Sunday, 14 January 2018

Fracking - Please write an objection letter

A planning application (Ref CM4/1217/72) has been submitted by Ineos Upstream Ltd for planning permission to drill a vertical hydrocarbon exploratory core well on land adjacent to Bramleymoor Lane, near Marsh Lane, Eckington.

If you wish to object to this development then please write a letter to the address below explaining why you object. You can use the example letters attached. If you haven't got the time to write your own letter then please print one of the example letters and send that to.

Development Management,
Derbyshire County Council
County Hall
Matlock
Derbyshire
DE4 3AG

Click here for the short version or the long version of the objection letters (word format)




Monday, 1 January 2018

Anti-fracking Benefit - A Burns Night and Ceilidh

Anti-fracking Benefit - A Burns Night and Ceilidh

An evening that includes a three course meal (with traditional or veggie haggis, neeps and tatties), speeches and poetry, plus “Outlandish Knights” invites you to dance to their music!

At St. Andrews U.R.C., Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield S3 7RQ
On 20th January 2018. Starting promptly at 7pm and finishing at 11pm

This evening of entertainment is being held to raise funds for anti-fracking community groups in and around Sheffield threatened by big fracking corporations such as Ineos. Stop the industrialisation of our countryside. Stop fracked water coming into our city.

Full Price £18. Please state your meal option: Traditional Haggis or Veggie Haggis

If you wish to volunteer to help on the day the price is £12. Please contact Richard Souter on 07741104735 if you wish to volunteer. Email him on souter_r@hotmail.com


For the latest information see www.sheffieldfoe.co.uk and www.facebook.com\sheffieldfoe



Friday, 22 December 2017

2017 Yearly Review

2017 has been a busy year for the group. Here is a list of the highlights from the year. If you'd like to join us and help make 2018 even more successful then please get in touch with Shaun - See Contacts section.

Fracking
  • Organised an anti-fracking rally in city centre.
  • Worked with other local and regional anti-fracking groups.
  • Anti-fracking articles were published in The Star.
  • Organised a Skip Fossil Fuel stunt outside Weston Park Museum.
  • Looked into the issues with treating fracking water at the Ecclesfield water treatment plan.
  • Organised an anti-fracking benefit Burns Night.
  • Had a networking lunch with Jessica Ernst who has been responsible for a long running legal campaign in Canada.

Air Pollution
  • Installed 10 pollution monitoring kits in Sheffield.
  • Had articles published in The Star (front page) and the Yorkshire Post.
  • Contacted by Sky News for an interview.
  • Pollution monitoring with the University of Sheffield.
  • Contacted MPs and councillors about air pollution.
  • Organised the Festival of Debate Air pollution: The Silent Killer Debate.
  • Took part in the Midland Mainline electrification stunt.

Food
  • Took part in a stall at the Sheffield Food Festival in the Winter Gardens.
Wildlife
  • Gave a presentation at the tree action group conference. 
  • Campaigned to save Smithy Wood.

Other Campaigns
  • Campaigned on trade deals – CETA and TTIP
  • Worked with Museums Sheffield for a history of activism project.
Events
  • Took part in Zero Carbon Yorkshire – CAT.
  • Ran a stall at the Peace and Craft Fair.
  • Attended Base Camp Conference.
  • Advertised free films on-line.
  • Organised a stall at the Light Cinema on the Moor
  • Held our AGM.
Media
  • Air pollution and fracking articles in the local media.
  • Energy storage letter in the Sheffield Telegraph.
  • Media training.

Social
  • Watched the Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power".
  • Christmas meal and social.
Other Things
  • Created an on-line shop selling eco-friendly clothes
  • Updated Facebook and our website
  • Respond to letters and requests from the public.
  • Group development work.

Monday, 18 December 2017

December 2017 Meeting

Our December meeting was a brief meeting to share campaign updates before our Christmas meal and social. A number of substantial issues needing discussion have been deferred and will be discussed at the January meeting on 15th January 2018.

Air pollution update
The National Clean Air Day takes place on Thursday 21 June 2018. We will discuss this further in January when more information on campaign plans and resources are available from national FoE.

Sheffield City Council air quality strategy document is now available. See link here. Richard has already had some discussion with the council and this will be discussed for further discussion at January meeting.

Green City  Action Plan – this is also looking more broadly at carbon reduction but relevant to air quality too.

Anti-fracking update:
The Burns Night meal is on the 20th Jan. Plenty of tickets have been sold so please hurry and book before they are all sold. All profits will go to local anti-fracking groups so you'll be supporting a worthy cause and you'll have a great night out. See our Facebook event and order your tickets on EventBrite.


As well as a campaign to lobby local MPs, a number of other events are being planned around a Robin Hood campaign.

Regional Meeting
Our regional meeting has been confirmed for 17th February in Leeds – major issue is recruitment and retention of new members. Locally we will be able to discuss strategy to encourage and support new members  in the New Year. See link here to book a place.

Next Meeting
Our next meeting will take place at 7:30pm on 15th January at the Red Deer. New members are very welcome. Please pop along and see us or get in touch with Shaun if you want to know more (See contacts).

Monday, 20 November 2017

Air Pollution Update - November 2017

Clive Betts's letter to Beatrice has been circulated with agenda and sets out his views on a number of issues including the potential impact of electing a local mayor and a tram expansion. Since nationalising rail is Labour policy and there are other relevant issues (cycle lanes., HS2 etc) there is potential to get a dialogue with local MPs on the wider transport issues.

There is a free Air pollution kit for schools available from Friends of the Earth. See https://www.foe.co.uk/clean-air/clean-air-schools-educating-generation-about-air-pollution for more details. Please share this with interested schools.

Councillor Douglas Johnson from the City ward would like to get his residents involved with monitoring local air quality. He has a proposal to buy a large number of monitoring kits to monitor over a long period. It was suggested it was an excellent way to get local residents involved and the East End Project (Neil Parry) might be interested. If anyone from the city ward is interested then please get in touch with Douglas: douglas.johnson@sheffield.gov.uk


Beatrice was congratulated on her success in getting some good coverage of air pollution in the Yorkshire Post. See http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/it-s-time-to-clear-the-air-sheffield-wants-to-tackle-vehicle-pollution-1-8820497

There is a new Sheffield bike share scheme being launched in December and seems a positive development and the impact worth monitoring. Discussed whether potential for FoE to get involved. See http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/launch-of-city-bike-share-scheme-1-8854491 and https://www.ofo.com/

Fracking Update - November 2017

Woodsetts and Harthill
Richard has been busy working with residents on fracking issues relating to Woodsetts and Harthill.

Ecclesfield
There is a plan for a waste water treatment plant in Ecclesfield, near to Morrisons, to process water from fracking operations and release it into the river Don. There has been local leafleting to raise awareness and two experts have identified issues of waste water and radiation. There are obvious threats to health or both residents/workers and local wildlife.

IGAS
Work has started at the Tinker Lane site south of Blyth.

INEOS
Ineos' interim injunction remains in place, but 'harassment' has been removed.
Channel 4 coverage: https://www.channel4.com/news/fracking-firm-wins-injunction-preventing-unlawful-protests

Ineos has applied to have the Marsh Lane and Harthill applications removed from the local planning authorities and sent straight to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision.
Email from Ineos to an Eckington Parish Councillor:

Dear Cllr. Gare,

I wanted to write to you today to tell you personally that after much consideration, INEOS Shale has taken the decision to ask the Planning Inspectorate to intervene in two applications for test drilling. The work we want to carry out at Marsh Lane in Derbyshire and Harthill near Rotherham would involve straightforward coring wells. These would provide geological samples which would also then be available for the nation to use as part of a wider evidence base for any other future projects.

With the statutory period for determining the applications long finished, we will be asking for the decisions to be made by the national planning body rather than the local council. We came to the conclusion that we needed to appeal directly to the Planning Inspectorate after we granted numerous extensions and established that, not only were decisions overdue, but also that they would still not be forthcoming in the short term.

It is important to remember that this work would bring inward investment into the local area with the possibility that the sites could also be used for shale gas development if the surveys are successful. Given the recent manufacturing decline across the region as a result of, among other things high energy costs, securing a local supply of energy could be transformational for the local economy providing both jobs and investment.

I want to reassure you that this decision has not been taken lightly, and that we understand the pressures on Councils to make decisions of national importance at a local level. Nevertheless, because of unreasonable delays we have been left without an option if there is to be progress on these important projects. Particularly in the context of the commitments we have made to Government via our licence obligations. Whilst our consultation process has always prioritised local people, and we will continue the dialogue about our plans at a local level, we cannot wait indefinitely for these decisions. Everyone will benefit from the provision of scientific data.

We will continue to work closely with you and local communities to explain the benefits of shale gas, as well as reassure you that this industry can be developed safely and can be of benefit to all.

Yours sincerely,
Lynn.
Lynn Calder
INEOS Shale – Commercial Director
INEOS | 38 Hans Crescent | London | SW1X 0LZ | E: lynn.calder@ineos.com |



Louisa Briggs - Museums Sheffield Curator for Protest and Activism Project.

Louisa Briggs from Museums Sheffield is the curator for the Protest and Activism Project. She was planning to attend our meeting to find out what we could offer for the project. Louisa had to send apologies and as the next meeting is the Christmas meal. Richard  has offered to meet with her separately. We discussed what we could lend or donate and what would be most relevant for display or for an archive. We have banners, t-shirts, maps, flyers, postcards etc. There are lots of resources from specific stunts and campaigns (e.g. Sash from the Big Ask, David Cameron masks)

Sheffield Friends of the Earth campaigning in 1979

Events Update - November 2017

Zero Carbon Yorkshire
Richard reported on an event with a presentation from Centre for Alternative Technologies (CAT) on “Zero Carbon Britain” where we can power the country using existing technology. See http://zerocarbonbritain.com/en/ for more details.


Peace and Craft Fair
Several people from the group ran a stall at the Peace and Craft Fair with information leaflets about fracking and air pollution.

Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be on Monday 18 December 2017 at 7.30 pm and Christmas meal at 8pm. If you would like to join us then please contact Liddy on e.goyder@sheffield.ac.uk


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 Disgruntled@riseup.net 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.


ACTIONS:
  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).


Events
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 https://www.facebook.com/events/420994184961818 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: http://bit.ly/2ypDxmm

Twitter: Today I'm asking @GregClarkMP to #ProtectOurFutures & our climate. Ask him to stop #fracking before it starts: http://bit.ly/2ypDxmm

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.

ACTIONS: 
  • 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).

ACTIONS: 
  • 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.