15 May 2018

Cllr. Alyson Black has brought Fairtrade back on the agenda in town and led with Cllr. Emma George, outgoing Mayor, the ban on glyphosates use in town, which has successfully been in place for 3 years now.  Council landscape workers are seen using good old-fashioned hoes and wheel-barrows to control the dandelions, and butterflies can now be seen on the pavements. The Council have also bought a Foamstream hot water machine which may be hired out to other councils.

Jon Cousins, Green Mayor Mayor number 2, with Cllr. Denise Michell, brought the Town Council out of the eighteenth Century from a Protestant era to change the Town's motto from a Latinised 'May the Church of England flourish' to ‘May Glastonbury Flourish’.   Jon has led the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, as it's chair, in an environmentally friendly Plan which includes protecting the town's green and heritage areas and the creation of new orchards.

Avalon Community Energy (ACE) with much input from Jon Cousins, who is a Director, Cllr. Alyson Black and other Green Party members have recently completed a large  solar project for Brookside School in Street.  

Cllr.Denise Michell, our first ever Green Mayor, has done the town proud as she picked up a floundering Frost Fayre in 2011 and it has now gone from strength to strength, with over 150 stalls and thousands of people from all around the West Country and beyond attending.

The local Green Party, led by Cllr Lindsay MacDougall and Cllr Jon Cousins, together with some very active grass-roots campaigning, dismayed at the go-ahead from a Conservative government on the new nuclear power station, is now pushing for an environmentally-friendly solution to the proliferation of HGVs on the A361 county freight route, in particularly aggregate lorries travelling to the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station from the quarries in Frome.  Whilst our conservative MP, James Heappey, would like to see a new bypass around the Tor together with several housing estates worth of development, the Local Green Party is seeking an alternative 'no new roads' solution and has called a public meeting (Somerset-wide) to discuss this, including the other possible roads in Somerset that can be used for such a cross-county route, in order to preserve the natural and legendary status of this wonderful town. 

Here is a copy of the letter the Green Party representatives have sent to the local paper

Dear Editor,

Finding an appropriate solution to the heavy congestion on the A361 has been a much discussed point over the past few months, and as Glastonbury’s Green Town Councillors, we have been approached time and again by concerned residents about the impact of increased traffic and – particularly – HGVs using the completely unsuitable ‘county designated freight route’ through Chilkwell Street, Bere Lane, and Street Road. These local streets have become more dangerous for residents and vulnerable road users than they used to be, and we fear that the risk of an accident which may kill or seriously injure pedestrians or cyclists is too much to allow this unsuitable designation to continue.

As Green Party Councillors, we believe we don’t need more roads, especially bypasses, to reduce this type of congestion.  The type of economic activity that is generated by the HGV movements through our town does not directly benefit our community.  Road improvements or new bypasses are massive investments, made with taxpayer money, and will benefit the road haulage businesses more than everybody else.  Is this type of subsidy for a few businesses acceptable when all of society pays the cost of pollution, noise, casualties, and traffic?

We all know that the alternative route already exists.  It is used every time and any time the A361 is closed for repairs.  The simple solution to the problem is for Somerset County Council to remove the freight route designation which they put on this road over 20 years ago; adding appropriate restrictions to HGVs on Chilkwell Street’s pinch point. No need for new roads, new bypasses; just a couple of new signs at Canard's Grave. All that is required is the ‘political will’ to put the needs of residents before the needs of a few businesses…Political will, and a backbone – both, it would appear, missing from our County Council!

Signed:  Cllr Alyson Black, Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllrs Denise Michell, Lindsay MacDougal, and Jon Cousins. Glastonbury and Street Green Party 

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