Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mon 16 April: Muswell Hill Sustainability Group: Sustainable Food and Farming

Link to web site

Sustainable Food and Farming Info Evening and Social

Hornsey Moravian Church Community Hall,
Priory Road N8 7HR (bottom of Muswell Hill)

"Come and chew on some of those meaty issues surrounding food and farming and how we can move towards low-carbon eating and support sustainable agriculture in the UK.

"Find out about the Community Supported Agriculture scheme set up in Crouch End and Muswell Hill in association with Church Farm, Ardeley. Come and meet the farmers and some local food enthusiasts to get stuck in to those pithy questions about where our food comes from, what food is better for the environment and how we can create fairer and more sustainable food systems. A light sustainable food buffet and refreshments will be provided by Urban Harvest and Church Farm.

"Please RSVP to / 07798 835738 if you wish to attend."

A mixed farm aiming to produce food with 50% less fossil fuels from farm to fork, whilst enhancing the environment, building community and treating the land, wildlife and animals with care.

A free network for food foraging and harvesting of free fruit in North London with monthly local foraging and food celebration events.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Broken Barnet: "A Tale of Two Barnet Libraries"

Link to Mrs Angry's
'Broken Barnet"

"Last Saturday afternoon, a group of residents came to Friern Barnet library, to take part in an event they hoped would mark their support for a much loved local resource - one that is due to be closed, in a matter of days, despite a strenuous campaign of opposition by the community.

"The date, 24 March, was significant because it marks the anniversary of the library's opening, 78 years earlier, built according to a design by Metroland architect A T Curtis. A third of the funding for the library, interestingly enough, came from the Carnegie Trust."

The Independent: "Cuts, what cuts? These cuts, Mr Redwood"

"From the blog of the MP for Wokingham:
“The Government and the Office for Budget Responsibility  tell us that real public spending rose by 1.5% in 2010, by  0.3% in 2011 and is forecast to rise by another 0.5% this year. Of course there are individual cuts, to help pay for the increases in health, overseas aid, EU spending and the other growing areas. It is however important to understand that there has been and still is a rise in overall current spending, not just in cash terms but also after allowing for inflation.”
"This is narrowly true, but broadly misleading.

"Note that Mr Redwood refers to 'current spending' by the Government when making his argument. This is important because this excludes government capital investment spending – on transport infrastructure projects, new school buildings, hospital renovations, etc. 

"And investment spending has been falling dramatically, as this chart, courtesy of Vicky Redwood (no relation) of Capital Economics shows..."

Link to The Independent

BBC: "Council's plea to call in King's Lynn incinerator plans"

Link to BBC web site

"The Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk has asked Eric Pickles to 'call in' the application for the project at Saddlebow.

"... Norfolk County Council signed a deal with developer Cory Wheelabrator in January which sets out how much waste the council will provide the plant as well as how much it will pay for it to be processed.

"The council may now have to pay financial penalties of up to £20m if planning permission is not awarded."

The Guardian: Fuel Panic

Link to The Guardian

2.16pm entry: "I met a trio of fuel tanker drivers at Portishead, outside Bristol, this morning and they expressed relief that the talks are set to get underway.

"... For fellow Portishead resident Dean Williams, 44, the dispute is a consequence of a 'contract culture' that has seen the outsourcing of petrol delivery - by Asda, Shell, Tesco and the like - go hand-in-hand with relentless pressure on costs, such as training and safety regimes."

Home Office: (We had a headline, but someone walked off with it)

Link to PDF file

Stephen Harrison, National Fraud Authority Chief Executive:
"This year’s Annual Fraud Indicator has put the loss to the UK economy from fraud at £73 billion. This level of loss impacts every part of society, including the most vulnerable. It represents money that individuals, businesses and Government can ill afford to lose ending up in fraudsters’ pockets.

"This new estimate is significantly higher than previous attempts to quantify the scale of the problem, due to the improvement in the quality and quantity of data available to produce an estimate of fraud loss. It does not, however, represent an increase in the level of fraud. Rather the estimate is a step change in the scope of the Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) in comparison to previous publications. Driven by the vision to draw a more comprehensive picture of the scale of loss, the National Fraud Authority (NFA) has revised its research to include previously undetected fraud losses across the economy. The result is a significantly higher estimate of annual loss."

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Guardian: "Easter-egg makers not doing enough to cut packaging, says MP"

Link to The Guardian

"Commercially produced Easter eggs generate an estimated 3,000 tonnes of UK waste each year, according to the government's waste advisory body, Wrap. But despite some improvements, many Easter chocolate products remain over-packaged and unrecyclable, according to a report by the Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, a long-standing campaigner against excessive and wasteful packaging.

"Her 2012 Easter Egg Packaging report found that, on average, only 38% of what is in an Easter egg box is an egg – the same figure as last year. It also criticises some manufacturers for failing to ensure their packages are made from widely recyclable materials, which means that much of the packaging still ends up in landfill sites."

PirateFM: "St Dennis Incinerator Gets Go-Ahead" (First pasties, now this)

Link to PirateFM web site

"A judge has ruled the plan can go ahead, despite campaigners arguing nobody has considered the environmental impact properly.

"Debbie lives nearby, and reckons that's wrong:
"They've made all their decisions on the amount of waste which was being collected years ago. Since then we've been doing a lot more recycling, so there's this huge building planned and it's going to be half empty."
"Locals won a legal challenge which blocked the proposals. Now the Secretary of State has successfully appealed."

The Independent: "A new serif in town: The fonts used on London's signs and shops have an army of fans"

Link to The Independent

"It's the dots that do it, on the 'i's'. Except that they're not dots at all, but diamonds. The adornments on an otherwise beautifully simple typeface are an identifying quirk of Johnston Sans, a font that is as synonymous with London as Big Ben. It has become known as the 'handwriting' of the city, but can you identify it? Did you even know its name?

"Antony Harrington is obsessed with type. It is partly the job of successful fonts to be invisible and as such they are usually overlooked. Johnston Sans, as it happens, is the font of London Underground."

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sun 22 April: Pinkham Way Alliance at the BOOGALOO

BBC Scotland: Invergordon incinerator proposal

Link to BBC web site

"A public inquiry is to be held into plans for a £43m waste incinerator in Invergordon, Easter Ross."

Link to earlier BBC report

"Businessman Mohamed Al Fayed is the principal shareholder in Ross Estates, and opposes the project. Mr Al Fayed told BBC Scotland: 'I am doing everything possible really to stop such devastation.'

"He urged First Minister Alex Salmond to step in and stop the development. Mr Al Fayed said: 'I hope he wakens up and understands that he is to protect the people who elected and put him there.'

"... Campaign group 'Invergordon Community Action for Recycling and the Environment' (Icare) has called for a public inquiry."

BBC: 70th Anniversary, St Nazaire raid

Link to BBC web site and iPlayer

"A ceremony has taken in the French port of St Nazaire as the last remaining veterans gather to remember one of the most daring raids of World War II.

"... Corran Purdon - who was a 20-year-old lieutenant at the time - and four corporals were tasked with blowing up one of the two winding houses. He jumped off the ship carrying a rucksack full of explosives. Bullets whipped past. As he made it to the building, he was surprised to discover it locked. 

"Improvising, he pulled out his Colt 45 revolver, and pointed it at the lock.The bullet ricocheted off, just missing one of his corporals. 'You know, sir, when I came on this raid, I was quite prepared to get murdered by Adolf Hitler, but not by you, sir,' the man told Mr Purdon, before pulling out a mallet to smash the lock."

PastyGate: The Daily Telegraph Rolling News Channel

Link to Daily Telegraph

"After ending a VAT exemption for hot baked goods in the budget, the Prime Minister is now facing a revolt over the Chancellor's 'pasty tax'."

Barnet Eye: Friern Barnet Library Campaign

Link to Barnet Eye

"On Saturday, 24 March, exactly 78 years after Friern Barnet Library first opened, children and their parents gathered there to send a thank-you card to the Councillors in the Scrutiny Committee who voted to recommend that the library remain open until the new library at Artsdepot is fully open. However, they were banned from entering the library. They could only enter if they intended to take out books, not to thank anyone. ..."

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Looming very large for us all now are the final stages of the North London Waste Plan (NLWP). The plan is of huge significance, because it puts Pinkham Wood forward as suitable and necessary for handling waste.

We all know that the site is not suitable. Waste projections for London suggest that the massive facility intended for the site isn’t necessary. In fact, it may require waste from outside the capital to make it financially viable for the contractor that runs it.

We submitted strong objections last summer in a Pinkham Way Alliance response to the NLWP consultation, which ended on 8 July 2011. Over 850 of us put our name to the objections, with some making individual submissions.

The NLWP was submitted to the Secretary of State on 28 February 2012. An independent inspector has been appointed, who will examine the plan in public (EiP) for two weeks from 11 June 2012. In the run up to this, on 12 April, his 'pre-hearing meeting' will determine an exact agenda for the June fortnight.

This hearing may well give us the best chance of stopping these plans that we’ll get. If we don't make our case in the best possible way, the NLWP will be free to defend a plan that does not stack up and which could have a disastrous impact on this part of North London for generations.

Weeks of unpaid preparation by local experts are already underway, and these people wouldn’t be involved if they didn’t think we had strong arguments. But we estimate a need for around £35,000 to pay for the necessary professionals to add vital knowledge, and present it for us at the NLWP hearing in June.

Central to this will be our excellent planning consultant from the Core Strategy hearing. However, the NLWP will require much more of his time than the Core Strategy hearing did, and therefore cost more.

This is a lot of money to raise in a short space of time. Many thousands of fundraising leaflets are about to be delivered – thank you so much to all of you helping with this. Let’s all use word of mouth and our local networks to let everyone know how important it is that we raise this money.

Please donate – every penny will make a difference. The NLWP is much larger than the local issues we’ve fought on so far, and the opposition will be very well funded. We know we have a strong case to argue; it would be a real shame to have got this far only to fade away due to lack of money.

No one is going to fight this battle for us. We have been left, as a community, to do it ourselves.

Just a quick reminder that you can visit our website for details of how to lobby candidates for the London Assembly.
Don't forget you can follow us on Twitter, and join the Facebook Group.

Kind regards,
Bidesh Sarkar
Pinkham Way Alliance

Barnet Greens: "38 reasons we don’t need the Pinkham Way waste handling plant"

Link to web site

"The North London Waste Authority’s own figures show that the proposed 300,000 tonnes a year Mechanical Bio-Treatment plant at Pinkham Way, Friern Barnet, would be much bigger than justified by the rapidly declining waste volumes in Barnet and other North London boroughs.

"The already-shrinking need for rubbish compaction plants like Pinkham Way could be reduced a lot more if the NLWA would listen to Barnet Green Party’s 38 proposals for greater reduction, re-use and recycling of waste materials."

Monday, 26 March 2012

BBC: "What is money, why do we trust it and has it become too confusing?"

Link to BBC web site and iPlayer

"John Lanchester at the Bank of England argues that the financial whizz-kids thought they could control money, and the inherent risk associated with playing about with it:
"The people inside the system were confident they had developed new tools to manage risk - that they had magically engineered away any risk.

That is never true. Increased risk is just increased risk.

"The basic assumption was that the tide would not go out, and the thing that astonished the world of money and caused the credit crunch - in fact it was the credit crunch - was the fact that the tide went out everywhere simultaneously."

Saturday, 24 March 2012

North Circular Road: Notting Hill Housing Trust Redevelopment

Click on ANY of the images to load PDF file

Notting Hill Housing has held a second exhibition of the "emerging plans for the regeneration of a number of sites located on or adjacent to the North Circular Road."

"The sites are part of an extensive portfolio of properties that were originally purchased by the Government in the 1970s, to allow for a major expansion of the A406.

"The exhibition follows on from one which took place last summer, and covers sites which are being presented for consultation for the first time, as well as sites which have been the subject of revision, following community feedback.

"Through its North Circular Area Action Plan - currently out to consultation - Enfield Council wishes to see the provision of new homes for local families, linked with improvements to local transport and community facilities. The Council's ambition is to deliver well-designed, accessible and pleasant environments in this part of the borough.

"Notting Hill Housing aims to meet the aspirations of the Council through the provision of carefully designed homes that complement the local area, as well as enhancing the environment through new landscaping and tree-planting. The objective is to create high-quality neighbourhoods, benefitting both local residents and businesses.

"Notting Hill Housing is in the process of preparing planning applications, that will be submitted during the course of 2012.

"Members of the regeneration team would be pleased to answer your questions, and we would be grateful if you would feedback your views to us. All comments received will be carefully considered prior to any submission of any planning applications. Send any comments or ideas you have to: Lee Jameson ("

Sunday 25 March: “Great Divide ride aims to show destructive effect of the North Circular Road"

Link to Going Going Bike

"Our 12-mile marshalled ride will allow people to experience in safety the appalling lack of provision for locals and visitors trying to cycle across this vast highway, including the mayor’s inadequate redesign of Henlys Corner.

"It seems that little has been learned since the construction of Staples Corner nearly 60 years ago [or the redesign], with the final design of Henlys Corner not even following the simple recommendations for cyclists in TfL’s own Safety Audit."

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

'A Tale of Two Barnets': future showings (bring your own popcorn)

Tuesday 27 March - 7-9 pm
St. John's Church, Somerset / Mowbray Roads,
New Barnet, EN5 1RH
Wednesday 28 March - 7 pm
Greek Cypriot Community Centre
2 Britannia Road,
North Finchley, N12 9RU
Tuesday 3 April - 7:30 pm
Larches House,
1 Rectory Lane,
Edgware, HA8 7LF
Wednesday 18 April from 7pm
The Wilson Room
The House of Commons, SW1A 2TT
Other planned showings -  Dates TBA
Cafe Buzz,
High Road, North Finchley

The Church of the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate,
Mill Hill Broadway, NW7

BBC iPlayer: "How bright is the world's future?"

Link above to 'Today' web site and iPlayer (auto-runs)

"A new book from the Economist out this week argues strongly that we can look forward to a world that in coming decades will be richer, healthier, more connected, more sustainable, more innovative, better educated, and with less inequality between rich and poor and between men and women.

"Daniel Franklin, co-editor of Megachange: The World in 2050 and business affairs editor at the Economist, told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that 'the Armageddon industry makes a lot of noise... but underestimates our ability to adapt and be inventive'.

"He added that we also adapt to any dangers that new technologies may bring."

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Barnet Times: "Barnet film to feature on ITV's Tonight programme"

Link to web site

"A new documentary film about Barnet is to feature in Thursday’s ITV Tonight programme.

"The film, which premiered at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley last night, will appear in a programme called How Much is Your Council Charging You?

"This programme will be shown as part of the Tonight programme which is at 7.30pm."

Monday, 19 March 2012

BBC: "What should be done about plastic bags?"

Link to BBC web site

"The European Commission is to publish proposals in the spring designed to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Europe each year. Most of the 15,000 people who took part in a public consultation favoured an outright ban - but what are the options?

"... If shoppers stop using plastic bags, they must start using other kinds of bags, but there is no perfect solution. Stronger, heavier bags, whether made of fabric or plastic, have a bigger environmental impact than standard supermarket shopping bags.

"If a plastic bag is used just once, then a paper bag must be used three times to compensate for the larger amount of carbon used in manufacturing and transporting it, a plastic 'bag for life' must be used four times, and a cotton bag must be used 131 times."

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Monday 19 March: "A Tale of Two Barnets"

Monday update: BBC Radio London:
Rog T discussing 'A Tale of Two Barnets' 

Click above for 'Barnet Eye' web site and recording

Weekend Tweet...
BrokenBarnet Mrs Angry 
Mrs Angry tries internet dating: with #BrianColeman. Unsuccessful. Want to see a film tomorrow night at the Phoenix?…
about 1 hour ago

The People of Barnet are given a voice

A Tale of Two Barnets
World Premiere
Monday 19th March - 6-8pm
The Phoenix Cinema,
52 High Road,
East Finchley,
N2 9PJ

A DOCUMENTARY about the way people in Barnet are coping with life in 2012 has been commended for giving the people of Barnet a voice. Filmmaker Charles Honderick spent six months interviewing people around the London Borough of Barnet, and has made a film which is powerful, moving and funny.

6.10: Press Conference & Reception
7.00: Film starts
7.30: Discussion about the film

Charles said:
“We hear all the time about reality television, but we never hear the views of ordinary people. “ Some of the people who appeared in the film gave their views on the experience, why they appeared, and what they hoped the film would achieve."
Here’s what they had to say:

Stan Davison, war veteran, member of Barnet 55+ forum
The film's title "A Tale of Two Barnets" has a good local touch, yet relates to the national scene, the message is clear, 'broad campaigning  in unity' is the message. As a war veteran, trade unionist and campaigning pensioner in the community that suits me fine. We are in a people's fight. I am glad to be part of this action.

Bernard Cochrane – Operator Bushey Mill Care facility
I got involved to express my concerns and raise awareness of issues.
I specifically wanted to make people aware of the issue of The London Borough of Barents 'independent' LATC [Local Authority Trading Company] and how it affects independent care providers.

John Sullivan – Parent Carer
"I wanted to appear in this film because the voice of  those with a disability and the elderly are not being heard. I hope this film exposes to the general public the misinformation being distributed by Barnet councillors, wherein they are saying that everything in the garden is rosy and everybody has been meaningfully consulted  on the privatisation of support services when that  is simply untrue."

Tirza Waisel-Cohen – Social Worker
"Old, disabled and ill people are the ones who are most voiceless simply because they are burdened by their particular vulnerability. They have so many problems and issues to take care of at a time when they most lack energy and confidence precisely because of their illness, frailty or disability - and the fact they are the ones picked on is an injustice that screams volumes and must be urgently rectified. That's completely besides the fact that any of us who are lucky to be able bodied and healthy can become vulnerable in that way any day. Not the point - but worth remembering and reminding ourselves…."

Award Winning director, Ken Loach has given the film his full backing. He says “In the film you will hear some of the stories about the privations people are undergoing. It’s particularly savage if you are disabled, if you don't have much money, if you are old, and if you are young.” -  See Ken Loach talk about "A Tale of Two Barnets" in an exclusive interview.

The film has made the front page of the Barnet Press, a leading local paper in the London Borough of Barnet:

Click above to enlarge,
or link to Barnet Press, 8 March archive

Saturday, 17 March 2012

'London in the Eighteenth Century': an enthralling glimpse into a glittering, cruel city

Pinkham Way demonstration
(called a 'rabble' by Barnet councillor)
Link to Daily Telegraph

"... London comes across as a visceral creature, crouching in the smoking ruins left by the fire of 1666 (where three-fifths of the city was destroyed), from which it is rearing, learning tricks both hideous and clever; cranking out the sinews and meat of new buildings and streets and squares; forming political and legal muscle, raising or crushing or hanging its populace with impunity. 

"White’s London is panting, glorious, vindictive, unapologetic, sensual and alive; a creature in stark contrast with the polite blandness one sometimes takes for London now (yet, as the 2011 riots show, a city, however mellowed, still able to pillage and burn)."

Enfield Advertiser: "10,000 sign up for recycling network"

Link to Enfield Advertiser
(and link there to Enfield Freecycle)

"The Enfield Freecycle group, which allows residents to pass unwanted goods on to others in a bid to keep landfill levels down, has topped the 10,000-member mark.

"According to the group the milestone was reached on Friday. The group’s website allows people to post information about goods they want to donate and they can also request specific goods they require."

Friday, 16 March 2012

BBC: "London mayoral candidates clash over transport"

Link to web site and iPlayer

"Transport topped the agenda when the four main candidates to be London mayor clashed at a hustings in the City.

"Conservative Boris Johnson attacked Ken Livingstone for his promised Tube fare cut, but the Labour candidate accused him of "sitting on money" rather than helping hard-pressed commuters.

"Lib Dem Brian Paddick urged 'smarter' use of Heathrow to increase capacity, while the Greens' Jenny Jones suggested a congestion charge around the airport.

"The election will take place on 3 May."

Thursday, 15 March 2012

BBC: "Why is bread Britain's most wasted food?"

Link to BBC web site

"British households throw away 4.4m tonnes of edible food a year, estimates suggest - and bread is the most wasted provision of all. But why?

"...  According to research by anti-food waste organisation Wrap, 680,000 tonnes of 'avoidable' bakery waste is disposed of each year at a cost of £1.1bn, about 80% of it from packs that have been opened but not finished."

Kings Cross Station from Monday (actually Sunday!)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Grimshaw Architects: "SITA Energy from Waste Centre, Great Blakenham, Suffolk"

Link to Grimshaw web site

"... The proposed Suffolk site is currently occupied by a Council works department, but backs directly onto the Gipping Valley. The response proposed is to create a building whose appearance reflects both the industrial agricultural heritage of Suffolk, and the constantly changing character of the sky."

The Past, when it was the Future

Link to Brent Cross web site

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Independent: "Drivers and passengers to face fines for littering"

Link to The Independent

"Car owners are to face fines of £100 if anyone throws litter from their vehicle.

"This month, the law will be changed in London, allowing borough councils to issue a civil penalty notice of £100, for the first time, against the registered keeper of a vehicle responsible for littering. The law could then be changed for the whole of England."