EFOE News February 2011
At one of our monthly meetings a couple of years ago we had the opportunity of discussing the West London Waste Issues and Options Report with Mary Anderson from CAG consultants. (She thought that we were a very well-informed group of consultees.)
The London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow,
Hillingdon, Hounslow and
The Plan can be seen at www.wlwp.net where there is a simple online questionnaire. Views can also be emailed or submitted in writing.
There are drop-in discussion sessions in each of the
six boroughs. The Ealing session is on Tuesday 8 March, 1pm – 8pm at the Priory
The consultation runs from 9 February to 25 March, so we would have time to put together a response from Ealing FoE as well as responding individually.
Recycling Target set too low
At present the UK recycles less than 40% of its waste, and the current Government target for 2020 is still only 50%. This is poor when compared to figures such as those from the Flanders regions of Belgium, where they are already recycling 75% of their municipal waste.
Friends of the Earth is calling for a 70% target by 2020. You can help to persuade politicians to embrace low waste solutions in two ways. First there is an online action addressed to Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment asking for more ambitious targets.
There is also a Day of Action on Saturday 19 March. This shouldn’t take up very much time so if you are free for an hour or so that day and would like to get involved please contact Jules
People’s Question Time Report
Nic Ferriday absented himself from the January EFOE meeting to attend a packed public meeting in Greenford to hear Mayor Boris Johnson on transport.
Boris Johnson was his usual self, full of bluster and jokes. But what we might have hoped for - a proper exposition of transport issue and policies - was missing.
Boris was in self-congratulatory mood over Crossrail. No doubt he had lobbied for it not to be cancelled as part of the cuts, but it must be remembered Crossrail is being promoted and paid for by central government.
Boris had reason to be pleased over his bike loan scheme, his one success on transport. He cited the good take-up of bikes and the remarkably low rate of theft.
But apart from these, we waited in vain for real content. What he didn’t say was more telling than what he did.
He didn’t tell us that his own transport strategy shows that even with public transport schemes financed by central government, his pro-car policies will increase road congestion by 14% by 2031.
He didn’t explain to us why fares on buses and tubes have rocketed, with more to come. He didn’t tell us why he has abolished the western extension of the Congestion Charge Zone, which has already been successful in reducing congestion and emissions. He didn’t tell us that by scrapping the zone he has thrown away £55 million pa which could have been used to improve transport.
He didn’t tell us that over 4,000 Londoners die every year from air pollution and that London is failing to meet UK and EU air pollution standards, which may lead to legal action from the EU. He didn’t tell us that he obstructed action on air pollution – deferring Phase 3 of the Low Emissions Zone and scrapping the planned higher congestion charge for ‘gas-guzzling’ cars.
He didn’t tell us that his transport strategy shows (with commendable honesty) that it will prevent him meeting his own CO2 targets.
Boris Johnson’s policies, or lack of them, will cost Londoners dear in years to come.
On the panel, as well as the Mayor’s and his transport advisor, were a local businesswoman, the local London Assembly member Richard Barnes and the leader of Ealing council, Julian Bell. None of these had any worthwhile comment on transport. It is sad, both for transport and local democracy, that the leader of Ealing, of a different political party, has nothing to say on the massive shortcomings of the Mayor’s transport policies.
Save the Forests
The government have announced they will pause forest sell-offs for a few months. However, they are still going ahead with changing the law to allow a 100% sell-off. The current consultation paper setting out a range of options for ownership/management of the forests says that it guarantees protections on rights to access plus other key commitments.
It can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/forests/index.htm and runs until 21 April.
As we know, though, once assets pass out of public ownership they are unlikely ever to return, and promises can be broken. If you care about our forests, consider signing the 38 Degrees petition http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests and/or the Woodland Trust’s petition (visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk to sign and to read the Trust’s response to the consultation). There is also a public meeting organised by the Campaign against Climate Change - see page 3
Foods in season in February
Forget mangetout and green beans from overseas! Feast on homegrown cabbages, Brussels, celeriac, beetroot, Jerusalem artichokes, purple sprouting broccoli, celery, chard, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, radishes, swede, turnips, carrots, stored apples and pears.
Wednesday 16 March: Visit from Tom Wright, Friends of the Earth London Network Developer
Wednesday 20 April: subject tba
Other EFoE events
Saturday 5 March: Stall at the Animal Welfare Bazaar. This popular event, now in its 33rd year, will be held in Hanwell Methodist Church Road, Hanwell W7 1DJ from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm. See www.animalwelfarebazaar.info for more information
Saturday 19 March: Waste Day of Action. Details tba
Saturday 26 March: Possible participation in the conference Faith and Food: Making the connection, arranged by A Rocha, the faith-based environmental organisation. This will be held at the Community Centre, 8-12 Lancaster Road, Southall UB1 1NW, 10.30 am to 2.00 pm
Sunday 24 April: Stall at Perivale Wood Open Day
Other local events
Tuesday 22 February: Ealing Green Drinks. 8pm till closing time at the New Inn, St Mary’s Road, Ealing W5
Sunday 27 February: Ealing Transition presentation on film of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain proposals followed by group discussion. 7.30 pm at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, Ealing W5 5RH. For more details visit www.ealingtransition.org
Tuesday 8 March: Drop-in discussion on West London Waste Plan, see page 1 for details
Thursday 10 March: West London Organic and Wildlife Gardening Association meeting on the subject of Composting.
8pm in the Garden Room, Friends Meeting House, 17 Woodville Road, Ealing W5 2SE
Saturday 19 March: Ealing Transition Zero Carbon Britain Open Space event; see website above for details
Thursday 24 March: Global Warming – the ultimate weapon of self-destruction. Michael Fish, the longest serving national TV weather forecaster, talks about global warming, its causes and effects, and what we can do about it.
7 pm at Kew Jodrell Lecture Theatre, accessed via Jodrell gate on Kew Road. Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased in advance or at the door from 6.30 (unless sold out). For more information visit http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/index.htm
Saturday 19 February: Campaign against Climate Change Forum and AGM. Confronting the Climate Emergency in an era of “austerity”. 12 noon to 5.00pm at a venue to be confirmed. For more information visit www.campaigncc.org/agm
Saturday 5 March: 6 Billion Ways – Making Another World Possible. Challenging global injustice and inequality. A free day of workshops, debates, films, music and art. 9.30 am to midnight at Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Road.
For more information go to http://6billionways.org.uk/
Saturday 12 March: Campaign against Climate Change Save our Forests Public Meeting. The Public Bodies Bill is currently in the House of Lords and its current wording gives the Government powers to sell off up to 100% of English forests without any further involvement from Parliament. Opposition is mobilising around the country, and this meeting will provide the opportunity to hear from a line-up of top speakers.
1.00 pm at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP
For more details see http://www.campaigncc.org/forestsmeeting