July Committee Meeting Minutes

MINUTES of SUTTON GREENS meeting held on 17th JULY 2018

The current status of the website was displayed on screen and operational features discussed. Further plans for content, presentation & staffing were agreed.
The blogging facilities set up on the site are already good, and have been proved very easy to use. Forthright reactions & suggestions received from the wider, local, green community had already recently been acted on by the website team.

Walmley Ward: It was agreed that an assessment of waste and pollution in green areas and wildlife corridors in the ward should be made in order to target group remediation particularly of plastic contamination in late summer, the peak point of rubbish build up. Stevens Pool & Minworth canal are under consideration; CRTs in W.Mids were referred to.

Langley & Peddimore development: EcoSutton has made its submission to B’ham City Council regarding the future developments under the Supplementary Planning Regulations. These will be circulated to members.

Ben Auton, candidate, on behalf of his fellow Walmley and Minworth residents lamented & lambasted the promised twenty years of disruption which the deliberately slow pace of construction work is bound to inflict on the area. Construction & sale of homes in batches ensures that profits from rising house prices progressively increase firms profits. The need for homes is urgent; Ben advocated the need for greater use of modern prefabricated components for speed. He will continue to attend residents’ meetings and make an input in his ward.
[Note: Ben’s detailed letter on housing in the Sutton Observer of Friday 24th July publicly amplified Green Group policy .

Members’ Newsletter: It was agreed that the current target of a ‘flexible’ monthly issue for Colin M & the team should continue, incorporating technical improvements. A major requirement is for greater contributions, comments and articles, from all Sutton Coldfield wards.

Air quality: We still await site visit dates but are sympathetically aware of the short-fall in staffing imposed by Birmingham City Council.
EcoSutton & air pollution: Councillor Kath Scott (Lab) for Vesey ward has been with EcoSutton personnel to Abbey School to raise awareness of pollution using the EcoSutton Project to do so. This is likely to set a precedent. The topic will also be the focus of EcoSutton’s contribution at their pitch during the September Expo-Sutton.
In connection with B’ham City Council’s consultation document on clean air zones (CAS) , EcoSutton supports a local councillor’s report on “green walls” (living plants bedded across and vertically to trap carbon & other particulates & harness CO2) at the mooted Brassington Avenue Bus Station.

Letters on issues:
Peter C has written to the Sutton Observer in reaction to the stance of Cllr. Rob Pocock (Lab) & others in the press about the recent arrival of Travellers in Sutton coldfield. [Read this and his subsequent letter at Topics of Interest.
The  Group discussed its long-term concerns over the inherent risks of international trade agreements and their potential for damage to rights and health safeguards during a a sluggish slide toward Brexit.  Andrew Mitchell MP was written to focussing on key aspects and subsequent to the meeting a reply was  received.
[ In the New Internationalist  of May 2108, page 24 ‘The Almighty Investor’ substantiates the reasons for extreme concern over international trade agreements with case histories worldwide. https://newint.org/

Town Council; Falcon Lodge Community Plan: Little specific could be said at this point. A member present did remind us that a Community Plan is not legally binding – unlike a Neighbourhood Plan, consistently opposed by our councils. The Falcon Lodge Plan was described as an “attempted sop to the Lodge area”.

AOB: Ben stated his intention to raise at the SC Amnesty International Forum on 17 July with Andrew Mitchell MP the case of the human rights post-Brexit of a UK relative living in the Netherlands but working also in France and Belgium.
[Subsequent to the Green group meeting: The local A.I. Forum was very successful & well attended. Andrew Mitchell MP was extremely informative.
Regarding the case put by Ben, he expressed ultimate optimism though acknowledging the current distress & stated that he had three other cases brought to him – one also concerning the Netherlands.

EcoSutton supplied information about the process related to possible passenger use of the Sutton goods line in answer to a query from Tim Weller, a transport campaigner west of the city.
An EcoSutton spokesperson updated the meeting regarding the system of propagation of sessile oaks from acorns at Sutton schools for eventual planting after two years in the north of Sutton Park. The park rangers supply the acorns & manage the planting. The species of English Oak is not used. This is because of its low survival rate due to low rainfall in the W. Midlands, it is reported. Finance comes from the Mayor.
[Those wishing to encourage their local school to take part rely on the School Head’s good auspices. The best way forward is to win the enthusiasm and commitment of a teacher willing to take it on as a project.]
For Info’ contact John Heywood of EcoSutton: [email protected]