Going Green? Go Grindey!

Autumn Conference 2014

Well I came back Sunday, so I feel this to be a bit late. I’ve spent last weekend up in Birmingham for the Green Party’s Autumn Conference, it was held at Aston University – the hotel was lovely and so were the staff there, a truly welcoming atmosphere. I met some lovely people as well and got some very important business done!

This was “my spot” at the conference, right at the back in the middle.

Others from South East Hampshire joined me up there, which was quite nice! When I arrived on Friday I sat through one of the best speeches I have ever heard, from Natalie Bennett – an absolutely fantastic speech was given, I could tell I was right in choosing the Green Party to support. We then followed a rather unnecessarily heated plenary about the Standing Order’s report, however it did pass.

In the evening I spent some time in the bar chatting to a few friends of mine from other parties, got chatting to a few Young Greens – it was very nice! Then the welcoming event by the World Animal Protection group, of which Natalie was there so I kinda had to take…

 

a selfie!

 So then the next day, as I was having my breakfast – Natalie then joined me for breakfast, we had a lovely chat about all the things I was doing and what was going on in general, it was rather nice and it was a truly humble experience. I did have to kind of call my mum and let her know what had just happened, her reply? “NO way! That’s so cool!”. Amazing.

Caroline Lucas about to give a speech on Saturday 6th Sep

Saturday had the Plenary from hell, I kid – it was quite fun and well done, so a brilliant congrats to the chair of that. We had a good and healthy debate about Nuclear Energy, a couple of Young Greens voted for it but the majority (including myself) voted against it and in the brief pause between absorbing what just happened and getting on with the plenary I just went “HA!” at the back of the hall. 

In the evening I flocked back to the Bar and was joined by the rest of the South East Hampshire lot who had popped up to conference, which meant…

…another selfie!

So that was quite nice, meanwhile I had been trying to get a drink out of Keith Taylor MEP – since he tweeted back in February he’d get me one! I also had a chat with the Bristol Greens, seeing as where Bristol is the uni of choice for a certain friend of mine – Some really nice guys.

I met a lovely couple of people called Sally and “Vip”, very warm and welcoming bunch those two are – good sense of humour too! They were doing a stall about sustainable technology, so plenty of literature to give to mum when she’s talking about Apple! 

Overall I had a fantastic time, met some lovely people and I’m feeling really inspired – I wonder what interesting things might happen next year…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

miles

Miles

Another one down, gains made!

I’d like to thank the people of Warsash for voting for me, all 170 of them. We have made significant progress since last year, where I only received 6% of the vote and only managed to beat the Lib Dems. This year I have recieved 8% of the vote and have not only beaten the Lib Dems, but also Labour too!

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The response I’ve had since canvassing in November has been immensely wonderful – the people of my hometown were very welcoming and agreed with The Green Party’s ‘bottom-up’ approach to local politics! Canvassing has also really helped my confidence in public speaking (although some of my friends may argue I’ve always been confident, or just not willing to stop!) and I would like to also thank the Portsmouth News and their team of reporters for giving me an impressive amount of media coverage as of lately.

All I can really say is that this is not the last Warsash, or even Fareham, has seen the last of me! I’ll most definitely be back in 2016 to stand again. Although someone mentioned standing as a parliamentary candidate, a tempting idea to keep me busy over next year indeed…

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I’m not going to stop campaigning for local buses, an end to parking issues and also fight for better crossings in Warsash. These issues, although appear small to some, are big to many. I would like to take the time to congratulate Cllr Cartwright for his victory and I’d like to thank him and the other candidates for keeping the campaign clean and also his wife Ruth for her lovely home-baked banana bread she gave me yesterday!

I think I’ll take a week off, perfect timing too – it’s half term, though some revision for my World Development exam will be done as well.

Thanks for reading,

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Miles Grindey

Grindey Goes to South Downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, me and David Harrison of the SE Hants Green Party, went to South Downs college after being invited by the Student Union President Daniel Hughes and had a stall promoting The Green Party as part of their drive to give students a wide picture of other parties to look at.

I was most impressed by the system they use to register visitors, where they have a tablet that you write your name and (if needed) company and then it prints off your badge, and then the receptionist puts together for you! It’s really innovative and I couldn’t stop talking about that for the rest of the day!

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The other thing I was very pleased with was that their student union is independent from the college, it has a liaison committee within it so that dialogue can easily flow with students to teachers, without them dominating the union. It is also part of the NUS and also the head of it is elected! Everyone is given a role so that they have something to do, and it’s a great way to engage students with the college – it’s possibly the most student friendly college I’ve encountered so far! I hope that within the next year the ISU gets closer to that level of student representation.

 

I wish all the best to Daniel, Liz Langley and in general the whole of South Downs. I am very grateful for their hospitality and I hope to engage more with them in future.

 

Thanks for reading

Go Green

Go Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles

 

Getting it done!

When I started campaigning for the local elections I’d never had thought I’d come as far as I have done. It’s not even the election yet but the mood has never been this encouraging. I’ve had people email me asking me how they could help, I’ve had others saying that they’ve never voted before because they’ve never seen anyone else actually try and help out before.

The bus campaign is going very well, ever since we received some media attention we have had the Green Party South-East MEP – Keith Taylor – sign our petition. That’s some major backing!

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We have received almost 200 signatures overall! 76 on Change.org and a further 95 on paper petitions. It’s amazing what a positive response this has received from the people of Warsash. I can only hope that things get even better after May 22nd. I’ve also gone back round to the many people who’ve been affected by these double yellow lines, they too were happy to see that someone was finally speaking up for local people – and that parking permits were a suitable alternative to yellow lines.

It seems to me that the other local parties seem to have this mentality:

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From what I can see, The Greens are the only ones who support local people

I’d like to thank everyone who has gone out and leafleted and canvassed with/for me. Without them and the support of The Green Party couldn’t have even come this far without them. It just goes to show that if we come together we can make a difference in our community – it’s this grassroots democracy that binds us together as a society and allows us to gain the things we need to be able to get by.

The amount of people joining and supporting the Greens is snowballing heavily, and it’s an avalanche about to hit the Tories.

Thanks for reading,

 

Go Green

      Go Green on       May 22nd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Grindey

 

 

Trouble in Paradise

Well last night I had the pleasure of attending yet another Warsash Residents’ Association (WRA) meeting, this time however I brought along a friend of mine from the Western Wards People’s Voice and resident. After each of the councillors finished speaking, she raised her hand and started asking about the Council’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions and also to increase buses as a vital part of keeping transport links. After this, councillors attempted to appease her frame of mind by saying “there wasn’t enough money” and one councillor said that he would love to “wave a magic wand and get all these services” – quite patronising I felt. A bit like Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes, Minister saying “oh you can’t do that minister” without a sufficient explanation. After they finished talking, I noticed one councillor say to another “He’s planted her”.  When I updated people on Facebook, one said “You’ve been out punned by a Tory!”

After the meeting had finished, and after getting another few signatures for the petition, I went over to one councillor that I’m on good terms with and he seemed most displeased. I was attacked for being “political” and disrupting the “neutrality of the Residents’ Association” and that my friend was a Green Party plant. I called her over and asked her in front of this councillor, “Are you a Green Party member?” she was absolutely shocked that someone people voted for became so scared and threatened that they would go so low as to accuse people of having a different opinion as being a “plant”.

The councillor tried to defend the council’s position of “not our problem” regarding buses, to which I made the following point:

You have been chosen by the people of this ward to represent their interests, their interests are more buses – how do I know this? Because unlike you lot I’ve been out canvassing and instead of pushing issues on them, I’ve asked them what bothers them. You have a position to say to Seán Woodward that people want these buses, so you’re here shrugging your shoulders when in fact you aren’t clearly representing people of this area – don’t tell me you just joined with this lot because it was Blue since time began?

 

I mean it is true, how can you justify denying people you’re supposed to be representing what they want? The funniest thing was that they thought it was most inappropriate that I, a person living in a “free society”, should dare criticise councillors! They need to start listening and taking action rather than giving every excuse not to.

Residents having a different opinion without any political intervention? Perish the thought!

Thanks for reading

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Miles

 

 

Take your fingers out of your ears and listen to us!

The title explains itself, we need some councillors who will actually listen to us and represent our interests. Unfortunately this is not what we’re getting. Two key issues keep coming up every time I speak to someone in the street, in local pubs or indeed into/from college. Buses and Parking.  The major issue in Warsash is that you will find it an absolute pain to get to Whiteley, you will find it an absolute pain to work around those once-every-two-hour buses. If you also needed to get to Fareham Community Hospital from Warsash and you couldn’t get a lift or afford a taxi – there’s no bus service to the hospital. It was cut because it was deemed “not commercially viable”.

I know what we’re fed up with councillors who are just blaming the bus companies for this lack of services. So I know that if I am elected, I will definitely make sure that there’s an improvement in the bus services to Whiteley from Warsash and also Fareham Community Hospital’s route being reinstated. It’s just getting ridiculous!

Sign the petition HERE to tell Hampshire County/Fareham Borough Councillors that you’re fed up with being ignored. 

 

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“Get the bus service  YOU  deserve “Vote Green May 22nd

 

 

Rise and shine!

It’s just over 11 weeks till election day and I can feel the momentum going, Warsash may not be quite as safe as some people seem to believe. Every day we go canvassing more and more people like our message – that fair is worth fighting for. Fair is something the people of Warsash deserve, and it’s something that isn’t being delivered. We live in a Borough where councillors seem to have this notion that if you get an opinion expressed by well under a percent of the population then that is the green light to go ahead with an idea and say that you’ve “done a proper consultation” and to me (at least) that seems like utter rubbish – Warsash deserves better than this!

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Article from Monday 3rd March 2014

 

You know I must admit, it might be a sense of Deja Vu but I’ve seen that response from the school of Nav’ before! In fact when I was younger that was pretty much their “stock answer” to any query regarding parking. Could they just simply not care? Someone said to me once, when I was talking about canvassing, “Surely you could fight bigger battles?” and I simply said “No, these are local issues – what people tell me about and really if I want to get anywhere with making the slightest difference, these are the issues I must deal with”. Big or small these sort of things (like yellow lines) affect people’s daily lives, and someone has to take them seriously… might as well be me!

 

Thank you for reading,

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Follow me on Twitter @MilesGrindey
Like my Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/GoGreenGoGrindey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles 

 

Snoring Tories

This Wednesday, just gone,was the first meeting of the Western Wards Community Action Team. On behalf of the WWPV me and my colleague attended – and it seemed rather dead, mainly due to the weather. We were greeted by Mayor Susan Bayford (also Councillor for Locks Heath) who asked us how we found about the meeting, I said that I had been politically active since I can remember – and had been attending these meetings for a year. I seemed to have shocked her through my answers to her questions – she seemed quite shocked when I said MP for Fareham and tried to deter me from aiming for that by telling me I needed “life experience”. Well I guess I should’ve videoed this, I told her exactly what I did – and here is the list:

  • Member of a Local LitterAction Group, which I appeared on Radio Haslar for last year. 
  • Member of South-East Hampshire Green Party, of which I am the Media Officer and Website Editor.
  • Member/Committee Member of the Warsash Resident’s Association.
  • Founder and current Chair of the Western Wards People’s Voice

The meeting proceeded, and there was a very interesting presentation done to update the residents on the situation regarding the weather – which was all well and good until questions from the audience were taken. A man, quite rightfully, asked “Are you proactive or reactive?” and the person (from Fareham Borough Council) replied “To answer your question – We are proactive, and we are reactive” – ironically that didn’t answer his question. There was an update from the police regarding crime in the area and apparently everything has gone down statistically speaking. Despite this the issue regarding parking in Warsash popped up and according to the PCSO the council and police were doing everything the best they could to help with the situation, this was one of two things that was quite common – the other being neighbor disputes.

When it came to planning for flood defences in the area, the long (and I must admit it was rather boring) and necessary meeting seemed to tire the Councillors – whenever I looked over there seemed to be at least 3 awake at any one time, you couldn’t make it up! The important part of “other issues” came up, and one man raised the fact that the council needs to put more cycle lanes in as a way to reduce congestion – I agree with that, to often have I been sat on a college bus stuck in traffic when I and others could cycle in. The other issue was the speculation regarding yellow water coming from the development – something I’m not too sure about but if it was proven I wouldn’t be surprised. There is simply too much development going on, it needs to stop.

How long before Titchfield becomes Atlantis of Fareham, do we have to keep ignoring the devastating amount of development leading to these floods?  It is ridiculous now. I opposed the expansion of the Locks Heath Free Church, and I still do – any new major developments being planned now must be made with environmental concerns taken into account first. I was told by one of the goers of the aforementioned church that all I cared about was the environment. I hate to break it to them, but without the environment we live in – there wouldn’t be a church to go to. Is this the current attitude of their church “Forget the environment, as long as we’ve got a big enough space to show Jesus how much we love him”? Maybe if it floods as a result of the development, or the foundations collapse, its a sign from God? 

We’ll see. 

 

Yellow Lines and Shoulder Shrugging is not how we do things in Warsash.

It keeps coming up, parking and public transport links. With the dense population focused in Warsash you’d think that there would be a sufficient amount of parking places for students and a decent network of public buses for everyone? Well if you’ve been following this for long enough you’d know that there isn’t. It is rather appalling. When I ask about how we as local residents go about tackling these issues I get told one thing and then another. It’s either “Up to the council to come up with new routes” or it’s “The bus companies will make these routes if they make it commercially viable” – really? There’s pretty much only one bus company operating in Warsash, it’s hardly “free market” if there’s one company with a monopoly on the service.

The same can be said for parking, I confronted Tory Councillor Trevor Cartwright about it during a Warsash Residents’ Association meeting last month, and he said that only 6 people (way less than a percentage of people living in the area) had written to the council in support of another round of the many yellow lines he has continued to place down on the streets of my hometown – and so he ordered their placement. The Chairman at the meeting called a vote to see whether we the WRA would support Permits, and unsurprisingly no one voted in favour – one resident, rightfully, pointed out that since many of them had drives there’d be no point.

The fact is that in Eastleigh, just outside Barton Peveril (where I briefly attended in 2011-2012) they have been successful. Many students who have cars can only park there for 90 minutes before they had to move them, this is perfect for the School of Navigation as generally people would move their cars. Many residents have driveways that they are able to park cars on, overall this has a much better cost-benefit result than just the organised kettling that has been approved by the Tories.

I’m calling on residents to join with me and start the call for a better public transport network and parking. We need a bus service that works for everyone that is reliable, one that is regular to Whiteley and the Fareham Community Hospital. We need to start using some common sense in Warsash. I think it’s time to do something different, it’s time to Go Green.

Thanks for reading,

Miles Grindey

When the Greens come a-knockin’

We’ve been canvassing for the nearly 4 months now and the reception has been incredible, 49.5% of the people we call on have a problem – they are responding well to my canvassing. One person said they hadn’t  even voted in the last 20 or so years and they were going to make their next a Green Vote! The people of my home town have been incredibly gracious towards me and my aim of representing all the residents of the local community. Being a 2nd Generation Warsash Resident (only having moved to Locks Heath/Park Gate two years ago), attending Primary School at Hook-with-Warsash – I have a personal history with the village.  I still frequent down The Silver Fern often with my friends, and I still see my Grandparents often. I feel as though I should give back to the community that gave me so much growing up.

Since November, I have been talking to local residents about local issues – the issues that affect people in their daily lives, and I am hugely grateful for their time that they’ve taken to talk to me. As of now I will fight for local people’s right to be heard, one resident along Newtown Road said to me:

Finally a breath of fresh air! Until you came along we never saw a candidate for anything come to our door and actually speak to us.

At the last Warsash Resident’s Association meeting, I confronted Cllr Trevor Cartwright when he was discussing Yellow Lines. I said that I’d been speaking to resident’s throughout Warsash, and how they were quite rightfully fed up with the Council-sponsored kettling of students parking places. I also told him that residents don’t feel as though he’s taking their concerns seriously, and that no legitimate consultation was taking place. He quickly stated that 6 people had written to him/Fareham Borough Council, and that’s apparently the go-ahead to do anything anymore, when a ridiculously small number of people in a largely populated area actually take the time to write in. It’s hardly democratic or fair, from my notes I can count at least 16 people who are fed up with double yellow lines and want to see some sense put into councillors. They want Parking Permits! That’s common sense.

The fact of the matter is that myself and The Green Party share common ground when it comes to local issues, consultation is key when it comes to the things that matter. It seems there are dark clouds of complacency surrounding the Tory Party in Warsash, are they really trying hard enough to represent those who they were chosen to represent?

The people of Warsash are calling to be heard, and Warsash I’ve been listening!

Thank you for reading,

Miles Grindey