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PaulS's picture

Transition candidate for the Council

Dear friends and neighbours,
I am Paul Sousek
of Cottage Farm, Jacobstow
and I am standing for election
to the new Cornwall Council
as a candidate for Mebyon Kernow – The Party For Cornwall
whilst also active in the Transition Movement.

As I read through the leaflets from the other candidates and parties and their policies, I despair as it is ever more clear that they have no idea what the real reasons are for the current problems.

It is nothing to do with whether or not we are in the EU. It is nothing to do with having or not having a referendum. We certainly should not be pumping vast billions into our bankrupt banks and it is not even anything to do with “putting money into people’s pockets”, nice as that would be.

No, the problems we are facing are far, far more fundamental and far more important than any of the artificial policy differences of the major parties. The problem is we live in an unsustainable world, which by definition, CANNOT BE SUSTAINED as it is and must change.

We are at a turning point in our history. Climate change on an unprecedented scale, energy crisis due to depleting fossil fuels, financial and economic system under threat of collapse, rising prices of food and so on. We have been living well beyond our means financially, but more importantly, we have been living far beyond our means in terms of energy. As world oil supplies are depleted, our primary source of energy will reduce every year, we really must change course this year towards a sustainable future. Many people and all the major political parties are either in denials, pretend it will not affect us or carry on ‘business as usual’, regardless. The only parties that understand this and have appropriate policies in place are the Green party nationally and MK here in Cornwall.

But there is much we CAN do. I say we have to face the challenge, harness all the talent of Cornwall and go for sustainable, resilient and local mutually supportive communities. With your support we intend to drive Cornwall Council to take decisive actions to achieve just that:

· To greatly increase support for local farming, food production and availability of local food in shops, be they corner shops or supermarkets in order for Cornwall to become more self-sufficient in food, from potatoes to meat, from vegetables to fruit.
· To take advantage of Cornwall’s abundance of renewable energy, and use this to boost incomes in Cornwall, which are now well below average. Cornwall will be much more prosperous when we take control of our own renewable energy resources.
· To promote public and low-cost housing with high insulation levels and renewable energy heating for the people of Cornwall. We must stop the scandal of unaffordable housing for our young people and only allow housing developments, which can demonstrate a local need for local people
· To protect existing post offices and build on their services and to support local shops, farm shops, markets and other local services, trades and businesses in order to be less reliant on national chains and supermarkets
· To expand existing rail and bus public transport to provide workable solutions to rural transport needs. As fuel becomes more expensive, good public transport will be essential.
· To offer support to local businesses to build a strong self-reliant economy for our sustainable and resilient communities.

Cornwall must take charge of its own affairs. We must provide housing for all our young people, keep local shops, schools and services, and become much more self-sufficient in food and in renewable energy. In short, we need to increase our resilience in the face of energy and environmental crises and an unpredictable future.

… and now something about me:

I am 58 years old, married to Celia, with two grown up sons.

After 30 years in market research, I started farming Cottage Farm, Jacobstow 4 years ago and since then we established a pedigree herd of Red Ruby cattle and Wiltshire Horn sheep, converted the farm to organic status and started a business offering fresh meat boxes.

We aim for a sustainable lifestyle, so we are converting the whole farm to run on renewable energy, incl electricity from wind turbines and PV panels, hot water heat store supplied by solar panels and a wood burner and home produced bio-diesel from waste vegetable oil for cars and farm machinery. We have also planted 100+ trees, established a large vegetable garden to supply our veg, keep chickens and geese and taken other steps to sustainability.

I hope to live in a resilient community, so I helped to start the Transition Movement in Cornwall and to establish five local groups in North Cornwall that are now working to increase resilience of their own communities. Find more details at our website: www.TransitionNC.org.

Here at Cottage Farm we already live the sustainable lifestyle that other candidates just talk about. I can help Cornwall achieve much greater levels of sustainability and self-reliance.

The election on Thursday 4th June is really important. We cannot wait another four years for a change in direction. Whichever party you may have supported in the past or if you did not vote at all, I would urge you to vote this time … and this time vote for sustainable, resilient Cornwall, VOTE for MK.

Take care. Paul Sousek
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Here is something about the reasons for the seemingly endless procession of crises:

Last year we had a taste of the type of crises we can expect in the future: Oil prices reached all time high, swiftly followed by gas, fuel and energy prices. Oil and energy prices affect everything. Did you know that typically every calorie of our food requires 10 calories of oil to produce it? No wonder food prices leapt upwards, helped by doubling of fertiliser and fodder costs, again caused by oil and gas price hikes. That slowed the economy and contributed to the financial meltdown.

The root cause is a growing world-wide shortage of oil due to depletion (so called Peak Oil). The fact is that world production has been hovering at its maximum since May 2005 and very shortly, either this year or early next year, it is set to start declining. And no wonder. Discoveries of new oil fields have peaked back in 1962 (that’s 47 years ago!!) and have been declining ever since. Nowadays we consume each year about five times more oil than is discovered. It does not take a genius to work out that shortages are inevitable.

High oil prices and the financial crisis have induced a recession and energy prices have now decreased. But the geological factors underlying Peak Oil have not changed. As soon as recovery starts, all these prices will shoot up again, above what we have seen so far. Renewables will provide some energy for the very basics and nuclear power will help in the next couple of decades, but neither of these, nor any other source or combination of sources of energy comes to anywhere near to replacing the amount of energy we are loosing now.

The reason for all this upheaval is that we live in an unsustainable world, which by definition, CANNOT BE SUSTAINED and must change. Have a look the blogs on www.TransitionNC.org for more info, but more importantly, vote for that change – vote for MK
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If you would like to support my campaign, I would greatly appreciate donations of anything from £5 to £50 to help with the cost of printing and distribution. Please send your cheque to Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, EX23 0BU, stating your name and address.
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If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to: Cottage.Farm@tiscali.co.uk
I have set up a discussion and question/ answer forum at www.TransitionNC.org where you can publish your questions and comments and where I will try to provide you with answers.
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By the way, there are at least five other candidates standing for election to the Council, who are also involved in Transition. MK are putting up well over 30 candidates in various parts of Cornwall and the Green party have further 18 candidates standing. Together we can make a difference.