It wouldn’t be Christmas in Birmingham without our annual Santa Parade for Buy Nothing Day and we were out for a tenth year in a row to highlight the unsustainability of our debt-riddled consumerist culture once again on 26th November. It’s not all the same old things, as there are also new and fresh ideas coming through in our campaigns as you’ll see throughout the newsletter.
Energy and Climate Change
October saw the Launch of the Final Demand campaign and you can read about it in detail in this article. We have set ourselves a really high target for the number of signatures we want to get for the petition and we’re off to a great start as we race to be the first FoE group to get 1000 people signed up to the campaign to demand the government save our solar industry and reform the electricity market.
We are also primed to go out and get retailers all over the city, but especially starting with Kings Heath, to keep their doors closed this winter, so as not to waste energy, money or precious resources. The stickers will soon be here and we’ll be out speaking to shopkeepers to see if we can get the first 500 signed up to better energy-saving practices.
In the last newsletter we had a major article about the National Planning Policy Framework and we collected a lot of postcards from people who were concerned about the government’s plans to simplify the planning system so much as to remove all the environmental protections from it and put the advantage firmly in the hands of developers to build whatever they wanted. Ben put together an amazing response to the government’s consultation on this, which can be downloaded from our website for those who wish to gain an in-depth insight.
There are a large number of supermarket planning applications going in at the moment, so we have produced a guide for community groups wanting help in opposing them, as we simply don’t have the resources to deal with every single one individually.
We are now approaching the crucial part of the campaign, as the municipal waste review is starting in earnest and we will be called to give evidence in January. We have been busy sending out evidence in advance of this, with copies of our “What a Waste” report going out to all councillors by post and emails going out to them with our shocking information on the incinerator “Birmingham’s Big Burner”, which you can read here.
There are very encouraging signs that all the main parties now support our calls for separate food waste collections, but we need to see full policies and have asked them to elaborate. Thank you to everyone who has helped in this campaign – we hope to have something to celebrate next year.
We hope to be launching an exciting new project next year, but that is dependent on a funding application we recently submitted, so this month the focus has been on responding to the council’s Low Carbon Transport Strategy 2011+, which you can read more about here. There has been a lot of interest in repeating our successful “Bike Trains” event and we are also looking for ways in which we can do that.
If you’d like to help with that or any of the other campaigns, please get in touch via email@example.com