Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Neighbourhood Watch Update

I have met with Colin Freeman, the man charged by the police of reviving this worthwhile scheme, and we had a really productive meeting. Now we have the task of encouraging people to sign up. It does rebuild community spirit and lower crime. Coalition Government Cuts will reduce the number of Police Constable Support Officers (PCSO) on which the Police are so dependent. These officers do much of the work on the ground. It is now even more important that we get involved.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Lucas ammendment for AV Referendum Bill

Dr Caroline Lucas MP, the Green Party leader, has tabled an amendment to the AV referendum bill. The amendment would allow us, the voters, to have a genuine Proportional system choice at the referendum rather than just a choice between the Alternative Vote or First Past the Post, which the Lib-Dems accepted as part of the coalition deal. The Green Party is committed to the Additional Member System (AMS), which authorities agree would deliver a result closer to true proportionality as well as retaining constituency.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Green Party Conference

Caroline Speech Part 1  Caroline Speech part 2
It’s the Green Party Conference this weekend in Birmingham and obviously we are celebrating Dr Caroline Lucas becoming our first MP. Caroline’s career shows she is a lady with a strong ethical and principled stance as she showed in her expenses when she was an MEP. She is also our leader.

At the conference we reflected on how we address the savage cuts of the ConDem coalition government. She appealed to Liberal Democrat supporters who were shocked by what they are doing in government:

"We are gaining members from the Liberal Democrats too. Perhaps their anguish and sense of betrayal is all the more sharp, for being so unexpected. Could they really have imagined during the election campaign, when Nick Clegg could hardly open his mouth without saying the word "fairness", that they would be voting for a party that would become an apologist for the most brutal, savage cuts in a generation?

"Cuts which are decimating communities up and down the country.

"Cuts that affect people like the woman who came to my surgery a few weeks ago, desperate to be re-housed because she, her partner and child were all living in a single room in Brighton, and she was expecting another child very soon.

"That's why the Green Party is committed to fighting these cuts every step of the way.

"I don't criticise Nick Clegg and those around him for agreeing to work with the Conservatives. But I do criticise him for the terms of that deal. With our principles and our courage to be honest with the public about the greatest issues of our time, such as climate change, we are the natural home for Liberal Democrats who feel betrayed by their leaders.

"And so to those Liberal Democrats, I say, join us. Many of your former colleagues are already here.

"Don't give up on politics. There is a party out there of principle and integrity - and it's the Green Party. " 1

Lucas went on to outline why, on nuclear power, the Trident nuclear deterrent, and education, the Green Party is providing the real opposition to the coalition government:

"Labour championed the Academies programme, despite all our warnings about the risk of creating a two-tier education system. Now - surprise, surprise - the Coalition has dropped any requirement that Academies should gain from outside sponsorship, or should help those communities most in need. Any pretence of a higher social purpose is out. Michael Gove's plans are simply about an ideological opposition to state education and a chance to allow private companies to make a profit from our schools. And Labour, having opened the door to this in the first place, cannot mount an effective, principled opposition, despite their heroic efforts to try to rewrite history. And that's why we need the Green Party." 2

Along with this speech there were commitments to fight the privatisations of the NHS and Post Office, that the Tory-Lib-Dem government are proposing. We propose also that we separate Retail and Investment Banking. It is this link that caused so much of the pain we have suffered as a nation.

1, http://www.greenparty.org.uk/News/10-09-2010-caroline-lucas-liberal-democrat-criticism.html, Retreived 12th September 2010.
2, http://www.greenparty.org.uk/News/10-09-2010-caroline-speech-conference.html, Retreived 12th September 2010.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Neighbourhood Watch Coming Back!

I have been calling for the reintroduction of Neighbourhood Watch as a way to build community and to lower crime, with anti-social behaviour up 11% recently. 1
It will help the Police to have extra eyes and ears, but more importantly it will get people talking to one another who may not have done so and deepen community spirit. Recently the Tories said they agreed with us. So do the Police, and have appointed a man called Colin Freeman to reintroduce this worthwhile scheme to Loughton and Buckhurst Hill. Watch out for his next move.

1, http://maps.police.uk/embed/essex/epping-forest/buckhurst-hill/ (Retrieved 1st September 2010).