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).

Plastics Campaign Update - November 2018

Drew gave an update about the screening of the film A Plastic Ocean. We hope to join forces with the Light Cinema and the Festival of Debate for spring 2019. Simon confirmed that national FoE should be able to provide an appropriate speaker who could re-iterate the FoE environmental line on plastics.

Richard participated in a national teleconference which discussed contacting supportive MPs and subsequently contacted Louise Hague but has not yet had a reply. He has requested a meeting and offered a photo opportunity.

Other Group News - November 2018

Richard and Liddy manned a stall at the Peace & Craft fair and sold some plastic-free products from “Unwrapped” in Crookes, collected signatures for anti-fracking and plastics campaigns; got people to sign up to online FoE climate change petition.

Group Development
Simon Bowens introduced some ideas for developing the local groups and asked for feedback from the group. Plans including developing our international links with other activist groups and increasing the support for local activists, particularly for “grass roots” campaigns that can link up with other campaigns round the country. There needs to be potential for those who take on line action with national FoE to get more involved in action locally.  Also for increasing diversity of those involved including families, all age groups.

Potential support from national FoE:  Examples of linked networks in the anti-fracking campaign which could be spread to other campaigns. Support can also include more training events or campaign topic focused events e.g. legal and planning systems expertise. Regional gatherings will be “mini Basecamps” in future and aim to bring more people in to do more active campaigning.

Action Network is a platform and tool for online actions that ensures we can get contact details and build a database of supporters directly.  Southampton have successfully used to get people who signed a petition to come to a “Clean Air Cafe”.

As many people, particularly young people, relate to a ”cause”  or specific issue rather than the organisation (FoE) it is worth considering focused actions/meetings about a specific campaign.

Drew suggested a hub/private portal for FoE discussions. Expertise around recruitment and retention of active members mainly lies with local groups and could be shared. Need balance between events - both local and centrally organised – and on line/social media engagement.

Positive Money talk
Gerry Penny would like to provide the group with a talk about Positive Money. This was not discussed as we overran. To discuss at a future meeting.

Next Meeting and Christmas Social
Our Christmas social will take place on Mon 17 December. The meeting will start at 7.00pm - 7.30pm with the meal to start at 7.30pm. Liddy will circulate menu and collect bookings.

If sending a payment by post, send to E Goyder, 23 Nairn St, Sheffield S10 1UL. If easier to pay by bank transfer rather than cash or cheque, just let me know and I will send you my account details.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Anti Fracking Campaign Update - October 2018

Richard praised Dr Ian Fairlie's insightful presentation on radioactivity and fracking at the meeting on the 27th September.

The successful Global Frackdown Carnival in Sheffield was featured on both Look North and Radio Sheffield

Friends of the Earth Sheffield are proud to have donated money to Harthill Against Fracking and wish them the best of luck in their fight against fracking in Lancashire. Friends of the Earth Sheffield will also be contributing to transport costs involved with a national call for support at the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool. If you would like to go to the national rally please see the poster below:
Sheffield Friend of the Earth created a short video in support of the people in Blackpool trying to stop fracking.

Plastics Campaign Update - October 2018

Shaun reported that Liddy has been in discussions with Sheffield Festival Of Debate 2019. They approached Sheffield Friends of the Earth regarding an environmentally themed day during the festival.

Drew discussed the options for screening ‘A Plastic Ocean’ in the near future. Friends of the Earth Sheffield hope to secure a viable venue by November. Drew to complete the event proposal for Sheffield Festival of Debate 2019 before 5th November.

Friends of the Earth's Plastic Action Plan is in the final stages and will be released soon. Anyone interested in discussing the plan with their local MP should contact Edward Burke ( Please also let us know in the Sheffield group.

Richard and Drew discussed the recent meeting with 65th Ecclesall Brownies where Friends of the Earth Sheffield provided a talk and some fun activities centred on plastic waste and it’s threat to marine life. We would be pleased to consider holding similar events on Climate and Environmental related themes for any group: children, youth or adults. Please contact us if you're interested. Shaun suggested it may be possible to take bookings for future talks and event evenings through the website and/or Facebook page

Richard to take the Friends of the Earth national conference call on the 17th October

Richard to send a response to the recent enquiry regarding monitoring emissions at the Sheffield incinerator

Take Acton - Can you help with our next stall?
Richard will be running the Friend of the Earth stall at the Peace & Craft Fair on the 3rd of November.  Set up from 9 am (stall to be set up by 10:45am latest)Anyone willing to help run the stall can sign up here:

Other News - October 2018

The group reviewed the updated Friends of the Earth ‘Trade mark license’ and ‘Local group charter’. Shaun suggested that it would be extremely useful if it was possible to donate to local groups through the national Friends of the Earth website.

The consultation regarding Sheffield Supertram ends on Monday 5th November. Sheffield City Council are considering several options. To have your say visit:

Monday, 17 September 2018

Fracking Campaign - September 2018 Update

We helped out with a Sheffield Against Fracking stall at Sheffield Fayre in Norfolk Park on 27th August and again at Ecclesfield Gala with newly formed Frack Free Ecclesfield and Chapeltown the following weekend.

There was a debate on Fracking in Parliament where local MPs contributed supporting FoE's call for the erosion of local decision making in this matter to be stopped "Let Communities Decide".

Two very significant meetings were held on 27th September. Thanks go to Jack Scott , cabinet member on Sheffield City Council, for bringing activists and councillors together at lunchtime at the Crucible Theatre's Adelphi Suite to discuss presentations from Rob Murfin, SCC's Chief Planning Officer, Dr Ian Fairlie and John Busby on aspects of fracking that could directly impact on Sheffield should this hideous industry scale up. In particular, the problems of effectively regulating potential contaminants, including radiation and the associated health risks. Dr Ian Fairlie addressed a meeting in High Green in the evening answering questions from local residents and anti-fracking campaigners from many groups. It is hoped that Dr Ian Fairlie will give further talks on this matter to local groups in the near future.

Global Crackdown Carnival: look out for this and associated events on 13 th October. The organisers have built on the experience of the Sheffield FoE Rally last year. Let's hope it's bigger and better. Get along if you can. Check out our Facebook page for more details or

Plastics Campaign - September 2018 Update

Richard and Drew met with 65th Ecclesall Brownies on 24th September for a talk and some activities raising awareness about the huge problem plastic waste is presenting, particularly to marine life.
Look out for our petitions on this including the one highlighting microfibres in clothes and washing. See

We would be pleased to consider holding similar events on Climate and Environmental related themes for any group: children, youth or adults. Please contact us if you're interested.

We hope to show the film "A Plastic Ocean" at some time in the near future. Watch this space for further developments.

We missed the FoE conference call on developing the plastics campaign as Drew had to work.

Air Pollution Campaign - September 2018 Update

Sheffield Climate Alliance are promoting their work on Air Pollution and Transport at their AGM on 16th October. Jenny Bates from Friends of the Earth will be speaking at the event.

Group Development - September 2018

Simon Bowens from the Leeds Regional Office of FoE is helping us with group development work. He should be coming to one of our meetings soon.

Activists had an opportunity to hone their lobbying skills of councillors and MPs at a training event in Chesterfield.

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.