Thursday, 12 December 2013

MPs should donate energy claims to food banks, say Greens.

Martin Deane, of Hull and East Riding Green Party called on MPs to donate money claimed for gas and electricity on second homes to their local Food Banks.
"The news that over 300 MPs are claiming expenses for gas and electricity on their second homes has gone down badly with many people at a time when energy costs are rising by an inflation-busting 9%." said Mr Deane.
Most people's bills have nearly doubled over the past 6 years. This has not happened to wages. In fact, for most people, wages have fallen by 6.4% over 5 years in real terms.
The vast majority of Yorkshire and the Humber region's 54 MPs have claimed (nationally fewer than half of MPs have claimed).  Many MPs from Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems have all claimed for their second home's energy usage.
"For you and I, we would simply have to pick up the costs of paying for our fuel bills out of our own pockets," said Martin Deane. "This is clearly an allowance that needs to be abolished to give MPs a greater appreciation of how difficult it is for many people to pay rising energy bills.
"But there is a way that MPs can redeem themselves in the short term. While poverty is growing on their watch they can donate the money they have claimed for second home fuel to their local Food Banks."
The number of people needing food banks had tripled by last year to a population the size of Sheffield. It is expected this will rise further.
"In this way, they can direct the public money they have claimed away from people who really don't need it to people who need it the most," Martin Deane concluded.
1. Population the size of Sheffield. Half a million people rely on the goodwill of the community and food banks.
2. The number of people needing help has nearly tripled between 2011 and 2012.  This dramatic rise in foodbank usage predates April's welfare reforms. Numbers are expected to increase further in 2013-14.

Friday, 16 August 2013

August shenanigans!

Anti-EDL protest – On Saturday 17th, in Hull, there is an anti-EDL rally, at 11am, corner of Pearson Park and Park Road. In other cities mosques have been targeted.  The EDL are focussing on Hull on Saturday and at the moment have a route in the centre of the city . We have lots of support and should have good numbers on our side.

Fracking in our area! - A company is currently exploratory drilling in Holderness. There is a Facebook page so far to encourage resistors in Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY). Resistance in Balcombe has been so great that the police have advised the company to scale back. But this is probably only tactical. No surprise either that Balcombe is Francis Maude’s territory - the minister for fracking!

Barge transport - Last week Martin Deane was on Radio Humberside and filmed for Look North on barge workers based around Goole. A big contract has been terminated moving 200,000 tonnes of aggregate from Notts to Wakefield. Some ten barges could be scrapped if not used. Meanwhile, a biomass plant – using waste wood – is planned for next year near Goole and wants 360,000 tonnes delivered preferably by water. It would be a shame to lose the barges in the interim; each barge can take 14 heavy lorries off the roads, and is a green less pollutive form of heavy transport - as well as an historic industry.

Orchard Picnic - Food 4 Hull and Arthur Street Organics are having a party at Pickering Road Community Orchard on Saturday 24th August 2013 for anyone who loves local food. The party starts at 3pm. Please bring food, beverages, board games or acoustic instruments. Please RSVP to

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Greens Discover True Cost of Bedroom Tax on Hull Families

Data obtained by Hull and East Riding Green Party shows that Hull City Council's fund for residents in trouble with rent has already made payouts at over 300% of last year's rate since the introduction of the so-called Bedroom Tax. (1)

The tax, brought in by the Coalition as "the removal of the spare room subsidy", came into effect in April 2013, but by June almost three times as many Hull families were applying for Discretionary Housing Payments than at the same point during the previous year. (2)

The document, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that payouts have risen dramatically from £21,245 to £64,539, with almost 40% of the year's Discretionary Housing Payments, or DHP,  having been paid out in just three months to June 2013. (3)

Martin Deane, of Hull and East Riding Greens Party, is urging Hull City Council to follow the lead set by Green-run Brighton and Hove Council and to commit to a "no evictions" policy for all those being hit by the bedroom tax. (4)

"Hull families, the elderly and disabled are suffering under the bedroom tax, and the most vulnerable people in our community are increasingly being forced to seek emergency help from Hull City Council.

"It's time for councillors to get to work on a 'no evictions' policy - something the Green Party and Brighton and Hove Council have already pledged. It's a first step to protecting all those local people who've been targeted by the bedroom tax," Mr Deane said.

"Almost 40% of Discretionary Housing Payments have already been paid out, and when it's gone, it's gone! The Coalition has pushed through many callous policies, but this is perhaps one of the most vicious. The bedroom tax isn't saving public money, it's just placing vulnerable people across Hull and across the country under huge stresses. It's a direct assault on working families and others who have simply nowhere else to go, and it must stop."
Notes to Editors:
Martin Deane, Hull and East Riding Green Party
Contact: 07935 036211

1. The full FoI can be seen here:
Figures for April, May and June 2012 and 2013 are available in spreadsheet form at this link:

2. 181 applications were made to Hull City Council in June 2013 compared to 65 in June 2012.

3. £64,539.08 was paid out in June 2013. The equivalent figure for June 2012 was £21,245.80.

3. The total Discretionary Housing Payment Fund for the 2012-13 financial year is £707,645, of which £275,276.19 has been paid out to June. The average payment per week remains similar, ranging from £9-12 per claimant.

4. A 'no evictions' policy of this sort is a pledge by the council to not enforce eviction procedures against tenants whose arrears consist only of the bedroom tax. More information is available here:

Note: People have a right to appeal.

20 May: Labour's South Lanarkshire threatens eviction, and attempts to pre-empt poeple's appeals.

March 2013 : Councils against BT Eviction: Brighton & Hove (Greens), Darlington (Lab), Islington (Lab), and Bristol (Lab, plus Green support).  All 9 SNP-led Scottish Councils, including Dundee;

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Our first coverage!

With compliments to!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Free film: Ken Loach's The Spirit of '45

THURS., MAY 16th, 7.00-9.30
Lecture Theatre 2, Wilberforce Building,
Salmon Grove, University of Hull
Panellists at the screenings will include:
  • Lord Parekh (political theorist),  
  • Dr SinĂ©ad Gormally (Lecturer in Community & Youth Work Studies, University of Hull),  
  • John Grayson (social historian),  
  • Dr Simon Lee (Senior Lecturer in Political Economy,University of Hull),  
  • Sue O’Neil (who lived through these changes), 
  • Nikki Osborne (Unison),  
  • Paul Spooner (Hull Community Action Network),  
  • Mike Whale (NUT),  
  • Dr Mick Wilkinson (Lecturer in ‘Race’ & Social Justice, University of Hull)
 Sorry we haven't posted for a while! For my observations please see - In His Own Write
and for Shan Oakes please see Shan's blog.  And if you're on Facebook, I'm usually around for a daily rant! 
Martin Deane
Hull and East Riding Green Party

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Developers beseige Beverley, Shan Oakes responds

Today and yesterday the public enquiry heard the appeal of Linden Homes against the refusal of  permission for them to build on land to the north of the market town of Beverley.  The government has set up a presumption in favour of new build, but Beverley, like towns all over the country, is holding out.  Even the Tory-led East Riding Council can see that all this building is not good news, but the Condems are desperate to have 'growth' by any means...and they see the construction industry as the answer.

They are so wrong.  As a resident and Green Party member I pointed out that flooding will increase if more land is covered in concrete, since drains already under pressure will take additional surges of run-off water,  and that more suburbs do not contribute to a sense of place or to the local economy.  Executive homes are not whats needed ...whats needed is every bit of green land to stay that way as we need to grow food locally in light of climate change and peak resources.

We just have to hope that the investigator can see what is going on: settlements under seige from developers egged on by an amazingly unwise and short-sighted government.

Shan Oakes

Candidate for the Greens in Yorkshire and the Humber in Europe in 2014
07769 607710