Month: October 2014

Putting on a show without dough – Benefit gig for York Green Party

In 200 days York will go to the polls to elect two MPs and 47 councillors.  York Green Party will be contesting every seat and has a great chance of adding to our two existing councillors.  We have enthusiastic activists and a sound strategy for gaining more seats. What we are missing is the financial resources to get our messages out to York voters.

If you would like to support us and have a good night out, please come to our fundraising gig at The Fulford Arms.

6 November @18:45

Fulford Arms, York – more than just a pub
121 Fulford Road, YO10 4EX York


Two superb acts – great musicians – don’t miss either! Plus book sale, cake sale, raffle draw, and your chance to support York Green Party as we start to build for the elections in 2015.

After Westfield by-election: Council needs more cooperation now!

Tonight I attended my first Counting of Votes for an election. Alison Webb our Green candidate for the Westfield by-election appointed me as one of her count agents and gave me the opportunity to experience the ceremony closely from the front row. As expected for a by-election we got a bit squeezed between the battle between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party.

The final results:

Andrew Waller (Liberal Democrat) – 60.1 %
Louise Corson (Labour) – 19.6 %
Judith Morris (UKIP) – 13.3 %
Jason Brown (Conservatives) – 3.8 %
Alison Webb (Green Party) – 2.9 %
Sam Kelly (English Democrats) – 0.2 %

Turnout: 28.5 %

After this by-election and recent troubles within the Labour fraction; Today the Council looks much different from the Council after the 2011 elections:


Today’s result gives the Liberal Democrats a 9th seat (+1) on the council. Labour has 21 (-5), the Conservatives 10, the Greens 2 with 5 independent Councillors (+4).

This means that Labours lost overall control of the Council and has a ‘minority administration’, meaning our two Green Councillors have now the opportunity to push forward some of our priorities through negotiation. Up to the local elections in May 2015, we will work hard to influence key decisions in the running of the city to make the months count, because half a year of political gridlock and pre-election skirmishes won’t help the city and its citizens.
Like we said before The Green Party always seek to work cooperatively with other parties for the well-being of the city. We make our decisions based on the issue at the time and what we believe can be achieved for York.


Motor boat club plan to fence off riverbank

It came to my attention, that there is a planning application proposing to extend the motor boat club fenced off area over half way towards the Millennium Bridge, just opposite of the Micklegate riverbanks, removing some of the riverside trees and shrubs to create 14 more boat moorings. I spend this weekend to have a look into the current situation and spoke to Green Councillor Andy D’Agorne about the proposed development.

Fence at the river  York Motor Yacht Club Location

Lars is looking at the fencing which is currently dividing the public open space from the space exclusively used by the club. The newly fenced off area would extend as far as the ‘woodland copse’ on the upper bank– in a line with Lilac Cottage. 

Interview with Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Fishergate (Green Party)

Lars: Thank you Andy for taking the time for this little interview. We read in The Press that York Motor Yacht Club wants to lease 0.7 acres of land alongside the River Ouse south of Millennium Bridge from City of York Council and applied to the authority for planning permission to create 14 additional moorings, why do you question this development?

Andy: This area is important public open space used by local people and visitors to enjoy the peace and nature of the area. It is also important feeding ground for bats, owls and other wildlife – kingfishers have been seen in the area and could even nest in the banks there, as could otters, both protected species.

Lars: How can this development affect the residents of Micklegate ward?

Andy: Residents of Reginald Grove have already been in touch to express their opposition – it will be directly opposite the back of their houses. Many people walk and cycle along the sustrans path from the Millennium Bridge towards Terry’s and much of the rural aspect of this section will be harmed by the line of boats stretching further along the opposite bank.

Lars: In The Press the York Motor Yacht Club says that there is no designated riverside footpath along the stretch of land in question, it is of limited recreational value, a tree survey had noted that the majority of trees were in poor condition and not expected to be sustainable and a bat surveys had found no usage of roosts which had been identified in trees. What do you make out of these statements?

Andy: There isn’t a formal path as it is open space alongside the river, used by people fishing, enjoying a stroll with families, dogs etc. Some of the trees have been damaged, but ironically the ecology report makes clear this helps to provide roosting sites for bats and holes in the bank which may become homes for otters voles kingfishers etc.

Lars: The York Motor Yacht Club says that they have a long waiting list for moorings. What should they do to expand and cater for their members?

Andy: The documentation says that the club have 12 on their waiting list compared to 40 existing moorings, not exactly a ‘long list’ There is already a section of mooring available for short term temporary use by visitors. There are other marinas along the length of the Ouse – This one first opened in 1933 before there were any planning laws to control this sort of development. Hundreds of local people enjoy this area as it is now compared to a few wealthy individuals who want exclusive use of the area currently available to all.

Lars: What is happening now with the planning application and what can residents do to influence the decision making process?

Andy: The application details can be found on the council website at  enter 14/02151/FUL to find the details. You can register your objections online by the deadline of Oct 20th (you will need to register on the site to do this) You can also send written comments to Kevin O’Connell, Planning Dept West Offices station Rise York  YO1 6GA

To object to the council disposal of public open space also write to Phillip Callow, Head of Asset and Property Management at the West Offices address or email by Oct 28th . You can also ring and ask for Phillip Callow or Val Inwood on  01904 553358 to ask them to explain the grounds on which you can object, how much the council will be getting for this, what conditions might be attached to the lease etc.

Lars: Thank you for your answers!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES  clip_image002Map from Council website.

Planning site notices are displayed within the area. The development plan shows that the extension will probably bring the boat moorings into view from the Millennium Bridge.


Elected as Green candidates for Micklegate ward – The Beginning of the Journey

We have been elected by the members of York Green Party to stand as candidates in Micklegate ward for the next York City Council Elections on Thursday 7 May 2015. We, that is Lars Kramm, Helen Johnson and Mark Havercroft (from left to right).

Last local elections York Greens comfortably held Fishergate ward, with councillors Andy D’Agorne and Dave Taylor being re-elected with over half the vote, but we also built on our support in other key wards and achieved an impressive second places in Micklegate (with 32% of the vote). In 2015 we want to close the gap of 250 votes and get for the first time ever, Green councillors elected in Micklegate.

Green councillors make a difference

After the May election it is likely that no one party will have an overall majority again. The election of more Green Party councillors in May will give us a stronger voice in the Council and the ability to achieve positive policies for York’s future. We always seek to work cooperatively with other parties for the well-being of the city. We make our decisions based on the issue at the time and what we believe can be achieved for York. We speak out to challenge bad council decisions, while seeking to avoid the constant political ‘point scoring’ which gives politics a bad name. Our current councillors have a track record of being very hard-working and excellent local representatives.