Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Lambs Hill-Stillington windfarm and CHP exhibition Mon 15th Feb 2010

Banks Developments, a well established company, are proposing a windfarm and CHP (Combined Heat and Power) scheme near Stillington in the Stockton council area. They have yet to go to the scoping stage but Banks hope to put in an application for a wind test mast soon.

This is very early days for the scheme with the exact location of the turbines and number still undecided. There is a railway line running through the proposed site and FoE thinks that this may mean that there will be few dwellings overlooked. A number of issues need to be addressed and we await further details.

Banks already have one operational windfarm built and have been granted planning permission for three others in the UK.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Seamer & Hilton windfarm

The Seamer/Hilton windfarm is a 5 turbine project which unfortunately sits in both the stockton and Hambleton council areas. This means twice as many meetings! After sitting through 4 planning meetings (not including the 2 for the test mast), plus an appeal to the Secretary of State that held things up for a further month, we now have a three day planning appeal in March 2010 for the two turbines that are in the Hambleton council area.

We would like to think that the support FoE has given to this project made the difference - it was 5 for and 5 against at the Stockton meeting and the chairperson with the deciding vote voted for the project. Both council planning offices recommended the project. Watch this space.

“Fix the foodchain” and “Get serious” campaigns

Middlesbrough & Redcar Friends of the Earth have been working on two campaigns

Fix the Foodchain

Agriculture generates more CO2 emmisions than transport believe it or not! We are trying to get farms to go back to what they used to do by producing food for their animals to eat locally on the farm rather than soya feed from South America which may be from cut down rainforest. Beans and grain can be grown actually on the farm and Mbro FoE have came across a number of local farmers who still do this. We also want the government to support local farmers that do this by sourcing meat for school meals and our armed forces from them.

Get Serious campaign

We want Middlesbrough and Redcar councils to reduce their emissions by 40% by 2020. Redcar and Cleveland have signed up for the 10:10 campaign and we will be working with thiem to achieve this. Middlesbrough council are following the "One Planet living" framework and should reach the 40% target if the govt increases its renewable energy percentage.

Joint Windfarm policy, Darlington FoE

Middlesbrough and Darlington Friend of the Earth groups have visited four windfarms to see for ourselves what they are like and write a report we can submit to councillors.

Lobbying MP’s Vera Baird and Stuart Bell

Members visited both Vera Baird (MP for Redcar and Cleveland) and Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough MP) about the Copenhagen Climate conference and the 10:10 campaign.

Seamer Hilton Wind farm Mon 29th March Planning appeal

The Stockton council area part of the windfarm has been approved. The Hambleton council two turbines are going to appeal.

North East get together, Newcastle - Sat 16th Jan

Rob Tucker attended and travelled by bus and back to Newcastle where we met up with groups from around the North East.

Age Of Stupid film screenings Middlesbrough, Redcar and Stockton

Using our contacts we were able to partner up with the councils to screen the Climate change film the "Age of Stupid" in Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar. The Mbro screening was on Thursday 3rd Dec 2009. We had over 70 people there including a dozen councillors. After the film we had a panel discussion. The Middlesbrough screening was at "The Crypt" underneath Middlesbrough town hall and the Redcar screening at the Eston City Learning Centre , all venues were convenient for councillors.

Wave London March Sat 5th Dec

Four members from our FoE group travelled down to London for the big march by coach. We stayed overnight in a Premier hotel close to London had a really nice breakfast to last us through the day and then continued to the march in the morning and met up with another member. We unravelled our banner at Hyde park and then bumped into Darlington FoE who had travelled down by train with 10 members and it was great to see them.

Lots of different groups were there from the Co-op and trade unions, to WWF, greenpeace, Quakers and other faith groups. The march was extremely good natured with families with young children attending and absolutely no trouble - I think the police had some easy over time!

We missed the Archbishop of Caterbury giving his address, and the speeches at speakers corner, we went straight to Hannover?? Square where the march was assembling.

There were some amazing costumes with everyone wearing blue to make a Wave that encirled Parliament. About 40,000 people attended. The event really brought us together as a group.