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Upcoming Events

BHFoE will be taking part in the following upcoming events around the UK. If you are interested in volunteering with us, we always welcome people to come along and lend a hand for as long as you feel like, or just join the event and say hello! If you would like more information about any of these events, or would like take part, please email monicabhfoe@yahoo.co.uk, (add “to the attention of” the contact person named below):
  • Hassocks Garden Centre, April– Monica
  • SE Regional Gathering, London, 26 April – Carol
  • Energy Meeting,Pelham Tower, Brighton, B’ton Fringe, 17 May – Carol, Coo
  • Green Film Festival, Brighton, June – Carol,Coo
  • National Base Camp 13-15 June, Derbyshire – Chris
  • Hollingbury Woods Bee Bank clearance, June/July – Monica
Brighton & Hove FoE Branch Meeting  Wednesday 9th April 2014, at Francoise’s House, Western Road.

ALL MEET OUTSIDE Cafe Koba, 135 Western Road (next to Waitrose) at 7pm. Click here for a map.

http://bhfoe.org/monthly-group-meetings/

News release issued Monday, 24 March, 2014

Free Sunday parking could cost us dearly:  Bus services and air quality could be at risk

Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) is condemning calls by Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats for free Sunday parking [1] as financially irresponsible and potentially damaging to the city in the long term.  The Lib-Dems petition on this is due to be discussed at Brighton & Hove City Council’s Full Council meeting on Thursday.

Local authority budgets are under severe constraint and with bigger cuts coming over the next few years, as indicated in the recent Budget, BHFOE believes that to reduce income which could be used to improve the city’s crumbling infrastructure is foolish.  BHFOE also believes that making a substantial amount of parking free on Sunday could cause even more congestion and pollution as cars drive around the city looking for free spaces.  The measure would also risk undermining Sunday bus services, which are often less profitable than weekday ones.  Loss of these services could see some people become more isolated, while others might feel they need to own a car whereas previously they didn’t.  This would then create more congestion and pollution and put more pressure on residents’ parking.

Chris Todd from BHFOE said:

“These proposals from the Liberal Democrats are just plain daft.  They are jumping on the free parking bandwagon without thinking through the consequences.  Who is going to pay is clear.  We all are.  Our roads are crumbling and services for the needy and vulnerable are under severe pressure.  From the budget last week it’s obvious that things are only going to get tougher for local authorities with even more cuts on the way.  So chucking away income from Sunday parking would be financially irresponsible.

“Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, when he was Transport Minister, probably did more than any minister previously to support the bus industry.  Yet here are his colleagues in Brighton & Hove proposing a measure that could lead to a loss in bus services.

“We would urge the City Council to ignore this rash petition.  If the Liberal Democrats really care about the city, they should support measures to reduce car use and improve air quality, while making it safer and more pleasant for people of all ages to walk, cycle and use public transport.”

[1]   The Liberal Democrats are proposing that parking charges are scrapped for all council run car parks and on-street parking bays on Sundays

 

Can we strengthen the campaign against fracking and move forward?

Public Meeting: TUESDAY 25TH MARCH 2014, 7pm – 9.30pm

Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD, East Sussex.

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Press release issued Thursday, 27 February, 2014

No building in National Park

Clear message to developers at Ovingdean

Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) is calling on developers, Lightwood Property, to clarify whether their housing plans for Ovingdean and Woodingdean include building in the National Park.  Documents submitted to the Brighton & Hove City Plan process shows a number of options for developing between Ovingdean and Woodingdean, three of which include building in the National Park [1].

While the developer has yet to hold the public consultation on its proposals [2], if these include all the options it has previously put forward, BHFOE would be strongly opposed to its plans.  Only option 1, outside of the National Park should be considered as a possible site for development, recognising that there is a real need for more homes in the city.  BHFOE would be opposed to option 2, which involves building on the school’s sports pitches and relocating these within the National Park.  Options 3, 4 and 5 all involve building in the National Park on land which also has local wildlife designations.

Chris Todd from BHFOE said:

“The developers have previously produced a number of options for developing in this area.  Now it seems that they are serious about these plans they need to come clean, sooner rather than later, as to what they are proposing.

“This is an extremely narrow part of the National Park and sensitive to any form of development.  It is entirely unsuitable to large new housing proposals.  Any development here could throttle the National Park and sever The Mount Pleasant area from the wider South Downs.

“Only option 1, which lies outside of the National Park is worthy of any consideration.  Option 2 which involves building on the playing fields and relocating them further away from the school in the National Park is also unacceptable.”

[1]   See Lightwood Property website – http://www.brightoncityplan.co.uk/ this link takes you direct to document produced for City Plan.  The various options are outlined on pages 40 – 49 of this document.

[2]   A public exhibition will be held on 11 and 12 March at Longhill School about the plans.

Our regular venue Cafe Koba is now closed on Wednesday evenings so we are seeking a new place. The Feb meeting will be at the Craft Beer pub:

Next Group Meeting  will be Wednesday 12th February 2014, 7pm at The Craft Beer Co. 22-23 North Street. Click here for a map.

We’ll update you once we have found a new regular venue and details of upcoming meetings are posted on the Group Meetings page.

Seedy Sunday 2014

BHFoE had a stall at Seedy Sunday on the 2nd of February. The Brighton Corn Exchange’s hall was packed with exhibitors and visitors, so we attracted much interest for our current campaigns -as much as we had for our stall at the library which we kept going for a few weekdays.

We got 59 new cards signed to keep the momentum going for the Bee Cause.

Seedy Sunday 2014

Seedy Sunday 2014

11 cards were signed for councillors to oppose fracking (‘F is a dirty word’ campaign); this is good given that the card is only relevant to people living outside Brighton, as we are already ‘frack-free’. Then we collected 5 letters opposing exploratory drilling for gas/oil in the National Park at Fernhurst.

Some people took information away with them, so they may help/object online at home too. Many of our leaflets concerning energy issues went very quickly, as did those concerning bees.

So we can call this a success, and make sure we return next year! Thanks to all who helped.

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