As you know, we are not standing a candidate in the forthcoming Hexham East by-election. Several members have therefore asked if they can instead support Lee and OpenHexham in their campaign for the recently-vacated council seat. Lee requests that anyone who would like to help contact him directly at LeeWilliscroftFerris@gmail.com – and has also asked me to share the following:

Richard Sutton

The outcome of this election is crucial given the context, both locally and nationally. Since being elected as an OpenHexham Independent town councillor in May, we have declared a climate and biodiversity emergency and measure every decision we make against its potential impact on the environment. In addition, I’m proud to part of organising the inaugural Hexham Sustainability Fair at the Abbey on 19th December. One of my key policies currently being communicating to voters, both on leaflets and via other channels such as HexhamTV, is a commitment to climate-proofing every single decision I make as a County Councillor. The climate crisis can be best summarised as a thread running through all my work. I see this as an existential commitment. I know the Green Party is all about bringing democracy as close to the people as possible and I’m proud to be only candidate in this by-election that actually lives in Hexham East. This matters to me. The fact that the outcome of the by-election will directly affect me as a local resident makes me work even harder to win each and every vote. I would be humbled to receive the support of TGP members in the form of leaflet delivery and possibly bannering and door-knocking. I am acquainted with the tenacity of TGP activists and would be delighted to have their practical support.

.

Green gains in Northumberland mirrored throughout the country

CONGRATULATIONS to Nick Morphet Tynedales first Green County Councillor following a well thought out campaign and to Martin Swinbank for winning the Alnwick seat. With 2 green Councillors on Northumberland County Council we can now start to influence policy.

Humshaugh Results

Milo Jasper BARNETT (Lab) 80

Rupert McLure GIBSON (Con) 849

Nick MORPHET (Green) 1,046

Stuart Alan ROWLANDS (LibDem) 30

  • Also Gained first seats in Stockport, Durham, Hastings, East and West Sussex, North Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and Cumbria
  • Total of 13 Green Councillors now on Sheffield City Council
  • 5 Greens on Wirral, Knowsley and Burnley Borough Councils.
  • Taken seats from LibDems, Labour and Conservatives in Suffolk where we now have 9 County Councillors.