Reading Friends of the Earth

Our Latest Newsletter is available on this link. Other recent newsletters are available from this index.

We resumed our Monthly Meetings on 9th September 2020 after a 6-month break but now we have no plans to meet in person until Covid restrictions are lifted.

Meeting planned for 8:00 pm on 10th March will be on Zoom. If you would like to join in please e-mail us - info"at"readingfoe.org.uk - to request login details.

Meeting planned for 8:00 pm on 14th April will be on Zoom. If you would like to join in please e-mail us - info"at"readingfoe.org.uk - to request login details.

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Reading Borough Council celebrated the second anniversary of its Climate Emergency Declaration on 26th February. Reading Chronicle took up our Press Release with inputs from other groups to produce this report.

This year Friends of the Earth celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its establishment in the UK. See link in the March-April newsletter.

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Reading Climate Festival ran from 9th to 15th November with lots of informative on-line events. Recordings of presentations are available on this website.

Reading FoE sponsored two events - links to slides are below.

Why Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage is Essential to Net Zero. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage is essential to preventing catastrophic climate change and predicts it providing 9% of emissions reductions required for Net Zero by 2050.
Local expert Suzie Ferguson presented the fundamentals of the technology and why it is needed and described active programmes in UK.

Local Transport: Climate Change, Clean Air, and Congestion. A review of Readings emerging fourth Local Transport Strategy with reference to Transport for the South Easts Strategy, and the governments Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
Are there environmental limits to traffic growth? How can we make the polluters pay? John Booth for Reading Friends of the Earth.

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Our Facebook page is on this link.

Our Admin page with privacy policy etc. is available on this link.

Contact us at info"at"readingfoe.org.uk

National Friends of the Earth website is www.foe.co.uk

Greater Reading Environmental Network (GREN) website is www.gren.org.uk

Reading Climate Action Network website is https://readingcan.org.uk/ It gives access to Reading Climate Change Strategy, Action Plan, and up-coming events.

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Golf Club in Caversham - Planning Application for about 260 homes

The 2020 application was withdrawn in the face of concerted opposition (over 2,000 objections) but was re-submitted with minor changes in February 2021. Key planning issues the application is in breach of are that the revised Local Plan stipulates only 90 to 130 dwellings and development on the site is "subject to the future provision of golf on the remainder of the Golf Club site, which fulfils an important sports and leisure function for Reading". The general public has until 18th March to object - more details in March-April newsletter.

We objected to both applications commenting on Air Quality, Transport, and Climate Change issues. Our latest objection is on this link

For more details see also opposition group 'Keep Emmer Green' at www.keepemmergreen.com/

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Our Campaign against M4 Widening web-page is www.readingfoe.org.uk/m4. After the Public Examination in 2016 the government gave permission for this to go ahead and opening of our local section - J8/9 to J12 - is expected in 'spring 2021'. Official projections to the Examination were that traffic would rise resulting in slower journeys and more CO2 emissions. New concerns over safety of 'All Lane Running' have arisen after some nastuy accidents on other 'Smart Motorways' - see March-April 2021 newsletter for more details.

A presentation dating from 2016 giving a summary of impacts on safety, climate change, congestion, air quality and noise is at Impacts of Smart M4.

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Reading's Transport Strategy Revision

Reading had published a draft revised Transport Strategy which has completed consultation. A final version has not yet been presented to Committees for formal adoption.

A note from Reading FoE was sent to the SEPT committee in February 2019 calling for the consultation on the Transport Plan to include simulations of different scenarios to show how the proposals would address climate change, air quality and congestion but the Council has only done this for climate change. This note is on this link

Our comments in 2010 on Reading's draft Local Transport Plan (LTP3) are on this link

A document dating from 2008 discussing the then proposed (and now abandoned) change to a one-way IDR is on this link

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Recycling at Home

Reading's recycling is done by re3. first stop for local guidance is https://re3.fccenvironment.co.uk/.

For a discussion of barriers to recycling see this report from Waste Resources Action Programme. It was written in 2008 so is not completely up-to-date but is contains useful analysis. http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Barriers_to_Recycling_Summary_Report.pdf

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Clean Air Everywhere - In Reading.

Our "Clean Air Everywhere - In Reading" petition was presented to the Council on November 22nd 2017 at the SEPT Committee Meeting by Enrico Petrucco. By the meeting we had accrued over 400 signatures - around 250 on paper and 150 on-line. Thanks to everyone who signed, helped to collect signatures, and came to support us at the meeting.

The Council has responded that it would like to introduce a Low Emission Zone, but must await government funding. Detailed response is available on this link

Our Press Release about the presentation, with pictures and a link to the video coverage, is at Petition_Presentation_to_Cllrs_PR.

The speaker's notes for the presentation are at SEPT Presentation notes.

Following government intervention, seeking conformance with EU legal requirements, in October 2018 the Council has said it will be funded to upgrade its buses to Euro VI standard and expects to comply with EU standards for NO2 by end 2021.

In November 2018 we asked a Question at the SEPT Committee - reminding the Council of our petition and asking about PM2.5. The Council said that it estimated that in one location PM2.5 concentration was about 60% above WHO guidelines, and that it would publish a revised draft Local Transport Plan in 2019. See our January 2019 newsletter

In November 2019 we asked a Question at the SEPT Committee - reminding the Council of our petition and asking about health impacts of PM2.5. The Council said that it estimated that in 2016 particulates had contributed to 63 deaths in Reading, and that it would review its Air Quality Action Plan in 2020. See SEPT Papers

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Fracking History

Campaigning against Barclays support for fracking - with Berkshire Greenpeace - October 2016.

Press release describing the event is on this link.

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Green Jobs Flashmob

We had good local press coverage for our Flashmob for Green Jobs on Saturday 13th October 2012 - many thanks to everyone who braved the rain and especially to the Greenpeace Polar Bear who really helped to get attention from press and public! Doug's great video - with sound-track from Seize the Day - can be seen on this link.

Here is a still (Photo: Anne Booth) of the bear calmly putting the case against the Chancellor's proposals to continue to burn unabated gas until 2030 and to give tax breaks to 'fracking' for natural gas extraction.

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