Report on the Committee Meeting held on 7th January 2020

Sutton Coldfield Green Group – report

Matters arising: David Ratcliff will provide manifesto copies on his return from Denmark.

1. As originally announced on 13th December last year, the winner of the Sutton Coldfield Green Group Annual Limerick Competition was supporter, Kate Ashcroft, whose versification follows:

There was an old man of Mere Green
Who was rarely fit to be seen.
He joined the Green Party,

They found him too farty
The effect on the ozone’s extreme.

The Prize of a half-dozen Jerusalem artichoke tubers has been awarded to her & planted.

2. Election: Copies of the statistics gathered at the Count covering the polling stations of significance in the constituency were circulated.

It was concluded that the campaigning effort & costs had proved worthwhile.
The Green percentage of the total votes cast had risen by 2.1%
The total number of votes cast for the Green Party in SC had risen by 110% since the 2017 general election.  The above statistics seem paradoxical but are accurate and reconcilable.

Ben Auton is to collate public queries received pre- 12 Dec 2019 election with replies sent by him; that these should be circulated by him to previous enquirers & asking whether they wish to receive our “public” newsletter.

3 It was agreed that activists need to be aware of issues apt for the website and Facebook & forward them.
The members’ Newsletter is to be provided with an index, recipe section and human interest stories to ready it for the third decade of century thirteen.

4 Sutton Coldfield issues: SCTC notes had been pre-circulated to activists by David. The next SCTC meeting is to be attended by Ben with the intention of raising the sub-campaign of the closure in Peddimore of Wishaw Lane at rush hours – infringement of freedom of the locals. Also, Industrial night-time, security light pollution; continuous night-time, refrigerated lorry engine noise. Lighting preventing moth breeding. – Why have the five Cllrs of the ward not been fighting these issues?
[Subsequent to our meeting: It was not possible to raise the above matter before the council but Ben questioned the reasons for the committee concerned with
the enviro policy public consultation having failed to sit for two months.  Cllr Horrocks was not present to give any dates for the consultation.]

Continued group participation in public debate was highlighted through the press and social media.
[Subsequenlyt  noted that  – Peter continues to monitor and make input to ‘Next Door’ online and his latest letter on the need for the government to implement improvements to local and UK services was printed in the Sutton Coldfield ‘Observer’.]

5 Litter Pick 1-30 pm Sat’ 18 Jan: For details contact Ben:  <[email protected]>
Current high-profile members of Birmingham Green Party working in the immediate area will join up with Sutton members. [
Subsequently arranged to meet 12-45 at ‘Tyburn House’, a bit further down at the junction of Chester Road and Kingsbury Road for an initial confab’ requested at the 7th Jan meeting.]

AOB: EcoSutton is preparing “An Idiot’s Guide to Air Pollution”.

Notification: W.Mids Mayor Andy Street will be present for one hour, daytime, at SC U3A on 27 Feb’ 2020.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7-30 pm @ Hill Allotments Club off Dugdale Crescent, Sutton Coldfield.

Committee Meeting on 11th September


Apologies D. Ratcliff.

Forthcoming Election. We will be needing 6000 leaflets to cover houses in the Walmley and Minworth wards. Ben to compose content and to check on useful material available on the Green Party website (policy etc.).
Check with M. Okole on availability of free election material & free Royal Mail delivery.

Litter Pick on Sep. 15th. Meet in front of Minworth Primary School 12 noon. Bring your own litter grabbers. Linda to provide extra one for Peter if he is well enough to go.

ClimateProtest for Youth for 20th September in Vesey Gardens. See advert on the website (Local Events).

Birmingham City’s ‘Car Free Day’ planned for Sep 22 has been postponed.

Some discussion of the ‘People’s vote’.

Congratulations to Eco Sutton on its lively work and news of its award of £8,700 toward its projects which will include air quality mapping in conjunction with local schools. (See Eco Sutton Website)

Sutton town centre. Linda received response to correspondence she has had with the Council concerning the Active Travel Initiative. The reply to be published on our website.

Date of Next meeting planned for Oct 9. Peter C. to book room at Hill Allotments Social Club.

Amnesty International meeting – Forum on Human Rights Sept 27at the Catholic church, Lichfield Rd.
Eco Sutton to have a stall at Expo Sutton.
Ben . mentioned Sutton Coldfield Green Power to urge BCC to have a second anaerobic digester dedicated to dealing with future waste food collections. Such digesters already functioning well elsewhere.



Committee meeting Wednesday May 8 2019


Present: P Cooke, C Marriott, B Auton, D Ratcliff, S Lyne Apologies none

Matters arising:
Schools ‘Academisation’ 6 schools creating academy group Boldmere , Holland House, Minworth , New Oscott, Penner.
P Cooke has still not heard back from Mrs Walcott of Boldmere school & is having difficulty getting information.
On a national scale 6996 new academies were created in 2017 now reach a total of 146 667. This results from the flagship government policy with financial incentives – ultimately aimed at being available for commercial “buy-outs” in the future.
6000 are expected in the next two years.
We note that local council expenditures are “lost “ when schools moved to academy status.

Walmley & Minworth, Sutton Council by-election:
We continue to await a reply to our letter about an adjudication anomaly over postal votes. The delay is due to continuing electoral administration demands on staff. Several postal votes had been invalidated due to DOB/date of signing of form confusion. CM following up. A marked register has been requested.

UK Council elections May 2019
Green councillors were elected in Cannock & Solihull, which is of particular interest as SC members have previously been involved there.

European Elections
West Midlands candidates: Ellie Chowns, Paul Woodhead, Julian Dean, Kefentse Dennis, Helen Heathfield, Diana Toynbee & Louis Stephen. 7 seats available, voting by ranking, count by d’Hondt percentage system PR ( England, Scotland, Wales)
The Green Party has been looking for funding.No info’ on campaign yet.
It was agreed that it is too late for Sutton to take active part locally. It was felt difficult to raise this issue on the Nextdoor Internet forum. Tom Pratt has circularised us that a hustings for candidates will be held on Wed 15 May 7pm Priory Rooms, the Quaker Centre in B’ham.
Of current Green MEPs, M Scott Cato standing; Keith Taylor standing down.

Climate Extinction Rebellion
Andrew Mitchell’s “green conservative” stance in his “From the House” space in the SC Observer provoked dissent at the meeting. BA is to draft a rebuttal for consideration. [Subsequent to meeting, P C has had a prompt retort published in the Sutton Observer.]

Walmley Minworth litter pick
It is proposed to do a litter-pick using council equipment. Photos of the pick will be taken and what’s found with Green logo displayed. BA to check with Birmingham for kit. Sunday 19 May possible.

Sutton Park policy
It has not yet been possible to formulate a Sutton Greens policy but ECO Sutton have drawn up a confidential policy. SL to circulate. It was noted that Amey is involved in maintenance work in the Park. Discussion on which assets may be considered for transfer from city to Sutton remains unclear.

Dugdale Crescent
Current policy is to wait for Bham city proposals , anything else creates problems. A fund-raising Disco is to be held. Friends group have wildflower seeds: seeding not yet carried out.  Brief discussion on idea of a children’s play area on the green  .Different views on necessity to “use” green space.

New Green Party membership
Agreed to draw up list of research projects that might attract students to get involved. A litter-pick with a banner at rush-hours was mooted. Streetly

Methodist Open Day Sept 2019
SL is to confirm the date. ECO Sutton is having a stand. Sutton Greens could consider the option.
Youth & Community Centre at Reddicap Heath continues to wallow in need of refurbishment. Sutton Council could assist though it is uncertain
if it is in B’ham City ownership. The question could be asked at council meeting.

Langley housing development
Revised proposals have been offered for consultation at the following venues: Harvest Fields Wed’ 15 may 2-7:30 and Th. 16 May 4-8:30 Falcon Lodge 21 May 5:20-7:00; Walmley Club 23 May 5:30 -7:30.
ECO Sutton is pushing for solar panels, district heat using Minworth sewage plant gas.
Other discussion on suggestion for new developments proposed in the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife by Chris Packham – bird boxes, ponds & green spaces.

Amnesty International have adopted a strategy of support for environment as well as environmentalists & human rights defenders – likely to be constrained by major budget problems. Climate Change: ECO Sutton have produce an edited version of a paper for individual action. SL is to circulate this when ready.
DR had visited a Danish recycling area ( at Vejle ). There were 28 categories of material for collection also a compost self-collection point ( material from composted green waste). Polystyrene foam is collected (noted that it will not be in use from 2020 on).
Wales is  ahead of England in recycling rates, motivated by lack of ground fill sites.
Roughly & Trinity wards meeting Town Hall Thur 9 May 2019: No member from the wards was present to assent to attend.

ECO Sutton activity
Newhall Mill Open Day Sunday 12 May. Social media: Twitter account now active. Their Facebook has had password problems, the account to be deleted & replaced. New site: Ecosutton 2 Campaigns
Langley & Peddimore, pushing idea of a ‘garden city’
Sutton Town centre, in consultation (Tony and J Heywood) • Red Rose Centre ( Sutton library ) subject of planning for redevelopment. Questions of eventual ownership & profit. • Eco Sutton is meeting with A Mitchell about Sutton Planning.
Water station in pubs ( noted that there exists a statutory duty for pubs to provide water). EcoSutton is to pursue the “Refill” scheme.
Community interest company (CIC).   Formed to help with fuel poverty issues for Witton, Castle Vale,
Solihull and Sutton.
Air Pollution: Applying for £10K grant to get portable monitor kit.  Noted that we have been unable to get background figures from
crematorium pollution monitoring site.
Vulnerable persons register:
Heat and Electricity ,ECO Sutton is drawing up a register to enable utility companies to assist when there are extended power/gas cuts.

Cooperative campaigns with others
Noted that FOE & Greenpeace groups are not interested in cooperative campaigns.
5G Hazards
Discussion on increased health hazards associated with increased power microwave for 5G & lack of independent safety evaluation to date. SL/CM to check info’ available. More large tower aerials have been seen. [Subsequently  explained in SC Observer tat these towers are not for 5G]
A film about the issue did feature David Icke – to the consternation of some.]
Birmingham Bio-region group some time ago were in contact with CM. He will pass contact info’ to Oxford Bio-region Group.

BA /DR to A Mitchell: He has said he now favours a no-agreement drop-out of EU for UK. And that a second vote may cause civil unrest.
PC has sent a strongly-worded letter to Andrew Mitchell opposing the UK government policy of private for-profit education being foisted on developing countries.

The EU is to direct a quarter of its expenditure to environment.
Meeting closed at 10pm
Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 19 June 2019, 7-30 pm at the Hill Allotments Social Club off Dugdale Crescent B75

Contact: via the Website: by selecting on the Homepage [Get in touch]