The new year brings us lots of new challenges as the government moves ever further from its pledge to be the greenest ever. This year we are planning to bring some positive new campaigns ideas to the people of Birmingham to challenge the doom and gloom.
Energy and Climate Change
We’ve had a great start to the Final Demand Campaign with our dedicated campaigners regularly hitting the streets in different parts of Birmingham and getting us well on the way to 1000 signatures. We have also managed to agree meetings with a number of different MPs at sites where they can see for themselves the benefits that renewable energy installations are having in Birmingham. We’ll report back on those in the next issue.
For the Close the Door Campaign, we hope that by the time you receive this month’s newsletter there will be stickers appearing in shops all over Kings Heath as shopkeepers pledge to stop wasting energy and money by leaving their doors open when the heating is on.
This is an area that we are going to get back into this year and we hope it’s one that will really catch the imagination of people locally. Appreciating what nature does for us is essential to wanting to protect it, so bees and other pollinators and their link to food is an obvious starting point. Watch this space for more information.
With the Localism Bill having gone through parliament, we are now going to have to deal with the implications of this and what it means for neighbourhoods and planning guidance for the whole city. See the article about protecting high streets, but there is much to do already to protect communities from unwanted supermarket planning applications, so we continue our work on those and also the changes to the Big City Plan and its “Masterplan” for Eastside taking into account the HS2 station.
Waste and Resource Use
As you’ll see from the article by John Newson, we have put together all our work into a submission for the council’s Municipal Waste Review. The petitions have been submitted to councillor Huxtable and we are now waiting to see what targets the council will set for reducing the amount of rubbish and increasing recycling rates. Our main aim remains to stop incineration being used as a means of waste disposal in Birmingham when the contract for the Tyseley plant ends in 2019.
Later on this year the focus will switch to the manufacturing side of things as we look at making all the products we buy greener.
Our funding bid to work on a big transport and neighbourhood planning project was unsuccessful, so we will now be looking at what smaller scale campaigns can make the biggest impact. It will be important to keep developing the links with other groups and cooperating to spread the work out, as we did last year. Lack of bus priority, local train services and making the roads safer for everyone still remain our priorities.
If you’d like to help develop campaigns ideas for transport or any of the other campaigns, please get in touch.