Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lancastrians join London protest against NHS privatisation

Image via UK Uncut
(adapted from a report on SchNews): Lancastrians are expected to be among thousands of protestors who will join a blockade of London's Westminster Bridge on Sunday, in a 'sick-in' blockade spearheaded by the relentlessly organised UK Uncut.

The 'Block the Bridge, Block the Bill' action is taking place before the health and social care (read NHS privatisation) bill goes to the House of Lords on 11th October, and is set to be the first mass protest against the selling-off of the NHS, despite the bill having gone through the Commons at the beginning of last month.


On 7th September, MPs in the Commons voted for the end of the NHS as we know it. Yet the coalition’s Health and Social Care bill was not in the Liberal Democrats manifesto. It was not in the Tory manifesto and none of us voted for it.

On the opposite side of Westminter Bridge from the House of Commons is St Thomas’ Hospital, one of Britain’s oldest medical institutions. "If the bill passes, hospitals like St Thomas’ will be sold to private corporations, the staff put on private payrolls and beds given over to private patients," say UK Uncut. "Despite the government’s lies, this bill represents the wholesale privatization of the NHS and, with it, the destruction of the dream of comprehensive healthcare provided equally to all.

"On October 11th, the bill moves to the Lords, and a huge Liberal Democrat rebellion is brewing. We have one last chance to save our NHS."

Although this is the first large-scale act of civil disobedience, that's not to say the bill's had a smooth running so far. In fact, it's been slammed from all directions - and it's not hard to see why. There's yet to be one compelling argument made for the whole-scale organisational changes: they are totally unpopular with the public, they're vehemently and vocally opposed from within the medical establishment and they've got no redeeming features in terms of quality of care or efficiency.

Just a few days ago, the BMA (British Medical Association) again called for the bill to be scrapped, stating their fears that many of the UK's hospitals would close under the new laws.

In a letter to peers, the BMA Chairman of Council, Dr Hamish Meldrum, says that the Bill will “make it harder to create the seamless, efficient care that everyone agrees is key to future sustainability. “

The BMA recognises that some significant amendments have already been made to the Bill in the light of some of its concerns, and that some of the proposals, such as giving more control to clinicians and patients, could create positive change in the health service.

However, Dr Meldrum says, “on balance, the BMA still believes the Bill, as it currently stands, poses an unacceptably high risk to the NHS in England.”

If the Bill passes in its current form, the government would effectively lose responsibility for providing a universal health service. A recent study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine showed that the NHS is the most efficient health service in the world in terms of lives saved per pound.

But performance doesn't matter when a heady mix of money-making potential and neo-con ideology rules. 'The NHS is a sixty year mistake' said Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, speaking on Fox News in 2009. In the same year MP Oliver Letwin warned: 'The NHS will not exist within five years of a Conservative victory'.

That's not to say that the NHS could continue on its merry way as it currently stands given our semi-bust financial position: something had to give. We have a growing, ageing population, absorbing environmental health-harming chemicals over the course of several decades, and selfishly staying alive longer with the help of newly developed expensive drugs. Therefore the demand for - and the cost of - the NHS has risen exponentially.

It's with the NHS is under such pressure, these changes couldn't come at a worse time. The abolition of the current service commissioning bodies, Primary Care Trusts, which the government portrays as useless bureaucracy -  will actually rid the organisation of experienced managers at the time when the whole system is being pushed at breakneck speed into total organisational chaos. Chaos might be desirable at a punk gig, but not in a hospital. If the reforms are bulldozed through, there's a real risk of big care failures.

And even if, by magic, the transition to G.P-led commissioning was as smooth as a pre-surgery shave, then the savings probably wouldn't match the hype. Because most G.Ps have no interest in being part of commissioning 'consortia' (even though the word makes them sound all important, like), so it's private companies waiting in the wings to lap up the taxpayer dosh to provide the admin/manegerial support stuff they don't want to do.

Tory Health Minister Andrew Lansley's answer to the cost conundrum, a continuation of Blair and Major before him, is that competition - in the form of outsourcing to the private sector - will make all service providers push down costs as much as possible, so the whole 'universal health care' ideal will be cheaper.

What is missing from the Big Idea is a simple understanding of the capitalist dynamic. To cut costs, several techniques are generally employed. One is cutting wages, and the number of people on the pay roll, as much as you can. No wonder docs and nurses are angry - and should it happen, they'll have one hell of a lot less clout to organise as a workforce for their rights when they've been divided into endless private company employees, rather than organising en masse when they're all directly employed by the government. Another is to decrease the quality of services. And don't forget the loss of a central body to negotiate demand lower supply prices in return for  higher volume deals. Outsourcing to the private sector just means they'll do a worse job, using lower resources, but costing the same or more as they improve the health of their shareholders' wallets.

The government has been glossing over the evidence that privatisation tends to result in falling standards and extra costs - like in the US, which has the most inefficient system in the world - while emphasising 'choice' and 'patient empowerment'. But when you need a broken leg plastered or a dose of chemotherapy, not many people complain that they want more 'choice' or 'empowerment' in where they get it from. They just want the first specialist they meet to help them. Yet this flimsy rhetoric constitutes the entire propaganda with which the Tories are trying to smash a cornerstone of the welfare state.

The other motive - private profit - was let slip by Lord Howe when he said the Bill represented "huge opportunities" for private companies.

The private health lobby has been busying worming its way into position to attack our national treasure for years. Back in March, Corporate Watch published a report on the kind of shady characters and mutually-beneficial arrangements that form the backdrop of the NHS reform. To give just a snapshot, Andrew Lansley received funding from the wife of John Nash, former chairman of Care UK, a company that already operates various NHS clinics and treatment centres around the country. Lord Carter, head of the NHS's Competition and Cooperation Panel, is an advisor to Warburg Pincus International Ltd, a private equity firm with 'significant investments' in the healthcare industry.

And are these companies going to at least provide half-decent frontline services, while they skim tax money into shareholder bank accounts? As an example, somewhere between ten and 20 hospitals have been earmarked for takeover by German company Helios.

Earlier this week, the no2tories blog published some interesting info about Helios' operations in Germany: In June, the company's clinics were raided by 150 cops. Why? They were under suspicion of allowing under-qualified assistant doctors to conduct medical investigations, then passing them off as being done by chief medics, for the last three years. Then there's the overall patient satisfaction at Helios hospitals - recorded as averaging 3 out of 6 on public feedback websites, with at least four major clinics scoring a measly two out of six. Then there's the way they've set up private clinics within their public clinics, to side-step statutory charging guidelines and rip off the ill and vulnerable that little bit more.



"It's ironic we have to rely on unelected Lords to save us from this bill but let's hope they destroy it," commented one concerned Lancastrian on Lancaster and Morecambe Against the Cuts Facebook page.

• More info: www.ukuncut.org.uk 

Lancaster and Morecambe Against the Cuts Facebook page


I remember a pre-NHS Britain: I don't want to see a post-NHS one

Friday, 7 October 2011

Dogs have their day at West End Community Primary School

Local dog owners and their pets are being invited to a special event this month to get their dogs trained, microchipped and neutered free of charge.

Lancaster City Council's Dog Roadshow takes place on Wednesday 26th October at West End Primary School, Westminster Road, Morecambe.

Everyone is welcome to come along with your dog and meet expert trainers from the Lune Valley Dog Training Club, staff from the RSPCA and city council dog wardens.

Throughout the day the Lune Valley Dog Training Club will be holding free dog training and offering advice on dog behaviour.

The RSPCA will be handing out vouchers for free neutering to any dog owner in receipt of benefits.

There is also an opportunity to get your dog microchipped or ID tagged on the day, free of charge.

The roadshow is open from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm. Admission is free.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information contact Mark Woodhead at Lancaster City Council on 01524 582744.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lancaster house hit by lightning

Tonight's thunderstorm saw one Lancaster house hit by lightning.

Lancaster Fire Service was called to an incident on Belle Vue Avenue, after the house was struck by lightning just before 7.30pm.

The strike destroyed a telephone cable and television co-axial cable, along with a modem and a surge protection unit, but there are no reports of any injuries.

The bad weather is expected to continue into the weekend and severe weather warnings have been issued for the North West.

Man attacked in Penny Street during night out

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man was assaulted during a night out in Lancaster city centre.
 
The incident happened during the early hours of Monday 4th October 2011 when the 22-year-old victim was walking from Revolution down Penny Street and following a verbal altercation was punched in the head.
 
The offender is described as a white man, 5ft 10inches in height and of a skinny build. He was wearing a distinctive green tweed jacket.
 
“This attack left the victim with a nasty cut above his eye which required gluing at the Infirmary at Lancaster," commented Lancaster City Centre Beat Manager PC Chris Smith.
 
“The offender is described as wearing a distinctive green coloured tweed jacket and was in the company of two other men. An investigation is underway but anyone who can help with any information leading to the identity of man should contact me on 08451 25 35 45."
 
If you have information that could assist with our investigation, you can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Massive diesel theft from White Lund

Morecambe police are appealing for information after thousands of litres of diesel was stolen from an industrial estate.

Sometime over the weekend, between the 1st and the 3rd of October, over 2,000 litres of diesel was taken from a storage unit on White Lund Industrial Estate and police have released CCTV images to help with their appeal.

One of the CCTV images shows a large white van entering the compound where the storage unit was at around 5.51pm on Saturday and two men getting out of the van. It is believed they were able to access the compound by breaking the padlock that was securing the gate.


A short while later, three men were seen going between the van and the storage unit before getting back in the vehicle at around 6.30pm and leaving the site.

It's believed that they have then returned the next night and continued to remove more diesel.

It is also thought that the offenders had used foam, or a similar substance, to cover the number plate of the van.

PC Peter Bennett said, “This was a calculated and pre-planned theft of a huge amount of diesel and I am extremely keen to trace these people as soon as possible.


“We believe the van approached the compound from the general direction of the traffic lights at the junction with the Heysham bypass and then left in the opposite direction towards ASDA.

"I would urge anyone who may have been in those areas around the times of the offence to come forward if they think they have any information that might help with the investigation.

“The van has a distinctive black square marking, what appears to be a sunroof, and vents by the back doors and I am hoping that by offering this description and the CCTV images that it may jog someone’s memory.”

• Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Local firm gets support for expansion at Tory conference

Baroness Warsi and MP Eric Ollerenshaw drop in on Drinkwater's Mushrooms, meeting Technical Manager Jane Drinkwater and Lancaster and Morecambe College Student Tom Dicken
Local firm Drinkwater's Mushrooms were in full flow at the Conservative Party Conference this week and it proved a massive success, with local MP Eric Ollerenshaw promising support for its expansion plans.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi dropped in on the team and was very impressed with the quality of their mushrooms. As co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, Baroness Warsi was conducting a very busy schedule, but took the time to come and sample some freshly picked mushrooms as part of close to 1000 samples produced for dignitaries and delegates.

Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw was also pleased to visit the Drinkwater's Mushrooms team and was kind enough to meet with General Manager Neil Morris.

"It is a really crucial time for our business," said Morris, explaining this is the first time the company has been involved in such an event.

"We are currently looking to expand our premises in Galgate and are working very hard on renewable energy projects. The meeting with Eric was also a chance to emphasise how passionate we are about supporting the local community.

"Eric has assured us that he will do all that he can to support us".

Technical Manager Jane Drinkwater got the chance to stress that the business is still family run and owned after over 40 years of production.

"It was fantastic to meet so many people who share our passion for locally grown, British produce," she commented. "We are extremely proud of our heritage and it is events like this that give us the chance to demonstrate our commitment to the industry'.

BBC Radio 5 live presenter Richard Bacon was also a welcome guest of Drinkwater's Mushrooms. In fact, he took the time to tweet the team following the conference. "I sent Richard a message on Twitter to thank him for his visit" said Neil Morris. "He called it a pleasure and said our Mushrooms were tremendous, so we're thrilled he took the time and trouble to contact us".

Tom Dicken from Lancaster and Morecambe College was on hand to cook all the samples. "Tom was fabulous to work with' said Jane Drinkwater. 'We are really grateful for his hard work and to the college for their support".

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Vandals target Heysham nature reserve

A fire at Heysham Moss Nature Reserve over the weekend has seen one of the boardwalk areas of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust site completely destroyed.

The reserve, near Morecambe, is one of the county’s most important raised bogs and is of particular importance for its rare plant species.

The boardwalk section - part of a restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lancashire Environmental Fund - had been built by staff and volunteers in 2005 to improve public access onto the edge of the bog, particularly during winter months when the woodland areas can be flooded.

It was constructed from recycled plastic to reduce ongoing maintenance costs and for its improved non-slip properties and has worn extremely well in comparison to a wood alternative. However, the fire has reduced one section of it to melted plastic and charred peat.

“Thankfully, it seems the blaze was brought under control quickly enough to prevent it burning too far down into the peat," says Reuben Neville from the Trust. “This incident comes after four kissing gates were vandalised on the reserve in the last week, so obviously we are concerned about this vandalism and extremely disappointed that the boardwalk has been destroyed in this manner.

“As a charity the Trust has limited resources and incidents such as these mean that we have less capacity to undertake other important conservation work.”

• Trust web site: www.lancswt.org.uk

All the fun of the frocks, courtesy of The Dukes!

A scene from The Dukes 2010 Christmas production of The Snow Queen.
Many of the costumes from this show will be in the upcoming sale.
The doors of The Dukes wardrobe are to be opened again for a costume sale on 22nd October - just in time for the party season, if you're looking for some impressive fancy dress or simply want to look amazingly different.

This year’s sale follows the tremendous success of a similar event last November, when people were queuing outside the Lancaster theatre to bag a bargain.

The Dukes wardrobe department makes hundreds of costumes for the theatre’s productions and this year’s sale will feature those from some of the most recent shows including Quicksand and last year’s Christmas production, The Snow Queen.

And the sale should also provide inspiration for anyone planning a fancy dress party for Hallowe’en, as it will include full and part costumes which could be customised.

 Groups and individuals are welcome to the sale which takes place in The Dukes Gallery from 12pm-3pm. Entry is free and customers should be able to pick up items priced from just a few pounds.

Man bottled in Lancaster underpass

Police are appealing for information after a 31-year-old man was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in Lancaster.

The local man was at the entrance to the underpass which runs between Sainsbury’s and the skate park off Parliament Street at around 10.00pm on Monday 3rd October, when he was approached from behind and hit over the head with a bottle.

The offender ran off from the scene and unfortunately the man didn’t see who attacked him.

He was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary with a cut to his head which required three staples.

This was a nasty and unprovoked attack," said PC Sally Ward, "and I would urge anybody who was in the area at the time who could help us with our investigation to come forward.”

• Anybody with any information can contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Appeal for missing Lancaster student


(Updated, 5/10/11 - Please note that this man has now been found safe and well, story retained for archive purposes): Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a 22-year-old Lancaster student who has gone missing from college.

David James Whitefield was last seen at Lancaster and Morecambe College on Morecambe Road around 12.00pm lunchtime and his current whereabouts are unknown.

David, who lives on Cleveleys Avenue,Lancaster suffers from autism and is likely to be lost.

PC Bolton King from Lancaster Police said: “David is awkward and shy in social situations and does not go anywhere unescorted; therefore we are treating him as extremely vulnerable.

“He may believe he is in trouble but I would like to reassure him that he is not. If anyone thinks they have seen David or know where he could be I would urge them to contact Lancaster Police.”

David is described as white, slim, around 5ft 4inches tall with short dark brown hair. He was wearing a navy blue hooded top with dark jeans and was carrying a black daysack with Superdry written on the back and shoulder strap.

Hunt for dangerous dog launched after two-year old attacked in Morecambe

Police are appealing for the public’s help after a two year old boy was bitten by a dog as he walked with his mum in Morecambe on Tuesday (4th October).

The incident happened around 3.20pm on Westminster Road close to Bargain Booze when the child went to stroke a dog, which was roaming loose in the street.

The dog, which is believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier, attacked the little boy and bit him on the head. When the mother intervened, it then fled in the direction of Hampton Road and Balmoral Road.

The boy was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where puncture wounds to his head were bandaged and was given injections and antibiotics. He has since returned home to Heysham.

An investigation is underway but police say the dog had no collar on and with the assistance of the dog warden they are trying to locate both the dog and its owner.

The dog is described as brindle coloured – brown with bits of gold.

PC Andy Taylor from Morecambe Police said: “This is a serious incident which could have been far worse had the boy’s mother not taken action and kicked the dog to release her child.

“I would appeal to anybody that has seen this dog in or around the Westminster Road area or believes they know who the owner is to contact police.

“I would also urge people to be vigilant and to exercise caution as this dog could still be loose in the area.

"We believe the dog is likely to live locally and if anyone does see this dog I would ask people not to approach it but to call police immediately.”

• If you have information that could assist with our investigation, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Jaw-breaking Morecambe assault prompts police appeal

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man had his jaw broken during an assault in Morecambe on Friday 30th September.

The offence took place around 6.00pm near to the Clock Tower on Marine Road Central when a local 48-year-old victim, who was sitting near a group of youths, became involved in a verbal altercation.

The man was punched in the face and suffered a broken jaw. 

He was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where he underwent surgery to repair his jaw and was detained overnight.

"This is a serious assault which took place at a busy time of day," says DC Sue Palmer from Lancaster CID. "I would appeal to anybody that witnessed the assault or with any information about the persons responsible."

• Contact Lancaster Police on 01524 63333 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

Real ale campaigners celebrate local beers and breweries with Local Pub Week

Lancaster's local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale is celebrating the national organisation's 40th birthday with two events celebrating local pubs and beers, both part of Local Pubs Week (22nd - 29th October).

The theme of the week is "Community and Renewal", noting the important role Pubs play in the local community as meeting venues, centres of entertainment and places where people can drink responsibly in a sociable atmosphere. However, they are under threat as never before, victims of a mad taxation policy, cheap supermarket outlets, pub company greed and a deteriorating economic situation.

But pubs are fighting back and the ideas "community" and "renewal" are central to the stories of four local pubs that feature in LPW activties. The award-winning George & Dragon on Lancaster's Quay, the Golden Ball (Snatchems) and the Smugglers’ Den in Morecambe are pubs that have either been transformed, re-opened after a period of closure or face possible closure.

The Borough in Dalton Square, Lancaster, once a bog standard drinking place, has also been transformed by the current managers into a centre of excellence for real ale and food and on Tuesday 25th October, will host a meeting to mark CAMRA's 40th and Mitchell's 140th anniversaries.

The evening will highlight, with slides, the role of Mitchell's locals, local pub design, the present and future of the firm, and look at the dramatic achievements and priorities of CAMRA, Britain's biggest consumer organisation.

That's followed on Thursday 27th October by a visit to several local pubs, starting at the George & Dragon at 7.30pm, followed by visits to to the Golden Ball at Snatchems and Morecambe’s Smugglers' Den. Celebrating the success of just three local pubs that are bucking the trend of declining popularity and sales in the face of various social changes, it will be a chance to sample some fine ales and talk to the people who are running great community locals against all the odds.

• Refreshments will be provided for the Borough event at £3.50 per head: those intending to come to the meeting are asked to email jay45ATtalktalk.net or phone 0798 264 3161 as as CAMRA need some idea of numbers attending. Please indicate if you would like to eat.

• For the pub tour on Thursday, meet at the George and Dragon on the quay, Lancaster, at 7.30 pm. Transport from the G&D to the other pubs and back: £4. email jay45ATtalktalk.net or telephone 0798 264 3161


• Lunesdale CAMRA web site: www.lunesdalecamra.org.uk

Monday, 3 October 2011

Pregnant woman assaulted in Morecambe, ring stolen

Police are appealing for information after a pregnant woman was assaulted and had a much-loved ring stolen in Morecambe at the weekend.

Around 8.30pm on Friday 30th September, a 20-year-old woman, who is from the town, was walking along an alleyway between Brunswick Road and Byron Road when she was approached by two men. One of them pushed the woman to the ground took a ring from her finger before running off.

The woman was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary to be checked over and fortunately both she and her baby were fine.

The first man is described as white, around 6’ 1” tall, of slim build with dark, spikey hair with tramlines cut in the side. He was wearing a dark tracksuit.

The second man is also described as white, around 5’ 9” tall with dark, collar length hair and was wearing a dark tracksuit.

“This was an incredibly cowardly attack on a lone, pregnant woman," commneted Detective Sergeant Colin Forsyth of Lancaster CID. "I am just thankful that mother and baby are both fine.

“The stolen ring is of huge sentimental value to the woman and I would like to be able to reunite her with it.

“If anybody has any information at all about this offence, or was in the area at the time and saw anybody matching the descriptions given, then I would urge them to contact police.”

• Anybody with any information can contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court

Council acts on recreation ground graffiti

Palatine Recreation Ground from Rutland Avenue. Image: Google Maps

Lancaster City Council has re-iterated its policy on racist graffiti after concerns from Scotforth residents about vandalism around the Palatine Recreation Ground - and there's some good news about improvements on their way for the area.

"There's a growing problem of large racist graffiti being daubed on buildings and walls," one Scotforth resident, who did not wish to be named, told virtual-lancaster.

"The playground, tennis and basketball courts and now the bowling green off Rutland Avenue are regularly covered in swastikas and large anti-ethnic group messages.

"After a few days the council paint it over (leaving the text and insignia still clearly visible underneath).

"It's hugely intimidating - what are the Council and police doing about this? Are they waiting until someone is physically hurt?"


Palatine Recreation Ground from Durham Avenue
"Lancaster City Council takes racist and abusive graffiti very seriously and liaises with the police authority if graffiti of this nature appears to be a recurring problem in any one area," the Council told us.

The Council's policy for the removal of offensive graffiti such as this is that it is removed within 24 hours of being reported.

"However, we are not aware of a current problem in this area but will inspect the Palatine Recreation Ground and surrounding area as a matter of urgency and liaise with the police authority if necessary."

Acknowledging what one person called the "shocking state" of the grounds, arguing the graffiti must put off people, the Council tells us refurbishment is on the cards, noting the playground and basket ball court continue still a very popular community facility, used by many.

"Following a consultation with regular visitors to the play area, a budget of £12,000 has been set aside for the provision of new equipment," we're told. This will include new benches and bins, which will be installed in this financial year.






Marketing for Hippies comes to Lancaster

Tad Hargreave eyes up other
ways of marketing
(Updated 4/10/11, new afternoon session announced) Are you a holistic and idealistic person, trying to make a living doing stuff you believe in, who doesn't want to get involved with traditional marketing because you think it's too commercial? Then a workshop being run at the Dacrelands Health Centre in Skerton this month may be for you.

The workshop is run by Tad Hargreave, a Canadian who founded www.marketingforhippies.com, who describes himself as "a hippy who developed a knack for marketing."

Despite years in the non-profit and activist world, he finally had to admit he was a marketing nerd and, in the end, he became a marketing coach for hippies. Maybe it was because he couldn’t stand seeing his hippy friends struggle to promote their amazing, green and holistic projects. Maybe it was because he couldn’t keep a 9-5 job to save his life.

Whatever the reason, for almost a decade, he has been touring his marketing workshops around Canada, bringing refreshing and unorthodox ideas to conscious entrepreneurs and green businesses that help them grow their organizations and businesses (without selling their souls). And, over the years, he has become recognized as a leader in the wider movement towards green and local economies.

He’s also considered a pioneer and leading thinker in the field of ‘Hub Marketing‘ (and is puttering on a book about it’).
The two-hour workshop is for you if you're a Holistic Practitioner, or in the Healing Arts, perhaps you are selling a natural, eco-friendly, cruelty-free or otherwise healthy product, or maybe you're a local business owner that just plain cares deeply about your community, nature and social justice?

In this workshop, you'll get the chance to learn...
  • the underlying principles of how marketing works (don't worry, it's not pushy or gross or expensive).
  • an overview of the top ten, foundational marketing things every practitioner must have (and they're not business cards, brochures, fancy logos or ads in holistic magazines).
  • the biggest two blunders that practitioners make when trying to describe what they do (and a simple, fill in the blanks phrase you can use to have people immediately 'get' you).
Tad spent his early marketing days learning and applying some very inauthentic, high pressure, extremely gross and pushy marketing approaches. This has made him "suuuuper allergic" to these kinds of approaches because he discovered they made him feel slimy (even in personal friendships), he didn’t sleep well and he’s very sorry to all those people he spoke with back in the day.

After a decade of unlearning and unpacking that whole scene – he now feels ready and able to help other people find ways to market that feel wonderful.

• Marketing for Hippies! runs on Wednesday 5th October 2011 at Dacrelands Centre for Health, Aldrens Lane, Lancaster LA1 2DU (but if it gets oversubscribed, it may move). Pay what you can/pay what it's worth to you/ from Free to £20.00. The morning session has sold out and there will be an additional afternoon session in the same venue, 2-4 p.m.

• Reserve your place: contact Dawn Keyse dawnkeyseATgmail.com or phone 07515 426670