Sunday 15th April (E-18)

The rain kept us indoors yesterday, but today was very different.

Ably assisted today by Dorothy and Irene, our oldest member (and my mum) – and joined this afternoon by Tracey.

Rhyddings Terrace and surrounds this morning.  Cool but sunny.  On to Terrace Road and Consitution Hill this afternoon.   We managed to cover a huge area today thanks to all the help.

Found a couple of party members who have just moved into town from out of town.  Two more hands to the pumps once they get their house sorted (which may take some time).

Today’s Green Medal goes to the Polish lady in Woodlands Terrace who was working on the garden in front of her block of flats.  Puts all the neighbouring HMO gardens to shame!


Friday 13th April (E-20)

In our sophisticated, educated, rational world, why do we continue to hold on to superstition?  Even on recent housing developments there is no house number 13, which seems to indicate that builders still believe that no-one would want to live there.

Thursday morning is litter patrol, except this week it’s Friday morning because of the Bank Holiday.  Remarkably little waste in the streets (St Helen’s Avenue, King Edward Road, Bryn Road) when you consider the state of the area on Wednesday.  I suppose that with a significant number of local residents off on Easter hols not much has been put out on the wrong week (just the wrong day in some cases!).

Cwmdonkin Drive this afternoon.  This is probably the most difficult part of the ward given that there are quite a few big houses spread out with lots of steps and long pathways.  Takes a lot longer per 100 houses than say Catherine Street (flat terraces with no gardens).  A great view from the top of the hill and the weather was sunny and very warm.  My tan has come on a treat these last few days.

Had a long chat with a member of the Cwmdonkin Community and Conservation Society (CCCS) who have been fighting against development of the green space in Cwmdonkin Terrace for some years now.  They’re planning a community street party in June.  That’s the way to do it folks!



Thursday 12th April (E-21)

Three weeks to the election and details of all the candidates have been published on the Council website: ( Not a lot of Plaid candidates on the list.  The Lib-Dem/Independents-@-Swansea coalition appears to be holding strong, and not opposing each other.  Odd though that there are no Lib-Dem or Independent candidates in either Penderry or West Cross.

Here in Uplands Ward it’s pleasing to see that none of the smaller or fringe parties have put up candidates.  So it’s a straight fight between Lib-Dem, Labour, Conservative and Green.

Finished off the Uplands North part of the ward today, with the area around Hawthorne Avenue.  That’s over half the ward covered and still three weeks to go.

Kelly Rena of Windsor Street will be voting Green, “Because I don’t trust any of the other parties to stand up for my rights or my beliefs.”



Just over two weeks ago I turned my right ankle on a small pothole in St James Gardens.  I’m still recovering from that, and today I very nearly did my other ankle on a dip in the pavement at the corner of Llythrid Avenue and Sketty Road.  Pavements in Uplands & Brymill are in a terrible state and there doesn’t seem to be much prospect of things improving.

Local councils throughout the UK seem to have lost sight of their basic priorities.  With the increasing politicisation of our councils there has been a distinct shift away from prioritising community towards the needs of business. Many local politicians seem to have forgotten that their main role is to ensure that the citizens of their county/city/town/borough can live in a safe and clean environment.

Today’s Green Medal goes to the owner of these solar powered patio lights in Pinewood Road.




Change of emphasis this evening.  Began with a briefing for Candidates and Agents at the Civic Centre, then on to a presentation from a company proposing to build a Tidal Lagoon in Swansea Bay.  This is a bigger scheme than the previous one from Tidal Electric; about twice the generation capacity and linked to the shore.  Has a lot of potential, but not yet any highly developed sense of community engagement or benefit.  This was just an informal briefing for members of the Swansea Sustainable Communities Initiative (SSCI).  There will be a series of larger public consultations across the Swansea Bay area starting in June.

Wednesday 11th April (E-22)

Beechwood Road this morning.  Despite the lovely sunshine, it was not a pleasant stroll.

It seems the Bank Holiday has confused a lot of people, and not just students.  In addition to several piles of black bags put out incorrectly last week and left in the street, a significant number of people have put their bags out on the usual collection day rather than a day later as they should.  Many of these bags have been ripped open by birds, foxes or rats and a lot of food and other waste has been scattered around the pavements.

Alternate weekly collections have lead to a significant increase in the amount of waste being recycled, and consequent reduction in waste going to landfill saving a lot of public money.  But it seems that the message is still not getting through to some people.

Today’s Green Medal therefore goes to all those people who remembered to put their waste out a day later this week.

And this week’s ‘Good Neighbour’ award goes to the lady in St Helen’s Avenue who has put this helpful sign in her window.  A pity more people didn’t take note of it!



After I handed my leaflet to one gentleman in Beechwood Road his son (aged 6 or 7) asked what it was.  When told it was a Green Party leaflet the boy replied, “Oh goody”.  Shame he’s not old enough to vote this time!

Glanbrydan Avenue this afternoon.  Finally got caught by the rain, which hit me, as it does, just when I was too far away from home to make it worth going back!  Apart from that initial shower the rest of the afternoon was glorious, and I managed to fit in an ice cream in the park while sitting watching local families at play.

As I was walking home a gentleman from Gwydr Crescent, who recognised me from our leaflet, came out and shook me by the hand and thanked me for raising the issue of waste and litter.  Some fall on fertile ground!


Tuesday 10th April (E-23)

Walter Road and Sketty Road this morning assisted by Tracey.  Managed to dodge the showers.

Tracey says she’s voting Green, “Because I like Keith.  I trust him.  He has integrity.”

That word “integrity” keeps coming up on the doorstep.  Hopefully this means that more people are going to think about whom they’re voting for, putting the person before the party.

Local government has suffered in recent years from too much party politics. Anyone who’s been to a local council meeting will know how much the council divides along party lines.

Such a shame that we don’t have Proportional Representation at local level yet.  But voters could take matters into their own hands.  Here in Uplands and Brynmill we have four votes to elect four councillors.  Maybe if people spread those votes around instead of giving all four to the same party we could end up with a more representative council.

Finished off around Glanmor Road after lunch.  It was lovely to see people playing tennis in Cwmdonkin Park in the afternoon sunshine.

Today’s Green Medal goes to the owners of this garden in Eden Avenue; proving how much can be done with even a small space.  Four raised beds and, if you look carefully, a wood store in the background.  Plus a compost bin.  Cutting down on the food miles by growing their own.  As the Scots say, “Many a mickle makes a muckle” (a lot of little things, add up to a big thing).

Door knocking in St Helen’s Avenue this evening I  met one young lady who was 18 in August and is voting for the first time this year.  She was so excited about it: almost jumping for joy.  Hope there are lots more new voters like her out there because the turn out in Uplands was a shockingly low 29.83% last time around (2008).  Hardly a ringing endorsement for the state of local politics.

I’ve been pounding the pavements for around six hours today.  Plus a trip to the garden centre and finishing off laying the bark in my garden.  Time for a beer methinks.


Easter Sunday (E-25)

More around Glanmor Road today – Glanmor Park Road and Hazel Road.

At the same time my trusty lieutenants Kathleen and Huw finished off the Lons for us.  These two future Green MPs come over from Llanelli most weekends to help with the campaign, so they are the winners of today’s Green Medal.

Although it was close run thing today with the local Highways Dept. almost winning it for a second day in succession with the speed bumps in Glanmor Park Road.  20’s plenty folks!

Has the Post Office changed the colour of the rubber bands they use?  In previous years the streets have been littered with distinctive red bands.  This year they are few and far between, and there are many more beige ones around.  Not the way to win a Green Medal guys – all that potentially reusable resource going to waste.

The day was warm enough, although grey and overcast with the constant hint of moisture in the air.   But the lovely singing from Capel y Trinity as I walked by significantly brightened the day.

Walking around the streets leafleting and canvassing helps to give you a sense of the reality of life for people in the area.  There is quite a divide in Uplands and Brynmill.  The area is almost two communities in one. This is illustrated by the lower part of Glanmor Road, where this photograph was taken.  On one side you have big houses with beautifully kept gardens, whereas the other side of the road is terraced town houses many of which have been converted to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) with the consequent challenges that this brings.

Noticed the first Green posters in windows around Brynmill today.  Nice to see!

Day off tomorrow – last opportunity before the election.  Catch y’all again on Tuesday.



Easter Saturday (E-26)

Around Parc Wern Road this morning – plus Runnymede, Glanmor Park Flats, Long Oaks Court.

Dim Sgrwtsh/No Junk Mail signs always give me pause for thought.  I consider anything that’s not addressed and/or has not been specifically requested is “junk mail”.  So I don’t put my leaflets through those doors.  But it strikes me that people who are against junk mail are quite likely to be interested in green issues, and might vote Green.  Not sure how to square that one.

This is local artist Prue Thimbleby and her husband Hal who will be voting Green in the local elections.  Prue describes herself as “an interactive artist” and prefers to work with willow and recycled materials; but this morning I caught her fixing small bulbs onto thin copper tubes for an installation at Cefn Coed Hospital.  Check out Prue’s website at:

Prue says she’s voting Green this time because she believes that our candidate (that’s me) is “a person of integrity”.  Hal votes Green because he believes the future for our children and grandchildren depends on us looking after the world properly.

Around lunchtime I popped into Brymill Park to watch the Easter festivities.  Peter May (local Lib Dem Councillor) roped me in to helping with the Easter Egg hunt/competition.  The event was a roaring success and so many people turned up that they almost ran out of eggs – but not quite.

Today’s Green Medal goes to the local Highways Dept. for this solar powered speed indicator on Parc Wern Road.




Good Friday (E-27)

More of The Lons and around Glanmor Road today.  Just leafleting; no door knocking today as we don’t want to be disturbing people on a holiday.

This posting is dedicated to all those people who have a walk-through to their neighbour’s garden.  Every driveway or set of steps that you don’t have to walk up is a real bonus, and much appreciated.  Particularly when, as in my case, you’re still recovering from a badly twisted ankle (pothole in St James Gardens).  Wouldn’t it be lovely if we lived in a world without barriers and boundaries?

But the ‘Green Medal’ for today goes to the owner of this great solar panel array spotted at the bottom of Townhill Road.

Very quiet this morning with hardly anyone about.  But I wasn’t the only one working – the bin men were doing the rounds as well.

Why do bin men get paid so much less than merchant bankers?  Surely bin men are much more important to society.  All merchant bankers do is sit around and create money for rich people; whereas bin men provide an essential service, and help us to recycle stuff.  If all the merchant bankers went on strike would anyone notice?  But imagine if all the bin men went on strike – the government would declare a state of emergency within a week.

One of my leaflets got well and truly savaged by a little Jack Russell (a terrier, not the wicketkeeper!).  Everyone’s a critic.

This afternoon I was obviously following someone from Labour around, as there were lots of their (hastily reprinted (oops!)) leaflets behind doors and in letterboxes.  It looked a bit dull to me, not a hint of colour.  Ours is much brighter and more cheerful.  Still you don’t win elections with leaflets!

Had a nice conversation with a lady gardener in Notts Gardens.  She agreed that when economic conditions allow we need to reintroduce street cleaners, particularly in Brynmill.  In the meantime, she felt it would be great if people could start taking responsibility for the spaces in front of their houses, like we did in the old days.  She talks to her student neighbours when they are newly arrived and makes sure they know the routine for waste disposal and recycling.  This lady gets our ‘Good Neighbour’ award for this week.

Also had a lovely chat with a little boy called Dylan who was just off to play on his scooter in Cwmdonkin Park (honestly – I’m not making it up).

Thursday April 5th (28 Days to Election Day)

Voting cards arrived today, so the campaign is now well and truly underway.

First thing this morning I nipped across the road to a small block of flats to deliver leaflets while the ‘Trade’ buttons were still working.

Next it was the weekly litter patrol (St Helen’s Avenue, King Edward Road, Bryn Road).  Not much to report this week, as you might expect with most of the students being away for the Easter Hols.  Found another volunteer to help with the litter patrol, so hopefully we will be able to expand into other areas of the Ward quite soon.

This afternoon was leafleting and door-knocking up at the top of Townhill Road.  Delivered a box of leaflets to Reception at the Townhill Campus for distribution around the residences, then off to climb the hills and steps of The Lons.  Weather was almost perfect and the views over the bay are spectacular.

Getting a good reception from all kinds of people.  The desire for change is most definitely in the wind.