Nothing brings communities together like a local issue. And there can be no better example of this in Tamworth than the uncertain future for the former Moorgate Primary School buildings on Hospital Street, The Leys.
The now vacant Victorian school premises, which form a key part of the Hospital Street Local Conservation Area, are under threat of disposal by their owners Staffordshire County Council (SCC).
Having been provided with a brand new two-storey school, built at the back of the existing school site – accessed via Moorgate and funded directly by the government during the school’s conversion to academy status – the school moved out of the Victorian buildings in 2015, leaving SCC with a headache; what to do with the old site?
Clearly, SCC doesn’t want to maintain empty buildings when they are short of funding in these times of Tory austerity, so are seeking to dispose of the site. But how should this be done?
Enter Moorgate Action Group (MAG) who think the buildings need to stay intact (certainly externally unchanged) and reused, preferably for the good of the whole of Tamworth as much-needed community spaces.
As MAG state on their website, Tamworth has lost many local community venues due to redevelopment and sale leaving the town short of appropriate and affordable places to deliver community-led services.
Tamworth Greens are proud to support MAG and their initiative to have the site reused for the benefit of the people of Tamworth and have now included a link to their campaign from our ‘Issues’ list (see main menu).
Molly is in a neck-and-neck race with Labour to win the Bristol West constituency where the Green vote surged by 23 per cent at the last election.
Currently MEP for Bristol and South West England, Molly was boosted by hundreds of Green Party members who descended on the city for a weekend canvassing effort. The new arrivals had travelled to Bristol from across the U.K. and among them were Tamworth Greens who pounded the pavements, knocked on doors and spoke to voters in the Redland area of the constituency, promoting Molly and the Green Party message.
And Molly said: “We’re working to make sure that on June the 8th, Bristol will elect our second Green MP.
“For the people of Bristol West it’s time. We truly are at a crossroads but the Green Party’s campaign for a bold, positive future for our country is in wholehearted opposition to the extreme Brexit and far-right agenda threatened by another five years of Tory government.”
Jon said: “Bristol West could have just another Labour MP or it could elect a Green MP with a strong vision. Molly is a formidable candidate who would give Bristol a distinctive voice in Parliament, just as Caroline has done for Brighton.”
Said Caroline: “We’ve got an incredibly strong chance of winning our second Green MP here in Bristol West. Molly is incredibly well known and respected and in Bristol in 2015 we went from 4 per cent of the vote to 27 per cent – that is almost unprecedented in electoral history in this country.”
“So with a swing like that, we’re very confident we can get another MP here in Bristol West.”
The Conservative Party managed to take all six Tamworth Divisions in the County Council Elections.
The closest contest was in Amington, with the Conservative candidate beating Labour by just 15 votes.
This is the first time that The Green Party have contested all six Divisions in Tamworth, with Conservative, Labour and UKIP also contesting all six Divisions and the Lib Dems standing in three.
Whilst the Green Party candidates did well and maintained our base level support of around 4% of the vote, it was clear from the results that our share of the vote was lower in the Divisions contested by the Lib Dems. This is something that we need to consider for future elections.
The most visible trend identified was the drastic reduction in UKIP’s share of the vote which appears to have moved to the Conservatives.
Thank you to our candidates for their efforts, especially Lesley and Wil who were first time candidates.
The Green Party Autumn Conference 2016 will be held at the University of Birmingham between 2nd and 4th September.
There will be a stimulating and packed three-day programme of policy-making, topical discussions, training and evening social sessions. By the end of July there will be a detailed timetable including three panel debates, 24 fringe sessions on a variety of topical subjects and a training programme. See the outline timetable here.
Members can register online via the members’ website. They can book for as many or few days as they like, and can even pay on the door if they don’t wish to book in advance. Non-members are also welcome to attend as ‘Observers’ at the same rates. There is a limited access fund for those who would struggle with the costs.
For more information on travel, accommodation, and creche, please visit the website.
To find out more about the policies we will be discussing at this conference, see the First Agenda on the members’ website.
There will be regional tables and meet ups arranged at conference, too, and once registered you should get information from your Regional Co-ordinator about these.
A message from former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett
People in Britain are angry at the status quo – and they’ve expressed that anger by voting to leave the EU. We cannot hide our disappointment at this result having campaigned strongly for a vote to Remain. But, we must now turn our attention to the task at hand: unifying our divided communities after an extraordinarily bitter period in British politics. We cannot allow the problems of racism, inequality and alienation that have, at times, been worsened by this campaign to grow.
The referendum campaign was carried out in a manner which does a disservice to the people of Britain. It was a Tory leadership campaign fought out over an issue of huge importance to this country and to Europe. People will have been turned off politics to an even greater degree than before. To help fix this democratic deficit we need electoral reform for the House of Commons to help build a more representative, inclusive democracy.
During the campaign the Green Party repeatedly stood up for migrants much more boldly than any other party, and are hugely concerned that this country’s commitment to the free movement of people is now in peril. We pledge to continue to stand up for migrants and to demonstrate how the free movement of people has enriched not impoverished people’s lives both in Britain and beyond. Please stand with us, and pledge to be a part of that campaign now.
Our party will now mobilise alongside the trade unions, environmental groups and others to defend our hard-won rights at work and environmental protections. Greens will not allow this shock to destroy what we hold dear, and we will redouble our efforts to protect our NHS and public services from privatisation and both safeguard and enhance environmental protections.
Many people have been joining the Green Party in the time since the result emerged. Now is a good time to ask sympathetic friends, colleagues and family to consider doing the same, to join the struggle to protect our hard won gains in coming months and years.
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me about where the UK goes from here: you can reach us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reacting to the publication of the Chilcot Report, Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:
The Green Party believes the report’s final confirmation that the Iraq war was ‘not a last resort’ and that the British government decided to invade before all the peaceful options had been exhausted is a verdict that must produce action. We must not just say ‘never again’ but act to make that fact.
That the judgements about the severity of threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were presented with a certainty that was not justified is simply inexcusable. Never again must the executive be able to lead us to war based on massaged information.
And never again should MPs be told how to vote on such a critical matter. The Government should, immediately, announce that all future military interventions will have unwhipped votes in the House of Commons. We must never again see MPs being cajoled into voting along party lines when their conscience tells them otherwise. No MP should answer when asked why they voted for war ‘I was told to.’
Those MPs must be given genuinely independent legal advice about the legality of the action. They must know it is their responsibility to act legally, and that they could face sanction if they don’t live up to it.
Speaking from Westminster, Shahrar Ali, Green Party Deputy Leader, said:
The Green Party is resolutely committed to finding non-violent solutions to conflict situations and unequivocally opposed the war in 2003.
The headline points of this mammoth report are chilling, yet unsurprising to all those who have been calling for Blair to be investigated at the International Criminal Court. Whether on grounds of Blair’s intent to bypass the UN, diplomacy not having been exhausted, or critical papers being denied to the Foreign Office, I support those renewed calls for a criminal investigation.
The Tories continue their relentless attack on the few remaining rights of some of the most vulnerable in society.
At present, council house tenants have a right to stay in their homes as long as they wish but under plans announced by the Tories no one will be secure for more than five years. Having a reliable roof over your head is one of the most fundamental requirements in life and knowing that you can build a family home without fear of eviction has always been central to the council house ethos.
The new Tory plans will see families having to face the prospect of repeated moves which will negatively impact on the education of thousands of children and remove the security that we should all be entitled to in our old age.
Our local MP has repeatedly shown that he will vote in line with his government instead of what is best for his constituents. Yet again we need to make sure he knows that the people of Tamworth do not support these evil measures.
The 1st of December marked 60 years since Rosa Parks refused to move from her bus seat for a white person, an act that sparked a demonstration which lasted 381 days and helped to change the way minorities were treated all across America.
It is a perfect example how the resolve of a small number of people to do what is right and not what is easy can make a positive difference in society.
At present many in the western governments, backed by irresponsible elements in the media, are determined to escalate the ‘war on terror’ in the middle east in supposed retaliation for the abhorrent attacks in Paris. We are told of pinpoint accuracy and only hitting ISIS, just as we were told similar stories in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The reality is a continuing cycle of suffering and death for millions of innocent Syrians caught up in a terrible civil war. History has shown us that air strikes go wrong on a worryingly regular basis, only last month the US paid out compensation to one of many wedding parties it has destroyed in drone strikes. The past twenty years have seen hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced and yet we are no closer to peace in the middle east or ‘security at home’.
As Albert Einstein said:
‘to repeat the same experiment over and over again expecting different results is nothing less than insanity’.
We need to stop this insanity now.
So what is the answer? The last one hundred and fifty years have shown continual interference in the middle east by western powers interested only in their own gains. We need to break the cycle of violence by stopping support for regimes that deny democracy and abuse human rights. We need to stop the supply of arms and training to those regimes. And most importantly we need to support those countries to develop free and open societies that value all their citizens or whatever gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It won’t happen over night but it is the only way we can move forward.
What can the people of Tamworth do? Write to Mr Pincher and tell him that military intervention is not being done in your name. Make sure he knows that we will hold him to account at the next election.