Notes from Sheffield FoE Local Group meeting - 21st February 2022 by Zoom
Lindy S (chair), Liddy G, Duncan F, Shaun R, Nick J, Dave A, Richard S, Izzy P, Dorothy L.
Apologies: Helen F, Greg H, Beatrice G, Claire B
Update on Peat campaign: Duncan has looked at the range of brands at
Birley Moor garden centre and spoken to the owner who was aware that peat use
was a live issue but apparently all the delivered plants are in peat and they
don’t consider there is an alternative. Shaun has contacted Loxley &
Langlands and similarly the one that replied said although they offer customers
a choice of composts, all supplied plants come in peat. Other garden centres
have not yet replied to our email and further visits are planned by Nick and
Liddy. There are “peat free” garden centres (Clumber Park and Tissington were
mentioned) outside Sheffield that we could highlight as more environmentally
friendly and other retailers do sell peat-free compost.
Given the industry push back, Shaun suggested we use the
March 18th deadline for the government’s consultation on banning
peat-based compost by 2024 as a target to put out a press release about the consultation
highlighting the need for public pressure and enforcement of legislation if
destruction of peat moors is to be stopped. We discussed how to ensure the
press release reaches the right audiences now that many people may get news via
social media (Instagram; Googleapp).
How to Finish with Fast Fashion - this event on Feb 28th can be booked here
Festival of Debate – SCA (South Yorkshire Climate
Alliance) Climate/Environment Day is being held April 23rd in the
Millennium Galleries. – there will be a series of 1 hour talks including one on
the media in the afternoon and one on use of technology and a sharing of good
practice from across the SY region. We will also have a stall in Millennium
Galleries during the day – HELP NEEDED TO STAFF THE STALL
Mayoral Hustings – the new mayor will have key
responsibilities for environmental
policy in the region and we have invited the three declared candidates to a
hustings debate on line in April during the month before the elections; only
the Labour candidate has responded to date.
Local elections – South Yorkshire Climate Alliance
will send a survey to all standing as councillors across South Yorkshire, based
on a Manchester Foe model which they have generously made available to us. We
will need help with finding candidates details and email addresses.
Monthly challenges: Suggestions – write a letter to
the local media; buy peat-free compost; buy biodegradable/plastic free teabags;
join a litter pick (or start your own); avoid plastic bags when buying
vegetables in supermarkets (and ideally buy from local greengrocers).
Drax: Several Yorkshire groups are mobilising
to step up the campaign against Drax; in direct action XR have stopped a train
carrying wood pellets and there have been demonstrations when they have been in
court recently. National FoE is supporting action and we can share campaign
information via social media. Lindy and Richard highlighted the extent of
“greenwashing” by Drax and other industries – Friends of the Earth nationally
is working with Biofuelwatch to expose this: https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/axedrax-campaign/
National Foe campaigns – currently suggesting
actions we can take to campaign on energy crisis, including petition for a
Later in the year they are planning a nature-related
Local MPs- Some are being proactive – Paul Blomfield
and Oliva Blake are very active on environmental issues; Clive Betts less so.
Gill Furniss has a survey for her constituents on how to make Net Zero
Update on supporter
numbers:: Database stands
at 480 (+1 in the month, but some duplicates also removed); Twitter 806 (+ 25);
Facebook 659 (+7). Instagram 59 (+7)
issue has been resolved by removing photograph and paying £79 fee; we hope this
will not mean other FoE groups will be targeted and national FoE have offered
to pay the fee given they were the source of the photo.
Local Group Meetings
· 21st March 2022: 7:30pm – via
· April 18th 2022 (Easter
Monday).7:30pm – via Zoom. NB: This will be the AGM.
discussed potential speakers for future meetings – could include academic
experts or relevant campaigning groups (Duncan mentioned “Powers for People”
who are campaigning on the local energy bill; Nick suggested waste/recycling as
an issue of local concern) SUGGESTIONS WELCOME
regular business meetings should probably continue on Zoom (more convenient for
everyone) we feel we want the opportunity for in-person events too. We will
encourage supporters to call in on any campaign events (even if they can’t help
staff them) and we will organise Sunday walks in May & July. In principle
we will also hold a social/speaker meeting in the autumn and plan ahead for a potential
Christmas social too.