Havant Climate Emergency Petition
An online and hard-copy petition to Havant Council was launched in June by Havant Climate Alliance and names have been gathered on the street and at events across the borough. So far almost 1000 signatures have been collected but Havant Council still demands 1500 minimum for a petition to be considered (most other areas are less). We are aiming for an additional 750 to meet the council’s threshold as well as provide a buffer for any disputed entries. An action plan on how to achieve the target will be discussed at the next group meeting.
Hampshire’s councils join the climate campaign
A recent report form the South East Climate Alliance shows that just over half of the county’s local authorities, including the county council and all the authorities bordering Havant, have so far declared climate emergencies. Havant Friends of the Earth has met county environment officers to discuss the preparation and content of an action plan-an integral part of the declaration with received assurances that community and campaign groups will be consulted as part of the process. It is expected the initial draft will be published early next year. Meanwhile, Clients Earth, a charity of lawyers who successfully sued the government over non-compliance with EU clean air legislation, has put four Hampshire local authorities on notice asking them for their plans to reduce emissions.
Nitrate pollution in the Solent
Five local councils have been advised by Natural England to refuse permission for new developments amid concerns over nitrate levels in The Solent. Nitrates from farming and other sources have been running off land for decades and there is hard evidence of its negative impact on plants and wildlife in the sea around our coastline. Various mitigation measures are being considered but have yet to finalised to allow future development.
A Report, Water Quality Issues in the Solent Catchment Area from Havant Council describes the main concerns.
Tree trail booklet success
An illustrated booklet compiled and published by Emsworth Tree Wardens and partly sponsored by Havant Friends of the Earth has sold over 600 copies. Proceeds of the sale will be match funded and invested in new planting in the Emsworth area. The UK’s tree cover is only 13% compared with the EU average of 35%. FOE has launched a national campaign to double tree cover that members can sign on to which includes a petition, donations and a guide to sustainable timber.
Nature conservation site under threat
Havant Borough Biodiversity Strategy lists 110 Sites of Interest to Nature Conservation (SINCS) covering about 550 acres. They are part of the local ecological network and sites can range from ancient woodland, heaths, wetlands and grassy areas. They are designated and periodically assessed by the County Council, Wildlife Trusts and Natural England. Sadly, these sites have no legal protection against development and now a planning application has been submitted for 16 new houses on a SINC located in back land west of Horndean Road in Emsworth.
Concern over these and other nature sites have been flagged up by Havant FOE to the government Inspector at the forthcoming Havant Local Plan Inquiry later this year. More details of the planning application reference is19/00768 is available on Havant Council’s website
Climate Change-Winchester University Seminar
A full half-day seminar organised by Winchester University is being held in Winchester on 2nd of October starting at noon to discuss measures to deal with climate change in the Wessex region. The challenge now is to work out what this means in practice. The Centre for Climate Action (Education and Communication) of the University of Winchester and the Wessex Global Health Network wants to translate the aspirations behind emergency declarations into a practical reality.
There will be the opportunity to share and learn about the steps that colleagues elsewhere are taking, share examples of good practice and hear about the challenges being faced. Examples of good practice in other parts of the country will also be available. Havant FOE has acquired two free tickets for the event.
Contributions for the next edition including photos from members, activists in other groups and organisations are always welcome.
Please send them to [email protected] no later than 3rd October 2019