Hello and welcome to your Autumn Campaigns Digest! After a lovely summer weather-wise, September seems to have distinctly autumnal feel to it. This may sound obvious, but when you consider that for the past five years we’ve had wet summers and then Indian summers in the autumn, it seems more surprising. No matter, the arrival of September brought a plethora of stall opportunities for both ‘Let’s Get Moving’ and `The Bee Cause’! So hopefully you saw us at an event near year you!
Energy & Climate Change
The Clean British Energy campaign may have taken a back seat, but that doesn’t mean that Energy & Climate Change has gone away as an issue, as anyone who has been following the news around fracking will doubtless be aware! Our lead on Energy & Climate Change has been to the protests at Balcombe, and includes that in his article on the topic in this issue. There have been groups and actions springing up in Birmingham and around the country about fracking, and one of those groups, Birmingham Climate Justice, is also featured in this newsletter in an article by activist Kara Moses. We’re looking to do something on the issue on Global Frackdown Day on 19th October, which is a global day of action against fracking. Please get in touch for more details!
We’ve had a few bee stalls over the summer and also seen the three projects funded by last year’s comedy gig, “There’s Something Funny in the Honey”, come onstream. This is really positive news and there are more details about this in the article; Buzzing Birmingham. Nationally the Bee Cause is pushing to make sure the National Pollinator Strategy is as strong as possible, as we await government consultation on the proposals. This is due in October and at which point we’ll be asking people to respond and tell Lord DeMauley what should be in a good strategy.
The big news was that Birmingham received £17 million from national government to improve cycling in the city, and added £7 million of its own money, meaning there is £24 million to be spent on cycling over the next two years. However this doesn’t mean that our nascent Let’s Get Moving is over, quite the opposite. As Shaz explains in his article on the award, we need at least another eight years of investment at the same level.
Related to our Let’s Get Moving campaign was the government’s proposals on reducing or abolishing air quality reporting requirements for local authorities. Birmingham Friends of the Earth are firmly of the opinion that in order to tackle the problem you need to measure it thus being able to provide the evidence base to see if you’re action is having any effect. Let’s hope that our and many other organisations’ responses to these ridiculous proposals and convince the government to drop these plans.
The wheelie bin saga rumbles on with the report on the initial pilot in Harborne and Brandwood released, which recommended roll-out over the whole city. We’ll see how well it progresses. However the most interesting thing for us as an environmental organisation will be to see if it increases recycling rates and how quickly the council can add a food waste collection once the whole wheelie bin program is in place by 2015. We’ll keep you posted!