Our campaigners have had a fruitful couple of months with some great fundraising work at festivals and the organic barbecue at the Anchor. We are also developing new campaigns strategies to take forward into the autumn to ensure we have maximum impact and remain the best place in Birmingham for those who care about the environment to volunteer.
Energy and Climate Change
The Energy Bill has been delayed after much pressure was applied by groups like ourselves and this means that ministers will now have the opportunity to correct the inadequacies with the green deal that will cause the UK to fail to meet its emissions targets under the Climate Change Act. This pause also allows us to do some research before launching into the next energy campaign.
This summer we are engaging people with a Big Energy Conversation to find out what they think and build our knowledge of the situation locally. The main article provides further information on this, as well as other aspects of why the energy debate is so important.
Although we no longer have an action group working on local shops issues we still managed to use our expertise to assist the residents of Stirchley in their campaign against the Asda planning application, as mentioned in the article. A full response was submitted along with helping Super Stirchley to draft a generic response which people could fill in and send in themselves. We hope that this will help influence the planning committee’s decision and that further damage won’t be done to independent retailers in this part of Birmingham.
Our campaign to Halve Birmingham’s Rubbish has been gathering more and more support, with hundreds of signatures on paper and electronic versions of our petition. Councillors will be looking at the Municipal Waste Strategy later in the year, so the time is right to be really pushing for a change in the way the Council looks at waste issues.
We held a round-table discussion with community recycling groups, residents and other interested parties, which was jointly hosted by the Chamberlain Forum, a report of which will be published soon. We are also hoping that other events will be held before the start of the waste review to build the case for a new, smaller-scale, more flexible approach to managing Birmingham’s resources.
The group are still looking at the High Speed Rail consultation and examining the impacts this will have on the city’s transport system. The deadline for this was at the end of July, so beyond that they will be looking at new ways to work together with other groups who want to promote cycling, walking and public transport in Birmingham to see how we can have most impact over the rest of the year.
The Government is currently consulting on a scoping document for UK aviation, so we are collecting evidence for case studies to submit for this, after attending an Airport Watch conference where the Secretary of State was present to engage in trying to get some consensus. We are still very worried about Birmingham Airport getting public money to subsidise the extension of the runway, so need to ensure that the Government does not permit massive expansion of regional airports instead of those in the South East.