2 August 2019

Councillor Reports: The first three months

Cllr. Karin Haverson

karinThe last few weeks have been quite a journey for me, full of challenges, new insights and a steep learning curve! Some things I have found really frustrating, others very inspirational.

Within the Green Group, I have taken on responsibilty for biodiversity including glyphosate, anti-fracking and cycling. So far, I have made contact with officers from the Sustainable Travel and Road Safety group and will meet up again this week, where I will be updated on current plans for cycling routes and other sustainable travel issues.

I am a member of several committees, which are the Employment Committee, Adult Services and Housing Policy Scrutiny Panel, Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Policy and Scrutiny Panel. I have also subscribed to the Planning and Regularory Committee, where I acted as a substitute for Stuart and helped reject a planning application in Yatton, where a development threatened a very rare fungus, amongst other environmental concerns. I have also discussed a new planning application in my ward with the responsible officer, where we were largely in agreement. However, I was very disappointed to hear that increasing the renewable energy specifications for housing seems to be seen as almost impossible. I am working on this!

I am also representing NSC at the Bristol Water Challenge Panel and as a substitute for the AONB.

Apart from that, I have managed to attend a meeting for the Strawberry Line Management Committee and two of my Parish Council meetings.

Karin Haverson
Green Party Councillor for Banwell & Winscombe


 

Cllr. Bridget Petty

bridgetFollowing the excellent results of May 2, winning three Green Councillor seats we decided to establish a Green Group where previously we had aligned with the Independent Group.

I was selected as Leader of the Green Group and have been working together with Stuart and Karin to see where our small group can make the best impact. We try to talk regularly and also work with other groups.

Following the 2nd May the Conservatives no longer held the majority (more than 25 seats of the 50). The Independents (largest group) approached us, Lib Dems and Labour to run together a ‘rainbow’ Administration. We could work together but make no promise to always vote one way, a more critical partnership that would aim to serve the residents of North Somerset fairly and in an open way.

The current system uses an Executive committee of now 8 positions. The role of Executive Member for Climate Emergency and the Environment has just been established. The Executive Committee works closely with the senior staff of the council (the officers) as well as communicating with the other councillors.

Our Green Group and North Somerset Green Party appointed me to this Executive role and I am taking the lead on the council response to the Climate Emergency as well as recycling and waste, environmental protection and marine protection.

It is still early days but positive relationships are being established internally as well as externally with partners such as Environmental groups, small businesses, the police, renewable industry etc.. In July I will present our first report on where our carbon is currently generated and what areas require more research, as well as establishing a working group of councillors whom I expect to again engage with a wide selection of stakeholders.

I continue to meet with Backwell residents to work together to make Backwell streets safe and a thriving happy village to live in.

Bridget Petty
Green Party Councillor for Backwell
Executive Member for Climate Emergency and the Environment


 

Cllr. Stuart McQuillan

stuartThe third time is the charm! I was very pleased to have been elected to represent Long Ashton Ward in May this year. I am immeasurably grateful to those members and supporters that helped me on this and previous campaigns; I feel this was the culmination of many years work building my profile and that of the Green Party in the Ward. I am also honoured to have been elected to be the Green Group’s Deputy leader on North Somerset Council.

The last few months have been very challenging but also very interesting, as I have had to learn fast and adapt to a new role and the change in administration. I have been asked to lead on improving renewable energy provision in North Somerset within the Green Group, and I have had an initial meeting with Low Carbon Gordano (the largest community energy group in North Somerset) to discuss opportunities. I am also looking at how renewable energy policy can be better supported in the planning system.

I will also be serving on both the Children and Young People’s services policy and scrutiny panel and the Community and Corporate Organisation policy and scrutiny panel. I will seek to ensure that policy decisions in these areas are made in the best interests of all the residents of North Somerset. I have also been appointed to the Planning Committee and have already had to get to grips with several contentious planning applications in my ward and in the wider district. In these I have sought to promote sustainable development.

I have also been working with Long Ashton Parish Council regarding improving road safety in the village, which has included revitalising our community speedwatch scheme and designing the village’s first 20mph zone. I remain chair of the community library working group within the Parish Council which is now moving to select a site for a community library very soon.

I continue to enjoy meeting residents and working with them to build vibrant, thriving and sustainable communities.

Stuart McQuillan
Green Group Deputy Leader
Green Party Councillor for Long Ashton Ward