Welcome to the latest Campaigns Digest. We’ve had a really busy summer of stalls and activities, hopefully you’ll have seen us out and about at stalls and at events across the city. Or maybe you came to one of our events or a community meeting where we were speaking. Whether you bumped into us or not, it’s been an active summer!
Energy & Climate Change
The Fossil Free Campaign is still in the planning stages at the moment. However, that hasn’t stopped us from taking part in other Climate related events. Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigners went to the Reclaim the Power camp near Blackpool, see the article by Adam McCusker for more details on this, as well as attending People’s Climate Action in Birmingham on 21st September.
Although we’ve been doing less nature campaigning recently, we still found the time to meet with Andrew Mitchell MP, getting him to reaffirm his commitment to the Bee Cause and support for as strong a National Pollinator Strategy as possible. As I write this, we have a bee-friendly planting day organised for the Digbeth Community Garden, which will have happened by the time we go to press. Hopefully you made it along!
Sticking with the Nature theme, but moving away from Bees, we held a Beach Party in the Community Garden back in August, in a bid to show how relevant marine issues are to all of us, see the article by Tom Garrood for more information about this. Although not strictly part of Birmingham Friends of the Earth, there is also the work on the Community Garden itself, which has now been opened to the public at a successful event at the end of July. See Jake’s article on this for more details of how that went.
Over the past few months we have gained a great deal of support for Let’s Get Moving with lots of members of the public signing action cards at stalls and events across the city. We’ve also been continuing to engage different communities, giving presentations and workshops at faith and community groups such as neighbourhood forums, the Birmingham LGBT Centre and a service at Birmingham Cathedral. See the article by Sean Coldicott for more details about how this latter visit went.
Birmingham City Council finally published the Waste to Resources Scrutiny Report. While it contained some good ideas, we felt there were some serious problems. We questioned the timeline for developing a new council waste strategy, saying that they needed to first audit the incinerator then come up with a waste strategy and then decide the procurement plan, not the other way round as was indicated in the report. We were also disappointed by the continued reliance on the incinerator in the report.
Birmingham City Council’s Sustainability Scrutiny Committee are now looking at the issues around green waste, and we were invited to respond to their consultation on the issue. This we did with John Newson also invited to speak to the Scrutiny Committee. Hopefully, some of our ideas around community composting will be taken on board. Julien Pritchard