Special Occasion – Natalie Bennett to ‘visit’ Herefordshire

21 September 7-8.30pm: Natalie Bennett will speak to Herefordshire Green Parties prior to their Annual General Meetings

Hear directly from Natalie about what’s happening in the House of Lords and what we can do about the Agriculture Bill, the changes to the planning system and other issues.

All welcome – please sign up for the Zoom meeting and submit your questions for Natalie here:

Then members can stay for our AGMs 8.30-9.15pm. Our AGMs are a crucial part of how we function as local parties : it’s your chance to find out what’s going on behind the scenes and to get involved. Check your email for the AGM papers coming out very soon.

Hereford’s Stronger Town bid – have your say

Hereford is one of 100 places invited by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to be part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, a scheme that seeks to support economic growth in towns and cities around the UK. Hereford is in line to secure up to £25m for regeneration projects in the city.

An independent Towns Fund board, backed by Herefordshire Council, has now been established to lead this work locally. The new group, known as the #StrongerHereford board, will connect with local people to create an ambitious vision. They will be asking residents, local businesses, colleges, schools, and many others to help them identify major projects that would bring about economic and social improvements.

In the meantime residents can submit ideas online here

This is a great opportunity to make Hereford a greener place – so please put your ideas forward without delay!

A-Level Fiasco

Herefordshire Greens are calling for the government to make it as easy and as rapid as possible for A-level students to appeal their results.

Councillor Felicity Norman, cabinet member for children and families said, “Although it is clear that many of our young people are pleased with their results, many others have been devastated to find that they have not achieved the grades they expected. The system used appears to have unfairly penalised already disadvantaged young people, while boosting the chances of those who are already privileged. Almost 40% have been downgraded by Ofqual. This cannot be right. We should trust the grades predicted by teachers who are most likely to have known their students’ capabilities.

Schools and colleges, pupils and teachers have already had an incredibly difficult summer, and face uncertainties in the future, without this flawed approach to replacing the exams they expected to sit. Government should now find ways of restoring the confidence and future opportunities of thousands of young people in Herefordshire and across the country”.

Herefordshire Council’s climate emergency plan

An update from Green Councillor Ellie Chowns, cabinet member for environment, economy and skills, on the progress Herefordshire Council is making to develop a plan to address the climate and ecological emergency:

“I’m delighted that the 2020 Climate Challenge project has kicked off properly now, with the first set of meetings held for both council and county groups. The 2020 County Team is up and running and have had two meetings. There’s already a really good group dynamic and great range of backgrounds, experience, ages. Sub-groups/areas of interest are already forming around communications/social media, youth and education and buildings. The group are busy sharing ideas, articles, information on projects elsewhere. The 2020 Council Team have met and are recording their personal carbon footprints using an online calculator. They’re meeting again on 4th August to start looking at the Council’s carbon footprint.

We held a very informative all-councillor briefing on environmental building standards on 21st July – following up on this is a high priority for me, and it was great to see how much enthusiasm there was for this from members across the whole council. I believe we need an SPD on environmental building standards, and I would also like to see us adopt a policy on our own buildings.

A revised governance report format has now been put in place, meaning that every decision report now has to explicitly consider the climate and ecological impacts of the decision. This will help ensure that all our decision-making takes into account the need to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

I have asked officers from all my three portfolio areas (environment economy and skills) to work together to develop an ambitious energy efficiency retrofit programme to improve the quality of the housing stock, reduce emissions, and reduce fuel poverty.

Work has also started on developing a biodiversity strategy for the council (including a Tree Strategy, as per the decision of Council last week).  I’m really pleased that there is such strong support for measures to plant and protect trees and increase biodiversity more generally.

There’s been lots of work going on regarding phosphate levels in the Lugg and Wye Catchment .  I’d particularly like to pay tribute to Elissa Swinglehurst’s determined work on this topic with the Nutrient Management Board. A decision report is due to come forward very soon containing measures that we hope will unlock the moratorium, including construction of integrated wetlands and commissioning of a phosphate calculator for ‘offsetting’.  Ultimately though it is becoming increasingly clear that unsustainable agricultural practices are a central part of this problem, and this is something that needs concerted action from regulatory agencies, as well as improved policy from national government. I hope we will be able to hold an all-members briefing on this topic soon.”

It’s Election Time!

The House of Lords, Executive & Policy Development Committee Elections 2020 are now underway for Green Party England & Wales. Voting closes 10pm on 31 August 2020.

Only members can vote – you should have received an email with instructions by now. Let us know if you haven’t.

Two local members are standing:

Natalia Waring for the Policy Development Committee:

Policy Development Committee

The Policy Development Committee (PDC) comprises five members who help to ensure that motions brought to conference are the best they can be by liaising with Policy Working Groups and through the new Accreditation process. The PDC also advise on the interpretation of existing policy, and have limited powers to make minor changes to Policies for a Sustainable Society.

Julia Lagoutte for

Publications Co-ordinator

The Publications Co-ordinator ensures a strategic approach to Green Party publications which accords with the party’s broader strategy and is primarily responsible for the following aspects of all Green Party publications, both print and online.