Hello and welcome to your latest Campaigns Digest! Hopefully when you read this the weather is still as lovely as it is as I write this! On the subject of weather, the (usually!) improved weather of spring and summer means we’re out and about on stalls more often, and this year has been no exception. We’ve had stalls at events and locations across Birmingham, and we’re going to be at quite a few more yet before the autumn. So look out for us at an event near you!
Energy & Climate Change
We’ve been hard at work with other groups planning a Birmingham Fossil Free campaign to push organisations in Birmingham to divest from dirty Fossil Fuels. Keep a look out for this campaign when it launches and read the article by Jacob Williams for more details about the campaign.
Since the last issue we’ve been busy submitting our response to the consultation on the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy. For newer readers, the Strategy was the result of campaigning of groups on the Bee Cause around the country and calling for a Bee Action Plan. When responding to the consultation we used local examples to point out the flaws in the Strategy, such as there not being enough funding, or sufficient rules around new developments in order to protect pollinators.
As well as responding to the consultation, we also contacted Birmingham Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell, to ask him to put pressure on the government for a stronger Strategy. We’re happy to say he replied saying he was doing just that! We have just learnt that the launch of the National Pollinator Strategy has been delayed till October, so we will see then how successful our efforts have been.
Some of you may have noticed that there were some elections in May. Although we’ll never endorse a candidate or party, as a political campaigning group we do take a keen interest in the policies of those who stand in elections. We again did a 10 point plan for Birmingham this year, and got in touch with council candidates to see how much they agreed with our ideas.
We’re still waiting on the publication of the Council’s Scrutiny Inquiry into their waste and resource strategy after 2019. This is due in July, and once this is published it should give us some idea of the council’s thinking on the incinerator after the contract with Veolia ends in 2019. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to say on the matter once it’s published, and we’ll hopefully have more of an update for you in the next issue.
We’ve been doing lots of stalls for Let’s Get Moving, where we’ve been getting people to sign action cards in support of the campaign. We’ve also been building support amongst other organisations in Birmingham. See Sawsan’s article on our alliance building work for more information.
As well as Let’s Get Moving, we’ve also been continuing to track the council’s plans for 20mph on residential roads. In April they brought out their initial proposals, which were a little disappointing to say the least, leaving many unclassified roads at 30mph. We submitted our thoughts, and along with other groups, we met with council officers to outline our concerns. The proposals have shown some improvement (though still not perfect) and are currently out for formal consultation until 4th July. By the time you read this we’ll no doubt have responded to these as well!