Monthly Archives: February 2014

Vinna Bee dates – put them in your diary

Hi Andy,I was going to send you the link to the Webs site so try this… If not here are the dates we have so far… The one in Brecon is a small pub and I plan on doing lots of songs I haven’t done for a while…They also serve food, so it will be a nice chilled evening…. Vinna

Sat. 22 March 7:00 PM Vinna Bee live @ The Shoemakers Arms, Pentre bach, Brecon. Vinna Bee live @ The Shoemakers Arms, Pentre bach, (Nr Sennybridge) Brecon. An intimate acoustic / electro show in the beautifull Brecon Beacons

Sat. 3 May 2:00 PM Vinna Bee live @ “Landed Festival” Nr. Rhayader, Powys, times to be confirmed

Sun. 4 May 7:00 PM Vinna Bee live @ Saith Seren, Wrexham + Support

Sun. 1 June 12:00 AM Vinna Bee live @ “HowTheLightGetsIn” festival, Hay on Wye, Gig 1 – Time: 11.30am Venue: The Stage at HowTheLightGetsIn site Gig 2 – Time: 3.15pm Venue: The Pavilion at the HowTheLightGetsIn site.

REMINDER re Bridgend Green Party ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 27th February 2014

This is a reminder that the Bridgend Green Party AGM is this coming Thursday. Details below.

There have been no motions or constitutional amendments submitted so item 7 on the Agenda falls off.

I very much hope to see as many of you as possible on Thursday.

Best wishes,


Begin forwarded message from 02/02/14:

In its current incarnation, Bridgend Green Party is now over 3 years old. It has established itself as arguably the strongest local Green Party in Wales in this time.
However, it now finds itself at a vital point in its development. The founding members have done a great job in building a viable and effective local party – but unless other members get more involved and become prepared to take over the reigns, Bridgend Green Party may fade away.This would be an awful shame. So please come along to the AGM and see what you may be able to offer, and get out of it, if not immediately, perhaps over the next 12 months. Otherwise, next year’s AGM may prove to be the last.

Andy Chyba
(Current Chair)

7.00pm Thursday 27th February 2014 at theThe Railway PH at the bottom of Station Hill
ALL WELCOME (Especially new members!)

AGM Agenda:

  • (1) Welcome, Election of chair,
  • (2) Minutes,
  • (3) Reports from officers and councillor,
  • (4) Election of officers,
  • (5) Review of year (including campaigning activity and Conference feedback),
  • (6) Report on Election campaigns and situation re target wards,
  • (7) Motions and BGP constitutional amendments (if any),
  • (8) Dates and venues for next 12 months
  • (9) A.O.B.

We run on a skeleton executive of three officers at present in order to satisfy National Party and legal requirements. We are reaching a point where we need to see different people taking on these positions if at all possible.
These consist of:

  1. Chairman – acting also as Local Party Contact (and PPERA Second Officer)
  2. Elections Officer – acting as Election Agent and Nominating Officer
  3. Treasurer

On top of this, there is a need for a Minuting Secretary (currently being done by the Elections Officer) and Blog/Website Officer (currently being done by the Chair). In an ideal world, we also need a Membership Secretary (sort of done by the Chair currently); and a Fundraising Co-ordinator.

MOTIONS and/or BGP Constitutional Amendments
If any body wants to propose any, then please do so by email or post by 20th February, so that they can can be distributed for consideration before the AGM itself. They will need proposing and seconding by full members (either at the AGM or via email/post in advance) before they can be put to a vote at the AGM.

South Wales Artists Against Fracking

It was great, and uplifting, to see so much local talent backing the anti-fracking movement in South Wales.

Yesterday’s “Vale Not For Shale” gig was effectively a one day festival that brought all the ant-fracking groups in the region together in party mood.
As such, is was a great bonding exercise and will, I am sure, build ever greater solidarity and determination to see this battle through to a successful conclusion.
Special mention to Donal Whelan, who brought together such an outstanding line up.

For those that missed out, here are a just a few of my personal favourites (I missed a few gems on door duty it seems):

Vinna Bee
“Thank you for the review of Sat and brilliant you chose Bears Under Decks with my lyrics about Capitalism, corporate etc fitting nicely with the event …Nice one Andy!” Vinna Bee

The Rumble-O’s
Megan Ambrose


Justin Lewis Preece (of Climbing Trees – nearest camera at start of this video)

This cause seems to resonate with musicians like no other. An ant-fracking summer festival has to be worth exploring.

There have been many others very prominent in the campaign in South Wales, most notably perhaps, the founder of Frack-Free Wales (and one of the Balcombe 16 – alongside Justin Lewis Preece above), Frances Jenkins. As well as teaching music, running a studio with her husband, Ben, and composing, she has appeared with various local bands:

Bronwen ‘Little Eris’ Davies has also been a prominent Frack-Free Wales supporter:

Catrin O’Neill was a key player in in the early successes of the Vales Says No! group:

And alongside Vinna Bee, the other star turn at the Fracking benefit gig at O’Callaghans was the Bones of St James:

With so much talent on our side, how can we not succeed!!!

Green Party Conference: 28 Feb – 3 March

Begin forwarded message:

From: “CONFERENCE” <conference>

Subject: Green Party Conference: 28 Feb – 3 March

Date: 20 February 2014 17:45:39 GMT

To: Andy Chyba <greens>

Reply-To: “CONFERENCE” <conference>

Green Party Spring Conference 2014

Friday 28 February – Monday 3 March, St George’s Hall, Liverpool

There is still time to book! Online bookings are open until Friday 21 February, and you can also pay on the door (see website for fees).

Join us in Liverpool at the beautiful grade-1 listed St George’s Hall for a Euro-focussed spring conference in advance of May’s elections. As well as the core conference business of policy making, the programme will include training sessions for activists and fringe sessions on a variety of subjects. There will also be topical panel debates on: “NHS Privatisation”, “Austerity in Europe”, and “The Struggle for Higher Education”. Full timetable attached.

We have some great external speakers lined up, including:

George Monbiot on “Rewilding Britain”,

Satish Kumar on “Soil, Soul, Society”

Hugh Warwick on “Saving Britain’s Hedgehogs”.


For information on nearby hotels and hostels, staying with local members, and crash space, see the website.

National Express have generously offered conference goers 50% off coach travel during the conference period. To book go to and use the code GreenParty14.

Other travel information on the website.


For those who wish to find out more about the history of the building, there will be a guided tour of the venue (including its dungeons!) from 12-13.30 on Friday 28th February.
Places are limited to 25, must be booked in advance, and cost £3.50 per person.
Email Louisa.greenbaum if you would like to sign up.

Evening entertainment will include a quiz night and an open mic, and a bar with local organic real ale.


There will be a free crèche for the children of GP members. For more information and a booking form visit the website. Places must be booked in advance.

Book online at

Published and promoted by and on behalf of the Green Party of England and Wales. Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
To opt out of ALL future emails from the Green Party, click here.


Green Room INVITATION 28th February

Begin forwarded message:



Date: 19 February 2014 15:43:59 GMT

Please RSVP if you can.M

Margaret Minhinnick
Sustainable Wales Cymru Gynhaliol

way to my mother.pdf

4/5 James St.
CF36 3BG
01656 783962


Sustainable Wales is an environmental charity. Committed to sustainable development, we focus on society, economy, jobs, creativity and the arts and their inter-connection with the natural world.

Vale’s Not For Shale – Concert Line Up Announcement

Begin forwarded message:

From: Llantrithyd ‘Villagers Against Drilling’

Subject: Vale’s Not For Shale – Concert Line Up Announcement

Date: 18 February 2014 14:35:09 GMT

The concert is almost upon us!

Saturday 22nd February 2014

Cowbridge Town Hall

Line up:

2.00 pm Nancy Ackroyd
3.00 pm The Lunarcyclist
4.00 pm Vinna Bee
5.00 pm Climbing Trees
6.00 pm Colum Regan Music
7.00 pm The Rumble-O’s
8.00 pm Cian Ciarán
9.00 pm Trwbador
10.00 pm The Earth

Tickets £10 on the door or from

Looking forward to seeing you there!

A petition started by Llantrithyd ‘Villagers Against Drilling’ on “Evan Williams and W Philip Thomas, landowners at Llantrithyd: Don’t allow your agricultural land to be used for test drilling for gas.” does not endorse contents of this message.

View the petition

Green Party Spring Conference 2014

Begin forwarded message:

From: Louisa Greenbaum <louisa.greenbaum>

Subject: Green Party Spring Conference 2014

Date: 11 February 2014 18:02:41 GMT

Dear All,

I am now attaching the full timetable and the final agenda for Spring conference. I would be really grateful if you could pass this on to your local members if possible. As well as a full programme of policy making, training for activists and topical fringes, we are also pleased to have exciting guest speakers such as George Monbiot and Satish Kumar joining us.

As a reminder, the Green Party Spring Conference will be held at St George’s Hall in Liverpool from Friday 28 February to Monday 3 March.

· Bookings can be made online via the website. Early bird booking deadline is 14 February, but you can book up to the conference and even on the day itself.
· Free Creche
· 50% off national express coach travel for GP members
· Crash space available at £5 per night, as well as £10 B&B with local members (limited places)
· Vegetarian and Vegan catering, organic real ale and cider!

Details of all this and more on the conference

Thanks and best wishes,

Louisa Greenbaum
Conferences Co-ordinator
The Green Party
Tel. 01273 888 360

Spring Conference 2014
28 Feb – 3 Mar, St George’s Hall, Liverpool

Spring 2014_full_timetable.pdf

Final Agenda Spring Conference 2014.pdf

Bridgend Green Party’s Robert Minhinnick launches new book

Minhinnick says of the book:

“Island of Lightning is an ambitious collection, selected from writings composed over recent years.

“It ranges from adventures in China, the US and Italy, to extremely locally-focused writing, depicting Kenfig, the Elvis festival and Pink Bay.

“The longest piece describes a pilgrimage from Cardiff to Penrhys in the Rhondda, while the title section stems from a literary residency I was awarded on the real ‘island of lightning’. This had a huge impact on my life as a writer.”

‘Island of Lightning’ comprises over twenty separate sections, and retails at £9.99. It comes with a cover design by Eamon Bourke.

Island of Lightning is the latest book of travel essays by the prizewinning Robert Minhinnick, poet, novelist, translator, cultural commentator and environmentalist. In it he travels from his home in south Wales to Argentina, China, Finland, Iraq, Tuscany and Piemonte, Malta, New York, Zagreb, Lithuania and the lightning island of Malta.

In conventional travel essays and leaps of imaginative narrative his subjects include the annual Elvis convention in Porthcawl, Neolithic sculptures, the cruelties of late twentieth century communism and its aftermath, rugby union, the Argentinian writer Alfonsina Storni, poets playing football, the body of a saint and the definition of cool. His themes are big ones: the relationship of man and landscape, man and time, man and nature, immigration and war, in one sense ultimately humankind itself.

Minhinnick explores with the eye of a poet and the gift of a telling image or metaphor. His walk from Cardiff to the Rhondda valleys is almost geological as he passes through the social and cultural strata of the area’s history. His astonishment at the sheer number of people – the scale on which society works – in China, results in an inventive grappling with the hugeness of the world (and its growing problems). At the other end of the spectrum his re-imagining of the life of Alfonsina Storni, her love for Borges and her suicide is a delicate commentary on the personal and the solitary.

Readers will be entertained, informed and provoked by this series of essays in which Minhinnick takes his subjects as though holding them in his hand, turning them for new perspectives and understanding.

Sustainable Wales Cymru Gynhaliol
4/5 James St.
CF36 3BG
01656 783962


Sustainable Wales is an environmental charity. Committed to sustainable development, we focus on society, economy, jobs, creativity and the arts and their inter-connection with the natural world.

Margaret Minhinnick
Sustainable Wales Cymru Gynhaliol
4/5 James St.
CF36 3BG
01656 783962


Sustainable Wales is an environmental charity. Committed to sustainable development, we focus on society, economy, jobs, creativity and the arts and their inter-connection with the natural world.

URGENT ACTION: Another European Parliament vote on shale gas this Wednesday 5 February

Begin forwarded message:

From: Geraldine Ring <geraldine.ring2>

Subject: URGENT ACTION: Another European Parliament vote on shale gas this Wednesday 5 February

Date: 4 February 2014 13:16:20 GMT

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Bcc: andy

Dear all,

Please read important message below from Antoine of FoEE. You need to contact your MEP today.

I would suggest adapting the template attached, mentioning that you will be watching closely how your MEP votes tomorrow, and that if our recommendations are not respected, then you won’t be giving your vote to him/her in the European elections which take place this May 23. This sort of pressure really works, believe me!

Please keep me posted of any replies you receive, as we will be doing a naming and shaming of all pro-fracking MEPs ahead of the elections. Fracking has to become a major electoral issue.

You can post the replies directly in the FB event here or email them to me.

There is another fracking related vote taking place next week so please stay tuned for news about that! It’s all go here!

Best regards,


Letter to MEPs_shale gas.doc
MEPs List.xlsx

Frack Free Wales February Newsletter 2014

Keep up to date with the anti-fracking campaign across Wales.

Several Bridgend Green Party members have been very active in supporting Frack-Free Wales and have visited both Balcombe and Barton Moss.

Andy is representing Frack-Free Wales on a panel debate on fracking at Plaid Cymru’s Spring Conference in March.

Please consider supporting the events listed below, and have a look at the ‘Situations Vacant’ re details of Web Designer and Newsletter Editor opportunities.

3rd February 2014

Diary Dates

*Saturday 15th February – ‘Frack-tion Training Day’. Sign up now!
10:00am to 6:00pm; Dyfatty Community Centre, Chapel Street, Swansea SA1 1NB
A day of skill sharing, networking and information gathering to help us prepare for the year ahead.
Free training delivered by ‘Seeds for Change’ (
open to all (not just fracktivists)lunch provided by Swansea Food Not Bombs (for a donation).
More details on facebook at:
If you want to confirm a place please email:

*Thursday 20th February Demonstration at the Bridgend HQ of UK Methane/Coastal Oil & Gas.
Joint action with Frack Free Wales and Frack Free Somerset as part of
‘Frack Free February’.
More details will be published nearer the date.

*Saturday 22nd February – ‘The Vale Is Not For Shale’ – Concert at the Town Hall, High St, Cowbridge CF71 7DD
Four local campaign groups are teaming up to put on a big music event in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan.
This is one of a series of events to raise public awareness, build support for the protests when the drillers do come, and infuse the campaign with
some positive, creative energy.
Lineup to be confirmed, but will include some notable names from the Welsh
music scene.
More details on facebook at :
or contact Donal Whelan; donal.

*N.E Wales Anti-Fracking Action Network: A current proposal for Dart Energy to drill an exploration well at Common Wood near Wrexham will be due to go before the planning committee this month. Details of the application can be found on the Wrexham Council website, case number P/2013/0660, or by going to the Facebook anti fracking page
Please view all the documents, especially the ones added last week and then send in your objections as well as signing this petition.
Dart Energy is hoping to start work on the site on or soon after the 14th of February. The next planning meetings are the 6th and 17th of February so the application will be discussed at one of those dates. But it is understood from the documents that the proposed site will need to be prepared for the catchment of Great Crested Newts (protected), and would require a one month period to pass before work can start on the site. Therefore it is hopeful that Dart Energy will not be able to start for a while yet. Any questions please email Luke Ashley: lashley40

*Throughout February – Frack Free Somerset have organised a second Frack Free February – it’s a big month of action, with loads of local events which creates a lot of momentum for the year & helps new groups to start.
For more details on all the events go to facebook at:

*LOCAL MEETINGS – Safe Energy Wales: Thursday 6th February; Thursday 20th February; at 6:30pm in The Bay View, Oystermouth Road, Swansea SA1 3UL.
Everyone welcome.
For more details e-mail: safeenergywales

Other News

The Barton Moss Community Protection Camp needs our help. The conditions there are dire, and some are getting sick due to the cold wet weather.
Here’s a list of what they are in need of on camp: warm clothing, waterproofs, socks, boots, layering clothing, sleeping bags, tarpaulins, tents, roll mats, plus funding to help them purchase a yurt so that they have somewhere warm and dry to prepare food, etc.
These items can be passed on to Melanie Dawn (Frack Off Llanelli), if you would like to donate please contact her on 07592755218.
20 people from South Wales travelled on the bus, plus a few others who made their way independently. In a good show of solidarity from across the UK, around 500 people gathered for a march from the Salford City Stadium to Barton Moss, where we were greeted by the Community Protectors. The weather was very kind to us, with the rain holding off for the afternoon. It was a fairly low key event with hardly any police presence. We were made very welcome by the people at the camp who somehow managed to feed everyone a healthy lunch to keep out the cold.

What’s that? You want to read more about Frack Free Wales’ solidarity to Barton Moss?
Check out these write ups on the FFW website:

Manchester Evening News report with pictures:

Short film and more pictures from ITV:

And definitely not to be missed, a live interview at the Barton Moss camp with Vanessa Vine (from Balcombe) on Channel 4:


Ask your MP to put pressure on the government to accept a motion to amend the proposed legislation to make it compulsory for fracking companies to take out insurance.
You might also ask if it is right that this legislation is being produced by The Treasury when Baroness Hogg, Senior Independent Director to HM Treasury is also a director of BG Group, a company involved in gas extraction across the globe!

This petition was submitted by FoE Cymru and appears to have been “under consideration” since October 2012 (although the year may be a mistake on the Assembly website).
Given that the UK Government is unwilling to protect Welsh communities by insisting that the frackers have the necessary insurance (see above), we need the Welsh Government to step up to the plate.
The Welsh Government does not have the power to stop fracking in Wales, but it does have the power to draw up planning guidance based on ‘The Precautionary Principle’, as outlined in the petition.

  • Talk to your Local Councilors to see if they would be willing to put a motion before your local council asking the Welsh Government to draw up planning guidance as outlined in the FoE Petition (see above).

(Editor’s Note: If you need help with any of the above suggestions then please contact Keith Ross of Safe Energy: safeenergywales)

Don’t forget!

  • Keep an eye on local council planning applications in your area. Check with your local council regularly to see if anyone has applied for permission to test drill or extract gas or oil. If you do come across an application, please don’t assume that someone else is dealing with it. Unless you’re certain that we know about it please contact either Frack Free Wales or your local campaign group to make sure we are aware of it.
  • Finally, if you’re too busy to do any of the above, particularly if you’re employed and have disposable income, then “give us yer money”!

As with most campaigning organisations, Frack Free Wales is always short of money to do what needs to be done. If you have anything to spare please consider donating it to the campaign.
Andy can give you the relevant bank details for direct donations
If you have Internet Banking you can transfer money online, otherwise you can pay in at any branch of the Cooperative Bank. We appreciate that spare cash is hard to come by in these troubled times, but any amount will be gratefully accepted.

Situations Vacant:

There are never enough people around to do all the work that needs to be done, and we are always grateful for offers to help with admin and organisation at whatever level.
Web Designer: It’s time to refresh our website and to build in new features to help the campaign and support local groups across Wales. If you have the skills, inclination and time to help with this, please get in touch.
Newsletter Editor: This is the second newsletter to keep everyone informed of what’s happening in Wales. We’d love to develop it into a proper newsletter with an attractive layout and interactive features. Again, if you have the skills, inclination and time to help with this, please get in touch.

Contact details for local groups:

Safe Energy (Swansea) – email safeenergywales
or call Keith Ross on 079 1467 7150
Frack Off Llanelli – email Paul Jennings <pdjennings or Melanie Dawn <welshdreamtime
Vale Says No! – email Louise Evans <web or Andy Chyba<fracking
Villagers Against Drilling (Llantrithyd) – email<villagersagainstdrilling
Na Pantybrad/Pantybrad No – email Jenny Rolfe <jennyrolfe or Wendy Carruthers <wendycarruthers
Frack Free Newport – email Dave Yates <dave.yates
N.E Wales Anti-Fracking Action Network (Wrexham) – email Luke Ashley<lashley40

  • See you all soon at the next Frack Free Wales coalition meeting date and venue tbc.

If you are on the list you may have subscribed via our website or via an event about unconventional gas in Wales.

fracking from this list.

Our mailing address is:
Frack Free WalesCardiff, United Kingdom
Cardiff, Wales CF10United Kingdom

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