20 Oct 2015

Climate CHANGE 29th November london Demo 12th DECEMBER 2015: A mass mobilisation in Paris

29th NOVEMBER 2015:
On this date, a huge protest will be taking place across London on the eve of the crucial Paris climate talks, which will take place from the 30th November to the 12th December.
Around the world, in major cities, people will be coming together to demand that our governments take action to save our beautiful planet. Across the UK, people will be working together to make this the biggest, most poignant demonstration yet, and our unified voice will resonate from London across the globe to call for real action on climate change.
Join us - let's show international solidarity in the fight for climate justice!
12th DECEMBER 2015:
A mass mobilisation in Paris - if our leaders fail us, we fight on. We do not accept half measures, we need a fair deal and one that takes the radical action demanded by the science.
Transport to Paris will be coordinated by UK organisations working together: watch this space.
The French Coalition Climat 21, working with international civil society has put out a call-out for international action - here is their statement below:
"The fight for a safe climate for all neither begins nor ends with the Paris climate talks. But 2015 is our best moment in years to come together to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, healthy communities and sustainable development for all. To change everything, it takes everyone. Join us at the following mass mobilisations, and together we can bend the course of history.
On September 26th and 27th, in Paris and cities across the country, and beyond, we will mobilize to support and showcase citizen-driven initiatives to address climate change and power the energy transition.
On November 29th, we’ll take to the streets of Paris, and major cities across the world united in many voices for action on climate change. The weekend before the talks begin we’ll get ahead of the politicians to set out people’s demands for the world to know: from food, to jobs, to energy and poverty eradication.
During the two weeks of the COP, there will be more and more actions blooming, particularly in Paris.
From December 5th onwards, a big space for convergence, debates and mobilization will be open to all those who want to take part in this citizen mobilization as well as contribute to alternative solutions to climate change
On December 12th, come to Paris and join the inspiring mass mobilisation to mark the peak of two-weeks of escalating actions. Let’s come together and demonstrate the power of our movement and send a clear signal for a brighter, cleaner, safer and more just future for everyone."

19 Oct 2015

Brent and Harrow GLA Constituency nominations

Reminder that 8pm tonight (Monday October 19th) is the deadline for nominations for Green Party candidates to stand in the Brent and Harrow constituency for the London Assembly.

11 Oct 2015

Brent youth provision to be slashed and out-sourced

A cut of almost 70% in Brent Council's youth service budget (from £1,314,000 in 2015-16 to £414,394 in 2016-17) will see the service out-sourced and based mainly at Roundwood myplace Centre in Harlesden and Poplar Grove in Chalkhill. The report comments on the latter: 'The service level agreement for Poplar Grove means that it may (my emphasis) be possible for a new provider to run youth provision from the centre'.

The proposed retention of the Roundwood Centre means that there will be less money for other aspects of the youth service and the Wembley Youth Centre and Granville will no longer be funded  from April 2016.  They will be handed back to the Council's Asset Management Service and presumably sold off. The running costs of the Poplar Grove Centre will in future be met by Brent River College.

The remaining service will be 'a targeted  offer for more vulnerable groups' although the consultation indicated that young people were in favour of such provision being integrated into mainstream provision.

The Council's consultation revealed that respondents thought the Roundwood myspace Centre was under utilised. However the Centre was funded by a £5m Big Lottery grant as part of the Government's myspace programme and there are restrictions regarding future use. Closure would mean that the £5m grant or part of it could be reclaimed: 

.        Under the terms of the grant agreement, the Council is required to notify the Cabinet Office of any planned changes of use and/or ownership and could be required to repay the grant in whole or in part. Officers have now formally raised the possibility of outsourcing the centre to a third party with the Cabinet Office. They have indicated that there would be no objection to this sort of arrangement, but both the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Cabinet Office would wish to see a lease and business plan before giving approval. They will also need confirmation that there will be continuing compliance with the existing grant agreement. Officers will therefore need to ensure that any new contractual agreements are consistent with the grant agreement and support delivery of myplace outcomes for young people.
Although the report puts a positive gloss on retaining the Roundwood Centre it is clear that the main reason for keeping it as the 'flag ship' is that it would be too expensive to close.

The consultation also revealed that some respondents felt that Brent Youth Parliament was unrepresentative of the general profile of youth in the borough.  Officers dispute this and recommend that the £64,000 annual grant to BYP continues but that its operating costs and relationship with the wider Brent population is reviewed. The BYP will lead this review of itself with the  Head of Youth service. The BYP is central to the next stage of consultation where effective communication with the young people affected is a statutory requirement. The report notes that a judgement was made against North Somerset Council's reduction in youth service because they had not consulted young people adequately or addressed the needs of young people with protected characteristics under the Equality act.

In order to judge the Council's consultation so far it is worth recording that there were more providers (59) than young people (57) at the three 'participatory commissioning sessions' and that of 119 on-line responses 64 were from young people.

A Community Asset Transfer for Roundwood is rejected as having too many risks for a future provider and the Council. and in-house provision is also rejected as capable of offering only a limited service due to funding cuts.

The report recommends that the Council puts the service out to tender with an expectation that any provider taking over would have to work with volunteers and seek additional grants: 

.        Evaluation of bids will assess potential providers’ proposals for working with the local voluntary and community sector. Providers will be required to describe what arrangements they propose in order to deliver a positive impact on the local economy and social and environmental well-being for those in Brent to support the requirements of the 2012 Act as well as the Borough Plan. Providers will also be asked to demonstrate how they will help to build the capacity of local voluntary organisations working with young people and how they will deliver services based on a thorough understanding of the diversity of services users and communities within Brent.
In future Brent secondary schools with be expected to fund the Duke of Edinburgh Award themselves and  the DOE open access centre run by the Council will close.

The report says that the Council will need to make its savings immediately and redundancy consultations with youth service staff will start in November.

Below please find the official Brent Council press release on this issue:

The Roundwood myplace Centre in Harlesden is set to remain the council's flagship youth service hub despite the authority being forced to make substantial savings, if Brent Council's Cabinet agrees on 19 October to new proposals for Council funded youth services. Youth centre provision and related youth work will be commissioned from another provider. This will help to grow the range of services for young people over time and ensure that services continue to be delivered.

This innovative new approach to youth service delivery will help the council and other partners secure other opportunities for funding sources not traditionally available to local authorities.

The borough's young people, youth service staff, voluntary and community sector providers were consulted over the summer, and they were asked how the money available for youth services should best be spent.

The Council report proposes a transformation of Brent Youth Services with the Roundwood Hub offering activities, programmes and targeted support for vulnerable young people. Cultural, sports and employment opportunities will also be offered at the centre and it will provide an important base for youth work and outreach support with a focus on working with vulnerable groups, including young people with disabilities; lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) young people; and those at risk due to their behaviour. Furthermore, the Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) will continue to be run by the Council to ensure that Brent's young people are heard in decision-making that affects their lives.

A number of Youth Service projects will continue in Brent, including the Right Track Programme, which supports pupils temporarily excluded from school, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme.

The Council is also looking to extend its youth services at Brent River College (Poplar Grove Youth Centre) in Wembley, but this will be subject to further discussions with a new provider.

Any new provider would be expected to work with the wider community of voluntary and community sector youth service providers to build capacity and champion youth issues in Brent, especially the newly formed Young Brent Foundation.

Councillor Ruth Moher, Lead Member for Children and Young People, said:

"Given the severe funding constraints imposed upon us by central government, this proposal will help to secure important youth services in the borough and promote more innovative ways of working with our voluntary and community sector partners. It will also help us to attract more money, which the council cannot currently access.

"We want to seize the opportunity to do something different and innovative here and create a partnership model which will help to continue youth services.

Given the scale of funding cuts from central Government, it was a distinct possibility that we may have been forced to stop all youth service provision. These Cabinet proposals will prevent that. When we spoke to young people about the future of the service, they told us that youth centre based provision and support for more vulnerable young people are important to them and would be best delivered from Roundwood which is an award-winning building in the centre of the Borough offering great services to all young people.

The London Borough of Brent needs to save £54 million by 2016/17; and estimates that from 2010 to 2018, central government funding to Brent council for vital local services will almost halve.

5 Oct 2015



ARTWORKS by P.Murry at the Queens Park Cafe, Queens Park Pavilion, Harvist Road
London NW6 6SG October 5th to November 2nd 2015.The Queen’s Park café opens at 9am and closes one hour before the park closes every day (except Christmas Day). Call 020 8969 9569 for more information.

It is difficult to tell who is participating in a CONCEALED PROCESSION because it is concealed. Artistic endeavours may enable us to discern something about the nature of some CONCEALED PROCESSIONS

Peter Murry is a relatively untrained painter, sculptor and printmaker who has exhibited with Free Painters & Sculptrs and Brent Artist's Resource., some of his writings are published in an anthology entitled "Son of The Glowing Nightsoil of the Concealed Emu" which is obtainable from him at His site for artwork and writings is, he also works on a video blog for Dodo Modern Poets at In his spare time he is Secretary of the Green Party Trade Union group and Green Left.

Peter mistakenly thought that he was going to have a lot of spare time when he retired from his work as a Lecturer at the College of North West London In 2005. He has always had several intertwined strands to his life and activities. Visual art, specifically drawing and painting has been something that he has done all his life, recently he has experimented with printmaking in various forms, and sculpture using wood, metal and found materials. Possibly his visual art is “modern primitive” influenced by historical and contemporary art from non-industrial cultures, but an exception to this pseudo-nostalgia is his sculptural depiction of cephalopods and fish. Also Darwinism and the interplay of genetics, environment and randomness in shaping the forms and patterns of life, shape and form his various artworks. Shape shifting and menswear are involved as well

Why Greens support the Conservative Party Manchester Protest

Natalie Bennett published this message before yesetrday's demonstration at the Manchester Conservative Conference
On Sunday, the Conservative Party Conference starts in Manchester. And it’s the day that the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, with the TUC, is organising a protest march against the Tory government’s policies. This is a chance for the North (and people prepared to travel from the rest of the country) to deliver a message about the approach taken by the Conservative  government since its surprise election in May.

It clearly needs that message, since for a party that won the support of less than a quarter of eligible voters, or even if viewed charitably, the support of 37% of those who chose to vote, it has been tearing ahead with a range of extreme measure. Those range from the human-rights-attacking Trade Union Bill to a concerted attack on the renewable energy industry, from slashing even further already inadequate benefits for low-paid workers to softening up on the bankers even while the fraud-ridden, corrupt sector continues to present a threat to all of our economic futures.

This, while our Conservative government’s presiding over a so-called economic recovery built on consumer debt and a housing price bubble in the South East (nothing can go wrong there then, we know from experience), and failing to rebalance the economy towards making goods and growing food, the rebalancing that we desperately need.

Unsurprisingly, as I travel the country, I’ve seen anger about its approach, about a government that’s further promoting the interests of the 1% of the richest at the cost of the rest of us, while ignoring the need to act on the critical global issue of climate change – indeed actively suppressing our renewable energy industry and pulling the rug out from under small businesses and community projects while funding the interests of its friends in the oil and gas industries.

It was in Sheffield,  only 10 days after the election, that I first saw the signs of a growing resistance to the Conservative plans, a groundswell that has grown and developed in the months since.
A hastily-organised anti-austerity march then drew more than 1,000 people, and had representation from a wide range of organisations. There wasn’t just the brilliant 999 Call for the NHS, protesting the privatisation of our great national asset, and anti-eviction housing campaigns, and groups calling for a fair, humane immigration policy, but also young teachers and trainee teachers, resisting the turning of our schools into exam factories.

That’s clearly the view of more and more people around the country. The Tory government doesn’t have a mandate for its actions, it was elected through a 19th-century electoral system that’s entirely passed its replace-by date, it is impoverishing much of the country for the benefit of the few, its economic plan isn’t working even in its own terms.

There will be a chance next May to express a view about that in fair, proportional elections in Wales and Scotland, in London, and in local council elections, but the chances of this government listening are slight.

Taking to the streets, people expressing their view about the exploitation of the many by the few, about the failures of our current politics, is an essential step towards real political change – the hunger for which was shown by the green surge that’s seen Green Party membership more than treble in a year and us win 1.1 million votes in the general election, and the comprehensive victory by a left-positioned SNP against rightwing Labour in the general election in Scotland.

Judging from the response I saw at a preparatory meeting, again in Sheffield, this week, the march in Manchester on Sunday is going to be big. It’s building on the huge anti-austerity marches  in June, on the massive outpouring of support for the Refugees Welcome marches  last month. This is a movement that’s growing fast – people are increasingly grasping that politics should be something you do, not that’s done to you.

Sunday’s part of a series of events linked to the Tory conference – I’m particularly looking forward to the People’s Post rally on Monday night – so if you can’t make it on the Sunday, please come along another day.

Keeping up the pressure is important – the government’s ideology that can be traced back in a direct line to Margaret Thatcher is clearly on its last legs. It will fall with David Cameron and his narrow majority of 12 in the Commons.

You can help make that happen before 2020. For the sake of our economy, our society and the planet it needs to happen before 2020.

I hope to see you in Manchester.