Earth Strike in Nottingham

Fuller res. photos available on Facebook

Pleased to explain how Nottingham has met environmental challenges in the past and has set itself a challenging one for the future – carbon neutrality by 2028.

Positive coverage everywhere, including BBC East Midlands Today.
Kinda unusual.
– 
Nice to be part of something that what protested about across the planet.

But a bit too much to expect many kids to attend.
We’ve spent years drilling into schools that they must ensure children attend and that they are responsible for child safety.  
And notable that there were a few parents around.

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Recharging more electric buses at the Meadows Bus Depot

Images from N Post and Google street view

An N Post article highlights NCT’s plans to redevelop the west end of the larger of its 2 depot buildings, with a new and extra entrance from Pyatt Street.
The proposal could enable a larger electricity sub-station to re-charge more buses (and potentially do more for other Meadows development, including for green projects); and may also enable the demolition of the Gotham bus depot – for housing.
In 2011, the expectation was that the 2 main city NCT bus depots would move to the former Manvers school site and the Meadows site cleared for housing. But that plan went some years back.
Now, the Lower Parliament Street bus depot has become about servicing the double deckers and The Meadows depot about the single-deckers, some of which may become electric powered over time.
But, there may be features within the buildings worth protection, and the existing perimeter buildings blend in incredibly well with the existing streetscape – you can forget that they are there. Hard to envisage modern buildings fitting in so well.
The Civic Society have raised concerns and some constituents have protested.

Post assessment of Nottingham being green

The city and county are pioneering ways to become ‘greener’ claims Kit Sandeman, a Local Democracy Reporter for the N Post (and I think the BBC).
17 initiatives are highlighted; the article is helpful to read and to have, though I quibble with the emphasis given (or not given).
What sets Nottingham apart is –

  • incinerating waste otherwise destined for landfill, using resultant high pressure steam to generate electricity , and the resultant hot water to heat the city centre, St.Anns and Sneinton; whilst equivalent schemes elsewhere in the country fail to start and other schemes to sort waste more first have financially failed.
  • determined and early prioritisation for buses (bus lanes, and city centre clear zone), and the first bus passes for older and / or less mobile people anywhere in the country;
  • workplace parking levy; asking the commuter to pay for better public transport rather than the general tax or council tax payer;

What sets The Meadows apart is the Meadows O-zone energy services company (Mozes) – providing solar panels and now a domestic energy initiative (Project Sensible).
At various times, companies have demonstrated excellence – from memory, Experian and their management of energy at their offices and computer bureau.

We’ve had set backs too.
The loss of a city-wide food re-cycling scheme.
The loss of the local food scheme for our hospital catering.
An inability to do more with anaerobic digesters.
Slow progress on green architectural technology.
Wasted time as some of the green progress made has been threatened from within.
The lack of progress for an electrified Midland Main Line, the nonsense of the dual energy trains proposed instead and the very limited progress on a south Notts rail network.

I’m intrigued by new possibilities – such as –

  • outer leaves being used instead of plastics to sell fruit and veg.;
  • copying European ideas – much more adventurous use of heat pumping to heat and to cool;
  • the return of biodigestable plastics; and
  • can’t we do more with paper instead of plastic?
    We also need to re-balance the country and our education provision so that people travel less to work and to school.

Better financing for councils will allow general progress across services and in the design of projects. Calls for councils to do more without the extra finance can only frustrate.

Now for the list from the N Post article

  1. Using thermal imaging drones to repair the district heating network
  2. Bee-friendly verges and wildflower corridors
  3. Green taxis (that are actually black)
  4. Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change
  5. Phasing out single-use plastics
  6. Robin Hood Energy
  7. Thousands of solar panels installed
  8. Ultra-low emission vehicles, lanes and charging points
  9. Europe’s largest community battery
  10. The tram
  11. Zero Carbon targets
  12. Climate emergencies
  13. Extinction Rebellion raising awareness
  14. You can have your beer delivered on a bike
  15. World’s largest fleet of biogas buses
  16. Trialling heating buildings using water from mines
  17. Ban on drivers leaving engines idling

Children in the care of Nottinghamshire Councils

A report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, with a lot to take in. “The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the institutional responses to such allegations of Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, and other organisations such as Nottinghamshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, and to consider the adequacy of steps taken to protect children from abuse.

David Mellen has issued a statement on the report.

I know how in 1994/5, Notts. County Council showed vigour and resolve in reviewing the death of a child in Ashfield District.
The report on abuse is long and I will be interested to see what the report fully says. For now, the City Council’s Leader response is presented.

East Midlands Today
Coverage on East Midlands News (BBC tv) is worth looking up, especially for survivors saying that they now feel they have been listened to. Interviewed on the programme, David Mellen explained clearly that we are apologising for what happened and I’ve re-published his apology made on *our* behalf.
There are 161 pages in the report, with quite a section on Beechwood.  
May well say more when I’ve properly read it.

EnviroEnergy – July 2019

A reminder of how it all started. A district heating scheme to be powered by burning coal (cleaner air in the city needed the coal to be burned in a controlled way) and district heating would be relatively cheap to install when St.Anns was being re-built. (A separate scheme for The Meadows was not to be so successful.)
It was soon converted to burning waste – 100 kilo tonnes is incinerated, (a further 80 kilo tonnes recycled) providing steam at 800 degrees and 30 barrs. 10MW of electricity is supplied to a local private wire network (59 GWh per year) and the condensed steam providing 141 GWh of heat to the district network of 95km of pipes at 85 and 100 degrees at 10 Barrs to 4,800 customers in St.Anns. An infra-red survey of the neighbourhoods from a drone found cracks in the pipes that lost 120 metres cubed of water every day, and repairs triggered have reduced the loss to 10 to 20 metres cubed. All this is heavily regulated.
More could be done to re-use material (e.g. more maintenance that simply replace, use less plastics in the first place, re-process wood and fibre), reduce the amount to be disposed (e.g. the recycling of food waste was lost cos of revenue cuts), extract more materials for re-use (e.g. gasification can extract a greater range of metals; bio-digestion to create gas for burning and compost for soil) but these technologies need new investment and subsidy (most sensibly from taxing the creation of waste). Extracting energy from waste still beats the burial of waste and there will be plenty fo waste to be incinerated for a long time into the future.
Profits for the last year of £487k was reported.
ENGINEERING NUMBERS TO BE RE-CHECKED

50th anniversary of Armstrong stepping on the moon

2009, and I was getting ready to run for Parliament, and yes I had standard Labour Party leaflets to hand out, but at the time of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first landing of people on the moon, I wanted to say more.

And the conclusion applies today too. We need to save the planet for human habitation. Kennedy set a mission. We need the same scale of ambition now.  

Not saying the leaflet was a success. Am saying – I wanted to say it then and I want to say it now.