Annual Open Meeting 7 December 2020 – report

2G3S Annual Open Meeting 7 December 2020 – by Zoom

16 people present, with 4 apologies.  Claire Lord chaired.

Review of 2020

2 Conversation Evenings in person (Natural Disasters; Eco-friendly gardening); 3 by Zoom (Cook stoves in Africa; Extinction Rebellion; Sustainable Diet).  Better attendance in person, although the Zoom meetings still averaged around 15 people.

1 Repair Café, in Great Shelford at the end of February.  Held jointly with GS Free Church who ran a Swish (high-quality clothes swap) at the same time.  Very successful with nearly 70 items seen and 12 repairers present – over 50% items repaired.

Other Events: Open Eco home; guided nature walks; fruit and veg swap; ‘The Story of Plastic’ online film show and discussion.

Campaigns: SE Busway proposals; Greater Cambridge Green Infrastructure survey.  Traffic surveys in Great Shelford.  Involvement with 4 local bids to South Cambridgeshire’s Zero Carbon grant scheme, all successful.  Major representation at MP Anthony Browne’s Zoom calls as part of The Time Is Now campaign and subsequently.

Plans for 2021

Agreed to meet every month and alternate planning meetings with events; probably all on Mondays or Thursdays.

Conversation Evenings: It was thought that we should ensure conversation evenings include what actions we can take locally in our community or as individuals, and pick events that will be attractive more widely in the community.

Agreement of themes: Water, local planning issues and possibly some of the strands in the government’s 10-point plan on climate change, eg green public transport, cycling and walking; greener buildings; protecting our natural environment.

Other events considered: cycle rides; nature walks; another Wandlebury event; virtual Repair Café (like Gardeners’ Question Time?)

Roles

Convenor: Claire Lord

Co-chairs: Sophi Berridge, Peter Fane

Treasurer: Chris Cooper

Meeting notes: Jane Chisholm, Helen Hale

Publicity: Beth Atkin (social media), Helen Hale (village magazines), Linda Whitebread (newsletter and website)

Repair Cafés: Chris Cooper, Yasmin Emerson

Greener Sawston rep: Yasmin Emerson

You can contact any of us at moc.l1610994351iamg@1610994351ssssp1610994351uorgn1610994351eerg1610994351 – say who the email is for and it will be forwarded.

Have your say on new Planning Laws (by 29 October)

Readers may know that the government is proposing radical changes to planning laws which will mean that individuals, and even councils, will have less opportunity to comment on proposals.

2G3S supporter and planning expert Anthony Cooper wrote a timely letter about this to The Cambridge Independent, much of which we reproduce below:

           The government proposes to “speed up” and “streamline” the planning system by replacing it with a new regime altogether.  They believe that the present system is an obstacle to the delivery of new homes. They are mistaken.  There is plenty of land with permission for building already and most applications for planning permission receive consent.  As we rely upon the market to deliver new homes it is the market which determines when and where those new homes are built.  If the market is slow in delivering new homes it is for commercial reasons.

            Everyone should be concerned at the way the government proposes to change the planning system.  Although the public will still have a say, albeit a rather limited one in the drawing up of new district plans, the scope of the public to comment on and object to specific planning applications will be severely limited and in some circumstances denied altogether.  Even our elected local representatives could be cut out of the process.  In those cases the first thing a houseowner would know about something going on next door would be the arrival of the builders.

            The government is consulting on their ideas and your readers have until the end of this month to make their views known.  The government’s proposals are set out in a White Paper called “Planning for the Future” and can be accessed online here.

The consultation document is available here.  The consultation is open until 11.45 pm on Thursday 29 October.

Planning for Net Zero

2G3S supporter Anthony Cooper has written a timely and very comprehensive paper entitled ‘Planning for Net Zero’ which you can read here.  Note this is a second, revised edition (November 2020) which includes an author’s preface.

Topics covered include:

Governance

The Climate Change Act

Sustainable Development

Planning

Population

Housing

Transport

Water Supply, Flooding and Waste Disposal

Atmospheric Pollution

Commerce and Industry

Energy

Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry and Fishing

Conservation and Heritage

People

Green Belts

Defence

Where do we go from here?

Anthony is a retired government legal adviser (Treasury Solicitor’s Dept and Department of Trade & Industry) and  has taken a keen interest in town planning and environmental issues for many years.  He served on the National Committee of CPRE in the 1990s and has been an active member of Cambridge, Past, Present and Future (formerly the Cambridge Preservation Society) for 30 years.  He currently serves on the society’s Planning Committee.

Please note that the views expressed in Anthony’s paper are  personal and do not necessarily represent those of 2G3S as a whole.

If you wish to comment on Anthony’s paper, you can reach him via 2G3S.   Email us at *protected email*, with the heading ‘Cooper Net Zero paper’.

 

2G3S response to Green Infrastructure Survey

2G3S have responded to a ‘Green Infrastructure Survey’ organised by LUC (environmental management consultants) on behalf of SCDC and CCC.  You can see our response here.  We also submitted a map (based on Stapleford and Great Shelford Neighbourhood Plan recommendations).

Many thanks to Yasmin who co-ordinated the work on this.

Notes

Earlier this year, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council appointed LUC to provide evidence informing the creation of an enhanced and expanded green (and blue) infrastructure network in Greater Cambridge (defined as the combined area of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire districts).

The project specification includes a number of related work strands:

  1. Assess existing network
  2. Identify priority areas for enhancement
  3. Identify refined priority areas and identify deliverable opportunities for enhancement
  4. Policy development advice
  5. Further potential work, including provision of expert advice to Plan Making and Development Plan Examination.

The work, which will extend to January 2024, will form part of the Councils’ development plan-making process in relation to green infrastructure and biodiversity, and will also identify green infrastructure opportunities that could be delivered outside of the planning system.  The current survey is part of that process.

 

Cambridgeshire County Council has had a Green Infrastructure strategy since at least 2006.  The strategy demonstrates how green infrastructure can be used to help to achieve four objectives:

  • To reverse the decline in biodiversity
  • To mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • To promote sustainable growth and economic development
  • To support healthy living and well-being

Proposal for a Cambridge Great Park to encircle the city

From ‘The Cambridge Independent’, 14 April 2020:

“Campaigners who want to see a new Cambridge Great Park for the city to protect green belt land are asking the public to add their own ideas to the proposals.

Led by retired architect Neil Ruffles, the group has already submitted an outline idea to Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to be considered as part of their next Local Plan.

Now they want to hear from anyone who has a suggestion about how they could link up local green spaces into one huge green space that is open to the public and what they would want to see in the park………

……….to submit your ideas, email *protected email*.”

See the full article for more details.

Coronavirus epidemic

Please note that, as you would expect, we are not able to meet in person during the current lockdown conditions.

Planning is still going ahead online.  Contact us if you would like to participate.

News from the August meeting

2G3S meeting held 30 August 2018
We discussed various ideas for future events, including ways to progress our campaign against single-use plastics.  As part of this we are publicising the Eco Living Festival in Cambridge on 22 September.

There are also important events being held by other groups in the near future, including the international ‘Rise for Climate’ action on Saturday 8 September.

Also Camcycle, formerly Cambridge Cycling Campaign, are holding a month of cycling events in Cambridge throughout September.

Back to 2G3S: we are hoping to hold an Apple Day next autumn, possibly as part of a wider event.  The idea is to combine apple pressing for juice, which we have done before, with talks and activities on how to use your apples (making chutneys, cakes etc).

We will almost certainly hold another Repair Café, and are considering ideas for winter evening activities – something on plastics? green finance and investment?  Let us know what you would be interested in.

Fracking: we plan to be part of a delegation to our MP, Heidi Allen, urging her to vote against the government’s proposal to bypass local democracy and planning processes to fast-track fracking.

Photos!
We are looking for photos for our new website.  If you would like to send in a photo (as jpg format please) that illustrates either our general Mission Statement, or a particular type of 2G3S event, we would be delighted to hear from you.  We especially welcome submissions from young people.  So please send your photo, plus your age if you think it relevant, to moc.l1610994351iamg@1610994351ssssp1610994351uorgn1610994351eerg1610994351.  Photos are welcome at any time, but we shall be making our initial selections by the end of December, and awarding a small prize to the best (ioho!) of those we publish.

Financial  help for other groups
Finally, we are a small group of activists.  We always welcome more people to our meetings!  But we have also decided that one way of advancing our aims is to give financial help to other organisations who wish to put on events.  So if you or your group want to stage an event in the 2G3S area which complies with the 2G3S Mission Statement, and need some funding for pump priming, you can apply to us for up to £75.  If at the end of the day you can give some or all of this back, that would be great, but is not essential.  Contact us for more information.

July social/planning meeting

UPDATE:  This meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday 18th July – still at 8pm, at The Rose.

See the event listing for Agenda.

Do join us at our meeting at 8 pm on Wednesday 11 July at The Rose, Stapleford.  The meeting usually includes an ‘open forum’ to discuss green issues – so if there is something you’d like to get off your chest over a drink, or if you’d just like to come and meet us, come along!  We’re very informal.  We use the small bar to the left of the main entrance, but are sometimes in a quiet area in the main bar – ask the bar staff if you can’t find us!