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  • Article: Aug 10, 2020
    By Cllr Vilnis Vesma

    I am 100% behind the idea that supermarkets and butchers should not stock meat from areas where deforestation has been used to create grazing land. I see that Tesco in particular has come under attack from Greenpeace on this score but I think the story is more complex and nuanced than the press headlines suggest. Tesco may be the wrong target as they have already stopped buying Brazilian beef (the most problematic source) and their two meat suppliers, Moy Park and Tulip, already meet the supermarket's zero deforestation standards.

  • Cllr. Gill Moseley
    Article: Aug 9, 2020
    By Andrew Cooley

    Don't be fooled. The Tory government's new proposals on planning are a direct attack on local democracy and a power grab by central government. Although the consultation is now over, you can still write to your MP to express your views at mark.harper.mp@parliament.uk. You can look at the -'Planning for the Future' white paper here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907647/MHCLG-Planning-Consultation.pdf

  • Article: Aug 3, 2020
    By Andrew Cooley

    Are Gloucestershire school playing fields in danger of being sold off to make up for the Tory cuts of the past few years?

    Since 2015, 110 school sports fields across the country have been sold as cash-strapped schools try to raise enough money to keep going. Official figures show that 13 school playing fields have been sold off this year - 8 in the last 3 months.

  • Vilnis on a bike
    Article: Jul 28, 2020
    By Cllr Vilnis Vesma

    The Government has announced support for cycling as a way of boosting health and wellbeing - a move which I welcome. Cautiously.

    The difficulty, certainly in Newent, is the near-impossibility of constructing the completely segregated cycle lanes that seem to be the focus of the new announcement, or of banning through traffic from residential streets. It won't be long before there are over 1,100 houses fed from the single access point at Foley Road, for example (so no "through traffic" there anyway) and Culver Street, which is barely wide enough for a single line of traffic, carries unrestricted heavy agricultural and goods vehicles. As with much of the Forest administrative district, the road system (if you could call it that) comprises windy, hilly lanes and B roads that are quite hazardous and hard work for the cyclist. If the Government's aim is to reduce the load on the NHS, they wouldn't promote on-road cycling around here.

  • Contact numbers for Covid-19 support services
    Article: Jul 25, 2020
    By Cllr Vilnis Vesma

    This is taken from the new website published by Forest Voluntary Action Forum to signpost people to help and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Congratulations to their indefatigable CEO Chris Brown and his team for pulling this together.