Tuesday, May 22

Mr and Mrs Frog

Two adult frogs appeared in the smaller garden pond in the last two days. I think they have returned to check out how the tadpoles are doing, which isn't very well in this pond. The tadpoles in the larger pond are I think doing better. Last year we had some baby frogs. A big problem we have is the neighbors cats, which may have already killed a bird in the last few weeks (trail of feathers seen but no trace of the bird carcase). Just hope the frogs don't get taken.

Whilst Havant Borough Council destroy Waterloovilles biodiversity, along with the culprits that concrete over their gardens to make room for another car. We try and help sustain what little we have left.

Thursday, May 17

Postcode Publications a Conservative publicity vehicle

I recently picked up a copy of PO9 a new local publication for the PO9 postcode area. On the surface it appears to be a non-politcal news source aimed at local communities. The company behind the newspaper is aiming to produce similar versions for other postcodes in Havant Borough, including Waterlooville. The publication has advertising from local businesses and has some articles that look interesting but un-critical.

So great, another free rag full of advertising.

But there is more to it that we should all be aware of. A quick search of Google reveals that Postcode Publications is based at  Station House, North Street, Havant. Nothing wrong so far. Looks innocent to me.

The director is David William Guest.

"Who" ? you ask. 
David Guest. 
"Isn't he something to do with Havant Borough Council" ?
Well yes. 

He is a member of Havant Borough Councils cabinet!
Yep, he is involved in the political decisions made in the borough. The same person who is publishing this free newspaper which can influence peoples opinions, is also making decisions in the cabinet for the whole area. No conflict of interest there then!??!

If we scaled this up, I guess you could compare it to David Cameron starting his own newspaper to promote Conservative policies.

Lets have a look at some articles in issue two:

Page 3: Article about (Conservative) Science Minister, David Willets
Page 4: article about manager at Morris Crocker. Who just happens to be in the same building as Postcode Publications.
Page 4 and 5: Various articles that look suspiciously as if they are promoting Conservative/Havant Borough Council community issues and projects.
Page 6 Article about Havant Borough Council Plaza.

Page 7 Article about Havant bus station and asking for reader responses.
Page 9 Article about the mayor.

And so on.

Is this politically neutral??

Well consider this... Given that the owner of the paper is an elderly high profile member of the Conservatives, what would happen if another political party became the dominant force in Havant Borough Council? Do you think the content would change?? To me it seems unlikely and even if it did, the content is political, promoting a specific community model. The publication is misleading in the way it is presented and it isn't clear about the connections to Conservative Havant Borough councillors.

I think for anyone who is fed up with this old fashioned political game, it is just another example of how thoughtless many politicians are. It is extremely manipulative and makes a farce of the community meetings Havant Borough Council allegedly want to promote.

Wednesday, May 16

Hampshire Cosmetics participates in Havant Goes Greener week

Waterlooville based Hampshire Cosmetics will be participating in 'Havant Goes Greener' week next month (18th to 23rd June). I am not sure of the details but they will be showing off their big solar panel installation in an event called 'Going Solar'. The Waterlooville company has had many awards for it's sustainable approach to business so have good credentials (not often I say that about a business!).

The event is on Thurs 21st June. There are limited spaces for the visit, so you need to book in advance at the Havant Goes Greener web site: http://www.havantgoesgreener.org.uk/whats-on-and-where/

Other events during the week include:

Driving the Green Way
Information Road Show
Keeping Bees
Birds of Langstone
Keeping Chickens
Switching to Green Energy
Big Green Family Fair
and many more.

Saturday, May 12

Baffins Pond

Recently visited Copnor in Portsmouth and took some photos of Baffins pond. I was talking to a small shop owner in Copnor and she said they are struggling, a few want to sell up and they keep fighting Tescos to stop them opening a Tescos Express. So far they have succeeded in halting Tescos. If Tescos succeed, it will kill a lot of shops in the area.

Thankfully, Tescos doesn't threaten Baffins pond!
Use the scroll bar to view the whole panorama view of Baffins Pond or click on the image to view in 'widescreen'.

Tuesday, May 8

Havant Borough Councils plans will probably increase allergies in the community

Trees felled in Waterlooville
Interesting research in Finland published in PNAS, shows that a lack of exposure to nature and biodiversity increases the number of allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases in the community.

Scientists studied groups of teenagers living in urban and rural environments and discovered the rural teenagers had more beneficial bacteria on their skin.

This basically translates to Havant Borough Councils 'open for business' plans resulting in higher health bills and other costs for future generations. The more our councillors vote through plans for businesses and homes, the more allergies and other illnesses we will see in the community.

We need our biodiversity and green spaces. It's interesting just how symbiotic we are with nature, we can't do without it

Environmental biodiversity, human microbiota, and allergy are interrelated by Ilkka Hanski et al
BBC article

Friday, May 4

How the National Grid works

Really interesting video about controlling our electricity in light of increasing use of renewables: