September Committee Meeting: Minutes

Report on the  Sutton Coldfield Green Group Meeting Weds. 12 September 2018 at Hill Allotments Social Club

Present: S Lyne, D Ratcliff, P Cooke, B Auton, C Marriott Apologies: T Pratt, K Donaldson [Initials used in these minutes refer to the above].
Matters arising:
Apologies received for errors about the date of this meeting. Eastside website: this infographic about Sutton Coldfield town council budget, expenditure, and unspent was again queried. It remains unsure who created the site. Its figures were found  to be correct.
Data Protection  Reply received from M Okole on this question. Newsletter/Mailchimp. PC has produced template with green header for insertion of photos and text. CM will produce next newsletter and circulate via his mail list. Mailchimp use for text only documents, but noted TP had previously been able to include photos in mailchimp.
Birmingham Greens AGM 13 October 10.00am at  – The Warehouse, Alison St., Digbeth
DR and CM to present this group’s report for AGM.   The AGM needs 5% members present to be quorate. SC members strongly requested to attend.
Sutton Greens Website:  Now very live, keeping it current – at present putting emphasis on providing Links to expand Group networking at grass-root level especially links concerning our actively green ‘permaculture’ growers and and ECO Sutton.
The group’s Twitter account is temporarily in abeyance
ECO Sutton provided a detailed Submission to Birmingham city consultation on Air pollution which was well received.
We have been lobbying MPs in support of the FOE campaign against the government’s proposed exploratory fracking free from council planning approval. A reply has been received stating the government stance.
Peddimore and Langley developments Consultation:
Ben has continued argue the case against the protracted 20 year building of the Langley development & in favour of alternative modern rapid systems.
– 22 September: EcoSutton will attend the Council Planning Comm’ meeting dealing with the environmental impact of the Peddimore & Langley Developments & small incinerator threat. Green Group members will be present; all are encouraged to go.
The last of the public meetings regarding the above is scheduled for
2-5pm Tuesday 16th October – Falcon Lodge Community Centre, Newdigate Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7LB
View the draft SPDs at libraries in Sutton Coldfield Town Centre, Walmley, Boldmere, Mere Green and Castle Vale.
Submit comments also to [email protected] or Planning and Development, Birmingham City Council, 1 Lancaster Circus, Birmingham, B4 7DJ.
The public consultation closes on the 22nd October 2018.
EcoSutton will have a stand in The Parade at Sutton Expo 18 on Saturday 29 September from 9am to 5pm along the Parade. Eco Sutton gave talk to Abbey school on pollution which was well received and will also give talks at other schools. – A car boot sale stall to raise funds for public liability insurance
run at Witton Lodge Road, opposite the church (15th September) – EcoSutton is trying to work with John Allen (Council) over the installation of thermographic cameras on the Parade to check heat-generation from buses to calculate pollution levels.
Review of Sutton Coldfield Greens’ future actions:
Three earlier documents were redistributed for consultation in drafting a modernised strategy for the SC Report to the Birmingham AGM. Members are requested to submit content asap. [Documents referred to: Green Party original submission to SC Town Council; “Acts & Long-term” March 2018; “May 2018 Onwards”]
It was agreed that effort be put into the website and Facebook page and links are making local connections a priority.
Dates of importance announced:
Sutton Town Council planning meeting 4 September Walmley ward 22 September: Council Planning Comm’ meeting Re: Small incinerator on Maybrook estate, 2018/05012/PA – No objection from council.
Environmental assessment of Langley dev 6000 houses 2018/05012/PA & Peddimore.
A Michell MP Invited to recycling meeting 29 Sept
To A Mitchell MP from CM in support of the FOE campaign against Govt’s proposed fracking exploration free from council planning approval. Reply received stating govt. stance.
To A Mitchell MP from BA opposing Govt’s change of policy on capital punishment for persons extradited from UK to USA.
To Sutton Observer from BA about the protracted 20 year building of the Langley development & alternative modern rapid systems.
Exchange of letters in Sutton Observer from PC on lack of Traveller site provision & stating Green Party policy.
Travellers: PC will contact Green Cllr Julien Pritchard of Druids Heath concerning his green article in Green Ward Newsletter which raised concerns. PC recommended books by Betsy Whyte, “Yellow on Broom and Red Rowan” and “Wild way” giving insight into their way of life. * Noted that it is Green party manifesto policy to provide statutory sites for travellers.
Recycling & Waste Management Conference (RWM): This year’s RWM was attended for the Green Group by Steve Lyne & Ben Auton. Their commentary for our Newsletter is in preparation.
Next meeting: Wed’ 17 October 7:30 Hill Allotments Social Club
* Room hire £10 was paid by those present.

The Natural History Society

The Natural History Society Autumn Season starts Thursday 13th September, 7-30 pm at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. “Introduction to Spiders”.

We are always actively looking for advice & assistance so that Suttonians can create an enriched habitat for wildlife with though-corridors crucial to ensuring the widest, healthy gene pool. Therefore, before Autumn comes, make gaps in your fences to open your garden to the survival of species. A key speaker at the Natural History Society in Sutton last April stated: “The total area of all our gardens together in this country exceeds that of our Nature Reserves.”

We are pleased to see the ‘Natural History Society’ lectures reported on the Club’s Page of the Sutton Observer. Given that one Green Group member attending a recent Nat’ Hist’ Soc’ talk came away with four pages of notes, it is little short of a miracle that Lilian Holmes their press person, manages to condense her reports to fit the slot. For a link to the Society and its Autumn Programme,  click here.


Remember, click this image to enlarge it.

June Committee Meeting

SUMMARY  of the Sutton Greens Meeting 
14 June 2018.
 Held at Hill Allotments Social Club

Election Appraisal:
  A disappointing result, Conservatives won 80 % seats.
“Sutton electorate to blame.” says Green spokesperson!
Green candidate votes:–
Walmley & Minworth ward: B Auton (Green Party) – 800 votes: One Green Party leaflet was delivered to each household in the ward of the whole ward; D. O’Hagan of Independents for Sutton (IfS) gained 1096 votes: he delivered 3 leaflets to every household.
Both had contributed to the cross-party opposition campaign in the press.
Vesey ward: C Marriott (Green Party) – 1493 votes: He attended and spoke at the hustings in a generally strong Labour ward. He too had participated in cross- party work, advertising and inclusion in election publicity. This may have persuaded many voters that IfS, Greens and Lib’Dems were Labour cronies.
Ironically the only non-Tory party to make gains in SC was Labour. The high Green vote in Vesey was clearly due to it being the strongest ‘Alliance’ ward, though the Independents for Sutton (IfS) group lost all the seats it once held.
A Proportional Representation system of vote counting would only have given Tories approx’ 60% seats on Town Council.
It’s concluded that Green Party stance at time of the “Independence  for Sutton” vote was correct – we should have fought for a PR system before voting for independence.

Town Council election:
The proportion of votes was:- 61.72% Con; 20.05% Lab; 9.85% IfS; 4.33% Green; 4.05% Lib Dem.  Green candidates stood in three wares. The Party is now up one place as fourth party.
Reddicap, 24.06%: Vesey 38.83%: Mere Green 36%: Roughley 31.69%: Trinity 31.5%: Walmley 29.36%: Four Oaks 33.69% .
Birmingham City Council election.
The Green Party fielded candidates in 7 of the  8 and polled 3.35% of the votes.
1. Leaflets are of little measurable benefit. More use of social media needed to attract younger activists & voters. Compare this with Julian Pritchard’s election success in Druids Heath, Birmingham: this was a Green Party target ward where a concerted long-term Green effort was made including delivery of a regular Green Party  Newsletter to every household.
2. To provide infomration to help in targeting future Green campaigning our own counting agents attended the official count of votes after the election. They kep a tally of Green votes as the ballot papers arrived from the individual polling stations of the Walmley and Minworth ward. The figures gave inaccurate total percentages but provided  useful information about the voting patterns in different parts of the ward.
3. The method of vote sampling has been written up as a guide for future practical use at future elections.
It was agreed that C Marriott will produce and distribute the local members’ Newsletter and that P Cooke shall format it onto a Green Party template.

Sutton Greens’ Website.
This was was agreed as being a priority need: a Home page and menu are to be designed. P Cooke is  to provide this using WordPress.
M Okole (Bham Green Party) will be requested to contact all SC members encouraging them to sign up for our local bulletins.
Contacts with other groups for website are being compiled to establish a reference and resource bank with a listing of what is going on and where.

Other notes.
Next meeting 17 July 2018 at Hill Allotments 7.30pm
Sutton grass area mowing: Noted that some green areas in P Cooke’s vicinity are being left un-mown. He has been told he can
 wild-flower seed it. P Cooke will contact S Lyne to find out more about availability of wild-flower seed supplies.
Air pollution: PC is to contact New Hall sampling station to obtain up to date figures and follow up S Lyne’s request for a site visit.
CM received letter from A Mitchell re EU palm oil.
The meeting closed at 9:15 pm

AOB:You may already have received the Notes / Minutes of the SC GP Meeting of 14th June. As a result, there has been something of a flurry of emails which the Newsletter Team has respectfully tried to take account of here. As stated, the next meeting will be on Tuesday 17th July 7-30pm at Hill Allotment Social Club. (Enquiries to starpsykeATtalktalkDOTnet )   Agenda to follow.

Local members will recall the superb response from supporters, teens to octogenarians, to the appeal to tramp the letter boxes of Walmley & Minworth ward. As a party committed to workers’ rights, we are proud to announce that thanks to the 100% use by door-to-door leaflet volunteers of the standardised Sutton Group, recycled,“butter-pat” design posting device, 1) zero injuries to fingers were sustained from letter box mechanisms & from guard-dog attacks; 2) No householders were alienated by partially visible leaflets still protruding. 3) 87% landed “candidate-face-up” inside.

Despite election result disappointment expressed at our meeting some days ago, as a publicity exercise and supporter motivation action, the Newsletter team holds that 6,000 deliveries well initialises further groundwork. Other local political parties present at the election count revealed involuntary surprise at certain higher figures we did achieve. Let us not forget that!

Nor let us forget that, three days before the May election, Alan Clawley, long- standing B’ham Green Party activist died in his early seventies after a battle with cancer. He was a long-standing Green in both senses: he had been a member for a number of decades; he had also regularly stood as a Green candidate including in the May election through which he did not live to see the Party’s first Green councillor elected in Birmingham, a goal for which he had worked. Sutton Green Group members attended the funeral and are in touch with Hazel. Though dwelling in Small Heath, Alan had many times tramped the streets of Sutton helping to collect signatures for the nomination of our candidates and been our joint election agent. His detailed obituary in various newspapers has been well deserved.

On these efforts must we build. The agenda paper, “May 2018 ONWARDS” is already being acted on at the levels of up-skilling, campaigning range and integrating out-reach activities.

So! We again say:-
“Optimism of the Will, pessimism of the Intellect!”
(Grazie, Signor Gramsci!)