Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Alexandra Palace - Have Your Say

Link to web site

"Over the past few months, the Trustees of Alexandra Palace have been developing a ‘spatial masterplan’ for the future use of the building; looking at the whole site, and how people might use it and move around it in years to come."

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Barnet Times: "Barnet skip companies fear closure due to landfill tax increase"

Link to Barnet Times

"Skip hire companies in Barnet ... say the new landfill tax rate means they are being forced to pay more to tip waste than they can be expected to charge customers to shift it.

"Last Friday Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced waste transfer stations will now be charged £64 a tonne for inert material, such as dust and stones, rather than the previous lower rate of £2.50."

Monday, 28 May 2012

Let's Recycle: "Council raises air quality concern over waste sites"

Link to Let's Recycle

"A London council is calling for the government to have greater consideration for air quality when issuing licences for waste sites.

"Brent council has said that the regulatory and enforcement regime used to licence operators of waste sites are ineffective when it comes to ensuring commercial operators upgrade their environmental controls."

Link to London Brorough of Brent

Saturday, 26 May 2012


"Our final submission for the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) inspector was made last week. The NLWP hearing starts on 12 June.

"A summary of our arguments and the key documents themselves are available on our website; details are below.

"We owe a huge debt to the small group of local experts who have given their time – and months of it – to prepare our case.

"This lengthy voluntary work to guide the paid lawyers, planning consultant and waste expert has been vital. Without it, our resources would have fallen well short of being able to produce such compelling objections.

"Although more than half way to our NLWP fundraising target, we’re currently £15,000 short of the amount needed to pay these professional advisors to fully prepare for, and appear at, the NLWP hearing itself.

"We need to find this total quickly, in order to pay for their services in early June.

"Please donate now if you can. And if you’re able to raise some money for us, that would be great.

"We'll be in touch soon with ideas about this, and news of more top class fundraising concerts.

"You can also see our full NLWP submission documents.

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

Kind regards,
Bidesh Sarkar
Chair, Pinkham Way Alliance

The Independent: "Britain's waste: Now it's coming back to haunt us"

"A £300m criminal trade that smuggled rubbish out of the UK is so toxic that the trash is being sent home. Cahal Milmo saw it finish its journey from Jakarta to Felixstowe" 

Link to The Independent

"Nearly 90 containers, each weighing more than 30 tonnes, have arrived back in the bustling Suffolk dockyard of Felixstowe in the past fortnight. Their journey began last November when they left scrapyards in southern England for Indonesia, labelled as 'recyclable' material with a value of $500,000 (£318,000).

"... Four UK companies are now being investigated by the Environment Agency (EA) to see if they sent contaminated and potentially toxic waste to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in contravention of laws designed to combat a global epidemic of cross-border dumping."

Friday, 25 May 2012

Trent Park Open House

Foundations & Development

"Unearth the foundations of the first house built for Sir Richard Jebb and the architectural development by the Bevan family during the Victorian era. See the iconic Mansion House by taking a free guided walking tour of the grounds and explore the Grade II listed statuary and buildings. View a collection of items from the past in our Museum featuring pictures of the development of the estate over the past 300 years.

"The doors of Trent Park are open, so come and learn more about: 
  • Victorian life at Trent Park 
  • landscaping of the medieval Enfield Chase by Humphry Repton 
  • the house designed by royal architect Sir William Chambers 
  • well-preserved embellishments of the house by Sir Richard Jebb, John Cumming, the Bevan family and Sir Philip Sassoon.

"Tours of the estate run for approximately 1 hour, starting at: 10am, 12pm, 2pm & 4pm (last admission at 3.30pm)

"Tours start at the Mansion main entrance. The Mansion, Grounds and Museum are all open until 5pm. Please wear appropriate footwear as the tours involve walking outdoors. Parking is available from the Snakes Lane entrance of Trent Park."
Trent Park is accessible via the Piccadilly Line from Cockfosters and Oakwood station. Nearby busses are the 121 and 307 which stop near the Snakes Lane entrance. You can catch the free Middlesex University shuttle bus near Oakwood station which will take you into Trent Park.

The campus is surrounded by a landscape of lakes, woods and country walks.

Parking is available for visitors. Please enter the site from the Snakes Lane entrance near Oakwood station. You will be directed to Farm Yard car park which is a short walk from the Mansion.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Haringey Independent: "Children bake cakes to oppose waste plant"

Link to Haringey Independent

"Bounds Green children joined the fight against a waste processing plant with a cake sale on Monday.

"The three youngsters, Florrie and Wilf Weston aged nine and six, and Hanna Lily Smyth-Smith also nine, sold the home made cakes to neighbours and managed to raise £50."

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Guardian: Criminality in the Financial Services Industry

Link to The Guardian

"It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident.

"... A reasonable list of prosecutable crimes committed during the bubble, the crisis, and the aftermath period by financial services firms includes: securities fraud, accounting fraud, honest services violations, bribery, perjury and making false statements to US government investigators, Sarbanes-Oxley violations (false accounting), Rico (Racketeer Influenced and Criminal Organisations Act) offences, federal aid disclosure regulations offences and personal conduct offences (drug use, tax evasion etc)."

Li nk to The I ndipendent
The Independent: "Have the policymakers at the Bank of England gone completely nuts?"

"The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) last week published its latest forecasts for the British economy in its May Inflation Report. This followed its meeting a week earlier when it decided, presumably much to Chancellor Osborne's chagrin, that it would make no change either to interest rates or to the scale of its asset purchase programme.

"One of the major lessons from the 1930s is that central bankers are not powerless to act even if they think they are, and more action is better than less. So once again, in my view, the collective sitting on hands looks a major policy error."

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Sun 20 May: Coppetts Wood Festival

"Pinkham Wood has a mirror site, north-west of and adjacent to the Colney Hatch Lane Tesco superstore, at the junction of the A406 and Colney Hatch Lane.

Both sites were once sewage works; both closed as such in 1963. Interestingly, it’s precisely this past that’s given rise to such rich and diverse natural life on both.

In 1997, Barnet Council made Coppetts Wood a Local Nature Reserve, and it thrives as a fantastic bit of countryside for enjoyment and learning.

Run by volunteers, it is something of an inspiration for what Pinkham Wood itself could become. Local conservationist and valued PWA expert Ollie Natelson has recently won a civic award for his work there.

On Sunday 20 May, from 2pm to 4.30pm, you can enjoy the Woodland Spring Festival at Coppetts Wood. It’s a great time to see the site if you’ve never been. As last year, the PWA will have a stall there."

BBC: "Councils 'must lower carbon emissions'"

Link to BBC web site

"Local authorities across the UK should have a statutory duty to combat climate change, government advisors recommend.

"The Committee on Climate Change says that councils can make major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in areas such as housing, traffic and waste.

"... The committee is the government's statutory adviser on climate change, and has recommended progressively tighter carbon budgets for the UK leading towards the legally binding goal of an 80% cut from 1990 levels by 2050."

Haringey Council: "Switch to Green Energy"

Link to web site

"Haringey 40:20 discounts are now available on green energy tariffs from Good Energy, Ecotricity and Green Energy UK.

"Switching to green energy will not only cut your carbon emissions, for each customer who switches to a green tariff the renewable energy company will also make a donation of £10 - £50 to the Haringey 40:20 Community Fund.

To obtain the discounts, click on the external links, or call the phone numbers quoting “Haringey 40:20”.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

From 18 May: LT Museum: "Mind the Map: Inspiring art, design and cartography"

Link to LT Museum

"18 May - 28 October 2012

"A new exhibition about the inspiration, history and creativity behind London transport maps opens on Friday 18 May 2012. 'Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography' will draw on the Museum’s outstanding map collection to explore the themes of journeys, identity and publicity. The exhibition will be the largest of its kind, and will include previously unseen historic material and exciting new artworks by leading artists, including Simon Patterson, Stephen Walter, Susan Stockwell, Jeremy Wood, Claire Brewster, and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre.

"The displays will explore geographical, diagrammatic and decorative transport maps, as well as the influence of the iconic London Tube map on cartography, art and the public imagination. The Underground, London Transport, and its successor Transport for London, have produced outstanding maps for over 100 years. These have not only shaped the city, they have inspired the world.

"Looking in particular at the relationship between identity and place, Mind the Map will explore the impact maps have had on our understanding of London, and how they influence the way we navigate and engage with our surroundings. Mind the Map will be accompanied by an extensive public events programme, and a book to be published by Lund Humphries - 'London Underground Maps: Inspiring Art, Design and Cartography'." 

Open Evening - Museums at Night 2012

"The open evening of Mind the Map coincides with 'Museums at Night 2012', so explore the museum after hours with a glass of wine, and release your inner geek by taking part in a workshop led by artist Claire Brewster, or listening in on a reading from author Craig Taylor.

"You can take a guided tour of the exhibition, while DJ Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne spins the decks for the night and watch while our Resident cartographer Emily Wilkinson maps the whole evening."

Barnet Times: "Protestors hold Coleman retirement party in Finchley"

Link to Barnet Times

"A group of people who fought against Cllr Coleman’s hugely unpopular parking policies are holding a party on May 26 at Cafe Buzz in North Finchley.

"At the invite-only party there will be nibbles and subsidised alcohol."

The Guardian: The London Borough of Barnet and the Graph of Doom

"Without radical change, the cost of social care could soak up every penny of Barnet council's budget within 20 years"

Link to The Guardian
(includes Barnet document)

"Let me to introduce you to the Barnet Graph of Doom. It's a PowerPoint slide, showing that within 20 years, unless things change dramatically, the north London council will be unable to provide any services except adult social care and children's services. No libraries, no parks, no leisure centres – not even bin collections.

"Barnet, once dubbed 'easyCouncil', is known for its enthusiastic embrace of service outsourcing. But the Graph of Doom is quite separate. Irrespective of savings planned under the One Barnet transformation strategy, the slide demonstrates that demographic change – more children, more older people – is going to soak up every penny the authority has."

(Incidentally, a later slide is full of rubbish about Brent Cross.)

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Guardian: " 'Shameful' plastic waste to be tackled by government"

Link to The Guardian

"The government will call on councils and businesses to beef up plastic recycling capacity, and better realise the financial value arising from the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste plastics discarded each year.

"Describing the continued disposal of plastic bottles and other plastic products to landfill as 'shameful', DEFRA minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach will confirm that government figures show how last year around 240,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were sent to landfill by households with access to kerbside plastic recycling collection – equivalent to nearly half of all bottles used."

Sunday, 13 May 2012

BBC: "Consultation launched on how to label food"

Link to BBC web site

"Food manufacturers, supermarkets and health experts are to be asked their views on the best way to label the nutritional content of food.

"Julia Waltham, from the British Heart Foundation, said:
"This isn't about telling people what should or shouldn't be in their baskets.

The government should strongly recommend that food companies and supermarkets use a consistent food labelling scheme that includes traffic light colours. They all have a responsibility to provide a system that helps shoppers compare products, and then easily pick the healthiest option if they want to."

Daily Telegraph: "Taking on the litterbugs: hurrah for the heroine keeping Britain tidy"

Link to web site

"Alice Arnold, the BBC announcer, has become a national heroine by tossing a plastic bottle back into a car from which a passenger had thrown it. In view of the growing perversity of our law-enforcement agencies, she was lucky not to be charged with threatening behaviour, or worse.

"... Two experiences caused me to become interested in litter as a social, or anti-social, phenomenon in Britain. The first was when I drove 400 miles from London to Glasgow. The side of the road, every yard of the way, was heavily littered, mainly with the detritus of millions of snacks. On that journey, I came to the conclusion that in Britain polythene grows on trees."

Link to The Guardian
The Guardian: "Alice Arnold: litter, Twitter and my media storm"

"When I got more than 100 responses to my tweet about throwing a plastic bottle back into the car from which it had been lobbed, I was surprised. I was even more surprised when the Evening Standard phoned my partner, Clare Balding, the next morning and asked to speak to me about it. That day the article was printed and I thought that would be the end of it. I was wrong.

"On Wednesday I headed off to TV Centre to read the news on Radio 4, and opened my emails to find more than 20 requests for media appearances – the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2, BBC TV Breakfast, the Daily Mail asking me to ghost-write a column, the Telegraph asking for a quote and Radio Coventry, quite determined to have me as a live guest."

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Barnet Labour claim victory over car park charges

Link to Barnet Labour

"Following a hard fought campaign by local residents, Barnet’s Conservative council have withdrawn their proposals to charge in the seven remaining free car parks in the borough.
"... Labour’s Environment spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman (left), said:
"I welcome the news that Barnet’s Conservative councillors have finally seen the light, and withdrawn their crazy plan to introduce charges for the seven remaining free car parks in the borough, including Churchhill Road car park in East Barnet Village. ... In a recent open letter to the Leader of the Council Richard Cornelius, Cllr Alison Moore suggested that new direction in environmental policy* was required."

[* We say: Air quality improvement, road accident reduction, cycling promotion, domestic waste reduction, opposition to unsustainable car-based redevelopment (Brent Cross), ...]

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group: Inspirational low energy primary school

Link to Ashley School Case Study (PDF file)

"One of the projects we’re very excited about is our work with schools in Haringey. We completed energy audits for six schools to allow them to apply for Haringey zero-cost loan funding, and we’re hoping that the improvement works, including low-efficiency lighting, pipe lagging, TRVs and better boiler controls will take place during the school summer holidays. 

"As part of this project, our energy auditor, David Pitcher of Green & Castle arranged for a visit to Ashley Primary School in Surrey, which has reduced its carbon emissions by 80%. I was accompanied on the visit by Cal Shaw, Head of Chestnuts Primary and her business manager, as well as Jude Clements, who has been getting quotes from contractors to do the work at the Haringey Schools.

"The Head of Ashley, Richard Dunne, visited Antartica six years ago, and the sight of icebergs melting motivated him to make a real difference at his school. Through many projects over the last five years he has managed to reduce the school electricity bill to £3000 per annum – which is approximately a twelfth of the average at a Haringey primary. He has done this by embedding sustainability – the pupils at the school are given the job of monitoring different aspects of energy use, and are awarded weekly prizes for the most energy reduction. 

"There is now almost no artificial lighting at the school – corridors and classrooms are lit by solar tubes – directing the sunlight very effectively into the building. He has put a large skylight into his Victorian school hall, so it is now a light and airy room. The school recently had a new block added which (through the solar membrane on the roof) actually produces more energy than it consumes on some days!

"We were all extremely impressed, and the visit really showed the potential for what could be done at Haringey Schools. If you’d like to find out more about our School project do contact us at"

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Evening Standard: "Angry BBC newsreader throws rubbish back into car in traffic jam"

Link to web site

"When Radio Four newsreader Alice Arnold — racing commentator Clare Balding’s civil partner — saw an empty plastic bottle fly out of the car in front of her as they waited in traffic she decided enough was enough.

"The 49-year-old Londoner got out of her car, picked up the bottle and hurled it back through the open window from which it had just been tossed.

"Today she was hailed as a 'litter crusader' after her tweet about the incident near Hampton Court triggered a huge online response."

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

BBC: "Apted: 'Seven Up should have had more girls'"

'56 Up' will be shown on ITV on Monday 14 May, at 21:00 BST 

Link to BBC web site

"Director Michael Apted says it was a 'horrible error' to have only four females in a cast of 14 when making the original selection for the 7 Up documentary in 1964.

"He made the comment at a screening of '56 Up', the eighth episode in the long-running social documentary series.

" '56 Up' is as engaging as the previous seven series. It brings up to date the stories of a group of ordinary people, who are individually unique but collectively represent Everyman. ... Taken as a whole, the eight documentaries rank among the finest ever made."

Link to Wikipedia page

"The Up Series is a series of documentary films produced by Granada Television that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The documentary has had seven episodes spanning 42 years (one episode every seven years) and the documentary has been broadcast on both ITV and BBC.

"The original hypothesis of Seven Up! was that class structure is so strong in the UK that a person's life path would be set at birth. The producer of the original programme had at one point thought to line the children up on the street, have three of them step forward and narrate 'of these twenty children, only three will be successful' (an idea which was not used). The idea of class immobility held up in most, but not all, cases as the series has progressed. The children from the working classes have by and large remained in those circles, though Tony seems to have become more middle class.

"Apted has said that one of his regrets is that they did not take into account feminism, and consequently had fewer girls in their study and did not select them on the basis of any possible careers they might choose."

BBC: "Big rise in North Pacific plastic waste"

Link to web site

"The quantity of small plastic fragments floating in the north-east Pacific Ocean has increased a hundred-fold over the past 40 years.

"Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography documented the big rise when they trawled the waters off California."

BBC: "Skinner's 'recession' heckle angers Tory MPs"

Link to BBC web site

"Labour MP Dennis Skinner has used the State Opening of Parliament to draw attention to the country's economic situation, much to the annoyance of some other MPs.

"After Black Rod summoned MPs to the Lords to hear the Queen's Speech, Mr Skinner said:
"Jubilee year, double-dip recession, what a start."
"His comment was greeted with cries of 'shame' from some Conservative MPs."

Evening Standard: "Penthouse in London's tallest building yours for £50m"

Link to Evening Standard

"A vast galleried dining hall will be the extraordinary centrepiece of a £50-million 'mansion in the sky' at the top of the Shard, the Evening Standard has learned.

"The owners of the apartments, three two-storey duplexes and seven single-storey 'laterals', will occupy floors 53 to 65, with the top penthouse duplex at 735 feet, making it the highest dwelling between London and Russia’s Ural mountains, 2,000 miles to the east.

"... The source said:
“Nobody has tried to do something as uncompromising as this, on this sort of scale.”

Link to web site

Joanne McCartney AM: "Housing 'crisis' in Enfield & Haringey"

"New research by housing charity Shelter shows that Enfield’s residents are having to spend 54% of their take-home pay on rent. The average rent for a two-bedroom property in the borough is £1,049 per month. A family sized home with three bedrooms costs the equivalent of 68% of average local take-home pay. Enfield is the 21st most unaffordable borough in the country for private rented housing.

"The picture is even more stark for Haringey, whose residents pay as much as 65% of the average take-home pay on a two-bedroom home at £1,276 per month, making the borough the 13th most unaffordable borough in the country for private rented housing. Three bedroom family sized homes cost Haringey residents 75% of average take-home pay."

Daily Telegraph: "McDonald's 'healthy' fizzy drink contains 12 teaspoons of sugar"

Link to Daily Telegraph

The new drink, called Fruitizz, is part of the fast food giant's efforts to improve the health credentials of its children's meals and follows the introduction of carrot sticks, fruit bags, mineral water and organic semi-skimmed milk to its Happy Meal menu.

However, a 500ml cup contains 200 calories and 49 grams of sugar.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Broken Barnet: "Now sack Brian Coleman from the Cabinet: UPDATE: Labour Leader comments on Pinkham Way"

Link to Broken Barnet

"1. Dismiss Brian Coleman from your Cabinet. Mr Coleman was decisively rejected by Barnet voters in the London Assembly election and to allow him to continue in post is an insult.

"2. Reopen Friern Barnet Library immediately. This well-supported community asset cannot be replaced successfully at the Artsdepot. ..."

Rare early photograph of Mrs Angry

UPDATE: Mrs Angry has just received a copy of this open letter to Council Leader Richard Cornelius, from Alison Moore, Leader of Barnet Labour Group:
"Waste and re-cycling: Implement the options to increase re-cycling and reduce waste going to landfill as early as possible. Implement incentive schemes that will help boost re-cycling and reduce household waste. Find a better location for the waste treatment plant currently proposed at Pinkham Way that will allow bulk transport by canal and rail, for example, [to] the Industrial Estate in the Upper Lea Valley."

BBC: "LED light bulb to last more than 20 years"

Link to BBC web site

"Light bulbs that are said to last for more than two decades, while consuming very little energy, may go on sale later this year.

"US firm General Electric, Dutch company Philips, and UK-based Sylvania all showcased their products at the Light Fair industry conference in Las Vegas.

"Using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) instead of filaments, the bulbs are meant to produce as much light as a 100-watt incandescent alternative."

DEFRA: Local Authority Waste Collection: Latest scores

Link to web site
"These provisional results summarise waste collected and managed by local authorities in England, in the 12 months from October 2010 to September 2011.

"Headline results:
  • Household recycling has increased. The proportion of household waste sent for recycling, composting or reuse between October 2010 to September 2011 in England was 42.5 per cent, increasing from 41.5 per cent in the financial year April 2010 and March 2011
  • Household waste production has decreased. The generation of household waste continued to decrease between the financial year 2010/11 and the rolling year October 2010 to September 2011, with a 1.4 per cent reduction to 23.1 million tonnes
  • Waste generation per person has decreased. The weight of household waste generated in the year October 2010 to September 2011 in England, in kilograms per person, was 443 kg per person. Of this total, 188 kg was recycled, composted or reused whilst 255 kg was not
  • Local authority collected waste sent to landfill has declined. The tonnage of local authority collected waste being sent to landfill by local authorities has decreased by 7.6 per cent to 10.5 million tonnes between the financial year 2010/11 and the rolling year October 2010 to September 2011."

Enfield's Place Shaping Strategy (from 2009, but shaping the place continues)

Link to PDF file

"Our foundations are solid. Good schools, good transport links, low crime levels, quality housing, heritage attractions and green open spaces, waterways and prosperous suburbs all make Enfield a great place to live, work and visit.

"Now we look to build on our strengths and engage positively with opportunities arising from the 2012 Olympics, encouraging enterprise and developing the skills and capacity of local people, building a strong future economy. Large scale development is the catalyst for investment in housing, employment and social infrastructure - the very essence of place shaping in Enfield."


Link to web site

"One of Europe’s largest waste disposal plants is being proposed at Pinkham Woods, a green space roughly two miles from the heart of Southgate / Winchmore Hill. While it is obvious that neighbourhoods in the immediate vicinity of the site are likely receptors of any smells and emissions, what of residents living further downwind such as those of Southgate / Winchmore Hill and their near neighbours?

" Residents at Lower Edmonton, Chingford East, Ponders End, and Chingford Green, downwind of the [current Edmonton] incinerator, are affected. When the wind direction changes intermittently to the east, then residents as far away as Woodford Green (2½ miles) regularly complain of odour from the incinerator, especially on summer days."

Thurs 10 May: "Community Energy - what next?"

Liink to MHSG web site

"Community Energy - what next?"
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group

Thursday 10 May, 8pm
Muswell Hill Methodist Church, 28 Pages Lane
Muswell Hill, London N10 1PP

Professor Yvonne Rydin (Environment Institute, UCL)
Maya de Souza (Green Party Councillor, Camden)

"Yvonne will outline the results of a research project, CLUES, on community energy projects in rural and urban locations. See Maya will explain what can be done in North London to encourage community energy projects."

The Guardian: "Europe's secondhand clothes brings mixed blessings to Africa"

Link to The Guardian

"About a third of globally donated clothes make their way via wholesale rag houses to sub-Saharan Africa, where they end up lining the streets or filling small boutiques. Hawkers say Christmas time, when westerners flock to offload clothes to charity shops, brings in the biggest bales. The lucrative industry has even spawned fake charity clothes collectors in the west.

"But critics say the billion-dollar trade risks swamping fragile domestic textiles markets, and 12 countries in Africa are among 31 globally that have now banned their import."

Monday, 7 May 2012

[Reposted] Lord Foster: The Future of London and Britain

"Lord Foster's second lecture as Humanitas Visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Oxford, 28 November 2011, in the Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre, Saïd Business School, Oxford University. The lecture considers 'Heritage and Lessons'. Lord Foster said:
"Imagine how differently we might understand the modern world if we could travel back in time. We would discover that the cathedrals, the castles and the viaducts that form our 'heritage' were once new themselves and were seen as quite alien at the time; and that many of the landscapes we revere as 'natural' were in fact shaped subtly by man - some the outcome of the Industrial Revolution itself. We would also find that many of the challenges we face now have been met before.

Given the need to upgrade Britain's infrastructure for the 21st century, and in the absence of a time machine, we have to try to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears and to revive our traditions of architecture, engineering and landscape design. We have to draw lessons from our heritage, as well as inspiration from our Asian counterparts."

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Guardian: "The world's largest rubbish dump"

Link to The Guardian

"A motorbike, golf clubs, a football belonging to a Japanese schoolboy: just some of the estimated 4.8m tonnes of debris swept into the sea by last year's tsunami in Japan, bits of which have already washed up on the shores of Alaska and Canada. Around two-thirds of it sank off the coast of Japan, but the rest is now drifting across the Pacific towards North America, stretching across an estimated 4,000 miles of ocean.

"Much of it will swirl around for ever in the fabled garbage patch in the north Pacific. The problem with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is that it's hard to spot. Most of it consists of tiny bits of plastic, forming a thin and constantly shifting film on the surface of the ocean. Garbage patchologists say it's twice the size of Texas, but there are also garbage-patch deniers who claim it's a fraction of that size."

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Enfield & Haringey, and Barnet & Camden Candidates

Dawn Barnes - Liberal Democrats

Andy Hemsted - Conservative

Peter John Krakowiak - Green Party

Joanne McCartney - Labour

Marie Nicholas - British National Party

Peter Staveley - UKIP/Fresh Choice for London

Brian John Coleman - Conservative

Michael Ernest Corby - UKIP/Fresh Choice for London

Andrew Hartley Dismore - Labour

Audrey Mindlin Poppy - Green Party

Christopher Lawrence Richards - Liberal Democrats