Welcome to Hendon Greens

Welcome to the blog of the Barnet Green Party's Hendon group. Andrew Newby was Green Party candidate in Hendon constituency in the 2010 general election.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

29/11/15 Why I will be out on the streets of London

Ben here... last year I stood for MP in Hendon.
Here is a piece with few reasons I will be joining tomorrow's People's march for climate justice and jobs.

I did a LOT.  A lot has happened on affordable housing with the local compulsory purchase order number 1 being confirmed with slight amendments following a public inquiry.  But Climate Change is such a big problem, such a mind-blowing international issue that I feel quite strongly that I didn't do enough during the campaign, and I didn't communicate what I had done, on the issue.

I'm marching with my local party, Barnet Green Party, and our banners.  I will be outside Hendon Central from 10, heading off at 10:30.  Give me a buzz on my mobile if you want to travel from Hendon to the demonstration together.

I have had a look at the blocs that are organised for the march.  Many of them are tempting.  I am hoping to march with either the Green Bloc or my faith group, both meeting at the corner of Park Lane and Curzon Street.  What with ISIL and the Paris attacks it is really important that faith groups are coming together for this.  Tim Gee wrote a blog on OpenDemocracy on why it's important for believers to take action for the climate "in times like these".  Rabbi Jonathan wrote a piece for the JC and will be speaking to a packed hall tomorrow with other faith leaders. It's a shame, possibly with the exception of Jonathan Wittenberg, that none of those leaders are to the right of me on the religious observance spectrum. 

I also want to note; It's also a shame that Israel chose this weekend for this demo to keep Israel's natural gas for Israel.  Whilst criticising Israel is always a hot potato, I can't help thinking that both sides are wrong Netanyahu for signing the gas deal and the Zionist Union (Labour Party) for their negative protest at a time that the diaspora is crying out for community solar energy.

This weekend there is a truly global movement on the march.  The only place people aren't marching is in Paris, where a state of emergency has been declared and the 200,000-strong march banned by the authorities.

I'm marching to save the climate in solidarity with someone who can't. Kathleen. Join us #March4Me https://t.co/2bkK1Tneqj
— Ben Samuel (@filosofical_140) November 28, 2015

P.S. Remember to use your orange ballot paper in London to get Greens elected in 2016!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last night's CELS Committee

This is my report of Monday 21st's Children Education Libraries and Safeguarding committee It is a rather partisan perspective but for some reason no one from the Press gallery or Barnet Bloggers turned up not even Dan, so this is a Barnet Green Party exclusive. The meeting started late due to the clock. The chair. is sporting an impressive beard. There are 3 suits sitting in the gallery waiting to speak, and a pile of recycling on the desk for anyone who doesn't have a way of reading the megabytes of reports on an electronic device. (I let my dad have a flick through afterwards). There was a quick presentation on a youth centre which is envisioned to be built on Montrose playing fields. Questions were raised about access which will come back to Planning and there'll be a consultation. They said it will cost £6m to build. I am not sure if this is in Northern money? The football pitches at Pavilion Way are also being encroached on, by an academy. Schools first. Much time was spent discussing how the improvement director is improving the exam results. One way of massaging the figures is to exclude foreign children from the primary school statistics. Great lengths were spent to scrutinise the exam results at different sorts of schools and absence for religious holidays, cheap holidays, and other reasons. However I did not hear the word "refugee" or "migrant" once. When asking questions I would expect the Labour Group to be on our side. This time they seemed content to stick to the same agenda. They had had a private briefing and discussed the difference between acadamys, free schools, and so on. I was half expecting them to mock the Tory leader for leaving his child in a pub, or even saying "I have crowd sourced my questions from thousands of residents emails and I have a question from Steve who is a TA." New school places are being created with a new primary in West Hendon which the locals know is not going to be built until the very end of the phased demolition and gentrification of the estate. There's also early indication of a secondary on the ruins of Grahame Park or Whitefield Estate. Labour asked about Hendon College and FE which is not the responsibility of the council. When I was a NEET I felt like a statistic and it seems nothing much has changed on that front. Libraries wasn't on the agenda so there will be a separate meeting. Safeguarding was left till last, finishing at about half past 8. By which time most of the Councillors had run out of energy for asking questions. The report contains some shocking figures. However I personally have issues with the language used to talk about risk in an unscientific way. I think too much focus is on safeguarding and not enough on the real issues families face; things like neglect, digital safety, things officially priorities but at the coal face that's not the experience we've had with social workers. We're told to look at the Barnet Website for a new campaign to recruit new social workers. One plank is higher pay, another is being supported by a computer system. Hardly a good pitch to come and join Barnet's team; personally if I was a social worker I'd rather work temporarily for an agency and get on with the work. Ben 22/9/15

Friday, May 29, 2015

Assets, regeneration, and cancer

OK, so I have a confession to make. I copied my stub speech from Rupert Read. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFKQDz903Tw&feature=youtu.be&t=7m5s 7 minutes in But there's something very original about the Green Party's anti-growth message, which was mandated from conference. In the Leader's debates Natalie explained what austerity means. It comes down to the trickle down effect, Cameron and food banks. We're incredibly pro-business for small business and generally stand for a balance between private, markets, and the things we share. Businesses use public services, for instance the health service, rubbish collection, roads, and would procure more business if we had a thriving public sector work force with higher pay and decent state pensions, including students and the huge number of disabled people that makes us the great community that we are. Ken Livingstone may have "got" climate change, he may have given us the Boris bikes, but the fact is London's growth is having an irreversible impact on the natural world. No politician would be popular if he told the truth that infinite growth in a finite area is impossible. Resources are under pressure such as metropolitan open spaces, especially that serve poor communities. Barnet Council is starved of cash and yet the poorest are seeing higher bills and council tax. Other limited resources in Barnet is the stress that teachers are going through, and carers. We need to pay a living wage if we are going to tackle the deficit. An other limited resource in London is road space, which could be transformed into useful space for people not parking for a growing population of cars, many of them second or third luxury cars. Parking should be fairly administered and not privatised like we are seeing in regeneration projects that have become a parking disaster. London is squandering its food resources by wasting food, and not recycling waste properly. Green Party were the first people to notice that things had to change with respect to recycling. I recently visited a roof top garden in phase zero of the West Hendon redevelopment. The Green/ brown roof saves water by putting some sedum there to absorb excess water and slowly use it. It also adds to insulation. The biggest challenge this year is going to be how to cut down on Barnet's unsustainable use of fossil fuels to make them last longer and not put pressure on where they come from. Soon you will have to pay just to breath clean air. Ben - 2015 General Election candidate for Hendon, 2018 Local elections candidate for West Hendon

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Manifesto launch and Council

We had a little tent protest outside Hendon Town Hall and then went inside for Council where I sat at the back of the gallery reading the Conservative Party Manifesto (with it's not so catchy title).  OMG! They are dull!  I made a big mistake not reading the environment chapter first because my attention span has totally gone.  The same shocking claims repeated, the same tired ideas, and total lack of detail or evidence.  But the Green manifesto reads quite well I think.
Meanwhile in the Council Chamber there was much discussion over the general election campaign.  More exciting was the heckling from 3 loud individuals mostly, who are absolute legends.  They are quite well known in activist lefty circles.  I think the heckling was quite embarassing and to make matters worse at the ajournment to "clear the gallery" I was given a banner to hold up and Councillors Alan and Alon took photos on their smart phones.  Something about 80% market rent.
It is such a shambles but I am used to it. - Ben

Sunday, January 25, 2015

West Hendon Estate 2

The public inquiry is ongoing.
On Thursday we supported a demonstration; the video by an activist is here.

Ben Samuel, our parliamentary candidate, is a member of Barnet Housing Action Group.  here is what they posted on their facebook today:

On Thursday's day of action, I met Leigh, a woman who has lived in her home (her precious and beautiful home) on the West Hendon Estate for forty five years. A woman who contradicts all of the DailyMail stereotypes of people who live on council estates. A woman who has not been involved in the campaigning to date, as she never gets back home from work in time for the meetings. A woman who has negotiated 9 days holiday from work to attend the public inquiry which is so critical to her future.
A woman who told me the story of the first time she cried about her situation. A "silly" story, she said. The story also made me cry.
I may not get the details exact, but I want to try to relay that story as best I can.
In years gone by, in the green areas between the blocks and York Memorial Park, circles of daffodils were planted on the small hill beside the place where people used to play football. [ALL of this area has now been lost to the mega development]. The mists would rise in the mornings off the Welsh harp...the sunset views were magnificent....this green space surrounded on three sides by the buildings of tyrell way, marriotts close & marsh drive and on the other by the Welsh harp. She'd always called her Estate, West Hendon's little secret, snuck away behind the Edgware Road.
When the "redevelopment", the destruction, the decimation of the area began, the greenspace was first to be taken. The small hill with the daffodils dug up, churned over like a vision from watership down. Leigh looked from her window one day and saw on the top of the brown disrupted earth the daffodil bulbs sitting on top of the mound.....they still grew, they still bloomed. The sight of the daffodils clinging on until the end....Leigh cried and cried...and so did I.
Leigh is a leaseholder, bought her home under the right to buy. She does not know where she will go, how she will get there, how she will start again, how she will get to work, how she will see her friends, who will be her friends.
For Leigh and the other 679 households on this estate and hundreds, maybe thousands of others on other estates, like her but each with a different, distinct story, we must not let what is happening to her to happen.
She must have a fair, dignified outcome from this trauma she is now facing.
We must fight together to achieve this.
What's right is right, AND THIS IS WRONG!! So very wrong.