MINUTES of Sutton Coldfield Green Group Meeting
Wednesday 9th January 2019.
Present: Ben Auton, Steve Lyne, David Ratcliff, Peter Cooke, Colin Marriott.
Matters arising: Proposed SC Six School Academy: Concern exists as there has been no further news. Peter Cooke agreed to pursue the matter by telephone to involved persons.
Absentee Town Councillors: David distributed copies of the official record of attendances & apologies. The picture was less clear than we had thought though poor attendance of two on the planning committee are those on whom attention was focussed. Further announcements are suspected to be forthcoming.
Council consultation on Sutton Park: The public meeting at the Town Hall open to residents of the 3 adjacent wards was reported in the press. It will be discussed by the Town Council on 7th February. David had supplied copies of summarised matters relating to the Town Council. A figure of £600,000 was said to be allocated to ‘improve’ & surface roads but not lay-bys. It was agreed that due to divergent views being expressed by members at the 9th Jan’, the Green Group needed to formulate a coherent policy on the Park including consultation with FOSPA & Advisory Body. Colin is to act on this.
Dugdale Crescent development: Colin had attended the ‘Save Dugdale Crescent’ meeting on 18 December. It was well- attended, He reported on the energetic competence of those on the dais and the inclusive conduct of proceedings. The importance of the clear time scale was sound and well detailed. The TC has since endorsed the claim of the area being a community interest/asset.
Climate Action Now West Midlands: Steve had attended the first meeting & reported that CANWM was running courses such as on transport. There has been no other contact.
Langley & Peddimore: Articles and letters continue in the local press. Further consultations on Langley are to be held next month at the behest of the owning group. EcoSutton has been accepted onto the committee for Peddimore asnd along with Town Councillors will attend meeting with the developers in February. IM Properties, the developers of the first section are keen to incorporate green measures & photo-voltaic units. The traffic planners now are only to alleviate the extra Peddimore traffic & how it affects Sutton Coldfield. Like the councils now, they oppose any fly-over from the A38 above the two roundabouts – in part it is thought because of the notorious use fly-overs as cover for nefarious purposes. It is thought that sprinter buses will not be introduced owing to their extra length and poor manoeuverabilty and dangers to pedestrians and cyclists.
Finance Cuts to BCC & Council tax increases: The Town council development levy is to increase and the City Council level is believed to further increase. Those present stressed the importance of constantly reminding voters that these increases are the results of cuts made by Westminster (up to 30% in some sectors).
Town Council posted its agenda & minutes. The summary proved useful and David agreed to continue to monitor & report on the above. Steve said that EcoSutton intended to attend all full town council meetings and had the advantage of a member with previous relevant specialist experience. Steve circulated the dates as: 29 Jan’; 27 Feb’; 26 Mar’; 30 Apr’; 22 May; 25 Jun’ and 23 July.
Door-to-door leaflet/pamphlet in SC: Agreed that variable timing to cash in on events or controversies was wise. Noted that deliveries over a 4-year period were optimal for effect. The aim of recruitment was noted as was the group’s funding difficulty. Links item: Castle Bromwich leafleting will have funding from the Solihull Green Party as a target ward. Ben has had initial acknowledgement from them presumably pending their next edition.
It was agreed that Colin should produce a mock-up for appraisal in February.
Eco-Sutton Report: See Langley/Peddimore item above. The group is focussing on the latter and now produces a Newsletter. Eco-Sutton is booking its pitch at Newhall Mill open days. It currently has its air-quality activity on hold because councillors are not currently interested. Similarly, schools are loath to cooperate on monitoring because they do not wish it known that their locality is polluted; they too wish to avoid adverse publicity. However, Eco-S is meeting Rob Pocock and a person from the City Council is to facilitate £10,000 for purchase of high quality, portable monitoring equipment to give additional readings of CO and NO2.
The three Green Group public communication channels continue to run.
Correspondence: Concerned members’ continued campaigning over existing issues in which the Green group is involved and others shared & jointly lobbied with allied organisations. In addition: A follow-up email in support of the Land Workers’ Alliance campaign for the inclusion of “Agroecology” in the Agriculture Bill.
We await a response from the RSPB and from a local RSPB group officer about their stances regarding the reasoning of Natural England and Natural Resources Wales in granting licences to kill multiple Red-listed bird species.
AOB: Ben will attend the Green Party Policy moot at Newport on the 23rd February.
David will attend the morning session of the West Midlands Green Party gathering Saturday 12th January.
Steve pointed out that options for avoiding plastics use are publicised by FOE in their Green Tips and the forthcoming feature in EcoSutton Newsletter Viz. Dove is the only large-scale production tallow-free soap.
Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 20th February 7-30 pm