Amongst Manchester's many claims to fame is that it has the largest campus in Europe (probably the largest anyway). Late September always shows a huge increase in the south Manchester population, public transport almost grinds to a halt, and the bars fill to overflowing. It is a time of high activity for student groups keen to recruit from amongst the freshers, and the Young Greens are no exception. As well as a series of Thursday sessions coming up on policy areas, they hosted a meeting with Green MEP Jean Lambert yesterday evening, and around 30 students braved weather which was vile even by Manchester standards to hear what goes on in the European Parliament, and what Greens have to say on the issues of the day.
Our newly-elected leader Caroline Lucas has such a good profile that the media sometimes forget that we have 2 MEPs. Jean's work in the Parliament has been as significant as Caroline's, and has focused on areas such as employment and civil liberties which many people don't automatically associate with Greens. Jean's website can be seen here
Despite representing London, Jean has made several trips to Manchester over the years and it is always good to see her up north. Unfortunately she had to get back to London after the meeting, but not before fielding questions on subjects ranging from education to Palestine. Also there to field questions was Peter Cranie, prospective Green MEP for the North-West.
Prospects for green activity at the Universities this year are very good. There are Young Greens on the executives of both Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University. Dan Lee is Campaigns Officer for Manchester University (a sabbatical post) and amongst other things, he is planning an intense week of climate-change related activity at the end of October.
Meanwhile over at MMU Tom Redford is working with other green-minded students to make an impact at that institution, although with the disadvantage compared with Dan of having to combine it with his studies. Tom has a blog in my bloglist on the left, (entitled the Thursday briefing), as indeed does the aforementioned Peter Cranie.