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 – possible music from Sheffield Socialist Choir and a samba band

Speakers include:

  • MC - David Burley—Frack Free South Yorkshire
  • Paul Blomfield MP - Shadow Brexit Minister
  • Tina-Louise Rothery  -  Frack Free Lancashire 
  • Dave Kesteven - Eckington Against Fracking
  • TBA - Friends of the Earth 
  • TBA - South Yorkshire Divestment group
  • TBA - Trade Union speaker 

We are planning for family/children friendly activities - colouring, models if possible. More details will be added as they are confirmed.

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

Ethical and Organic T-shirts

An eco t-shirt shop is offering a service for organisations who want to sell t-shirts that are ethically produced and it would be a relatively risk free way to generate funds and promote our campaigns. If you have any ideas about what styles of t-shirts you'd be interested in buying then let us know. Do you want ethical t-shirts with a campaign message or just something you could use for any occasion.

Shaun to identify a range of potential designs to appeal to different types of purchasers who would buy ethically produced t-shirts (with and without environment or campaigning themes). The website would be constructed over the next few weeks/months as time permits.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will take place at 7:30pm on Monday 21 August. It will be chaired chaired by Richard. We need a volunteer to take notes.

  • Shaun to update the website with the new time and provide the agenda.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

July Meeting

Please note that July's meeting will take place at 7.30pm instead of 8pm.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Air Pollution Campaign Update - June 2017

Air Pollution Tubes and additional opportunities for local monitoring
Beatrice has confirmed that she put up the second batch of air pollution monitoring tubes and the results should appear on the FoE national map. Richard reported on an experiment using a monitoring device for particulate air pollution (PM2.5) at rush hour and for people walking, cycling and using a car on the same route.

Day of Action on Sat 24 June
The main aim is to raise awareness and ensure politicians will support policy to implement air quality zones locally. Individual packs have been sent to Shaun and Richard and group information is expected this week to support a media stunt and appropriate press releases etc. Richard and Shaun are available but we need more people to help out and Sheffield Climate Alliance can be asked at tomorrow’s meeting. There is a media training event the same day and that also might be an opportunity for a media stunt. The pack containing the FoE resources should arrive between Mon and Wed.

An email from Annie O’Gara raised the issue of air pollution near a proposed site for a school in S7 and she came to the meeting to explain the local concerns about the environmental impact from both increases in air pollution and from previous use as a landfill site. We agreed to keep in touch, particularly in relation to the air pollution campaign.

Shaun has sent relevant information to Esther Knowles about the campaign as she expressed an interest in the campaign. If you'd like to get involved in the air pollution campaign then please get in touch.