02 03 05 05 08The battle forBalcombe: frackingthreat gets localKeith Taylor MEP givesthe European view oncombatting frackingAllsorts: supportingand celebratingdiversity in SussexBrighthelm communitycentre open forbusinessCaroline Lucas MPcampaigns torenationalise railwaysgreenleafAutumn 2013 Edition 45 Published by Brighton and Hove Green PartyGreen spaces for a green cityAbove: Children play in the new fountains.Anyone who has been near the Level lately willhave seen the area transformed from an unlovedsliver of perfunctory green space between LondonRoad and the Steine to an enticing site of elegantpergolas, eye-catching water features, livelyplaygrounds, colourful flowerbeds and a wellusedskatepark.On any sunny day recentlythe park has been full ofpicnickers, while childrensplash in the fountains,skaters whizz around theskatepark, and people insearch of a little peace hangout round the more tranquilplanted areas. Woodensculptures of sheep and ashark are scattered throughthe play area.The regeneration, securedwith £2.2 million of HeritageLottery and Big Lotteryfunding among other grants,has been a spectacularsuccess overseen by theGreen-led council – and at noexpense to council taxpayers.‘The restoration ofThe Level is one ofthe most exciting andsignificant projectsundertaken in the cityin recent years.’— Councillor Pete West, chairof the council’s Environment,Transport and Sustainabilitycommitteephotos: nicola hodgson and bernie sweatman‘The transformation isspectacular. The newfacilities – impressiveplayground, waterfountains, lovely newplanting, pétanquearea, incredibleskatepark – are gettingjust huge amounts ofuse from kids, familiesand teens.’— Paul, new fatherDevelopment is stillunderway but will becompleted in coming months.The city’s first cycling-themedcafé, Velo, has been offeredthe lease on an eco-café inthe park, and will be servingsustainably sourced food.Brighton and Hove police hasa community hub in the parkto deter anti-social behaviour,and community spaces willsoon be available to hire inthe pavilions.Find out moreLeft: Seaside-themed play equipmentin the new playground.Far left: Picturesque flowerbedssurround the pétanque area.Far left below: Skateboarderspractise their moves in the newskatepark.Left bottom: The new play areaoffers kids many adventures.www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/thelevelwww.brighton-hove.gov.uk/joinusonthelevelAbove: Caroline Lucas MP and Cllr Phelim MacCafferty back theStonewall equality walk, 2013. See more Stonewall news inside....Greens are leading the way in protectinggreen spaces throughout the city and beyond:Protesting fracking in Sussex; support toBalcombe village (pages 2–3)Keeping BHASVIC fields accessible for all(page 6)Winning awards for city parks (page 7)
EnvironmentFracking comes to SussexBattle for BalcombeThe picturesque village of Balcombe in West Sussex, only 15 miles from Brighton and home to1,700 people, has become the site of a struggle between residents and environmentalists againstthe US fracking company Cuadrilla. Having caused controversy with its test drilling sites in Fylde inLancashire in 2011, Cuadrilla began exploratory activities in Balcombe in July 2013. Nicola HodgsonAbove: A car at the protest site in Balcombeadorned with anti-fracking messages.A coalition of protest groups,Balcombe residents and dayvisitingwell-wishers havegathered at the site since July inan effort to disrupt the oil andgas company’s activities, withsome protesters setting up anencampment of tents on the roadleading to the site’s entrance.The protesters have emphasisednon-violent action, althougha number have been arrested,including, in a high-profileincident, Brighton Pavilion MPCaroline Lucas.After the arrest, Carolinecommented that she took partin ‘peaceful, non-violent directaction only after exhaustingevery other means of protestavailable. I’m in the privilegedposition of being able to putquestions to the governmentdirectly and arrange debates inparliament, but still ministershave refused to listen.’Balcombe is the first site inthe southeast of England to bedrilled, but protesters fear it is atest site in more ways than one,potentially heralding a frackingfree-for-all throughout ruralBritain. Campaigner VanessaVine of Frack Free Sussexcomments, ‘I’m genuinely afraidthat Balcombe is sacrificial inthis. Cuadrilla is just one verysmall part of the potentialecocidal juggernaut that isbearing down upon us. Morethan 64% of the UK is potentiallyup for licence.’Views from a residentFrank Owen, a Balcombe residentsays, ‘the interesting thingis the awakening of so muchof the wider community. Usregular folk, in the immediatecommunity, who wouldn’thave associated themselveswith things that might bemisunderstood as beingillegal [ie, protest action]suddenly think “well, it’sentirely appropriate, becausewhat’s happened is absolutelyunacceptable”.’Frank is sceptical of Cuadrilla’sattempts to allay fears aboutfracking’s environmentalconsequences, saying, ‘they areputting on a very expensivecampaign to manipulate,misinform, bamboozle, andbully people into thinking thatsomething is something else.’What is fracking anyway?Fracking is short for ‘hydraulicfracturing’. It is a process tocapture fossil fuels in the formof shale gas. This gas is the sameas the natural gas conventionallyused as an energy source, butit is locked into shale rockoften thousands of metresunderground. The gas is releasedwhen the rock is fractured(‘fracked’) by pumping a highpressuremix of water,sand and often toxic chemicalsunderground.Right: Placards decorate theprotest camp at Balcombe.photos: nicola hodgsonWhy should people be worried?•The fracking process consumes a huge amount of water – aparticular concern in the southeast, which is already chronicallystressed for water. Southern Water has already said it cannotguarantee that there is sufficient water available if fracking takesoff in a major way in the area. Water UK, which represents all majorUK water suppliers, said the shale gas extraction method posed athreat if not ‘carefully planned and carried out.’ It has also warnedthat the huge amount of water that fracking uses could causeshortages in areas of low supply, like southeast England.• Releasing and consuming yet more fossil fuels will further speedup climate change and means the UK is highly unlikely to meet anytargets on cutting carbon emissions.• Contamination of drinking water poses a serious threat. USgovernment reports identify more than 1,000 cases of watercontamination near fracking drilling sites. The Balcombe drilling siteis only 1.6 miles away from Ardingly Reservoir.• Fracking can aggravate seismic activity: two earthquakes thatoccurred in Fylde, near Blackpool in Lancashire, in 2011, have beendetermined to be caused by fracking by Cuadrilla.• Fracking has been linked to diseases in humans and animals.Many of the chemicals used in fracking in the US are highly toxic,including known carcinogens and chemicals that debilitate nervousand immune systems.• Fracking can also cause air pollution: emissions from frackingsites cause deterioration in air quality and can cause photochemicalsmog.• Fracking could see a significant increase in traffic in rural areasas trucks bring in drilling equipment and take away contaminatedwater.‘Fossil fuels are 20thcenturydinosaurs– fracking wouldcause significantlocal environmentaldamage, cannot fitwithin our essentialcarbon emission limitsto avoid catastrophicclimate change, andwould lock us intofuture high cost andvolatile householdenergy bills.’— Natalie Bennett,leader of the Green PartyEnergy bills and jobsPeople who support frackingclaim that it could be theanswer to the UK’s energyneeds. The British GeologicalSurvey suggests that shalegas reserves could be enoughto supply the UK for 25 years,although estimates vary hugely.It is also impossible to tell howmuch of the reserves is actuallyrecoverable.People who support fracking alsoclaim that it will reduce energybills. In the US, where frackingis well established, shale gas hashelped to significantly reduceenergy prices. However, thesituation in the UK is different– the costs of extracting the gasare likely to be higher because ofgeological factors and the denserpopulation. Even Cuadrilla itselfhas admitted that fracking inthe UK will have an insignificanteffect on gas bills.The other main advantage thatpro-frackers put forward is thatit creates jobs. However, a papercommissioned by Cuadrilla in2011 stated that only around5,600 jobs will be created inthe UK. Working on a frackingsite does not provide long-termemployment for local residents.Large-scale investment in therenewable energy industrywould be a far better way toaddress these issues. Friends ofthe Earth claim that investingin energy efficiency could create71,000 jobs by 2015, whileinvesting in renewable energycould create 400,000 jobs by2020. Estimates from EU sourcesAbove left: Police officers block theentrance to the drilling site.
ealso cite energy-efficiencymeasures, such as insulatinghomes, as a huge potentialsource of employment. Therecould be 200,000 jobs createdin the EU over ten years if therewere an energy efficiencyincrease of just 1% a year.Friends of the Earth spokespersonAndrew Pendletonsaid, ‘Ministers should beencouraging investors to developthe nation’s huge renewableenergy potential. This wouldcreate tens of thousands of jobsand wean the nation off itsincreasingly expensive fossil fueldependency.’The government’s agendaThe Tory-led government isaggressively promoting fracking,and a huge number of sites arebeing sounded out in the UK;according to Greenpeace, 64% ofEngland is under considerationfor fracking. The Weald insoutheast England, runningfrom Kent through Sussex toHampshire, is thought to be asignificant reserve. ChancellorGeorge Osborne in Julyannounced generous tax breaksfor fracking companies; theywould pay only 30% tax on shalegas profits, compared with 62%that oil and gas companies havetraditionally paid.Find out moreFrack Off: frack-off.org.ukFriends of the Earth: www.foe.co.ukAbove: Campers at the protest site.Osborne has stated that hewants to grant the mostenticing conditions for shale gasoperations in the world. ‘I wantBritain to be a leader of the shalegas revolution – because it hasthe potential to create thousandsof jobs and keep energy bills lowfor millions of people.’‘If the coalition puthalf as much effortinto incentivisinggreen energy likebiogas as it does intofoisting fracking oncommunities that don’twant it, the UK wouldbe well on its wayto long-term energysecurity. Biogas wouldactually help farmersand people in ruralcommunities, ratherthan incensing them.’— Greenpeace spokespersonLeila DeenGas Drilling in Balcombe:gasdrillinginbalcombe.wordpress.comGreat Gas Gala: greatgasgala.org.ukGreenpeace: www.greenpeace.org.ukHASL frack free page:http://www.hasl.org.uk/frack-free-community.htmlNo Dash for Gas: www.nodashforgas.org.ukKeith Taylor, MEP,gives his take on frackingAbove: Keith Taylor MEP withGreen councillors Mike Jones,Alexandra Phillips and PhelimMacCafferty.Why should people beconcerned about fracking?Evidence suggests thatfracking can be devastatingfor communities. Studies fromPennsylvania have showndrinking water near frackingsites to be highly contaminated.The gas flares, which burnwaste gas in the explorationstage of fracking and emitharmful air pollutants, aren’tsomething that anyone wouldwant near their house. Andfinally, with a government hellbenton this new dash for gas,anyone who appreciates thebeauty of the countryside willbe deeply worried about theeffects fracking will have on ourlandscapes. Exploiting just 10%of Britain’s shale gas resourceswould require 110,000 wells,or an average of 160–170 perparliamentary constituency.How have communities inother areas and other parts ofthe world successfully resistedfracking efforts? How does the‘Lock the Gate’ initiative work?In Australia, communitieshave signed ‘Lock the Gate’pledges and undertakennon-negotiable resistanceat entrances to drilling sites.This has succeeded in turningthe drilling companies away.In Poland, communities havemobilised and pressed localofficials to refuse permissionfor fracking after water inother areas turned blackdue to drilling activities. InWhat can you as an MEP doto support people who areconcerned about fracking inthe southeast?I’m doing all I can to supportcampaigners across thesoutheast who are standingup to fracking in theircommunities. One of the mostuseful things I can do is putcampaigners across the regionin touch with each other sothey can work together tofight fracking. My team andI have put together briefingsfor campaigners to use. I’vetried to meet campaigners andadvise them on the best waysto stand up to the threat. I’malso working on legislationin Brussels to try and stopfracking taking off across thecontinent.What other actions would yourecommend people take to tryto stop fracking in the UK?Anyone concerned aboutfracking should be writing tolocal politicians demandingthat they pledge to fight shaleDavid Gibson, of Hanover Action for SustainableLiving (HASL), explains how local communitiescan resist frackingHanover and Elm Grove, HASLsupporters have surveyed theirstreets and made frack-freedeclarations in Scotland Streetand Hartington Place. Othersregularly visit the camp atBalcombe.What are the different ways inwhich people can take actionto try to stop fracking?HASL are supporting people tooppose fracking in whateverways suit them. For example:•Support visits to the camp.•Write letters to authorities.•Get together with neighboursin their streets, signing up toEnvironmentEnvironmentgas exploitation in the area.I’d also urge everyone to joinprotests across the southeastand support communitiesstanding up to fracking. Somecountries in the EU havealready banned fracking.At the EU level, is there anychance that legislation will bebrought in to ban fracking inevery European country?The EU doesn’t have controlover member state’s energymix, but it can regulate thefracking industry to such anextent that it will struggle totake off across the continent.The work I’m doing in Europealso aims to ensure that anyfracking that does happen inthe EU is highly regulated andmonitored.People who support frackingsay it offers the UK a way toaddress its energy needs and,provides jobs in a strickeneconomy. How would you tryto refute that argument?The choice we face is betweeninvesting our efforts andresources in fossil fuels orin clean, renewable energyfit for the 21st century. A biginvestment in renewables andenergy conservation wouldcreate thousands of jobs inthe southeast and inject lifeinto the economy. Instead,the government is giving taxbreaks to fracking companieswho are set to lock us into afossil-fuelled future. If we areto reach any sort of energysecurity in the UK, we need tomake a serious effort to shiftaway from fossil fuels towardsclean energy.make frack-free declarations.•Join us at a street stall togive out leaflets and collectsignatures.How are people in Balcombeand the local area reacting tothe threat of fracking comingto the region?I work for Wealden DistrictCouncil (another area facingfracking), and I know howpassionately people want toprotect the Sussex countryside.Housing developments inWealden are banned withinseven miles of the AshdownForest to protect the Dartfordwarbler, so heaven knows whatthe burning of gas flares woulddo to this endangered species!
Elected OfficialsCommunity newsStonewall praises LGBTwork in city’s schoolsYoung people from Allsortshave worked with the council’seducation team to delivertraining to peer mentorsand staff, and have deliveredlessons and assemblies thatchallenge homophobia, biphobiaand transphobia. Secondaryschools have been supported todevelop systems that effectivelysupport lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender young peopleAllsorts founder and directorJess Wood said, ‘We are thrilledTackling poverty inBrighton and Hove Bill RandallThe Green-led council’s commitment to tackling poverty and financialexclusion in the city is paying dividends for many council tenants hitby the government’s savage benefit cuts.More than 370 tenants haveaccessed more than £350,000 inunclaimed or additional benefits,charitable payments, savingson household bills and write-offor rescheduling of some debts,thanks to the council’s HousingInclusion Team, which was setup in May 2012. The team beganwork with the Money Adviceand Community Support Service(MACS) last spring to coincidewith the introduction of thegovernment cuts.All the households affected bythe ‘bedroom tax’ have beenoffered home visits, budgetingadvice from MACS and adviceon mutual transfers and theTenant Incentive Scheme, whichfor several years has offeredpractical help and financialincentives to tenants downsizingto smaller homes. As a resultof this work and tenants’own actions, the number ofStonewall, the national LGBT (lesbian,gay, bisexual and trans) campaigningcharity, has named Brighton and HoveCity Council as the second best localauthority in the country for its workin challenging homophobia, biphobiaand transphobia in schools and raisingawareness of diversity. The council hasworked in partnership with AllsortsYouth Project (see page 5) to deliver thisvital work in the city’s schools.that the council has yet againdone so brilliantly in theStonewall index. This is a greatachievement. Congratulationsto everyone at the council andall our wonderful LGBT-inclusiveschools.’The council also recentlylaunched a Trans InclusionToolkit for Schools to furtherimprove support for transgenderyoung people.households affected by thebedroom tax fell from 949 at theend of March to 868 at the end ofJune.Councillor Bill Randall,Chair of Housing, said:‘You have only to look at thelengthening food bank queuesto see that many low-incometenants are experiencinghardship because of thegovernment’s latest attack on thepoor.‘While it is essential to collectcouncil rents to pay for housingservices and to build new homes,we always work with tenantswho can’t pay the rent to helpthem reduce their arrearsand sustain their tenancies.The council has an all-partycommitment not to evict tenantsin arrears solely because of thebedroom tax.‘We’ve been a leading authoritynationally for the three yearsthis award has been running.I’m proud that our schoolstake homophobia, biphobiaand transphobia so seriouslyand delighted that our workwith Allsorts Youth Project iscontinuing to support theirefforts.’— Cllr Ruth Buckley, deputychair of the council’s Childrenand Young People Committee‘The Green-led work stretchesbeyond our own tenants. Thecouncil supports the work ofthe East Sussex Credit Union,BHT, the CAB and MACS, andwe are working with them andthe high-street banks to set up aCommunity Banking Partnershipto increase the help availableto all those suffering financialhardship in the city.’Hove vs Gove: saving greenspaces for the city Ruth BuckleyFollowing a hugely successfulcampaign, national presscoverage, and a 6,000-signaturepetition presented to Number 10,local campaign group Friends ofthe Field and Cllr Ruth Buckleywere delighted to receive newsin June that Education SecretaryMichael Gove’s plans to buildover the BHASVIC field were tobe scrapped.Cllr Buckley said she was‘delighted that Gove had listenedto the community and pulledthe ill-thought-through plan. Noone should ever have to choosebetween green spaces or schoolplaces: both are vitally importantfor well-balanced communities.’The Friends celebrated theachievement by holding a wellattendedvillage picnic on theGreens onlineYou can keep up to datewith latest Green Partydevelopments online at thefollowing sites:Brighton and Hove GreenPartywww.brightonhovegreens.orgBrighton & Hove GreensFacebook page & Twitterhttp://www.facebook.com/brightonhovegreens@BHgreensNational Green Partywebsite and Twitter feedwww.greenparty.org.uk@thegreenpartyWebsite for Caroline Lucas,MP for Brighton Pavilionwww.carolinelucas.comfield, complete with stalls, eggand spoon races, and music.The Village Green application,which was submitted in March,is currently being considered bythe council, and hopes to achievea fair compromise for usebetween the schools that use thefields and the local communitywho wish to guaranteecontinued public access to thearea.The issue has highlighted thegrave concerns over publiclyused green spaces and thechanges to planning policythat pose a real threat. In acity that is as short of housingand open spaces such asBrighton and Hove, we needto be aware of the importance ofour natural environmentand ready to fight to protect it.Caroline Lucas on Twitter@carolinelucasTo contact Caroline LucasFor constituency matters:firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 01273 201130For parliamentary matters:email@example.comTel: 0207 219 7025Website for Keith Taylor, MEPfor Southeast Englandwww.keithtaylormep.org.ukKeith Taylor on Twitter@GreenKeithMEPTo contact Keith Taylorkeithtaylor@greenmeps.org.ukTel: 0207 250 8415
Community newsRaising the Green FlagEnvironmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has awarded ‘Green Flag’ awardsto six parks in Brighton and Hove. Easthill Park, Hove Park, Kipling Gardens,Preston Park, St Ann’s Well Gardens and Stoneham Park have all beenrecognised under the prestigious scheme, which rewards the best parks andgreen spaces across the country. The Green Flags are only given to parkswith the highest possible standards, which are beautifully maintained withexcellent facilities.St Ann’s Well Gardens inHove has won a Green Flagfor a staggering 14th year,while Preston Park is nearlyas impressive with a 13thsuccessive award.Brighton and Hove’s parksare all managed in house bycouncil staff. Councillor PeteWest, chair of the Environmentand Sustainability committee,commented: ‘It’s fantastic newsthat we will once again beflying six Green Flags in parksin Brighton, Hove, Portsladeand Rottingdean – a real city-wide success story. Access togood-quality open space isespecially important in ourdensely populated city, wheremany people don’t have privategardens. Our dedicated staffwork tirelessly to make surethat the quality is maintainedand our parks and gardens are apleasure to visit all year round.’Keep Britain Tidy gave out arecord number of awards acrossthe country in 2013, meaningthat more people than everbefore will have access to wellmanaged,quality green space,which is vital to people’s healthand well-being.Green Flag Award SchemeManager Paul Todd said:‘Quality green spacesare absolutely essentialto happy, healthycommunities. They arefundamental to ourquality of life, whetherin cities, towns orvillages.’Your Green CouncillorsBrighton and Hove’s Green councillors arehere to help you on issues that concern youmost. You can follow some on Twitter, too.Brunswick & AdelaidePhelimMacCaffertyTel: 291357@PhelimmacOllie SykesTel: 291413Central HoveChristopherHawtreeTel: 291144@chrishawtreeGoldsmidRuth BuckleyTel: 291135Preston ParkMike JonesTel: 291149Amy KennedyTel: 296445Leo LittmanTel: 291152Queen’s Park@QueensParkGreenGeoffrey BowdenTel: 291986@The SussexSquareTransport projects takingshape Ian Davey, Deputy Leader and Lead member on transportRob JarrettTel: 291148Ben DuncanTel: 296441@KemptownBenVision is turning to reality as anumber of key transport projectstake shape. Seven Dials wasone of the most dangerous andunpleasant junctions in the city.Most agreed something mustbe done. Now as the projectapproaches completion, thetransformation is becomingclear. As the much-loved SevenDials Elm sits proudly in itsimproved setting, the changesare bringing positive feedbackfrom residents, traders and roadusers alike.The Lewes Road scheme toimprove safety and journeytimes for cyclists and bus usersis now complete; we hopethat more people than everwill consider taking the busor cycling rather than driving.Similar changes in recentyears on the A259 and A23have contributed to a dramaticincrease in bus use.photo: simon williamsLeft: Cllr Ian Davey discussestransport plans with NormanBaker MP.Work will start around BrightonStation in the new year. Thedevelopments will improvethe area at the northern andsouthern entrances and build anew Bike Hub.We are investing unprecedentedamounts in renewing the city’stransport infrastructure: thisincludes resurfacing roads,repairing pot holes and replacingthe ageing street-light columnswith new energy-efficient lights.We have started the vital work torenew the seafront arches thatliterally hold up the A259. Theinitial £2 million project by theWest Pier will also provide 13new seafront arches for use bylocal traders.As promised, consultationhas started on introducing20mph speed limits into moreresidential areas. Communitiescurrently being asked includePreston Park, Hollingdean,Withdean, Patcham and WestHove. In 2011 we inherited someof the worst casualty rates in thecountry. Accidents and casualtieshave finally started to comedown, with a 12% reductionin 2012. We hope that slowerspeeds will make the city’s roadseven safer.There is much still to do, butthe city is moving in the rightdirection: bus use is growing(up 6% in 2012) and the censusshows that more people arewalking and cycling to work. Theroads are getting safer and airquality slowly improving.Greenleaf is published bythe Brighton and HoveGreen Party.Main office:The Eco Centre,39–41 Surrey Street,Brighton, BN1 3PBTel: 01273 766670info@brightonhovegreensorgEditor: Nicola HodgsonThanks to: Lucas Abdecain,Ruth Buckley, MatthewButcher, Rik Child,Ian Davey, David Gibson,Steve Harman, MarianneLemond, Caroline Lucas,Stephen Murtagh, FrankOwen, Bill Randall, BernieSweatman, Keith Taylorand Simon WilliamsDesign: Emily WilkinsonProduction: Jack McAngusTo advertise in Greenleaf,contact:David Walker: firstname.lastname@example.orgAlexandra PhillipsTel: 294539@alexforgoldsmidHanover & Elm GroveBill RandallTel: 294366@BillRandallBHCCLiz WakefieldTel: 291423@LizGreenBHHollingdean & StanmerSven RufusTel: 296429@SvenRufusWithdeanSue ShanksTel: 291410For more information on councillors,visit www.brightonhovegreens.orgTo email a councillor, write to:email@example.comRegencyStephanie PowellTel: 291156Ania KitcatTel: 296447Jason KitcatTel: 291011@jasonkitcatSt Peter’s & North LaineIan DaveyTel: 296430Lizzie DeaneTel: 291138Pete WestTel: 296431
News from Caroline Lucas MPTake Back the Track!In August, Caroline Lucas MP launched the ‘Take Back the Track’ petition toprotest against rip-off rail fares and to take the currently privatised railwaynetwork back into public hands.Above: Caroline Lucas MP gathers signatures forthe petition at Brighton railway station.Caroline regularly fields concernsfrom constituents regardingthe poor quality of local railwayservices. ‘It’s not a system that’sworking well. I hear so manycomplaints from people aboutthe railway. If we were payinga lot for a very good serviceperhaps that might be a betterargument for [fare increases],but we’re not.’The petition launch coincidedwith this year’s announcementsof rail fare increases. Pricesare set to rise by an average of4.1%; some fares will go up asmuch as 9.1%. ‘This is going tobe the eleventh year in a rowthat we’ve seen above-inflationrail increases, and it’s justnot sustainable,’ commentedCaroline.photo: simon williams‘If you look at whathappens in manycountries acrossEurope, they have theirrail system in publicownership; they havemore efficient trains,and they have cheaperfares. A lot of peoplecan see that there is areal problem when, forexample, the bosses ofNetwork Rail are takinghome big bonusesat the same time aspassengers are facingyet another aboveinflationrail increase.’—Caroline LucasIn June 2013, Caroline launcheda Private Member’s Bill with aview to bring the UK’s railwaysystem back into publichands as franchises expire orcompanies break the terms oftheir franchise agreement. Itis estimated that this wouldsave the government around £1billion a year.Caroline explains, ‘That[figure] comes from the reportRebuilding Rail, which a numberof transport academics andrail unions put together. Theywere adding up the costs notjust of the dividends that go toshareholders, but of all the layersof bureaucracy there are withina privatised system. If you got ridof that, you would be able to savearound £1.2 billion a year thatcould go into investing properlyin the service.’take actionThe bill was due for a secondreading in October. To garnerpublic support for this and inan effort to get Labour MPsto support the bill, Carolinelaunched the petition atBrighton station.‘We want to demonstrate thescale of public support forthis measure, and I think it’smassive,’ she says. ‘Even theLabour party is beginning tolook at it. They’re talking aboutkeeping the East Coast mainlinein public ownership. It’s not avery big logical leap therefore tosay that as the other franchisescome up for renegotiation thatthey should be brought back intopublic ownership. They knowthat for Britain to join the restof Europe by having their railin public ownership is a verypopular measure.’Sign the petition: Copies of the petition can bedownloaded from Caroline’s website:www.carolinelucas.comThe Rebuilding Rail report can be downloaded from:www.transportforqualityoflife.comFor more information, see also Action for Rail:actionforrail.orgPlease support usJoin the Green Partyhttp://join.greenparty.org.ukDonate to the Green PartyTo make a one-off donation, send a chequepayable to Brighton and Hove Green Party toBHGP, 39–41 Surrey Street, Brighton, BN1 3PBOr donate online at:www.brightonhovegreens.org/donate.htmlStanding order formPlease pay £Starting onfrom me / us in writing.per month / quarter / year (delete as appropriate)(day / month / year) until you receive noticePlease cancel any previous standing orders to Brighton and Hove Green Party.Name(s)AddressAccount no.SignatureSort codePlease make payment to: The Co-Operative Bank, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester, M60 4EPAccount: Brighton and Hove Green Party; Sort code: 08-92-99; Account no. 65157011Please return this form to:Chris Barclay, Treasurer, BHGP, 39–41 Surrey Street, Brighton, BN1 3PB (NOT to your bank)• Newly refurbished café• Eat in and takeaway available• Barista coffee from £1.60• Fresh sandwiches from £1.90• Main courses from £4.95• Event catering available• Newly refurbished pre-school• Places for up to 30 children• Funded places available• Affordable rates for extra hours• Opening hours 9.15am – 1.15pm• All welcome (ages 2 – 5 years)Brighthelm CentreNorth Road, Brighton BN1 1YD(01273) 821512 / firstname.lastname@example.orgBrighthelm CentreCHURCH COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY• Centrally located• Near to public transport routes• Many spaces to hire• Conferences for up to 230 people• Meeting rooms of various sizes• Competitive rates@BrighthelmURC/BrighthelmURCPromoted by the Brighton and Hove Green Party Executive, 39–41 Surrey Street, Brighton, BN1 3PB.Printed by Newbury News Ltd, Newspaper House, Faraday Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2DW.