Courts Cornered

The Speaker seems to expect Robert Courts to be champing at the bit to ask yet another Dorothy Dix questions. This from the debate on 3 December.

Chuck Single Use Plastic

A talk by Ian Bates – Packaging expert

Organised by Sustainable Charlbury/Green Drinks

8.00-9.30, Thursday 6th December, Cornbury Suite, Bell Inn, Church St, Charlbury, Chipping Norton OX7 3PP.

Everybody welcome, and it’s free!

Ian Bates, a leading expert on alternatives to plastic in packaging, is the speaker at the latest in a series of ‘green drink’ events organised by Sustainable Charlbury. 10% of the 260 million tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the sea with devastating consequences for marine life. Ian will talk about practical ways of reducing plastic waste and using plastic more sensibly.

But don’t worry, it’s not all gloom and doom. He is an amusing speaker and many good things are beginning to happen, such as plastic packaging free shopping aisles in supermarkets and the arrival of remarkable new bio-matter alternatives to single use plastic, which can be properly composted or recycled (although these materials also have drawbacks). The talk will be followed by a discussion, including a contribution from a business (based in Charlbury) which is leading the way in plastic-free packaging, and Sustainable Charlbury’s new Plastic Smart campaign.



-Wednesday 5 December 2018, 4 – 5pm, Clerici Learning Studio, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, 
Headington Hill, Oxford OX3 0BP

Professor Pritam Singh, a former Green Party Parliamentary candidate, has recently been awarded distinguished Professor Emeritus status at Oxford Brookes Business School. To mark the occasion, he will present a lecture on 5th December entitled ‘Sustainability implications of spatial shift in global capitalism: An eco-socialist perspective’.

The lecture will explore the meaning and usefulness of spatial shift in understanding the key change taking place in global capitalism. Looking at the decline of old capitalist economies and the rise of emerging capitalist economies, Professor Singh will provide empirical evidence to demonstrate this shift and will examine the ecological sustainability implications of this shift.

Following the lecture, drinks and nibbles will be served at an informal reception.

Courts Cornered – Lest We Forget

Roberts Courts in the Witney Gazette of 21 November on our debt to the nation’s veterans:

“I was moved … I am clear … I have championed. I therefore welcomed … Furthermore, I welcomed the announcement … I am pleased … I am clear … which is why I put my name … Indeed, I have met.”

Robert Courts would not wish us to overlook our debt to Robert Courts.

What Democracy?

The good folk at Unlock Democracy have put together a new video. It contains a familiar face talking an unfamiliar language. Wonder why.

Join the democratic revolution

To fix politics, we need a democratic revolution. Politicians aren't going to fix it for us. Join our campaign today 👉

Posted by Unlock Democracy on Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Breaking News – Sid Phelps To Open Green Fair

The inimitable Sid Phelps will emerge from his lair in the Forest of Dean for a special appearance on Saturday 1 December at Oxford Town Hall.

Known as ‘Beaver’ Phelps for returning the beaver to the Forest, he is a shy creature and seldom leaves the cover of the Forest. See him outside his natural habitat (and perhaps in full display) when he opens the Green Fair. A rare and wonderful opportunity! A memory for life!

More information can be found here.


Not Very Smart Meters

The National Audit Office has just produced a sobering report on smart meters, devices to measure the electricity and gas consumption of devices in the home (‘Rolling out Smart Meters’). Needless to say, adoption is years behind schedule, costs are soaring, benefits sinking and enthusiasm waning. Everyone was supposed to have a smart meter by the end of 2020: to date, 39 million meters remain to be replaced.

What has gone wrong? Well, the second generation of smart meters took years longer than expected to produce. This meant that the industry pushed consumers to install Mark 1. This works with only the company who installed it; already nearly a million households have dumb meters because they switched supplier.

As for household saving, it seems that much of this is to come from greater competitiveness when fuel suppliers know more about the consumption of customers. They will then pass on their savings to customers. Of course they will.

Further savings will come from closing call centers as smart meters tell customers all they need to know. Little surprise, then, that the NAO finds the public unenthusiastic about smart meters.

BBC comment at:

Windrush Bike Project

Our friends at the Windrush bike Project are recruiting ‘Bikeability’ instructors. Applicants are expected to like both cycling and children, or perhaps just to become a bit fond of them eventually. Apply to Kath Cochrane at: or on 07729846778.

And please vote for the Windrush Bike Project at Tesco. It is a worthy charity that needs Tesco’s money.