Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waddon candidate Mary Davey's answers in full.

The current issue of the Croydon Guardian has a Q & A with the Waddon by election candidates. Due to limited space, the answers were edited down which probably didn't give justice to the quality of Mary's answers. However, for the discerning, below are the full answers.

1. What three words best described you?

2. If you could change only one thing in Waddon, what would it be?

3. Why did you go into politics

  1. Ethical.....thorough......decisive.

  2. I would like every household in Waddon to be properly insulated at no cost to themselves. This was achieved by the Green Party Councillors in Huddersfield who gained funding from Energy Utilities as part of their obligation to reduce Greenhouse emissions. On average, householders each saved £150 per annum.

  3. When younger, I joined the Labour Party in Chingford to give my support to those who, then, shared my values. I refused to renew my subscription after they voted in Tony Blair as the leader. I told them that his manifesto read like a ‘straight from the heart’ Tory. After watching the Green Party closely, I decided that this was the one dealing with today’s urgent issues and needs and that they were addressing them through consideration of all social - environmental, educational, commercial, cultural and leisure - needs. So, here I am.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jean Lambert MEP joins Croydon Greens for council lobby.

Another great turnout for the lobby of the council yesterday. Striking teachers were joined by Green Party MEP Jean Lambert who earlier sent the NUT a message of support.

BBC Report
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

29 per cent of all litter in Britain's town centre's is McDonalds waste.

The Croydon Advertiser invited comment about the article they were running about litter outside McDonalds. The Keep Britain Tidy campaign revealed last week that a staggering 29 per cent of all litter on the streets of Britain was McDonalds waste. It did get me thinking about rubbish.......

Here is my full comment:

"The first thing that comes to mind is that if a domestic residence polluted the street scene in this manner the council would clean up the mess and bill them for it. Why is it different for McDonalds?

"Litter on the streets is a blight on our environment and a concerted effort by all needs to made to tackle this problem. Litter is pollution and the thousands of tonnes of litter that originates from McDonalds restaurants ends up in landfill. This in turn will lead to fines through the EU Waste Directive.

"An immediate short term solution would be to put pressure on McDonalds to use the minimum level of packaging required and ensure that it was biodegradable.

"People who throw litter on the streets or out of cars - and we've all seen it - are just simply lazy. The reality is we are never that far away from a waste bin. Unfortunately, most Croydonians are probably uncomfortable about admonishing someone who they see dropping litter. They have read the stories about incidents of violence that start from an individual approaching someone that has littered.

"Therefore, we need a comprehensive educational and awareness campaign like the one we had when I was at primary school to change habits. This needs to be coupled with a degree of enforcement. "

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Letter sent to local papers on rail fares

Dear Editor,

No doubt, like many of your readers I am incensed that at a time when we are all having to tighten our purse-strings, the cost of catching a train to work has shot up. The annual inflation-busting fare increase is sadly inevitable so long as the railways remain in the hands of private companies; and they will remain in the hands of private companies because the main three parties rule out the alternative approach which is to nationalise the railways.

In fact the ‘rail fares’ issue is another example of how the actions of those in power have a cost that nearly all of us have to bare – but they themselves are unaffected by because they enjoy 1st class rail travel as part of their expenses.

The cost of rail fares rose by 17 per cent from 1997-2007. However, motoring costs declined by 8 per cent in real terms in the same period and now that petrol prices have dropped, more and more people will take the car to get around. As a result this leads to more congestion, frustration and pollution. Government air pollution policy is already so bad that the European Environment Commissioner is taking the UK Government to the European Court of Justice to make it comply with air pollution legislation.

Commuters are conscious of the impact that transport has on the environment. They want an alternative to flying or taking the car. I was shocked to read that two out of the top six destinations from Heathrow airport are Manchester and Paris. Both could be serviced with a speedy, reliable and affordable rail link.

It is clear to me that train travel in the hands of profiteering private companies is nonsense – it is high time we had some common sense with the renationalisation of the railways.

Yours sincerely,

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Greens select local candidate for Waddon by-election

Croydon Green Party has selected Warham Road resident Mary Davey as their candidate for the Waddon by-election on February 12th, 2009. Mary has lived in the ward for 16 years.

Mary said

"The present council is inherently undemocratic. With only Conservative and Labour represented, there are many examples where both these parties agree in principle with the others position resulting in no viable opposition.

“The Greens finished third in the last election in 2006 (1) and we represent the real choice for change.

“Waddon residents need a councillor that will prioritise community safety, support local shops and businesses and reduce residents rising fuel bills. They also want a councillor that belongs to a party that opposes the sale of our schools under the guise of academies; favours the renationalisation of our railways to stop inflation-busting fare increases; and wants to keep the NHS public.

"As energy bills rise, the Green Party's pioneering free insulation scheme (2) can make sure that all Croydon residents will be able to afford to heat their homes for less, and I will be pushing for a free home insulation policy.

"I will also be supporting local shops and businesses that boost the local economy and provides more jobs in the area, pushing for improved recycling on estates and blocks of flats and campaigning for a living wage (3) of £7.45 an hour for all Croydon workers. “

Mary currently works as a teacher in Croydon. She has been teaching in Croydon for 18 years. She is an active member of Amnesty International and Chair of the ‘Society of Catholic Artists’. Unlike Labour and Conservative, the Green Party has selected a resident who lives in Waddon ward.


Notes to editor

(1)Mary Davey was the Green party candidate for Waddon in 2006

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Monday, January 19, 2009


There are three simple but compelling reasons why the government’s go-ahead for another runway at Heathrow is utterly insane:-
First is of course that even if you believe in ever-expanding airport capacity Heathrow is about the very last place any rational person would seek to put an airport today. The shocking road congestion and appalling noise levels for large numbers of local people who have to endure the misery of non-stop and ever increasing flights is too high a price to pay. Remember that London is the busiest by far of world, let alone EU air destinations: In 2007, a combined total of 139 million passengers used the five London airports. That compares with 88 million who used all Paris airports, London’s closest European rival.
Secondly, the government may not have noticed but we face a global catastrophe due to climate change which is happening now. Whilst Daily Telegraph leader writers, David Bellamy and other idiots who have sold their soles to the denial lobby may cry wolf, glaciers disintegrate around us and all the scientific evidence points to accelerating and irreversible change in a very short time scale. The Times recently claimed that “the jobs outweigh the climate danger”! If this is the view of supposedly intelligent commentators, then God help us.
As if this weren’t cogent enough, there is ‘Peak Oil’. The consensus in the industry is that global oil output will decline in the next decade. The Society of British Aerospace Companies concludes that there is currently no commercially available alternative to kerosene on the horizon. It also finds that liquids produced from gas or coal have CO2 emission problems, and liquids produced from biomass are a very long way off from either commercial production or a resolution of land-use issues. So even if this lunacy does go ahead, it seems likely that a third runway would be no more than a huge white elephant.

So let’s be honest about this: Heathrow is a monumentally stupid decision from a government which is increasingly bereft of any vision, courage or morality. Moreover, greenwash fudges from the Tories and LibDems who suggest that the cuddly alternative is ‘sustainable’ expansion elsewhere be it on Romney Marsh, the Thames estuary or Stansted, are almost equally bankrupt. It’s profoundly worrying that so many decision makers appear willing to close their eyes to the parlous stare we are in globally, in favour of perceived short term economic gain.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

London Citizens

I met with Joanna Purkis from London Citizens last week. She is the Organiser for the South London division of the group. London Citizens is an alliance of faith groups, schools, student organisations, union branches and residents groups, who share a commitment to action for the common good. The campaigns include ‘Strangers into Citizens’, ‘Citizens for Sanctuary’, and the ‘London Living Wage’; their efforts have led to positive change. For example they campaigned for the improvements at Lunar House with regard to the queuing system and have pressured the DCFS to pay its cleaners the Living Wage – currently £7.45.

Croydon Green Party supports organisations like London Citizens and congratulates them on their notable successes in the field of social justice.

GP policy on migrant workers.
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Green MEP Jean Lambert highlights the air quality issue with regard to Heathrow

After some ‘shall I shan’t I – will I won’t I’ entertainment, the government have gone down the runway for a third runway at Heathrow airport. Although the writing was on the control tower wall some time ago, a clear indication of the mindset of the Labour government was revealed back in October by Green MEP Jean Lambert. She pointed out that the government was trying to delay meeting EU air quality standards for 2010 by five years specifically to avoid the growth of Heathrow airport. Below is what she said at the time:

"I am appalled by the Government’s actions on this issue. Heathrow faces massive opposition from residents and it is clear that the Government will also fail to meet EU targets if it goes ahead. This development should be scrapped.

"EU air quality standards were set to protect the health of citizens and prevent the development and aggravation of breathing problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. But the UK government has been failing on their commitments to adhering to these basic standards for many years.

"Now it is apparent that the Government is aware that Heathrow expansion will mean they will fail to meet future targets, yet they are putting the interests of the aviation industry before the health of ordinary Londoners.

"How can they justify putting people's long-term health at risk in this way? Their attitude is scandalous."

It is estimated that over 1000 people die prematurely and a further 1000 are hospitalized every year in London as a result of air pollution.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jay Ginn on front page of the local paper

web version of the article

A picture of local Green Party member Jay Ginn appears on the front page of the Croydon Guardian this week. I reckon the picture would have been taken at the first demo outside the town hall. The article features the news that Croydon NUT have voted to take strike action and also touches on the incident that occured outside Haling Manor School on Monday, including my take on what happened and why it happened.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

In trouble with school teachers again!

I met up with fellow Croydon SOS activists outside Haling Manor this afternoon. Armed with leaflets, Anti Academies newspapers and my trusty pasting table, we positioned ourselves on Kendra Hall Road in the cold wind and rain. Parents and students were showing interest until Deputy Head Peter Weir passed through. He was on his way to Pampisford Road for bus stop duty. Needless to say he wasn't best pleased to see us and even suggested that in the interests of the students we shouldn't give out leaflets. His argument was that children go home with the literature thinking it has come from the school itself and end up confused. Anyhow, after a discussion he seemed to imply that we could arrange to speak to the student council about our concerns.

It is becoming clear to me that there has been sort of dictum issued to schools in Croydon. It essentially warns teachers and administrators that activists may try and leaflet outside your school, so be sure to move them on.
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Friday, January 02, 2009

Death of Mayor of Croydon

Pictures taken at the Thornton Heath Festival

News has come through to us today of the sudden passing of the Mayor of Croydon, Waddon Councillor Jonathan Driver. Cllr Driver always took time to stop and talk to us during council and community events and was always well versed on the latest Green Party letter that had been published in the local paper. His jovial yet steady manner was well suited for the role as speaker in the council chamber. I saw him last at the full council meeting (last month) which spawned the Cllr Gatland affair.

Our thoughts are with his family.

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Standing up for what matters