Author: Julian Greenbank

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Ukrainian Refugee Crisis: What Is West England doing?

Julian Greenbank

Watching the Ukrainian refugee crisis unfold, I was reminded of Mr Rogers of American children’s television fame who said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’”. The War in Ukraine […]

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Bristol Airport Expansion gets Government Approval

Julian Greenbank
Bristol Airport Expansion ; Source: Bristol Airport Expansion Public Enquiry

On the 3 February 2022, plans for a multi-million pound expansion of one of the area’s biggest airports got approval from the Department of Transport after Bristol Airport appealed against the local council’s refusal. These plans look to increase the number of flights (in-bound by 97,000 a year and outgoing by 23,800), as well as […]

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Two District Councils record Zero Rough Sleepers

Julian Greenbank

On the 31 December 2021, the Districts Councils of the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire both recorded zero ‘rough sleepers‘ (people sleeping on the streets) for the first time since 2013. This achievement comes after the Liberal Democrats won control of both councils. In South Oxfordshire they formed a coalition with the Greens. […]

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Colston Four acquitted by Jury

Julian Greenbank

On 5 January 2022, at the Bristol Crown Court, the Colston Four were found innocent of any criminal damage. They were on trial for toppling the statue (as reported in July 2020 by West England Bylines) of Edward Colston, a slave-selling merchant who gave a significant amount of money to the City in his will. […]

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Councils clash over Bath’s Clean Air Zone

Julian Greenbank

Last month, I wrote about Bristol finally agreeing to a Clean Air Zone in their city centre. Also back in June Will Luker marked Cheltenham’s Clean Air Day.  However, they’re not the only West England cities making changes to their fight against pollution. Bath, which implemented its Clean Air Zone in March 2021, has seen […]

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Should Bristol keep its Mayor?

Julian Greenbank

Politics in Bristol is shaping up to have an interesting year. Will the Bristol Mayor survive? Last Tuesday, the Council voted on a motion for a new referendum about the abolition on the role of Mayor of Bristol. It passed with 41 votes in favour to 24 against. The role was first created in 2012 […]

Bristol City Council approves its Clean Air Zone

Julian Greenbank

It’s been a long time coming but it finally happened. On Friday November 6, the Bristol City Council voted to approve a Bristol Clean Air Zone, set to launch June 2022. The area designated by the council will cover the Floating Harbour, Castle Park, Temple Quay, and most of the City Centre. Bristol Clean Air […]

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A Tory ex-MP who wants to defend Democracy and Share Power

Julian Greenbank

Robert Key was the former Conservative MP for the City of Salisbury. He served under Margret Thatcher and John Major and continued to serve the city when the party was in opposition in the noughties. Just as West England Bylines asked the opposition parties to support Proportional Representation, Robert asks his Conservative Party to share […]

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Is Bristol Going Green Fast Enough?

Julian Greenbank

Bristol has promised to be green but will its actions back up the words? Can the many Green councillors in Bristol make Bristol really green? Watch Tom Hathway explain his hopes and fears around Bristol’s response.

Local Farmers discuss the Australia Deal

Julian Greenbank

The post-Brexit Australian Deal is going to affect the future of British farming, whether you’re a small farmer or a mass producer. Matt and Laura Elliot are two farmers who run the National Trust Sandy Hill Mob farm in Gloucestershire. They are regenerative farmers, which means they use the cattle to regenerate the soil and […]

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Let’s Go Change the World – We need Leadership in Opposition

Julian Greenbank

UK Politics has changed a lot since the days of Blair, Kennedy and Major. Right now, we live under a Tory rule where the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers seem to be doing everything they can to remove our rights and change what we know to be British into their own vision of what […]

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Bristol – A Year on from Colston

Julian Greenbank

A Black Lives Matter vigil was held to mark the death of George Floyd and to protest against institutional racism in our own country. Thousands of people attended, but this isn’t why the city was in the news. A statue of Edward Colston, an eighteenth century MP and slave trader, which had stood watch over […]

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Councillor Candidate on Oxfordshire’s “Fair Deal Alliance”

Julian Greenbank

The results of the 2021 elections were more interesting than people initially thought. While Conservative gains in the Hartlepool by-election and council elections were predicted by many, there were a few shock results. Dan Norris being elected mayor of the West of England Combined Authority (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset) was […]

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Agroecological Farms are Needed to End Food Colonialism

Julian Greenbank

George Richmond tells our video reporter Julian Greenbank why it’s so important for farming to migrate to an agroecological base. Agroecology may be a new term to many but it is being promoted by many responsible environmental organisations. The British ‘Soil Association‘ defines agroecology as: “… sustainable farming that works with nature”. The United Nations […]

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A Local Theatre is Locked down, Rejected and Nearly Evicted

Julian Greenbank

The story of one theatre reflecting the issues faced by the wider industry. In the small market town of Hitchin in the Home Counties, is the appropriately small Market Theatre. Like all theatres over the past year and a bit, they were severely affected by the Covid Crisis. As manager Glyn Doggett explains, the Market […]

Violence against Women – What Can Men Do?

Julian Greenbank

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk It feels like an age ago when the controversial police response to a vigil held at Clapham Common hit us. It feels even longer since we heard about the devastating news of Sarah Everard’s death itself. Something about Sarah Everard’s death seemed to hit the country hard. Maybe it was because […]

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Why a Rural Bus Service is Essential

Julian Greenbank

As the West England Bylines ‘roving reporter’, I interviewed George Richmond who wrote this article about rural bus services back in February – https://westenglandbylines.co.uk/rural-communities-cut-off-by-cuts/. I asked him why he is passionate about rural bus services and why wanted to write the article. George told me that he believes that good reliable rural bus services can make […]

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Businesses in Gloucester Road, Bristol tell us how they survived

Julian Greenbank

>>> With Video <<< Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk With over a year since the pandemic struck, how have independent businesses managed to weather the lockdowns and other restrictions? We took our cameras down the iconic Gloucester Road in Bristol and asked some business owners how it was for them. We got quite differing responses; two […]

The Disaffected Youth and Voting

Julian Greenbank

I truly believe that my generation and the one following me (often referred to as Millennial and Gen Z) are among the most political generations to exist. Whenever we see a cause to support, we’re among the most vocal supporters of it. When Greta Thunberg visited Bristol, most of the people I saw attending were […]