West Country Voices at Byline Festival, Dartington: events – Friday 14 July – Sunday 16 July

West Country Voices will have a permanent presence and drop in, chill out space in the Ship Studio throughout the festival between 10:00 and 20:00. Come and see us! Look out for our banners. NB: the festival is sold out. It is not possible to get in without a ticket.

Friday 14:

17:00 Michael Young Room: South Devon Primary: shaking up democracy from the grassroots

Meet the team behind a dynamic new initiative to shake up 100 years of complacent Conservative domination of the Totnes constituency.

Founders Simon Oldridge, Ben Long and Anthea Simmons will be explaining how the process works, what has been achieved so far and how you can help. There will be plenty of time for questions which can continue over a pint or a glass of wine afterwards. Event repeated at 11:00 Saturday 15 July, same location.

19:15 Michael Young Room: ‘Dartmoor National Park: what next?’ Panel event.

Panel will include environmentalist and Dartmoor expert Tony Whitehead, Dartmoor farmer Nick Viney, and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Caroline Voaden. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook.

Saturday 14

11:00 Michael Young Room: Second chance to catch the South Devon Primary presentation

Noon Michael Young Room: Could you be a citizen journalist? Informal presentation and discussion

WCV editor-in-chief, Anthea Simmons, will talk about the ethos of the publication, the team, editorial process and how you can get involved.

14:00 Michael Young Room: ‘Brixham Chimes’  Performance with music

Written by the film maker who made Sky Atlantic’s series ‘Fish Town’ all about Brixham, this book sets an apocalyptic story firmly in the Brixham area, and uses local landmarks to highlight the global environmental crisis. 

15:30 Michael Young Room: ‘Ethical business: Oxymoron or achievable goal?’  Talk and Q&A

Geetie Singh-Watson MBE, founder of radical organic pubs and inns. An active campaigner and environmentalist, Geetie firmly believes that businesses must act responsibly and be led by their ethics and values.

Guy Singh-Watson has over the last 30 years taken Riverford from one man and a wheelbarrow delivering homegrown organic veg to friends, to a national veg box scheme delivering to around 80,000 customers a week. His weekly newsletters connect people to the farm with refreshingly honest accounts of the trials and tribulations of producing organic food, and the occasional rant about farming, ethical and business issues he feels strongly about.

18:30 Michael Young Room:  ‘Phosphates: too much of a good thing?’ Film plus Q&A

The film examines the impact of phosphates on the rivers and communities on the Somerset Levels, but clearly has implications for waterways, agriculture and planning across the rural areas of the UK.

After showing the 30 minute film, there will be an opportunity to question the film’s makers: oneminutestomidnightmovies’ Phil Shepherd and John Potter.

Sunday 16

11:00 Michael Young Room: Could you be a citizen journalist? Informal presentation and discussion

Noon: Michael Young Room: “Do you want to live in a real democracy?”

Klina Jordan, co-founder and CEO of Make Votes Matter – the cross-party campaign to introduce proportional representation to the House of Commons, led by democratically-organised activists in a united movement for electoral reform – will explain why it’s high time for equal votes.

We will record or livestream as much as possible! Look out for info on social media.