Monday, 20 February 2017

Air Pollution Campaign Update - February 2017

We received good press coverage of the our local air pollution monitoring campaign which involved several members of the group placing 5 diffusion tubes around the city to monitor pollution levels.(see below). Our press release asked the public for suggestions where the second batch of monitoring tubes could be placed. The Star's article didn't mention this so we are now going to place most of the second batch were there are currently gaps in in monitoring around Sheffield. This will be based on Sheffield City Council's air pollution digital monitoring map. We agreed that a tube from the second batch would be saved so we could place it out side Radio Sheffield's studio. Aaron will contact the radio station to see if he can arrange an interview, ideally when the results from the first batch are available.

A letter from Louise Haigh MP to Richard focuses on the need for a national framework and enforcement mechanisms since national consultation on clean air zones (and using information from British Lung Foundation).

We agreed that whilst we had shared campaigning interests with the Green Party, as a non-party political group, we could not directly endorse their specific campaign and it would be better to work together under Sheffield Climate alliance, for example. Positive “quick win” activities could be generated and shared with national Friends of the Earth. For example, getting motorists to “Beep if you want to go electric” or could use an app generated by Festival of Debate team to highlight poor air quality.

The Clean Air campaign day of action is 24th June and we need to think about ideas for a stunt.

As part of this spring's Festival of Debate we are planning to host a panel with Medact on air pollution with, hopefully, Prof Jeremy Wight in May. We still need other/additional panel members.

  1. Richard to check digital map and suggest locations before the next meeting; 
  2. Richard to ask John when we might get next batch; 
  3. Aaron to contact Radio Sheffield re interview ideally when results available.
  4. All to consider ideas for quick win actions. Richard and Aaron to further investigate their specific ideas.
  5. Aaron organising FoD event and contacting other potential panel members – suggestions please.

Food Campaign Update - February 2017

John has been in contact with Bev from SCA and will be meeting her very soon and would be keen to continue the flexitarian food campaign. We were planning to review the food campaign but this has been postponed until the next meeting as John wasn't able to attend this meeting.

We need to review the food campaign and what might be the most productive future activities to maximise impact, potentially to get campaign to a bigger audience and work with other groups. There is the potential to write a 500-600 word article for a weekly Sheffield Telegraph feature.

  1. All to review the food campaign next meeting. 
  2. Shaun to consider drafting an article for the telegraph about energy storage to address concerns people have about "intermittent" renewables. There is scope for people to write about other issues including food.

Fracking Update - February 2017

Richard reported back on a very positive public meeting and the Anti-Fracking Network meeting held in Sheffield and hosted by Friends of the Earth. The meetings involved anti-fracking groups from all parts of the region was very productive with groups expressing a wish to come together again.

There have been multiple articles in local papers in response to the 8 page INEOS “advert” for fracking, largely against fracking.

Richard attending a meeting in Doncaster this week and there is a march planned for Saturday 25 Feb starting 12 noon from Mosborough to Eckington, then to Marsh Lane. Activities are generally hotting up around Marsh Lane where INEOS plan to drill an exploratory well.

On the 4 March there is an all day event to “Power Up” to share expertise from the University of Sheffield's Planning Department.

See the diary for all up and coming events!

  1. All to consider attending fracking meetings and march if possible. 

Habitats Update - February 2017

Smithy Wood
David wasn't at this month's meeting so there is no update.

Sheffield Trees Action Group (STAG)
Richard used Beatrice’s presentation at the tree action group conference. The Woodland Trust attended and they are taking an interest in “urban.trees”. Their  “Tree Charter” is worth signposting - see the link here. They could also raise profile of Smithy Wood campaign which is already on their website,

New street lighting will also potentially cause problems for trees as well as wildlife (research briefing shared at meeting by David G, Solar Active) but evidence consistently ignored. Future opportunities may include “Wilder Visions” programme and UKECONET. For more details about LED street lighting contact

  1. Aaron to report back at next meeting: on “Wilder Visions” international programme/UKECONET led by SHU researcher Prof Ian Rotherham.

Trade Deals Update - February 2017

Actions to date have included a joint event with Global Justice, a petition and lobbying of local MEPs in Sheffield and Leeds.

The EU parliament voted on CETA. UKIP did not attend and local Labour MPs voted for it, so parts will rapidly come into effect, but individual countries need to ratify fully for full implementation. UK unlikely to oppose so it depends on other countries to block it.

Stalls - February 2017

We don't have any stalls booked for this summer.

The Climate Activism Zone is planned for Peace in the Park but we need to identify both dates and activities for our 2017 stalls.

  1. Liddy to book for 8th July Beighton.Gala – Shaun and Richard are both available at the moment – more volunteers are needed to man the stall. Can you help? 
  2. Discuss further stalls at the next meeting.

Other News - February 2017

Solar Active AGM takes place on 27th April, Howard Building Sheffield Hallam University with a Health & Wellbeing focus. Sheffield FoE can support and publicise via the website. see

Climate Refugees Conference – attended by Aaron; need for more joined up policy in relation to climate change, refugee related campaign and other policy areas – similar issues in relation to State of Sheffield report and local city policies; still need to get specific “win-win” policies where we can offer solutions.

  1. David G to send information to Shaun for website link.
  2. Aaron to raise at next Sheffield Climate Alliance meeting; all can consider writing letters to local media in response to local policy documents suggesting missed opportunities for more joined up policy.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Air Pollution Campaign Update - January 2017

Air Pollution Kits
Five of the air pollution monitoring kits have arrived and are with John and Hayley. A discussion was held regarding placement and it was agreed that they would be placed at the following sites:-
  • Train Station, 
  • Gleadless Town End, 
  • Bramhall Lane (now Mullberry Street instead) 
  • Western Park
  • Netherthorpe 
  • Another member was also going to install their own kit at Malin Bridge in Hillsborough.
The action to install them took place on Sat 28th Jan and a press release was issued to the Sheffield Star and Sheffield Telegraph. The tubes will be collected on Saturday 11th Feb.

If you'd like to follow the progress of the diffusion tubes then you can see them on Friends of the Earth's interactive map. Sheffield City Council also have an air pollution monitoring map of Sheffield which can be found here.

A diffusion tube being installed outside the Children's Hospital

Festival of Debate
Aron has agreed to contact Medact to arrange speakers for our Festival of Debate air pollution event which will take place in spring. More information will be provided in the coming months.

Fracking Update - January 2017

Richard presented a list of meetings to be held by local anti-fracking groups over the coming weeks. Please see our diary section for all of these details.

INEOS has applied for permission to test drill and frack at Marsh Lane in NE Derbyshire. See the article in the Sheffield Star for more details or contact other local fracking groups (Sheffield Agaisnt Fracking and Frack Free South Yorkshire)

Good news is that Sheffield University's Student Union has removed the Barclays cash point machine from the union building in protest to the Bank's investment in Fossil Fuels and fracking.

Food Update - January 2017

John will contact the Sheffield Climate Alliance with a view to collaboration on food issues. Aaron mentioned that the Our Fair City Campaign will be promoting a food project.

Trade Campaign Update - January 2017

The International Trade Committee of the European Parliament has advised MEP's to vote against the CETA agreement on the basis that the economic benefits are too small. The final debate in the Parliament will be on 1st & 2nd February.

Smithy Wood Update - January 2017

David has been told by the planning department that the new date for presentation of their decision to the Council will be 31st March.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Air Pollution Campaign - December 2016

The first batch of ten kits has arrived and need to be kept refrigerated before and after use. The will need placing at least 2 metres above the ground at suitable sites for two weeks before their expiry date (15 Feb 2017). We discussed using the kits for a media campaign including photos of the kits in situ, for example outside local schools or GP surgeries. A press release could let people know that they can get their own kits from national FoE; we could also ask for suggestions where the second batch of kits should be placed around Sheffield pollution hot spots. Weather forecasts may influence when we choose to do monitoring to ensure representative results. There are also FoE leaflets and postcards and information on the “ditch diesel” campaign for distribution.

Action: Members to identify potentially suitable sites and kits will be distributed at the January meeting

Fracking Campaign - December 2016

Lots of activity is taking place locally and national FoE increasingly involved (Richard Dyer). The Dronfield public meeting was very well attended with more than 100 people including John and Hayley pictured below. There are likely to be opportunities for more action in the New Year.

Smithy Wood - December 2016

The smithy wood planning decisions have been delayed again, news awaited in the New Year.