11 July 2019
Our open event on Electric Cars held in Yatton on 4 June was one of our most successful yet. Over forty people attended, members and non-members alike. There was much discussion of the key aspects of selecting and running an electric car - battery power, recharge time, recharge cost and mileage-per-recharge cycle, were examined in detail.
After the meeting, all attendees were able to examine nine examples and to ask pertinent questions of their owners.
11th July 2019
The Green Party recognises the importance of building new homes in sustainable locations and especially providing affordable housing. In recent years, large developers have sought to build on sensitive rural green field sites on the edge of villages with no local employment and poor transport links. Many of these proposed developments were contrary to adopted Council policies, but officers still felt under pressure to propose approval.
This was the case at the village of Sandford, where Aurora wanted to add another large development in an unsustainable location. Local Parish councillor and Green Party member Cresten Boase spoke at North Somerset Council’s Planning & Regulatory Committee where councillors went against officers’ recommendation to refuse the application.
Cresten and her husband Ian were then instrumental in organising the Sandford Neighbourhood Group to provide strong evidence defending the appeal, and in support of the Council’s case. They highlighted the unaffordability of the market housing for people working in North Somerset, the reliance on car travel and increased carbon cost at a time of climate emergency, and negative impacts on the community and on local biodiversity amongst other considerations. The Inspector found that the adverse impacts arising from the proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits and the appeal was dismissed.
A major issue currently in North Somerset is the plans which Bristol International Airport (BIA) have for expanding their business. Obviously, more flights means more emissions of CO2 from the aircraft themselves, from the airport infrastructure, and from passengers’ vehicles using the airport.
Opposition to the plans is growing and the change of regime at North Somerset Council (NSC) offers some hope for a sensible decision. But it’s likely that BIA won’t just drop its plans without some kind of legal action being taken to encourage them to do so.
That’s why NSGP member Darren Hall has started a crowdfunding appeal to raise funds to pay a renowned barrister in environment and planning law to analyse NSC’s 400+ documents on the planning application, and to advise on making a case against.
Hinkley Point C, the controversial nuclear power plant being built in West Somerset by French firm EDF*, shares its design with another EDF plant – Flamanville 3 in northern France. Construction of Flamanville 3 began in Dec. 2007 with a planned completion date of 2012. However, owing to various technical problems, the plant is still not completed and is more than three times over budget and years behind schedule. EDF say it is not likely to be commissioned now until 2022.
Construction of Hinkley Point C however, trundles on regardless. Just how much this monstrous white elephant will cost the public purse remains to be seen. And needless to say, if the billions of pounds involved had been invested in renewables instead … well, say no more.
* Électricité de France
Source: Nikki Jones newsletter, 23 June 2019