Monday, 1 February 2016

What colour do you want the gates of local fracking sites to be?

Letter sent to Evening Gazette, Northern Echo and Coastal View and Moor news

What colour do you want the gates of local fracking sites to be?
Perhaps Red?  That could be the limit of local people's input to decisions about shale gas production, according to a letter leaked to Friends of the Earth.
The letter reveals that the government is planning to take decision-making away from local councils. The letter was written by Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, Communities Secretary, Greg Clark and Environment Secretary Liz Truss to George Osborne last July and it sets out proposals for a government shale gas strategy.
The ministers say they want “a maturing shale gas production industry” within 10 years.  Among the proposals to make this happen is changing who would take decisions about planning permission for shale gas production.
The Govt has ALREADY taken away UK landowners mineral rights to what is beneath your own home so they could beaver away without your permission, which they at least have in the US. The Govt has ALREADY moved the goalposts to allow fracking under national parks.  In repeated surveys the general public have increasingly said  they are against fracking, but the Govt and our MPs are not listening.  
At present only the cost of oil, which has bankrupted some US fracking companies, is holding them off and North Yorkshire will have little say being in the "desolate North East" when it bounces back up. Contact your MP (who maybe pro fracking) and tell them what you think, get involved with Friends of the Earth or Frack Free Cleveland but do not wait until it is to late.

Rob Tucker
Co-ordinator Mbro, Redcar & Stockton
Friends of the Earth

Thursday, 9 April 2015

"Question Time" Hustings events for Middlesbrough and Redcar

Press Release: Question Time events for Middlesbrough and Redcar

Middlesbrough 2012 Election Hustings event (c) Mbgro & Redcar Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth, are holding two "Question Time" Hustings events in Middlesbrough and Redcar;
Middlesbrough Linthorpe Road Methodist Church & Resource centre Tuesday 28th April 7-9pm
Redcar Coatham Memorial Hall, Wed 29th April 7-9pm chaired by the CofE Bishop of Whitby.

"All your local Candidates will be there and this is your opportunity to ask them those questions that interest YOU.  It is not just the party you are voting for but the person as well!  We have had good feedback from our previous election events over many years.  So if you are undecided who to vote for come along" said Rob Tucker co-ordinator for Middlesbrough & Redcar Friends of the Earth.  
"We would ask that only people registered to vote in that area attend".

Monday, 19 May 2014

Friends of the Earth object to Port Clarence Biomass power station

Friends of the Earth have objected to this new application for a Biomass power station at Port Clarence and hope that Stockton council will listen to other views rather that just going for the jobs angle.  Details of this objection are below;
1) The RSPB, GreenPeace and Friends of the Earth have examined the issue of Biomass and found it not to be carbon neutral 
2) The UK waste wood source that this power station is expected to use is likely to become increasingly scarce and there are not stringent enough regulations to stop it using other sources
3) Although this power station may have the capability for CHP (Combined Heat and Power) it is unlikely that this option will ever be taken up. The previous application looked at possible CHP usage and examined piping it across the Tees to housing on the south side, but there is no new housing stock there. MGT’s application in contrast, had several companies interested.
4) Eco2 sold its last Biomass power station straight off to another company which is not good practise 
5) Teesside has a number of biomass projects that already have planning permission; Air products, MGT, Sembcorp
6) Although this power station will not hold waste wood stock piles, a number of yards on Teesside and elsewhere that will supply this power station have had major fires one of them lasting 16 days 

This is a subsidised scheme, taxpayers money, and it should be well spent. If Eco2 had expressions of interest for CHP then this would change the application, but they do not.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Supporting Guisborough/Bankfields windfarm

Our local Friends of the Earth group are supporting the Bankfields windfarm as a good project and hope it will be given planning permission subject to addressing consultee concerns. 

Banks Renewables have a lot of experience of windfarms, energy & construction projects. They should be expert in minimising noise, dust, disruption and getting the project to run smoothly.

Noise should not be a problem in operation or construction. HGV traffic will come from the A19/A174 or Teesport and down Wilton Lane.

The farms that are in the 700-900m zone are benefiting from the scheme and are being compensated. The Mount Pleasant row of terrace houses is over 1km away from the scheme.  It has been agreed that the scheme will provide up to £5000 per house for energy efficiency or renewable measures and as I believe that Mount Pleasant is off the gas mains this will be a major plus for them.

A third of project costs will be spent in the NE. This is one of the first projects in the UK where the x5 towers will be manufactured locally. Up to 14 apprenticeships will be created and £2m go to a community fund. New provision is to be made for wildflower meadows, bat habitat and nature ponds.

Over a large part of Guisborough the scheme cannot be seen due to buildings and where partially visible are not prominent. It will not affect tourism, house prices or hypnotise drivers!
The Application R/2013/0674/FFM can be commented on till the end of the week 

Rob Tucker
Co-ordinator Mbro & Redcar
Friends of the Earth

Friday, 20 September 2013

Film screening " More than Honey" Friday 4th Oct with Andy McDonald MP

Screening of film "More than Honey" Friday Oct 4th 7pm with Andy McDonald MP
you are invited to our screening of an excellent film "More than Honey" at the Middlesbrough Quaker Friends meeting house on Friday 4th Oct 7-9pm with a small talk & cuppa at the end by Derek Herring of Cleveland Beekeepers Association and Andy McDonald Middlesbrough MP.  Bees are having a difficult time worldwide and the UK Govt has said it will have a plan for Bees (not a plan B :-) but has not given any details or budget!

Please could you mention the event at meetings, and find it on FaceBook inviting relevant FB friends & forwarding this email in the North Yorkshire area.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Middlesbrough, Redcar & Stockton Friends of the Earth Facebook page

With new developments in media we have decided to devote more time to our Facebook Page
We have been achieving some fantastic things, planting trees, holding talks and exhibitions, running stalls etc on our Bee friendly and Clean British Energy campaigns. We have also looked more locally at some windfarm projects and developing wildlife gardens.

Please [share] our Facebook Page
and consider joining us!

The Mbro FoE Team

Friday, 14 December 2012

Hustings & Middlesbrough By-election 2012

The lively proceedings at the Friends of the Earth 2012 Middlesbrough Hustings went well, with members of the audience asking over 20 questions on topics ranging from education and services to employment and the environment. Six of the eight MP candidates were invited (left to right);  Imadad Hussain - The Peace Party, Mark Heslehurst - Independent, John Malcolm - Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, (Simon Bowens chairperson), Ben Houchen - Conservative, Andy McDonald - Labour and George Selmer - Liberal Democrats. 


Despite the terrible weather over 100 people made their way to the Hustings; the Environmental agency asked people not to make non essential journeys and I know that a number of "floating" voters, especially the elderly, decided they could not venture out. Our Friends of the Earth team came by bike, train, bus and car share (might be a film title in there somewhere!) We all encountered flooding. 

There were some excellent speakers and a chance to compare candidates side by side.