Monday, 18 February 2019

Climate Change Campaign - Schools Strike

The school students' strike for the climate received good coverage in the Sheffield Star – about 500 children and positive coverage. We distributed some leaflets and displayed our banner. Here are the Student Climate Network’s four key demands:
  1. The Government declare a climate emergency and prioritise the protection of life on Earth, taking active steps to achieve climate justice. 
  2. The national curriculum is reformed to address the ecological crisis as an educational priority.
  3. The Government communicate the severity of the ecological crisis and the necessity to act now to the general public.  
  4. The Government recognise that young people have the biggest stake in our future, by incorporating youth views into policy making and bringing the voting age down to 16.
The next strike is due to take place on 15th March

Air Pollution Campaign Update - February 2019

We have various new materials from national FoE including fracking and air pollution posters and leaflets.

Monitoring kits – Graham has a strategy for collecting monitoring data across the city and event to make the kits is planned provisionally for 10-12am on 10th March at The Diamond (so long as parts arrive in time). Discussed how best to engage people across the city in making and installing kits.

School talk & School Streets campaign – Rachel Hand from SCA met with Richard and Graham to discuss the campaign last week. Graham did the petition last year for School Streets and took to the Council but as Jack Scott currently suspended, meeting with council is on hold but Graham will follow up with Cllr Jack Scott’s PA who had organised the meeting. He is also working with a number of schools interested in School Streets campaign and sharing information and support with monitoring kit, offering talks etc.

Sheffield FoE have “Clean Air “lessons and an assembly that we can deliver to any schools that  request it. Greystones Primary have taken up this offer in March.

Charging Points - Last week there was a City council announcement of 20 rapid charge points for Ultra-Low emission taxis “which will help more taxi drivers make the switch to low-pollution vehicles.”

Plastics Campaign Update - February 2019

Sheffield FoE will screen “A Plastic Ocean” film with Festival of Debate on 11th May at Theatre Deli as part of the festival’s Environment Day. 2:30-4:30 for film + talk

Friends of the Earth are launching their Plastic Pollution Bill. Ask your MP to support it.  2 places are available for the FoE event on 25thFeb at the House of Commons. Anyone interested in going can contact Richard through

Gove has announced national plans to standardise recycling.

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - February 2019

Sharon Wilson a Texan anti-fracking activist addressed a meeting in Doncaster hosted by Friends of the Earth. She emphasised how important it was to stop fracking from happening in England. Unfortunately, many are reaping the consequences of the industry with many cases of ill-health and local environment being ruined.

Anybody want to join us in helping out with a stall in Barlborough on Sunday 5 May? (Richard will take materials and gazebo).

Sarah Swords is organising a minibus for an event in the Peak District National Park in June. Sheffield FoE will help to fund this.

29 March - 1 April “A Frack Free Fraction Festival” is planned (sign up to the SAF newsletter to get uptodate info;  Woodsetts Against Fracking is looking for expertise to help support their campaign.

On 9 March Chesterfield Climate Alliance are having a demonstration outside HSBC Bank in Chesterfield from 9 am as they fund fracking (related to Misson Springs in North Notts near South Yorks border). Sheffield FoE will look to support this event.

Stalls, Meetings and Talks - February 2019

Stall booked and Richard is giving a talk at the High Storrs School Eco Expo on Saturday, 23 March 2019 from 11:00-18:00. This looks like an exciting event with lots of interesting talks and stalls. See if you can get along. Help with the stall would be welcome. See and for more information.

Next Meeting - Mon 18 March at 7.30pm at the Red Deer

Monday, 21 January 2019

Air Pollution Update - January 2019

Graham Turnbull from Clean Air Parents' Network is co-ordinating a “School Streets” petition to get changes in policy to support time limited road closures for schools with poor air quality locally. He has support from some councillors and from the University of Sheffield’s landscape department and raised awareness with schools, some of which are already interested. He is also working with university colleagues who are supporting his plans for pollution monitoring with plans for building up to 250 sensors. A further step would be to develop an app so individuals can download results from their own area.

Actions: Graham to contact Sheffield Climate Alliance to link up his campaign and FoE campaigning with their activities/networks. Potential to help organise workshops to build pollution monitors in February before a larger event planned for Saturday 23 March. Richard will also share information with national FoE through Simon Bowen.

Plastics Update - January 2019

Richard had a successful meeting with Louise Haigh to ask her to support development of the MPs’ plastics group to campaign for legislation. She is happy to also support by asking a parliamentary question on plastics.

Demand for plastic-free products/shopping growing – “Unwrapped” on Crookes Road getting 50-70 customers a day (100 at the weekend).

Screening of “Plastic Ocean” planned for 11 May as a Festival of Debate event. Action: Shaun to check plans with Drew who is organising and inviting Simon Bowen; Richard to invite Louise Haigh.

Black Plastic pots – Shaun has suggested taking plastics that cannot be recycled back to the retailer to ask them if they can re-use/recycle, at least to raise awareness.

MoveGB -  A national gym has branded water bottles and have asked for endorsement. Action – to share information with Drew and Beatrice and potentially request advice from national FoE.

Fracking Update - January 2018

Sheffield Against Fracking is organising a meeting with local speakers on health impacts and the KM8 victory at Theatre Deli on 22 January (with apple crumble).

AGM was held by Sheffield Against Fracking in January,

Future events:

  • National gathering in London,  2 February. Full details on Facebook event page; further information is also in the SAF newsletter. 
  • Monthly meeting 5 Feb 7:30-9pm Central URC Church, 60 Norfolk St, Sheffield, S1 2JB.

Other News - January 2019

Beatrice signed a Brexit letter in the Yorkshire Post explaining that a non deal was bad for the environment.

Groundswell – events planned for Spring 2019 in Birmingham (8 June), Bristol (15 June), Cambridge (29 June), Darlington (18 May), London (27 April) and Manchester (1 June). Plan is for a full day of “basecamp” activities including talks. Individuals can sign up through FoE link for any of the events.

Booking forms available for Sharrow Festival Stall - Sat 6th July; we have agreed to delay making bookings until we can plan which festivals we target when we have more dates and know who is likely to be available.

Events listings for our group – potential to use Opus/Now then magazine.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Air Pollution Update - December 2018

A while back a FOI request was turned down by Sheffield City Council. National FOE is pursuing this and just keeping us informed.

The Clean Air Zone may not include private cars if required levels can be met without this although FoE’s policy is to continue to advocate their inclusion.

Client Earth – there is a potential contact which Richard will pick up who is interested in getting involved and potentially leading on air pollution.

Plastics Campaign Update - December 2018

Richard is meeting Louise Haigh in January as part of national campaign to get MPs on side and identify a group that could champion legislation (8 already signed up).

A Plastic Ocean - film screening with Festival of Debate and the Light Cinema is being planned and Louise could potentially be invited.

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - December 2018

Sheffield Against Fracking's AGM is coming up on Jan 8 at 7:30 United Reform Church and is an open meeting – all welcome. Drew has done some artwork for the AGM for them. Other meetings include 22 Jan 7:30 Theatre Deli, speaker meeting on Health Impacts (Eddie Thornton and others). A full update with details of future meetings from June below and further info on Sheffield Against Fracking website.

Details of Fracking events and news (update from June)

Winter Solstice at Tinker Lane     
Tinker Lane Protectors Camp, DN22 8PA
Saturday 22nd December   Starts at 4pm
Join the protectors for some solstice connection, reflection and earth healing vibes.
We'll meet and spend some time by the gates, then head to camp and eat some warming food. Everyone welcome!

FRACK OFF - festive fundraiser
Saturday 22nd December     Starts at 7pm
The Queen Crafthouse & Kitchen, 1 Sunny Bar, Doncaster DN1 1LY
An evening of live music to raise awareness of fracking and support those who are protesting daily at anti-fracking camps in the Doncaster area. RAFFLE £1 ENTRY. Plus a talk by Dave Shaw, co-founder of Frack Free South Yorkshire. Free entry but donations welcome to support the anti-fracking movement.

Sheffield Against Fracking AGM & monthly meeting
Tuesday 8th January 2019   7.30pm-9.30pm
Central URC Church, 60 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB
With the growing threat of fracking and toxic waste in our area, we'd love new people to get involved with ideas, skills or a desire to learn.
There are various roles available, from event and action coordinators to internal and external communication roles. For more information, please email us.

Regional Strategy Meeting for South Yorks/ East Midlands
Saturday 12th January 2019       10am - 1pm
The Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby, Rotherham S66 8JD
Meeting of anti-fracking groups from across the region. Meet like-minded people, share knowledge, skills and experiences, and learn about the situation locally & nationally

Fracking: Health impacts & the KM8 victory 
Tuesday 22nd January 2019      7.30-9.30pm at Theatre Delicatessen
How the community of Kirby Misperton united to protect their landscape from fracking; with views from Eddie & Tim Thornton - 2 different approaches to activism.
Eddie Thornton an activist  determined to protect his local area from fracking - why and how.
Tim Thornton - retired family doctor and a concerned health professional, who has set up Concerned Health Professionals of the United Kingdom (alongside Carol Hutchinson from Eckington)
Deborah Gibson - local activist & campaigner from Harthill Against Fracking & Frack Free South Yorkshire - an update on fracking in the area how you can get involved.
 Free entry, donations to Sheffield Against Fracking
Apple crumble, tea & coffee included

Fracking halted AGAIN in Lancashire
A minor earthquake of 1.5 magnitude struck late on Tuesday morning following a series of far smaller tremors, and after fossil fuel exploration had stopped for the day. Activity has again been suspended. Locals said they felt the tremor.

General Group News - December 2018

The meeting was shorter than normal due to a great Christmas meal in the Red Deer and celebrating Richard's birthday.

Trademark/Partnership agreement – This no longer requires payment of an annual fee but still provides access to insurance for stalls and events; all that is required is a signature on behalf of the group.

Next meeting is 21st January 7:30pm (Richard to chair; Liddy to take notes). We hope you can make it.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Air Pollution Campaign Update - November 2018

Sheffield City Council has now announced that it plans to establish a Clean Air Zone by 2021 and it will apply to buses, coaches, HGVs, LGVs, vans, taxis and private hire vehicles but not cars. There will be a consultation from January 2019. More details can be found at the links below:
At the time of the SCC announcement, Shaun produced a very good press release and Beatrice did an excellent interview to promote the issue. Client Earth have been in touch with Shaun as they would also like to work with us on this and contribute to the consultation when it opens. They have a parents’ network and Simon mentioned FoE have some new materials for schools and informed development of school “exclusion zones” for peak periods which have encouraged parents to walk their children to school.

Simon reported on national air quality campaigning and the progress in other cities announcing Clean Air Zones, eventually expecting about 20 cities to need to develop similar action plans.

The SCA AGM was devoted to Air Pollution and they have been campaigning for the Clean Air Zone over the summer. Drew will represent FoE at the SCA meeting tomorrow (20/11/18). There is another FoE teleconference during the week as well.

Related to transport and air pollution is the Supertram consultation. Individuals have contributed along with Sheffield Climate Alliance. The preferred option is to replace the system with new rails and trams rather than adhoc improvements or scrapping it altogether. There is also a petition for improving public transport. Please sign here 

Anti-Fracking Campaign Update - November 2018

June gave an update on current activity, including a number of events coming up:

  • Ian Fairley is giving a talk at California Lane, Ballborough on 21/11/18. If you can't get there a video from the Sheffield meeting is available on YouTube.

  • An event at Tinker Lane on 22/11/18 to “dress in pink”. 
  • Saturday 23/11/18 “funeral for the future” meeting at Town Hall (dress in black).
Alan gave update on the London and Sheffield Extinction Rebellion meetings. Rachel gave update on an open letter that will be available for more signatories in due course (Lauren will forward on).