Friday, 29 June 2012

Evening Standard: "London pedestrian deaths and cycle injuries soar"

Link to web site

"Campaigners demanded a change in road safety policies today, after a 33 per cent increase in pedestrian deaths in a year and the highest number of cycling injuries for a decade.

"Transport for London admitted the figures were 'an area of concern' for itself and the Mayor, but critics questioned whether his policies of removing traffic lights and 'smoothing traffic flow' were to blame."

Statement from the North London Waste Plan

"The hearings have been suspended until further notice. To download the Inspector's statement about the submission, click here."

"The Inspector has subsequently issued a note on the Duty to Co-operate. To download this, click here."

"Due to the lack of availability of the Councils' key staff, the Inspector has agreed to extend the deadline for the Councils’ response to his note until 27 July."

Ham and High

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Barclays is run as a bunch of crooks (allegedly)

Want to understand the Barclays LIBOR fixing scandal?
Jonty Bloom explains in a World at One minute guide

Link to Evening Standard:

BBC: "The great myth of urban Britain"

Link to BBC web site

"What proportion of Britain do you reckon is built on? By that I mean covered by buildings, roads, car parks, railways, paths and so on - what people might call 'concreted over'. Go on - have a guess.

"I was prompted to find out the answer to this question after reading this week how woodland is now calculated to cover 12.7% of the UK, the highest proportion since 1924 when records began."

RAIB: "Steam locomotive accident in Wood Green tunnel" (This web site is a broad church)

Find out what RAIB stands for

"The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into an incident involving the blowback of the locomotive fire on a steam train running on the East Coast Main Line in which three members of the train crew were injured.

"The incident occurred at 11:04 hrs on 27 May 2012, as the train was travelling through Wood Green tunnel in north London. The locomotive fire blew back into the cab as the locomotive entered the tunnel and continued to do so until the driver was able to bring the situation under control by use of the blower (a device fitted to steam locomotives which draws the hot gas from the fire towards the chimney).

"All three members of staff in the cab suffered burns. The train was stopped at New Barnet to allow two of the staff to be taken by ambulance to hospital. They were released after treatment later that day. The driver’s injuries were minor and he was able to continue with the train.

"The train involved was a special passenger train running from London to Rowsley, in Derbyshire. It was operated by West Coast Railways and had started from Finsbury Park station. It was being hauled by a class 47 diesel locomotive in tandem with steam locomotive 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’."

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Enfield Independent: "Pinkham Way plan thrown into doubt after inspector says councils must prove they consulted"

Link to web site

"Planning Inspector Andrew Mead says seven councils who want permission for the North London Waste Plan – which includes proposals to use land at Pinkham Way, New Southgate – to be granted must prove they have consulted with other authorities impacted by the plan.

Mr Mead said the seven councils had a 'duty to cooperate' with authorities in the east and south-east of England who receive waste from north London, and who have complained to the public hearing about the impact of the plan.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Arnos Grove, Arnos Park and Bowes Road, New Southgate, from the south, 1930

Palmers Road, Arnos Park and Arnos Grove, New Southgate,
from the south-west, 1930

Barnet Times: "Campaigners launch Pinkham Way 'village green' bid to stop waste plant"

Link to web site

"A Muswell Hill community group is trying to use an obscure piece of legislation to mark land as a village green to stop a major new waste plant.

"Chris Faulkner, chairman of the Freehold Community Association, has applied for Pinkham Way to be designated as a town or village green, to stop the North London Waste Authority’s plan to build a huge facility dealing with about 300,000 tonnes of waste a year."

North London Waste Plan Examination: An Inspector's Cause

This is the response by the Inspector to events at the NLWP Examination in Public (EiP) two weeks ago. The boroughs now have about a week to respond, when they have worked out what it all means.

Overall at the inquiry, the inspector has to consider:
  • 'Soundness' of the plan, and, since the introduction of the Localism Act, 
  • a 'Duty to Co-operate' with other local authorities and other public bodies, when drawing up the plan. 
However, only the latter has been considered so far at the EiP, and below.

The Duty to co-operate [1]

1.  The South East Waste Planning Advisory Group (SEWPAG) and the East of England Waste Technical Advisory Body (EoEWTAB), comprising the waste planning authorities of their respective areas, submitted representations about the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) and also a joint statement to be considered in the Examination at the hearing session on Main Matter 1: Legal Issues.  In the submissions, they raised the “duty to co-operate” and claimed that the requirement had not been met by the NLWP.

2. The North London Councils (the Councils) submitted a paper; “CDNLWP41 Duty to cooperate – Borough’s response to Inspector” which is an answer to my request for a briefing note on how the requirements to cooperate had been met.  The Councils also submitted a “Legal Response to SEWPAG and EoEWTAB from NLWP on Main Matter 1”.  I have also seen a recent exchange of emails between the Regional Advisory Groups and the Councils forwarded to me by the Programme Officer.    Further legal submissions were made by the parties at the hearing, including the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) who added to their earlier paper on Legal Issues.  In addition, at the hearing, I heard further details about the degree of contact between the Councils and the planning authorities where waste was received from North London (the waste importing authorities).  Subsequently, additional submissions have been received from SEWPAG and EoEWTAB, the NLWA and the Councils[2].

3. There is no dispute about co-operation between the 7 North London Boroughs, other London Boroughs or other persons.

The Substance of the Submissions

Application of the duty to co-operate
4.  SEWPAG and EoEWAB jointly claim the NLWP has failed in the duty to co-operate in that it has failed in its obligation “to engage, constructively, actively and on an on-going basis” with regard to the development of the Plan.  The Councils have not engaged actively with the planning authorities outside London when preparing the Plan and no evidence has been adduced to show any such co-operation.

5.  The Councils responded, accepting that in relation to the preparation of development plan documents, S33A “imposes a duty on specified bodies to co-operate with one another if there are strategic matters planned in the Plan”.  They also submitted that S33A of the 2004 Act defines a “strategic matter” very narrowly.  The relevant definition is “sustainable development or use of land that has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas, including (in particular) sustainable development or use of land for or in connection with infrastructure that is strategic and has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas…. .” 

6.  The Councils stated that the Plan is not proposing any development or use of land which would have a significant impact outside the 7 Boroughs (which constitute “the Councils”).  The Councils claim that the statute expressly limits itself to particular development proposals. 

7.  Moreover, the Councils submitted that a “planning area” as defined in the Act, does not include County Councils such as Essex, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.  They are non-qualifying Councils for the purposes of the Plan.

8.  The NLWA supported the Councils and added that in order to demonstrate that the duty was engaged in relation to areas outside London, it would be necessary to establish that policies for development or use of land would have a significant impact.  No evidence has been produced to demonstrate such an impact.
Inspector’s Conclusions
9.  S33A (1) states that “… each person who is: (a) a local planning authority, (b)…., or (c) …, must co-operate with every other person who is within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) … in maximising the effectiveness with which activities within subsection (3) are undertaken.” 

10.  Subsection (3) indicates that the activities within this subsection include “(a) the preparation of development plan documents, and (e) activities that support activities within any of the paragraphs (a) to (c), so far as relating to a strategic matter.” 

11.  Subsection (4) defines “a strategic matter” for the purposes of subsection (3) as “(a) sustainable development or use of land that has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas, including (in particular) sustainable development or use of land for or in connection with infrastructure that is strategic and has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas, and (b) sustainable development or use of land in a two tier area if the development or use (i) is a county matter, or (ii) has or would have a significant impact on a county matter.”

12.  The definition of “planning area” in Subsection (5) includes “(a) the area of – (i) a district council (including a metropolitan district council), (ii) a London borough council, or (iii) a county council in England for an area for which there is no district council, but only so far as neither is in a National Park nor in the Broads, (b) …”

13.  I agree with the Councils that S33A does not state explicitly that waste management is a strategic matter.  Nevertheless, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) includes “the provision of infrastructure for …, waste management, …” as one of  the strategic priorities for the area in the Local Plan. (para 156)  In addition, the NPPF states (a) that “local planning authorities should work with authorities and providers to assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure for … waste … and its ability to meet forecast demands; …” (para 162); and (b) “Public bodies have a duty to cooperate on planning issues that cross administrative boundaries, particularly those which relate to the strategic priorities set out in paragraph 156.” (para 178)  Therefore, I consider that waste management is capable of qualifying as a strategic matter for the purposes of S33A.  Indeed, given that there are extant Regional Advisory Bodies which have been created to examine the regional element of waste management, and that waste which arises in one council area is often managed or disposed of in another, I would say that there is every expectation that waste management should be treated as a strategic matter. 

14.  The Councils also submit that the “planning area” where there has to be a significant impact does not include county councils if they have district councils within them.  I have had regard to this interpretation of S33A but, in any event, a district council (including a metropolitan district) is defined as a planning area.  Accordingly, at the very least, notwithstanding that waste management is a county matter in a two tier area, I consider that where there is (or could be) a significant impact involving a strategic matter, there would be a duty to co-operate with either the county council or the district council where at least two planning areas were affected.  Additionally, county councils which are waste planning authorities would qualify as a “person” with whom there must be co-operation under S33A(1)(a) because they are the local planning authority for waste management. 

15.  Finally, I turn to the submission by the Councils that the Plan does not propose any development or use of land which would have a significant impact outside the 7 Boroughs.  The Councils reinforce this claim by referring to the lack of any proposal for a new waste site on the border of the Plan area and then examining each of the policies in the Plan.  The policies would have the effect of continuing the waste uses at sites in two lists (Schedules A and B) and proposing allocations at sites in Schedule C.  The Councils state that new waste development on Schedule C sites would have to satisfy other policies in the Plan and, in so doing, would not have any significant impact on planning areas outside the 7 Boroughs.  I do not dispute their submissions on this point.  Furthermore, I have no evidence to dispute the claim that the existing Schedule A and B waste sites do not give rise to significant impacts on particular planning areas outside the 7 Boroughs.

16.  Nevertheless, this stance ignores the fact that waste which arises in the NLWP area is being exported to be managed elsewhere and the cumulative effect of the policies in the Plan is to perpetuate the pattern. Indeed, as the NLWP acknowledges, “However, even at the end of the plan period, waste will continue to cross boundaries for treatment.”(para 2.31); and “There are no sites for landfill in north London. Historically the area has been reliant on landfill sites outside the region. This reliance will decline as north London’s new waste facilities come on line and waste is treated higher up the waste hierarchy. However, even when greater self-sufficiency has been achieved there is still likely to be a requirement for some types of landfill, particularly for non-biodegradable and non-recyclable waste.” (para 2.32)

17.  Therefore, whereas I accept that it is possible that waste related development on sites in Schedules A. B and C of the NLWP would not have a significant impact on planning areas outside the 7 Boroughs, the lack of provision for managing all the waste arising from within north London will result in its continued export, albeit perhaps at a reduced level.  SEWPAG and EoEWTAB have calculated that in 2009 about 480,000 tonnes (t) of household (MSW) and commercial and industrial (C&I) waste was exported from north London to landfill outside London.  The significance of the movements is a matter of judgement.  However, the transport of about 144,000t to Buckinghamshire, 100,000t to Northamptonshire, 71,000t to Bedfordshire, 66,000t to Hertfordshire and 52,000t to Essex, in my opinion, is likely to have a very significant impact on the areas where the waste is received and possibly on the transport routes along which it is moved.  The import of waste could also take up landfill or other waste management capacity which might be better used by locally produced arisings. 

18.  Accordingly, I conclude that the absence of policies or proposals in the NLWP to manage all the waste arisings and the consequent continuation of the export of waste would be likely to have a significant impact on at least two planning areas by virtue of the waste being managed or deposited in them.  Consequently, the North London Councils have a duty to co-operate with the councils representing the “planning areas” in which the waste would be managed or deposited. 

19.  I note the claim by the NLWA that the NLWP is based upon the apportionment in the London Plan, that the London RTB has engaged with representatives from the South East and the East of England and that there is no need to repeat the engagement process.  However, the London Plan was prepared before the coming into effect of S110 of the Localism Act and I do not consider that the Councils are absolved from the duty to co-operate as described in the 2004 Act and the NPPF.

20.  I shall now consider whether co-operation as envisaged by the 2004 Act and the NPPF has been carried out but, in the meantime, ask the Councils themselves to consider whether there has been any co-operation which has been constructive, active, ongoing and effective.

Andrew Mead

25 June

[1] S110 of the Localism Act inserted S33A into the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: A duty to co-operate in relation to planning of sustainable development.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Will Barnet ever move its dustcarts from Mill Hill East to Pinkham Way?

Barnet Cabinet special meeting, 11 August 2009
"The proposal [partial sale of its Pinkham Way land to the North London Waste Authority - which was later completed] will further support the Council’s priorities, by providing a site [on its retained land there] to relocate the parking of the Council’s refuse fleet and recycling facility, from the present location at Mill Hill Depot. The depot relocation will assist the Council to unlock the development potential of the existing Mill Hill East site…"

Barnet Council 
Review of Regeneration Functions,
February 2012

[These are selected highlights, with our bold and large-type emphasis.]
... The Council has an ambitious regeneration agenda, with a number of large schemes which are at varying stages of delivery. Most of the Council’s schemes are housing-led, and most (although not all) seek to improve the condition and environment of council housing stock through replacement and refurbishment, funded in significant part by the introduction of homes for sale to the regeneration estates.

Most of the schemes were designed at a time when the market for homes for sale was extremely buoyant. That is no longer the case. All of the schemes have been the subject of considerable effort over the last few years to address problems with viability and deliverability. In a number of cases these efforts have been successful. However, on the more complex schemes, viability in the current market is still a major problem.

... Mill Hill is an innovative regeneration scheme, where the Council is using its assets and forward funding in a very commercial way to achieve significant long-term benefits.

  • At Mill Hill East, the early costs should be kept under careful review.
  • The Council must also ensure that the major scheme risks at Mill Hill East, the provision of the new school and the relocation of the depot – are delivered in a timely and cost effective way, as failure to do so will have significant scheme and reputational costs.

... Barnet does not currently have a Property Strategy, an Asset Management Plan, or a comprehensive property database. An ambitious regeneration agenda, such as Barnet’s, suggests that it would be expedient for asset management information and planning to form part of the comprehensive and corporate strategic approach, ...

... The Council does not currently have a strategic approach to communications and marketing on its regeneration programme, as a whole or on its individual schemes.

Mill Hill East [main part of report]
Overall rating: AMBER
Scheme background and current position
The land at Mill Hill East is located approximately 9 miles north-west of central London. The nearest underground to the site is Mill Hill East (Northern Line).

... The proposed development is anticipated to be built out over a period of approximately 10 years.

... There is also the opportunity if required for the Council to sell on their land holding, as at today. This would be at a discount to the potential land receipt that may be secured over time, and at greater risk, but could provide the Council with a significant, early land receipt. By taking this route, any potential upside will be lost, but likewise, the noted development risks and potential market fluctuations may be avoided.
Mill Hill East is a new approach for Barnet Council. It is unlike the other regeneration schemes; the intention is not to use market-for-sale housing to cross subsidise the reprovision of affordable homes that cannot economically be brought up to decent homes standard, and to regenerate the neighbourhoods within which they are located through introduction of a better mix of tenure.

It is a more aggressively commercial approach: the Council is behaving as a developer, taking a long-term view and seeking long-term returns on its (not insignificant) contribution to the cash flow position of the overall scheme.
This is a strategic property approach, which inevitably carries risks but the return will be proportionately high. It is the kind of entrepreneurial approach which is lauded as good practice by central government, and which the forthcoming general power of competence for local government, enabled in tLocalism Bill seeks to promote. The Council must, however, watch its reputation with its partners in the consortium.

Delays on matters such as planning or highways powers will be extremely damaging.

The Council also needs to be sure that it is managing the risks associated with the relocation of the depot, and the provision of the new school effectively and efficiently.

... The Council also needs to watch its own costs against the scheme. Unlike the other regeneration schemes, the costs the Council takes out to fund its own project management are not 'hidden', they will be top sliced from any profit the Council makes. This is a good commercial discipline – as long as the Council is disciplined. 

If the Council can manage these challenges, then Mill Hill East potentially provides a blue print for other opportunities in the future – not least the potential of Brent Cross /Cricklewood [our link] where the Council would do well to consider the longer-term benefit that would come from an equity stakeholder approach, rather than a traditional sale of freehold/long leasehold for shorter-term capital gain.

[Reposted from Feb 2011] Haringey Councillor Juliet Solomon: "We need to wake up to the new proposed development on the North Circular"

Click above for Councillor's post
(which is on 'Bowes and Bounds' site)

"This is probably the biggest development to take place in the borough for many years, yet most people are unaware that this planning application is pending."

[Reposted] Pinkham Wood wildlife photos, by Miles Attenborough

(Click above for slideshow)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

BBC: Happy Birthday, Alan Turing, Computer Pioneer

Link to BBC web site and iPlayer

Prof Jack Copeland told the BBC:
"Turing was hounded, yet he remained cheerful and humorous. The thing is to tell the truth in so far as we know it, and not to speculate. 

"In a way, we have in modern times been recreating the narrative of Turing's life, and we have recreated him as an unhappy young man who committed suicide. But the evidence is not there.

"The exact circumstances of Turing's death will probably always be unclear. Perhaps we should just shrug our shoulders, and focus on Turing's life and extraordinary work."

Roland Pease has produced two episodes of Discovery on the BBC World Service devoted to Turing. In the first, he follows the events leading up to Turing's design for a fully programmable computer (Ace) at the National Physical Laboratory. In the second episode, to be broadcast on Monday, he explores the life and legacy of Turing. Both programmes are presented by Standup Mathematician Matt Parker.

Friday, 22 June 2012


"We don’t yet know whether last week’s suspension of the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) hearing will just delay it until autumn, or lead to the plan being thrown out.

However, either of these outcomes signal what is now a very dangerous period for our campaign. We absolutely must continue to be vigilant and work hard.

There’s now a real risk that the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) will try to push forward the planning application for a massive facility at Pinkham Way regardless of the waste plan. If this happens, it is likely to be soon.

The NLWA owns the Pinkham Way site, and has been forging ahead with a multi-billion pound procurement process for dealing with waste in north London, now at an advanced stage.

We must assume that it will use this momentum to steamroll towards completing its current plans. If the procurement is stopped, it’ll be hugely problematic for the authority.

There are also signs that Haringey Council may be trying to wriggle away from its public claim that this planning application is ‘on hold’ until after the inspector's final hearing for the NLWP. If so, it's not hard to imagine why.

We are taking immediate legal advice about how to approach this perilous situation. As ever, this is costing money. I’m sure you can appreciate that we must all remain totally engaged with the campaign, and, crucially, continue raising money as best we can.

On that note, we are very pleased to offer another fantastic fundraising concert.


Our next fundraising concert is on Sunday 8 July, at St Andrew's Church on Alexandra Park Road at 4pm.

The Galitzin Chamber Ensemble, which includes members of the quartet who gave such an exciting recital in February, will perform famous works by Strauss and Kodaly, and Schubert's magnificent Trout Quintet.

We are very excited to welcome pianist Sam Haywood, who made such an impression aged 13 as a finalist on BBC Young Musician of the Year. He's since gone on to an international career, and collaborates regularly with stars such as Joshua Bell and Stephen Isserlis.

This group has very strong links to the Muswell Hill area, and the Ichinose brothers, who grew up here, are joined by their sister, and by young British-American talent, violinist Shana Douglas.

For full details and to buy tickets (at £10 for adults) please visit our events website.

Please do come along; we must continue to raise money as fast as we possibly can. You can also donate here.

You can read our report on the suspension of the NLWP, Remember, this suspension could lead to the planning application being brought forward rather than being delayed further - don't hesitate to inform your friends and neighbours about this.

You can follow us on Twitter, and join the Facebook Group.

Kind regards, Bidesh Sarkar
Chair, Pinkham Way Alliance

Thursday, 21 June 2012

BBC: "Waste land or 'brownfield' sites are vital for wildlife"

Link to web site

"Wasteland or 'brownfield' areas are vital but overlooked habitats for UK wildlife, according to the charity Butterfly Conservation

'... Richard Fox said that many of the sites were under threat from by redevelopment and 'bland landscaping schemes'.

'He explained to BBC Nature why these areas - of disturbed or even contaminated land - were such unique habitats."

Evening Standard: "Exhibition Road an ‘exemplar’ of how to make a city liveable"

Link to web site

"The £30 million scheme to turn South Kensington’s Exhibition Road into London’s first major 'shared space' has won a top architectural award.

"... The transformation, overseen by architects Dixon Jones, was praised by Riba judges for its 'minimal street clutter' and described as 'an exemplar of how architecture can make cities more liveable'."

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mrs Angry's Broken Barnet: "Don't do that, Councillor Harper"

Link to Broken Barnet

"It's Monday morning in Broken Barnet's newest school - the BT Capita Academy.

Mrs Angry is standing underneath the statue of Michael Gove and looking disheartened. Michael Gove is looking disheartened too. Yes: it is difficult to tell, in his case.

Mrs Angry is taking the lowest set class in economics today, and she knows it is going to be awfully hard work:
"Pay attention, class!

"Councillor Andrew Harper: stop that AT ONCE. Both hands on the desk, please, Andrew, where Mrs Angry can see them.

"Someone give Robert Rams a couple of cushions so he can see the black board, will you?

"Councillor Longstaff, no one wants to see that, thank you. Yes, it is, dear. Really, really golden.

"And Brian Coleman: do stop giving Councillor Shooter a Chinese burn, and go back to stand in the corridor, as you were clearly told. Yes: until the end of time, if you please."

Monday, 18 June 2012

Haringey LibDems: "What a Waste"

"Liberal Democrats have welcomed the suspension of the public inquiry on the North London Waste Plan as a further step in the campaign to stop the development of a huge waste processing plant at Pinkham Way.

"The examination in public of the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) was suspended just two hours into a hearing that was due to take two weeks. Liberal Democrats strongly oppose the plans for thePinkham Way plant, which is part of the 10 year plan.

Liberal Democrat councillor Juliet Solomon (Alexandra ward) comments:
“Today’s suspension is a result of colossal carelessness in the waste plan, especially when one thinks of the time and money that has been spent to get here. The North London Waste planners have been told to think again. My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I will continue to fight, along with the Pinkham Way Alliance, to knock the plans out for good.”
Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green comments:
“Haringey Labour’s representatives on the NLWA have been determined to force the waste plant upon local people, despite massive opposition. It’s yet another sign of Haringey Labour’s arrogance and failure to listen.”
"The Pinkham Way plant is designed to process non-recyclable refuse from the seven boroughs of the North London waste authority, but has met with fierce opposition from local people following concerns about harmful toxins, increased traffic levels and the impact on the local environment.

"The inquiry was due to take place at Camden Town Hall for two weeks, but was swiftly halted by the independent Inspector following objections to the Plan raised by other local authorities, who are concerned about the impact the Plan will have on them.

"The news will slow down any progress on the existing Pinkham Way plans, which have been backed by seven boroughs, including the Labour-run council in Haringey."

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Royal Society: "Statement on Population and Consumption"

Link to web site

"The world’s 105 science academies – including the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science – are today highlighting the global challenges of population and consumption and calling upon world leaders to take decisive action.

Fellow of the Royal Society and IAP Working Group Chair, Professor Charles Godfray, said: 
“In April the Royal Society produced its own report on population and consumption, People and the Planet, and we are delighted that the world’s science academies have also chosen to come together to highlight two of the most profound challenges to humanity – population and consumption – and to call for urgent and coordinated international action to address them."

Saturday, 16 June 2012

SciAm: "Earth Summit: A Report Card to Preview the Rio+20 Mega-Conference"

Link to Scientific American

"The climate numbers are downright discouraging. The world pumped 22.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 1990, the baseline year under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. By 2010 that amount had increased roughly 45% to 33 billion tonnes. Carbon dioxide emissions skyrocketed by more than 5% in 2010 alone, marking the fastest growth in more than two decades as the global economy recovered from its slump. And despite constant deliberations under the convention, the overall growth rate of global emissions hasn’t changed much since 1970.

“Plausibly we are a little better off than if we didn’t have all of this diplomacy,” says David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego. “But the evidence is hard to find.”

Friday, 15 June 2012

Daily Telegraph: "British World War Two propaganda posters released"

Barnet's Mrs Angry and Mr Mustard

"Original Second World War artworks produced as propaganda for the Ministry of Information have gone online, and are now freely available on Wikimedia Commons. More than 350 pieces have gone online so far, but there are plans to digitise the entire collection of almost 2,000 art works. We present a selection [above]. See this Wikimedia page for more."

Haringey Journal: "Public inquiry into Muswell Hill waste site abandoned after two hours"

Link to web site

"Archie Onslow, programme manager of the NLWP, told the Journal
“The inspector heard some legal submissions, and said he would go away and think about them.

They [sic] were complaints from counties outside London where north London sends its landfill to.”
Mr Onslow said the inspector would take two weeks to decide whether the inquiry could resume in light of the concerns raised, adding:
“He may restart in September, so we are hoping he will decide that the hearings will restart.”

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Pinkham Way Alliance: "Sorted. (For now, anyway.)"

Link above to full PWA statement

Report from North London Waste Plan Examination in Public

by Pinkham Way Alliance’s planning team

"... The Planning Inspector was left in such serious doubt whether the NLWP was legal, that he decided to adjourn the EiP, to give himself two weeks to consider the matter in depth, and give his detailed written opinion one way or the other. Thereafter, the NLWP and any other interested party will have a further week in which to respond, before the Inspector finalises his decision on this point.

"If he rules that cooperation has taken place, the hearing will resume, but not before September 2012. If he rules that there has not been cooperation, that is what he called a “showstopper”, and the NLWP will have failed its EiP for being unlawful. A new Plan will then have to be produced, consulted on and Examined, before North London has a valid Waste Plan.

"... The PWA team were content with this outcome, because it is consistent with our considered view that the NLWP is deficient in multiple respects, and not only in its selection of the Pinkham Way site. But those of us who have worked as local government professionals were saddened by the state of affairs revealed at the hearing."

The Independent: "Alan Turing and his machines - fresh insights into the enigma"

"A week ahead of the Science Museum's Alan Turing exhibition - 'Codebreaker' - Matilda Battersby speaks to his old assistant and his nephew, to find out what drove one of Britain's greatest men, and looks at the machines that helped make his name." 

IF interested, GOTO 'The Independent'

"It is fitting that the greatest code-breaker of World War Two remains a riddle a hundred years after his birth. Alan Turing, the brilliant, maverick mathematician, widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, invented an electromagnetic machine called the 'bombe' which formed the basis for deciphering Germany’s Enigma codes.

"The man himself has rather eluded definition: painted (too easily) as a nutty professor with a squeaky voice; as a quirky, haphazard character with a sloppy appearance by his mother and schoolmasters; by colleagues as a gruff, socially awkward man; and by his friends as an open-hearted, generous and gentle soul."

The Inspector Calls a halt

North London Waste Plan Examination:
The Duty to co-operate[1]

1. The first session of the Examination hearings was held on 12 June into Legal Issues.  The South East Waste Planning Advisory Group (SWEPAG) and the East of England Waste Technical Advisory Body (EoEWTAB), comprising the waste planning authorities of their respective areas, had submitted a joint statement to be considered at the session in which they raised the “duty to co-operate” and claimed that the requirement had not been met by the North London Waste Plan (NWLP).

2. The North London Councils (the Councils) had submitted two papers; “CDNLWP41 Duty to co-operate – Borough’s response to Inspector” which is an answer to the Inspector’s request for a briefing note on how the requirements to co-operate had been met; and a “Legal Response to SEWPAG and EoEWTAB from NLWP on Main Matter 1”[2].  The Inspector had also seen a recent exchange of emails between the Advisory Groups and the Councils2 which had been forwarded to him by the Programme Officer.    Further legal submissions were made by the parties at the hearing, including the North London Waste Authority2.  In addition, the Inspector heard further details about the degree of contact between the Councils and the planning authorities where waste was received from North London (the waste importing authorities).

3. After hearing the submissions and the further information, the Inspector stated that they needed full consideration and he would not give a hasty response.  Therefore, he suspended the hearings until further notice so that he could make a proper response within the next two weeks. 

4. Within those two weeks, the Inspector would like the Councils to consider whether, should he find against them on their legal submissions, they have genuinely and effectively complied with the duty to co-operate with the waste importing authorities and to inform him of their decision within the week after his response to them has been received.  

5. He would also like the Councils to consider what they should recommend him to do, in the event that he concluded that they should have complied with the duty to co-operate with the waste importing authorities but had failed to do so.  Guidance on what co-operation involves is found in the National Planning Policy Framework (e.g. see paragraphs 156, 178 – 181) and also from the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) and the Planning Officers Society (POS).

6. If the hearings resume, it is anticipated that they would be no earlier than late September.  The Inspector would be happy to receive any further submissions on the “duty to co-operate” from parties who were present at the hearing within the next week should they wish to submit any.

[1] S110 of the Localism Act inserted S33A into the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: A duty to co-operate in relation to planning of sustainable development. See

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Independent: "UK Uncut can challenge Goldman Sachs 'sweetheart' tax deal

Link to The Independent

"The anti-tax avoidance group UK Uncut has been given permission to challenge a so-called 'sweetheart' deal agreed between HM Revenue and Customs and Goldman Sachs, which they claim allowed the investment bank to get away with as much as £20-million, which should have been collected by the tax man.

"... The National Audit Office is due to publish a report into HMRC’s dealings with large firms over tax owed tomorrow morning, but the companies involved have not yet been named."

MHSG launches Packaging Campaign

Link to web site

"Irritated by triple-wrapped foods and toys?
Multi-compartmented plastic trays that weigh more than the food in them, masquerading under descriptions such as ‘lunchbox’ or ‘snack pack’?
Huge cardboard boxes for small items from Amazon? 

"The carbon footprint of unnecessary packaging is still a huge issue, and although recycling rates are better than they were, recycling itself poses huge problems. 

"Over the next 6 months, MHSG will be running a campaign against excess packaging, highlighting why prevention of waste in the first place is always the best answer. We’ll be collecting your feedback on packaging ‘crimes’, lobbying retailers and politicians and raising awareness through three weekends of stalls on the Broadway in July (7-8, 14-15, and 21-22). 

"We will be taking tours to the Edmonton Waste plant, which is much more interesting than you might imagine! And we hope to culminate at Chrismas time with some inventive fun and would love your input. Should it be a carol service with new words to old tunes, or a massive Christmas tree made from dicarded packaging? What do you think?

"In the meantime, we need a couple of people to help us organise this (2-3 hours per month). If you can give up a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday morning to help us on the stall, we’d love to hear from you. Please ring Nancy Hocking on 07780 558 492 or drop us an email at
You can report a packaging crime here."

The Independent: "Should we be doing more to combat climate change?"

Link to web site

"Fifty years ago, few people cared about pollution, deforestation, whaling or the Ozone layer. But even with an increasing awareness of issues concerning the environment, there is still a long way to go.

"This week The Independent is looking at the successes and failures of the Green Movement at 50, with a series of blogs and features centred around the question: 'Has the environment movement been a success?'"

Pinkham Way Alliance: "Don't Go!"



After 90 minutes of today’s opening session for the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) hearing, the inspector suspended proceedings until further notice.

If you were planning to attend any of the sessions this fortnight (particularly those next week on 19th and 20th of June) please do not turn up – the hearing is not happening yet.

Briefly put, the problem involves a possible failure of the seven north London councils involved in the NLWP to co-operate with their neighbouring planning authorities to the north and east of London as they are legally required to do.

The inspector will now receive further submissions on this, and decide what happens next. We will, of course, keep you updated.

In the meantime, the NLWP hearing is suspended until further notice – please do not try to attend!


Just a quick mention for another fundraising concert, which will be happening on Sunday 8 July, at St Andrew's Church on Alexandra Park Road at 4pm.

The Galitzin Quartet, who gave us a fabulous performance in February, will be joined by friends to perform as the Galitzin Chamber Ensemble for one of the highpoints of the repertoire - Schubert's Trout Quintet.

Please try to keep the date free, and spread the word. Full details and ticket information will be available soon on our events website.

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

To help us pay the considerable cost of retaining the experts who will appear at the NLWP hearing on all our behalf, please donate here .

Kind regards,
Bidesh Sarkar
Pinkham Way Alliance