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Thank you for everyone for coming to our Campaigns Social last week!!! Was a lovely evening and great to see so many people keen to make a lasting change in our wonderful city. For everyone that didn’t come, it’s only up from here!

Get involved on the next one. We’re meeting again on the 25th at Kiki’s Cafe, 63a Holland Road, Hove, BN3 1BA.

From hearing everything on the night and looking through all the ideas we discussed last week and it’s clear we’re going to achieve some great things.

Some ideas from the night were as follows:

  • Lobbying the council to install attractive recycling bins along the seafront
  • Working with local businesses and the council in a variety of ways to stop single use plastics – for example straws and plastic cups at music events,
  • Campaigns around engine idling to help protect our lungs
  • Working towards a clean-air zone in Brighton and Hove
  • Many many more

Now is the time for next steps. We’ll be getting together on the 25th of April, to discuss everyone’s ideas and take them to the next stage. It would be great if we were all singing from the same sheet so if you could think about ideas within the following it would be great:

For Air Pollution or Plastics what would the following look like?

  • Actions to raise awareness of the issues
  • Goals winnable in the short-term
  • Long Term Goals

More information to follow. Looking forward to working together!

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Are you sick of breathing in toxic fumes from road traffic? Fed up of the plastic waste which blights our beaches and streets?

Come along to our campaigns social to join us in improving the city’s environment.

Whether it’s the needless plastic waste that our economy produces, the detritus left on our beaches after every sunny day or sporting event or the polluted air we’re stuck breathing every day – enough is enough!

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth are meeting to combine forces in our response to the issues of air and plastic pollution – working together to create lasting solutions for our city. There’ll be opportunities to hear more about the challenges and solutions around plastics and air pollution and help shape the direction of our local campaigns.

When: Wednesday 28th March 2018, 7:30 – 9:30pm

Where: Kiki’s Café, 63a Holland Road, Hove, BN3 1BA

We will be offering refreshments and the first drink is on us!

To help us plan the event, please let us know whether you’ll be joining us – register here now!

The more local voices we hear the better. So, feel free to share the event info with others in your area – the more the merrier.

Come along and help improve your local environment.

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brighton-and-hove-friends-campaigns-social-tickets-43401293437

 

Backward step for cyclists

Proposals to create a permanent loading bay in Lewes Road are a backward step for cyclists

The loading bay close to the Elm Grove junction is currently only meant to be used in off-peak periods. Changing it to 24 hour use will permanently block the cycle lane to the busy Vogue Gyratory and out to the universities. Cyclists will be forced out into the mainstream traffic and it will make it harder for buses to access nearby bus stops.

The council is asking for feedback on the plans until 1 December 2017 – find out more.

Please get in touch if you’d like help taking part in the consultation.

Great news for bees

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has finally backed tougher restrictions on bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids.

His landmark decision is down to millions of people keeping up the pressure for a full ban on bee-harming neonics – and it demonstrates just how powerful we can be when we take action together.

Now we need to make sure the UK follows through on today’s announcement by backing European Commission proposals to get these pesticides completely out of our fields.

Please take a minute to pledge your support for Mr Gove’s call for tougher restrictions – and urge him to vote in favour of a full and permanent ban when the time comes.

While we welcome the proposals to redevelop Preston Barracks, we are objecting to the big increase in car parking on traffic and air pollution grounds.  Nearby roads already suffer above legal limits for nitrogen dioxide and this development could make things worse.  It’s likely that levels of nitrogen dioxide will take longer to fall below legal limits and therefore the development could be illegal as it currently stands.  High Court rulings have stressed the need to reduce levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”.  The planning application is being decided on Wednesday 27th September by the City Council.

It is somewhat ironic that the University of Brighton is behind a development that will increase air pollution.  Apart from the fact that it actively promotes its green credentials, its vice chancellor was recently warning of the need to urgently tackle air pollution.  At the same time its academics have done groundbreaking work in this field and have strongly criticised the Government’s poor response to the whole issue.

It’s time the University put its money where its mouth is.  This is a much needed and welcome development in many ways, let down by an out of date approach to transport.  It is quite easy to resolve.  Cap the car parking at current levels for the whole site.  That way traffic levels and pollution will not be made worse and public health will not be at risk.

If a university with air pollution experts cannot get it right, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Currently in Brighton & Hove there are around 175 premature deaths due to air pollution, mostly due to traffic.  For most pollutants there are no known safe levels.

BHFOE news release Preston Barracks

BHFOE response to Preston Barracks application

As the deadline to comment on plans for 700 new homes in Hove’s Toads Hole Valley passes, we’re challenging the city’s planners to be more ambitious.

Although we recognise that development of this site presents many opportunities for our city, we feel many of the plans are too timid. With such a blank canvas, we want to see more aspiration to build a community that puts people’s health and happiness first.

We want to see a place where it is safe for youngsters and the infirm to be out in the streets, interacting with friends and neighbours.  Where the car doesn’t dominate  and is largely kept out of the development save for loading and deliveries.

Chris Todd, planning and transport campaigner for Brighton & Hove Friend of the Earth

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a development that helps people lead active and healthy lifestyles, rather than chain them to the mistakes of the past.

That’s our challenge to the planners.

To Carol

Carol Dawes died quietly in her sleep after a fight with cancer, on Saturday 8 April 2017.

monica carol run on sun in the DIp

Carol in the foreground on one of our stalls.

When I first came to Brighton in 2008, through a friend I found Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, and Carol. She was an active member and it quickly became clear that she was a long-term and dedicated environmental campaigner.

As a young woman she was at The Greenham Common Peace Camp 1981/2 where women chained themselves to the base fence in protest against nuclear weapons. One of history’s most famous feminist protests.

Moving to Brighton in the late 1990s, she quickly became involved with the fight for the South Downs and safeguarding Offham Down Site of Special Scientific Interest from further damage, which helped re-ignite the National Park campaign.

Clean energy not gas please

Carol (front and centre) joining other activists to protest against fracking

She regularly organised stalls and events on behalf of the group and was always keen to help. She was a great believer in “face to face chats” with people, probably stemming from her market trader background.

More recently she worked on the clean energy and bees campaign and was a strong supporter of the Biosphere. She subsequently was involved with the fight against fracking in Balcombe where she spent many days as a legal observer.

Even when ill she was still helping organise demonstrations in Brighton to raise awareness about the poor air quality.

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Carol campaigning next to Brighton’s Clock Tower

She was a stalwart and we will miss Carol very much as a campaigner, a lovely friend and a fellow spirit.

Dear Carol…thank you for all you have done: your good work will go on. 

Monica