Archive for August, 2009

Claire Glasman and DeeDee from Winvisible, (Women with Visible and Invisible Disabilities) will be speaking at the next meeting of the Camden Green Party, on Tuesday, September 1.

The meeting is at the Somers Town Community Centre, starting at 7pm. The speakers will open the meeting.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Green Party in Camden is welcome to attend.


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Camden NHS (formerly the PCT) is holding four consultative meetings on its health strategy across Camden. These provide opportunities to have your say on its direction, particularly its continuing push to privatisation, with the GP-led health clinic on Hampstead Road, the handover of physiotherapy services to a private firm, the handing over of three GPs’ surgeries to the American multinational United Health, and threatening to put out to tender the after-hours service now provided by a local co-operative.

The details of these meetings are:

Somers Town Community Centre
150 Ossulston St, NW1 1EE
Monday, 7 September, 7-8.30pm

Regents Park Tenants’ Association
Dick Collins Hall
London NW1 4JD
Tuesday, 8 September 6-8pm

Camden Centre
Bidborough Street, WC1H 9DB
Monday 14 September 7-8pm

The Atrium
Royal Free Hospital
10 Pond St, NW3 2QG
Thursday, 17 September 7-8.30pm

The PCT says, when you dig deep into their website: “If you need further details about any of our meetings, or if you need support to attend these meetings, please ring 020 3317 2884 / 020 3317 2886 / 020 3317 2887.”

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Natalie Bennett, South Camden coordinator for the Camden Green Party, writes:

I was at a strongly attended meeting of Camden Keep Our NHS Public tonight in Somers Town, with representatives from groups spread across the borough (and lots of concerned individuals).

The group is fighting now against the establishment of the so-called GP-led health clinic on the Hampstead Road, which threatens to destabilise existing GP surgeries in the area while providing a type of service patients have clearly indicated (at a number of very well-attended public meetings) they don’t want.

We learnt tonight that at similar privately run clinics, 90% of walk-in unregistered patients are seen by a nurse, and 50% of registered patients also only get to see a nurse at a visit when they’d normally be expecting to see a GP, which shows just how much of a misnomer the label is – and why patients are so concerned.

The main decision of the meeting was to indicate to the private company chosen to run the clinic the fact that Keep Our NHS Public plans to strongly campaign for patients in the catchment area to support their local GPs and decline to register at the new centre. Campaigns calling for a boycott of the centre will also be run in offices in the surrounding area.

We learnt that plans are well advanced for a legal action to stop NHS Camden (formerly the PCT) signing the contract with Care UK PLC, which it has announced as its chosen bidder (as the Ham & High has reported) – despite the fact that the public consultation on healthcare plans won’t even be finished until October.

We also heard that the funding of that legal action will require a “community contribution” into four figures. If you would like to make a donation, send a cheque payable to “Camden KONP Group” to the Treasurer, Barbara Saunders, 43 Foundling Court, Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AN. And indicate that the money is meant for the “community contribution”.

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Extracts from Camden Green Party member Sian Berry’s new book Mend It!: 400 Easy Repairs for Everyday Items, are featured in today’s Observer. The publisher says: “Even the most DIY-shy person will find this book a revelation.”

The detailed instructions cover everything from “how to take up a hem (without swearing)” and putting up a shelf, to how to rehang a door and how to simple steps you can take to make your kitchen appliances last longer.

Many Camden residents will be familiar with Sian’s earlier books, 50 Ways to Make Your House and Garden Greener, 50 Ways to Save Water & Energy, and 50 Ways to Be a Greener Shopper, from the extracts from them that have appeared in Camden Green Party newsletters.

The book will be published on September 24 and available from all good local bookstores in Camden – we’d encourage you to support them!

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I’ve been out this evening with Vincent and Charlie offering “no junk mail” stickers in an area east of Camden High Street, which residents had told us were suffering particularly badly from forests of the often unwanted advertising.

And judging from the warm and enthusiastic reception we got – and the number of stickers handed out (around 80) – that’s certainly the case.

But we were debating with residents, and among ourselves, how effective these are.

I’m probably lucky in that the sticker on my sticker is visible from ground level, and the deliverers have to walk up a few steps to get to my place. So I’d estimate that it cuts by at least two-thirds the amount of junk mail I get. Others reports something more like a third.

How does it work for you? Please feel free to leave a comment here – it is possible if that in some places they aren’t taking effect, and we may need to do something to make sure the message is driven home to the companies supplying the leaflets that these stickers are a message from residents that must be respected.

Natalie Bennett
South Camden Coordinator for the Camden Green Party
(If you live in Camden and you’d like a sticker, please email southcamdengreenparty AT googlemail DOT com, or call 07967-417859.)

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The Camden Green Party enjoyed hearing this week from two speakers Camp for Climate Action.

They outlined the four purposes of the informal grouping:

    * Movement Building
    * Education
    * Sustainable living – primarily through setting an example with the camp structures
    * Direct Action

This year, they explained, rather than one large camps, there would be a number scattered around England, Scotland and Wales, to enable more people to get involved. In both Wales and Scotland open cut coal mining will be targeted.

The main camp, which would be situated with a view of London, would choose by vote the chief “climate criminal” to be targeted. This location would draw links between the current economic problems and the environmental – the fundamentally unsustainable structure of our economy.

They explained that the organisation runs entirely on voluntary effort, no one is paid, and all decisions are made by consensus. At the actual camps, neighbourhoods each have a daily meeting and then send a representative for a full camp meeting.

“We believe that we can’t leave tackling climate change to governments or corporations; what is needed is a social movement.”

There are now camps in 17 organisations worldwide, and a big presence is planned in Copenhagen.

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