“This is not a drill” book launch

Five Leaves Bookshop arranged a launch of the “handbook” written by Extinction Rebellion.
The organisation has a very different feel to traditional political groupings.
Concentred most to compel people to realise there is a climate emergency through a range of actions including direct action.
Now famous for their blocking of transport, the road blockages in Nottingham were very brief.
I had expected such campaigns to generate some hostility, but the public have reacted by saying the climate is now one of their top priorities; something that might have been bolstered by documentaries on BBCtv showing the impact of plastic on the environment.
Having only 3 broad policies, but 10 principles, and a membership requirement that says you have to undergo non-violence training.
Three speakers from London had been organised for the meeting but two were on a train from London that was stopped by a landslide / bank collapse at Corby, triggered by the long spells of rain. (Turns out part of Arnold town centre was flooded too.)

As a veteran of working for progress through party politics, when called to speak, there seemed little point in saying that Extinction Rebellion are wrong, and acknowledging the change in public opinion, more relevant to say to work together where we can in our concern to get faster and more significant action on climate change.
Indeed, Cllr. Sally Longford, our new Deputy Leader, has worked with XR in getting a zero-carbon Nottingham policy adopted at the January full council.

I circulated a 2-pager on the council’s outlook (“cities are good for us”), our recent achievements, a 2006 plan showing how green policies need to be embedded in the planning of the council and our manifesto commitments.
In my speech, I emphasised the radical history of the city council, often led by Fabian & Co-op minded Labour members, had led to opposition to inner-city motorways, realised the bus needed help and introduced bus lanes, tried radical change with zone and collar (which was re-introduced in a different way in 2000), introduced free bus passes for older people and the less mobile, introduced the tram and alone in the northern hemisphere introduced workplace parking levy so that commuters to the larger companies (that can provide alternatives) pay for new facilities and extra services, rather than residents.

Joint Strategic Planning and Transport cttee – June 2019

Road map for the proposed HS2 East Midlands station

The joint cttee. between the City and County Councils reviewed the plans for an economic development around the railway station.
I suggested 2 undertakings –
– a review of all the heavy rail improvements we should be seeking in Notts. & Derbyshire;
– exploring the concept of the new developments being constructed with green architectural technologies.

I also expressed pessimism about the Waste Plan – there’s no national framework to boost food digestion and introduce re-use.
The Sinfin re-use facility in Derby has hit significant problems; de-gasification technology has not made progress, including at Blenheim Allotments in Nottingham.
Plainly the potential for incineration remains – better than burial – but one site along the MARR has already been stopped.

The progress of the Minerals plan was reviewed and I complained that the residents of Clifton saw the choice of Barton-in-Fabis as a new site for a sand and gravel pit was driven for narrower political reasons.

Funeral of a 59 year old man

Attended a funeral of a 59 year old man.
The second of a family of six from Netherfield.
Was a fan of Lou Reed and the Sex Pistols. 
Things went wrong for him and he spent 25 years living on the streets of 6 of our big English cities, before coming back to Nottingham.
He’s helped by Framework and the Friary, and Nottingham City Homes are able to offer him a flat in one of their former warden-aided complexes in The Meadows.
He makes friends with the neighbours, frequently hailed people and joined them for a chat, and often handed out lollipops as a gesture of friendship. He found contentment.  
He died on City Council Election Day from lung cancer and complications.
Some days later, a sister is found and informed of his death.
See the floral tribute.  

Much more to be known I’m sure.
Plenty to reflect on.

Pineapple leather and furniture

NTU degree show 2019.
The annual event is always worth a visit.

A seat made out of processed pineapple heads, and a “vegan” pineapple later cushion (filled with coconut fibre)

One student heard about pineapple leather and then found out that the heads of pineapples, and the skin, can be processed into blocks from which furniture can be made. Or maybe insulation panels.
Material from the nearby pineapple canning factory in Leicester, who otherwise have to pay to have it taken away.