July 2013

4 terraced areas now dug for veg on #allotment. so, in short, more progress. Lawn & frogpond to do next ….. probably. #nottingham

Behind-the-scenes film captures the build-up and the experience of six ordinary women who climbed the tallest building in Europe to protest against Shell’s plan to drill for oil in the Arctic. It is up to us to stop Shell’s dangerous and destructive plans.

The climbers were Ali from the UK, Liesbeth from the Netherlands, Sabine from Belgium, Sandra from Sweden, Victoria from Canada, and Wiola from Poland.

HSBC Notts Uncut Demo supports Foodbank

12.00 Saturday 20th July 2013

Nottingham folks gatherered at the Left Lion and proceeded to the HSBC bank in Clumber Street. The protestors being concerned, as banker’s continue to be rewarded with bonuses and subsidies, and tax dodging is rife (£25 billion is lost annually), there’s been a 170% increase in the number of people relying on food banks in the UK. We need to demand that the government stop propping up the people who caused this crisis and put an end to the need for food banks.

Passers by contributed to the NG7 Foodbank.

UKUncut statement:

As one of the UK’s ‘big four’ banks, HSBC continues to benefit from a promise that taxpayers will never let it fail, because it would be too damaging to the UK economy.

The money taxpayers have loaned to these banks comes at a very low interest-rate. And this interest-rate subsidy is disproportionately largest for the biggest banks, such as HSBC.

So whilst it did not need a direct government bail-out following the financial crisis in 2008, HSBC- and all other high street banks- owe their survival to public financing.

This also means that bonuses paid to senior bank staff and dividends to institutional investors are, at least partly, paid for by the taxpayer. Stuart Gulliver, the new chief executive of HSBC, recently received a bonus of around £9million – which could pay for the annual salary of over 400 nurses.

Want more evidence that we’re not ‘all in this together’? HSBC is one of the big banks that will avoid paying billions of pounds worth of tax on future profits by offsetting losses it suffered during the financial crisis against its tax bills.

Then there’s HSBC’s profiteering from the NHS. A report by the Times in 2008, found that HSBC made almost £100million from managing NHS hospitals where contractors ‘charge taxpayers inflated bills for simple tasks, such as £210 to fit an electrical socket’.

Moreover, according to a recent BBC investigation, HSBC used a legal tax loophole to divert millions of pounds of NHS money into an offshore ‘tax haven’. In 2010 a company set up by HSBC made more than £38m profit from its 33 PFI hospital-building schemes and paid £100,000 in UK tax – less than half of 1% of the profits. Describing such practices as ‘scandalous’, former Oxford MP Dr Evan Harris called for new rules to stop NHS money being sent to tax havens.

Earlier this year HSBC told its shareholders about plans to quit London for Hong Kong. We doubt anyone will be bidding them a tearful goodbye.

UK Uncut is a grassroots movement taking action to highlight alternatives to the government’s spending cuts


Notts Uncut:

It has taken a great deal of effort and research, but bloggers and press should now be allowed to film in council meetings. I have now done so in both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council meetings:

Check out the press release at:

Lights, camera, democracy in action

and the full guidance at:

Your council’s cabinet: going to its meetings, seeing how it works

“This guide provides the public with practical information about attending meetings of a council’s executive and obtaining council documents.

It is designed to help the public know when they can attend such meetings and what documents and information are available to them, now that there are new national rules to make councils more transparent and accountable to their local communities.

It should also help councillors and officers to comply with these rules which are based on a presumption in favour of openness.”

Download the PDF and check out P/6

Can I film the meeting?
Council meetings are public meetings. Elected representatives and council officers acting in the public sphere should expect to be held to account for their comments and votes in such meetings. The rules require councils to provide reasonable facilities for any member of the public to report on meetings. Councils should thus allow the filming of councillors and officers at meetings that are open to the public.
The Data Protection Act does not prohibit such overt filming of public meetings. Councils may reasonably ask for the filming to be undertaken in such a way that it is not disruptive or distracting to the good order and conduct of the meeting. As a courtesy, attendees should be informed at the start of the meeting that it is being filmed; we recommend that those wanting to film liaise with council staff before the start of the meeting.
The council should consider adopting a policy on the filming of members of the public speaking at a meeting, such as allowing those who actively object to being filmed not to be filmed, without undermining the broader transparency of the meeting.
Will I be able to tweet or blog council meetings?
Similarly under the new rules there can be social media reporting of meetings. Thus bloggers, tweeters, facebook and YouTube users, and individuals with their own website, should be able to report meetings. You should ask your council for details of the facilities they are providing for citizen journalists.

However, as you might expect, some are still finding resistance!!


It has taken a great deal of effort and research, but bloggers and press should now be allowed to film in council meetings. I have now done so in both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council meetings:

Check out: Lights, camera, democracy in action



This Council calls on the government to repeal the expensive and

inefficient bedroom tax.

After debate, it was passed overwhelmingly. The two tories there voted against of course.

Bedroom Tax Debate at Nottingham City Council 1

Bedroom Tax Debate at Nottingham City Council 2

Folks gathered to protest at the progress of the bedroom tax and the stress it is causing.

Outside, Greg Marshall spoke at the Anti-Bedroom Tax Demo, Council House, Nottingham.

Here is a short video: 

The protest was taking place, since the council were debating a motion on the subject.


Job description



Job description: To sail the seven seas, fighting mainly but not exclusively the Spanish and French.  This varied and exciting roll includes a free sword and parrot, the opportunity to travel, a tax free income and free rum. Working with a highly committed team, the right candidate could become 1st mate very quickly. Additional benefits such as own ship and crew may be possible after probationary period

You will need: the ability to go “arrgggghhhhh” a lot and continue to function if your right leg is replaced with a wooden stick, along with a positive mental attitude the right candidate must be able to carry out duties such as keel hauling and planking walking, demonstrate a full knowledge of the 1st 5 verses of “what shall we do with the drunken sailor”. We are particularly interested in hearing from people who have replaced their hand with a hook or are missing an eye.

Remuneration: the role of Pirate meets or exceeds the UK minimum wage. Will be paid monthly in doubloons “Pirates 4 U” is an equal opportunities employer. Time wasters need not apply as we are only interested in talking to serious pirates.

To apply: place CV in a bottle and throw in ocean towards the north English coast or email to “ I 

Or, tell us why you don’t wish to apply for this job.


Job ID 2547401

Posting Date 08/07/2013



Industries Travel, transportation and tourism

Job typeFull time

Salary10,000.00 – 100,000.00  per year

Various bonus

Job reference codeHahar 8

Contact information07515 016850 Gjohnstone2604@hotmail.co.uk


Strawbale Building at Ecoworks: Piccys

These were just now …… but I covered the project over its building for a couple of years.

Better selection of pictures at:


Links to more piccys of the progress at:


Straw Bale Building at Ecoworks

Strawbale Building at Ecoworks, Hungerhill plots St.Anns, Nottingham