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 the environment? South Swindon:Robert Buckland ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change’:https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24870/justin_tomlinson/north_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. Hence the proposed Redlands development is not on the agenda for the 12th November 2019 Planning Committee meeting, as previously planned. Planning procedures don’t appear to have been followed properly, as this letter from SBC’s consultant ecologist shows. A demonstration will take place outside the council offices on Euclid Street at 5:30pm on the 12th November 2019, supported by groups including Swindon Earth Strike and Extinction Rebellion Swindon. We will continue to monitor the situation with this proposed development and 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

Friends of the Earth have produced a Plastic Pollution Bill to phase out plastics. It forms effective legislation to ensure the phasing out of plastic pollution, ensuring three commitments: Now: Begin phasing out unneeded plastics, making exceptions for essential uses such as in medicine and those vital to the quality of life of disabled people. ASAP: End pollution from hard-to-replace plastics (like from car tyres, clothing etc). Aim for near zero plastic pollution by 2042. The first action to take is to sign Friends of the Earth’s petition and use their template letter to write to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, asking him to support the Plastic Pollution Bill. The second action is to write to your local MP. We have a template letter that you can cut and paste. If you’re not sure who the MP for your area is, please use this search tool. For South Swindon residents,[…]

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The Time Is Now – collective lobbying event at Parliament

The climate crisis has become more prolific in the news recently aided by the Extinction Rebellion protests. These were followed by the publication of the UK Committee on Climate Change report – which proposed net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and the UN’s assessment of how quickly we are losing natural ecosystems on which we all depend. You can read more in these articles by the Committee on Climate Change and the UN. According to both sources, ‘transformative changes’ are urgently needed. Those changes are possible but we need everyone to play their part, including governments around the world. So here’s one thing we can all do: ask our MP to support the proposals of the Committee on Climate Change for a zero carbon UK. On 26th June some of us will be going to Westminster to meet our MPs. Do join us! You can register through the[…]

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