Hello and welcome to the first campaigns’ digest of the year! Winter notwithstanding, we’ve been continuing our hard work at the campaigning coalface over the past couple of months preparing for events as part of the Clean British Energy campaign, as well as developing our new local campaign: Let’s Get Moving. As always there’s plenty going on, so if you want to get involved with any of the issues we mention in this issue, just get in touch!
Energy & Climate Change
The pre-Christmas announcements around the Autumn Statement and the Energy Bill confirmed our worst fears about the Government’s intentions with regards to clean energy and the “dash for gas”. The lack of a decarbonisation target and government subsidies for shale gas make even more of a mockery of the Government’s claim to be the ‘greenest government ever’. We will be continuing to work hard on the Clean British Energy campaign over the next couple of months, as we are lobby our constituency MPs on the Energy Bill. We will also beholding a panel discussion – “Energy We Can All Afford” – on renewable energy and fuel poverty on 19th February as well as an exhibition of renewable energy photographs from 18th-22nd February. Both of these are open to everyone and take place at the University of Birmingham Guild of Students.
We’re continuing to develop our new transport campaign, Let’s Get Moving, and are asking individuals for their travel-to-work diaries as well as getting in touch with local organisations to ask for their top three transport asks for Birmingham. See the article on Let’s Get Moving for more details on this. Just before the Christmas break we thanked Birmingham City Council for passing the motion on 20 mph, with a giant Christmas card. This was presented to Councillors David Willis and Paula Smith, as well as Cabinet Member James McKay. We hope this Christmas card served as a reminder about the Council’s commitment, and that we see progress on 20mph in this year!
As we went to press for the last newsletter, we again had news about the ASDA Stirchley proposals. This time the news was not as good, as the supermarket are appealing the Council planning committee’s decision to reject the proposals. Needless to say we will be monitoring developments on this closely. There was further bad news on the planning front as new plans for a Sainsbury’s on Selly Oak Battery Park were unveiled, with no mention of the canal regeneration included in initial plans. As this was one of the few positive aspects of the recent Selly Oak regeneration schemes, its removal is also a worrying development. You can find more details of the plans and put forward your views at http://sellyoak-regeneration.co.uk/
Birmingham City Council received an early Christmas present when they were granted £28.5 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government towards the cost of introducing wheelie bin waste collections. The Council will be consulting on the proposals and initially trialling the scheme in two wards. We’re a little disappointed that the bid and the new scheme doesn’t include food waste collection, however we will be looking at the proposals in detail and producing our own response very soon. The Council is also reviewing its overall waste strategy for the coming years. With the Tysley Incinerator contract up for renewal in 2018, now is the time to really change how we deal with waste towards a much more sustainable approach.