Campaigning for environmental and social justice in the London Borough of Brent and beyond. Against cuts and privatisation and for real democracy. Managed by Martin Francis of Brent Green Party but open to all who share these aims.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Brent Green Party's Shahrar Ali becomes male deputy leader of the party

Shahrar Ali and Dawn Butler at 2010 hustings
Shahrar Ali, of Brent Green Party was elected male deputy leader of the party yesterday. Amelia Womack was elected female deputy.

Ali contested Brent Central in the General Election and was both a GLA and European candidate.

In the live YouTube deputy leadership hustings he described himself as at the centre of a left-wing party. He lives in Kingsbury with his young family and lectures in philosophy.

Shahrar Ali is a confident media performer and has a lively debating style which is likely to raise the Green party's profile ahead of the General Election.

He narrowly beat Will Duckworth, the incumbent deputy leader, who is a member of Green Left and the Green Party Trade Union Group.

Duckworth was the first Green Party councillor in the Black Country with strong roots in the local  working class community.

Amelia Womack is a Young Green who campaigned on a clear ecosocialist platform. The Green Party is polling well in the 18-24 age group and Womack's election is likely to strengthen our appeal to many who are looking for an alternative to the neoliberal parties.

Derek Wall, a Green Party veteran and a former Principal , was elected International Co-ordinator.  Wall runs the popular and influential Another Green World blog and also writes for the Morning Star. He is an ecosocialist and a member of Green Left. A passionate advocate for indigenous peoples Wall advocates non-violent direct action to effect change alongside electoral politics.

Romayne Phoenix, another Green Left and GPTU member, was re-elected as the Green Party's Trade
union Liaison Officer. She has worked assiduously to build the Green Party's links with trade unions and was a leading member of the Coalition of Resistance to Austerity and is currently co-chair of the People's Assembly.

She brings energy and passion to the activist campaigning work of the Green Party and has played a major role in bringing together anti-austerity eco-socialist in Europe.

Together, alongside Natalie Bennett who was elected unopposed as Green Party leader, this is a team with wide appeal and a range of strengths and skills that should serve the Green Party well in the year ahead/


These are the election results announced yesterday. In Green Party elections, locally and nationally,  members can always vote to Re-open Nominations (RON) if they are not satisfied with the candidate/s standing.

Party Leader: Natalie Bennett was elected 2618 Re-Open Nominations (RON): 183
Party Deputy Leaders:
In the first round – Amelia Womack was elected with 1598, Will Duckworth's 1108
In the Second round – Shahrar Ali was elected 1314 to Will Duckworth's 1277
Gpex Chair: Richard Mallender was elected 2640 to RON 101
Campaigns Co-Ordinator: Howard Thorpe was elected 2546 to RON 181
Elections Co-Ordinator: Judy Maciejowska was elected 2631 to RON 161
External Communication Co-Ordinator: Penny Kemp/ Clare Phipps/ Matt Hawkins were elected 2586 to RON 147
Management Co-Ordinator Mark Cridge was elected 2636 to RON 82
International Co-Ordinator: Derek Wall was elected 1416 to Anna Clarke’s 891
Trade Union Liaison Officer: Romayne Phoenix was elected 2639 to RON 94
Policy Co-Ordinator: Sam Riches and Caroline Bowes were elected 1786 to Rachel Featherstone and Anna Heyman's 839
Publications Co-Ordinator: Martin Collins was elected 2468 to RON 249

Monday, 1 September 2014

Parents 'want councils to have powers to act on failing free schools'

With Michaela  Free School due to open on September 15th and Brent Council committed to talks with free schools providers to create  extra school places in Brent, parents may be interested in this report from today's Evening Standard:

Report by Anna Davis

Growing numbers of London parents want local authorities to step in if standards drop in free schools, new research reveals.
There is confusion among parents with children at free schools about who exactly is responsible for intervening if there are problems, according to a poll carried out by YouGov.

More than half of parents with a child at a free school in London said they believe local authorities have the power to intervene if it is underperforming.

But in fact local authorities have no powers over free schools, which are independently run and accountable to the Department for Education 

Parents were then asked which schools local authorities should have powers over — and 68 per cent said free schools. This is six percentage points higher than when the same survey was carried out last year. Sixty three per cent of parents said councils should have control over academies, which are also independent.

It is the first survey of London parents since the so-called “Trojan Horse” takeover plot in Birmingham schools and was carried out by London Councils, which represents all local authorities in the capital.

Peter John, London Councils’ Executive member for children and young people, said: “If you are a parent and you are worried about leadership or staff issues at your local school, it’s only natural you’d turn to your local council. Of course head teachers should run schools day-to-day, but it’s clear that on the wider issues, parents want a council role.”

The survey found that 81 per cent of parents want councils to be able to ask free schools and academies to expand to fit more pupils in. This has increased from 76 per cent last year. Councils are responsible for providing a school place for every child, but cannot open schools themselves or direct academies to expand.

London Councils predicts that 133,000 new primary and secondary school places are needed by 2018 to cope with growing demand.

Mr John said: “Parents increasingly support a council role in influencing schools to expand, if there is clear local need. This isn’t surprising given the shortage in London.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have consistently demonstrated that we are tough on underperformance in all types of school. When we have concerns about academies or free schools, we act quickly. The introduction of Regional schools Commissioners and Head Teacher Boards will further ensure swift action in the small number of cases where academies struggle

Demonstrations on September 10th as A&E departments close

Preston Library Fundraising Quiz Tonight

From Preston Library Campaign

We are now working hard on plans for a new library in Carlton Avenue East: these quizzes are currently our main source of funds, and we need your support more than ever. We hope to see lots of you this evening.