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A tribute to long standing Havant FOE stalwart

We are sorry to announce the sad news that our stalwart Ray Cobbett passed away on the 3rd of July.

Ray had been a leading light in the Havant FOE community for the last 18 years, and it’s hard to know how we will manage without his knowledge and guidance.

Ray was a tower of strength and understood the enormity and complexity of local and world issues that we all face. He also worked hard to influence others to take up an earth friendly lifestyle and value our green spaces, and the planet we live on.

Ray was born and educated in Wimbledon, South London and became an engineer in the RAF serving in the Middle and Far East in the fifties. He moved to Hampshire in the early sixties joining IBM in Hursley Development Laboratories near Winchester. He later transferred to IBM’s Headquarters in Portsmouth, responsible for procurement and supplies management and made Havant his new home in 1978.

A two-year secondment followed to the London Enterprise Agency (Lenta) as a marketing counsellor for new business start-ups that put Ray in the centre of inner-city renewal. After Lenta joined IBM’s European operations in Paris travelling widely throughout Europe and the US promoting offset arrangement between IBM’s worldwide locations and countries whose supply base was viable.

On returning from Paris, Ray took up a position managing procurement throughout the UK. Always an active citizen, Ray joined the Lib Dems and throughout his thirty-year membership was chairman three times, candidate and eventually a Hampshire County Councillor for Havant and Emsworth in the nineties. The community had always been part and parcel of Ray’s life and while living in Havant and eventually later settling down in Emsworth.

Ray had also served on the governing body and boards of schools, Havant Arts Centre, Havant Housing Association and Emsworth Residents Association among other organisations. He had also led various campaigns and in 2002 launched Havant Friends of the Earth.

Since retirement Ray devoted most of his time to environmental issues. He had written extensively for newspapers and magazines as well as attending presentations and organising events.

We would like to all join in and send our sincere condolences to Ray’s family at this sad time.

Havant FOE Newsletter - July 2020

The Time is Now – building a green economy

Lots of us met with local MPs as part of the Time is Now lobby, organised by the Climate Coalition, on Tuesday 30th June. It was a useful exercise and we are engaged with follow up letters and actions. So far, the promised Green Recovery hasn’t been allocated much funding, compared with other countries so letters to MPs urging more action fast would be very welcome.

Friends of the Earth have created a new petition

There are also loads of useful resources on the FOE website. They are campaigning about climate change, tree cover, trade and climate, plastics, nature, Heathrow expansion, bees and fracking

Trade deals

One of the FOE campaigns is about the trade deal with the US which is being negotiated at the moment. You’ve probably seen the publicity about threats to our food standards and NHS but there’s lots more to it and adopting it in full could seriously undermine our efforts to build a new green economy.

Global Justice Portsmouth have invited Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now to talk to us on Monday at 5.30 about what’s involved in the deal and what we can do about it. More details here:

Continue reading Havant FOE Newsletter – July 2020

Havant FOE Newsletter - June 2020

Join us for our next meeting

On Monday 15th June at 7 p.m. Jane Devlin, Climate and Environment Lead for Havant Borough Council, will be joining us to explain her role and plans and to lead us into a discussion on how we can reach out to the wider community. To request the meeting link, email [email protected]. This is organised by Havant Climate Alliance, which is linked to Havant FOE and now meets regularly on Monday evenings.

Havant Climate Alliance

HCA now has a new website and an active Facebook group  and a Twitter account @HavClimate. Do check out the links and sign up if you’re on Facebook or Twitter. And are you part of an organisation which could sign up as a supporter?

#TheTimeisNow. Sign up for the first virtual mass lobby of MPs on 30th June

Last year The Time Is Now involved the biggest ever mass lobby for climate, nature and people. 12,000 people from all walks of life travelled to Westminster to talk to their MPs about how the UK needs to tackle climate change and nature’s decline.

This year it has to be different. On 30th June we want to come together again, this time for a virtual lobby, again asking MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of our nation’s recovery.

The UK is at a turning point. As we build back from the current health crisis, we have the opportunity to rebuild a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society and tackle climate change and nature’s decline, creating jobs and protecting the most vulnerable in the UK and around the world. Or we can let the moment for change pass us by, go back to old ways and wait for new crises to hit.

Using our voices to call for action is more important than ever. Have a virtual cup of tea with your MP on Tuesday 30 June and tell them that #TheTimeIsNow to put a healthy, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild from the Coronavirus crisis.

Continue reading Havant FOE Newsletter – June 2020