Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Big Green Week Programme Details | Sustainable Bristol

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From the 9th to the 17th of June...

“Bristol’s BIG Green Week is a celebration of green ideas and action which aims to challenge and motivate people to engage with the sustainability issues we face. It is also a fantastic opportunity to hear some world class speakers, get involved in some fun activities and enjoy the buzz in one of the UK’s greenest, most dynamic cities.”
Peter Madden, Forum for the Future.

Big Green Week Programme Details Sustainable Bristol

PMQs Queries

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Today's Prime Ministers Questions featured some important matters of course...banking and bonus culture, reform of the NHS...As is most often the case however, the motivation for questions and answers is party politics and tactics - trying to get your opponent on the back foot. Very serious, highly topical matters that should be raised often dont get a look in.

 No MP let alone Labour Leader Ed Miliband, asked about policy on Afghanistan despite the fact that overnight it was reported that a 'secret Nato report seen by the BBC suggests the Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly helped by the Pakistani security service (ISI).' (see full report and links to others here). This is a matter of life and death to our service personnel and Pakistan is supposed to be an ally. 

 Also no questions on the ongoing, unresolved economic crisis in Greece that could have widespread ramifications and where 'problems are as bad as ever.' (see here). Nothing on the prospect of famine in West Africa (here)...Ok, there is limited time and there are many serious issues that could be asked about - but there is a definite pattern to PMQs that severely narrows the topics chosen and the style and quality of debate.    

Lessons learned?

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Sadly few lessons seem to have been learned by Bristol City Council on flogging off green spaces as this Post report* demonstrates. We are not living in a city where people are genuinely listened to - and certain councillors dont know that they know almost nothing!!

* CRITICISM of the green spaces sell off plan has continued, despite Bristol City Council finally agreeing local people should have the final say.

There are 51 sites that are still under threat of sale, as part of the council's parks strategy.

The authority had hoped to sell the land to developers to raise money to improve other parks across the city, but there was a major public backlash from people who felt it was like "selling off the family silver".

After the Liberal Democrats lost their majority in last year's elections, they were forced to compromise and at Thursday night's cabinet meeting they finally approved giving the final say to Bristol's Neighbourhood Committees.

A timetable will now be drawn up for when these decisions will be made. Ward councillors for each area will have the final say, after they are discussed at local committee meetings.

But there are still concerns about the process, nearly two years after it began.

Avon Wildlife Trust has long called for green spaces with significant wildlife to be removed the process, but members are concerned they are still on the list of potential disposals.

Director of Community Programmes Steve Micklewright, pictured, said: "These include two Sites for Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and 10 Wildlife Network Sites (WNS).

"This is one quarter of the sites proposed for disposal. This indicates that the council is still not taking ecological factors into full account during the process as advised by their own scrutiny committee...


Happy invitation

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Message from Action for Happiness: On Saturday 11th Feb, thousands of people all over the world are getting together to watch an inspiring documentary film called "Happy" as part of World Happy Day.

It's a great movie and had an amazing audience response at our inaugural screening in London.

Our friends at Happy City Bristol are hosting a screening at Hamilton House that day
 [1pm to 3pm]. So if you're around it would be great if you could make it along.

You can watch a trailer and read a review of the film here:

To book tickets or find out more about World Happy Day see:

I really hope you can make it. All are welcome so please spread the word to friends, family and colleagues too.

Very best wishes