Notes from Sheffield FoE Local Group meeting - 21st March 2022 by Zoom
Lindy S (chair), Shaun R, Nick J, Richard S, Greg H, Claire B, Julie W
Apologies: Helen F, Duncan F, Liddy G
Matters arising from February meeting
How to Finish with Fast Fashion: Event went well,
lots of energy. Izzy and Helen led it brilliantly
and there was lots of ‘chat’. About 20
attended and subsequently 20 views on YouTube.
Video link & resources on Sheffield FoE website.
Festival of Debate – SCA Climate/Environment Day is
being held April 23rd in the Millennium Galleries, though planning
is proving tricky.
Mayoral Hustings – Monday April 25th online. Only Labour and Green candidates have
confirmed. Trying to get confirmation
& contacts for Conservative and LibDem candidates. (These parties at regional & local level
did not respond to emails. )
Local elections councillor candidate survey: not
going ahead, no capacity to organise
Update on Peat campaign:
Lindy wrote a press release that was positively received by
Nancy Fielder editor of The Star but seems not to have been used. It’s on the
Sheffield FoE website. Nick suggests approaching Sheffield Tribune for
speakers for future meetings : Lindy contacted Engineering dept at Sh Uni –
positive response from HoD (personal friend) but no follow up so far. Lindy to
watched the CNN video of the impact of forestry for UK biofuels on the poor
southern US states whose environment and health are being destroyed for
transporting to and burning in the UK. Group agreed that we wanted to support
the Yorkshire campaign against biofuel burning – not least because of the £1m a
day that the gvt is spending on subsidies rather than investment in
renewables. Yorkshire meetings being
held to coordinate campaigning every 2nd & 4th
Thursday @7pm. Lindy will attend 25/3. Potential national campaign day Weds
April 27th which is Drax AGM.
Peat: Nick had had responses from Wards, New Leaf
and Ferndale Garden Centres. All
acknowledged the issue and said they were working on it, but ‘supply’ and ‘customer
expectation’ highlighted as to why they weren’t yet there. Shaun has contacted Sainsbury’s and is keen
to connect with peat-free garden centre at Tissington. Shaun had contacted the council re their use
of peat & will forward the reply to Lindy for a holistic report. Everyone
urged to keep badgering their ‘horticultural suppliers’.
SCA: April 23rd Richard, Nick, Julie all hoped to be
able to help out, Shaun to check shifts etc.
Nick suggested that the Bishop’s Garden Party on
June 16th which is planned with an eco theme might have space for
some FoE work – he will investigate.
Shaun shared the Bloomin’ Marvellous event in
the Peace Gardens 7/8 May. https://www.facebook.com/events/s/bloomin-marvellous/477071070561806/
No takers this meeting. Can be discussed in April (NB Lindy away that weekend)
Lindy forgot to mention the Sharrow festival on
July 9th ……
speakers was considered to be a positive step; if they can be linked to current
campaigns, all to the good. However, not
always necessary. Somewhere between 4-8 speaker
sessions a year would be a good model.
All to think about possible speakers (easier now meetings all on Zoom)
Shaun to pursue a speaker from a garden centre re the challenges of selling peat-free
products. Nick suggests Cathy Rhodes, Diocesan Environment lead, Lindy to
follow up with Engineering dept at Sheffield Uni. Richard to review the many excellent links he
has forged with the Schools’ conference contributors. Several people interested in green hydrogen
work developing with ITM Power locally but they have been unresponsive to all
approaches so far.
up the idea that some walk&talk sessions might be sociable and good as
meet-ups, Lindy suggested a couple of possible dates (May 7th &
July 10th) and will send round a Doodle poll to the most frequent
FoE participants to see if a core of 3 or 4 would be able to come along, before
advertising more widely to all supporters.
Update on supporter
numbers:: Database stands
at 486 (+6 in the month); Twitter 816 (+ 10); Facebook 658 (-1). Instagram 64 (+5)
Climate Alliance: Richard reported
on the difficulties facing the SY Climate Alliance with the failure of their
£3.5m National Lottery bid and subsequent loss of all three staff. As a result SCA
is in a state of flux, but will be hoping to develop new strategies soon.
Education South Yorkshire Conference:
Richard reported of the extensive programme developed by the SCESY team for the
recent online conference which were well received, though not as well attended as
hoped at the time. However, most events
are now available to view on the SCESY website and the move from end-of-year July
to this mid point should enable more developed follow up.
inconclusive judgement came out of court case FoE brought against the use of UK
aid money for the new gas project but it was better than a straight refusal. A disagreement between the two judges on the
case has split the court, meaning an appeal is likely needed to reach a
definitive outcome. FoE not giving up!
Airport expansion: Faced with a
public enquiry and widespread opposition LBA have withdrawn their plans for a
new terminal, though they are bullish about their intention to expand using
their current facilities. The GALBA
campaign group, who we supported, will continue to be vigilant over the plans,
however, we see this as a win.
campaigning: Greg reported on
two initiatives he has helped launch, based on successful work he had done
previously when living in Chesterfield and Nottingham
community meal at the Food Hall using donated left over produce
Central, campaigning on raising awareness and reducing plastic use focused on
Central constituency, involving businesses, churches, schools, community groups
as well as individuals.
Lindy offered to
publicise using FoE channels if Greg passed on written details.
Groundswell: The National Friends of the Earth annual
get-together is planned as regional in-person events this year. Our most local are Birmingham on 14/5,
Newcastle 14/5 and Manchester 21/6. Richard recommended these as energising and
interesting opportunities. Lindy to circulate information.