Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Enfield Advertiser: David Burrowes MP: "Council cannot just wish away area’s objections to Pinkham Way waste plant"

Link to Enfield Advertiser
(David Burrowes in the one in the middle)

"THE current work on improvements to the A406 and New Southgate area will mean that some of the most neglected parts of my constituency can look forward to being the most regenerated. I am urging both Notting Hill Housing Trust and Transport For London to do all they can to make the most of the opportunity.

"However, Enfield Council’s North Circular Area Action Plan lets us all down. There is no mention of plans to build Britain’s biggest waste management site at Pinkham Way. The planning inspector has this week been considering Haringey’s designation of the site. I have objected to the plan to widen the range of uses on the site to include heavy industrial type uses, with all the potential noise, pollution and traffic congestion impacting upon the local environment."

Friday, 24 February 2012

[Last day - but can be stretched...] Enfield: Ladderswood and the North Circular Road

The Grammatical Council

North Circular – Area Action Plan

"Towards Pre-Submisison Stage" [sic]

"In 2006 we began work on the North Circular Area Action Plan (NCAAP) to improve the living and working environment along the A406, and to identify new opportunities for housing, employment, and community facilities.

"NCAAP reached the Preferred Options stage back in 2008, but was paused in 2009 while the Council progressed to adopt the Core Strategy. 

"Now, with an adopted Core Strategy in place; a detailed New Southgate Masterplan; an adopted Planning Brief outlining future opportunities for Southgate Town Hall; the purchase of blighted land by Notting Hill Housing Trust, and estate renewal taking shape at Ladderswood. The Council is now turning attention back to the Area Action Plan to complete it and provide a robust local planning framework in which investment can come forward. [Correct the grammar yourself.]

"With so much activity now being seen in the area, The [sic] Council is revisiting earlier stages of the NCAAP process. 

"The Council has prepared a NCAAP Towards Pre-submission stage document November 2011. The intention of this document is to  provide an additional, informal stage of community engagement and stakeholder consultation to run for 12 weeks from Tuesday 22 November to Friday 10 February 2012.


"This informal stage of engagement is seeking your views on the local issues as you see them now, along with the new opportunities and options that will help inform the new planning framework for the North Circular area. 

"Clike here [CLIKE?] to download a Feedback Form. For further information please contact the LDF Team 0208 379 3866.

Comments can be or sent to: [Good grief] or Planning Policy Team, Enfield Council, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield EN1 3XE."

11 January update:

Link to web site
"ENFIELD Council has promised to improve its consultation around plans for the North Circular, after accusations not many people know about it.

"The North Circular Area Action Plan will map out the future of area of Bounds Green, Palmers Green, Bowes, and New Southgate, for the next couple of decades. 

"Around 8,000 homes will be leafleted about the plans this month, and a public meeting and exhibition is planned for Saturday, February 4, to consult further."

[Our original post now follows.
"Read it first, on the 'Pinkham Way Incinerator' web site!"]

2 December:

 Ladderswood redevelopment...

(Click on leaflet to enlarge.)
Link to the new Ladderswood web site

... Designed in conformity with the wider 'New Southgate Masterplan'...

(Click on image above,
and also link to previous New Southgate Plan posting.)

... Which, in turn, will be part of the wider 'North Circular Area Action Plan'...

"Transport for London’s Safety and Environment Improvement Scheme for the road is well advanced. In 2006 we began work on the 'North Circular Area Action Plan', to improve the living and working environment along the A406, and to identify new opportunities for housing, employment, and community facilities.

Click to enlarge

"The plan was put on hold in 2009, while we prepared the borough's 'Core Strategy'.

"The Core Strategy has been approved, so we are now turning our attention back to the 'Area Action Plan' to complete it. We are consulting on this new document (below) from 22 November 2011 to 10 [now 24] February 2012."

"The regeneration and improvement of the area around the North Circular Road, including New Southgate, and covering the wards of Bowes, Palmers Green and Southgate Green is a priority for the Council. The area is identified as one of the Borough’s strategic growth areas, and is one of the Council’s 'place-shaping priority areas'”. While the area has been in need of regeneration and investment for many years, it is only very recently that significant progress has been made in clearing the path towards the delivery of major improvements. 

"The Council is preparing an 'Area Action Plan', which will provide a comprehensive planning policy framework for the North Circular area. The North Circular Area Action Plan (NCAAP) will establish a vision for the area, and outline a range of policies which, taken together, will help deliver the wider regeneration objectives for the local communities. The NCAAP will include policies and proposals which highlight the key investment and improvement opportunities across the area. 

"These policies will provide guidance against which new development proposals will be assessed, and will provide guidance on the relevant design, access and environmental management issues."

(That's enough Planning. Ed.)

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Daily Mail: "The World War Three files: For 30 years these papers have been kept secret"

Link to Daily Mail

"The men and women who took part in this massive 1981 exercise had no way of knowing that their worst fears would never be realised.

"... The world is very near the brink now. That night, Britain is pounded by more air raids, with scores of civilians killed, and at least 100 houses destroyed in Liverpool. At dawn, Soviet bombers use nerve gas and chemical blistering agents in attacks on Scotland, Manchester and Carlisle.

"At nine o’clock on the morning of March 20, the War Cabinet meets for the final time. The Red Army has now broken through in West Germany, punching a hole 40 km deep in the Allied lines.

"Accordingly, the supreme Nato commander has requested ‘authority to execute a nuclear strike on targets in the territory of [Soviet] satellite countries’. He wants to launch 29 nuclear weapons at 5 am the following day, aimed at military bases in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria."

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

"How many hybrid buses, Mr Mayor?" (Boris wishes he were somewhere else)

Barnet Times: "Labour councillors to call-in Cabinet's decision to close Friern Barnet Library"

Link to Barnet Times

"Councillor Barry Rawlings will ask for the decision to close Friern Barnet Library to be referred back to Barnet Council's Cabinet, in an attempt to prevent the closure, announced on Monday evening.

"He will argue a community group’s bid to run the library more efficiently was not considered properly."

Sun. 26 Feb: Pinkham Way Alliance fundraising concert

Pinkham Way Alliance presents

The Galitzin Quartet
Pinkham Way Benefit Concert

Sunday 26 February, 4pm
St Andrews Church, Alexandra Park Road,
Muswell Hill, N10 2DD

All money raised will go to the Pinkham Way Alliance Campaign
Tickets: £10 adults and children aged 16+, £5 under 16s
(Tickets also available at the door)
 Refreshments will be available during the interval, and after the concert.

(Click above to order tickets)
The Galitzin Quartet are a very successful classical string quartet. The Quartet formed in 2003 when the two founder members Pedro Meireles first violin) and Ken Ichinose (cello) met while studying at the Royal Academy of Music. They have been joined more recently by Owen Cox (second violin) and Ken's younger brother Joe (viola).

The Quartet is named after Prince Nicholas Galitzin of Saint Petersburg, the dedicatee of three of Beethoven’s late Quartets: Op.127, 130 and 132.

They have won several prestigious awards and scholarships and were commissioned by the contemporary English composer, Professor John Ramsay, to record three of his string quartets; he even dedicated his 3rd Quartet in C to them.

Ken and Joe grew up and went to school in Muswell Hill, and are very keen to support the Pinkham Way Alliance.

Their proposed programme for the afternoon is:

Haydn Quartet in G minor, Op.74 no.3 'Rider'
Mendelssohn Quartet in D major, Op.44 no.1
Beethoven Quartet in B flat major, Op. 130 (alternative finale)

Link to Barnet Times.

Pinkham Way Alliance newsletter


"On Wed 22 Feb (and, possibly, Thurs 23 Feb), an independent planning inspector will assess our objections to last-minute changes made by Haringey to its Core Strategy in 2010. 

"This will without doubt be one of the key days for this whole campaign. We’ve worked together, to carve out a real chance to attack important groundwork, that supporters of this waste plant probably expected would make it under the radar unhindered.

"It's important that we fully reinforce how strongly we feel about this issue by filling the viewers’ gallery. It is rare that a community will get people in numbers to this sort of hearing, and it will not go unnoticed by the inspector. Many people have worked long and hard on the submissions that he'll hear on the day, and there’s no better way to show our appreciation for this than to be there.

"We do realise that it’s a big ask on a weekday. However, if you are free for any part of it, please do come along. Some of us will be taking a little time off work (even if just to duck out early and catch the last couple of hours); we completely understand that this may not be an option for you, but please give it some thought.

"As mentioned before, our role will simply be to sit quietly and listen. This is not a demonstration. Also, we shouldn't take children.

"The hearing will take place on Wed 22 Feb, at  Wood Green Civic Centre. It will start at 10am, with lunch at 1-2pm, and finish at 5.30pm. There will be breaks half-way through the am and pm sessions.

"It’s fine to attend only part of the day, but  we should really try and arrive/leave only when there is a break, unless absolutely necessary.

"For more details about what this hearing is for, visit the PWA website here. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by email.

"If you are able to come to some of it (and bring a friend/relative/innocent bystander!), please let us know by email. We need to check numbers, to ensure that that there aren’t too many (or too few) of us. In the meantime, please try and persuade others to come along if you can.

"Please note that if one day turns out not to be long enough (which is quite likely), the hearing will continue on Thurs 23 Feb - if you're able to be on 'stand by' for this, please let us know."


"Tickets are now on sale for our next fundraising concert on Sunday 26 February at St Andrew's Church, Alexandra Park Road. It starts at 4pm and the award-winning Galitzin Quartet will be playing a fantastic programme of Hadyn, Mendelssohn and Beethoven string quartets.

"For full details, and to order tickets at £10 (or £5 for under 16s), please visit the concert website. All proceeds go to  the campaign, and it's a great price to see such accomplished musicians in an intimate venue. As ever, we'll provide refreshments during the interval. Please spread the word!"


"Lastly, a big thank you to all of you who volunteered to help delivering leaflets. We've had a good response, which will be very helpful. We'll be in touch soon with more information."

"Serious work on the North London Waste Plan is getting underway now - more on this soon. But for now, please try to come to the hearing on the Feb 22 if at all possible (and, if so, let us know by email beforehand).

"Don't forget you can also follow us on Twitter, join the Facebook Group and that you can donate here."

Bidesh Sarkar
Chair, Pinkham Way Alliance

(Updated) Bid to make part of Alexandra Palace a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Link to 'carteruncut' web site

UN World Heritage Proposal now accepted!

"The Alexandra Palace Trust Board has adopted the UN World Heritage site proposal as a strategic goal.

The new Chief Executive's report on the proposal is here.

The presentation made to the Trust Board meeting on 16 February 2012 is here."

Link to PDF document

Proposal to the Alexandra Park & Palace Trust Board

"That the APPTB – with support from Borough of Haringey – should seek UNESCO World Heritage Site gift-of-inscription for the South-East wing of Alexandra Palace. To include the BBC television studios, control rooms, dressing and transmitter rooms, telecine area, tower offices and transmission tower."

Link to Haringey Independent (2010) 

Next meeting:
14 March 2012:
"From Green Lane to Shopping City - the story of the Wood Green High Road"
Albert Pinching

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Broken Barnet: A Tale of Two Libraries

Link to Broken Barnet

"Enraged library users were in abundance at the Barnet Cabinet meeting last night. Enraged in a very British, middle class way, the way that we do so well: polite, seething, disgusted, asking lots of brilliantly acute questions, to no avail, and then allowing their innate decency to stop them from jumping up and slapping the faces of the odiously smug Tory Cabinet members.

"Last week it was announced that Barnet would not be allowing local campaigners to run a community library in Friern Barnet, but that it had decided to support a similar residents proposal for Hampstead Garden Suburb.

"... It was very sad to see the residents take their turn at the table, and walk away so angry and frustrated by the process they have been duped into following. Their naivete is to their credit: they really believed that there is a system of democratic consultation in this borough, that they were being invited to engage in a Big Society venture, and that they could trust our council to help them do it. In short, they had not realised they were living in Broken Barnet.

"They do now."

Friday, 17 February 2012

Broken Barnet: Regal Visit to Barnet Next Month - and it's not Brian Coleman

''Spending cut on road maintenance provides opportunity
for obsequious behaviour by Barnet Councillor"
Link to Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet'

"A Royal Visit, some lucky winners, and some sad losers: Mrs Angry Predicts..."

"She sees a tubby little Tory councillor preening himself in front of a mirror, wrestling with his waiscoat buttons, smooothing down his best tie with trembling hands. Look, he is practising a bow. Not too low, Brian, those trousers are a little teeny bit tight, and her Majesty doesn't want to catch sight of your bootylicious backside, now does she? 

Brian looks carefully at his reflection. 'Ma'am', he mutters, with a manly nod, the knowing, expectant nod of a man who, in this time of unprecedented austerity, has just paid £1,000 of local tax payers money for a four-minute anthem in praise of the royal jubilee. Her Majesty looks on in bemusement. Councillor Coleman sits and waits by his post-box, for a special letter from Buckingham Palace. The letter never comes.

"Yes: Mrs Angry predicts a royal visit to our borough, next month."

Thursday, 16 February 2012

[From Dec. 2010] The Independent: "What's the official line on incinerators? There isn't one"

The Independent:
Michael McCarthy commentary
The Independent:
"Chancellor opposes waste disposal on his doorstep"

See earlier incinerator item here.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Let's Recycle: "London Reuse Network almost 50% behind target"

Boris and Joanna:
Link to Let's Recycle web site

The London Reuse Network, intended to be ‘the most ambitious developing reuse model anywhere in the world’, is set to fall short of its reuse target by almost 50% this financial year.
[So who is managing this? Who is the big cheese, providing the intellectual powerhouse of ideas and political ambition behind the whole project?]
In a report by the London Waste and Recycling Board, Clyde Loakes, chair of the London Reuse Network Partnership Board, revealed that the network only expects to reuse 1,400 tonnes of material in 2011/12, which is 48% short of its target.

"... Funding had been released to two schemes: 
  • a depot at Restore Community Projects in Tottenham, which was granted £368,000; and
  • a hub at Barnet Reuse Centre in Frien [sic] Barnet, which in total will receive £208,000.

Link to 21 March London Conference web site

"This year’s London Conference on recycling and waste management will feature new ideas and solutions to deliver good services efficiently. With the involvement of the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), the event will look at what is available to help local authorities make the most of their services, ensuring value, whilst maintaining standards.

"It will include detailed guidance on the Board’s work on efficiencies, plus the opportunity to interact with the team. High-level input to the event will include presentations from iESE [we've no idea], Local Partnerships, and London Councils with a ‘setting the scene’ address from James Cleverly, Chair of LWARB.

"Afternoon sessions will include: 
  • The changing role of the civic amenity site; 
  • Food waste; 
  • Costs, equipment & infrastructure; 
  • WEEE [whatever] and the Digital switchover – what it means for councils and their contractors; and 
  • Communications: How to get funding for your borough – Recycle for London.
**LWARB ARE OFFERING LONDON LOCAL AUTHORITIES ONE FREE DELEGATE PLACE EACH AT THE LONDON CONFERENCE** If you would like to take advantage of this special offer, please contact iona smith on 020 7633 4526 OR"

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

North London Waste Authority: "Procurement advances to final tenders"

The North London Waste Authority announces the shortlist of bidders, who will be invited to submit final tenders on its waste services and fuel use procurements. 

"The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has today announced the shortlist of bidders, who will be invited to submit final tenders on its waste services and fuel use procurements. 

[Yes, that is the same as the previous paragraph, but this is the NLWA press office!]

"The bidders are:
Waste Services:  
  • FCC/ Skanska
  • Veolia
Fuel Use:
  • E.On / Wheelabrator
  • Veolia
"The shortlist reflects:
  • An agreed procurement strategy involving two contracts – one for waste disposal services including the production of a Solid Recovered Fuel from waste that cannot be recycled or composted; and one for the use of that Fuel;
  • The Authority’s evaluation of detailed solutions on both procurements; and
  • An agreement between the Authority and Covanta that their proposed fuel use solution will be suspended, and not progressed to a final tender in competition with the proposals from E.On/ Wheelabrator and Veolia.

"Chair of the NLWA, Councillor Clyde Loakes said:
“The Authority is very pleased to have received good quality proposals that exceed our expectations on service quality in some respects, and cost less than estimated. Both contract awards are highly competitive, with all bidders having a good chance of winning if final commercial details can be agreed and final tenders can be completed, with appropriate assurance on price and delivery.

The procurement and the market’s response has been a great success to date, despite the withdrawal of Government PFI funding part-way through, which has delayed the project by a few months. All involved to date are to be congratulated. However, we now need to finish the procurement, and make speedy progress to delivering new facilities. North London needs the new services, and the local economy needs the boost that will come from this green investment”.
"The Authority’s procurement process and timetable envisage a final stage of dialogue, with final tenders being submitted in the autumn, the selection of Preferred Bidders in December, and financial close in June 2013."

Let's Recycle:
"Two compete for NLWA deal after Covanta withdraws" 

Link to web site

"Two companies have been left to battle it out for a major £1 billion ‘fuel use’ contract in North London, after US incineration company Covanta decided to 'suspend' its bid.

"E.ON/ Wheelabrator Technologies is proposing to burn SRF at a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at DS Smith Paper’s Kemsley Mill site in Sittingbourne, Kent.

"Meanwhile, Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc is proposing a CHP-enabled power plant at an existing industrial site. The site is in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, six miles from the boundary of North London and adjacent to an existing Scottish Power plant."

Monday, 13 February 2012

Mrs Angry: Barnet Cabinet unveils new social policy at Hendon Town Hall

Link to 'Broken Barnet'

"This week, as we know, has seen the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Mrs Angry has been musing, over the last few days, about the associations of the great man with our beloved borough of Broken Barnet, and wondering what would he make of the place, if he were to return.

"Dickens was already familiar with this area by 1838, when he was writing Oliver Twist.

"... In 1843 Dickens returned to Fallow Corner, staying at Cobley's Farm, where, as he wrote to Thomas Beard:
"I have discovered a lovely Farm House at Finchley and am going to bury myself there for at least a month to come ... immersing myself in my story [Martin Chuzzlewit]."

Sunday, 12 February 2012

1 March 1912: Were extreme suffragettes regarded as terrorists?

Link to BBC web site, and iPlayer

"A century ago, British women still did not have the vote, and violent protests by the suffragettes were escalating. Were these women seen at the time as something akin to terrorists, or as activists legitimately fighting for a political cause?

"... On the afternoon of 1 March 1912, around 150 women were standing in front of shop windows and government offices in London's West End, and simultaneously took hammers and stones from their pockets and smashed the windows, explains historian Elizabeth Crawford:
"There was great confusion, they didn't try to run away. They were arrested immediately."
One of the suffragettes, Victoria Lidiard, recalled the attack in the 1970s:
"We started at the Marble Arch and... were stationed right down from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road - and then bang went all the windows."

North Circular Road flats proposed

Link to Enfield Planning

"Notting Hill Home Ownership is proposing the development of three sites, known as Sites 15 A, B & C, on the southern side of Telford Road (the North Circular Road) within the London Borough of Enfield. The Sites are identified as ‘Development Site’ 9 within the draft North Circular Area Action Plan (AAP) located towards the western end of the AAP area.

"The sites, which are the subject of this application, are located adjacent to the junction of the A406 Telford Road and Bexhill Road on the eastern and western side, and on the western side of the junction of the A406 Telford Road and Pevensey Avenue.

"Planning permission is sought for the following:
“Demolition of existing properties and construction of 39 new residential units together with associated car parking cycle, storage, amenity space and landscaping."

Wed 15 Feb: Tacking Challenges

Link to:
The Highgate Society

Saturday, 11 February 2012

BBC: "Researchers develop new system to 'eliminate' batteries"

Link to BBC web site

"Researchers at the University of Bedfordshire have developed a new technique for powering electronic devices. 

"The system, developed by Prof Ben Allen at the Centre for Wireless Research, uses radio waves as power:
"Power harvesting has a really important part in our future because, just in this country, we dispose of somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 tonnes of batteries in landfill sites every single year - that is toxic chemicals going into the ground."

Friday, 10 February 2012

[Updated from Oct 2011] 'Covanta Energy' bid for Pinkham Way's NLWA incinerator fuel jeopardised by Tate & Lyle closure threat

Evening Standard: "Tate & Lyle blames Europe, as Thames refinery jobs go" 

Link to web site

"The American owner of the historic Tate & Lyle sugar refinery on the Thames at Silvertown is planning to shed staff because of new EU restrictions on the industry.

"Tate & Lyle's is the last working factory on the Thames, and there have been fears over an outright shutdown as a result of new European Commission rules placing extra tariffs on sugar cane."

October 2011:
Link to Evening Standard

Evening Standard: 
"Tate & Lyle's plant on the Thames at risk in EU row over sugar rules"

"One of London's most historic factories could be closed in a row with Brussels over import tariffs.

"The American owner of the 133-year old Tate & Lyle refinery at Silvertown in East London is considering the future of the facility as it battles with the European Commission over new buying rules designed to tackle a worldwide sugar shortage."

7 October: 
"Solutions and sites proposed for use of north London’s residual waste"

"Covanta Energy is proposing a Combined Heat and Power plant at the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery site at Silvertown, East London. The power plant will meet the energy demands of sugar production undertaken on site in a sustainable and cost effective way, helping to ensure competitive operations at a site where 800 people are employed. The power plant will create up to 80 new permanent jobs and 350 jobs during construction.

"The Covanta proposal involves the transport by barge of SRF from Edmonton to Silvertown, and this will support the further development of London rivers for freight transport use. Covanta will shortly begin consultations with the local community and relevant authorities ahead of a planning application in mid 2012."
[It is not clear if Pinkham Way incinerator fuel would travel by lorry just to Edmonton, for transhipment, or all the way to Silvertown; the latter seems far more likely.]

The Guardian: "Sainsbury's changes food freezing advice in bid to cut food waste"

Link to web site

"Long-standing advice to consumers to freeze food on the day of purchase is to be changed. New labelling on food products in all Sainsbury's stores will instead advise customers to freeze food as soon as possible, up to the product's 'use by' date.

"Andrew Parry, consumer food waste prevention manager at WRAP (link to food waste) said:
"Changing the guidance to freeze before the use by date is a welcome move. Now we can all look in our fridges and know that we can freeze most items which are about to go out-of-date, and enjoy them at a later time.

In doing so, we can expect to reduce the amount of out of date food we throw away, which will in turn save us all money."

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Muswell Hill and Finchley's Glacial Drifts (whatever)

Link to locallocalhistory web site
(then click link for each page)

The Glacial Drifts of
Muswell Hill and Finchley, 1874

By Henry Walker, F.G.S.

"In these pages the writer seeks to set forth the newly discovered physical history of a most interesting area of the environs of London.

"Where shall the stranger to Muswell Hill and Finchley look for these remains of Glacial England; and what shall he look for? How shall he recognise these remarkable memorials when he sees them, and read their wonderful history?"

(Click to enlarge)

The Modern View

Postscript by Dr. Eric Robinson,
Past President of the Geologists Society

"Only one detail of the picture painted by Henry Wetherell [is this a misprint?] would find criticism in any modern account. This was the suggestion that an arctic sea extended south of the actual limit of the ice, a sea in which icebergs floated and dropped foreign stones into a clayey bed. Icebergs were a fascination to Victorian geologists from the accounts brought back by Polar exploration voyages and seemed to offer a compromise to those, such as Lyell, who could not accept fully the eroding power of land ice. 

"In place of the Walker picture, we would now visualise a glacier tongue of very dirty, stone-choked ice, slowly melting and releasing that load of foreign stone in what we now see as the hill bench to the north of Falloden Way and Fortis Green.

"Fortis Green was the southern edge of the ice. To the south, Hampstead Garden Suburb south of the Mutton Brook, Highgate Wood and the southern marshland edge of Alexandra Palace, all represent ground which was never overwhelmed by northern ice.

"North of that line, however, the situation is different. T.H.Huxley, 'Darwin 's Bulldog' in the famous battle over the Evolutionary Theory, is buried beneath an oak tree in St Marylebone Cemetery, in chalky boulder clay deposited at the southernmost limit of the great glacial invasion from the north. In the soil of the cemeteries, fossils of the kind illustrated by Walker on p. 16 of his pamphlet can still be found when the rain has washed the soil. 

"Each time a grave is dug, the soil can be seen to be charged with pebbles of Chalk, white and soft to the touch. Less frequently, decidedly northern rocks such as lava or granite from as far away as Scotland or Northumberland, turn up in the same fresh clay from Oxfordshire. 

"In this way, the Walker account can be proved anew as good scientific observation. As it stands, however, this pamphlet gives us insight into the scientific thought of the day."

Eric Robinson, 1993

BBC: "Making a living from Mexico City's rubbish"

Link to web site

"What the inhabitants of Mexico's capital throw away gives a livelihood to the city's army of refuse collectors.

"... Euphemistically called 'volunteers', these burly men do not earn a wage for cleaning the streets of the capital, rather they live on what they can recycle from the waste."

"From Our Own Correspondent"

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Independent: "Cycling safety: Riding the 'Tour de Chance' – and living to tell the tale"

Link to The Independent

"All cyclists have them – those junctions that even confident riders approach with racing hearts. There are hundreds in London, and yesterday the Mayor's transport office named the first 14 intersections it plans to make safer.

"Seven are scattered across central London, but the other half are around a one-way system in Tottenham, north London. So I jumped on my bike, to do laps of what looked on the map like the Gyratory of Doom."

Scroll down for:
"BBC: London cycle junctions safety review announced by TfL".

BBC: 'Bottle Bank Wars'

Link to BBC ePlayer

"Since goldrush days, San Francisco has been a magnet for those on the make. But the latest moneymakers aren't interested in striking gold, they're in search of cans and bottles. The city's efforts to boost recycling rates have been so successful that the value of rubbish has spiralled, leading to battles between official, unofficial and downright criminal garbage collectors.

"San Francisco now recycles 78% of it's [sic] trash: paper, bottles, cans, plastics and even food gets recycled or composted. This is partly due to the California Bottle Bill of 1987 that introduced legislation to ensure a deposit was repaid on bottles and cans that were sold in the state. The amount recyclers get depends on the package they return."

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Daily Telegraph: "Gadgets worth £762 million sent to landfill every year"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"New figures show more than 17 million mobile phones, music players, satnavs and other devices are sent straight to landfill.

"But the one in three adults who throws away one of the items would have received an average of £43.54 from a recycling centre, according to mobile phone provider O2."

BBC: "London cycle junctions safety review announced by TfL"

Link to BBC London

"The first of 500 junctions to be reviewed under moves to improve cycle safety have been announced by Transport for London (TfL).

"The 14 junctions that are among those 'proposed as priorities' include Highbury Corner, in north London. TfL said it 'aims to deliver some improvements before the start of the Olympic Games' in July.

"But a cycle blogger said: 'First drafts of some of the changes are already public, and aren't very encouraging'."

Monday, 6 February 2012

Friday 10 February: Saving Barnet (and the World)

You are warmly invited to an evening with:
Author, Environmentalist and Futurist Tony Kearney

Can Barnet Change the World?
Can you Change Barnet and the world?

The Centre. Bath Place, Barnet EN5 5XE
Friday 10 February, 7.30 pm

Tony, the author of the books Who Owns the Future?, Boo! and The Tao of Awe, will be exploring the relationship we have with our environment and how we can all make a difference and thus change the world for the better without ever even having to leave Barnet! How cool is that? 

He believes that enthusiasm, inspiration and co‐operation are the best ways of building a better future together, especially as none of these qualities cause the wrong kind of climate change but lots of the right kind! 

Local community group The High Barnet Green Home Zone will take up Tony's themes and look at how they might be put into practice on a day‐to‐day basis. 

If you would like to hear how you can make your Community (local and global) a better place, then do not miss this most special event. 

Admission: £3. Children under 16 free. Family groups welcome. 
Refreshments available.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

'Save Friern Barnet Library': National Libraries Day

Link to web site and video

"Saturday 4 February was officially 'National Libraries Day'. Despite the cold weather our local community came out to support us, and we were all welcomed inside the warm library, and the children enjoyed a number of games and activities. 

"Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor for The Independent attended our event, and discussed his enjoyment of reading through many of the stacks of books inside when he was a child in Friern Barnet. We all really appreciated him taking the time to visit and talk to us, and we would like to thank him his support."

Report on 'Citizen Barnet',
about Friern Barnet

"After the march, and some speeches outside the library, including from councillors Barry Rawlings (Labour) and Kate Salinger (Conservative, but opposing her group's plan to close the library), and Andrew Dismore (Labour's candidate for the Barnet and Camden GLA seat) we went inside the library to look around.

"There were activities for children, and some special guests were due later. But I ran home to process my pictures, which you can see here

"It will be grotesque if this well-used library and true heart of the community is closed, bulldozed, and the land flogged off for a developer to build another anonymous block of flats or supermarket. Ask the locals!"

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Guardian: "Clinging to economic growth suffocates the imagination"

Link to The Guardian

"Listen to the news today and you would think that economic growth was the only answer to all our problems. But 40 years ago The Limits to Growth, written by a group of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and published by The Club of Rome, broke a modern taboo: it suggested that growth itself might be the problem. 

Why, then, did The Limits to Growth shock in 1972, and why does questioning growth today still provoke incredulity and anger? The report itself became something of an albatross for the green movement. The view entered folklore that it contained predictions about resource use that were alarmist and plain wrong. But, as New Scientist magazine reported recently, it was the critics of the book who turned out to be mistaken.

Link to New Scientist