30 Jun 2015

Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson confirm they are not seeking GLA re-election

Baroness Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson, the Green Party’s two current members of the London Assembly, have confirmed that they will not be seeking re-election next May.

Nominations to be the Green Party’s Mayoral and Assembly candidates closed yesterday and after sixteen years’ service as Assembly Members, Jones and Johnson have decided to step-down from their roles.

Baroness Jenny Jones said:
 “Having Greens on the London Assembly from its beginning means that the issues of environmental and social justice could not be ignored, by the Mayor of the day or by the other political parties. We were the first to promote cycling, the first to mention air pollution, and the first to come out against water cannon.

“The result is that the Assembly’s stance on issues like climate change, civil liberties and economic reality is much greener than other local or regional authority bodies. We have greened London government, to the benefit of all Londoners.
Darren Johnson said:
"By next May I will have served a sixteen year stretch and look forward to handing over to a brand new Green Party team at City Hall. In spite of being a Group of two on the Assembly and in spite of the Assembly's limited powers, I'm immensely proud to have played a role in things like getting damaging roadbuilding plans scrapped, getting the UK's first ever same-sex partnership registration established, getting the London Living Wage established and getting cycling investment to figure seriously in Transport for London's budget."
Caroline Allen, Co-Chair of the London Green Party, said:
“On behalf of the London Green Party I pass on huge thanks and gratitude to Jenny and Darren for all that they have done to further the Green cause in the capital and to represent us on the London Assembly. From helping to deliver the living wage to securing cross-party support for Low Emissions Zones to being the first to introduce a scheme for civil partnerships, Jenny and Darren have helped make London a fairer and healthier place to live.

“And it is because of their work and the causes that they have championed that we are now in such a strong position to launch our next campaign for Mayor and the Assembly. This Monday we close nominations/announce our candidates for next May’s election. Thanks to the reputation Darren and Jenny leave behind, we head into this election on a high, knowing that we can put in our strongest ever challenge for Mayor and with the opportunity to increase our share of the seats on the Assembly.”
Nominations to be the Green Party’s Mayoral and London Assembly candidates closed yesterday. Candidates will be announced on Wednesday 8th July.

26 Jun 2015

Sat 27 June @ 2pm @ B&M Store, Willesden: Demonstrate against B&M Bargains workfare

Friday, 26 June 2015

Sat 27 June @ 2pm @ B&M Store, Willesden: Demonstrate against B&M Bargains workfare

This demonstration is one of a number nationwide against what Boycott Workfare calls "the DWP's pet exploiter" — B&M Bargains.(1)
Placard statement: B&M Bargains Workfare is a Bum Rap

Members of Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group aim to attend the demo at
B&M Store
473 High Road
Willesden (Near Dollis Hill Tube)
NW10 2JH  (Postcode map)




22 Jun 2015

Kilburn councillor launches blog with email revelations over Brent HS2 vent meeting

acknowledgements to Martin Francis
Monday, 22 June 2015
Kilburn councillor launches blog with email revelations over Brent HS2 vent meeting
Cllr John Duffy, Labour, Kilburn ward has launched a blog site this morning, Kilburn Calling,  LINK which states as its intention 'A blog that speaks out about the issues and concerns of people who live in the Kilburn area of the London Borough of Brent'.

Cllr Duffy attempted to persuade the Labour Group to raise Council Tax during the pre-budget consultation, arguing that to do so could prevent some of the worse of the cuts, particulalrly the ending of funding to Stonebridge Adventure Playground.

At the last full Council Meeting (there is another tonight) he protested that Kilburn had become disenfranchised because none of its councillors had been allocated places on Council committees.

In a posting today LINK he reveals what he claims to be an attempt by a senior Brent officer to stop him informing residents about his attendance at a key meeting on the controversial HS2 vent issue.

This is what he says:

A funny thing happen to me over the weekend, I received a email from a senior officer in Brent council, telling me about a meeting to discuss the HS2 train link running under Kilburn and the placing of the vent shaft.

The email said:
“Please accept this meeting request for discussions on the HS2 Vent Shaft issue that has arisen.

XXXX has called this meeting to ensure you all have the opportunity to be factually briefed on the issue, especially from the South Kilburn Regeneration perspective.

The meeting will be held at xxxxx. xxxxx (full address below). Please ask for XXXX XXXX upon arrival”.
I accepted the invitation to the meeting and believed I should inform the Chair of the local residents to highlight the fact that I was attending and therefore assuring them that their voice was being heard. So I forwarded the email to the Chair of the local residents a Mr F and merely added “FYI”. Believing that I had acted as a good councilor, I then prepared to enjoy my weekend.

However on Friday night I received this letter from a Senior Director, which he had cc the leader of the council. Saying that he noticed I had forwarded his email stating.
Dear Councillor Duffy,

This is a private briefing for the new MP, the Leader, and relevant Lead Members from the cabinet and ward councilors only. It isn't an open meeting for members of the public or wider party members. I would wholly expect one outcome of the meeting to be wider consultation and engagement on the issues and we can discuss the approach to this at the meeting.

Can I leave you to inform Mr F of this situation please?
Thanks - see you next week
I was initially taken back by what I saw of an invasion of my private correspondence with a Constituent. However it would seem that Brent council operate a system that traces any person to whom they have sent an invitation to and any other person that the recipient forwards it onto. This despite the fact that the email did not state it was private or secret.

Because of my concern about this I then forwarded this note to two other colleagues asking them to advise me about what I saw as intrusion into my private email correspondence with my constituents.

To my amazement I received another email from the Director, which was sent to all of the three of my constituents I had emailed. Which said:

Dear Mr P, Mr G, MR K,

I understand that you have been forwarded a notification of the above meeting by Cllr Duffy.

Regrettably this meeting is a private briefing for local politicians and therefore attendance is restricted and I am afraid that you won't be able to attend.

One of the purposes of the meeting is to discuss how we best engage and consult with the many different residents and partners who have an interest in this issue with a view to ensuring that everybody's voice is heard.  I will make sure you are all notified of the relevant consultation meetings when they are set up.

Many apologies for the misunderstanding.”

It is clear the officer involved believes he alone controls the meeting; his way of dealing with councilors is by dictating to them and believes he can instruct councilors to obey him, because presumably he is an officer

The way the officer has handle this situation and the tone of his emails is of great concern to me, it reeks of “big brother ” and his interference by directly emailing my constituents is frankly unbelievable. It is as if I had been a very “ bad boy “ and he is telling me off. It is condescending and I believe undermines the respect officers should show to elected representatives.

I am sure there are many Cabinet Members and Councilors, who believe they should just obey officers’ instructions and do what ever they say, and do not stand their ground. This officer seems to have confused me with one of them.

I was quite happy to attend the meeting itself. I never invited anyone else contrary to the officer’s wild allegation. This meeting is about the vent shaft for HS2.  There are two options being discussed: one in Queens Park  (next to the station) and the other in South Kilburn next to St Mary’s RC School in the middle of the regeneration area that has been blighted as a building site for the last nine years.

I however do not accept the implicit suggestion from these officers that this will be sited (as indicated in their first e-mail) in the South Kilburn regeneration area. These residents have lived on a building site for last 9 years and have been shafted by the Tory government over the years by cuts in services, the bedroom tax and family credits etc. So I will attend the meeting to do my best to ensure the residents of South Kilburn are not literally “Shafted” again by both the Tory Government and over zealous Officers.

20 Jun 2015

19 Jun 2015

Green Party meeting point & route for Anti Austerity demo

The Green Bloc meeting point has been changed for tomorrow's demonstration. This is where the Green Party will meet. It is now Cornhill/Royal Exchange for 11.30am.

This interactive map should be helpful:

18 Jun 2015

Ramadan message from the Green Party

With Ramadan starting today the Green Party would like to wish Britain's Muslim Community Ramadan Kareem. With the long hot days ahead of us we’re keenly aware this year will be a harder Ramadan than years previous and we wish every Muslim fasting good health and a rewarding and spiritual month.

At this time we firstly want to celebrate the contribution that the Muslim community make to Britain. Ramadan is a time of contemplating and recognising the privilege many of us have in life, whilst remembering and empathising with those who have less. These are values I think every Green Party member can keenly associate with.

Equally over this Ramadan we are minded to think about the countless communities that face unrest and violence for the coming month. Ramadan should be a time of quiet spiritual contemplation but too many communities in Syria, Yemen and Nigeria face violence and unrest. Real international action is needed to build lasting peace, and we hope this month can catalyse a change. As an international movement of Green Parties we will continue to strive for real meaningful diplomacy and peacebuilding.

Ramadan Kareem to all those fasting this month
Benali Hamdache
Green Party Equalities Spokesperson

Copyright Term Reduction - Greens take part in BBMM seminar

BBMM2015 Focuses On Copyright Term Reduction Seminar And Music Industry Courses In A Year That Also Highlights ‘Race’ & Diversity Within Music

This Friday a British Black Music Month (BBMM2015) seminar at London’s City Law School offers a forum for discussing the contentious issue of shortening the copyright term.
The term for literary and musical works has continuously lengthened. Starting with a term of 14 years for printed works three hundred years ago, it now stands at life of author plus 70 years for literary and musical works, and the term for sound recordings recently increased from 50 to 70 years.
Inspired by the Green Party’s pre-election policy proposal for a shorter term, the ‘Talking Copyright 6: A Case For Copyright Term Reduction?’ seminar panelists include Sian Berry (Green Party spokesperson and 2016 London Mayoral candidate), Vick Bain (BASCA: British Academy of Songwriters Composers and Authors CEO), Jim Killock (Open Rights Group Executive Director), Hugh Francis (songwriter & music publisher). Co-chairs are Dr Enrico Bonadio (City University London Law School senior lecturer) and Kwaku (BBM/BMC: Music Congress founder).
BBMM is an annual BBM/BMC initiative which takes place in June into July. It highlights domestic black music and industry issues. In addition to the Talking Copyright strand, the BBMM2015 programme includes music industry courses, fortnightly seminars at Harrow Mencap, a weekly radio programme on Brent, and numerous competitions.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the first Race Relations Act, there will be a discussion in association with RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music Industry) and BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) on ‘race’ and ethnicity engagement on July 8 at University of Westminster. A ‘race’ conference is also planned for the autumn.
For more details or to book: LINK

16 Jun 2015

We have a democratic responsibility to oppose this government, 'End Austerity Now' national demonstration: Assemble 12pm Saturday 20 June, Bank of England (Queen Victoria Street), march to Parliament Square.

We have a democratic responsibility to oppose this government, 'End Austerity Now' national demonstration: Assemble 12pm Saturday 20 June, Bank of England (Queen Victoria Street), march to Parliament Square.

3 days to go! It's time to make that last dash to the finish line! Time to do everything we can to make this demonstration as big and effective as possible, and get all the final details in place.

'End Austerity Now' national demonstration: Assemble 12pm Saturday 20 June, Bank of England (Queen Victoria Street), march to Parliament Square. Full details...

Thunderclap: Sign up NOW!Help us make the demo trend world-wide, and send a strong message to David Cameron himself!Sign up NOW to our Thunderclap! Don't forget to use the hashtag #EndAusterityNow when talking about the demo online!

Can you Steward on June 20thSign Up NOW!
We need a large team of super incredible volunteers to help us on the day! Please Sign Up NOW if you can help with this hugely important role, by clicking below:


PLEASE NOTE: All stewards must arrive at 9.30am at Bank Tube Station on June 20th. We also have a stewards briefing this Thursday evening at 6.30pm, which we are asking all stewards to attend if they can. We'll send you details of the meeting once you've signed up.

Interactive Bloc Plan: (Click the image to see more!)

This is simple and rough guide for groups and campaigns that would like to march together. However, feel free to go wherever you like!

Set up a regular donation!
We're already gearing up for action after June 20th, but we're going to need your ongoing support!Please donate £5 per month (or more!) help us ensure the momentum never drops and the next five years see a strong wave of action against austerity in every town and city of the UK! Click here to DONATE!

More on June 20th:
Info for Coach Organisers
Access and Short Route
Travel to London
Route Map 

Some supportive messages to get you in the mood...
Frances O'Grady - TUC General Secretary
“The TUC is proud to send greetings, solidarity and support to this timely People’s Assembly demonstration. Today ordinary people are joining together in their thousands to send a clear message to the new government: no more brutal austerity, senseless cuts and ideological privatisations. That’s why trade unions will continue to fight for a real alternative based on investment, public ownership and strong rights for working people. Together we can build a fairer, more equal, more hopeful country”.

Charlotte Church - Singer and Activist 
“I’ll be there in London on 20th June, not just because it’ll be loads of fun, but because staying at home and doom-mongering doesn’t do anyone any good. The government are using diversionary tactics to distract us from the burglary that’s about to take place. Fox-hunting is not something we need to be talking about. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is! We need to show the government that we see through the lies they’ve told us about the state of our economy. Austerity is but another shiny bauble to bewilder us with, and yet the cuts that are taking place threaten, not just livelihoods, but lives. This government is extreme in it’s ideology and is a genuine threat to our freedoms, our privileges and our economic future. We have a democratic responsibility to oppose this government, and we can sing songs while we do it. Let’s do something good!”

Sam Fairbairn - General Secretary of The People's Assembly
"This government is acting as if a small majority in parliament gives them the green light for dictatorial rule without opposition. On Saturday 20 June the people will demonstrate mass opposition in our hundreds of thousands. It will be the start of a campaign of protest, strikes, direct action and civil disobedience up and down the country. We will not rest until austerity is history, our services are back in public hands and the needs of the majority are put first."
Julie Hesmondhalgh - Actress
“I want to be part of a creative movement, full of imagination, righteous anger and humour, that tackles austerity head on. I'm full of hope that there is a groundswell in our country that want a better, fairer society. Despondency is the best friend of apathy and the enemy of hope.” 
Michael Sheen - Actor“We must not let 'Austerity Measures' provide a cover for a systematic dismantling of the mechanisms of equality in this country. The TRUTH is that the financial crisis was caused by the unchecked desires for profit at the expense of responsibility in the financial sector. The TRUTH is that the danger of "welfare handouts" is a myth whereas the massive banking bailouts were a grotesque reality. There IS such a thing as society. TOGETHER we must use our democratic right to make our voices heard and SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER”
Christine Blower - General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers “It is scandalous that those on the lowest incomes are being forced to bear most of the pain of the damaging and misguided austerity programme. No family should have to rely on food banks in the sixth richest nation in the world. We must not sit back and let child poverty rocket as it is projected to do over the next few years. Pupils and students will be hit hardest by further cuts to education funding over the course of this Parliament. We know that education cuts never heal. I hope that many thousands of people will join the demonstration on 20 June to say now is the time to end austerity.”

Mick Cash - RMT General Secretary 
“The fight against austerity is also the  fight for job security, for decent pay and conditions  and for rights at work.  That struggle is now more essential than ever and must be fought not only directly with the bosses, but through mass protest and actions. Let’s have a massive turnout in London and Glasgow on 20th June.”   

Maxine Peake - Actress

“Direct action is the only way to stem the constant ruthless attacks on our society by this arrogant and vicious system. If we don't stand up we will lose our most precious assets. Assets that have been fought so long and  hard for. The NHS, Our Public services, Legal Aid, the list goes on. We don't have to take it, so we do have to Stand up on June 20th. Now is our time to say "We can see through your lies,Stop your mindless bullying No More!”
Shappi Khorsandi - Comedian"I'm am joining the march on June 20th to END AUSTERITY NOW along side The People's Assembly because I simply don't buy what the government is telling me. The disabled, the poor, the disadvantaged are being demonised and punished with disgraceful cuts to public services. Those in power KNOW we have alternatives. We can't be passive bystanders as they  dismantle our public services, and as they cripple our arts establishments. In our country, we can protest without being shot. Let's exercise this liberty!"
Paul McGann - Actor
“This government will have to keep the partisan promises it made to win power. Its backers will want their reward. In the guise of Austerity Measures rights will be curtailed, social divisions made worse, public assets stripped, child poverty increased, and all to ensure that the rich become a little bit richer. It's your democratic right to protest. Join us on 20th June. Together we can remind them what an opposition looks like, and a proper majority.”    
See you (very) soon!

The People's Assembly Against Austerity

14 Jun 2015

End Austerity NOW! June 20th Join the Green Bloc

 More Information HERE

Saturday 20th June

Green Bloc Assemble: 11:30 am
St Paul's Cathedral (in front of the steps)

Tube: St Paul's
Green Party Stall: 11 am
Bank of England (Queen Victoria Street
Tube: Bank 

March to Parliament Square
Join the facebook event

1 Jun 2015

Green Party Executive nominations open today

The Green Party will be holding internal elections for posts on the Green Party Executive (GPEx) during the summer of 2015. The following posts will be elected for a two year term:
  • Finance Co-ordinator
  • Local Party Support Co-ordinator
  • Policy Development Co-ordinator
  • Publications Co-ordinator
  • Internal Communications Co-ordinator, and
  • Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Anyone wishing to stand for election to one of the other posts listed above must have been a Party member for two years prior to 30th June. 

The election timetable will be as follows:
  • June 1st -  nominations open
  • June 30th - nominations close
  • 3rd August - voting opens
  • 28th August – voting closes

Should you require any further information regarding the roles or the election timetable, please contact the Green Party Electoral Returning Officer, Tom Harris at


Brent Foodbank: Could you volunteer to collect food donations for just 3 hours in the first week of July?

Request from Brent Foodback
At Brent Foodbank we are looking for volunteers to help us with a food collection on 2 / 3 / 4 July - including at Tesco Extra Wembley (across from Ikea) and Tesco Metro Wembley Central - and we have a feeling that some Wembley Matters readers might be interested in helping out, or are involved with youth groups or other groups who also might.  Brent Foodbank page at

There's more info on the page but these are the essentials:

13 million people live below the poverty line. Our foodbank provides a minimum of 3 days emergency food and support to local Brent residents in crisis.

On 2nd, 3rd and 4th July 2015, Tesco stores nationwide are hosting a food collection to support the UK's foodbanks.
What can you do to help?
We need 100 of you to each give 3 hours of your time to greet shoppers at 3 Brent stores and ask them to buy an item from our shopping list.
Where do we need you?

We are greeting shoppers and collecting food items at the following stores:
  • Tesco Extra Wembley (across from Ikea) 
  • Tesco Metro Harlesden
  • Tesco Metro Wembley Central
When are we collecting food? 

We're asking you to sign up to volunteer for 3 hours on any of the following days:
  • Thursday 2nd July between 9 am and 6 pm
  • Friday 3rd July between 10 am and 10 pm
  • Saturday 4th July between 10 and and 10 pm
What do you do next?

Please Message us via the Message button on our Facebook page, or leave a comment, and we will be in touch with more info.