Thursday, 26 October 2017

November Meeting

Please note that our November meeting will start 15 minutes early (at 7.15pm) as Louisa Briggs from the Museums Sheffield (Curator for Protest and Activism Project) will be visiting us.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Fracking & Fossil Fuels Update - October 2017

Fossil Fuel Day of Action
On 14 October 2017 people from all over the world took action to protect our climate from fossil fuels. From groups fighting giant oil companies in Africa, to communities already feeling the impact of rising sea levels, the whole of Friends of the Earth’s global community united for a day of action. Our message to the world: keep fossil fuels in the ground. It’s our best hope of stopping the most devastating consequences of climate change. You can see what happened around the world here.

In Sheffield, the day of action began at Weston Park Museum when Steve Goodacre and Liddy Goyder from Sheffield Friends of the Earth and June Bhooshi from Sheffield Against Fracking handed over three fossil fuel dinosaurs for safe keeping to Louisa Briggs of Sheffield Museums. The dinosaurs represented the 3 types of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) which must remain unused if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. Research shows that more than 80 per cent of the world’s known coal reserves, 30 per cent of known oil and 50 per cent of gas reserves are unburnable if we are to have a safe climate.

Louisa Briggs of Sheffield Museums receiving 3 dinosaurs from June Bhooshi.
After the handover of the dinosaurs, the group marched to Barker’s Pool to join other concerned residents for a mass rally with the theme of keeping fossil fuels in the ground, skipping fracking and moving to clean renewables.

The march from Weston Park Museum to the City Hall
David Burley of Frack Free South Yorkshire introduced  a number of speakers including Paul Blomfield MP for Sheffield Central and Shadow Brexit minister and Tina Louise Rothery a legendary anti-fracking campaigner from Frack Free Lancashire.

The full list of speakers were:
  • MC - David Burley—Frack Free South Yorkshire
  • Paul Blomfield MP - Sheffield Central MP and Shadow Brexit Minister
  • James Eaden - President of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Trade Union Council
  • Dave Kesteven - Eckington Against Fracking
  • Deborah Smith - South Yorkshire Fossil Free Divestment Group
  • Richard Dyer - Friends of the Earth Fossil Free and Clean Air Campaigner
  • Tina-Louise Rothery  -  Frack Free Lancashire campaigner
Anti-fossil fuel and anti-fracking campaigners outside the City hall

Paul Blomfield MP said “Energy policy should be focused on reducing carbon emissions. Now’s the time to be investing in renewable energy as the industry of the future, not falling back on fossil fuels that make it harder to hit our targets to reduce global warming.”

Tina Louise Rothery said, “This event is just one of so many like it that is happening across the world and I can think of no better place to echo the call to protect our precious communities from the harms of fossil fuels, than Sheffield. It is here that the sharp edge of a broken democracy can be so sorely felt with the the threat of fracking and the unwanted seismic testing that goes with it. It's been an excellent event with representatives from government, the anti-fracking campaigns, Unions and some dinosaurs... a family day with a purpose.”

Richard Souter, Sheffield Friends of the Earth campaigner and event organiser said, “Our government seems hell-bent on developing fracking on Sheffield’s doorstep. Fracking is not necessary, it will rip up our countryside, pollute our waters, increase air pollution and threaten wildlife habitats. Moreover, heavy traffic from the proposed fracking sites, carrying some of the worse pollutants, will be treated here in Sheffield at Ecclesfield.”

A short video below features the highlights from the rally. A video on our Facebook site has the full set of speakers.

Whilst the adults were listening to the serious messages from the speakers, the children enjoyed a number of activities from colouring in frack-osaurus dinosaurs to eating dinosaur cupcakes.

The rally ended with music from Sheffield Socialist Choir and Sheffield Samba Band whilst inflatable dinosaurs were deflated to signify the end of prehistoric fossil fuels.

The Star covered the rally in the printed edition on Monday 16 October 2017 and their on-line version has more photos and a video. A similar article appear in the Sheffield Telegraph.

The Star's article of the Rally
At the General meeting the group reflected that overall the event went well, with some disappointment that the numbers were not greater in Barkers Pool. A lot of people, particularly Richard, Shaun, Mosborough Against Fracking and SCA and other groups who all contributed to making the rally happen were thanked for their hard work. Sincere thanks were also given to Michael Mouat for the filming and Prime Tiger Event Services for the PA system which many people said was excellent.

Jessica Ernst
Richard reported on an anti-fracking lunch with Jessica Ernst who has been responsible for a long running legal campaign in Canada.

Mass Demo Coach Trip to Kirby Misperton KM8
Will you give one day of your busy life to be part of a mass peaceful demonstration at the gates of a Fracking Site?

Join “100 Protectors” a peaceful, mass demonstration, coach trip to KM8 Frack Site, Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire.

One way to affect this dirty business is to slow it down and send its costs rocketing. One way to do this effectively is to have so many Protectors/Demonstrators that the police are in the minority. We need at least 100 people to do that. With enough people willing to go for one day: you’d only have to go once a year!

To be notified of the dates please send your email or phone number to The first trip is looking like one day week 13th-17th Nov.

5 November – Sherwood Forest
A walk with talks and singing in Sherwood Forest, about fracking and the history of land rights, by amazing performers Three Acres and A Cow. Sign up to the Facebook event here. Afterwards, there will be talks & discussions at the nearby South Forest Centre – book tickets for this here.

Burns Supper
A Burns supper is being organised to support anti-fracking campaign for 20 Jan 2018. watch this space for more details.

  1. Shaun will ask Jo if we can advertise trips on the website.
  2. Richard will circulate update from David Burley.

Air Pollution Campaign Update - October 2017

The Politics of Air Pollution
Eamonn Ward from the Green Party came to give an overview of local air pollution issues and discussed the City Council’s current strategy (which is still under development). There is central government funding available to reduce congestion but he believes there is little political interest in this. He mentioned that Air pollution should be a priority in the East End rather than Meadowhall development. Many other places are ahead of Sheffield such as Oxford where that have a long term plan to go “car free”. Party political positioning (“anti-car” “pro-development”) is generally unhelpful.

Idling Cars
No representative from Sheffield Friends of the Earth was able to attend the meeting about cars idling outside schools and hospitals. It is felt that practically this could only have a very small impact compared to what is needed.

Labour Party Talk
A speaker is needed for a Labour branch requesting talk about air pollution.
ACTION: Shaun to contact potential speakers.

Next Steps
a new national FoE campaign action plan is due out in November and Shaun has circulated link to current consultation.
ACTION: Members should respond directly to FoE during October in order to inform the new plan.

Group News - October 2017

Group Development
ACTION: Richard will follow up with national FoE who are keen to support local group development.

History of Activism and Protest
Louisa Briggs from Museums Sheffield - Project Curator (Sheffield: Protest and Activism) will hopefully visit us in November to discuss donation of campaign materials to the museum.

One of the first Sheffield Friends of the Earth Newsletters from 1974

Pound Coins

Richard has ensured we don’t have old pound coins in our collecting tins or float.

Christmas Meal
A menu has been circulated and booked in for 18 December.
ACTION: Liddy will ask people to sign up and give menu choices in advance (late November).

The Sheffield Climate Alliance AGM is on 17/10/17;

Zero Carbon Yorkshire event for SCA hosted by university 28/29 Oct

George Marshall giving a talk through the Carbon Neutral University group:

Next FoE meeting 
Our next meeting will be on 20 November 2017 at 7.30pm:
ACTION: Chair and note taker needed

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Rally – Keep fossil fuels in the ground, skip fracking, go to renewables

Rally – Keep fossil fuels in the ground, skip fracking, go to renewables

On 14 October people from all over the world will be taking action to protect our climate from fossil fuels. From groups fighting giant oil companies in Africa, to communities already feeling the impact of rising sea levels, the whole of Friends of the Earth’s global community will unite for a day of action. Our message to the world: keep fossil fuels in the ground. It’s our best hope of stopping the most devastating consequences of climate change.

Here in Sheffield we have organised a fun family friendly rally outside the City Hall with the theme of keeping fossil fuels in the ground, skipping fracking and moving to clean renewables.

Because oil, coal and gas are seen as dinosaur fuels we would like as many dinosaur props as possible - inflatable dinosaurs, children’s t-shirts, face masks and placards etc. After the rally there will be a mass deflation of the inflatable dinosaurs to signify the end of fossil fuels.

Order of rally:

10.30 - People start to assemble at Barkers Pool – City Hall.
11.00 - Rally starts.
11.45 - Rally ends with a mass deflation of the inflatable dinosaurs
11:45 - 12:30 – music from Sheffield Socialist Choir and Sheffield Samba Band

Speakers include:
  • MC - David Burley—Frack Free South Yorkshire
  • Paul Blomfield MP - Sheffield Central MP and Shadow Brexit Minister
  • John Campbell - Deputy Convenor for Yorkshire and Humberside Unison
  • Dave Kesteven - Eckington Against Fracking
  • Deborah Smith - South Yorkshire Fossil Free Divestment Group
  • Richard Dyer - Friends of the Earth Fossil Free and Clean Air Campaigner
  • Tina-Louise Rothery  -  Frack Free Lancashire campaigner
We are planning for family/children friendly activities - colouring, models if possible. More details will be added as they are confirmed.

See for the Facebook event.

Friends of the Earth will be using the hashtags of #ProtectOurFutures and #NotHereNotAnywhere for the day of action on Saturday 14 October. Please take lots of pictures and post them on social media.

We'll have some "Don't Frack our Futures" props on the day which we'll circulate around. We are asking people to take selfies with the suggested posts:

Facebook: Today I'm asking Greg Clark MP to #ProtectOurFutures & our climate. Ask him to stop #fracking before it starts:

Twitter: Today I'm asking @GregClarkMP to #ProtectOurFutures & our climate. Ask him to stop #fracking before it starts:

Monday, 21 August 2017

Air Pollution Campaign - August 2017 Update

We discussed the Star's front page media coverage of our air pollution campaign and mentioned that local journalists were keen to cover local air pollution issues. National FoE sent an email to all local local members explaining what we have achieved.

Sheffield Climate Alliance met with Sheffield City Council cabinet member Jack Scott, where measures to tackle air pollution were discussed, including 20 m.p.h. speed limits. There are opportunities to do more with both council and local media.

Beatrice reported back on a reply from Louise Haigh received in response to a letter (sent to all local MPs); no response yet from councillors in response to similar letter.

Their is a day of action planned for the Midland Mainline Campaign on Sat 9th Sep at 16:03 - 16:18 for handover of a “green plug” at the station. There will be media opportunities to get our message across. If anyone would like to get involved then please let us know or turn up to the station at 3.30 pm. It was mentioned that Sheffield East End project has done a lot of work on air pollution and we should invite them to join us.

Laura's feedback on what solutions have been implemented in France to improve air quality has been deferred until the next meeting as laura was unable to attend.

Future for the campaign - We can focus on the Midland Mainline Electrification campaign whilst we are awaiting next steps in the national campaign. There is potential to work with/build on FoE's ongoing campaign (FoE plan to run it until at least June 2018.)

Other activities - Pollution levels being monitored by anti-fracking groups. Could also work with Neil Parry’s group and let them know what we are doing.

  • Monthly meetings offer from Jack Scott to Sheffield Climate Alliance. Richard to feedback progress on this. (next meeting in September)
  • Beatrice to chase up MPs' responses to our letters
  • Plan to meet at 15:30-15:45 at station on Saturday 9 Sept. 
  • Laura to explain what actions have taken place in France to reduce air pollution.
  • Let Neil Parry from Sheffield East End project know what we are doing (Richard)

Fracking Campaign - August 2017 Update

General strategic approach was discussed: linking with Sheffield Against Fracking; importance of awareness raising in local communities; potential role of national FoE team in providing resources to local campaigning.

International day of action for the climate is being planned for Sat 14 Oct. We are planning for a morning event in Sheffield city centre (Town Hall or Barkers Pool) 10:30 -11am start) – “Keep coal in the ground, skip fracking and go renewable”.  Potential for rally/march/speakers.  Lots of creative ideas for visual stunts with a dinosaur theme.

Report from recent stalls (including Walkley and Low Edges). Lots of interest and people signing petitions, writing objections to planning applications from Ineos. Previous petition sheets have been sent on to national FoE.

Harthill – 25 people turned up in response to social media to help, distributed leaflets.

Woodsetts – similar approach using Facebook led to identifying local interest and booking village hall for three meetings approx. 500+ local residents came (110 came in the morning; 163 in afternoon and more in evening)

Cresswell – local group has been formed – Beatrice in contact with local colleagues and Cresswell Crags Museum,  raising awareness.

National Trust – opportunities to support National Trust action in response to fracking e.g. by distributing leaflets outside National Trust properties.

Objection letters – already 300 sent on Marsh Lane, 175 on Harthill – draft letters and petition will be put on line.

GMB are pro-fracking because of potential to provide jobs – need to try and influence through local branches e.g. by providing more information about small number and dangerous/skilled nature of jobs.

SCA also recently met Rob Murfin, Sheffield City Council Chief Planning Officer, to discuss fracking.

March and Speakers - Eckington Against Fracking – meeting up to have march to Marsh Lane, currently planning stalls and a number of speakers. If you fancy joining use see link here

Future meetings: Sheffield Against Fracking meeting Tues 5  Sept Central United Reform Church

Films on fracking available all this week via the Greenpeace France website.

Peoples’ Assembly is organising a Fracking protest outside Labour Party Conference Sunday 1 Oct (there will be an opportunity to book coach places).

  • Letter to be sent to the National Trust for as many members as possible.
  • David B to put together information about how many jobs will be created by fracking.
  • All invited to meet on at 12:45 on Saturday 16 September at Coal Aston Community Centre for rally/march; plan to take FoE and Sheffield Against Fracking banners. See Facebook event
  • Identify other organisations to collaborate on plans and identify potential speakers for the International day of action for the climate; get appropriate permissions. Richard to organise separate planning meeting.

Films - August 2017

The Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" was discussed. Felt to be  reasonably informative and had a “get involved” message  suggesting action to "learn about it" and "go to renewables". However, it was not felt to be as  good as the original."

Our stall at The Light cinema  provided a focal point for discussions. Laura had provided links to the Greenpeace film festival films – some have potential for showing in our own future film festivals, along with “The Bentley Effect” which was agreed to be worth showing.

Sheffield Friends of the Earth Shop

Shaun has setup a new internet shop for selling ethically produced clothes which are organic and made using renewable energy. They are also printed on demand so there is no need to generate waste by printing more t-shirts than we need. Check out the shop here or via the link above (Shop button) and watch out for our Facebook updates which will let you know of offers (free postage or free socks etc.)

Stalls - August 2017

The Peace and Craft Fair takes place this year on Saturday 4 November. We agreed to book a FoE stall (with focus potentially on air pollution campaigning) – ideally next to the Sheffield Against Fracking stall so we can cover both campaigns and share resources.


  • Peace Fair 4 November need people to man the stall 10am to 5pm. Need people to volunteer for morning/afternoon.

Any Other Business - August 2017

We agreed to share our information via Sheffield Freegle - Volunteer Opportunity Roundup and shared updated contact details for Rotherham Gizmo (Voluntary Action)

We discussed the opportunity to join FoE Partnership Board.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Air Pollution Campaign - July Update

Results from our air pollution kits and letters to local MPs were discussed – both Richard and Beatrice have sent letters to their MPs and Beatrice has offered to send her letter more widely if this would not duplicate other peoples’ letters. It was agreed to ask her to do so.

Shaun agreed to send our air pollution results to the Sheffield Star which resulted in this article. It was then used in conjunction with a press release from Sheffield City Council to form a front page and a page 4 article on Saturday 29th July.

The council’s current strategy and plans (including fining drivers for idling engines outside schools) was discussed and ways of raising public awareness to create more pressure for effective action. To comment see the link.

We also discussed having contact numbers for the website for members who are happy to speak to media on different topics depending on their expertise. This was due to being contacted by Sky News and not being able to contact people quickly enough.

  • Beatrice to be asked to send letter to all Sheffield MPs.
  • Shaun to send pres release to The Star.
  • Members to asked to volunteer if they are happy to be named as media contacts.

Fracking Update - July 2017

Richard reported on recent campaign activity and also activity by fracking companies which are actively surveying locally. Stalls have been useful in both raising awareness and getting petitions signed. The group discussed how to best raise awareness and use leafleting and/or press releases/media engagement to ensure people are aware. Richard is also meeting with the council’s planning officer to discuss their policy and how it could be strengthened (currently limited to not allowing fracking on council-owned land).

Suggested that fracking as an urgent priority.

The latest events are:
  • Ongoing: protest camp at gates of PR Marriott Drilling Ltd, Springwater House, Pilsley Road, Danesmoor, Clay Cross, S45 9BQ. 
  • Wednesday 26 July, 2.30-7.00pm: INEOS COMMUNITY EXHIBITION. Barborough Village Hall, High Street, Barlborough S43 4TJ
  • Wednesday 26 July, 2.30-7.00pm: ANTI FRACKING COMMUNITY EVENT. Barborough. In opposition to the Ineos exhibition. 
  • Saturday 29 July: CRESSWELL GALA. Anti fracking stall.
  • Friday 4 August, 7.30pm: LIVE MUSIC FUNDRAISER WITH PAUL TAYLOR. Eckington Civic Centre, Market Street, Eckington, Sheffield S21 4JG. A night of fun & entertainment. Food available. Tickets £5 - phone 07979 608254
  • Sunday 6 August: WALK AND RALLY. TBA
  • Wednesday 9 August, 7.30pm: MOSBOROUGH AGAINST FRACKING monthly meeting. Queen's Hotel, Mosborough.
  • Sunday 13 August, 12-5pm: SOUTH YORKSHIRE FESTIVAL, Wortley Hall, Wortley, Sheffield S36 7DB. Frack Free Penistone & Stocksbridge stall.
  • Tuesday 15 August, 2.30-7.00pm: INEOS COMMUNITY EXHIBITION. Creswell Social Centre, Elmston Road, Cresswell S80 4BH
  • Tuesday 5 September, 2.30-7.00pm: INEOS COMMUNITY EXHIBITION. Langwith Bassett Community Hall, Rectory Road, Upper Langwith, Mansfield NG20 9RF
  • Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September, 10am-5.30pm: ROTHERHAM SHOW, Clifton Park, Clifton Lane, Rotherham S65 2AA
  • Saturday 16 September, 2-6pm: 'NO FRACKING DAY'. Marsh Lane, near Eckington S21 5RH.
  • Monday 2 October, 2.30-7.00pm: INEOS COMMUNITY EXHIBITION. Warsop Ex-servicemen’s Club, Carr Lane, Mansfield NG20 0BN
  • Richard will send the petition signatures collected already to national FoE.
  • At the next meeting to discuss prioritising campaigning so time/resources can be focused on where we can make a difference.

Stalls & Films Update - July 2017

Frack Free Penistone had asked about sharing a stall in Penistone but we had not planned one and so could not offer this.

We are hoping to run a stall (if the cinema will allow one) for the new Al Gore film being screen at the new cinema on the Moor. If you want to book a ticket then see the link below. If you want to help out on a possible stall then get in touch.

Improving the Group - July 2017

We discussed what is needed to inspire and enthuse the group and proposed to discuss the approach and book from Basecamp at the next meeting