It’s been a quieter couple months on the media front recently.
However, the Government reducing or abolishing air quality monitoring gave us the opportunity for some media coverage during August. At the end of the month we got a short article into the Birmingham Mail about the scandal of the Government trying to push the issue of air pollution under the carpet. I was quoted saying that the Government should be instead looking to tackle the issue, and called on Birmingham City Council to come out against the proposals.
Before that, these proposals had also given me the opportunity to speak on Radio WM on the Danny Kelly show. I outlined what the Government was proposing to do and why it was a bad idea. I also had the opportunity to talk about what we should be doing instead, and, as well as increasing monitoring as opposed to decreasing it, I also talked about our Let’s Get Moving campaign and how to tackle air pollution through more investment in active transport.
The explosion of activism in Balcombe and around UK about fracking resulted in discussion in the local paper’s letters page, which were filled with discussion on the fracking issues and the protests. Our lead on Energy & Climate Change Jake Williams, wrote a letter to the Birmingham Mail critical of the process and pointing out it was no wonder communities were protesting against it, while also making the case for clean green energy. It was a good job too, as the rest of the letters were sharply critical of protesters and very pro-fracking.
Finally, everyone’s favourite environmental topic in Birmingham returned to the fore, yes, that’s right, wheelie bins! The publication of the Council report into the pilot in Brandwood and Harborne prompted a pre-emptive discussion about the issue on Radio WM’s breakfast show, for which I was interviewed at 6.30am on a Friday morning! During the admittedly early interview, I reiterated our view that wheelie bins could be really positive for recycling rates, especially if they become part of an overall sustainable waste strategy. However, I also argued the residual waste bins ordered were possibly too big, especially if Birmingham City Council starts providing a food waste collection!
So, as you can see, a relatively quiet month on the media front!