It has been an exciting time at The Warehouse. There have been a lot of developments both with campaigns and the refurbishment of the building. The Warehouse Cafe moved downstairs at the beginning of April (you can read all about it in Vee’s article) and at the end of April our lift went operational. This is a huge milestone for us as it’s the first time in our 41 years that the first floor is accessible for those with mobility issues.
I’m pleased to say that ‘Our Home Matters’ art competition was a huge success and enabled us to engage with a lot of people and organisations. Our ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ and ‘Don’t Lose Your Bottle’ campaigns have kept us busy with meetings with Councillors, MPs and running educational workshops.
Since we handed our petition to Councillor Cotton back in March we have been working behind the scenes planning the next stage of the campaign. At the time of writing we are eagerly awaiting the council to open its consultation on Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone. If you are interested in getting involved with our air pollution campaign, please do get in touch and check out Molly’s article.
Energy and Climate Change
The Climate Refugee campaign team have been busy over the last few months with our art competition. It has been a great opportunity for us to engage with people of all ages and we are looking forward to the Art Exhibition at The Warehouse on 9 June. The winning art pieces will be displayed in different places across Birmingham until the end of June. Please do take a look at the amazing work. For more info about the competition take a look at Alice’s article.
Digbeth Community Garden have had a busy spring cleaning and expanding their composting area as well as sowing seeds and planting bulbs. The garden opened its gates on Friday 6 April for the Digbeth First Friday of the year and I’m pleased to say the evening was a success.
A response was made to a consultation to the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) that is already much watered down in comparison with past regulation.
The team responded to a Government consultation on the ‘Strategic Roads Network’ (SRN) of Highways England. The Strategic Roads are the motorways and trunk roads that for England alone now have a five year £15,500 million 5 year budget.
Later the team responded to a separate consultation on the ‘Major Roads Network’ (MRN) proposed powers for Highways England to instruct that local authorities undertake capacity improvement work to those roads deemed to be in need of extra traffic flows.
A response was made to the initial proposal to construct a new motorway that effectively re-visits the past fixation with a ‘Western Orbital’ to link the M5 near Bromsgrove to the M54.
We were pleased with the announcement from Michael Gove that there will be a consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme on plastic bottles. Whilst the waste team are eagerly awaiting this, they have sent a briefing to Birmingham City Councillors and MPs asking them to support a plastic Bottle Return Scheme. In response to the briefing we had a meeting with Councillor Lisa Trickett and Alan Bowley followed by a meeting with MP Andrew Mitchell. Take a look at Jodie article to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.
How you can get involved
We always welcome new people and there are many different ways you can get involved with our campaigns. Whether you have an hour or two to spare or a whole day, please get in touch or come along to any of our weekly Monday meetings (contact and meeting details on the diary page).
Follow us on Twitter (@Bham_FOE) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/birminghamfoe) to keep up to date with our latest campaigns news. For more in-depth information on our campaigns take a look at our website (www.birminghamfoe.org.uk)