West Midlands regional news

12 January – West Midlands Green Party conference, Birmingham

The event on 12th January 10.00-17.30 at St Lukes Church (Great Colmore Street, Birmingham), is packed full of exciting sessions, including our latest councillor successes, expert training, and a talk by Green MEP Jean Lambert.
Elected as an MEP for London in 1999, Jean is our longest-serving MEP, and is one of our most effective and dedicated elected representatives.
As an MEP Jean has worked tirelessly across a whole range of issues, particularly around asylum seekers and migration, where she is heavily involved in shaping European Parliament policy.
Jean will be talking about her work as an MEP, as well as her take on Brexit. Jean has 20 years of experience and success in pushing Green policies and ideas, so this is one not to be missed!
Tickets are selling fast and spaces are limited – so book now

The Address for sat-navs is St Luke’s Church Centre, Great Colmore Street, Birmingham, B15 2AT. There is some parking available at the venue. The venue is accessible and disabled parking is available.If you’re arriving by train, the venue is only a short walk away from Birmingham New Street station.
Despite increased costs  prices are held at £10 for the Conference (this includes lunch), and there’s an early bird rate of £9 for bookings before 14th December. There’s also a bursary ticket rate for those on low or no incomes.

Trish Marsh appears on BBC Sunday Politics Midlands

Trish appeared on the BBC Sunday Politics Midlands TV programme, on 7 October – watch here on BBC iPlayer.

(available until 3 November)

Discussion included:

Council house building – “make all new houses affordable to run by building to high energy efficiency standards”

Hospital services, A&E restricted opening hours – “Tory announcement that community hospitals are secure and should play a bigger role is great, but we need to have more integration between NHS and Social Services to reduce A&E attendances.”

Structure of Local Government – “whether we have a two-tier or a unitary structure as Herefordshire does, the main issue is the reduced funding available to local councils to deliver services”


13 Jan: West Midlands Green Party conference

St Lukes Church Centre, Great Colmore Street BIRMINGHAM, B15 2AT, opening at 09:30 for a 10:00 start, and running to 16:50.

The agenda includes some inspiring guest speakers, as well as fantastic training sessions run by some of the best in the business.In addition there will be chances to meet, socialise and share ideas with Green members from across the region.

To find out more contact julien.pritchard@greenparty.org.uk

Ellie Chowns on BBC Question Time

Ellie Chowns, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for North Herefordshire, will take part in BBC Midlands Election Question Time on 30th May.

Then programme will be broadcast from 2245 to 2330 on BBC1 and is recorded from Birmingham Ormiston Academy. It will include a panel of five regional political leaders plus a studio audience of around 70 people.

Are you booked for West Mids conference?

Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack is our special guest speaker at this year’s West Midlands Green Party Conference.
Amelia was first elected as Deputy Leader in 2014 at the age of 29, and is still the youngest deputy leader of any UK political party. Amelia has campaigned on numerous issues in her 8 years as a Green Party activist, in particular Housing and TTIP.
Amelia will be talking about the current state of politics, and the part our work in the West Midlands can play in addressing it, as well as inspiring us to keep winning!
The Conference is on Saturday 7th January at the Priory Rooms, 40 Bull St, Birmingham City Centre, B4 6AF. We’ll be starting at 10am and finishing by 5:15pm.
Entry is at the bargain price of £6 if you pay in advance, or £8 on the door. Those on low or no income can book the bursary rate, which is free. Whichever you decide to do, don’t forget to register in advance using this booking link, to be sure of your place.

New Year elections

Due to the sad recent death of one of our County Councillors, there will be a by-election in Leominster in the New Year. We will be calling on as many of you as possible for help.

Although we do not have scheduled local elections in Herefordshire next year, our neighbouring counties will be very busy and have been developing their campaigns for many months already. If you are able to help them with leafleting, canvassing or in any other way, please get in touch. You could join a Big Day Out or help at other times. The provisional list of Big Days Out for 2017 are as follows:

A message from Caroline to West Mids Greens

Leader Caroline Lucas, who was born in Malvern, talks about a couple of our successes in the West Midlands. We are a dynamic active party with lots happening in many areas across the Midlands.

If you care about the environment, social justice and equality, the NHS, a sustainable economy promoting renewable energies and engaging with your local community … it’d be great if you can join us. We really active across all areas in the West Midlands and we’re a friendly bunch too.

New regional press officer

We’re delighted to announce that Dudley Green Party’s Andi Mohr is the West Midlands Green Party’s new Regional Press Officer. Andi has been doing great things with media in the Black Country with Dudley Greens, and is looking forward to working with local parties across the region to increase our traditional and social media coverage.
You can get in touch with Andi at media@westmidlands.greenparty.org.uk

Skill Up!

As we move into 2017, a two year run up to winning more seats in local elections in May 2019, and a possible early general election, we urgently need to think about skilling-up our members and building an organised and effective campaign team.
So let’s start the new year as we mean to go on with a large Herefordshire contingent to the West Midlands Regional Conference on January 7th, which will be at the Priory Rooms in Birmingham City Centre 10am-5.15pm. This is the training and networking event of the year in the West Midlands, and is a fantastic opportunity to skill-up members and volunteers.
There are some great training sessions lined up, covering issues such as engaging more members and volunteers, producing engaging newsletters, and crafting election-winning messages.
It’s also a chance to inspire newer or less active members to get more involved. There is a session with our fantastic West Mids Mayoral candidate James Burn, and Green Party Deputy Leader Amelia Womack is a special guest speaker.
Entry to this event is at the bargain price of £8 on the door, or £6 if people pay in advance via paypal. Those on low or no incomes can book the bursary fund rate, which is free.
Donations above the cost of the ticket are gladly accepted in order to help cover costs and contribute to the bursary fund. Whichever attendees decide to do, we’re still asking people to register in advance so we have an idea of numbers.
Members should register using the booking link. Any problems please get in touch: julien.pritchard@greenparty.org.uk. And if you do register, let Herefordshire branch know too – we might be able to share travel or sit together on the train!

West Mids Green Party Regional Conference

Politics can feel a pretty scary place right now – but what better way to be part of the positive fightback than to come to the West Midlands Green Party Conference on 7th January 2017?

After a challenging, but nonetheless successful, 2016 for the Green Party in the West Midlands, we’re looking ahead and preparing for greater success in 2017.

So come and join us at the West Mids Regional Conference!

The event is at the Priory Rooms in Birmingham City Centre, starting at 10am and finishing at 5.15pm. We have a great agenda lined up, including some fantastic expert training sessions. There’ll be a chance to hear how our priority campaigns are working hard to make gains in May, and hear all about our exciting West Midlands Mayoral campaign from Mayoral Candidate James BurnWe’ve also got a special guest speaker, with Deputy Green Party Leader Amelia Womack joining us.

In addition there will be lots of opportunities to network and share ideas with fellow party members and campaigners throughout the day.

Don’t miss out on what is the training and networking event of the year in the West Midlands.

Entry to this event is at the bargain price of £8 on the door, or £6 if you pay in advance via paypal. Those on low or no incomes can book the bursary fund rate, which is free.

We will of course gladly accept donations above the cost of the ticket, to help cover costs and contribute to the bursary fund. Whichever you decide to do, please still register in advance so we have an idea of numbers.

Please register using the booking link. Any problems please get in touch: julien.pritchard@greenparty.org.uk

Hope you can join us on 7th January!

Caroline Lucas inspires local Greens

Greens from Hereford and Worcester joined with Malvern Green Party on Friday, for an afternoon with party leader Caroline Lucas, on an eventful day in British politics. Caroline is Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion, but actually spent her childhood in Malvern.

On the day after the High Court ruling that Parliament must be consulted on the terms of Brexit, and only a few hours after another Conservative MP resigned their seat forcing a by-election, Caroline outlined in her consistently positive way the urgency of building progressive alliances.

She explained how many people voted for Brexit partly out of frustration with out of touch politicians and a sense of a lack of control. Voting reform to ensure every vote counts was the foundation for for further progressive change and should therefore be the key principle in forming such alliances.

She mentioned how she had been subject to some unpleasant social media messages in the last 24 hours. ‘People need to understand parliamentary scrutiny on Brexit isn’t about whether or not we leave. That decision has been taken. Article 50 is about where we are going. The level of anger demonstrates the depth to which trust in political processes has fallen.’

People were getting cross about the idea of a second referendum being ‘ask the same question again and again until you get the answer you want’, but a second one wouldn’t be the same question, it would be on what Brexit actually looks like for trade, environmental and employee protection and free movement of labour. In fact, Caroline felt that a General Election would be a more positive way of consulting the British people about the outcome of the negotiations.

‘We need to change the whole way we do politics’, she argued. ‘Parliament and councils must be more reflective of the communities we serve. Parliament is getting better – we’ve converted one bar into a crèche – but it is still a very difficult environment for most people – a kind of Hogwarts.’

Mentioning how Greens in Richmond yesterday agreed to stand down and support the Liberal Democrat against Zac Goldsmith, she added ‘Labour is now key, and electoral reform is now in Labour’s interests. It is vital to be talking to other parties. We need to be smarter, so that we can change the game once and for all.’

‘Time is running out. The climate crisis is urgent, inequality is urgent, the breakdown of our public services is urgent’, she said, before urging us not to give up on the fight for a genuinely public NHS.


A question and answer session followed. One questioner asked ‘What keeps you awake at night?’ to which she replied ‘When we understand so much about it, why we are not dealing with the climate crisis more urgently?’ She went on to explain how dealing with the issue is a win-win: more jobs, a better environment, better health and less poverty, yet so often it is presented as something costly to deal with.

Responding to a question about Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline explained that although she got on very well with him personally and liked him, Labour had one leader and two policies on many things, where the Greens had two leaders and one policy! Labour as a whole still don’t see the importance of electoral reform, or of the urgency of the climate crisis. But this was changing, she argued, as Labour began to realise it cannot win a general election under the current system on its own.

Caroline gave some advice for dealing with cynicism. ‘Online polls around actual policy show massive support for what the Green Party stands for. People like green policies when they see them. We have to ask people what they really want, big questions about what makes them happy and what they want for our country, and then connect that to our policies.’

She agreed that Greens have been right recently to emphasise social justice, as a way to deal with the myth that it is a one-issue party. But she felt it important now to rebalance that slightly on the environmental priorities as these have such huge implications for human health and happiness. ‘Air quality is a big issue for young and old. Fracking will have such massive implications for constituencies if done at scale that even Tory MPs will start to oppose it.’

‘Anyone who lazily alleges that all politicians are the same has never met Caroline Lucas MP’, said Rob Hattersley, from Hereford Green Party. As a final contributor from the audience said ‘Thank you Caroline for being a quiet, civilised, courageous voice of reason in the madhouse of parliament’.





Ellie Chowns - Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (North)

Ellie goes regional

A HEREFORDSHIRE Green Party activist has taken on a key role in helping to build on the party’s success following recent local government election victories, record general election vote and boom in membership.

DR ELLIE CHOWNS, a member of Ledbury Green Party, was elected last Saturday at a meeting in Birmingham as a West Midlands representative on the Green Party’s Regional Council.

Ellie, 40, lives in Canon Frome, near Ledbury, and works as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Her new role involves sharing experiences with other regions, and helping to develop the Green Party’s national strategy.

“I got involved in politics for the first time last year – my election shows that the Green Party is very open to new people and fresh ideas,” said Ellie.

“This is a really exciting time to be involved in positive, progressive politics.  The Green Party is going from strength to strength, and there are lots of important things to work on, like the upcoming European Referendum.

“I’m really looking forward to using my new role to help build a greener, fairer society.”

Diana on sustrans bridge

Best Green vote ever in 2015

GREENS in Herefordshire made significant progress in the May 2015 General Election, not only saving their deposits for the first time, but with South Herefordshire boasting the highest percentage Green vote in the West Midlands region.

The full results were as follows:-

Herefordshire North result: Daisy Blench (Green) 3,341. Jeanie Falconer (Lib Dem)5,768. Jonathan Oakton (UKIP) 6,720. Sally Prentice (Labour) 5,478. Bill Wiggin (Conservative) 26,716. 

Hereford and south Herefordshire results. Jesse Norman (Conservative) 24,844; Nigel Ely (UKIP) 7,954; Anna Coda (Labour) 6,042; Lucy Hurds (Lib Dem) 5,002; Diana Toynbee (Green) 3,415