Ellie outside Parliament - let's put her in it!

Calling Green supporters in North Herefordshire!

This General Election is a great opportunity for us to raise our voices against damaging Tory cuts and a risky hard Brexit – and to campaign positively for our vision of a thriving green economy, fair politics, and proper investment in public services.

We’re planning an action-packed campaign including Action Days in all the market towns, leafleting across the constituency, and a busy schedule of meetings and visits all over North Herefordshire.

Can you help?

We really do need all hands on deck!  Please get in touch if you can help with:

  • Displaying a poster in your window – and/or a roadside signboard
  • Leafleting and canvassing – either alongside an Action Day in a town, or as part of an evening bike ride in the more rural areas, or simply in your own time in your own local area.
  • Getting the message out in other ways – please send me suggestions for groups I should talk to, events I should attend, and great local initiatives (community projects, green businesses etc.) that I should visit and learn about.

Get in touch by emailing ellie@greenherefordshire.org.uk, or use the contact form here.  Let’s send a message to the Tories: they shouldn’t take North Herefordshire for granted!

Support Ellie’s Crowdfunder

Ellie is the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for North Herefordshire in the 2017 General Election.  She’s local, energetic, and principled – and she’s determined to challenge the Conservatives on their damaging cuts and the risks of hard Brexit.

Ellie stands for a positive vision of how our county and country could be: a caring society that invests properly in public services; a fair economy that provides decent jobs and homes for all; action on climate change and protection for nature; and an honest politics where everyone’s vote counts.

Help Ellie and the Greens send a message to Theresa May and the Tories – they shouldn’t take this constituency for granted!

Please chip in to Ellie’s campaign in whatever way you can.  THANK YOU for your support!

By making a donation you confirm that you are eligible to make political donations in the UK (i.e. that you are an individual registered on a UK electoral register) and that this donation is not made for or on behalf of any other person.

Please note that any donations over £50 have to be declared to the Electoral Commission along with the name and address of the donor.  Anonymous donations over £50 cannot be accepted.

Promoted by Ellie Chowns, North Herefordshire Green Party, 11a Canon Frome Court, Canon Frome, Ledbury HR8 2TD.

Green debates Brexit Future for Farmers

Ellie Chowns - Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (North)
Ellie Chowns – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (North) and Secretary (North)

North Herefordshire’s Green Party parliamentary challenger Dr Ellie Chowns last week debated post-Brexit agriculture policy in front of an audience of more than 60 agriculture students and staff at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, outlining  the important choices ahead if we are to get the best future for our food and farming sector.

In the debate with MP Bill Wiggin, Dr Chowns emphasised the need to combine support for family farms and rural communities while also increasing food security and environmental benefits. She referenced two new reports commissioned by Green MEP, Mollie Scott Cato, setting out a detailed vision for farming post-Brexit.

Said Dr Chowns: “Currently more than half the income of UK farmers comes from subsidies, and far too much of that money is wasted on paying large landowners to do nothing.  Brexit gives us the opportunity to reorient farming support so that it incentivises positive action like environmental protection and job creation”.

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.”

Film on the Farm nights at Ledbury

Ledbury Greens were super-busy in the run-up to the 23 June referendum, with stalls and leafletting every weekend and some weekday evenings too – often working in cross-party partnership with other Remain campaigners.  After the bitter disappointment of the narrow victory for Leave, we’ve had a bit of a rest over the summer, but we’re back with a bang now with a new monthly ‘Film on the Farm’ night.  The plan is to combine food, entertainment, and discussion in a friendly social format.  Hope you can join us!

Greens confer in Birmingham

This year’s Autumn Conference was held in our region, at the University of Birmingham.  It was one of the biggest conferences ever, with about 1300 members attending.  There was a big buzz around the election of the new Leaders, Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, who stood as a job-share and won a resounding 85% of the vote.  Amelia Womack was re-elected Deputy Leader, and the party said a warm ‘thank you’ to Natalie Bennett, who stood down after 4 years of service during which the Green Party has grown four-fold.

Conference has two purposes really: to make policy, and to enable activists to network, discuss issues, and get training.  There’s always lots going on!

On the policy-making side, motions (and amendments) can be proposed by any member, so it’s a very democratic process.  (Of course, motions have got a much better chance of being passed if they’ve been thoroughly researched and consulted on).  Just to give you a flavour of the debate, here are the first few motions on the agenda:

  • Opposition to the Conservatives’ Trade Union Act
  • Amending our Terrorism Policy
  • Cost and timescale for nuclear power
  • Recognising Trans identities
  • Statutory right of access to workplaces for Trade Unions
  • Updating our policy on unpaid carers
  • Animal welfare in food processing
  • House of Lords Reform

Conference also makes decisions about the internal running of the party, as well as being where elections are held for a wide range of committees.

In terms of sessions for activists, there were fringe meetings on a wide range of topics (e.g. Universal Basic Income, divestment from fossil fuels, Green Party messaging strategy); training sessions (e.g. communications, running meetings people want to come to, selecting and supporting candidates) and a couple of big panel discussions (‘Progressive Alliances – the case for cross-party working’ and ‘Brexit – what now?’).  I even ran a tour of the Zero Carbon House (zch.org.uk)!

Altogether it was a great weekend – really energising and inspiring.  If you’ve never been to a Green Party Conference, I really do encourage you to.  In fact, the Spring 2017 conference in Liverpool (30 March – 2 April 2017) is going to be quite extraordinary, as we’re combining it with a Global Greens congress (held once every 5 years), a European Green Party Congress, and a Young Greens conference. You can find out a bit more here. Put the dates in your diary now – see you there!

Ellie Chowns, North Herefordshire Green Party

Going Greener in North Herefordshire

North Herefordshire Green Party is in the process of selecting a candidate to fight the next General Election and at the time of going to press, one nomination had come forward. The ballot will take place over the next few weeks, and there will be a chance to meet and question the prospective candidate, Ellie Chowns, at the next Leominster Branch meeting in October.

We held our AGM in September and new officers were elected: Chair/coordinator – Felicity Norman; Treasurer – Peter Ellis; Elections Officer – Jenny Bartlett; Minute Secretary – Ellie Chowns; Media – Pete Blench; Other committee members elected were Roger Pugh, Anne Adams, Charlotte Millward and Rosie Winn. We are very grateful to outgoing Chair, Peter Ellis, and other officers standing down, for all the effort they have put in over the past year.

It was agreed formally to change our name to North Herefordshire Green Party, in line with the constituency name, and we will meet quarterly, ideally in different parts of the constituency. The Leominster Branch will continue to meet during the intervening months, and is in the process of putting out the latest edition of our town newsletter. We will also continue to keep in touch with South Herefordshire Green Party, especially over County and other shared matters.

Our County and town councillors continue to push for greener ways of working, to scrutinise council business and  oppose the worst of the conservative initiatives, inappropriate road schemes, including the southern link road blighting our beautiful countryside and devastating ancient woodland, while neglecting measures that would make a difference , better public transport and enabling cycling and walking; while they fail to seriously address the excessive phosphates in our rivers, the risk of fracking, and the many risks to tourism in our county ( a major contributor to our economy), among other concerns.  We are very sorry to have lost our youngest Leominster town councillor, Andy Gibson who has moved to work in Leeds. Good luck, Andy and our thanks to you, and all our councillors.