Monday, 30 September 2013

Bowes & Bounds Connected: "Myddleton Road Market N22"

Lynne Featherstone MP: "Pinkham Way – one step closer to victory!"

"I have just sent the below comment to the press regarding the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) decision to end their procurement process for long-term waste management services.

"In short – they have decided to keep using the waste facility in Edmonton, and keep waste management under control of the local authority (rather than contract them out to a private bidder).

"There are now no current plans to use the Pinkham Way site for waste management. I’d like to echo the words of the Pinkham Way Alliance: 'This is very good news!’

My press comment:
"The decision to end the procurement for long-term waste management in North London marks a great victory for the Pinkham Way Alliance, the local Liberal Democrats and local residents, who have campaigned hard against the NLWA’s plans.

From day one, the whole process has been a farce and the strategy deeply flawed. The plan to use Pinkham Way for a waste plant, for instance, was simply inappropriate. They should have been looking at ways to reduce wastage – not thinking of building huge incinerators in unsuitable places.

It’s all very well the NLWA saying they’re saving us money now by keeping waste management services ‘in house’ – but what about the public money wasted to date on their flawed plans?

I am of course glad that the NLWA has finally seen sense – but it shouldn’t have taken this long to realise their existing Edmonton site would be suitable.

We must remain vigilant, though. Although there are now no immediate plans to use the Pinkham Way site, it is still an asset of the NLWA, and different plans to use the site may surface in the future.

The local Lib Dems and I will be sure to keep residents updated as and when we receive information."

Sunday, 29 September 2013

BBC: "Five expired foods you can still eat"

Link to web site

"In the US alone, 40% of food is thrown out, partly because of confusing date labels, telling consumers to 'use by', 'sell by' and 'enjoy by' a certain time.

"Some of the dates are not about safety but taste, says Dana Gunders, a food scientist from the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), which has issued a report saying much of the food labelled bad is actually perfectly edible.

"Early next year, businessman Doug Rauch, once behind the successful Trader Joe's chain in the US, is opening a supermarket and restaurant which will sell outdated food. So what are some of those foods?"

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Barnet Press: "NLWA waste services to remain in-house"

Link to web site

"PLANS to outsource north London's waste management contracts to a private bidder have been axed in favour of keeping the service under local authority control.

"The North London Waste Authority has decided to end its private procurement process for long-term waste management services after Enfield Council confirmed its existing waste facility in Edmonton would be able to function for longer than expected.

"The NLWA, which represents the boroughs of Enfield, Barnet, Haringey, Camden, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest, said running the service in house out of the upgraded Edmonton EcoPark site in Advent Way would deliver the best value for money."

Statement from the North London Waste Authority

Statement from supporter of the Pinkham Way Alliance

"On Thursday a decision was made by the North London Waste Authority to end its ill-fated Procurement Process.

"The Procurement was meant to put waste processing from the constituent seven north London boroughs into the hands of a multi-national company for the next 30 years but it ran into many problems including all the original bidders bar one pulling out of the process.

"The PFI funding was withdrawn by the Government two years ago, and because NLWA was threatening to use the green site at Pinkham Way for a massive waste plant, thousands of local residents have campaigned vigorously against the plans.

"At long last the NLWA have agreed with us that, in fact, the Procurement Contract was a huge error and that in effect waste can be treated in-house far cheaper.

"In a statement issued yesterday, the NLWA have said that the existing waste incinerator at Edmonton will be life extended to at least 2025, and that plans for a new EfW plant are to be explored in the Upper Lea Valley.

"They have said that the land that they now own at Pinkham Way will not be used for residual waste treatment but will be retained for possible other uses.

"We believe that this means Pinkham Way could possibly be earmarked for a new recycling plant, where comingled recyclate is separated and sent away for processing. The Authority is committed to increasing recycling and Barnet is about to change from kerbside separated recycling collections to comingled collections, which require MRF plants to separate the different types of recycling again.

"At the moment the NLWA believe they may have sufficient capacity for dealing with the recycling rates at present, but more will be needed for increased rates.

"Overall this is good news, not just for us, but for all residents in the seven boroughs as keeping the waste processing in-house will save Council Tax payers £m's over the next few years compared with proposed Procurement contract which has now been dropped.

"We will of course continue to watch what NLWA propose for their land at Pinkham Way."

Bowes & Bounds Connected: "New River at 400"

Link to web site

"This weekend (28/29 September) marks the 400th anniversary of the the much-loved New River.

"Whilst it is neither a river - nor new, is has for 400 years been bringing fresh drinking water from Hertfordshire into central London. Today the New River still forms part of London's drinking water infrastructure."

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Recycling: Barnet Times and The Guardian

The Guardian:

"Plastic bags: symbol of consumer waste
may ignore worse offenders"

Independent on Sunday: "Whatever happened to climate change?"

Link to web site

"Whither global warming? Apart from a succession of puerile puns – fracking awful quips, as the Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, might have put it in his conference speech – the issue hardly raised its head at the Lib Dem gathering in Glasgow. It is not looming large on the Labour agenda in Brighton over the next few days. And David Cameron, who once bragged his would be 'the greenest government ever', hasn't waved his eco-credentials for ages now.

There's irony, then, in the fact that more than 250 climate scientists meet in Stockholm tomorrow to finalise the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. When it comes out on Friday, it will be the most comprehensive report on climate science ever published. It will show that scientists have upped from 'very likely' to 'extremely likely' their judgement that it is human activity, rather than natural variations, which have caused most of the rise in global temperatures since 1951.

"Since we have the irony pot on the table, let's ladle out another helping: while experts have been becoming more convinced, the rest of us have been moving in the opposite direction. The number of people in the UK who think climate change is happening, and is caused by man-made greenhouse gases, is falling, polls show."

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Evening Standard: "The strife of Brian... disgraced Tory rips into former party colleagues on his blog"

Link to web site

"One of London’s most controversial councillors has sparked outrage and bemusement by writing a scurrilous account of his former Tory town hall colleagues.

"Brian Coleman, a former aide to Boris Johnson at City Hall and an ex-mayor of Barnet, penned at-times vicious portraits of each of the 37 Conservative members of Barnet council.

"He notes how the wife of a former leader “made probably the most disastrous maiden speech in recent times” by bursting into song, and recalls 'bit-part actor' David Longstaff’s role as a 'drunken elf' in a TV drama.

"He notes Robert Rams was step-brother to Amy Winehouse 'but has none of her unfortunate habits, nor for that matter her artistic talent'. Others are castigated for their hairstyles."

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Guardian: "Inside the mind of NSA chief Gen Keith Alexander"

Link to web site

"When he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the 'Information Dominance Center'. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a 'whoosh' sound when they slid open and closed.

"Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather 'captain's chair' in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen."

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Independent: "Modern art was CIA 'weapon'"

Link to web site

"For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War.

"In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

"The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: 'If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot.'

"As for the artists themselves, many were ex- communists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing."