Newsletter for November 2019.

The time is fast coming when we all need to know just how many beans make five!
At a meeting on Monday 4th, calculated decisions resulted in things starting to add up. Financial pledges and personal donations to Ben Auton’s campaign have come in – and we certainly hope for more! Supporters too have been coming forward to offer to do some foot-slogging – if you haven’t yet, fine, there’s time! The reclaimed wood leaflet pushers merely await a coat of linseed cricketing oil to be ready to save your fingers from every vicious letterbox and guard dog.


The big massed leaflet blitz of Warmley & Minworth, Sunday 24th November. Contact Ben himself via [email protected]

Leafleteers & canvassers will meet up at 10-00a.m. At 15, The Moor,
Walmley, Sutton Coldfield B76 1SQ (Alternative individual leafleting times)
Sunday is usually a good moment for voters be around & feel sufficiently leisurely to engage informally without a knock on the door and a wait


Next Meeting of the Sutton Coldfield Green Group: Wednesday 4th December
29 Shepherds Pool Rd, Sutton Coldfield B74 6NB at 7-30 pm.


Notification of Hustings to be held at the Town Hall, Sutton Coldfield.  6th or 9th December (date to be finalised).

[ News of the COMPETITION further down plus Swaps, Wants & Freebies.]

Contact the Newsletter Team on [email protected] ]

Other events also listed further below –>

This election is extremely critical. We are not the only ones to be aware of that! The “OpenDemocracy” organisation has just revealed how Russian donors have been pouring millions into the Conservative Party war-chest, only days after Boris Johnson was accused of ‘covering up’ a report on Russian interference in British politics.

“Open Democracy” has also spoken of plans by a Hindu nationalist group to target 48 Labour-Tory marginals. World tensions appear more domestic.

We would still appreciate local comments & information about the “dormant” Reddicap community centre and youth community facilities elsewhere.

What is “domestic” could be said to be what gets into our homes. One correspondent points out that Wiki-media’s Foundation donation requests have got into his Inbox. He comments, “I used to donate to WikiLeaks, but since I found out that Jimmy Wales is an anti-socialist libertarian who allows anti-left editors to doctor pages to put subjects in a bad light, I had to refrain. Many commentators think it has been co-opted as a propaganda tool.

The Green Party, by contrast, provides information transparently and campaigns for the common good. For those who have no election poster to stick in their window or elsewhere, we append in the Appendices two forms for printing as A4 size. Printer ink is costly – hence the posters’ minimalist black & white form.

A big plank in the Green Party Manifesto & our Ben Auton’s Election Leaflet is as he says in his own words, We want to see social justice for working people. We have seen this “austerity” policy cut millions from our public services whilst corporations get tax breaks and can exploit tax loopholes. We want to have a radical economy that invests in people and the planet.”

And it is not merely the legal injustice of unfair taxation which outrages Green campaigners but also levels of fraud such as have been announced by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) regarding bleeding off hundreds of £-millions into tax havens by many care home firms that provide most of the near half-million beds, many of which are owned by or linked to hedge funds – of the type of organisation backing Brexit to be freer of regulation & investigation over tax haven use.

A sure reason for suspicion being that whereas large not-for-profit care providers spend appprox 2% of income on rent, nearly half of the largest for-profit providers spend 15 to 32% of income on rent instead of on frontline care – “Hey didle-diddle, the cat and the financial adjustment!” to the benefit of interlinked companies – as reported in the “I” newspaper (8nov).

On the positive side, bulletins received from an increasing number of organisations primarily concerned with other more specific goals are announcing their commitment to fight climate change.

‘Humanists UK’ reported that Humanists International at its Reykjavik General Assemply passed their Declaration on the Climate Change Crisis.

Amnesty International, known for fighting individual cases of human rights abuses, then the rights of groups to their habitat, has now also taken on the the Climate Change battle and has been strongly committed with issues concerning the Amazon.

The international group, Re-evaluation Counseling, has brought into being measures for supporting members in face of the threats of climate change.

And certainly related to the issue, it is a step forward that Janus Henderson investors, included an article in its summer bulletin on the social dangers and injustices inherent in the shift to electric power. [COBALT: SAYING ‘NO’ TO CHILD LABOUR ]

BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show Wednesday evening, November 20th.  A live special featuring a Green Party leader – Wanna be in the audience?? See below!

Really appreciate your help. Here is the info:-
I’m a producer on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show and we’re coming to the Midlands next Wednesday evening, November 20th, for a live special on the upcoming election. This will be a debate featuring a Green Party leader and it will air live on BBC1 at 7:30pm. We are looking for people who would like to come along to the recording as audience members on the night, to potentially also ask a question. They don’t necessarily need to be supporters of any particular party or viewpoint – we are looking for a varied audience. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Ceri on 07746929195 or email [email protected] 

Thank you again,  Ceri Isfryn

And from NIMI, news of local action in a national tree planting event.
“TREE  PLANTING  EVENT on 30th NOVEMBER  at Brookus Farm, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield  B76 (See Link for map below).
The event is being done via my rôle on the Students For Trees council run by NUS (National Union of Students).
         We have teamed up with the Woodlands Trust for National Tree Charter Day (on the 30th), who are giving people free trees across the country so they can run their own events – hence me running one for Sutton Coldfield area.
        There are 100 trees supplied by the Woodlands Trust that need to be planted so please email us if you would be interested in coming or for further details:  [email protected]
     The Event is on Brookhus Farm, by The Haybarn off Brookhus Farm Road- it’s essentially a large field that I’ve located through the help of the Sutton Park Rangers.
     Thanks so much- that’d be awesome if you could spread the word!! – Nimi”.…56117.81596..84911…0.0..0.231.2641.28j0j1……0….1..gws-wiz…….33i21.n1OISdcMB0k&ved=0ahUKEwiX_r7n3uzlAhXYWhUIHeDZCAUQ4dUDCAo


Limerick Competition in the SC Greens’ Newsletter for Nov 2019
The Green Limerick Competition publicised by Mrs Trellis of North Wales and being piloted here in Sutton Coldfield has had its gun jumped by Cool Molly.  Faced with her entry, the adjudicators feel a distinct reluctance as it begins,
“There was a PM thick-skinned and numb  .  .  .”

However, submissions with other rhymes will be welcomed.
Permitted themes: Politics; Environmental issues; Propagation & cultivation.
The Prize is half a dozen, organic, naturalised, local Jerusalem Artichoke tubers. The prize is real and is being kept in the dark in a fine tilth of Suttonian compost and boulder clay until the adjudicators publish their decision on the 14th of December.  Entries are open to all members & supporters.

  • A second Limerick entry has also already been received.

5G news: Mobile systems
A Russian ‘Istochnik’ item on the web stated that Japanese Minister of High Technologies, Nobunari Kabato, had said that Japan was not setting up any 5G system because of harmful effects on public health. Sad! FAKE NEWS.

However, another source does estimate that only 18% of mobile users across world will have access to 5G in next 5 years.

John Kitson,, based in the SW of England has been touring communities explaining the established risks known about the frequencies and levels of microwave radiation that would be used by 5G.
In the USA, proponents of 5g were unable to provide a Senate hearing with any independent research sources on 5G transmissions.
Future biopsies of Suttonian citizen Guinea Pigs should provide eventual definitive answers once 5G is spearheaded to the town.

Radiation pollution – See also Link:

 Plastic.. Sutton may be fairly low-risk vis-à-vis frackerama but it really ought to keep its powder dry – it is a “moratorium” only that has been declared. As the Newsletter Team sees it, though the moratorium purports to be a rational response to a recent Oil & Gas Authority report, this is more pre-election pandering to county & small town Tory voters’ techno-hostility. Three days later, it became clear it was no “ban”. This Boris! So why the shock headlines, “Boris backtracks!” The Machiavellian truth was proven surely by government approval – despite opposition – for the new deep coalmine. Where? West Cumbria where it will have an encouraging Tory electoral effect on whom? On at least the 500 to be employed there of the latest demographic species to evolve, ‘Whitehaven Man’. – This is no ‘green’ govt’!

Plastic.    While journalistically in the NW of the UK, it is appropriate to cite the follow-up by two geologically orientated Green Group members to Ben Auton’s report on the progressive erosional release of dumped plastic and other waste into the sea off the lovely Walney Island protecting Barrow-in-Furness. See their field evidence below.

The laboratory evidence produced by Nienke Vrisekop’s team at Utrecht University has found that when microplastic particles like those ending up in the body come into contact with immune cells, the cells die at three times the rate of those which have not. Scary implications!

Going ‘global’ however, alters the perspective! Whilst China frantically seeks to clean its rivers, pending the implementation of a development ban on a third of its shores, it continues to move polluting industries to the coast with a consequent 27% rise in marine dumping to 200 million cubic metres of waste. Using China as our workshop, we must take a per capita share of blame.

Air Quality & Life Expectancy:
EcoSutton, the Green Group, Friends of the Earth – indeed others long past who brought in the Clean Air Act & who stopped leaded petrol – have been emphasising the potential harm leading to a possible tens of thousands of deaths.

We have seen the smog of the Chinese industrial conurbations – and now in Delhi, so severe that the state closed schools & advised staying at home.

Why are Sutton Greens so concerned about air quality?
Well, for a start we are right where the south-westerlies blow directly from the Birmingham conglomeration which is still not wholly post-industrial.
     Forthcoming air-quality readings by EcoSutton will highlight to the Council the need for the purifying presence of twice as many trees.
     EcoSutton is to facilitate air monitoring by each school, starting with those in Warmley & Minworth. Linda Hudson already has long-standing links with the Shrubbery School and will initiate the process.
     Summary of Birmingham’s score on their climate-friendly test provided to us by Friends of the Earth: Birmingham:  60%
The Birmingham area’s performance on climate change is poor compared to other local authority areas.
Score breakdown:
Trees:  6% of Birmingham is woodland.
      The highest proportion in similar areas is 13%.
Transport: 35% of commuter journeys are made by public transport, cycling & walking.
B’ham should aim for 80% by 2030.
Housing:  29% of Birmingham homes are well insulated.
Waste:  21% of household waste is reused, recycled, or composted.
      Birmingham should aim for 70% by 2025 on the path to zero waste.
Renewable energy:  Birmingham has only 39 megawatts of renewable energy available.
     Electricity can’t come from dirty fuels like coal, oil and gas anymore.

See fuller test score comments in APPENDICES below : ………………….

       BONFIRE NIGHT: Even a once-a-year garden fire must be deemed bad for the environment – like all these harms, its damage per capita is sleight but it is the mass of population which tells. Even so, the Team is glad its Bonfire wildlife-safeguarding steps were again timely publicised. The usual sample fire-pit, when cleared for fauna rescue in preparation this year yielded one fat toad, 80% fewer frogs but those there were, four to five times the size of the average found in 2018. Woodlice were the majority of invertebrates. Very few slugs but varied. No snails. Hedgehogs nil.

A separate observation: Snail migratory adaptation technique: 8mm diameter snails numbering six travelled on car bodywork from Four Oaks to Quinney Hall. [Photographic evidence held by chauffeur] See APPENDICES.

Bat Crisis: Certainly according to reports from Kent, this Autumn has seen greater losses of bats from starvation – insect populations have plummeted.

If rescuing a bat, wear gloves to protect your skin from scratches.

Contact the Bat Helpline : 0345 1300 228 ( [The ‘I’ newspaper]

Targeting Habitat for conservation To preserve diversity, seek unusual terrain rather than animal & plant variations reckons US Nature Conservancy’s Mark Anderson & colleagues having established that 90% of temperate species diversity can be explained by four landscape features: number of rock types; latitude; elevation range; amount of chalk/lime bedrock. [ New Scientist sept ] So – Get walking! not just in Sutton Park but the red sandstone high points in town.

Permaculture as a holistic cultivation approach has been devised by learning from and working with Nature – as a lifestyle it is ‘green’ too. Don’t “tidy” the garden to death – it might see off the pests but it will also see off the predators. Think of the bats. Shorter days, semi-hibernation & you’ll have time to find out more – Oregon State University’s Andrew Millison offers a FREE download of his book, “Intro to Permaculture”

For Info: The beans that figure on the front title page are from such a garden.

An October study publication stated that 41% of UK species have declined since the 1970s – climate & farming change. UK gardens, 24 million = the area of Suffolk, with some thought but little effort wildlife could be helped – and with Permaculture methods, even more. And make holes in fences!

We don’t know about their politics or working conditions & they are international . . .but the “I”’s Rhianon Williams reports that though the UK has a worse than average recycling record for electronic devices, it’s not the fault of GSUK off the Kingston Bypass in Surbiton.

GSUK – Technology Recovery and Re-use Experts – Re-use …

The N’letter Team has been berated for omitting all submissions from

Cool Molly last month. She writes –

An astronomer I went out with a few starry evenings in Digbeth told me Mars hasn’t got much of a magnetosphere as a protective sheath to speak of. It cops everything nasty coming its way – but not much good.

It gets very little solar power reaching it – but quite a lot of cosmic radiation.

It doesn’t seem to have enough gravity to hold on to its atmosphere – and what there is of it is unbreathable. Water? Well, not enough to make Coca Cola or Nestle’ bother to steal it there too. And forty degrees below zero may freeze peas for Birds Eye but it won’t grow any.

That doesn’t sound a very promising start for anyone making a shortlist of places to “terraform” – and there Are some who are doing that!

– So, next Party Conference, I propose a policy of NHS investment in psychiatric therapy and vocational rehabilitation for them through secondment to the Green Party in working to keep the best bet for “terraforming” already still a bit “terraformed” for future generations.

– Psychiatric prescription? Well, some very thin sheets of paper and a herbal remedy.”


Wanted – Aluminium Scrap: by EcoSutton for fund-raising. [email protected]

Wanted – Surplus hand-tools: by the Green Group for the ‘Tools for Africa’ charity based in Kings Heath Park. [email protected]

Offers for swap or Free – Locally saved non-F1 veg & herb seeds (preferably with variety name) for Seed Swap early in the new year thru’ the SC Green Group & the ‘Body & Nutrition’ section of ‘Refresh, Mind, Body & Spirit’ via [email protected] [ A number already received & in store ]

Offer – Free. Large bread-delivery tray of 3½” plantpots (plastic!) via N’letter Team contact at [email protected]

Offer – Free: Echinopsis tubiflora cacti – original presents for your Christmas stocking! Also aloe variegata a harmless, trouble-free way of trapping carbon out of the air. Nolic via N’letter Team [email protected]

Finally, we have been prompted by an activist of ‘Compassion in Farming’, who herself has taken rescued battery farm hens under her wing, to stress the direct humanitarian effects of our food buying decisions – even those of us who are not vegetarian. We should remember that today, broiler chickens on an intensive farm will grow up to four times as fast as a chicken in the 1950s, and their lives have been shortened to as little as five weeks.

– This genetic game-playing is simply unethical, inhumane and wrong, she states.

Commonly confined in a barren shed, and bred to grow so large, so quickly, a factory farmed meat chickens can struggle simply to survive. Their own body weight means that their small legs may buckle under the surging weight of their frame.

The least you can do is buy ethically.


Birmingham’S score on Friends of the Earth’s climate-friendly test: Birmingham:  60%

The Birmingham area’s performance on climate change is poor compared to other local authority areas.

All local authorities, even the best performing, need to do much more if climate catastrophe is to be averted.

Birmingham particularly needs to do much better on increasing the use of public transport, cycling, and walking,

improving home insulation, and increasing waste recycling.

Score breakdown:

Trees:  6% of Birmingham is woodland.

The highest proportion in similar areas is 13%. Trees are great at removing carbon from the air around us.

Doubling tree cover across the country would help reduce emissions.

Transport: 35% of commuter journeys are made by public transport, cycling and walking.

Birmingham should aim for 80% by 2030. We need fewer vehicles on the roads – they increase air pollution and are harmful to our health.

Housing:  29% of Birmingham homes are well insulated.

Poorly insulated homes cost more to run, which is inefficient and contributes to fuel poverty. Birmingham needs to ensure all homes are properly insulated by 2030.

Waste:  21% of household waste is reused, recycled, or composted.

When waste isn’t reused, recycled or composted, it may end up burnt, (Tyseley incinerator!), in landfill or even in our waterways and seas.

Birmingham should aim for 70% by 2025 on the path to zero waste.

Renewable energy:  Birmingham has 39 megawatts of renewable energy available.

If the area matched the best of similar local council areas it would have 175 MW. We need 100% clean energy from the wind, sun and sea.

 Electricity can’t come from dirty fuels like coal, oil and gas anymore.

Migratory snails:


LINKS & E-ddresses: The Newsletter Team: [email protected]


Ben Auton, Green Candidate: [email protected]

[email protected]

Help writing letters: writing

MEP – Ellie Chowns for W. Mids 

or visit  for her ‘contact’ form.

For Birmingham Greens Info’:

David Ratcliff – SC Green Group contact: [email protected]

Facebook Page:

There will be an election! – and we know when.
The Sutton Coldfield Green Group has been moving ahead towards readiness for 12th December for some time.

Now is the moment for us local members and supporters to step forward with a clear statement of what we can do to help campaign for our candidate Ben Auton.
         Door-to-door leafleting,
Information stalls,
Posters in windows,
Fund-raising, ideas.

Contact: [email protected]
Keep in touch via:
& on Facebook Page – Sutton Coldfield Greens BBC

Panorama “The Climate: What can we do?”

in this programme the BBC showed how one could  cut the carbon footprint by one third whilst still living in a 21st century Britain not of their making by very humanely harnessing a human family as guinea pigs, . The key conclusion was that by individual lifestyle changes alone average citizens cannot achieve a zero carbon UK.
To achieve zero carbon we must use our collective political influence through campaigning and the ballot box to force governments to take de-carnbonising measures which will change the infrastructural, systemic fabric of the nation which alone can provide the remaining two thirds reduction needed in addition to the efforts of us as individuals.

That is why we call on Green Party members & supporters to become electoral activists.
“Climate: what can we do?”
Those of us who grow food organically applying permaculture methods are further reducing their carbon footprint by reducing ‘food miles’ to mere ‘food feet’. They also provide safe habitat for urban wildlife, invertebrates & symbiotic fungi.


Consultation 1. – for a re-vamped Sutton Coldfield Centre distributed to nearly all Suttonians projected photographic legitimacy with the three figure heads of Andrew Mitchell, Andy Street and Simon Ward on view.

It masqueraded as “Official” but the back page was a Tory Party recruitment form! We failed to note the “attribution” of the circular!

How many other Suttonians did likewise?

The latest Tory escapade – tho’ clearly headed ADVERTISEMENT on the ‘wrap’ of the Sutton Observer that week – projected the notion of authentic newsprint. Well, Green Candidate Ben Auton didn’t like it one bit! – We looked in the following week’s Sutton Observer but no! They had not printed Ben’s letter. However, we shall – in the ‘Appendices’

Consultation 2 – the Sutton Coldfield Town Council’s Strategic Plan for the town:

Our busy Green Candidate, Ben Auton, fighting for the Climate Case to be fully integrated into the SC Strategic Plan, tells the Newsletter Team:-

“Below is an email in response to Tuesday’s council meeting where I raised the demands on the climate protests on Friday. I was met by the offer of doing “environmentally themed” workshops with children during summer schools and a vague-sounding public consultation based apparently on recommendations from EcoSutton.
I would like to put some policy proposals to a meeting I will be having with councillor Briggs next week and some points to bring up at the next highways and planning meeting where the workshop/consultation/idea will be further discusse

An email to.       <[email protected]>
Subject: environmentally themed workshops/consultations

Dear Cllr Horrocks,
I must state I was utterly horrified at Tuesday nights meeting by RSCTCs lack of policies on climate change. I had expected initiatives to already be in place and policies ready for future works. While I welcome your intentions for workshops and public involvements of an “environmentally themed” nature, but I fear this woolly language will not bring the council to a major policy initiative. I fear it will confuse minor actions like saving water while brushing your teeth with major initiatives like electrification of transport or running all council assets off renewable energy. While I cannot speak for them, I am sure when you met with Eco Sutton, they were calling for stronger action than what has been proposed. It pains me to see the council is a long way behind the public opinion on the seriousness of this matter.
My recommendations are as follows:
First, Do not use the term “environmentally themed”, it is too woolly and too broad, please narrow the focus to carbon reduction to act on climate change.
Secondly, Please set this up as a genuine consultation for constituents to put forward proposals and vote for council policies.
Thirdly Be prepared to fund these proposals and to work to make initiatives live within 4-6 months. Any longer will seriously undermine RSCTC’s credibility not accepting the severity and urgency of the climate change issue.
On a personal point. When you go to the local authorities conference might I respectfully suggest speaking with Aberystwyth Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council, or Norfolk County Council about the extensive work they are having to do to prepare for storm surges, long term floods and the need to abandon dwellings to rising sea levels (respectively). I feel they can highlight the seriousness of acting on climate change.

And one final point, I would like to draw attention to the need for safer cycling routes. In particular, connecting up extending ‘blue’ routes to and from the town centre. Personally I use the Newhall Valley route as it is a very pleasant thoroughfare but becomes treacherous cycling around the main routes in the town centre (the ring road, Birmingham Rd, Mill St, High St.) Furthermore, I think more can be done to highlight cycling down Hansons Bridge Rd to be done to connect up the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal route.
                          Best Wishes,  Ben Auton


The “Tory” questionnaire (ie Consultation One) about the future of the town centre has now yielded its statistics –
Though it has only been sent to addresses from which answers had been received. Despite any cynicism expressed by us Greens, we returned a good clutch of forms  – and seized every  opportunity to argue our case. Though the total opinions submitted ran to just over 10,000 we were gratified to see a number of our main recommendations emerge among the higher percentages logged: namely – our main shopping being local; our wish to see more independent shops; expanding rail services & opening the Sutton Park line. The highest percentage  of all was for more services handed over to the Town Council – at which point we turn to other matters. .

Regarding the Brexit process, The Green Party sets more store by a continued direct democratic right of the electorate to have the final say on the implementation of the 2016 vote and we have received a reply from MP Andrew Mitchell in which he concludes by saying, “I believe that the value of democracy lies not just in the number of times citizens vote but also in the effect of that vote.”

The Langley housing development: As has been stated in the minutes of the last SC Green Group meeting, EcoSutton has continued to press for the inclusion of the highest eco-standards in the housing but fears that the owner-developers are back-sliding on that. Their argument of “impracticality” on the limited scale of the development, however, is clearly refuted by the evidence of the award of the Sterling architectural prize to the Goldsmith Street development of 100 ‘ultra low-energy homes’ in Norwich. Consolation may ultimately come once the Grenfell Report is published bringing improved building regulations and provision for vehicle charging points made mandatory. Thus, the later batches of the 5,500 Langley houses to be constructed should be to an improved standard.


The Climate Protests are said to have cost the taxpayer £37million
(whose calculation?)
At the risk of alienating the commuters on the proverbial “Clapham omnibus” who were unable to get to work and who felt that they can do nothing about climate –  each could in fact cut her/his carbon footprint by one third:[demonstrated on BBC Panorama]
 Our activists Steve and Linda took part in the rally in Birmingham – where they encouraged Roger of EcoSutton to make a very effective public address in support of  the Sutton Coldfield Trinity Protest and young Suttonians rallying there.  But Hell!  What’s a conscientious Greenie to do?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Newsletter Team, following up on the agenda item of the boarded up Reddicap Community Centre, would like any Green residents of the ward to contact us with on-the-spot reactions and information.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Two items from the Dugdale Crescent Friends of the Green Newsletter:

We Greens have been supporting the residents in their bid to establish the Green’s status as a community amenity.  Our personal association with the Green is that the adjoining Hill Allotments are where some Green Group members and supporters grow their crops . Furthermore the Allotment Social Club is where we hold our meetings. We are therefore glad to pass on the news that residents have planted 300 successional bulbs on the Green and that Saturday 7th December will be CHRISTMAS ON THE GREEN – For information, call 07470 660533

Earlier in the month the “I” newspaper gave a ‘special’ on electric vehicles. This is of local relevance as the Royal Borough has the highest proportion of cars to people in the UK.  Ironically the  Headline was ‘WHY SHIFTING GEARS TOWARDS EC0-DRIVING IS MORE URGENT – BUT EASIER – THAN EVER!’ -and ‘UK’s EV CHARGING NETWORK IS ONE OF THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD.’

BUT – tucked away in a bottom corner “BOLIVIA – LITHIUM PLANT PROTESTS GROW” calling on the government to scrap plans to develop lithium reserves at the Uyuni salt flats. Students set off dynamite in Potosí demanding “No Deal” with a German firm wanting to build a battery & lithium hydroxide plant there. They know it is STILL the “being developed” world that pays the health & destruction price. .

Suttonians have been chosen as guinea pigs for piloting G5 mobile coverage .  EM Radiation Research Trust puts UK Government on notice regarding 5G amidst profound world-wide health concerns The EM Radiation Research Trust are the calling for an outright ban for risky untested 5G technology in response to the UK Government’s consultation calling for proposed reforms to the permitted development rights for the deployment of 5G to extend mobile coverage.  It is not appropriate to impose untested 5G radiation throughout the UK.

The appeal to the United Nations & the World Health Organisation:

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

BONFIRE NIGHT – WILDLIFE & FIRES: Yes, we’ve heard it before BUT . . .if you’re having  a Bonfire, make sure that perfect pile doesn’t become a towering Inferno for wildlife.
While it’s being built up over the days, it gets to form an attractive refuge for Hedgehogs, Frogs & Toads, Insects galore, that are essential for natural processes in the garden.
Preferably, pile the stuff to be burnt to one side of where it is to be lit. Build the structure as near to the time of ignition to cause the lodgers to evacuate safely & not return. Yes really!  — We’ve checked! They’re busy communities!


LINKS & E-ddresses:

The Newsletter Team: [email protected] Website:

Facebook Page:

MP [email protected]
Help writing letters:
writing: Yourcouncillors:

For Birmingham Greens Info’:

David Ratcliff – SC Green Group contact: [email protected]

Ellie Chowns MEP – West Midlands Green Party:

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  –

MoreItems: Scroll on down . . . .

UK to use finance meant for green energy to support fracking in Argentina Documents show the UK government’s £1bn commitment in 2017 later prioritised support of major oil companies planning to invest in Argentina’s controversial oil shale industry using the export finance commitment intended to support green energy, according to government documents seen by the Guardian. UK Export Finance, the government’s foreign credit agency, promised in 2017 to offer loan guarantees up to £1bn to help UK companies export their expertise, including in “infrastructure, green energy and healthcare”. Instead, official records, released through a freedom of information request, have revealed the government’s plan to prioritise support for major oil companies, including Shell and BP, which are fracking in Argentina’s vast Vaca Muertashale heartlands. Fracking has already caused irreversible damage to the ancestral homeland of indigenous Mapuche. One government memo, uncovered by Friends of the Earth, said that while Argentina’s clean energy sector was growing, it was “Argentina’s huge shale resources that offer the greatest potential” for the UK. ============================================================

During a nutritional discussion at “Refresh” (Wednesday mornings at the Quinney Hall, Canwell) the question arose of cyanide content of linseeds, prized as a vegan source of omega 6. The subsequent Link was circulated.

Summary 61 Following a request from the European Commission (EC), the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the 62 Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) evaluated the risks to human health related to the presence of 63 cyanogenic glycosides (CNGs) in foods other than raw apricot kernels. . . . . 70 CNGs contain chemically bound cyanide and are present in foods such as almonds, linseed, or 71 cassava. When the plant cells are damaged, by for example grinding or chewing, CNGs and their 72 degrading enzymes are brought into contact and cyanide is released. . . . . . In a human 77 bioavailability study, mean peak concentrations of cyanide in blood were different after consumption 78 cassava root, linseed and persipan, indicating a fast and practically complete release of cyanide after 79 chewing of bitter almonds and cassava roots but not with linseed and persipan.

The international trade secretary, Liz Truss, met with hard-right pressure groups in Washington DC last year to learn about the benefits of Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda, according to official documents obtained by Unearthed.
In “off the record” meetings with climate sceptic think tanks that have driven Trump’s radical program of deregulation and tax cuts, Truss sought to learn whether such policies could benefit the UK.|
In one meeting the then chief secretary to the Treasury discussed the success of Trump’s efforts to slash regulations with the chief economist of a controversial lobby group funded by the Koch brothers.
In another, Truss planned to ask what lessons she could learn from Reaganomics “on things like regulation and red tape.”
Truss is now responsible for negotiating a trade deal with the United States and due to visit Washington DC to recommence talks.
Truss has cosied up to organisations that want the UK to slash taxes & regulations.

In January, Unearthed reported that powerful US agricultural interests have demanded that Trump make any trade deal contingent on the UK ditching EU rules governing pesticides; genetically modified crops; and imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef.
The UK government has previously ruled out weakening standards as part of a US-UK deal but Boris Johnson has appointed a number of pro-deregulation Conservative MPs to senior cabinet positions.

Libertarian shift
Truss recently argued that the UK could learn from Trump’s approach to regulation and has recruited special advisers from libertarian think tanks that support a deregulatory trade deal with the US.
Sophie Jarvis, recently of the Adam Smith Institute, will advise Truss on policy issues; while Nerissa Chesterfield, is moving from her role as head of communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and will advise on media.
Over the last two years, the IEA has run a concerted campaign for a hard Brexit that seeks to shift the UK away from the EU’s system of regulation and towards that of the US, which is widely considered to be less stringent.

Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow trade secretary, told Unearthed that Truss’ appointment showed that Boris Johnson “is a fan of damaging right-wing deregulatory dogma.”

“Truss has cosied up to organisations that want the UK to slash taxes and regulations… they are planning a UK-US deal that would destroy worker’s rights, our food standards and animal welfare regulations,” Gardiner said, “an agreement like that with the US would make it far harder to get a deal with the EU that protects jobs and our economy.”

More on US trade negotiations

Off the record
During her three day visit to Washington DC in September 2018, Truss attended an “off the record” meeting with senior representatives of the Heritage Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to discuss “regulatory reform,” according to documents obtained by Unearthed under freedom of information rules.
A briefing note preparing Truss for the meeting on September 19 reveals that she was to ask Heritage: “What can we learn from ‘Reaganomics’ on things like regulation and red tape.”

Imports into the UK will meet our stringent standards

Reaganomics involved a radical programme of tax cuts, decreased social spending, increased military spending and sweeping deregulation. The Heritage Foundation pursues a similar agenda and is widely acknowledged to be the driving force behind Trump’s deregulatory agenda.

Truss also planned to tell Heritage that she is “committed to” and “personally interested in… exploring supply side reforms” in the UK.

Examples of supply side reforms include making it easier for companies to fire employees and slashing environmental regulations to make businesses more profitable, both of which could fall within the scope of a US-UK trade deal.

Last year Unearthed  revealed that the Heritage Foundation and CEI – together with the Cato Institute, which Truss also met with during her trip – were part of a transatlantic coalition of libertarian think tanks seeking to influence the contents of a US-UK trade deal. The IEA and the Adam Smith Institute were also part of the project.

Truss’ visit to the US directly coincided with the Washington DC launch of this coalition’s “ideal” free trade agreement, which sought to provide a “blueprint” for the US and UK government’s to follow.

A spokesperson for the department for international trade told Unearthed: “We are committed to negotiating an ambitious free trade agreement with the US that supports good quality jobs throughout the whole of the UK.”

“Without exception, imports into the UK will meet our stringent food safety and animal welfare standards. That’s not going to change,” he continued.

On September 18 Truss met with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), during which she discussed deregulation and Trump’s tax cuts with its chief economist, Jonathan Williams.
ALEC is a controversial coalition of corporate interests – including the Koch brothers – and state-level politicians, that meets regularly to draft business-friendly legislation that is then enacted by state governments across the US.
In recent years a number of blue chip companies, including Shell, BP and ExxonMobil have quit ALEC over its opposition to efforts to tackle climate change.
Notes from the meeting reveal that Truss discussed deregulation with Williams, who praised Trump’s “1 in 2 out” policy on regulations for being “gimmicky but effective.”
According to the documents: “ALEC said they thought the understated success of Trump has been this.”
A few months later, in January 2019, Truss wrote in The Telegraph that the UK could learn lessons from the Trump administration’s “about-turn in regulatory direction and the manufacturing revival.”
This “about-turn” has involved the elimination of the United State’s policy framework for meeting the Paris climate agreement, including Obama’s clean power plan; fuel economy standards for cars and regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions from oil operations.
Another document reveals how an official from the Foreign Office wrote to a free market think tank called R Street on Truss’ behalf requesting a meeting to discuss “business deregulation”.
A version of this story also appeared in The Observer.

The people of Osceola Township, Michigan, US, have been facing a huge legal showdown with Nestlé,

Nestlé’s vast water processing plant is devastating this small community in Michigan. Like a giant leech, it sucks up 350,000 gallons of water daily to bottle for profit. The town’s stream runs ever lower.

When the township fought back, Nestlé sued them — and now the final legal showdown is here. The expert lawyers they’ve hired are expensive and costs have gone through the roof.

Guess how much Nestlé pays to pump 250 gallons of water a minute, or more than 350,000 gallons every single day, from Osceola Township? – Just $200 a year.

The spring water generates huge profits for the corporation when they sell it in disposable plastic bottles, many of which end up polluting rivers and beaches.

Osceola’s water is a precious resource that should be used for the benefit of the community, not sold at a profit to pay for the private jets and fancy suits of Nestlé executives.

But you can make sure this community wins this fight. Nestlé has millions to throw at this court case, but this group of dedicated fighters in Osceola has you. With your donation today they can keep their lawyers and make sure they have the best legal team on hand in these last critical days so that Nestlé can’t pump more of their precious water. Donate £28 nowDonate £43 nowDonate £57 now Donate another amount

The incredible SumOfUs community has supported this brave group in Osceola before to take on Nestlé. Together we’ve given more than $50,000 to help in the legal fight — helping the township stay afloat and have a fighting chance.

And it’s not just Osceola — together we’re supporting communities in Australia, France, and Canada take on the might of greedy corporations who want their water.

Climate change means more extreme weather and longer droughts. Water will only become more and more precious, so we need to stand up now for the rights of people over corporations to benefit from this life-giving resource.


BBC half hour PANORAMA on Climate change reduction: What YOU can do plus –  what government HAS to do

When to complain to an Ombudsman if you’ve already contacted the company you have an issue with, but you haven’t managed to achieve a satisfactory resolution to your complaint, then you can consider taking your complaint to the relevant industry ombudsman. .

SumOfUs’ Campaign against future Glyphosate risk in Europe: With enough mounting opposition across the continent, Bayer-Monsanto won’t succeed in renewing its herbicide when its license ends in 2023.
That’s why we’re calling on you to join the growing chorus and demand a ban in the United Kingdom — as well as every other country in the EU. Tell the government of the United Kingdom to ban glyphosate now!

Over in the US, the megacorporation is “prepared to go through the entire court system” to fight cancer patients demanding justice. And here in Europe, Bayer’s top pesticide exec said the company would “consider legal action” if the EU bans glyphosate.

‘SumofUs’ persuaded the EU to ban Bayer’s bee-killing neonics last year and our pressure got glyphosate’s license time slashed in half the last time it was up for renewal in 2017.
Yes! I’ll tell the government of the United Kingdom to pass an immediate ban on glyphosate.

And so, we have worked our way towards the New York Times article on the GLOBAL MACHINE BEHIND THE RISE OF FAR RIGHT NATIONALISM Russian & Western entities that traffic in disinformation, including an Islamophobic think-tank whose former chairman is now Mr Trump’s national security advisor, have been linked to Swedish far right sites – six of which have received financial backing through advertising revenue from a Russian & Ukrainian-owned auto-parts business based in Berlin whose online sales network contains buried digital links to a range of far right divisive content. Writers for the Swedish sites have been befriended by the Kremlin. And ideally, to discredit the supposedly utopian Swedish model.



97 Reasons for Remaining in the EU: Membership of the world’s largest trading bloc with over 500 million consumers, representing 23% of global GDP – but it’s not just about economics!

  1. The UK has greater global influence as a member of the EU 
  2. The EU provides a counterweight to the global power of the US, Russia and China
  3. With Trump in the White House the UK’s strongest natural allies are France, Germany and our other West European neighbours
  4. Tariff-free trade within the EU
  5. The abolition of non-tariff barriers (quotas, subsidies, administrative rules etc.) among members
  6. Participation in free trade agreements with Japan and Canada as an EU member
  7. The EU accounts for 44% of all UK exports of goods and services
  8. The EU accounts for 53% of all UK imports of goods and services
  9. Cheaper food and alcohol imports from continental Europe
  10. As a member of the EU the UK maintains a say in the shaping of the rules governing its trade with its European partners
  11. 3.1 million jobs in the UK are directly linked to exports to the EU
  12. Free movement of labour has helped UK firms plug skills gaps (translators, doctors, plumbers)
  13. Free movement of labour has helped address shortages of unskilled workers (fruit picking, catering)
  14. The Single Market has brought the best continental footballers to the Premier League
  15. The EU accounts for 47% of the UK’s stock of inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), worth over $1.2 trillion
  16. Access to the EU Single Market has helped attract investment into the UK from outside the EU
  17. No paperwork or customs for UK exports throughout the single market
  18. Price transparency and removal of commissions on currency transactions across the Eurozone
  19. FDI into the UK has effectively doubled since the creation of the EU Single Market
  20. The UK’s net contribution to the EU budget is around €7.3bn, or 0.4% of GDP (less than an eighth of the UK’s defence spending)
  21. No time consuming border checks for travellers (apart from in the UK)
  22. The City of London, as a global financial hub, has acted as a bridge between foreign business and the EU
  23. British banks and insurance companies have been able to operate freely across the EU 
  24. Cornwall receives up to £750 million per year from the EU Social Fund (ESF)
  25. Structural funding for areas of the UK hit by industrial decline (South Wales, Yorkshire)
  26. Support for rural areas under the European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development (EAFRD)
  27. EU funding for infrastructure projects in the UK including £122 million for the “Midlands engine” project
  28. Financial support from the EU for over 3,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK
  29. EU funding for the British film industry
  30. EU funding for British theatre, music and dance
  31. EU funding for British sport, including football apprenticeships, tennis and rugby league
  32. Glasgow (1990) and Liverpool (2008) benefitted from being European capitals of culture, stimulating their local economies
  33. EU competition laws protect consumers by combatting monopolistic business practices
  34. Strict controls on the operations of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in the EU
  35. Human Rights protected under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  36. The death penalty can never be reintroduced as it is incompatible with EU membership
  37. Minority languages such as Welsh and Irish are recognized and protected under EU law
  38. The right to reside in any EU member state
  39. The freedom to work in 28 countries without visa and immigration restrictions
  40. The mutual recognition of professional qualifications has facilitated the free movement of engineers, teachers and doctors across the EU
  41. The mutual recognition of educational diplomas
  42. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has standardized assessment of language proficiency across the EU
  43. The freedom to study in 28 countries (many EU universities teach courses in English and charge lower fees than in the UK) 
  44. The Erasmus programme of university exchanges (benefitting 16000 UK students a year)
  45. The freedom to set up a business in 28 countries
  46. The ability to retire in any member state
  47. Pension transferability
  48. The right to vote in local and European Parliamentary elections if resident in any member state
  49. EU laws making it easier for British people to buy property on the continent
  50. The right to receive emergency healthcare in any member state (EHIC card)
  51. Consular protection from any EU embassy outside the EU
  52. The EU has played a leading role in combatting global warming (Paris 2015 climate change conference)
  53. Common EU greenhouse gas emissions targets (19% reduction from 1990 to 2015)
  54. Improvements in air quality (significant reductions in sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) as a result of EU legislation
  55. Reductions in sewage emissions
  56. Improvements in the quality of beaches and bathing water
  57. EU standards on the quality of drinking water
  58. Restrictions on landfill dumping
  59. EU targets for recycling
  60. Common EU regulations on the transportation and disposal of toxic waste
  61. The implementation of EU policies to reduce noise pollution in urban areas
  62. EU policies have stimulated offshore wind farms
  63. Strict safety standards for cars, buses and trucks
  64. Protection of endangered species and habitats (EU Natura 2000 network)
  65. Strict ban on animal testing in the cosmetics industry
  66. Membership of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which monitors the quality and safety of medicines (until recently located in London)
  67. 13% of EU budget earmarked for scientific research and innovation
  68. The UK receives £730 million a year in EU funding for research
  69. EU funding for UK universities
  70. Cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy as a member of Euratom
  71. Minimum paid annual leave and time off work (Working Time Directive)
  72. Equal pay between men and women enshrined in European law since 1957
  73. The right to work no more than 48 hours a week without paid overtime 
  74. Minimum guaranteed maternity leave of 14 weeks for pregnant women
  75. Rights to a minimum 18 weeks of parental leave after child birth
  76. EU anti-discrimination laws governing age, religion and sexual orientation
  77. EU rules governing health and safety at work
  78. The rights to collective bargaining and trade union membership are enshrined in EU employment law
  79. The UK enjoys an opt out from the single currency and maintains full control of its borders as a non-member of the Schengen area
  80. Since 1985 the UK has received a budget rebate equivalent to 66% of its net contribution to the EU budget
  81. EU cross-country coordination offers greater protection from terrorists, pedophiles, people traffickers and cyber-crime
  82. The European common arrest warrant
  83. Europe-wide patent and copyright protection
  84. EU consumer protection laws concerning transparency and product guarantees of quality and safety
  85. Improved food labeling 
  86. A ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives
  87. Cheaper air travel due to EU competition laws
  88. Common EU air passenger rights
  89. Deregulation of the European energy market has increased consumer choice and lowered prices
  90. Mutual recognition of the common European driving license
  91. The introduction of the European pet passport
  92. The abolition of mobile telephone roaming charges
  93. The EU acts as a guarantor of the Irish Good Friday Agreement
  94. A frictionless Irish border
  95. The EU acts as a guarantor of the special status of Gibraltar
  96. The EU helped support and maintain democracy in Spain, Portugal and Greece from the 1970s and these countries have become major destinations for British tourists
  97. EU membership has helped facilitate intercultural dialogue

Wed 19 June 7:30 pm, Hill Allotments Social Club B75 5EY

Prioritise this agenda
Apologies: Minutes: and comments

Litter Pick 30 June – arrangements

Ben Auton: Report on Conference
Other items from Ben

Developments   Peddimore & Langley:   Dugdale Crescent

     Marked registers
Local pamphlet/crowd funding
General election

Local 6 school group

Cycling    –   Birmingham/Sutton plans
Buses    –    Walmley development

Climate emergency
Birmingham adoption.
2050 zero carbon
Sutton check
Sutton Greens

Sutton Park
Greens policy
Eco Sutton policy
Sutton town /Birmingham city

Bio regions
Birmingham /Oxford contact
Sutton water/nature pathways

Air  – local data
5G – Microwave issue
Chemicals: has glyphosate gone?

ECO Sutton
Activities  -campaigns
Air pollution –   vulnerable persons

Town council/local meetings
Notes review
Planning – back gardens, 5G

Website, Facebook
Gmail account

New members included on lists.
Use of mail chimp.

Political /social research
Research projects.
Youth services, vulnerable persons, air pollution,
well being.

Edited version for local door to door delivery.

Sutton Observer –  Andrew Mitchell  –  MEPs

B Auton proposals for referendum
Andrew Mitchell favours Johnson and ‘no deal’ exit

Recycling, composting
Food waste  –  Local waste segregation
Devolved powers to Sutton

Date of Next meeting  – to be announced
How to get to the meeting:
If you come by bus get off at the first stop in   Gibbons Road and walk downhill on the same side for about 70 yards then turn left into a lane between two houses where after 80 yards you will find a gate on your right hand letting you onto path.  The Club house is another 50 yards down this path.
If, instead, you come via Gibbons Road and Bodington Road into Dugdale Crescent go clockwise around the Crescent, past a cul de sac on the left and a few yards later turn left into the drive that leads to the allotments. Turn left again, once inside the site



We’ve been busy.  But in spite of this Tory dominance of our political life in sutton Coldfield appears undiminished.  !
All local members of Birmingham Green Party received the appeal for help in leafleting Ben’s ward.
Activists from various corners of the whole constituency collected their route details, in groups and individually.
Door-to-door calls brought personal contact with voters – many also on driveways & in the street.
Considerable hostility to politicians! But warmer reactions when they find we’re Greens.

Remember the reason for this by-election! It is crucial & illustrative of what we face here with a first-past-the-post system for the Town Council.
Your local Green Group proved its preference for cooperation rather than conflict in last May’s election in campaigning with three other parties.  This by-election was called since one of two Tory councillors, Dominic McDonough, too often absent from the Planning Committee, had moved to Sunderland. He did eventually resign.
Greens endorsed the call for an active, in town replacement for him in Walmley & Minworth ward. The Tory dominance here leads many Suttonians to abandon all hope when it should incite them to action!
As Sutton Observer readers may recall, Leader of the Town Council, Simon Ward, and Christopher Ives of the local Tory Party decried the demands for the by-election on grounds of cost, though we have been told that specific moneys exist in the budget for any by-election.
Let that now be history – as Ben’s election leaflet showed, our stance & policies remained positive .

Dugdale Crescent and its green are receiving well focused community effort & attention through the Friends of the Green Association which we can attest is a very effective organisation.
Our involvement is the closer because our meetings are held at the Hill Allotments Social Club, just off the Crescent, where Friends of the Green Association, hold their meetings. We have a Green Group member allotment holder and allies there, are liaising in future plans for the Green and are able to draw on advice from the Permaculture Association UK.
Preparation of OUR POLICY on SUTTON PARK has been in the ‘pending tray’ due to the pressure of other demands. Feedback from environmentally committed allies & ‘ex-pat’ Suttonians continues to suggest that the Park doesn’t need so-called “improving”, it needs maintenance and it certainly doesn’t need commercialising.
SC Group members’ help during their previous election certainly contributed to the election of another Green councillor. We encourage readers – Volunteer your services on the 30th March (if you have any energy left by then!) We’re meeting for lunch 12.30 at 46 Uxbridge Road, Hednesford, WS121DB.
It can be done! You may have already heard the good news that long-time Green campaigner David Lyons has become the newest Councillor on Aylesbury Vale District Council, as well as our first ever Councillor in Buckinghamshire and our 179th sitting Councillor country-wide. He won his by-election from the Conservatives in one of their strongest areas.
Inherent risks of International Trade Agreements shaped by corporate ‘clout’ Group activists have stepped up our trade agreements campaign over safeguards, guarantees and transparency.
We are using email, letter and petition to increase citizen-electorate pressure and thus counter the sumptuously funded corporate lobbying schemes which we have consistently fought for many years .  Andrew Mitchell’s frequent replies to our letters to him stress that “international trade agreements will be subjected to parliamentary scrutiny.” Yet it is of great concern that it is only more recently that the   Lords passed an amendment that would give Parliament a meaningful vote at the beginning and end of trade negotiations. As ‘War on Want’ has put it, “ the Trade Bill is not final yet and the government may well try to overturn this in the last stages. But together we’ve been able to force trade democracy onto the agenda and get a result. Peers argued that Parliaments around the world are increasingly involved in scrutiny of trade. Why should this parliament be sidelined? At heart this is a question of who has the right to make decisions that will affect people in a very material way. It should be Parliament.
Natural England licences to kill protected species: We have failed to get a satisfactory explanation of the facts in this preposterous decision. Clearly, we oppose the vast number of licences issued but disparate slants on this matter have reached us. Please pass any information back to the Team, we need to know in order to campaign effectively. Please peruse the ‘jumble’ below:
“Watchdog permits 170,000 wild bird killings in five years”.
Greenpeace: “The facts about licences for wild”.  Go to:-

Chair of England’s nature watchdog says it’s not independent anymore

. . . and A COMMENT tagged to us on Facebook:
“As, I’m sure, is the fact that the Chair of Natural England, Andrew Sells, also happens to be one of the founders of Linden Homes, a property development business specialising in the development of brownfield sites for residential housing.
Tory government ministers chose Andrew Sells – a venture capitalist with no experience of ecological or environmental matters – as the Chair of Natural England a few years ago.
A surprise decision which I’m sure was not at all influenced by the fact that Andrew Sells is a major Tory party donor and the fact that property developers in general are some of the Tories’ biggest donors.”
(We have not verified this comment.)
Highways England asked ‘Better Transport’ to look at how major roads could be made better for buses. Their findings which will be applicable much more widely are now with Highways England. Link & more details in the Appendices below.
We have written to Andrew Mitchell in support of explicit reference to whole farm agro-ecological systems being included in the new Agriculture Bill.
See our full letter  in the Appendices below.
BAYER’S ‘ROUNDUP’ glyphosate weed killer caused cancer:
Heartening news about a disheartening matter (via Reuters) 
19 March 2019) is that a second U.S. jury ruled that Bayer’s Roundup weed killer caused cancer.
Bayer, which denies allegations that glyphosate or Roundup caused cancer, said it was disappointed with the jury’s initial decision. Bayer acquired Monsanto, the longtime maker of Roundup, for $63 billion last year.
Tuesday’s unanimous jury decision in San Francisco federal court was not a finding of Bayer’s liability for the cancer of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. Liability and damages will be decided by the same jury in a second trial phase beginning on Wednesday.
Bayer shares were 12.5 percent lower at 1110 GMT, the biggest intraday loss in 16 years, wiping some 8 billion euros ($9.1 billion) off its valuation.
They were not protesting, they were just doing what conservationists do
all round the world . . . but In January, Iranian officials arrested eight renowned nature conservationists who are all members of an internationally known environmental group, the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused them of using camera traps to spy on the nation’s ballistic missile program. In reality, the conservationist were just monitoring rare Asiatic cheetahs and other endangered wildlife. Now they are threatened with the death penalty.
Urge the Iranian government to provide the detainees with the opportunity of a fair trial by adding your name to this Care2 petition!
One of the activists died in detention mere weeks later under suspicious circumstances. Iranian authorities claimed that he committed suicide, but they have not conducted an impartial investigation into his death. Then they arrested yet another conservationist to replace the one they may have killed!
The conservationists serve on international organisations that add or remove species from threatened species lists. Among them are two cat specialists and a bear specialist. They are still behind bars and facing the death penalty, just for trying to protect animals.
In November more than 340 conservationists and scholars from 70 countries across the world including UN Ambassador of Peace, Jane Goodall DBE, signed a letter expressing support for the eight detained conservationists.
And to avoid being criticised for hypocrisy . . . we at last mention that seemingly forgotten event, the CLIMATE CONFERENCE A KATOWICE & what it should have achieved. It was elbowed into touch like so much else by Brexit and for most, went unnoticed.
For now, in this edition we simply quote from the email Caroline Lucas has just sent us all, to say that you wouldn’t realise we’re living through an environmental emergency from looking at what’s happening in Westminster.
That’s why she tabled an Early Day Motion on a UK-wide climate emergency and asked Green supporters to contact their MPs to urge them to sign her climate emergency motion.
We do need to invest in a Green New Deal to rapidly decarbonise the UK. And we need to release funding to local authorities so that they can take bold climate action & it’s urgent.
We have written to Andrew Mitchell urging him to sign. Our letter is included below in the Appendices below.
The Date of the Next Committee Meeting is yet to be set.
Notification of the date will be sent out by Email [and announced on this website].
LINKS & E-ddresses:
[email protected]
Help writing letters: writing
For Birmingham Greens Info.:
David Ratcliff – SC Green Group contact: [email protected]
Scroll on down for APPENDICES:

“How can major roads be made better for buses? That’s the question that Highways England asked us, and it’s an important one.

Our road network isn’t just for cars and lorries – it needs to work for cyclists and pedestrians, for nearby communities and for the environment, and, crucially, for buses. A fully loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road!

Highways England manages the strategic road network of motorways and major trunk roads, including some used by important bus routes. They don’t control the bus services but can have a big impact on issues, ranging from how safe it is to cross the road at bus stops, to how traffic information is shared with bus operators. So when Highways England asked us to look at how major roads could be made better for buses, we jumped at the chance.

Together with Transport Focus we’ve been looking at bus facilities on the M32 near Bristol and the A27 in East Sussex, including visiting bus stops, bus bays and villages along the routes. Our findings will be applicable much more widely, however. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your views. Many people particularly wanted to see:-

• The introduction and enforcement of bus priority measures (such as bus lanes) to beat congestion and deliver a reliable service
• Bus stops that are in the right place and well-maintained, with safe access and crossing points
• Traffic information shared with bus operators, so that live travel information can be displayed at bus stops and park and ride services
Our findings are now with Highways England, and we hope to see improvements for bus users in the near future.”
To end:-  two letters to Andrew Mitchell MP from one of our members:-

“Whole farm agroecological systems & the Agriculture Bill:
      Dear Andrew Mitchell,
As a small-scale grower myself, a member of the Permaculture Association and the local Green Group, and aware of the acknowledgement by the UN FAO of the validity of ‘agroecology’, I urge you most strongly to make firm representation on our behalf to ensure that the new Agriculture Bill makes explicit reference to whole farm agroecological systems.
I was present yesterday at the meeting you addressed regarding UK government policy and your own stance on the issue of Climate Change. The approaches to cultivation as set out below – and Permaculture techniques are effective means of countering climate change and, in a number of areas of the world, reclaiming desert zones. Indeed, I understand that at least a year ago, the British Commonwealth accepted permaculture as a valid mechanism for land improvement and retention.
A sustainable food system is pivotal to human and environmental well-being. I urge you to consider what you have eaten today, we could make that plate more nutritious, kind to the planet, beneficial to communities, economically sound, and supportive of farmers.
How? Agroecology
The UN FAO provides the following definition -: “Agroecology is based on applying ecological concepts and principles to optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while taking into consideration the social aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable and fair food system. By building synergies, agroecology can support food production and food security and nutrition while restoring the ecosystem services and biodiversity that are essential for sustainable agriculture. Agroecology can play an important role in building resilience and adapting to climate change.”
The French government, which has made agroecology the central plank of their agriculture policy describes agroecology as having triple performance:
1 Environmental: increases to biodiversity and resilience, improves soils, mitigates climate change.
2 Economic: improving yield and efficiency.
3 Societal: beneficial to society at large including benefits to health and nutrition.

Almost everyone agrees that the purpose of an Agriculture Bill is to support the accessibility of healthy local food for everyone in the UK. Many MP’s have voiced that we need a Bill, which strengthens support for sustainable food production, promotes healthy outcomes and supports local economies. Many have raised the concern that good-quality, healthy food must not be allowed to become the preserve of only those who can afford it. Others say, restoring nature without producing food is a very real danger to a resilient food system.
I stand with the Land Workers’ Alliance to support the amendment to the Agriculture Bill by Zac Goldsmith (Con), Kerry McCarthy (Lab) and Caroline Lucas (Grn). I ask of you to support the following amendment in the Commons;
[proposed by] Kerry McCarthy MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, Caroline Lucas MP: 1. Clause 1, page 2, line 8, at end insert— “(h) establishing and maintaining whole farm agroecological systems.”
Kerry McCarthy MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, Caroline Lucas MP: 2. Clause 1, page 2, line 23, at end insert— ““whole farm agroecological systems” include any whole enterprise system for farming or land management which is designed to produce food and/ or fuel while delivering environmental and social benefits, and may include organic farming.”
Agroecology combines the need for good food for all with the absolutely essential goals of restoring nature and mitigating climate change. Access to agroecological and local food improves public health by encouraging people to eat nutritious, seasonal foods from farmers they trust. Local food produced by farms that work with nature is also of vital importance to our economies, supporting tourism, restaurants, landscapes, and communities.
Incorporating agroecology into the Bill will make a critical difference in maintaining a focus on whole farm systems producing healthy affordable local food over successive governments for generations to come.
Yours etc……..”
For more information contact the Landworkers Alliance policyteam:
[email protected]
Attn: Andrew Mitchell MP Friday 22 March 2019
“Caroline Lucas’ Emergency Climate motion:
I am aware of your consciousness of the major threat that climate change constitutes around the world.
I am not ignorant of the political practicalities which can be faced by an MP in the House nor, I think, of your feelings about Early Day motions

. However, as you have acknowledged in the past, the important issue of resolving the Brexit conundrum has elbowed aside the greater and more terminal challenge of adapting positively to mitigate our human 
contribution to global habitat destruction – including our own.

 I am therefore writing in hope on my own account as well as that of Sutton Coldfield Green Group and members of my family to ask you to sign Caroline Lucas’ Climate Emergency motion calling for a UK-wide 
climate emergency to make a start at least on “acting locally”. 

We share Caroline Lucas’ view that as more and more councils declare climate emergencies up and down the country, we need Parliament to declare a climate emergency. We need to invest in a Green New Deal 
to rapidly decarbonise the UK and to release funding to local authorities so that they can take bold climate action. 

In addition, it would seem that a Green New Deal would create hundreds of thousands of good, well-paid jobs in every region of the country. I cannot help but feel that in a post-Brexit era, it would serve as a 
very positive initiative.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for your reply today regarding the current maelstrom of our leaving Europe.
Yours sincerely,–“

Parish Council elections.

Walmley and Minworth Town Council By-Election March 28 2019

Yet again the the Tory candidate was successful though there was clearly very little interest among the electorate as a whole and only 15.5% turned out to vote.

The result was a more than a pity: Suttonians really needed another nonConservative councillor so as to dent the overweening majority of the present laissez faire regime which produces so little of value for us precept payers.
Our candidate Ben Auton would have made  a fine Green contribution. 
Here’s a comment from a local ‘Nextdoor’ page:-

“I don’t know how many people had
candidates knock the door .
I had one from the Green party Ben Auton
Wish he had got more votes.
If they want the vote they should come
and meet people.
He did make the effort.”


Sutton’s strength is its citizen societies
, charitable and social, formal and informal. The Greens place a high value on society.
        On the environmental and human front the Greens intend to  continue to advocate the monitoring and protection of amenities:
        to identify our natural ‘pocket parks’ – preserving them and making provision for more adventure playgrounds.
        Nature corridors both wet and dry in Sutton have been accepted by city planners but overridden by our town council. With earlier access to planning information we aim to counter building threats to these corridors –  to extend them and guarantee bigger and more viable gene pools.
       We consider that waste-paper bins and hanging flower baskets are far from being the acme of ambition.
        Sutton is reputed to have the highest rate of car ownership in the UK.  The next breath you take could be toxic, even deadly, for air pollution in the UK is now responsible for killing 20 times more people than those who die directly from road accidents.   We should be doing better at checking our local air than  the present ill-placed monitoring device in our town.
       We  will press for wider availability of public electric vehicle charging points. Would be owners are deterred by the current lack of these.
       We will work to ensure provision for safe, linked and continuous cycling routes to encourage a radical change to the ethos and aptness of local transport.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC)  published a survey in 2017 of useful projects that have been undertaken in 150 different parish councils. It is well worth consulting for many are projects which any Green council would consider embarking on: visit –




This was organised organised by the  Sutton Coldfield Quakers on:-

It proved an interesting and informative meeting even though attendance was somewhat low.

Andrew Mitchell gave a broad address concerning Climate Change, its tragic effects in his own sphere of interest, the developing world, and  his own  insights into UK government policy. Questions raised by those attending came from individuals and from members of interest groups and with professional expertise.

He held aloft and spoke initially to a brief paper bearing information which he had obtained the House of Commons Library to update himself on the latest from Westminster regarding the UK government’s approach to the Katowice meeting.

Next he read out a very basic four paragraph EU-agreed Written Statement and following that, an important but saddening brief comment provided to the House of Commons library by the Science and Environment Department.
This comment runs as follows:- “With the exception of the Written Statement, I cannot find any Parliamentary material on the UK Government’s planned approach to COP24”.

BREXIT.    Mr Mitchell admitted that Brexit had clearly locked out even this most terminal of topics Climate Change  from the political agenda in Government. He later sent us a copy of the EU statement – see below.
       He receives a hundred letters per week about Brexit – a fairly typical figure across constituencies. His view of a second vote was that only after Parliament has batted the full range of options put up by the several coteries and reached impasse would it then be appropriate to have a second people’s vote on which Brexit. To have a second vote/referendum now, he suggested could well lead to serious civil disorder.
Most significantly Brexit was discussed in relation to the more global & fundamental matter of climate.

CLIMATE CHANGE.  The UK will cooperate with the EU on a joint target till 2020 (maybe even after). On this, the EU will have big influence at Katowice. We have more in common on climate change with China – that per capita is making great steps – than with the US which may stymie progress at the COP.
The US has some justified gripes; among nations which espouse free trade, is it fair that US tariff on EU cars is 3% but EU tariffs on American impoted cars is 10%?
Climate change is hitting the poorest of the world hardest, their ‘habitat’ is smaller than ours; desert shrinks pasture in Darfur. He has seen maps in the Carribean that show sea level rise for every ten years and that in 30 years a particular town will be gone. In Bangladesh, a three inch rise in the sea level will make 100,000 homeless.
The poor depend on local production and cannot change to purchasing from other regions of the world as we can. A local drought means famine and political instability. On the one hand we now see major refugee problems and migrants at sea and on foot. On the other we see those with a mission for change and for power now able to use global communication technology, smart ‘phones, to show the the poorest and deprived groups of third world nations what the developed countries have acquired  and tells the poor that the West does not care. And so we see violence on the ground.
So, in addition to humanitarian considerations, the reality of which Mr Mitchell himself has seen on various continents, it is wholly in the self-interest of our own OECD countries  to succeed in a world quest for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The British Government is financing in a very big way various schemes elsewhere to mitigate climate change which will benefit the UK. We might expect the government to brag about that. Unfortunately, to do so would provoke demands from a number of quarters that the money should be spent in the UK.
He added that levels of meat consumption worldwide will have to be greatly reduced to protect threatened areas. Methods for achieving that will need to be found
Raising thermal building standards. For some reason, B’ham CC will not accept the principle of raising thermal building standards, the benefits of which are long-term. Many Town Councils have adopted max’ standards effectively, measures which he supports.
The foisting of 6,000 new homes on Sutton Coldfield by B’ham CC only succeeded because a bad Conservative Minister waved through a repeatedly submitted City Council plan.
Introducing ‘Bendy-buses’ to Sutton in his view is an inept and discredited solution to its transport problems.
Vehicle charging points: He certainly favours of the provision an abundance of these.
Pollution problems: the UK could emulate certain other countries – Rwanda for example has made illegal the importation of plastic bags (which it cannot make itself). Kenya is to follow suit. But rule by ‘diktat’ is unachievable in the UK.
The question of fracking, doubly relevant to climate change, was one which was left almost unfielded by Andrew Mitchell who did seem to take on board that there were recent government moves concerning the matter and that Cuadrilla uses the more polluting, American chemical method as opposed to the British ‘muddy water’ method successfully used for decades here and in the North Sea.

In closing, Mr Mitchell cited Richard Attenborough on the climate change threat: “In the end, the important decisions can only be taken by big corporations and politicians.”

Questions raised by those attending came from individuals and from members of interest groups.

The paper provided him by parliament reads as follows:

Nov. 12, 2012


The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) will be held on 3-14 December in Katowice, Poland. The key plan for COP24 is to adopt a full package implementing the Paris Agreement. The Polish Presidency plans to focus its message on three key themes:
Technology – development of climate-friendly modern solutions, such as electromobility;
Man – solidary and just transition of industrial regions;
Nature – achieving climate neutrality by absorbing CO2 by forests and land, or by water management.
Background information on the Paris Agreement is set out in the Library Briefing Paper on the Paris Agreement and Marrakech climate conference (25 November 2016).
More up-to-date information on the climate talks leading up to COP24 is summarised by Carbon Brief on their pages on COP24.

The EU paper provided to Andrew Mitchell reads:-
The EU is a Party to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, representing all member states. The UK is also a Party to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement in its own right. As the UK will still be part of the European Union in December this year, the EUís priorities and approach for COP24 are relevant.

EU priorities:
       The following update was provided by the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth following her attendance at the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg on 9 October:

The Council adopted conclusions on the EU’s priorities and approach for the negotiations at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The conclusions focus on:
the urgency of climate action, especially in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCís) special report, Global Warming of 1.5c, published on 8th October 2018;
completion of the COP21 Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), which constitutes the implementing rules underpinning the Agreement;
and the Talanoa Dialogue, the facilitative process culminating at COP24 for taking stock of collective progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

The UK intervened to underline the stark and sobering messages of the IPCC report, that current global efforts are insufficient, and that COP24 is crucial to making the Paris Agreement a reality. The UK highlighted the action the UK is taking to address climate change, including hosting Green Great Britain Week, promoted greater climate ambition and the EU updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by 2020, and signalled the importance of continued collaboration on climate change. The UK also supported the inclusion of at least one net zero 2050 scenario in the EUís Long-term Strategy on emissions reductions and the need for common time frames for submission of NDCs to the UNFCCC.
The conclusions highlighted the EU’s ambitious climate and energy policy framework to 2030 and acknowledged that recent increases to the EU’s 2030 renewable and energy efficiency targets will have an impact on the EU’s level of achievement. Ministers expressed that they looked forward to the European Commissionís proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the objectives and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, underlining that the Strategy should include a 1.5C scenario and at least one pathway towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050. The conclusions stressed that the EU is ready to communicate or update its NDC by 2020 and recalled the importance of striving towards common time frames for all UNFCCC Partiesí NDCs.

More widely, you may also be interested in the Library Insight on Net Zero Emissions: a new UK climate change target? and the Westminster Hall debate on extreme weather related to climate change which discussed the UK Government’s approach to climate change on 13 November 2018.

The Library Briefing Paper on Brexit, energy and climate change provides information on the possible impact of Brexit on climate change policies (see section 6).

The EU paper provided to Andrew Mitchell reads:-

The EU is a Party to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, representing all member states. The UK is also a Party to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement in its own right. As the UK will still be part of the European Union in December this year, the EUís priorities and approach for COP24 are relevant.
EU priorities
The following update was provided by the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth following her attendance at the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg on 9 October:
Adoption of conclusions on the preparations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Katowice, Poland, 2-14 December 2018).
1.)  The Council adopted conclusions on the EU’s priorities and approach for the negotiations at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The conclusions focus on: the urgency of climate action, especially in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCís) special report, Global Warming of 1.5c, published on 8th October 2018; completion of the COP21 Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), which constitutes the implementing rules underpinning the Agreement; and the Talanoa Dialogue, the facilitative process culminating at COP24 for taking stock of collective progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
The UK intervened to underline the stark and sobering messages of the IPCC report, that current global efforts are insufficient, and that COP24 is crucial to making the Paris Agreement a reality. The UK highlighted the action the UK is taking to address climate change, including hosting Green Great Britain Week, promoted greater climate ambition and the EU updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by 2020, and signalled the importance of continued collaboration on climate change. The UK also supported the inclusion of at least one net zero 2050 scenario in the EUís Long-term Strategy on emissions reductions and the need for common time frames for submission of NDCs to the UNFCCC.
The conclusions highlighted the EU’s ambitious climate and energy policy framework to 2030 and acknowledged that recent increases to the EU’s 2030 renewable and energy efficiency targets will have an impact on the EU’s level of achievement. Ministers expressed that they looked forward to the European Commissionís proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the objectives and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, underlining that the Strategy should include a 1.5C scenario and at least one pathway towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050. The conclusions stressed that the EU is ready to communicate or update its NDC by 2020 and recalled the importance of striving towards common time frames for all UNFCCC Partiesí NDCs.

More widely, you may also be interested in the Library ‘Insight on Net Zero Emissions: a new UK climate change target?’ and the Westminster Hall debate on extreme weather related to climate change which discussed the UK Government’s approach to climate change on 13 November 2018.
The Library Briefing Paper on Brexit, energy and climate change provides information on the possible impact of Brexit on climate change policies (see section 6).


November Committe Meeting

Report on the Green Group Meeting,
Hill Allotments Social Club,
21 November 2018 7-30 pm

A very high number of items on the agenda arose under Matters Arising due to sheer continuity of activities:

Tim Weller’s transport focus had been updated by Sutton Greens and he has supplied the group with certain background information & enrolled on the PushBikes Day on cycles in transport planning about which SC Greens have circularised SC Councillors.

W. Mids. Mayor’s talk on regional transport at SC Rugby Club:
It appears that passenger services on the line though SC Park will remain under review for up to 20 years. The Water Orton-Castle Vale corridor is the top financial priority. The acceptance that connections to Peddimore and Langley are “desirable” & that SC will have the advantage of the HS2 Hub and ‘sprint’ buses in no way compensates for nor mitigates the plight of Langley residents, trapped in a corner with only two minor-road access points to elsewhere. This point had been made forcefully by Ben Auton at the October Walmley Residents’ Meeting.
It was considered that proposals for road connections to developments overall would increase congestion.
As to special provision for ‘sprint’ buses on main stretches of dual carriageway & for cycleways, this could pose a threat to trees on existing central reservations.
For many sections, Ben cited the wisdom of the Poynton system of ‘shared use’ near Stockport.
What was the reason for ending ‘sprint’ bus services to Castle Vale?                 Answers please using the Comments facility at the bottom of this post. .

It was agreed that the idea of producing a ‘Sutton Greens’ view of transport be adopted.  In that connection a cycle map showing safe routes and ‘pinch points’ is to be made.
It was noted that B’ham CC have a cycle map showing SUSTRANS routes.
A first step could be to add cycle routes & tow paths to the hard copy map of water courses, nature corridors & green spaces already produced by SC green Group.

PushBikes Course for Councillors: All Sutton members subscribed to the Group’s information distribution were given details of the course available and of how to send the information to the City Councillor for their own ward. Response unknown.

Six-school Academy: Nothing further has been seen in the local press since 26th October. The Group has had advice from Margaret Okole (B’ham Green Party) and has initiated enquiries to sound out the stance of other local groups on this.
Agreed that All Councillors be contacted.

Absentee Town Councillors: [See item in Oct’ Newsletter] Agreed that the Group first verify the attendance of the 2 councillors prior to writing to the Town Council.

‘We understand that ‘Independents for Sutton’ are now “Sutton Residents Party”.

Climate Action Now West Midlands:[CANWM] AGM 14 Nov: – CAN is a world-wide movement. No information yet received. Online contact has been made.
[ Subsequent to the meeting: News is that on 1st December CAN are holding a national event in front of the Polish Embassy in London to highlight and support the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 24 at Katowice in Poland.

Litter Pick: The optimal calendar point for working members to participate in the group’s 2019 Litter Blitz and Recycle Frenzy – when weather and daylight hours are on their side – will be March. Ben can access equipment & recommended canal tow paths as an initial choice. In the meantime, ‘Womble Where You Are’ – whatever the weather – will continue despite frostbite.

Finance Cuts to BCC, 4.99% tax hike: It was stated that the proposed Council Tax increase would be insufficient to offset the effects of central government cuts to B’ham CC. As presented in the press, it was unclear what the base line for the percentages was. Peter agreed to investigate that.
All agreed that the central government measures over this, as over incentives to convert local authority schools to academies, are designed to weaken democratic control and destroy social fabric. Further, it was agreed that sensible tax levels would be accepted in order to pay for services.

Crowdfunded door-to-door Leaflet/Pamphlet in SC: In view of the possibilities shown by sections of the SC Group Newsletter for provocative, editorial content and favourable reactions to quotes from it by allied souls, David Ratcliff proposed that a public version of the November members’ Newsletter be piloted for trial door-to-door distribution to households shown to have voted in the last elections. Also, that in a subsequent month, delivery be rolled out further. A distinct format, possibly single vertical fold A4 with clear contact details.

EcoSutton Report: Steve Lyne unable to report as he was at a conference in London. We shared publicity on their page for the Quakers’ Climate Change meeting with Andrew Mitchell held on 22 November at the Friends Meeting House, SC. [ See Local Events for a summary]

Links & shared actions with Allied Groups:
Amnesty International UK’s environmental campaigning proposal has been appraised by the SC Group and a local submission drafted for dispatch. Greens will be interested to learn the final A.I. final decision.
[ ]

The Social Justice Group – has written to MPs about Asylum Seekers work rights and the wealth creation loss as a result of withholding those rights. Our Green group  received a reply from Andrew Mitchell indicating that no UK change in this is likely. Green Party official policy on this issue will be checked for any updating.
The Social Justice Group has written also to local councillors to raise the matter of the City’s progress towards taking in its agreed number of special refugees under the UK government’s ‘Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme’.
Since Amnesty International UK supports the VPRS our local A.I. group has also contacted councillors.
So far, a Green Party supporter in the Roughley ward has received a very prompt reply and follow-up information showing very positive action by B’ham City Council from Cllr. Ewan Mackey (Con. Roughely Ward).

Sutton Green group volunteers are giving help to  Castle Bromwich councillor in the delivery of her newsletter:
[Other local members also in need of increasing their ‘step count’ average for health reasons may simply contact us.]

SC Greens Website, Facebook, Newsletter: The Website seems more easily accessible now and Peter is to follow up ways of increasing it showing up in searches. Content continues to grow and to be updated.
Local events and global & national campaign petitions continue to be posted on our Facebook Page

Correspondence: Ben has written to Andrew Mitchell MP urging the government to allow us, the citizen electorate, a second vote on Brexit. The response received coincides with the view expressed by Andrew Mitchell at the local Climate Change Meeting,  namely that were the terms not to be accepted in parliament and other options far from unanimous, the putting of an option to the electorate could be on the cards. A number of Green Party members attended and spoke.

AOB: David will report back on specific matters in the Minutes of the Sutton Coldfield Town Council [SC TC] .

Date of Next Meeting: Owing to the current high level of matters to be pursued and the approach of “the Silly Season”, it was agreed that the next meeting should be held on January 9, 2019 at the Hill Allotments Social Club, off Dugdale Crescent, Sutton Coldfield B75. In the meantime:-

Seasonal Greetings !


Cyclenation’s conference.

Cyclenation Conference Councillors and Officers.
Friday, November 23, 2018. 

Birmingham & Midland Institute 9 Margaret Street  B3 3BS

WRITE NOW!    A guide letter below to will help you email your councillor or local officers and urge them to attend.
— You can find out who they are and write to them using the Write To Them website:

Dear Councillor,
The issues of air quality and transport are not only topical in our area but important.  We are pleased to learn  that  Cllr Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Birmingham City Council, shares that view strongly enough to address the conference.
Together with other local residents and fellow cycle-owners, I should like to encourage you and councillors of other Sutton Coldfield wards to attend the conference coming as it does at this crucial point in Sutton’s development.     The Eventbrite link is here:
Concessionary tickets available.

Conference schedule     10:00 Registration & Coffee
10:30   Opening talks:
Cllr Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Birmingham City Council. “The challenge of air pollution”
       Naomi Fisher, founder of the ROAM project, working to give children the freedom to play in the natural world around us.
11:20 Coffee break
11:30 Workshop 1: Breaking down stereotypes of ‘cyclists’ and understanding the door-to-door journey:-
        Chris Watts & Ian Tierney (Cycling Projects & Midland Mencap “Identifying & overcoming the barriers preventing access to cycling for people with additional needs and disabilities.”
12:30 Lunch
13:20 Workshop 2: Insights into designing inclusive streets
David Harrison from Living Streets: “An introduction to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.”
Alex Ingram from Wheels for Wellbeing: “Designing for Inclusive Cycling”
14:20 Short break
14:30 Workshop 3: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in practice.
This workshop will focus on trying out the ideas from today on an area centred around a local centre or transport hub. This should stimulate a discussion about the challenges presented by planning out a Low Traffic Neighbourhood: solutions for overcoming those challenges will be shared.
15:40 Coffee break
16:00 Closing talks:
       Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK – “Working together to unlock central government funding for walking and cycling.”
       Dave Clasby, Sustrans Partnership Development Manager for the East Midlands – “How we can demonstrate the financial and health benefits from the impact that cycle infrastructure has on air pollution”. – .
17:00 Close of conference.
The importance of active travel for improving public health, reducing air pollution and easing congestion is being increasingly recognised across the UK.
Central government has introduced Local Walking and Cycling Plans that local authorities need to draw up in order to access future funding for active travel. The concept of developing a strategic cycle network on main roads as part of this is simple enough to understand, but how can the full journey, from door to door, be properly planned for?
Transport for London funded mini-Holland schemes, as well as main road cycle tracks, which have transformed local streets to reduce motor traffic levels and greatly improve conditions for local residents.
Living Streets and the London Cycle Campaign have developed the concept of ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ to pass on the most important lessons from those mini-Holland schemes so that other local councils can learn what to do.

This conference day is aimed at professionals involved in all aspects of supporting active travel, from housing departments providing cycle storage and links across their properties, to business improvement districts who want to bring more money to local business centres through increased footfall, and highways planners who need to include cycling in their designs.
By the end of the day you should have a better understanding of the needs of cycle users and how planning for cycling can benefit everyone regardless of whether they will cycle or not.

•Learn about the different types of cycles that are being used and what they need.
•Learn about how people with disabilities can access cycling to improve their freedom.
•Discuss the factors that go into planning cycle journeys and how those can be accommodated.
•Learn about the concept of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and how that fits in with.
•Experiment with planning out a Low Traffic Neighbourhood
•Learn about Cycling UK’s new campaign for better funding from central government

The conference is organised by Push Bikes for Cyclenation and Cycling UK.


Report of the meeting on Oct. 15 2018

Verbal accounts of events & networking in the last month were given, some supported by documentation:

Verbal accounts of events & networking in the last month were given some supported by documentation:
Expo Sutton was well attended. Eco Sutton had a stand along with numerous charities & notably also the Langley development.
Streetly Methodist Eco Festival, on the same day fielded FOSPA & a duty Sutton Park Ranger, RSPB & crafts at its own venue.

Birmingham Green Party AGM on 13 Oct 2018 was held at Friends of the Earth, Alison Street, Digbeth. Members from Sutton Coldfield attended & delivered our Group’s report verbally & in print. (Available to members on request)
The gathering was extremely successful, not least because it was quorate and therefore able to vote on the constitutional changes proposed long in advance. These were passed unanimously and will make for greater flexibility and access for members.
All the positions were filled and officers elected plus Cllr. Julien Pritchard without portfolio in an advisory role.
Cllr. Pritchard gave a very informative outline of his work as a councillor and of the functioning of the council – very educational and salutory for those present.
[Minutes & Report from the Birmingham Party have been circulated to all members]

Report on Neighbourhood Forum Re. Transport for Sutton: This was attended by group members who found it of great value. Of particular note, the Sutton Park railway line will not be opened for passenger use for at least 20 years.
[However, in a published account it is stated that the date is likely to be 2026 and without direct access to Peddimore].
The suggestion to plan for stations with access from Walmley and the Langley / Peddimore developments is accepted
by West Mids transport authority.
The Sprint bus system is held to be a major part of transport strategy. At this, some scepticism was expressed.
Anthony Whitehead of EcoSutton, present at the Forum, has sent his report to PC, our website editor, who has integrated information from David Ratcliff’s account and published it on line:

* We draw attention to the forthcoming talk by & meeting with Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor about area Transportto be be held at 7-0 pm on Monday 29th October at Sutton Rugby Club.

The Langley consultation – this is open until 22 October 2018.
A member most deeply committed and informed presented laid out a series of key considerations in formulating our response to the consultation, among others, that a Community Trust be set up to control development, a green buffer be confirmed, domestic parking be provided for 60% of homes as well as EV charging points at all parking spaces.
He pointed out that the 80 foot long Sprint buses proposed were impracticable and had thus ceased operation at Castle Vale after 2 years and in London. They hit traffic problems at known pinch points.

Our views include the following:-
SSD (wildlife) protection & properly planned & managed re-siting needed emphasising particularly as 12 SPD have been identified on the area map.
Inclusion of social housing (currently only affordable is mentioned) must be insisted on and the statutory 35% proportion be made mandatory to prevent the frequent ploy by developers of “buying themselves out of it”.
The need was stressed for infrastructure build-timing keeping pace with house construction in view of the fact that the rate of construction will be only 300 homes per year.
That buildings ought to be BREEM or ‘Passiv Haus’ standard integrating lifetime design concepts, rainwater collection, solar panels and using District Heating and Power provided by Minworth sewage plant’s green gas.
There should be public transport access and the case should be made for the addition of a northbound junction to the proposed the A38 road link and a flyover at the the Peddimore roundabout.
Green areas and nature corridors should comply with Birmingham the 20/31 plan guidelines.

Peddimore industrial development consultation:  Questions were raised as to whether industrial development on green belt land is needed and whether this scheme is being pushed by B’ham City who own it because of the Council’s
need for cash.  Though specified as an industrial development, if take up of premises is slow, it was feared that moves may come to convert it to a retail park to compete with Tamworth’s Ventura Park.
The fact that these developments are seen as ‘exemplar projects’ should be encouragement enough to have persuaded the bodies involved to apply standards akin to those we seek for the Langley development.

[Subsequent to the Green Group meeting, members committed to the Langley/Peddimore issue have submitted  full
comments to the consultation.]

Eco Sutton had already made a technical submission regarding the Langley and Peddimore developments.
EcoSutton has produced its Newsletter.
We are informed that their Witton hydro-electric scheme is now in a community trust; they are liaising through a development committee & making steady progress.
EcoSutton members are attending Sutton council meetings & intend to meet the W. Mids Mayor.
It is felt that a strong team at EcoSutton will able to address issues concerning all aspects of climate change.

Links & shared actions with Allied Groups:
The significant fact was brought to the notice of the meeting that Amnesty International UK is at a consultation stage over whether to undertake campaigns on environmental issues in view of the fact that an increasing number of cases being brought to them concern Prisoners of Conscience/Individuals at Risk defending land and habitat rights where the threat has a high intrinsic environmental component.

The tone of our meeting was one of encouragement and preparedness, along with EcoSutton, to meet any requirement for technical advice from the local Sutton Amnesty group.  It was stated that EcoSutton would be
prepared to liaise in collecting signatures for Sutton Amnesty campaign petitions as have Sutton Greens to date.

We have participated in the ‘War on Want’s campaign in writing to the DIT regarding the resurgent issue of heavily skewed international trade agreements against which we have been struggling for many years.

CM reported on recent campaigning concerning Post-Brexit desperation leading the UK Govt’ to pursue international trade agreements again. The TTIP & the TPP which we vigorously opposed along with the risk of the secret ISDS company compensation system are now making a comeback in the form of a UK-US Agreementin which the UK will have less bargaining weight than when previously as part of the mightier EU – similarly, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

We have also written to Andrew Mitchell reminding him of our previous fears over the TTIP & CETA and restating our concerns now.  The implications for us at a local level are likely to be greater than for those communities which would find themselves deprived of local planning authority to decide yay or nay over exploratory procedures for fracking.

Climate change: Week by week, before and after the scientific announcements in South Korea, fresh data from the field assails us about the deterioration in our environment and habitat.
IPCC report has been published, its case ever more irrefutable. The government is to respond – but is it not an irony that it is a time when it has been celebrating its green credentials?  How will it ever achieve the limit to 1.5 degrees?
The question was asked as to whether a Birmingham umbrella group campaign against climate change was still active.
Updates were provided about the Sutton Coldfield Greens  Website and Facebook page.

NEXT  MEETING:  Wednesday 21 November 2018 7-30 pm at Hill Allotment Social Club.
For further information please contact us via the Leave a Reply facility below.

January Committee Meeting

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


September Committee Meeting: Minutes

Report on the  Sutton Coldfield Green Group Meeting Weds. 12 September 2018 at Hill Allotments Social Club

Present: S Lyne, D Ratcliff, P Cooke, B Auton, C Marriott Apologies: T Pratt, K Donaldson [Initials used in these minutes refer to the above].
Matters arising:
Apologies received for errors about the date of this meeting. Eastside website: this infographic about Sutton Coldfield town council budget, expenditure, and unspent was again queried. It remains unsure who created the site. Its figures were found  to be correct.
Data Protection  Reply received from M Okole on this question. Newsletter/Mailchimp. PC has produced template with green header for insertion of photos and text. CM will produce next newsletter and circulate via his mail list. Mailchimp use for text only documents, but noted TP had previously been able to include photos in mailchimp.
Birmingham Greens AGM 13 October 10.00am at  – The Warehouse, Alison St., Digbeth
DR and CM to present this group’s report for AGM.   The AGM needs 5% members present to be quorate. SC members strongly requested to attend.
Sutton Greens Website:  Now very live, keeping it current – at present putting emphasis on providing Links to expand Group networking at grass-root level especially links concerning our actively green ‘permaculture’ growers and and ECO Sutton.
The group’s Twitter account is temporarily in abeyance
ECO Sutton provided a detailed Submission to Birmingham city consultation on Air pollution which was well received.
We have been lobbying MPs in support of the FOE campaign against the government’s proposed exploratory fracking free from council planning approval. A reply has been received stating the government stance.
Peddimore and Langley developments Consultation:
Ben has continued argue the case against the protracted 20 year building of the Langley development & in favour of alternative modern rapid systems.
– 22 September: EcoSutton will attend the Council Planning Comm’ meeting dealing with the environmental impact of the Peddimore & Langley Developments & small incinerator threat. Green Group members will be present; all are encouraged to go.
The last of the public meetings regarding the above is scheduled for
2-5pm Tuesday 16th October – Falcon Lodge Community Centre, Newdigate Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7LB
View the draft SPDs at libraries in Sutton Coldfield Town Centre, Walmley, Boldmere, Mere Green and Castle Vale.
Submit comments also to [email protected] or Planning and Development, Birmingham City Council, 1 Lancaster Circus, Birmingham, B4 7DJ.
The public consultation closes on the 22nd October 2018.
EcoSutton will have a stand in The Parade at Sutton Expo 18 on Saturday 29 September from 9am to 5pm along the Parade. Eco Sutton gave talk to Abbey school on pollution which was well received and will also give talks at other schools. – A car boot sale stall to raise funds for public liability insurance
run at Witton Lodge Road, opposite the church (15th September) – EcoSutton is trying to work with John Allen (Council) over the installation of thermographic cameras on the Parade to check heat-generation from buses to calculate pollution levels.
Review of Sutton Coldfield Greens’ future actions:
Three earlier documents were redistributed for consultation in drafting a modernised strategy for the SC Report to the Birmingham AGM. Members are requested to submit content asap. [Documents referred to: Green Party original submission to SC Town Council; “Acts & Long-term” March 2018; “May 2018 Onwards”]
It was agreed that effort be put into the website and Facebook page and links are making local connections a priority.
Dates of importance announced:
Sutton Town Council planning meeting 4 September Walmley ward 22 September: Council Planning Comm’ meeting Re: Small incinerator on Maybrook estate, 2018/05012/PA – No objection from council.
Environmental assessment of Langley dev 6000 houses 2018/05012/PA & Peddimore.
A Michell MP Invited to recycling meeting 29 Sept
To A Mitchell MP from CM in support of the FOE campaign against Govt’s proposed fracking exploration free from council planning approval. Reply received stating govt. stance.
To A Mitchell MP from BA opposing Govt’s change of policy on capital punishment for persons extradited from UK to USA.
To Sutton Observer from BA about the protracted 20 year building of the Langley development & alternative modern rapid systems.
Exchange of letters in Sutton Observer from PC on lack of Traveller site provision & stating Green Party policy.
Travellers: PC will contact Green Cllr Julien Pritchard of Druids Heath concerning his green article in Green Ward Newsletter which raised concerns. PC recommended books by Betsy Whyte, “Yellow on Broom and Red Rowan” and “Wild way” giving insight into their way of life. * Noted that it is Green party manifesto policy to provide statutory sites for travellers.
Recycling & Waste Management Conference (RWM): This year’s RWM was attended for the Green Group by Steve Lyne & Ben Auton. Their commentary for our Newsletter is in preparation.
Next meeting: Wed’ 17 October 7:30 Hill Allotments Social Club
* Room hire £10 was paid by those present.


Under the heading of our “Far & Wide” spot, we cite the ‘New Scientist’ on-line where Frank Swain asked “Are humans alone in the universe?” Three philosophers from Oxford University have studied the existing scientific literature to conclude that we probably are. This seems to have upset some folk. “I’ve already got many emails from people who say I’m wrong because we’ve already met aliens,” says Anders Sandberg, who led the work. However, Sandberg says scientists are quite optimistic that we have galactic neighbours. Of some 80 papers the team examined, 64 % estimated that we have (or had!)


Extinction Rebellion at Carrs Lane Church, B4 7SX

Monday 24th Sept, 7pm

The climate is changing quickly! What can we do? In this talk, Dr. Gail Bradbrook will explain the scientific facts on why we are entering a climate apocalypse and show how denial mechanisms stop us from seeing what is now obvious. Based upon award winning PhD research on effective campaign mobilisation, she will outline the political response necessary to maximise the chances that we will avoid the extinction we are presently racing towards. The chart shows reduction of ice cover in September in the Arctic. The blue line is the prediction made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – that the ice will be almost gone by 2100. The red line shows the actual ice extent. Follow the red line down and you can see that an ice free arctic will occur around 2020-2025, – seventy five years earlier than the IPCC projection which is influenced by the economists on one of the panels!

The deadly heatwave that gripped the world over the summer is only a glimpse at what is to come if we do not properly address the crisis. The government and environmental NGOs have failed to properly address the crisis. We need a mass movement that it prepared to accept what is happening and act accordingly. We need change. We need to rebel.
Can we stop the destruction of our climate?  In this public talk, members from the Extinction Rebellion share the latest climate science on where our planet is heading, discuss the some of the current psychology around climate change and offer solutions through the study of social movements.