Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Friday, 30 April 2010


Spotted today.... a Southville resident attempts to keep the letterbox clean.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Clear Green Water

What makes a Green vote - and a Green councillor - distinct from all the rest?

In practice, given that council decisions are pretty much limited to what the government will permit and fund, it's hard to see much distinction between any of the parties outside their general philosophies. We can only generalise. The Tories will keep council tax down by cutting services; Labour will do whatever it thinks it can get away with; the LibDems will say one thing and do something completely different.

So here are three exclusive, very specific promises that you get from Bristol's Green Party candidates, me included.


The Greens' RECALL policy was formally spelled out last year. It provides for councillors who've lost the confidence of their electorate to be 'recalled', ie to stand down, if 20% of the electorate demand it, forcing a byelection. It's a voluntary promise from the Greens; the other parties on the council were invited to do the same, but refused.


Almost certainly, the 23 councillors elected next Thursday will be asked to vote on whether everyone of their electorate should have fluoride added to their drinking water. Green councillors will say no - because we believe that everyone should keep the right to choose, it's not for councillors to say what medication you should have.


All the parties pay lip service to the need to get a 'modal shift' away from car use. Only the Greens see a major Bristol transport interchange as a vital part of the answer - and want Plot 6 at Temple Meads, along with redundant station buildings, to provide it. Other parties seem to prioritise making it easier to commute to Bristol by car, using a Park and Ride and a bendybus for the last leg!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Corn Miles

As every Tory blogger knows, to be a good Green you must first learn to knit your own muesli.

We were helped last year by trialling some 'strawberry popcorn' plants - we got the seed from one of Bristol's superb 'seed swaps' without really knowing what it was. It grew well, and it pops well. So now we've got a novel organic ingredient for our muesli - or, if we want, a base for that sugary confection that they sell for exorbitant prices at the multiscreens.

Very satisfying - especially because the commercial stuff is, apparently, imported from the States.

Extending Plastics Recycling (a bit)

The news that Bristol is at last launching a trial kerbside collection of mixed plastics (details here)is very welcome; until now, they've always claimed it's uneconomic.

The trial rounds don't include us here in Stockwood, though (map here).

The innovation here is that our only Stockwood public recycling point, behind the Co-op, will in future take not just the PET drinks bottles, but most plastic containers and jars.

What many of us regret is that the plastic film that makes up so much rubbish still isn't included.

One good sign comes from the Halifax-based wholefood co-operative SUMA, who have started to package much of their own brand produce in a new PET based 'soft' packaging, itself made from recycled PET. [SUMA's Bristol outlets include Earthbound, in Cotham; I see they're doing a home delivery service too, now - presumably the same run that includes Earthbound! But lets hope that SUMA's Fishponds-based equivalent, Essential Trading, takes up the same packaging initiative]

The new material, known as rPET, is claimed to be every bit as recyclable as PET bottles, and can be stuffed inside PET bottles when they go in the recycling bank. The problem seems to be that the technology is ok, but recyclers aren't yet ready to accept anything that even resembles the other packaging films that enter the waste stream.

Cue an email to Exec member Gary Hopkins, if he can spare a moment from pre-election pounding the streets of Knowle.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Six Greens and Mr Brunel launch election campaign

The Greens made it onto Radio Bristol and Points West this evening with their election launch at Temple Meads. The Evening Post, dedicated to fair and fearless reporting of the city's news, didn't turn up.

Here's the video:

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Coming (very) Soon.......

On Tuesday.....

..then on Thursday......

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Vote for Policies - or what?

I was aiming to keep off electioneering.

But then BBC Points West kicked off its general election coverage this evening with a particularly silly piece, inviting new voters (their 'sample' was 100% university students) into a blindfold test of policy preferences - offering only the policies of Labour, LibDem and Tory.

If they're really into finding out whose policies voters actually prefer, before the choice is hijacked by the need for tactical voting under 'first past the post', or the X-Factor media hype surrounding the relative popularity of Brown, Cameron, and that other bloke... they might care to look at the independent website

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Alternative Economy

Lots of hard work has been done the last couple of days in and around the patch of wooded hillside on the east of the Sturminster Valley. Loads of scrap that had been dumped was retrieved, to be sold on to the scrap merchants for recycling. The woods look a lot better for it.

It wasn't the council. It wasn't us do-gooders in the Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces. It wasn't Community Payback. It was an entrepreneurial initiative to make a few bob. Better all round than watching daytime TV.

Arguably, this little bit of work benefitted society far more than a whole wunch of bankers.

Except that it almost certainly broke a few laws. Unlike most of the bankers.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Changes to the Whitchurch Railway Path

Plenty of people out and about on the Whitchurch Railway path today. They had a couple more things to see, too - alongside the new picnic tables, interpretation boards appeared just befor Easter.

I've added more, including the content of the boards themselves, on the FoSOS web pages