Monday, 20 August 2018

Campaign Update - August 2018

  • Richard provided an update. The Marsh Lane application was approved largely on grounds of putative energy needs.
  • Sheffield Climate Alliance are continuing to meet regularly with councillor Jack Scott.
  • A training workshop for councillors, with the Council’s Chief Planning Officer and two independent experts, is likely to be 26 or 27 September. It will look at the issues of waste fracking water at Ecclesfield.
  • Alan and Richard visited the Mission Springs and Tinker Lane protection camps. 
  • Detailed information on recent anti-fracking news and plans available from Sheffield Against Fracking website and newsletter.
  • The Deep in Hull apparently don’t want groups for their beach clean activity so we have dropped this as a social event.
  • We were contacted by the Brownies to see if we could do a talk about plastics. Richard will follow this up and offer to do a talk.
  • Our main campaign focus at the minute is the opportunity for organising a local film screening  of  “A Plastic Ocean” with a panel discussion afterwards. Shaun has identified a number of options that he and Bert will follow up in terms of collaborative showings: We have the opportunity to screen “Blue Heart” about damming rivers but we feel it will be difficult to build up an audience. 

Air Pollution
  • We are aware of national Friends of the Earth's Freedom of Information request to the council to obtain a copy of the feasibility study for Nitrogen Dioxide Compliance (required by DEFRA by 31 March 2018, under the Environment Act 1995, Air Quality Direction 2017) which identifies options for compliance with legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide. The council haven't provided this as the document is still in draft. Friends of the Earth are working on this and we will help if we can. 

Other News - August 2018

Group Development Work
Shaun has discussed with Simon Bowens at Friends of the Earth's regional office and established that regionally and nationally FoE want to help local groups much more than in past. Simon is our primary contact and Carla is leading on provision of training and group activities likely to mainly be in 2019. They discussed the need for small campaigns that don’t require major resources and FoE is developing “campaign in a box” materials that might help. Shaun will invite Simon to our next meeting (September –or October if September not feasible) to discuss further ways they can help. Shuan is also exploring the Action Network site to see how we might use it for petitions and campaigning.

Art Project in Paradise Square 
We have shared information about an Art Project in Paradise Square and the recruitment of 500 women is apparently going well. The project is about women and political campaigning.

Low-Carbon Economy 
Richard has been interviewed by Ana Laranjeira from Imperial College London for Just Transition to a low-carbon economy project.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Fracking Campaign - July 2018

June updated the group on the latest developments with the anti-fracking campaign.

INEOs have submitted a new application, almost identical to the one which was unanimously rejected by RMBC. They have sent letters to the councillors and residents of Woodsetts saying they won at Harthill, they are going to win at Woodsetts and they will ask for RMBC to pay their full costs.

Marsh Lane
Public Enquiry finished on 29th June. Congratulations and hearty thanks for a sterling effort from the Eckington Against Fracking Team, Derbyshire CC and others who supported them. A decision is expected in mid-August.

The government has overruled Rotherham council’s decision and granted INEOS permission to build a test well. Harthill Against Fracking will request a judicial review.

Misson Springs
Work has been suspended at Misson due to the owl breeding season.

Tinker Lane
Work has been temporarily halted while a study is conducted after a hobby bird was sighted.
All 5 sites above desperately need funds.

Preston New Road (Lancs)
Residents are demanding that fracking should not be allowed until Cuadrilla have issued an Emergency Evacuation Plan in the event of an emergency.

7th earthquake in Surrey
Residents are demanding an investigation after the 7th earthquake this year. Previously there has been no seismic activity for 50 years. “We think that serious questions should be asked, especially in connection with the two [oil and gas] sites nearest to the epicentres: Brockham and Horse Hill.”
The British Geological Survey have said “We are unable to say categorically if these earthquakes are related to hydrocarbon exploration or production in the Weald, mainly because of the uncertainties in our estimates of the earthquake epicentres and depths.”

Recent events
  • 8th July. SAF had a stall at Ridgeway. Good response from the public as it is very close to Marsh Lane. 
  • Friday 22nd June, Wheelies for Water: People cycled round Sheffield city Centre and then on to Blackburn Meadows where there were speeches. There was a good turnout.
  • Saturday 14 July: Mosborough Against Fracking hosted a stall at Beighton Gala;  Frack-free South Yorkshire hosted a stall at Harthill Carnival.   

Future events
  • Wednesday 18 July, 7.30pm, We Are Going to be Fracked. Barlborough Welfare Club.                  Guest Speaker is Ian Crane
  • 12th August, South Yorkshire Show, Frack-free Penistone and Stocksbridge will have a stall
  • 27th August, Sheffield Show in Norfolk Park. SAF will have a stall
  • 2nd September, Ecclesfield Gala. Frack free Eccclesfield and Chapeltown will have a stall 
  • 23rd July, meeting in the school rooms at Woodsetts. 
  • Woodsetts Against Fracking want to host a huge event to include all anti-fracking groups in the area. 13th October was suggested as this is “Global Frackdown Day”. It hasn’t been decided yet whether it will be in Sheffield or Rotherham.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, which was chaired by Clive Betts has published its report
  • It warned against treating the applications for test drilling as permitted development
  • It opposed bringing fracking into the National Infrastructure Plan, saying it should not be treated any differently from other forms of energy.
  • It said the definition of fracking should be made clear, to ensure that anything involving artificial fracturing should be subjected to the appropriate regulations. 
The All Party Parliamentary Group chaired by Lee Rowley has challenged the new legislation
INEOS have asked the government for financial help to build a new chemical plant at Hull. They said they may take the project to Belgium if the government refuses.

Update from Richard
Richard attended a meeting about Regional Strategy and there are four groups looking at different aspects including Water (Richard contributing) and a further Regional Strategy Meeting on 18 Aug  (organised by David Burley).

Plastics Campaign - July 2018

We have resources for the plastics campaign and a national petition. We have used these on our recent stalls at Sharrow and Stannington.

The Deep Beach Clean organisers have not got back to Shaun so we don’t have any further information. We could do something locally instead with local community groups in Sheffield which would also help with local engagement with other groups.

Regional Office support - Simon Bowens has asked what support or help we need with campaigning or local group development. We will ask him how he can help with some very specific support to get more people engaged with the group and contributing to our campaigns to ensure the group is sustainable.

Stalls - July 2018

Feedback from the Sharrow Festival (7 July) and the Stannington Carnival (14 July): Stalls attracted plenty of interest in fracking and plastics. However there are limitations of the petition with multiple different tick boxes related to changes in requirements post GDPR. We can feedback to national FoE that the current format is not user friendly.

Save the Date - 3 November: The Peace & Craft Fair in the Town Hall will be on Saturday 3 November (open to the public from 11 to 4:30) We will book a 6 foot table for the day (£24).

Local Activism Video project - July 2018

We met with Chloe Brown to participate in her Art video project by doing the “Wigan clap” in FoE and Clean Air t-shirts. She has also filmed in Detroit. She will let us know when there is a screening of the finished project in Sheffield.

There is another opportunity to participate in further filming on 2 September when she is planning to have about 400 women in Paradise Square doing a range of activities related to activism and getting their voices heard. We'll post more details about this nearer the time.

Other News - July 2018

Bristol FoE contacted us about trees and Shaun put them in touch with STAG and the Green Party.

Beatrice contacted a journalism student wanting an interview about public transport but they did not respond

Shaun has been writing to supermarkets and shops about reducing packaging and plastic waste. He has also contacted  the council about local changes to recycling and has asked about tetra paks which only have 2 recycling points in Sheffield.

Next Meeting: Mon 20 Aug at 7.30pm (Chair Richard; Note taker Liddy)

Monday, 18 June 2018

Plastics Campaign Update - June 2018

FoE have been developing their own plastics campaign and produced sign up/petition sheets and stickers, posters, flyers etc.  We discussed their stall suggestions and could run a competition for ideas to reduce plastic waste as well as collecting contact details for future campaigning on July stalls. ACTION: Shaun to order campaign materials to be sent to Richard for 7th July and confirm the stickers are plastic free.

Beach Clean
A beach clean is being organised by The Deep under the Humber Bridge in Hull on 22 September. If enough people are interested then we could organise to travel by train or maybe car sharing. ACTION: Shaun to ask for further information about arrangements and equipment being provided. Please let us know if you are interested in going.

Film Screening
There is an opportunity to show the film “Plastic Ocean”. ACTION: Shaun to check availability/licensing with national FoE

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - June 2018

Some of the main fracking issues discussed at the meeting were:

  • Since the decision to allow exploration at Harthill, there has been a new application at Woodsetts.  
  • There is an event for Marsh Lane planned which includes activities for children and campaign awareness raising rather than a demonstration. Meeting at Fox & Hounds pub from 2-5 on Saturday 23 June. 
  • We discussed strategy and the waste water contamination issue.
  • FoE is joining up with 360 Degrees for potential joint action (potential week of action to target MPs in late July)
  • Richard has done a Radio Sheffield interview on fracking and activism.  
  • FFSY are holing a Regional Strategy meeting on 30 June. See Frack Free South Yorkshire website.

Other News - June 2018

History of Activism. We shared information about Beatrice’s video project and Shaun passed on suggestions for what we could do to celebrate our successes - e.g. Big Ask Campaign and solar panels.

BaseCamp. Richard gave some feedback on the main messages. Plenty on all major campaigning issues: fracking, air pollution, bees, plastics etc. Links between social justice and environmental justice were emphasised (and the rich have a much bigger carbon footprint than the poor); need to give strong messages e.g.  awareness we have “a climate emergency”

The Sharrow Festival  - focus on Fracking and Plastics. We still need people to sign up for 7th July this year -

Stannington Carnival is on the 14th July. We still need people to sign up here

Grange Landfill. We had an email request which we aren't able to help with. It was passed on to Simon at the Leeds office to see if he is able to help.

Next Meeting:  Mon 16 July at 7.30pm; Chair – Richard; Notes – Liddy.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Fracking Update - May 2018

June provided an update on the local council response to the proposed changes in planning regulations to make it much easier to get planning permission for fracking – locally there is significant disquiet. The new Lord Mayor is also a Green councillor and has taken an active interest in local campaigns and has visited Tinker Lane. The newly elected Mayor for the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis also needs to be lobbied to ensure he is aware it is a local priority although there is still uncertainty about his tenure at the moment. Yorkshire Post has published an article on the expert opinion on the need for buffer zones whilst the national government has not made any decisions about buffer zones.

Several events in May including one at Misson Springs (highlighting threat to owls) and event at Clumber Park this weekend. Harthill is still awaiting a decision post-enquiry.

Museums Sheffield – Richard reported on a radio interview he has been invited to give on his contribution to the exhibition so there will be an opportunity to raise anti-fracking

June is planning to start a newsletter to share information about all the anti-fracking events which we can share via FoE email list and our Facebook page.

Richard has met with the local Labour Party chair and identified some appropriate GMB contacts to try and mobilise Labour activism against fracking

Events coming up in June include
  • 9 June - Anti-Fracking stall at Peace in the Park
  • 19 June - Marsh Lane enquiry starts and the Eckington group is organising a peaceful protest at 9am (Chesterfield Town Hall)
  • 23 June – Day of action at the Fox & Hounds – more details to follow.
  • Share June’s newsletter when available 
  • Check the FoE petition can be accessed from the local group website. 
  • As previous agreed Sheffield FoE will support the Misson Springs Protection Camp campaign where we can.

Plastics Campaign - May 2018

Bert gave a report back from the plastics meeting which discussed the idea for a local campaign with a specific aim/message. Charlotte is planning to start by talking to café owners about sourcing non-plastic items to replace single use plastic. The impact could be evaluated and successful local business could be given an award for reduced plastic use. Need to consider council involvement.

  • Sheffield Friends of the Earth are financially contributing to the Plastics Free Project start up and will assist with future fund-raising efforts.
  • We could also support some fundraising/awareness raising activities.

Air pollution - May 2018

Shaun had responded to the Green Journeys press release. As a result of this Hallam FM contacted us and Beatrice gave an interview for the main news bulletin which went out at drive time.

Richard shared the latest council ideas for air pollution and transport -

Events and Stalls - May 2018

BaseCamp is from 1-3 June.
If you are not free for the weekend, you can go for a day.

We are planning to have both anti-fracking and Plastics campaigning materials on the stalls.

1. The Sharrow Festival is on 7th July this year. Set up is from 10am and we ask for any vehicles to be off site by 12pm, midday, when the public comes along, the stage on the top field is programmed until 6pm and the bottom field until 8pm. They will not allow vehicle access to the site once the festival has started. Richard and Alan are co-ordinating

Sign up here

2. Stannington Carnival is on the 14th July.  We need people from about 10:30 to set up (for official start at 11:30) and until 5pm (no vehicles allowed on site between 11 and 5). Please select one or more time slots and try to make sure we have at least 2 people in each slot.

Sign up here

Monday, 16 April 2018

AGM - Annual General Meeting

Coordinator's Report
At the 2017-2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM), Shaun highlighted our activities and successes over the past year. See below for the report.

Election of Officers
The election of officers for 2018-2019 are:
  • Coordinator – Shaun re-elected.
  • Website and Facebook - Shaun re-elected.
  • Treasurer – Liddy re-elected.
  • Richard was elected as Local Group Chair.
  • National FoE had asked who was managing the Twitter account and Miriam offered to take on social media activity until a more local lead could be identified.  
Liddy presented the accounts. If you would like a copy then please get in touch. see the contacts page.

Campaign priorities for 2018-2019
Air pollution has been less a priority with less steer from FoE nationally but there will be a national Day of Action later in the year we could support with a “one-off” event.

Plastics campaigning could be done in collaboration with Plastics Free Project which has 1000+ members and in developing a positive and focused campaign. Next steps would include supporting businesses to reduce plastics use and Charlotte’s group have many ideas for specifically targeting local cafes to help them to reduce their use of plastic e.g. straws or takeaway containers. There is for the local group potential to support strategy development and look for whether FoE nationally will have useful resources.

2017 - 2018 Yearly Review
April 2017 - April 2018 has been a busy year for the group. Here is a list of the highlights from the year. 

  • John stepped down as the coordinator and Shaun took on the role. Shaun continued with the roles of updating the website and facebook.
  • Liddy agreed to continue as our treasurer.
Air Pollution
  • 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.

  • Organised an anti-fracking rally in city centre (October).
  • Worked with national Friends of the Earth to put on the “Robin Hood vs The Frackers” street theatre.
  • 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 which raised nearly £1,000.
  • Had a networking lunch with Jessica Ernst who has been responsible for a long running legal campaign in Canada.
  • Organised two training workshops regarding legal issues at fracking protests.
  • Richard gave a presentation on fracking to Fulwood Labour Party.

  • Took part in a stall at the Sheffield Food Festival in the Winter Gardens.
Other Campaigns
  • Worked with Museums Sheffield for a history of activism project.
  • 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.
  • Beatrice - talked to scouts about environmental issues.
  • Tamara attended the Sheffield Renewables AGM.
  • Air pollution and fracking articles in the local media.
  • Media training.
  • 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.
2018 - 2019
Hopefully the new year of campaigning will see many more people getting involved and we’ll achieve many more success stories. Our success is 100% a result of the volunteers giving up a bit of their time to make a difference.