Friday, 20 October 2017

Brexit: and not knowing how it's effecting Devon NHS

There are concerns that Brexit will have an effect on how the NHS works:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and catering, construction and care sectors getting ready

As reported in the BBC: 

Share of European Union staff leaving NHS rises following Brexit

Related Topics
A group of four young trainee nurses including male and female nurses, walk away from camera down a hospital corridor. They are wearing UK nurse uniforms of trousers and tunics.Image copyrightSTURTI
Image captionExperts say England does not yet produce enough home-grown staff for the NHS to meet requirements without workers from abroad
The proportion of EU nationals leaving jobs in the NHS is rising, while the share of those joining is shrinking.
The BBC analysed NHS Digital figures, which showed the trend in England over the past two-and-a-half years. Health experts say the UK's decision to leave the European Union in June 2016 was behind the trend. The Department of Health says new language requirements for EU nurses may have played a part.
The analysis comes days after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the health system was "straining at the seams" and faced a "precarious" future, highlighting staff shortages and rising vacancy rates.

Share of European Union staff leaving NHS rises following Brexit - BBC News

This has been taken up by a County Councillor:

New evidence that Brexit is harming NHS staffing – but Devon County Council has no figures for the local situation

There is new evidence that Brexit is adding to the NHS’s chronic staff shortage. Far fewer nurses and doctors from other EU countries are coming for jobs in the UK, while many of those already here are leaving – or plan to leave.
Locally, the RD&E is struggling to recruit care workers for the ‘new model of care’ to replace community beds. Council officers freely admit that Brexit is making Devon’s social care recruitment crisis worse, and at the County Council meeting on 5th October I asked for figures on the number of people from other EU countries in health, social care and education in the county. The answer was that the Council can’t produce them – in a follow-up question I asked the Cabinet to remedy that, and also to reassure EU citizens that they are valued here.
Many people voted for Brexit partly to help the NHS – but are now realising that it is doing the opposite. Of course the Leave campaign said that it wanted to allow professionals like nurses and doctors still to come to Britain – it was more the unskilled workers it wanted to stop (although where that would leave our farming and tourism industries is another problem). What this argument overlooked is that doctors and nurses who move here are not just making a decision about a job – they are looking at whether the country is open and welcoming. The message that Britain didn’t want foreigners went out loud and clear to the people we need to keep our NHS going, as well as everyone else.
Leave voters rightly hoped to see more money go to our underfunded NHS. However it is now universally recognised that the Leave campaign’s idea of saving ‘£350 million a week’ was utterly misleading. Much of the money never goes to the EU (because of the rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher) and most of the rest comes back to support things like agriculture, scientific research and regional development in places like the South West – expenditure that the British government will need to replace. Recently it has become clear that the economy has fallen back since the referendum to the extent that the Government is already losing much more in tax revenues than it will eventually save by leaving the EU. So the NHS has no hope of gaining money from Brexit, and is hit on the staffing side too.

New evidence that Brexit is harming NHS staffing – but Devon County Council has no figures for the local situation « SEATON & COLYTON matters

See also:
DCC has no evidence that new way of working – is working! | East Devon Watch

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Eco and Community Homes Fair >>> Totnes >>> >>> Saturday 21st October

There's quite a show coming up in Totnes this Saturday:

Eco and Community Homes Fair 2017

Saturday 21st October 2017, 10am-3pm, Totnes Civic Hall, Market Square, Totnes.

FREE entry, free talks, workshops, stalls and children's activities.

Drop into the Civic Hall, Totnes, anytime between 10am and 3pm.  Meet suppliers of eco-friendly goods and services, home energy installers, eco-builders, architects and others, learn about how to make your home more energy efficient and eco-friendly, and find out about community led housing solutions!
The fair also features free talks and workshops, as well as children’s activities to give parents time to look around. This year Food in Community will be running the cafe, selling delicious treats made from grade out produce that would otherwise be wasted.
The theme for this year's free talks and workshops is 'community-led housing', featuring a drop-in day long workshop to collectively build our own model community and a programme of inspiring speakers, including a landowner, campaign group and representatives from community housing projects, all working in different ways to improve access to land and homes.

Talks and workshops

10.30am - 11.30am: Aiming for better housing: a local landowner perspective
Martyn Evans, recently appointed Estate Development Director at Dartington Hall Trust, will discuss the Trust's current plans for developing the estate, in particular in relation to community led and ecologically sound housing.  This will include an update on the intentions for the Plantation site.
11.45am - 12.45pm: Community-led housing 'Voices from the coal face'
Representatives of local Community Land Trusts (Broadhempston, Transition Homes, South Brent and Harberton & Harbertonford) will discuss the progress they have made in developing affordable housing for local people, what some of the joys and challenges have been and their top tips to anyone contemplating a similar project.
1pm - 2pm: Towards community-led affordable self-build
Luke Copley-Wilkins, co-founder of CoFab, and Chris Hall, co-founder of the new Totnes Community Self Build, will provide an introduction to these new collectives, how their work aims to address the need for housing through affordable self build, and how you could get involved. The talk will explore the term self build, how working as a group can make the task easier, and what they've learnt so far from successful schemes.
2.15pm - 3pm: Fighting for a home: squatting, occupations and the struggle for social justice in Britain.
The UK housing market could be peaking but one thing is clear: those investing in property who have no intention of using it themselves have created a bubble, which means it costs many times more to buy the cost to build a house. Investigative journalist and land rights activist, Tony Gosling, tells the story of the struggle against eviction and puts forward 'The Land is Ours' policies with the aim of providing permanent, decent homes for every family in Britain.
All day, drop-in, design and make workshop for everyone! 'If we could build our ideal community, together, what would it look like?' 
A drop in day long creative design and make workshop, led by new workers collective 'CoFab', a subsidiary of Carpenter Oak. Bring your ideas about community and home, turn them into mini models. With everyone's contributions we'll create our ideal future model community! Suitable for all ages.


And more to come!

Eco and Community Homes Fair 2017 - Transition Town Totnes

More information www.transitiontowntotnes.org

If you have any queries about the events please contact us by emailing ecohomes@transitiontowntotnes.org, or calling 01803 867358.

Eco and Community Homes Fair 2017

Sid Valley Bat Project: update

The Sid Valley Bat Project has had some excellent sessions over the past months, finishing for this year during the Science Festival:
Futures Forum: Sid Valley Bat Project: bat catching research session >>> at the Science Festival: Saturday 7th October: 5.45pm

Here's a message from the lead:

Hi All,

Thank you to everyone who has partaken in the project in the last year, whether attending a talk, hosting a bat detector in your garden or regularly coming out and helping with the bat catching research. Every time we can mention bats to the people around us it is great for nature conservation so I hope that you have all been telling people about your involvement and carry on doing so!

Anyone who has recently discovered the project or whom I haven't got around to organising a bat detector in their garden yet and you live in the Sid Valley, please let me know if you would like to host one next year and I will compile a list. If you can send me your address I will add you to the list on a first come first served basis.

If you know anyone else who would like to get involved please pass on  my email details. There is also a facebook page and there will be a page on the Sidmouth Science Festival website at some point in the near future. I will keep you informed.

I will send out a schedule of events early next year and hope to see you then.
Thanks again

Louise Woolley BSc (Hons) ACIEEM - Ecological Services


22 Arcot Park, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 9HP

01395 512536                  07905 418460

Sidmouth Bat Group.pdf
Get Involved - Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project - Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project
Bat Catching Research Session | Sidmouth Science Festival

Experimentation in Catalonia

Catalonia has always been a centre of political experimentation:
Speaking of Spain Blog - Stories about Spain that tell us Something About Ourselves - Speaking of Spain
Catalonia’s Fight for Independence Is Not Just a Spanish Matter - Progressive.org
ROAR Magazine
Living Utopia (The Anarchists & The Spanish Revolution) - YouTube

These continue today:

Eco-villages in Catalonia: the rise of new green models in times of crisis

19 June 2015 

by Valentina Marconi

An increasing number of people are fed up with living in concrete jungles. Many think of the countryside as a solution to problems such as stress, a low-paying job and pollution. Due to the start of the economic crisis, this phenomenon boomed, with people beginning to look for an 'alternative way of life' or, at least, new opportunities. Catalonia and the whole of Spain are no exception to this. Here, moving (back) to the countryside nowadays looks like an attractive option to many, especially to young unemployed graduates. However, sustainable agriculture initiatives and the like are the 'junior division' compared to more complex social, cultural and ecological experiments: the eco-villages. Coming in different shapes and sizes, their members share resources and spaces, grow their own food and cover in a sustainable way the energy demand of the buildings they live in. With different missions and features, many eco-villages can be traced back to one or two decades ago and could teach a lot to newcomers.

Eco-villages in Catalonia: the rise of new green models in times of crisis

A couple of years ago, some very interesting films came out on some of this current 'experimentation':


500,000 euros in catalonia

Stacco Troncoso
4th April 2014

Come Back” is a full-length documentary film detailing the aftermath of Spanish activist Enric Duran’s notorious action against 16 major banks. In case you’re not familiar with his act of “financial civil disobedience”, Duran attained roughly half a million Euros in bank loans and subsequently distributed the funds to support anti-capitalist activist movements. This documentary revisits the years-long preparation for the action itself, and interviews the various groups of activists who consequently benefited from the money. The action also led to the foundation of the revolutionary Catalan Integrated Cooperative, a transition-minded post-capitalist community, which is currently thriving. You can read more about Duran and the CIC in this recent interview with Duran, conducted by Michel Bauwens, John Restakis and Neal Gorenflo.

“In this documentary over twenty people who had so far remained silent explain how they lived the facts of which they had first hand knowledge before they became public, and recall the projects and initiatives in which those resources were allocated.
The documentary has been released today, 6 months after the statement of the last 17 of September which said...

When it comes to the current crisis, there are of course very different perspectives.

The openDemocracy site has some pertinent articles:
Nationalism as a substitute for equality | openDemocracy
Catalonia: an incomplete transition? | openDemocracy

The Financial Times points to the 'radicalisation' of debate:

The far-left separatists who took Catalonia to the brink
Power in the region’s pro-independence movement is shifting back to the radicals

Anna Gabriel, spokesperson of Popular Unity Candidacy, says there is ‘no alternative’ to a declaration of Catalan independence © Reuters

OCTOBER 5, 2017

by Tobias Buck in Barcelona

Anna Gabriel lives in a flatshare in a modest building tucked away in the bohemian Barcelona neighbourhood of Grácia. The first thing you see as you enter is a poster of Hugo Chávez, the late anti-capitalist leader of Venezuela, and a table stacked with political leaflets. The living room is small and spartan, devoid of books and personal objects.

The humble surroundings are a world away from the sumptuous medieval palaces that house the Catalan president and his ministers. But there are many, not least inside the Spanish government, who believe that the rhythm and pace of Catalonia’s escalating conflict with Madrid are dictated not by the official Catalan leadership but by Ms Gabriel and her far-left separatist party.

The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) holds just 10 of 135 seats in Catalan’s regional parliament, but without them President Carles Puigdemont has no majority to continue his separatist course.

The far-left separatists who took Catalonia to the brink

The Russians have always had an interest in inflaming the situation:
The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 | History Today
How Stalin destroyed revolution in Spain
Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War

And still they do today:

Russia’s informational interference in Catalan crisis - 112 International
Russian reports on Catalonia to destabilise Europe - neweurope
Referendum in Catalonia: Russian meddling machine sets sights on Catalonia | In English | EL PAÍS
Spanish-Russian relations: How Russian news networks are using Catalonia to destabilize Europe | In English | EL PAÍS

To finish, a piece from the Transition Network:

Disobeying Spain


Kevin Buckland is a Barcelona-based artivist, storyteller, facilitator and organizer who engages art as a tool for enabling change. Here he gives us his account of October 1st: The Catalan Referendum for Independence.

Voting can often be a fairly mundane task, a ritual we do as some sort of promise to ourselves and others that we care in the shaping of our society. It is a peculiar sensation based upon a collective understanding that the sum is great than its parts; that while our vote may not matter, voting itself matters. It is a commitment to a process, rather than a politic.

Yesterday, all across Catalunya ballot boxes were ripped from people’s hands by masked police and a dangerous violence was unleashed, at random, upon some of the 2,262,424 people who stood in long lines to cast their vote. The repression dealt by the Spanish State to prohibit the Catalan Referendum, in every bloodied baton and every rubber bullet, transformed the day from a question of independence to a question of democracy. People were voting for the right to vote.

I was one of the tens of thousands who, while we cannot vote, did what I could to make sure that others could. I did not mind what they were voting for, showing up was enough bravery to win my support.

Disobeying Spain - Transition Network

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Dorset Climate Change Conference >>> Weymouth, Dorset: Saturday 21st October >

Transition Towns Weymouth and Portland is an active group just down the coast:
ttwp.net – Transition Town – to create a more resilient, locally-based way of life

This Saturday they're putting on quite a big event - with some big local names:

Dorset Climate Change Conference :  Saturday 21 October - Weymouth

ORGANISED BY: Transition Town Weymouth & Portland (TTW&P)

OBJECTIVES: To inform and promote action. Challenge politicians to take action

CONSERVATIVE: Simon Hoare, MP for North Dorset
GREENS: Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader Green Party
LABOUR: Lee Rhodes, PPC for W Dorset
LIB. DEMS: David Harris, Dorset CC



    TO BOOK A PLACE CONTACT:       John Tomlin  jvtomblin@aol.com 01305 832180

Weymouth and Portland Transition Towns - Transition Network

Dorset Climate Change Conference 21st October in Weymouth – Dorset Community Energy

Where Does Our Waste Go? @ Radio 4's Costing the Earth

We've got a problem with our waste:
Futures Forum: How plastic gets from your hand to your plate - via the sea
Futures Forum: "Bring back bottle deposits to stop plastic pollution in our oceans" >>> Surfers Against Sewage to deliver petition

Earlier this evening, Tom Heap on Radio 4's Costing the Earth asked:

Where Does Our Waste Go?

Where do the contents of our bins end up? Tom Heap lifts the lid on the recycling industry to find out what happens to our waste beyond the kerbside collection.
What does 'recycling' mean? Are bottles and tins and plastic packaging recycled when they're collected from our homes? They might well be taken to the local MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) and separated out into different waste streams, but what happens then? Embarking on a road journey along the recycling chain, Tom Heap tracks his own domestic recycling refuse to find out how much - or how little - of it is actually recycled.
Tom is accompanied on this road trip by waste expert Dr Karl Williams of the University of Central Lancashire's Centre for Waste Management, during which he devises what we're calling Karl's Top Ten Recycling Tips.
1 It's not waste you're throwing away, it's a resource.

2 Recycling starts at home.

3 Read your local authority's recycling guide or visit their website as to what they collect, and do as it says.

4 Sort your recycling at source which is at your home.

5 If in doubt, put it in the residual bin or black bag, don't put it in with the recycling!

6 Where you can, separate different materials, (eg: take cardboard wrapping off plastic cartons, plastic film from paper).

7 Don't put your recycling in bags in the bin.

8 Household waste recycling centres will take those recyclables not collected at the kerbside by your council.

9 Where possible, separate glass from paper.

10 Remember you are giving materials the chance of a second life as something else.
Producer: Mark Smalley.

Tom Heap inside the recycling facility whilst making the programme.

Tom Heap inside the recycling facility whilst making the programme.

Used drink cans stacked at the recycling facility.

Used drink cans stacked at the recycling facility.

Plastic bottles ready to be given a new life through recycling.

Plastic bottles ready to be given a new life through recycling.

BBC Radio 4 - Costing the Earth, Where Does Our Waste Go?