We’ve made a great start to the new year with our work, on both national and local issues, really having an impact.
Energy and Climate Change
This month we have been focusing on getting the support of local MPs, as you can see in the article by Sara Linton about the Final Demand campaign. Kara Moses has been doing great work in setting these up and helping to raise awareness among politicians of our positions on fuel poverty feed-in-tariffs and the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels through changing the way the electricity market works. We have submitted our signed petitions to David Cameron calling for a public inquiry into the Big Six and more support for community energy as part of the nationwide effort that has gained the support of around 50 000 people.
Close the Door finally launched in Kings Heath and shopkeepers all along the High St have pledged to stop wasting energy, and money, by leaving their doors open when the heating is on. See the article by Rob Pass for further details.
Our volunteers are getting excited about the launch of the new campaign to inspire people with a love of nature and promote measures to protect and enhance habitat for pollinators. See the article by Rachna Shah for more details of what’s getting us buzzing!
Our planning team have been swamped with consultations over this month. As you can see from Roxanne’s article, the Places for the Future Supplementary Planning Document to ensure more sustainable new developments in Birmingham is a very important way to help ensure we get the right policies in place. The Eastside Masterplan and Digbeth Local Development Order were also both up for consultation at the same time, meaning a huge amount of work to do in a short space of time.
We remain committed to helping fight off unsuitable development and now have new volunteers working on researching the best help we can give to community groups whose local areas are under threat from supermarkets or other developments.
Waste and Resource Use
Our Halve Rubbish campaign has been very successful in getting more sustainable ideas into the waste review, which we are awaiting in its final form. The targets set may still not be as ambitious as we would like, but progress has been made and we just need to ensure we keep up the pressure on the incinerator, so that better alternatives are in place for the end of the contract in 2019.
We have been preparing a briefing for councillors on what Birmingham’s transport needs really are to counter all the focus on large projects such as HS2, the airport runway extension, the redevelopment of New St and the extension of the Metro through the city centre. After attending the transport summit last week, it is clear that there is still very little recognition of the transport problems that most people face in Birmingham and that are going to be exacerbated without action being taken.
We are still looking to work with partners to build on some of the successful work we did around cycling last year. We hope to reveal more details soon.
If you’d like to help develop campaigns ideas for transport or any of the other campaigns, please get in touch.