• Ban cigarette filter tips that are not biodegradable
    Cigarette filter tips traditionally take decades to breakdown, and are polluting our oceans and rivers. Up to 38% of waste found in our oceans are cigarette butts. There is no reason to continue using cellulose acetate for this.
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  • No Agreement to Exploit Crown Estate Coal Reserves Under The Cumbrian Coast
    Local campaigners have been opposing this plan on the grounds of intolerable climate and radiological damage since 2017. Her Majesty now has a direct role to play in either facilitating or stopping this plan in its tracks.  Her Majesty’s Crown Estate signed an Exploration Agreement with West Cumbria Mining on 21st July 2017.  This agreement ran out on 2nd October 2020.
 
 Also on 2nd October 2020 Cumbria County Council were minded to approve West Cumbria Mining’s plan.  (The Secretary of State told the council they could refuse but not offer final approval for the plan, pending his decision) 
 Developers, West Cumbria Mining require Her Majesty to agree to an Exploitation agreement in order to extract the coal.
 
 Her Majesty has visited Sellafield, the world’s known riskiest nuclear waste site.  Sellafield would be just five miles from the deep undersea coal mine.  Mass void removal is known to induce seismicity.  As well as this certain seismic risk the mine would be directly below the radioactive sediments which have settled on the Irish Sea bed from decades of Sellafield discharges.  The radioactive sediment which includes plutonium is named as the Cumbrian Mud Patch. 
 There have been many peer reviewed and independent reports indicating that subsidence/disturbance of the Irish Sea bed will resuspend these decades of radioactive wastes into the sea.  It takes just 4 years for radioactive wastes from Sellafield’s discharge pipeline to reach the Arctic. Far less time to reach our own coasts. The New Scientist has reported that Sellafield "reprocessing plant has released 40 000 billion becquerels of caesium-137. “So far, about 15 000 billion becquerels have reached the Arctic. This is between two and three times more than the contamination from Chernobyl, which is reaching the Arctic via the Baltic and North Seas.”  https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15420811-400-sellafield-leaves-its-mark-on-the-frozen-north/
 
 
 Mike Berners-Lee the climate expert has said of the Council approval of the coal mine that "12 Cumbria County Councillors have serious climate blood on their hands after approving the coal mine yet again - even though the case for has been shown to be 100% bogus. Unlikely there is anything any of them can do in their lives to undo this much damage.”   
 
 For myself as a long time nuclear safety campaigner and the person who took on the legal challenge against the coal mine with the help of top lawyers Leigh Day,  I know that the climate impacts although massive, are the tip of the iceberg. The nuclear impacts are of a magnitude literally out of this world as it is well known that the high level radioactive wastes sitting at Sellafield could annihilate the planet many times over.  This and the certain risk of resuspension of the Cumbrian Mud Patch wastes means that this coal mine puts the whole planet at direct risk of a nuclear fall out there would be no coming back from. 
 
 
 Please be on the right side of history and refuse to sign the Crown Estate agreement with West Cumbria Mining for further Exploration and Exploitation of coal reserves under the Irish Sea 5 miles from Sellafield and directly beneath the Cumbrian Mud Patch.
 Exploration Agreement with West Cumbria Mining https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/07143398/charges/lXWNTRigei_OaJQXhs2MwyKZ7ms Report into Radiological Impacts of the Coal Mine by Tim Deere Jones https://issuu.com/wildart/docs/west_cumbria_mining_-_radiological_implications_of
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  • Stop Tideway Vehicles Polluting Bermondsey Kids
    The Planning enquiry into the Super Sewer fully noted the risk of operating in such a built up, residential part of South London, with two schools very close to the site. Some of the properties have been partially protected from sound pollution from the site, but for some others, it was not feasible to upgrade sound protection. A large number of Bermondsey children use Chambers Street and Bevington Street to get to their schools. Engines cause fumes that affect children with Asthma. Covid has affected kids enough, those living nearby need respite from the disruption of light, noise and fumes from the site.
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  • STOP planned new dual carriageway through Sheffield South Street Park.
    We are concerned that for Sheffield City Centre, this Development Framework in its current form would increase air pollution and carbon emissions and would diminish a vital city centre green space. Sheaf Valley Park has been widely commended as an innovative and essential part of our city centre infrastructure. The Development Framework’s proposal to drive a dual carriageway through this park is deeply damaging, retrogressive and contradictory to the Council’s own transport, carbon and air quality targets. How can building a new dual carriageway ( swapping the existing dual carriageway with the existing tram line ) in the centre of the city reduce carbon and improve air quality when most independent research clearly states that new roads increase traffic and carbon emissions? It will not contribute to improving air quality and in fact will make air quality worse for Sheffield City as well as residents of Park Hill and the wider neighbourhood. New roads increase carbon emissions: It will not contribute to lowering carbon emissions and will have a substantially negative impact on total net carbon emissions for the project. Of equal concern is the apparent lack of strategic linkage to a clear vision for Sheffield City Region and Sheffield City Centre. The Development Framework is predicated on a series of engineering and land-based asset assumptions. It does not respond to a long-term net carbon zero future for Sheffield nor does it comply with or respond to the City Council’s own multiple strategic and policy commitments. There is so much more which requires an approach that goes beyond specific sites, traffic circulation and engineering design. The whole document appears to be lodged in a 20th century car dominated policy framework, driven by trying to address historic road-based development objectives, without any balanced evaluation of the viability, practicality or value of these assumptions. It is a deeply retrogressive and old-fashioned perspective on city development. The regeneration of the Midland Station ought to be a beacon and demonstrator for Sheffield City Region, pioneering less car traffic on roads; more active transport infrastructure; more greening and a brave and ambitious commitment to integrated, zero carbon transport systems. Instead it feels like a throwback to the 1960s where ring-roads of polluting traffic encircled our cities and personal mobility trumped mass transit systems and where there was scant regard for the impact of fossil fuels and their impact on our natural environment. We welcome the principle of the grey to green conversion of multiple roads as part of the wider strategy. This should be the opportunity for our city of Sheffield to grasp taking a new direction rather than a process of retrogressive transport planning.
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  • Act on the Climate Emergency
    Parliament declared a Climate Emergency over a year ago - and still not enough is being done to stop the worst effects of the climate crisis - in the UK and across the world. The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which already has the support of 70+ MPs, calls for the UK to make and enact a serious plan to cut our emissions, protect our nature, and give ordinary people a real say on the way forward, through a citizens’ assembly. The climate and ecological crisis is the biggest threat to all life on Earth we have ever faced, it is vital we act now and this bill would be a very encouraging step. But for this Bill to stand a chance of becoming law, a majority of MPs need to support it. That’s why I am calling on our MP Rushanara Ali to please support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. Please join me! You can find out more about the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill here: https://www.ceebill.uk/
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  • Request to change speed limit on B6097 Wath road to 30MPH
    There have been numerous incidents over the years on this stretch of road and something needs to be done about it now. There are residential areas on this stretch of road, Pit Row and Tinglebridge. It is very precarious on that road currently to put it mildly because of all the blind corners. We propose that 30mph speed limit be put in place from elsecar side before Pit row, round to past junction with Tinglebridge & Tinglebridge Lane.
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  • Stop the Cumbria Coal Mine!
    ***New coal mines = climate crisis*** This mine will create 9 million tonnes of CO2 every year through coal burned in UK and European steelworks.That's three times what all the people of Cumbria produce every year [1]. It's 2% of the UK's carbon footprint, which makes it a decision of national importance. Top economists and energy experts agree that this mine cannot be 'carbon neutral' as Cumbria County Council claim, instead it will worsen the climate crisis. [2] ***Breaking the law*** The Heathrow judgement showed that the Paris Agreement [3] must be taken into account in decisions about new high-carbon projects, which is why Robert Jenrick must step in. The UK will host the UN climate summit COP26 in 2021, so starting a mega-polluting coal mine would undermine these vital talks ***No more coal for steel*** The UK's two steelworks are the biggest single-site emitters in the country[4] because of their current reliance on coal, but you can make steel without coal. The mine will lock the steel industry in the UK and Europe into using coal for decades to come, instead of switching to viable alternatives, when instead a transition to clean steel could begin right now.[5] ***The impacts on Cumbria*** The impacts of climate change fall first and hardest on communities in the global south, who are already being impacted. But Cumbria itself is also vulnerable to increasing sea level rise and flooding, which are predicted to get more severe if we don't keep global temperatures under 1.5 degrees [6]. The economic impact of the jobs the mine would provide would be far outweighed by climate impacts on the local economy. [7] As Communities Secretary, it's Robert Jenrick's job to refuse permission to projects that are harmful to communities and that conflict with the UK's international commitments on climate change. It's his job to promote alternatives that would be better for communities. We need a Green Recovery that invests in our futures, instead of being forced to rely on polluting projects for jobs. THANK YOU Learn more about the local groups leading the fight to stop this mega-polluting project: https://www.coalaction.org.uk/2020/09/07/campaigns-to-stop-woodhouse-colliery-cumbria/ REFERENCES [1] Small World Consulting: A Carbon Baseline for Cumbria https://slacc.org.uk/cumbria-carbon-baseline/ [2] UCL: Top Economists & Energy Experts claim Ministers mislead over coal & climate https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/sustainable/news/2020/sep/coal-and-climate-ministers-need-reject-misinformation-new-coal-mines [3] Heathrow Third Runway Ruled Illeagal Over Climate Change https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/27/heathrow-third-runway-ruled-illegal-over-climate-change [4] EU ETS Emissions 2019 https://ember-climate.org/project/ets-2019-release/ [5] Materials Processing Institute Report Coal & Steel June 2020 https://slacc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/SLACC_Appendix-2_MPI-Report_11-06-2020.pdf [6] Areas in Cumbria that could end up underwater due to global warming https://www.lancs.live/news/local-news/areas-cumbria-could-end-up-18256314 [7] Presentation by Duncan Pollard on WCM https://slacc.org.uk/new-presentation-by-duncan-pollard-on-wcm/
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  • Make the Harrogate Stray more bee-friendly
    Since the 1930s, our traditional wildflower meadows have declined due to human practices - we now have a responsibility to regenerate land wherever we can; from adding natural verges, and wildflower areas to tree planting and halting the use of pesticides. If managed sensitively, the Stray can add to a local diverse and ecologically complex environment to help reverse the decline of insects, including essential pollinators.
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  • Save COUL LINKS protected nature from destructive Déjà Vu Golf Course development
    On 26 July 2020 (!), a new screening request, as a preliminary hurdle to scoping and a full planning application, was submitted to The Highland Council Planning (validated 4 September) for an 18-hole golf course, largely on Coul Links sand dunes within Loch Fleet and Dornoch Firth Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar international wetland. A further small par 3 course (14 holes) is proposed for adjacent non-SSSI higher land (raised beach) immediately north of Embo. That area was extensively burnt back in March 2020, also damaging non-SSSI dune grassland which supports a nationally important colony of northern brown argus butterfly. Details of the larger course layout are the same Bill Coore design as in the previous Coul Links Ltd Mike Keiser and Todd Warnock application, with its bogus claims about improvements to site condition repeated. I described some of the damage in the earlier petition (linked at the foot of this page), that was adopted by the Not Coul local opposition group (website in preparation). That application was refused by The Scottish Government in February 2020, following a Local Public Inquiry, after it had been approved by all but one councillor (plus one abstainer) on the Highland Council Planning Committee. Government agency NatureScot (previously SNH) has expressed similar serious concerns to before. The present applicant is a local councillor, acting ostensibly on behalf of a junior football club. The application Appendix states, “Should this application be progressed, it will be submitted by a consortium of community groups local to the East Sutherland region” and reveals Covid19 and Brexit uncertainties being levered for economic opportunism. There is no mention of ecocide: the extensive habitat loss from golf course construction and golf management, reduction and loss of species dependent on special habitats and each other, coastal erosion exacerbated by weakened natural sea defences, or the waste of resources repeating unnecessary Public Inquiries, should the application gain traction (money that could be spent on conservation). The fear is that the current screening request may be a Trojan or stalking horse for the previous Coul Links Ltd consortium, which included The Embo Trust as an intended shareholder. The councillor sits on nearly all the powerful local committees and was chairman of Embo Trust until January 2020, when he resigned from the trust. Although a charity, its website seems to have become private. Concerning his lobbying of the earlier planning application: in his Coul Links article in The Crofter journal, November 2017 he described ‘those of an environmental persuasion’ as ‘Armchair Environmentalists’ and invited comments to Highland Council (providing its planning reference) from those that agreed with him; as quoted in The Press & Journal, he expressed his ignorance of habitat loss as “Cars and cats kill more birds than golfers”; and he edited (cut and pasted) and circulated misleading press letters to all Highland Council Planning Committee, removing some blatant nonsense, like a winter duck fecundity theory gaffe: "There is shooting of wild fowl in the key winter breeding period – why have RSPB and others allowed this to carry on for years?" (sic.). At hypocritical odds with minority golf ambitions were Embo Trust’s Article of Association no. 4.5 principles: "To advance environmental protection or improvement including preservation and conservation of the natural environment, the promotion of sustainable development, the maintenance, improvement or provision of environmental amenities for the community”. The Scottish Government decision about the previous application followed recommendation by Highland Council’s Planning Officer to refuse; a total of 1864 planning objections, including from government agency Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot); a protracted campaign (since October 2015) by many leading conservation charities (led by RSPB); an earlier Wembley Stadium capacity 38Degrees petition (now closed); and a month-long Public Inquiry, officiated by The Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of The Scottish Government, with production of a detailed DPEA Report recommending refusal. Scotland’s Planning Minister Kevin Stewart summarised in February 2020: “Reporters have concluded that the harmful impacts of this development to protected habitats and species would outweigh the potential socio-economic benefits. This proposal does not comply with the relevant provisions of the Highland Wide Local Development Plan and runs contrary to Scottish planning policy’s emphasis on protecting natural heritage sites and world class environmental assets. The Scottish Government has considered the reporter’s findings carefully and agree with the recommendation that planning permission should be refused”. If you agree with Scotland's Planning Minister please sign this petition. Joint Nature Conservation Committee information Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet Ramsar site: "The sand dune, saltmarsh and estuary habitats are of international importance for their flora and geomorphology." https://jncc.gov.uk/jncc-assets/RIS/UK13011.pdf Highland Council Planning Reference 20/02820/SCRE: https://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QE8IQ6IH0HZ00 DPEA Coul Links Public Inquiry webcasts February & March 2019: https://dpea.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts Informative website by golfer: https://www.coullinksgolf.com/ SOME SPECIAL WILDLIFE: https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/insects-invertebrates/fonsecas-seed-fly/ https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/northern-brown-argus https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/small-blue
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  • Ask Alister Jack to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill
    We are facing an unprecedented climate crisis crisis and the UK government simply isn’t doing enough. The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill can help us change our course—making the government act with the urgency we need and involving everyday people in a Citizens’ Assembly that has real bite. If the CEE Bill is made law, the government would have to act fast, accounting for our entire carbon footprint while actively conserving nature here and overseas. The bill could set a precedent that can be replicated across the world. According to They Work for You, a website that documents MP voting records, Alister Jack "generally voted against measures to prevent climate change". Recently he refused to meet with a constituent to discuss environmental issues on the basis that he'd "already had discussions with an environmental group this year". It is vital that local environmental groups and concerned citizens have the opportunity to convey to Alister Jack the severity of the crisis we are facing and to demand his representation in parliament. Encouraging him to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill would be a great start!
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  • Fly tipping and illegal dumping in Whitton
    The dumped waste and fly tipping problem is having a huge impact not only on the environment but also with the families and the general public that live here and use/walk through these spaces. The rats are getting into cars and gnawing through cables and infesting homes! This is a huge issue and also over a prolonged period of time has affected the wellbeing and mental health of some residents. We need to act collectively as a community and get Richmond Council to listen to our voice! Please sign and show your support through this petition to get our community areas cleared and looking respectful again.
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  • E-waste: the dark horse of environmental problems
    Most of this electronics will be thrown away within three years due to new technologies and planned obsolescence. The average life of a computer has decreased significantly from six to two years, and the average life cycle of today's cell phones is only 9 to 18 months. As a result, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste are produced annually, most of it from First World countries, whose strict recycling laws make safe disposal expensive and tedious. As a result, much of it is exported to countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Africa, which are not subject to strict regulations. This export is illegal under the Basel Convention, according to which "hazardous waste must be disposed of in the country of origin". What it does to the environment: Chemicals in e-waste can be mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, and chromium. These compounds can be very persistent in the environment and are absorbed by plants through the soil and by humans through food, water, air, dust, skin contact, and ingestion. What it can do to people: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low levels of lead, mercury and cadmium can cause neurological damage, cancer, lung, kidney, thyroid and liver diseases, and cause behavioral and learning difficulties in children. What can be done: Governments around the world must stop exporting their e-waste to these countries and instead try to improve their own waste methods. Governments should feel responsible for managing their own e-waste recycling programs so that businesses can explore this path in a cheaper and more sustainable way, rather than simply shifting the duty to countries that need money.
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