MPs’ voting records on the environment

SCAN regularly meet with MPs and political party representatives to discuss environmental issues. We encourage them to act in the best interests of our planet. So, how have Swindon’s MPs voted on environmental issues? South Swindon:Robert Buckland ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24843/robert_buckland/south_swindon/votes#environment North Swindon:Justin Tomlinson ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24870/justin_tomlinson/north_swindon/votes#environment And how have the leaders of each party voted? Conservative:Boris Johnson ‘almost always voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10999/boris_johnson/uxbridge_and_south_ruislip/votes#environment Labour:Jeremy Corbyn ‘generally voted for measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10133/jeremy_corbyn/islington_north/votes#environment Liberal Democrats:Jo Swinson ‘voted a mixture of for and against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11971/jo_swinson/east_dunbartonshire/votes#environment Green Party:Siân Berry and Jonathan Bartley. Neither of the joint leaders have been an MP. Caroline Lucas was the former leader and is the only Green MP to date. She ‘generally voted for measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24910/caroline_lucas/brighton%2C_pavilion/votes#environment Other issues of social justice also have environmental impacts. Equality and[…]

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Save Redlands Copse update – Revision of plans and improper planning procedure

Developers for the proposed Redlands development, Backhouse, have notified SBC that they are to revise their plans for the development. This comes after high levels of objection from local people, both through the planning portal and petition. Planning procedures don’t appear to have been followed properly, as this letter from SBC’s consultant ecologist shows. A demonstration took place at the Planning Committee meeting on the 12th November 2019 to show objection to the development. It was covered in this article by the Swindon Advertiser. We are waiting to see when the proposed development will be on the Planning Committee meeting agenda. We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed.

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Amnesty and the Climate Crisis

‘For nearly six decades Amnesty International members around the world have been holding governments to account for their violations of basic human rights. What began in 1961 as a campaign to free Prisoners of Conscience is now a global movement that works to protect people from a broad range of human rights abuses in order to create a safer, more just world for us all. A key priority now is to hold governments to account for their inaction over the climate emergency. The need to put people and their human rights at the centre of the climate debate is increasingly urgent. Whether it is floods, drought, rising sea levels or burning rainforest, the climate crisis threatens rights across the board: the right to food and water, health, housing and homes, livelihoods, culture and development and, of course, the right to life itself. It impacts upon each and every one of[…]

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Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities

By Ellie Stevens of The Centre for Sustainable Energy. ‘What happens to low-income households whose energy bills suddenly increase – for example because prices rise dramatically or they experience a change in circumstances such as an elderly relative living at home. And how can such households and their neighbourhoods be supported to become more ‘energy resilient’? These are questions we at the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) are exploring through Powering Up!, a 3-year project funded by the Friends Provident Foundation. We’re working in three low-income communities – Druffyn in Newport, Penhill in Swindon and Hamp in Bridgwater. The project started with a six-month ethnographic study undertaken by Bradon Smith in partnership with Bath University, which involved in-depth interviews and a workshop with three residents in each community. So what did we learn during the research? Firstly, that energy reduction is not a priority for most people we spoke to[…]

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Refill Swindon – stations list

Here ‘s the current list of businesses who support Refill in Swindon, complete with addresses, links and a handy search function. Thanks to local businesses for supporting this simple scheme to reduce single-use plastic bottles. Refill is growing, now international. Working together, we can reduce plastic pollution. We urgently need to. Search Please contact us if you would like to support Refill. It’s easy to do and makes a difference. © Refill

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Save Redlands Copse: Petition

Please sign and share the petition to save Redlands Copse. Redlands Copse is a mature, mixed woodland of 200 native trees, home to deer, foxes, badgers, bats, slow-worms and over 60 species of bird, some on the ‘threatened’ list . Construction company Backhouse wants to cut down 97 of these trees for their proposed 65 home development. This is despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders placed on them by Swindon Borough Council and despite Highworth Town Council rejecting the application. In a time of deepening ecological crisis, we need to make a stand, and we need your help! This is phase 2 of the campaign. Phase 1, raising objections to the development, completed on the 15th October 2019.

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Refill Swindon – play our online quiz

Over the summer, we ran a Refill quiz on our stalls with 3 questions. The first prize was a Chilly’s reusable bottle, the wooden spoon prize, a book called ‘How to go Plastic Free’. Here are the 3 questions: How many single-use plastic water bottles are used in Swindon per day (based on a population estimate of 220,000)? Show answer 70,400Source: Refill How many plastic water bottles were used per minute by Coca Cola in 2017? Show answer 200,000That’s 3 million tonnes of unnecessary single-use plastic packaging!Source: Ellen McArthur Foundation What percentage of plastic pollution in the oceans is made up of single-use plastic bottles? Show answer 33.3%Source: House of Commons Environmental Audit Report: ‘Plastic Bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ Reset quiz

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Equality and the Environment – Swindon Equality Group

‘Equality matters in terms of health and happiness, but surprising new data reveals that it is also better for the environment – in the more equal rich countries, people on average consume less, produce less waste and emit less carbon.’– Danny Dorling: Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. Author of books on equality such as ‘The Equality Effect’. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Besides causing enormous suffering to people / communities / society (see the research published in ‘The Spirit Level’ book), the effects of inequalities on the environment are increasingly being realised. Check out this article, ‘The Rich, Poor and the Earth‘ by Danny Dorling, for an overview. Swindon Equality Group (SEG) are affiliated to the Equality Trust. They campaign locally to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing socio-economic inequality, of vital importance for[…]

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Eastcott Historical Tour Litter Pick

Sunday 6th October, 2-5pm. Swindon Climate Action Network and Eastcott Community Organisation organised this litter pick with a twist. The Eastcott area is steeped in history. Andy Binks, of Swindon Society and Swindon Heritage, provided us with some cultural and historical information as we restored some cleanliness and pride to the local area. Eastcott, like other areas of Swindon, has problems with litter. We covered a good area including the park by Savernake Street Social Hall, and alleyways that attract rubbish of all sorts, large and small. We finished the litter pick in Radnor Street Cemetery, resting place to 30,000 people! We looked around the old chapel in the centre of the cemetery, which has memories of Swindon’s past, especially the world wars. In the warmer months, Swindon Society put on tours of the cemeteries, including Radnor Street, where they share information on the lives of people buried in the[…]

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Earth Strike (global climate strike) in Swindon

Over 300 people congregated in Swindon to take part in the first global climate strike aka Earth Strike. Demonstrations taking place in an estimated 185 countries all over the world. People from all walks of life, young and old, came together to demand proper representation from governments, for vital legislation and action to address climate change. Many people feel that they have no choice but to rebel against governments whose actions are deemed to be inept and indicative of care for profit and power over people, animals and planet. These events were planned to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit in New York on the 23rd September 2019, to pressure world leaders into taking appropriate steps to address climate change. The event in Swindon started in Regent Circus with speeches from organisers and local campaigners / activists. Then over 300 people set off down Princes Street, walking through town[…]

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