Sunday, 31 July 2011

British Film Institute: September events about early TV at Alexandra Palace

8 September, 18:10, NFT2: (Click on image)

'The Fools on the Hill'

"Made as part of the BBC's 50th Anniversary Celebration of Television in 1986, Jack Rosenthal's charming play - based on anecdotes and actual events - is an affectionate tribute to the early days of television, with a story which centres on the behind-the-scenes life at Alexandra Palace during the build-up to the opening of the BBC TV service in 1936.

Plus: 'Television Comes to London': A demonstration film highlighting the programmes on offer to the first television viewers."

28 September, 18:00, NFT2:

'Live from Alexandra Palace'
"The Alexandra Palace Television Society and the BFI partner up to present a rare selection of early film footage and stills (the famous Campbell footage), both in colour and black-and-white, from pre- and post-war television.

A special, newly-created compilation of pre-war material will be shown, in which rare footage has been married to existing sound recordings of the period. This will be followed by an audiovisual presentation of precious material. With glimpses of Greer Garson, Tommy Cooper and others, this is an unmissable event for those interested in the earliest days of broadcast TV. c90min."

Southgate in Colour in 1951

(Bowes & Bounds)

Bowes and Bounds: "Bowes Park Festival 2011"

"The Bowes Park Festival was held on 10 July, at Finsbury Gardens, N22.

"The Festival featured the Bowes Park Community Choir, Drumming Workshops from 'Everyones Climbing Tree', Bollywood Dance, and live music. In addition, a bouncy slide, cakes, plants, books stalls, and games kept everyone entertained between the performances."

Friday, 29 July 2011

Pinkham Way: Video and Motions to Haringey Full Council, 18 July

(Video of Council meeting)

(Click to enlarge)

Accompanied by the sound of the protesters outside, the following motion was put by Councillor Juliet Solomon (in Lib Dem orange below).  

There was an amendment, proposed by Councillor Alan Strickland (shown in Labour red below) which was eventually passed by 22 votes to 16, and then the overall motion (technically still with two LibDem words surviving!) was passed.

The Labour amendment explains that the Pinkham Way planning application has been 'suspended' (in a currently unclear way) until after 
  • the 'North London Waste Plan', and (presumably)
  • Haringey's 'Local Development Framework'
are both determined by the government (following inspectors' recommendations) in 2012.

... To consider the following Motions in accordance with Council Rules of Procedure No. 13: Motion A (2011/12)

Cllr Juliet Solomon
Councillor Solomon has given notice that she will move in the following terms:

This Council is opposed:
  • To the use of the Pinkham Way site as an industrial scale waste plant, and
  • To the proposed relocation of Barnet Council’s waste lorry depot (which provides no advantages to Haringey’s residents)
This Council notes:
  • That there needs to be a long-term solution to the waste problem
  • The motion passed by the Muswell Hill, Fortis Green, Alexandra and Highgate Area Committee on 16th June 2011 against the proposals at Pinkham Way which said “That this Area Committee opposes the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) plans for a waste facility at Pinkham Way, and calls on the NLWA to drop the plans.”
  • Lynne Featherstone MP and local residents’ and residents’ groups campaigns against the plans for Pinkham Way
This Council deplores:
  • The secrecy with which the plan, proposal and change in land-use designations has been developed over the last two years
  • The lack of communication with residents and members by Haringey Council’s Labour representatives on the North London Waste Authority (NLWA)
  • Labour’s change of the land designation in November 2010, without wide consultation of local residents, which facilitated the progress of the Pinkham Way plans
  • The failure of Labour members on the NLWA to object to the Pinkham Way plans and represent the interests of our community
This Council is alarmed:
  • At the scale of the proposed development at Pinkham Way and likely impact on local residents and schools
This Council resolves:
  • That the Leader of the Council should write to the Chief Executive of the NLWA to express councillors’ concerns over the consultation and the lack of information provided to residents and to request the application be withdrawn
  • To ask current and past Haringey Council members of the NLWA to detail their role in the decision-making process on the Pinkham Way development
  • To reaffirm the ecological designation of Pinkham Way and provide the maximum protection
  • That contrary to the process involved with the waste plan and this proposal that the interests of residents become central to decision-making”.

Amendment to Motion A (2011/12)

Delete All after “This Council” and insert text below

"This Council notes:
[This technically means that the motion starts:
"This Council This Council notes..."]
  • The proposed use of the Pinkham Way site by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) as an industrial scale waste plant
  • The proposed relocation of Barnet Council’s waste lorry depot to the Pinkham Way site
  • That the North London Waste Plan will be subject to an Examination in Public by a Planning Inspector, commencing in February 2012
  • Haringey Council’s Constitution makes clear that Full Council is not the appropriate forum to make a decision on a particular planning application. The Constitution delegates this responsibility to the council’s cross-party planning sub committee.
Cllr Alan Strickland
This Council further notes:
  • That there needs to be a long-term solution to the waste disposal and recycling needs of the seven North London boroughs.
  • That prior to the start of any formal consultation, Haringey Council has taken a pro-active approach to informing residents about the Pinkham Way planning application, including presentations at Area Committees and a meeting between the Leader of the Council and the Pinkham Way Alliance.
  • That the since the submission of the Pinkham Way outline planning application, planning officers have raised concerns with the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Social Inclusion about the Council’s ability to progress the planning application without further detail.
  • That as a result of negotiations led by Haringey Council, the NLWA have recognised the Council’s concerns and agreed that an application, with more details to be submitted, should not be determined by Haringey Council until after receipt of the independent planning inspector’s report into the North London Waste Plan in 2012.
  • The motion passed by the Muswell Hill, Fortis Green, Alexandra and Highgate Area Committee on 16th June 2011 against the proposals at Pinkham Way which said “That this Area Committee opposes the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) plans for a waste facility at Pinkham Way, and calls on the NLWA to drop the plans.
  • Campaigns by local elected representatives, local residents and residents’ groups against the plans for Pinkham Way.
This Council would encourage:
  • Full and open discussion on the range of waste sites including Pinkham Way.
This Council will consider on its merits:
  • The scale of any proposed development at Pinkham Way and the likely impact on local residents and schools. When assessing the potential impact the council will look at concerns such as traffic, noise, odour and other relevant issues.
This Council resolves:
  • That the Leader of the Council should write to the Chief Executive of the NLWA making clear the importance of the waste authority providing the detailed information needed in order for the council to proceed with a full and fair consultation and to provide any additional information requested to enable the council to properly consider all of the relevant issues.
  • To ask the NLWA to detail the decision-making process on the Pinkham Way development
  • To note the ecological designation of Pinkham Way and the protection that designation provides
  • To run a fair, transparent and open consultation process on the planning application to ensure that affected residents in Haringey, Barnet and Enfield can exercise their right to have their views considered."
Propose: Cllr Alan Strickland
Second: Cllr Pat Egan

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Camden approved Inter Authority Agreement (but now 'called in' by opposition)

Ham & High, 29 July - click above to enlarge

Camden Cabinet Meeting,
20 July 2011

"To consider the report of the Director of Culture and Environment

"This report sets out the basis for an Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) between the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and its seven constituent Boroughs.

"The IAA will govern the arrangements between the signatory authorities with regards to waste management over the life of the NLWA’s proposed future waste management contracts. These are the subject of a current procurement process, and are expected to last circa 30 years.

"The document develops the 12 IAA principles, agreed by Camden’s Cabinet in December 2010, [see below] and incorporates them in a legally binding document.

"A decision on this is brought to Cabinet, as the IAA involves significant financial and strategic implications for the borough.

"Decision: RESOLVED –
  1. THAT the Council should enter into the IAA in accordance with the terms set out in Section 4 and Appendix 2 of the Report, be agreed in principle;
  2. THAT authority be delegated to the Director of Culture and Environment to (a) negotiate and thereafter agree the detailed terms of the IAA in consultation with the nominated deputies of the Director of Finance and the Head of Legal Services and the Cabinet member for Environment and (b) authorise execution of the IAA;
  3. THAT it be noted that the Director of Culture and Environment shall be nominated in the IAA as the Council’s Representative for the purposes of the IAA and shall discharge that either personally or by nominated deputy as appropriate;
  4. THAT it be noted that Part B information relating to waste collection systems and waste tonnage forecasts will be presented in a further report to the Cabinet in Spring 2012 for approval; and
  5. THAT authority be delegated to the Director of Culture and Environment to negotiate and thereafter agree the detailed terms of the transfer of the Regis Road Household Waste Recycling Centre in consultation with the nominated deputies of the Director of Finance and the Head of Legal Services and the Cabinet Member for Environment."

Camden Cabinet Meeting,
1 December 2010

"This report sets out the key principles forming the basis for an Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) between the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and its seven constituent Boroughs. The principles have been produced in consultation with constituent borough members and technical, finance and legal officers from each Borough.

"In its final form the IAA document will govern the interface between the signatory authorities with regards waste management over the life of the NLWA’s proposed future waste management contracts. These are the subject of a current procurement process and are expected to last up to 30 years.

"The 12 IAA Principles recognise that constituent Boroughs are not in a position to fully commit final decisions in relation to a number of aspects of the IAA at this time. If the recommendations of this report are approved officers will negotiate the IAA in accordance with the principles and seek further Cabinet approval before the document is entered into.

"A decision on this is brought to Cabinet as the IAA involves significant financial and strategic implications for the borough.

"Decision: RESOLVED –
  1. THAT the adoption of the 12 Inter Authority Agreement principles set out in Section 3 [see below] be approved as the basis for negotiation of the IAA; and
  2. THAT Camden’s current position on future collection waste systems be approved as an in principle basis that bidders will use to price bids for the Invitation to Submit Detailed Solutions stage of the procurement as set out in 4.1.10."


"The following principles were “agreed” as a framework for negotiation of the IAA at the NLWA IAA Stakeholder event on the 16th September 2010 and refined slightly through subsequent discussion. It is intended that these will form the basis of a subsequent IAA the terms of which will be reported to Cabinet for approval, provisionally in July 2011.
  1. Boroughs identify their preferred collection system subject to a final review of projected gate fees.
  2. Residual waste is confirmed as in the contract and it is an NLWA decision to award the contract.
  3. An eight authority commitment to work towards our recycling targets which includes the consideration of kitchen waste collection (a separate strategy to be developed)
  4. Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) to be transferred to the NLWA subject to agreement to "transfer value" and overall service specification. NLWA to develop proposals for a capital investment programme covering the refurbishment of HWRCs and possible new sites. This programme is to be shared with Boroughs for comment in advance of presentation to the Authority for decision.
  5. That Boroughs agree to consider menu pricing upon consideration of the costs as set out in Principle 6.
  6. At a given date in the procurement, NLWA will provide Boroughs with treatment costs reflecting bid positions, to allow costs to be assessed and a position taken on both recycling and menu pricing.
  7. There is an individual Borough "opt-out" covering i) recycling (whether source-segregated or co-mingled) and ii) the treatment of separately collected organic wastes.
  8. Based on bid proposals (and previous decision on transfer to NLWA) the decision to include HWRCs in the contract to be made by NLWA.
  9. Boroughs support the NLWA‟s position with bidders in relation to the 70% Guaranteed Minimum Tonnage (GMT) on the basis that Boroughs will not be penalised unless the Authority receives a contractual default. This position on GMT will only changed on the basis of improved value for money prior to the „Call for Final Tenders‟.
  10. Any change mechanisms necessary to up-date the IAA for "Financial Close" are included in the IAA Agreement
  11. NLWA will set-up a dialogue opportunity for Borough Officers to meet collectively with bidders prior to the "Call for Final Tenders".
  12. Recycling performance will be reported at Borough and NLWA levels. Boroughs report all recycling activity within their boundaries with the support of NLWA."

(The full document is 'Adoption of the North London Waste Authority Inter-Authority Agreement Principles' (CENV/2010/42) - link to report.

Haringey lorry at Edmonton Incinerator (where they should burn the video's music)

NLWA video (it ends rather abruptly!)
[only runs on some players, inc. RealPlayer]

Arguments against incineration
(including the NLWA's intended new-style incineration)
are at

Barnet Times, Barnet Press (2), Haringey Independent, Haringey Journal, and unexpectedly, CAMDEN in the Ham & High!

 (Click on the images to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)

 (Click on the images to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)

'London Plan' published: Three boroughs in deadly embrace

New, smaller 'North' subregion
(Click above for 'London Plan' main page)

"The Mayor has published the replacement of the spatial development strategy for London – known as the London Plan.

"The London Plan is the overall strategic plan for London, and it sets out a fully integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of the capital to 2031.  It forms part of the development plan for Greater London.  London boroughs’ local plans need to be in general conformity with the London Plan, and its policies guide decisions on planning applications by councils and the Mayor."

Barnet Press: "Campaigners and children fail to halt threats to three libraries"

Link to Barnet Press

"RESIDENTS leaving Barnet Council’s cabinet meeting said they were “disappointed” by the decision to axe three libraries.

"For almost an hour, residents and local ward councillors pleaded with the senior councillors to rethink plans, which include merging Friern Barnet and North Finchley library, and relocating Hampstead Garden library.

"More than 50 residents attended the meeting at Hendon Town Hall, and some questioned the councillors on their plans, which incorporate the merged libraries into a new landmark arts-and-culture library at the artsdepot, in Tally Ho Corner, and relocate book stock from Hampstead Garden library to the Institute Arts Centre."

The Guardian: "Plastic bag use on the rise after years of decline"

Link to The Guardian

British consumers are packing away their green credentials, along with their weekly shop, as last year an increasing number of us bundled our purchases into single-use plastic carrier bags, instead of seeking out environmentally friendly alternatives.

In Wales, the imminent charge may have helped to cut bag use – the total was down by 7% last year, compared with the rise in England and Scotland. John Griffiths, Welsh environment minister, said a charge was the best way to drive down carrier use, as voluntary agreements with retailers would not achieve enough. He said: 
"These figures show a real difference between carrier bag use in Wales, and that in other parts of the UK, where no mandatory charge is planned. This proves that the carrier bag charge, which is due to be introduced in Wales on 1 October, is the only way to ensure a real and lasting reduction in the use of carrier bags."

Do you have confidence in Brian Coleman's North London Waste Authority, and its £4-billion contracts?

Link to BBC web site

"The government's lack of in-house skills and a 'cosy' over-reliance on large contractors for its IT is a 'recipe for rip-offs', according to the Public Administration Select Committee.

Bernard Jenkin, chair of the committee, explains that the 'whole thing is a mess' and why there should be 'more competition'.

Link to Select Committee report
Public Administration Committee -
Twelfth Report

Government and IT -
"A Recipe For Rip-Offs": Time For A New Approach

Pinkham Way: Haringey Council explains at last (and knows how to use Copy-and Paste)

We asked:
Is the Pinkham Way planning application withdrawn for now, or it is informally "resting" until 2012?
The submitted outline application is invalid, and therefore not registered. Haringey still requires further information before it can become valid. This is expected in August or September 2011. After receipt of this information, the application will become valid, and will be put into the public domain. However, the application will not be progressed further, until after the receipt of the independent Inspector’s report into the Examination in Public of the North London Waste Plan. The NLWP identifies Pinkham Way as a potential waste treatment site.

The independent Inspector’s report is not likely to be concluded before April 2012. Only after this will the application be moved forward, consulted on, assessed, and reported to Haringey’s Planning Committee.
Has this been agreed with the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and with Barnet Council, and in a documented way?
Yes. Haringey Council has a letter confirming this.

What will decide when it is "reactivated"?
After receipt of further information, expected in August or September 2011, the application will become valid, and will be put into the public domain. However, the application will not be progressed further, until after the receipt of the independent Inspector’s report into the Examination in Public of the NLWP.
Is it after the determination by the government (following public hearings and recommendations by planning inspectors) of the "North London Waste Plan", AND/OR of Haringey's "Local Development Framework"?
After receipt of further information, expected in August or September 2011, the application will become valid, and will be put into the public domain. However, the application will not be progressed further, until after the receipt of the independent Inspector’s report into the Examination in Public of the NLWP. [We get the idea. You could have just said, "See above."]
Please explain the underlying statutory basis for the ability to delay this matter by merely "resting" (unless the applicants have withdrawn the planning application).
The submitted outline application is invalid, and therefore not registered. Haringey still requires further information before it can become valid. This is expected in August or September 2011. After receipt of further information, the application will become valid, and will be put into the public domain. However, the application will not be progressed further, until after the receipt of the independent Inspector’s report into the Examination in Public of the NLWP. [Good grief.]
In the (presumed) absence of a planning application, is all consultation with the public suspended until 2012? If not, what exactly is being consulted on?
After receipt of further information, the application will become valid, and will be put into the public domain. However, the application will not be progressed further, until after the receipt of the independent Inspector’s report into the Examination in Public of the NLWP. [Aaagh!]

Members of the public will be able to continue to send in their comments to a web site address, but these will not be dealt with until at least April 2012, following the Inspector’s report. The processing of the application, and public consultation, will begin formally only after the Inspector’s report.
Is it understood by the Authority that a resubmitted planning application would be "outline" or "full" when, and if, it is resubmitted?
There will be no resubmission. The application has been submitted (outline), more information is being asked for to make it valid – this is likely to turn the application into a hybrid.
Does the Authority conclude that discussions of Haringey officers and councillors with the NLWA and with Barnet are not exempt from successful Freedom of Information Act requests (particularly if the planning application has been withdrawn)? (For instance. at full council, it was mentioned that the CE and Leader of Haringey have met with the CE and Leader of Barnet.)
With regards to the issue of FOI requests, this would be a matter for the monitoring officer to decide on, depending on the contents of the minutes /notes from any meetings. [Even now, we are sharpening our pencil ...]

Barnet Times: "Protesters to continue battle to save Friern Barnet Library"

Link to Barnet Times

"Residents who have been desperately fighting the proposal were thrown a lifeline when it was announced they have until October 31 to come up with “community initiatives” to run their libraries more efficiently.

"... Tamar Andrusier’s 10-year-old twins Hannah and Oscar have also been campaigning for the library they use every week after school.

"Hannah said:
"The council’s job is to make things better for us, and that’s not what they’re doing. Children our age simply wouldn’t be able to go all the way to the artsdepot every day on our own."

... and 'Barnet Press' editorial, 28 July:

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The North London Waste Authority speaks (but only a little) ...

"Negotiations are ongoing with bidders, and the final details of the contract will not be known until early 2013. However, it is expected that the Pinkham Way and Edmonton sites will be used for the treatment of residual waste (that which cannot be recycled or composted) in Mechanical Biological Treatment facilities, and not for the use of any Solid Recovered Fuel, which is one of the products. [So no incineration at Pinkham Way or Edmonton. Maybe incineration at Brent Cross?]

"It is normal, in contracts of this type, for bidders to seek guaranteed minimum tonnages, set on the basis of the projected waste volume that has been used to determine the size of the facility, and for the contracting authority to seek to negotiate to keep that guaranteed minimum tonnage as low as possible. [So what happens if north London reduces its waste quantities in the next 25-35 years, more than expected? And is the NLWA any good at negotiating?]

"The waste tonnages that bidders are required to use anticipate a reduction in waste per household, and increasing levels of recycling (from the current 30 per cent to 50 per cent). [Why no higher? In Scotland, it is expected to be 70% by 2025! What happens if it does go higher?]

"It would not be normal for bidders to seek any guarantees on the calorific value of waste - rather, they are normally expected to take risk on the composition of waste in the future. [That probably means they are free to mix in some extra burnable plastics (say), if the NLWA delivers waste that contains 'too little', due to increased recycling (above 50%). Is the NLWA saying that it has no control over that?]

"You may also be aware that the application for a waste facility and vehicle depot at Pinkham Way will not now be considered for a decision by Haringey Council (the planning authority) until the independent planning inspector’s report into the North London Waste Plan, the spatial strategy which will allocate land for waste use within north London, is published. [Bet that Barnet wasn't happy about that!]

"This will allow the designation of the land for waste use to be assessed via the 'North London Waste Plan' process early next year, before any consideration is given to a planning application on the site. The Examination in Public of the North London Waste Plan (proposed submission version) is due to begin in February 2012, and the report issued in April 2012.

"The new timetable will provide local residents with more opportunity to consider our proposals, and the context in which they are made. We will also be providing additional detail which will be helpful. [Does this stop Haringey publishing the planning application, as it exists at the moment? Is it 'sound' as an application by now?The NLWA is only saying they will be adding 'additional detail', not changing anything. Or has the planning application actually been withdrawn, for now?]

See the later

Haringey Council report, by Joanna Christophides (Bounds Green Ward)

Cllr Joanna Christophides
"Residents have raised many of these issues with me and my ward colleagues, Councillors Cooke and Demirci, especially issues surrounding:
  • the consultation process, 
  • environmental concerns, and 
  • worries about traffic.
"As Bounds Green Ward councillors, we have responded, by ensuring that residents have had an opportunity to raise those concerns with us. It is also why we held and attended:
  • a meeting at a local school with the three of us, plus Joanne McCartney, the GLA Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey – inviting approximately 1500 households
  • a meeting with the Leader of Haringey Council, the cabinet member, and the Assistant Director for Planning and Regeneration. We were accompanied by representatives from the two local primary schools, members of the Pinkham Way Alliance, and members of the Bounds Green and District Residents Association.
"Pinkham Way was also the main agenda item at the Wood Green Area Forum.

"It is with those meetings in mind, that I feel reassured by Councillor Strickland’s amendment, and I note in particular the resolve to ensure that the consultation process is open, and transparent, and fair. 

"As ward councillors, we have pledged to keep residents in Bounds Green fully informed of the progress of the application, and to represent the views of our residents, who have rightly raised some very important questions about the process and about the planning application."

Barnet Times: "Campaigners fear Pinkham Way waste plant impact on Brent Cross Cricklewood"

Don't go near the water (and it isn't blue) ...
Link to Barnet Times

"CAMPAIGNERS claim the decision to halt a waste plant project will cause major problems for plans for a new town in Brent Cross.

"David Howard, a member of the coalition and chair of the Federation of Residents Associations of Barnet, said:
“What it means for the community is more uncertainty. Will we lose our homes?"

Link to what's going on at Brent Cross: 
"Barnet: Putting the Community First".

Enfield Independent (2), and Enfield Advertiser

 (Click on the images to enlarge, and usually again to magnify)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Haringey, Enfield and Barnet Green Parties: 'No to Pinkham Way' meeting

Link to HARINGEY Green Party

"Although the proposal to build an MBT waste plant the size of two football pitches at Pinkham Way have been ‘put on ice’ for 9 months, over one hundred local residents and campaigners turned up for the packed 21 July meeting on the subject.

"Speakers at the meeting, which was organised by Haringey, Enfield and Barnet Green Parties, were Darren Johnson, Green Party London Assembly Member, Quentin Given, Co-ordinator of Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, and Colin Parish, founder of the Pinkham Way Alliance.

"Quentin Given spoke first, stating that 'the reason we’re all here tonight is because we produce too much waste.' He went on to talk about the need for goods to be wrapped in less packaging, so that there was less to either recycle or send to landfill in the first place. Friends of the Earth believe that London should be dealing with its own waste, and that we should be moving away from incineration.

"Colin Parish began by explaining how his involvement in the Pinkham Way Alliance has changed his outlook on environmental issues, particularly the issue of waste. 'I’m not a green,' he stated. 'I’ve never been overly concerned about recycling, but now I’ve come to realise that I need to mend my ways. I’m greener and greener by the day, because I realise we need to address this.'

"Addressing the accusation that the campaign is nimbyist, Mr. Parish commented, 'It’s not that we don’t want it in our backyard; it’s so big we will be in its backyard.' He commented on the ‘dirty dishcloth’ smell that permeated from other Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) plants around the country, that were already in operation. Flies and litter are often big problems too, leading him to comment that the nearby McDonalds would have to ask customers, if the MBT does go ahead, 'do you want flies with that?'

"The Pinkham Way Alliance have welcomed the 9 month 'stay of execution', and believe that it is essential that the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) is agreed before a decision is made on the proposed Pinkham Way development. On the issue of the NLWP, Mr Parish commented 'It’s full of holes. The way in which they have used their own criteria [in relation to Pinkham Way] is incredibly bogus.'

Link to ENFIELD Green Party
"Darren Johnson, Green Party London Assembly Member, was the final speaker. He began by stating that 'we will need new types of waste plants to deal with our waste, but I do object to this plan as it is completely the wrong plant in the wrong place.'

"Highlighting the fact that the last Mayor of London had planned to have lots of small waste and recycling plants across the capital, but that Boris Johnson, in his new London Plan, changed this to fewer, larger plants, Mr Johnson commented, 'I wouldn’t object to MBT, if we’re talking about a very small amount of waste in each borough. We are going to have to have waste plants in London, but they need to be in the right location, the right technology and the right size. They need to serve the local community, rather than being imposed upon it.”

"Mr Johnson urged campaigners to make the issue of the Pinkham Way plans and, more widely, the issue of London’s waste, into a key Mayoral election issue.

"The audience made many contributions, and it became clear that the site where the MBT is planned to be built is a much-loved local wood. People remembered playing there as children, and it was noted that it has only been fenced off for the last 18 months, since being bought by the North London Waste Authority, for £12 million.

Link above to BARNET Green Party
and to waste incinerator campaign
"Several audience members talked about the necessity to increase recycling, and to improve recycling methods. This would mean less non-recyclable waste to process, and less need for huge MBTs or landfill. The issue of businesses being charged for recycling was raised, and the problems this causes in terms of making small businesses less willing to recycle their waste.

"Colin Parish was asked at what point would residents be able to be confident the battle had been won? Mr. Parish answered, 'We will have succeeded in this campaign when my grandchildren are playing in Pinkham Wood.' He explained that his son is currently 13, so he feels that there’s a very long battle ahead."

English Heritage: "Listing of London Underground Stations"

Arnos Grove (opened 1932)
Link to English Heritage

"16 London Underground stations have today been listed at Grade ll by Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose, on the advice of English Heritage.

"They include several of the tube stations designed by Leslie Green whose 'ox-blood' red tile facades pioneered the use of a strong and consistent corporate image which is recognised around the world. All the stations have historic and architectural significance, illustrating the development of the capital's Underground system.

"Three other stations - Arnos Grove, Oakwood, and Sudbury Town - have been upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*. These stations were designed by the distinguished modernist architect Charles Holden, for the Piccadilly Line extension in the 1930s."

The Guardian: "Food retailers must do more to reduce food waste"

Link to The Guardian

"Food waste is a huge problem on both sides of the pond. In America, approximately 40% of food produce is wasted, and much of that is food that is perfectly edible. The United Kingdom also has a food waste problem, and despite government efforts, food waste remains a stubborn issue throughout Britain.

"Together, rising food prices and economic volatility have increased global hunger in rich and poor nations alike. But as the mounting food waste in the US and UK demonstrate, the problem is not of supply, but of distribution and efficiency."

Minister: "Dramatic simplification of planning guidance will encourage sustainable growth"

Link to Department for Communities and Local Government

"A new, simpler framework for the planning system that safeguards the environment while meeting the need for sustainable growth has been published for consultation today by Planning Minister Greg Clark.

"National planning policy, which is the basis for every local plan and decision, has accumulated to over one thousand pages during the last decade. Its volume and complexity have made planning increasingly inaccessible to all but specialists.

"The Government in the Coalition Agreement committed to turning this thicket of national planning policy into a clear, tightly focused document, setting out national priorities and rules.

"Today Ministers are inviting views on the draft National Planning Policy Framework - which streamlines national policy from over 1,000 pages to just 52 pages of policy - as part of a consultation to get the planning system right for current and future generations. The draft Framework draws on responses to an initial call for evidence earlier in the year. The Government intends to consult on simplifying other guidance on national policy as the next step."

'Pinkham Way Alliance' Facebook Group: "Standardising recycling policy"

Alistair McKechnie on Facebook:

"I was encouraged to hear from the Green Party and Friends of the Earth the other night, that doubling recycling in North London could, in theory, make the Pinkham Way site unnecessary.

"Problem with that, of course, is that each borough has a completely different recycling policy… so standardising things would seem like a good place to start.

"So, because I couldn’t find one anywhere else, I’ve cobbled together a comparative recycling chart based on information on the NLWA website and specific North London borough websites. I figure the chart can be used to help articulate the problem, and help us prod our councillors along (there’s nothing like competition to get people motivated).

"Interestingly, Barnet, for all our sins, is the No.1 recycler of domestic waste (although it doesn’t yet collect recycling from businesses – a big opportunity already). [And Barnet and Haringey failed to claim Boris's money for recycling from flats.]

"And the biggest source of refuse that nobody yet recycles is polystyrene – yet it’s quite possible to recycle (or re-use) a high proportion of it. So that would seem to be another major opportunity.

"I suspect my chart still has a few errors and may be out of date in some instances – so please help by downloading it on Facebook [but you can also click on image below for an image of it on 26 July].

"See if it gels with your local reality, then please comment back on Facebook, so I can finesse the thing. Thanks a lot!"

Click above to enlarge, and sometimes again to magnify

Monday, 25 July 2011

Something stirring in a land far, far away

Telegraph: "Offset your carbon footprint by [protecting] a meadow (...Let's see, we DO believe we know of one)

Link to Daily Telegraph

"If you really want to fight climate change and boost wildlife, you would be better off investing your money in protecting a local wild flower meadow.

"By creating a meadow you are not only offsetting your carbon by as much – if not more – than planting a tree, but also creating a fantastic wildlife habitat which is incredibly threatened. It is a win, win situation."

30 July: "Give and Take"

Map for N22 8EE

Fund-raising concert: Great Success

Video: Silvia Mapelli Sherriff
24 July: Balanescu Quartet perform for the Pinkham Way Alliance. "A fantastic event!"

Sunday, 24 July 2011

‘London’s Environment Revealed’: Boris says, "Enjoy the read."

Link to report (PDF file)

A comprehensive report into the state of London’s environment has found improvement in a number of areas over the past decade, including a significant reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill, and an increase in the recycling and composting rate: from 9 per cent in 2001 to 32 per cent in 2009/10. 

Despite progress in many areas, the report warns that the capital continues to face big challenges from a growing population and changing climate. London’s Environment Revealed is a joint report of the Greater London Authority, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Natural England.

Welsh Harp, Brent
"This report looks at how London's environment has changed over the last 10 years, and what challenges the city still faces. 

This is the first joint State of the Environment report for London, produced by the Greater London Authority, Environment Agency, Natural England and Forestry Commission.
"The report looks at how the environment has changed over the last decade using a series of environmental indicators, highlighting the improvements that have been made and the challenges we still face.

"This environmental health check has shown that despite a rising population and challenges from climate change, the quality of London's environmental is improving. In particular, there have been significant improvements in waste and recycling, public transport, wildlife habitats and urban greening.

"For the first time, the evidence base used to determine change over time has been published alongside the report, on the London Datastore website."

UKWIN: "Government can’t defend bias to incineration"

Click above for Britains's 'UKWIN'
or here for the international 'GAIA'.

"Opposition MPs argued for excluding energy-from-waste incinerators from strategic projects in national policy at the 18 July Energy debate.

Andrew Love, Labour MP for Edmonton/London, said:
Incineration is considered in the renewable policy statement, yet it produces significant quantities of CO2. Should it not be re-designated under the fossil fuel category?
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, added:
" was hard to see why they [incinerators] are considered a renewable source."
She’s concerned long-term council contracts to provide waste for energy from waste facilities would discourage waste reduction, reuse and recycling efforts.

Dai Havard, Labour MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said the 50MW threshold for Energy from Waste (EfW) applications to come within the national policy statement (NPS) framework has “almost invited the industry to come forward with applications for huge developments.”

The mega-incinerator proposed by Covanta in his constituency ignores the ‘proximity principle’ he said, whereby waste is treated as near as possible to where it is generated.

The energy minister Charles Hendry said EfW should only be an option after recycling and reuse had been "looked at", and acknowledged the “strong case” for smaller, local waste facilities and technologies such as pyrolysis and gasification which he said the government was “very keen to encourage”. [Why? That's just a different form of incineration - and already approved by Barnet Council for the 'Brent Cross Incinerator' - and it is just a smaller form of Energy from Waste.]

Yet he asserted EfW “must also be seen as part of the waste hierarchy, to which we are absolutely committed, but we must also recognise that the generation option is better than going down the landfill route.”

This sounds desperate – no rational person claims that burning rubble, contaminated soil and glass-rich fines (from Cardiff’s MRF) are better burned than landfilled, or that incinerator ashes are not often better landfilled.

Greg Barker, Under Minister at DECC, was likewise desperate, in claiming that taking EfW out of the energy policy framework would create a “free for all” – called a ‘level playing field’ by those who wish to avoid bias to incineration. Saying this “framework” for decisions “does not necessarily mean there will be automatic presumption in favour of energy from waste”, he was admitting he wanted a strong steer toward EfW.

Charles Hendry did accept Dai Havard’s proposal to meet a cross-party delegation, to discuss the relationship between incineration, planning and energy generation, “delighted” to offer this little morsel to extricate the government from the hole he and Barker had dug."

The Observer: "Are single-use paper cups evil?"

Link to The Observer

"Billions of single-use cups are thrown into landfill sites every year and, according to the WWF, to produce a single latte requires 200 litres of water, including the materials and manufacture of the paper cup and cardboard sleeve.

"But is that stained ceramic novelty cup really so superior? In 1994 Professor Martin B Hocking of the University of Victoria in Canada carried out an analysis of the life cycles of beverage cups, pitching the reusable – ceramic, plastic and glass – against the disposable – paper and foam – also factoring in the energy use in manufacturing materials and cleaning of a reusable cup."

Friern Barnet Library: "The Cabinet meeting is on Tuesday, 26th July 7pm at Hendon Town Hall, which is a public meeting!"

"Friern Barnet Library is our communal centre, a place to learn, study, read, discover new worlds, fire up imaginations, find information and support, friends, find help with childcare, child minding support, providing many ideas and educational projects for many children, schools, families and local people.

"It can serve as a place of refuge away from the crowds and busy streets of our modern city life in London.

"We are asking Barnet Council to keep it, and our green communal space, our green village, open. This is our Landmark centre, and we want to keep it open. It serves to feed the very hearts and minds of our lively, busy, strong, good natured and diverse community.

"We are a diverse group of young and old, including young families, attracted to the area because of the close proximity of the library, its resources available and we have grown through many generations, to enjoy, learn and discover a sense of community.

"There is an increasing variety of job seekers, including the young, who have a great need to make use of the free internet, computer facilities, study and information provided by the library.

"There are the elderly, a nearby sheltered housing centre and people with disabilities and mobility issues who welcome and enjoy its locality and services. The prospect of travelling to North Finchley for services, could prove very challenging. The Arts Depot is local to North Finchley, but not to Friern Barnet. Public transport for some, can be costly, inconvenient, and slow in our ever-increasing world of heavy traffic gridlock.

"If the proposed relocation is agreed to North Finchley, it could transform a relatively trouble free journey and change it into a more stressful and tiresome expedition to the library for some members of our community. It could potentially have a bigger impact on the most vulnerable members of our local community, particularly people with disabilities and mobility issues.

"The local residents have expressed concern about its impact and trust it would meet current legislation concerning Equality laws, with the subject and application of some form of Equality impact assessment being carried out on behalf of local residents.

"And we hope we can keep it just the way we like it, here in Friern Barnet.

"Email our Cabinet - details here."

The nine points of the 'Save Friern Barnet Library' Campaign:
  1. Friern Barnet Library serves as a much-loved centre for the whole community – the only such centre in the area. Surgeries with local councillors are held in the library, as well as weekly meetings with our local police team. Community groups, such as a knitting group and a reading group, meet in the library. Well-attended talks take place regularly. The library is a source of information about local issues.
  2. Local libraries should be local. Having a library within walking distance makes it easily accessible to the young, the elderly and those with disabilities or mobility issues – these groups will be most affected by the proposed move to the Arts Depot.
  3. Friern Barnet Library provides computer and internet access for the local community. This helps job-seekers as well as those who cannot afford this technology at home.
  4. We dispute it being categorised as ‘low use’. From child-minders’ groups meeting for story-time, elderly people popping in to read the paper or children doing their homework after school, this library provides many vital services for the local community.
  5. There are at least three local state primary schools and three state secondary schools as well as the Sixth form Woodhouse College within walking distance – surely if links are strengthened between schools, colleges and the library, money could actually be saved?
  6. We already have a landmark library. Literally. Friern Barnet Library and its neighbouring village green stand as a focal point for the community of this area. The attractive building gives our neighbourhood its character and makes it feel like the village it once was, rather than another residential corridor in London.
  7. The ‘strategic library review’ consultation document, with its many pages of leading questions, is clearly designed to provide data that will back up the council’s plans. At Holly Park School, 41% of families have English as a second language - how many of them will pick up the ‘strategic library review’, take part and make their views known? We believe that the consultation process is a token PR exercise with the results a foregone conclusion. It was with astonishment to find inside ‘Literacy, learning and leisure’ booklet published by Barnet Council that Friern Barnet Library had been erased from the map.
  8. Selling the library may provide the Council with a short-term financial gain but it would, more importantly, cause an irreparable long-term loss for the whole local community.
  9. Librarians provide a valuable and professional service to the community. We do not want to see librarians’ hours being cut or jobs being lost in favour of a volunteer-run library service. Or self service.

"We, the local residents, would like to say a big thank you to all of you who came to the library, hooted your horn, signed our petition, and read a book inside, last weekend. Local businesses that make up our community in Friern Barnet have also supported our campaign.

"We would also like to say a big thank you to our local
Friern Barnet parish for supporting us in trying to keep our community spirit alive with our library and shared support for our commuity. They have already managed to obtain many local residents' signatures, and we really appreciate your support and help.

"Our local
Royal British Legion social club at The Village, 1 St John Buildings, Friern Barnet Road, London N11 3DP supports our campaign to keep the library open. They are next to our library, and have said they would not want to see the library close to the public. It brings great benefit for many of the local residents, including some of their members. It has helped form a community spirit amongst the two buildings, which has made living in the area all the more special.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for supporting our work, and providing us with practical help, such as lending for free their tables, chairs and use of facilities, as our part of our local community."