The SCAN environmental general election guide

There is a lot of conflicting information and narratives out there. Who to believe? Facts are difficult to dispute, such as the voting records of MPs and political parties. So, we have produced this article with links to that information. For the Plastic Free Swindon campaign, we have written to all local parliamentary candidates to ask for commitments to end plastic pollution. This article provides a simple summary as well as full details for those who want them. ‘Swindon Climate Debate: Action or Extinction?‘ is to be held at New College. Each candidate will be asked what their party’s plan is to deal with climate change, followed by audience questions. Please note that the hustings event at Lydiard Park Academy has been cancelled.

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Swindon conservation activities to counter climate change – updated 5th December

Trees play a vital role in the health of our planet, helping deal with climate change. SCAN support Friends of the Earth campaigns to double the amount of tree cover in each region of the UK, and to make our towns and cities ten times greener. The UK is the second least wooded country in Europe (after Ireland). In Swindon, we need to create more green spaces. We currently have 8% tree cover. This compares to Bath 20%, Salisbury 19.8%, Newbury 22%, Abingdon 16.3%, Oxford 21.4%, Gloucester 13.6%, Cheltenham 12.8%, Bristol 18.6%. There are tree planting and other conservation activities planned around Swindon. Working together, we can all play a part in dealing with climate change and make the town a brighter, healthier place to live, where nature thrives. Volunteers needed! Upcoming events and ongoing activity:– Peatmoor Community Woodland – Open Morning.– Central Swindon North Parish tree planting – Ferndale[…]

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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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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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Serious omissions From Swindon’s Local Plan

SCAN are currently working alongside other local people and groups, including Extinction Rebellion and parish councils, to address changes to / omissions from the Local Plan. At a time when we need to be addressing environmental issues, facilitating vital changes, the Local Plan includes less environmental stipulation; for example, a section on sustainable development has been removed. This letter to the Swindon Advertiser from Jane Milner-Barry, councillor for Old Town and East Wichel, explains further: ‘Local Plan Review: Swindon residents who care about cutting carbon emissions have until 23 September to help shape a crucial document that will determine the development of our town for years to come. A revised draft of Swindon’s Local Plan is now out for public consultation. This hugely important document will decide how many houses get built and where they go. It will also decide whether Swindon gets on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions[…]

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Ecobricks in Swindon

This article contains information on what an ecobricks is, how they’re used, how to make them properly and tips on making them. Please fully read the information, including links, before contacting us with queries. Thanks. What is an ecobrick and why is it important? ‘An Ecobrick is a reusable building block created by packing clean and dry used plastic into a plastic bottle to a set density.   Ecobricks enable us to take personal responsibility for our plastic’ ‘When we save, segregate and pack plastics into bottles, we can make building blocks that can be reused over and over again. Together we can build green spaces that enrich our community and remove plastic from the biosphere.  Together we can transition from plastic to ever greener harmony with Earth’s cycles.’ Ecobricks are a way to deal with some of the vast amounts of plastic pollution out there. It is important to understand[…]

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‘My Town, My World’

Sustainability and Community Art Project and Workshop *Update – The mural is complete. Article to follow shortly. As part of the Plastic Free Swindon campaign, SCAN have been working with Artsite, InSwindon BID and local businesses to produce a town centre mural and to run a one-day workshop. The town centre is in much need of regeneration. This project is about hope, community, creativity and sustainability. It is designed to reinvigorate community art in the town centre and provide a positive space with activities and information. Thanks to InSwindon BID for funding the project and helping to organise these events. Two muralists have been chosen have been chosen to create the mural on Regent Street in town:Martin Travers is an experienced muralist who grew up in Swindon. He ‘travels the world painting murals and working on community arts projects’. Martin will be mentoring local muralist Peter Cowdy who has done[…]

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Write to your MP – plastic legislation

There are two simple actions on this page to encourage MPs to implement the legislation that we urgently need to phase out plastic pollution. Friends of the Earth have produced a Plastic Pollution Bill to phase out plastics. It forms effective legislation to do so: End the use of non-essential single-use plastics by 2025. Progressively reduce the overall use of non-essential plastic in England. Prevent plastic pollution of the environment as a result of human activity as a result of human activity as far as is possible using the best practical means by 2042. Progressively eliminate plastics pollution from the environment and where it is not possible to prevent or eliminate pollution, the pollution must be minimised as far as is possible using the best practicable means. 1. Write to your MP. We have a template letter that you can cut and paste. If you’re not sure who the MP[…]

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