Local elections May 6 2021

2G3S decided to put some questions on green issues to the candidates for the Sawston and Shelford County Council division and for Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

 

You can see the responses we received in our newsletter extra here.  Spoiler alert: we received responses from all of the county council candidates we were able to contact (all bar one) and none of the mayoral candidates.

 

Please remember to vote on May 6th.

Computer recycling – take by Friday 16 April

A message from Mike Nettleton in Great Shelford:

We’ve arranged for unwanted computer hardware (PCs, laptops, printers, monitors, etc.) to be collected for recycling on 16 April.  This will be the last collection for a few months. We can also now take mobile phones again. Recycling is done by Recycle-Computers (http://recycle-computers.co.uk/), based in Watford. They refurbish PCs, monitors, printers, etc. and then give the hardware to schools, charities, etc. which don’t need/can’t afford new equipment. Anything which can’t be used is WEEE recycled. They have been recycling in the area since the early 2000s, initially as a result of an initiative by the former vicar of Great Shelford, Mike Goater.  Please dig out any computer hardware that you no longer need and/or is broken and either drop it round to me or give me a ring. In March we filled a Transit van with old hardware. No photos this time – we were all totally knackered from loading it!

Just as a reminder – we also recycle printer cartridges and mobile phones. Where they have economic value, they are recycled through Recycle4Charity, who then make a contribution to Tommy’s (the premature birth charity): http://www.tommys.org Where the cartridges have no economic value, they are recycled through the manufacturers own recycling scheme. Again, please just drop any old cartridges round.

Since the start of the year we’ve had a major push (with the Great Shelford Parochial Charities and COVID support group) to provide laptops to children for home schooling. We’ve had over 110 laptops donated; over 20 of those have been usable and have been donated to local schools and individual children. Those which are too old, broken or whatever will be properly recycled, so nothing goes to landfill. Every machine (whether usable or not) has been wiped and those which are usable have been upgraded to the latest version of Windows and had office and video/music software installed at no cost to the schools or individual children.

Thanks to everyone for your support with this.

 Mike Nettleton
E ku.oc1620736471.sisy1620736471lanae1620736471lgae@1620736471notel1620736471tten.1620736471ekim1620736471
T 01223 721366
M 07905 356468
F 0870 161 9450
W www.eagleanalysis.co.uk

From 2G3S: if anyone feels they could help with collecting or storing items, please get in touch with us at greengroupssss

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate

Initial Report: Global Challenge, Local Action

March 2021

 

            The Commission was established by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to provide independent advice to local government, the broader public sector and business in the area on both setting and meeting carbon reduction targets for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and preparing for climate change.  The commission has now published its first report (see here) which sets out in clear detail the likely effect of climate change on the area of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) based on commissioned scientific research.

 

            The context

The report points out that there is little time left to take action to achieve “Net Zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  In the CPCA area, emissions are approximately 25% higher per person than the UK average.  At this level of emissions we have only about 6 years remaining before we will have exhausted all of our ‘allowed’ share of emissions to 2050 if we are to play an equal part in achieving this target.  Major changes to planning policy will be called for, given that the current Local Plans for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire are supposed to run until 2031 and will need, therefore, to be reviewed.

 

            Effects of climate change

The commission describes the likely effect of climate change on the area of the CPCA.  Roasting hot summers, heavier rainfall in the winter but less in the summer.  The area is particularly vulnerable; 40% being below sea level with commensurate risks of increased flooding.  Water supply is a critical issue.  All aspects of industry and agriculture will be affected, in addition to the effect on the health and wellbeing of the people and the need to protect and enhance biodiversity and the natural environment generally.

 

            Some recommendations

It is recommended that the combined authority should aim for Net Zero as early as 2030.  Investment in measures to mitigate the effect of climate change and to adapt to it will need to rise in the CPCA area to £700M per annum.

Within the CPCA area transport is the main culprit.  The aim should be to switch to emission free vehicles.  Housing will need to be retrofitted to make living in it tolerable in the new conditions.  Heating and ventilation systems will need to be replaced.

The picture painted by the report must be seen against the ambitions of central and local government to achieve substantial economic growth in the area of the CPCA, not forgetting the Cambridge-Oxford “Arc”.  Central government should review its ideas on the reform of the planning system as set out in the Planning White Paper of last August.

 

If the report of the commission has any weakness it is in its ideas of how the changes it recommends can be funded and implemented in time.  In this the commission must be up against the way central and local government in this country is organised.

 

This short note cannot do justice to this important report.  It should be compulsory reading for all decision makers both in local government and in the private sector.  The commission aims to publish its second and final report later in the year.

 

Anthony Cooper

Talk on Cambridge Nature Network – report

On 11 March 2021 James Littlewood, CEO of Cambridge Past Present and Future (CPPF), gave us an illustrated talk about the Cambridge Nature Network.

To reverse the local decline in biodiversity, our nature sites need to be better, bigger and more connected.  One way to achieve this is through a local nature recovery network, and one is being proposed for Cambridge.

The Cambridge Nature Network is based on six priority areas for recovery, including the Gog Magog Hills and River Cam Valley.

Initial work on the Cambridge Nature Network is being progressed by CPPF and Wildlife Trust BCN (Beds, Cambs and Northants). 

James based his talk on the recently published interim report of the CNN, which you can read here.

URGENT: Computer recycling: take by Friday 19 March

 

Readers of our Winter newsletter will know that Shelford resident Mike Nettleton (*protected email*) collects unwanted computer hardware to be recycled for public benefit.  Here is his latest news:

Computer recycling Friday 19 March. We’ve arranged for unwanted computer hardware (PCs, laptops, printers, monitors, etc.) to be collected for recycling on 19 March. We can also now take mobile phones again. Recycling is done by Recycle-Computers, based in Watford. They refurbish PCs, monitors, printers, etc. and then give the hardware to schools, charities, etc. which don’t need/can’t afford new equipment. Anything which can’t be used is WEEE recycled. They have been recycling in the area since the early 2000s, initially as a result of an initiative by the former vicar of Great Shelford, Mike Goater. Please dig out any computer hardware that you no longer need and/or is broken and either drop it round to me or give me a ring (07905 356468).

Just as a reminder – we also recycle printer cartridges and mobile phones. Where they have economic value, they are recycled through Recycle4Charity, who then make a contribution to Tommy’s (the premature birth charity): http://www.tommys.org Where the cartridges have no economic value, they are recycled through the manufacturers own recycling scheme. Again, please just drop any old cartridges round.

Over the last couple of months we’ve had a major push (with the Great Shelford Parochial Charities and COVID support group) to provide laptops to children for home schooling. We had over 60 laptops donated; something like 30% of those have been usable and have been donated to local schools and individual children. Those which are too old, broken or whatever will be properly recycled, so nothing goes to landfill. Every machine (whether usable or not) has been wiped and those which are usable have been upgraded to the latest version of Windows and had office and video/music software installed at no cost to the schools or individual children.

What a wonderful initiative – please support Mike if you can.

The Local Plan – talk by Brian Milnes on 8 February 2021

Brian Milnes, District Councillor for Sawston, gave a most interesting talk about the Local Plan, explaining why it is important to everyone in the district.

Brian explained that the Local Plan sits within the National Planning Policy Framework in England, which covers housing, business, economic development, transport and the natural environment.  The council is required through the local plan to identify its housing needs for the next five years, and identify sufficient sites to meet those needs (five year supply).  If the council does not have an approved Local Plan with sufficient five year supply in place, it can lose control over where planning permission is granted, as the Secretary of State can intervene.  This can mean building being approved in locations that the council would not have otherwise supported.  National policy states there should be a presumption in favour of sustainable development.  A new white paper called “Planning for the future” outlines ambitions of the Government for the construction of 300,000 new homes per year.

To complement The Local Plan, communities can also develop a Neighbourhood Plan and a Village Design Guide.

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are producing a joint Local Plan for the two areas – referred to as Greater Cambridge.  The Local Plan takes a view of the next twenty years, but is updated every five years.  It covers issues such as the Green Belt, utilities (such as water), infrastructure and transport.  Work on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan started in Spring 2019 and is expected to be completed by Spring 2024.

Three growth projections for the area have been calculated, which generate the potential need for between 9,000 – 26,000 new homes to be built in the next five year period.  The potential to meet these projected housing requirements are being assessed in eight strategic location options.

The Local Plan must ensure sustainable development so options are being evaluated against eight priority themes including Climate Change and Wellbeing and Social inclusion.  Specialist independent reports have been commissioned to help evaluate the eight locations, such as the Integrated Water Management Study and Implications for Carbon Emissions study.  Some of these studies have already been published and are available online.

There are multiple opportunities to be involved in the consultation processes whilst the plan is being developed.  The next stage of consultation on the preferred options is due Summer/Autumn 2021.

For more information see these webinar presentation slides prepared last autumn.

 

(With thanks to Jane Chisholm)

 

 

Upcoming dates 2021

For your diaries, our proposed dates for 2021 are these, with a mixture of planning meetings and events or activities. It’s likely that all will be virtual for a while, of course. Check our Facebook page for information nearer the time.

Monday 8th February

Thursday 11th March

Thursday 8th April

Monday 10th May

Monday 7th June

Thursday 8th July

Thursday 12th August

Monday 6th September

Monday 11th October

Thursday 4th November

Thursday 2nd December (Annual Open Meeting)

Events we hope to arrange this year include finding out about local water supply, the Local Plan, holding a litter pick and running a fruit and veg swap on weekend dates, and arranging something around the COP26 in November (the international environmental conference that the UK is hosting in Glasgow). Various other ideas were discussed in our planning, so watch this space. We may also add in repair cafes or outdoor events when it is safe to do so.

The supply of water will be a limiting factor in the development of this area. It is discussed in the draft Greater Cambridge Local Plan. Our aquifers suffer from over-extraction for agriculture and to supply all the houses in the area, and it is important that we protect the quality of our chalk streams. There is a newly-formed group, Friends of the River Cam, and they have a very good video on YouTube called Saving the River Cam, by Feargal Sharkey.

We hope to arrange a date for the collection of old computer equipment for re-use or recycling, through a local contact. So don’t throw out your old laptops and cables, they can be useful to others  – not least the children who are having to stay at home during the pandemic but haven’t the means to study online.

A few things to do while you’re locked in again:

Try and shop locally rather than swelling the supermarket coffers if you can. You’ll save petrol, packaging, and keep local shops going.

At some date in February our MP’s next Environmental Forum is to be held, so if you are interested in attending do keep an eye on his website (anthonybrowne.org) or his Facebook page so you can register.  If you have a question you can ask it at the Forum or submit it in advance.  It is helpful to us if you can also send a copy to us at the usual address (moc.l1620736471iamg@1620736471ssssp1620736471uorgn1620736471eerg1620736471 )

You may have seen that Chris Packham has launched a petition to stop HS2 (HS2 petition will find it on Google). The case for it is weakened as more people will continue to work from home longer-term, at least some days a week (same as for the Busway closer to home…). If you want more information about the damage to nature before you sign, see the Woodland Trust’s website.

If you are interested in green matters and the environment, send an email to moc.l1620736471iamg@1620736471ssssp1620736471uorgn1620736471eerg1620736471 to sign up for our newsletter, ask a question,  or to join in any of our meetings. Also see our Facebook page.

Helen Hale

Sustainable Dietary Choices

In a talk on 23 November, Duncan Catchpole* ran through his ‘Top 10’ food sustainability considerations:

  • Try to eat less meat and dairy. Not just for animal welfare and carbon emissions: animals are fed more food than they produce for human consumption, so inefficient.  Growing animal feed is also a major cause of deforestation.
  • Minimise food waste: food waste alone causes 10% of greenhouse gases. Needing to feed the growing world population is seen as a justification for more intensive food production – but we should have enough anyway: a third of food currently produced is wasted (not just by consumers – there is systemic waste in food chains).
  • Look out for sustainable production methods: eg organic, biodynamic, permaculture – these help look after the long-term quality of our soil.
  • Healthy eating: ‘5 a Day’ still a good maxim, both for your health and resulting impact on resources such as NHS. And is your diet sustainable in 3 main ways: environmentally, socially and economically?
  • Consider food miles: energy, emissions, refrigeration costs.
  • Avoid highly processed food: commodification of food leading to lower production standards, long supply chains, reduction in nutritional value.
  • Avoid big corporates: their motive is profit, not keeping people fed and healthy. They push out small, local providers.
  • Seasonal food: eat what is available each season.
  • Sustainable Fish: 85% of global fish stocks now depleted. Look for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) endorsement .
  • Packaging: try to buy food with minimum packaging, or where you can, refill containers. (Green Weigh just opened in Sawston; also Organic Health in Hauxton; Full Circle and Arjuna shops in Cambridge; and of course the various local organic veg box companies, including Duncan’s own: Cambridge Organic.  See below for details).

Notes

*Duncan Catchpole is the founder and owner of Cambridge Organic (formerly Cambridge Organic Food Company, or COFCO) and has over twenty years’ experience in the sustainable food and drink sector.  He is a founding committee member of Cambridge Sustainable Food and since its inception has been leading CSF’s headline project of creating a Sustainable Food Hub for Cambridge – a local network of food growers, producers, and consumers.

Address/contact details of local no-waste shops as at November 2020  Contact the shops to see what online / delivery / click and collect facilities are currently available.

Green Weigh 60 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3BG  tel 01223 971240  (Website pending: www.greenweighshop.co.uk)  Open Tue – Fri 9 – 5, Sat 9 – 2.30.

Organic Health: 87 Church Rd, Hauxton, Cambridge CB22 5HS  tel 01223 870101  No website or email.  Current opening times: Fri 1 – 5, Sat 9.30 – 12 and 1 – 5

Arjuna Wholefoods 12 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2AD  tel 01223 364745   Open Mon – Sat 9.30 – 6.00.

Full Circle: 9 Norfolk Street Cambridge CB1 2LD  tel 01223 353158   Open Tues – Sat 10 – 5; Sunday 10 – 4.

Cambridge Organic  (Formerly Cambridge Organic Food Company) box delivery service tel: 01223 873300