Petition to Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
Gaston Browne: Don't let Chinese Developers break laws conserving our Marine Protected Areas.
Recently a Chinese development company purchased some 1600 acres of undeveloped waterfront land with the intention of creating hundreds of villas, several marinas and luxury hotels, a casino, a school, a hospital, a horse racing track and two golf courses. All of it lies within an incredibly delicate marine ecosystem which is currently protected by the Laws of Antigua and Barbuda. Among several laws which aim to conserve this national treasure is a section within the Fisheries Act dealing with Marine Protected Areas. All of the coastline within this project are within the North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA) which was designated a Marine Protected Area in 2005. Despite this, plans show vast marsh lands, mangroves, flats, reefs and nesting vegetation cleared to make way for the project. This would mean laws either being broken or changed for the developer. This can not be permitted to happen. For thousands of years settlers have sustained themselves with the fruits of these delicate habitats. Currently fishers and tourism based stakeholders utilize the environs that revolve around the delicate mangroves and surrounding habitats. These natural resources are hugely important assets not only to them but to all hotels in Antigua and more importantly to the ecosystems of the wider Caribbean and the world. This large area was made a Marine Protected Area because of it's huge importance and it is our duty to ensure that it remains intact for future generations to come. Antigua and Barbuda needs development but not at the expense of areas which we thought prudent to protect just a blink ago in time. Tourism is a relatively new industry and its fickle nature is susceptible to many threats which we have no control over. Terrorism, fuel crises, hurricanes, climate change, sea level rise, market crashes and many other factors all are not unrealistic threats. One day we may not be able to rely upon tourism to sustain our people and we must be able to look once again to the natural resources for sustenance. If we permit these critically important resources to be destroyed then we will only follow them in the future. It is essential that we continue to protect these life giving resources. No amount of concrete and golf courses will feed us in the future. We need sustainable development and not destructive development. It is imperative that the Prime Minister is shown that the people who care about sustainable development in Antigua and Barbuda are not a fundamentalist minority as he recently described them at the ground breaking ceremony. He has the power to ensure that this important development is done in accordance with the Laws of Antigua and Barbuda and with the health of future generations of nationals and their natural resources in mind. Tell him you care by signing this petition because you are not a fundamentalist. You are a caring visionary.
Petition to Councillor Nick Kemp
Put Nature on the Map in Newcastle
Nature is faring worse in the UK than in other countries. We must act locally - and nationally - to reverse this trend. All local authorities are legally obliged to conserve biodiversity - the number and variety of plants and animals in a particular area. While some local councils actively promote biodiversity, others find it easy to neglect their duties when it comes to nature conservation. · Newcastle City Council's local plan removed 9% of Newcastle’s green belt - the biggest proportion of any UK city. · The destruction of one the largest areas of mature woodland in the city was permitted by Newcastle City Council in 2015 to make way for unnecessary millionaire houses. · Designated wildlife sites, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Local Wildlife Sites, Local Nature Reserves and Sites of Local Conservation Interest, were considered ‘parks and allotments’ in a recent Newcastle City Council consultation on the future of parks, with no reference to their nature conservation value. · Planning applications that disregard nature conservation, including those that threaten protected species, bisect Sites of Local Conservation Interest and pave over wildlife corridors have been approved by Newcastle City Council. · Tree cover in Newcastle is well below the UK average, yet hundreds of trees were recently felled to make way for a road widening scheme and plans to fell more trees in a nature reserve to make way for an unnecessary car park were recently put forward. · There are only a handful of wildflower areas in the city, most of which are managed and funded by residents and community groups, and glyphosate-based herbicides are still used widely and indiscriminately across the city, despite increasing evidence of the detrimental effect on bee populations and other pollinating insects - and humans. · Havannah and Three Hills Nature Reserve, which provides habitat for the last known breeding population of red squirrels in the city, is set to be hemmed in by residential development, threatening wildlife and protected species in and around the reserve and endangering a nationally significant red squirrel population. The Newcastle and North Tyneside Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) aims to safeguard priority habitats and species, considered under threat locally and nationally. This plan is supposedly active until 2021, but there does not appear to be any evidence that targets are being met and it is unclear how objectives are being measured. We want Newcastle City Council to put nature on the map in Newcastle. We are therefore calling on Newcastle City Council to observe its duty to conserve biodiversity by maintaining and protecting existing wildlife corridors and designated wildlife sites from further destruction and degradation. We want to see the creation of new wildlife habitats through increased planting of trees, shrubs, hedgerows, green roofs and living walls, and the introduction of wildflower areas and weed killer free zones. By 2018 we would like to see comprehensive monitoring of all targets in the BAP to ensure targets are met, in particular to guide decisions on planning applications that affect biodiversity and, in so doing, enhance biodiversity value across all habitats in the city. 2,500 signatures on this petition will trigger a full debate at council. Please sign to send a clear message to Newcastle City Council that Newcastle needs better protection for nature.
Petition to Minister Eoghan Murphy, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Protect Bantry Bays kelp forest habitat - we say no to mechanical harvest of native kelp
A licence was issued to Bioatlantis, Tralee in 2014 to mechanically harvest native kelp (1860 acres) in the pristine marine waters of Bantry Bay - this licence should be suspended immediately until adequate advertising, public consultation and environmental impact assessments are completed. The licence issued falls under Minister Eoghan Murphy's Department of Housing which allows BioAtlantis Aquamarine to mechanically harvest 753 hectares (1860 acres) of native kelp in Bantry Bay. Inadequate advertising took place for the issue of this licence. No public consultation meetings were held to inform the residents of Bantry Bay of this proposed mechanical harvest by a company from Tralee. No regard is being shown to the pristine marine environment in Bantry Bay which is home to many species protected by Irish, European and International legislation i.e. White Tailed Eagles, Otters, Choughs to name but a few. An Environmental Impact Assessment is not required for this licence! An extensive Environmental Impact Assessment should be done before any mechanical harvesting of native kelp is allowed in any Irish coastal waters. No regard has been shown for the people who rely on tourism and marine activities such as fishing in the bay to make a living. The Kelp forest slows the wave action approaching the land, so removal of this kelp forest may lead to more coastal erosion along the Bantry Bay coast. FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN ON FACEBOOK BY LIKING AND FOLLOWING THIS LINK:- https://www.facebook.com/bantrynativekelpforest/
Petition to CITES
Stop SA Government legalizing domestic and international trade in Rhino horn
South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has declared that she plans to permit the trade in Rhino Horn domestically and to allow the export internationally of Rhino Horn for 'personal purposes'. The South African Government has in the past been accused and found guilty of corruption at the highest levels. Informed conservationists fear that the implementation of the proposed permits for trade will be less than perfect. The South African Government has not even been able to release any official poaching figures for more than six months. Rhino in South Africa are facing extinction. Conservationists have confirmed figures that on average three Rhino per day are losing their lives to Rhino poachers. Opening of trade in horn will escalate the extinction of this iconic species. The South African Government are curators of an enormous Rhino Horn stockpile. The black market value of Rhino horn is £51 000 per kilogram. This black market value makes Rhino Horn more valuable than Gold, Platinum for Diamonds per gram. At CoP17 held in Johannesburg in October 2016 the international community voted overwhelmingly AGAINST the trade in Rhino Horn.
Petition to Michael Gove, Theresa May MP, Sadiq Khan
air pollution caused by grown-ups #shamethegovernment
The Supreme Court was very clear in its ruling against the government which ordered ministers to come up with a plan to bring air pollution down within legal limits as soon as possible. That was in 2015! Mr Gove, you are now in charge of the environment and the air our children are breathing in. Mr Khan, you as the mayor of London issues the highest pollution warning and most children don't even know about it and even if they do, they have no choice. Adults are deciding for them. They are still sent outside to play in school playgrounds and sports fields. Some schools advised asthmatic children to make sure they bring their inhalers. Some schools are starting to install pollution filters. We put seat belts on our children before driving a car. We put helmets on their heads to ride a bike. There is a smoking ban in cars with children, we have smoking bans in hospitals. Why are we then harming our children knowingly with toxic air pollution on a daily basis? We need a national air pollution warning system, contacting on a daily basis, all schools and nurseries to protect the future generation. Mr Khan, as the mayor of London your are taking some action, but your plans will take years to show results. Much more can be done to force and incentivise change, NOW! NOW you can replace the bus fleet instead of planning on buying non diesel buses from 2018. NOW you can start imposing car idling penalty notices. NOW you can make sure all vehicles need to pass strict MOT if necessary introduce a London MOT. Planning bike routes need to be coordinated with other road closures. Current HS2 plans add to pollution for the next 10 years and are completely inadequate. During building work create traffic free zones around schools and pedestrian areas only. How can the Zoo sign off a lorry car park contract for 600 pollution lorries in and out a day for HS2 construction. How can you force kids to take in the extra pollution of 1200 lorries a day past their playground. How can you accept that kids need to stay in schools and breathe only filtered air, keeping windows shut! Mrs May, your government on the other hand, is hiding behind mysterious plans that change nothing for the foreseeable future. Climate change is on the back burner and you continue David Cameron's policy of 'if we ignore it long enough it might go away'! Plans to make a significant impact on our climate are constantly shelved and dragged into the open under duress and court enforcements. They continue to be insufficient! The minister for transport need to work hand in hand with the minister for the environment and not just the minister for future trade deals! Our children cannot wait any more. They are grown-ups with destroyed lungs by the time we get our act together. They deserve a government taking the lead and bringing down the number of all citizens who need inhalers to cope with air pollution. They deserve mayors who take unpopular decisions to force change but also a government that helps their citizens financially, be it through tax breaks or fully financed implementation schemes to pull it off together. Paying for the replacement of an entire bus and taxi fleet costs less than caring for NHS lung patients who are only 2 years old now. Our children deserve parents, uncles, neighbours, grandmothers, teachers, in fact all grown ups, who take care of the environment and who take care of them, the most precious asset of this nation. Our children want to know what all grown-ups are going to do to address this terrible and inexcusable problem - NOW!
Petition to Peter Box CBE
Wakefield Council - Keep The Managers on Wintersett Lakes
In the grand scheme of things, our cause is not an important one. (Natural disasters, wars, life threatening illnesses etc:) But a lovely guest asked me to set up a petition here too - so that people have all sorts of ways to let Wakefield Council know that having the opportunity to come stay here is very important to them. They (you) care about the right to spend time in the countryside in a safe, welcoming way. The current planning system has lots of hurdles to jump through, designed to protect green belt. We all want that. The planning system is not there however to make it 'impossible' for people like us to provide access to green belt in ways that you want. Green belt belongs to us all, and sharing the privilege of living here, in a way that respects others and allows us to try and make the experience of staying here as good and safe as we possibly can is what the planning system can facilitate if local Councils want to support it. We need to stay here in our mobile home to enable others to stay here in that safe,welcoming way. The Council have the power to make the decision to support or oppose us in providing this essential quality service for you. You - our guests and potential guests have presented them with very robust justification of why we need to be here on site, on hand for you and for Wakefield's reputation as a supporter of quality tourism. Wakefield Council call themselves a listening Council - You are asking them to listen to you!
Petition to Kirsten England
STOP the building of an incinerator in the AIRE VALLEY
Endless Energy have re-applied for and have been granted Planning Permission (by BMDC)to build an enormous incinerator - in the middle of this valley - the area of a football pitch and the height of eight double decker buses with a 60m chimney. Endless Energy are trying to tell us that this is a good thing for local people. It is NOT. It is TERRIBLE for the beautiful Aire valley, AWFUL for the surrounding area and APPALLING for the Environment. The only winner is Endless Energy and associated companies. WE CAN STOP THIS! Incinerators are burning waste which could be otherwise recycled. The UK already has enough incinerators to burn our non-recyclable waste so they are burning recyclable waste to keep the incinerators going. The plant will release a cocktail of particulate matter, chemicals, metals, dioxins and furans - the most toxic chemical known to science. The major source of dioxins & furans in the environment come from burning waste! Experts have warned these are all a major cause of cancers, birth defects, breathing difficulties and heart disease. These poisons will fall over a wide area around the Aire Valley and beyond, wherever the winds take it. The waste that this plant burns is NOT our local waste. It is commercial and industrial waste brought from anywhere! The plant will NOT bring a major job boom to the area - again as suggested in the local press. In fact a maximum of 80 staff may be required and many of these are already employed by the European operating Company. Incinerators throughout the country have a maximum staff of about 40. Local residents will NOT benefit from cheaper energy bills - as was implied in the press. The plant will be a huge, ugly, monstrosity clearly visible from thousands of windows and gardens throughout the Aire Valley. Also clearly visible from the grade 1 listed National Trust property. An eyesore in a beautiful valley which will be severely detrimental to the whole area. TO HELP TO PREVENT THIS HAPPENING PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION
Petition to Manchester City Council
Ask Government to step in and REFUSE the Planning Application for the huge dark towers
(Sign petition with email "opt-in" to be kept informed. Scroll down for media comment and for info +email addresses for Manchester councillors.) THANK YOU! WE'RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE - BUT IT'S NOT OVER YET! These destructive plans have been temporarily put on hold ⏸ by the developer after huge numbers of objections - but only, they say, for "refinements" at street level - the two huge towers stay the same. The developers still want and expect the Council to agree to the plans when they press "play" ▶️ so we must ask Government to intervene and appoint an independent planning inspector. We CAN ask Government, and they CAN agree - all it takes is an email to email@example.com WE DON'T KNOW HOW LONG WE HAVE Government would have to intervene before the Council makes the planning decision, and while we don't know when that would be, we know that if the developers were making any significant changes, planning law would require them to withdraw the application - but they've only paused it. Guardian 15 March. The process could start up again quickly, so we can't just wait - we must ask Government NOW to make the decision to step in before the Council agrees the plans. Please help! Here's that email address again: firstname.lastname@example.org - see below on what we should say. THIS IS WHY THE COUNCIL SHOULD NOT DECIDE The Council is a business partner in the development company that put these plans forward - but it's also the planning authority so would be giving itself planning permission to build these towers. Many, including the media (see below), have severe doubts as to whether the Council can be impartial and objective, because: it has a big financial stake in the plans being approved: it's a landowner and business partner in the development company, and will get £millions from its share when planning approval is given planning approval for these towers will immediately increase the value of nearby Council-owned land so that they can demolish and rebuild higher on those too, again, gaining £millions - i.e. it's a precedent, and won't end here the developer says that the designs for the skyscrapers are what the Council asked for - i.e. that the Council has encouraged and promoted these plans, which will permanently and irreversibly harm our city the Council clearly and strongly supports the plans at the most senior level. For example, the Leader of the Council has said (M.E.N.) that objectors have made "silly" arguments, and "just don’t like tall buildings". That's nonsense, as comments in this petition make plain. Our problem with these towers is that they're in the wrong place, 500ft from the Town Hall entrance, overwhelming our civic centre. Last summer, a town hall boss said that "...given the cash already ploughed into Neville’s project, it is ‘highly unlikely’ it will not be granted planning permission" (also M.E.N). The Council often has to decide on planning applications where it has some sort of interest, such as school extensions. But this nothing like a school extension - it would have a huge impact on Manchester's nationally significant civic centre and beyond. ASK CENTRAL GOVERNMENT TO MAKE THE DECISION There are thus sound and solid reasons to ask Central Government use its power to step in and stop Manchester City Council from making this planning decision and allowing these towers to be built. The law allows this - but only for applications that are of more than local interest. In those cases, the Secretary of State can appoint an independent Planning Inspector to make the decision instead. This is the only alternative to the fourteen councillors on Manchester's Planning Committee deciding to approve the application. The full Council of 96 members doesn't get to vote on planning applications, given the "quasi-judicial" nature of the planning process. The 14 Planning Committee members would be the only ones to have a vote on a planning application that will cause permanent, irreversible and substantial harm to our city centre's nationally significant heritage assets. None of their ward constituents have been consulted, as none of them represent the city centre. (Scroll down for more information on the committee and the councillors.) WHAT SHOULD WE SAY? If you agree that Government should intervene, please email the Department of Communities and Local Government at this address: email@example.com - keeping in mind that Government will only step in for applications that are of more than local interest. (NCPU is the National Planning Casework Unit in the Department for Communities and Local Government.) "More than local interest" is the key point to mention: it's number 4 in these 6 key planning reasons why the application should be refused: this is an inappropriate location for these buildings, which don't reflect, respond to or respect their surroundings the buildings are of poor design and appearance, from street level upwards the proposals fail to comply with the Council’s Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework, or to fit with the Guide to Development in Manchester and published Conservation Area policies substantial harm would be caused to the setting and significance of important heritage assets of more than local importance, including our nationally valued Town Hall and civic buildings the proposals are not sustainable due to their impact on the historic environment and failure to build a high-quality environment the benefits of the proposals are narrow, partial, and insufficient to balance the harm done to our city's assets. The reference number to add is 14664/FO/2016. WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS National and local press, TV, and radio have commented on this planning application and the harm it would do to Manchester's heritage assets. Some have also commented that the Council is unlikely to listen to objectors. It’s been everywhere from The Star and the Sun to The Times, on the BBC and Granada, and even in the USA news. Here’s a few: The Times, 17 February, said "Manchester’s leaders should resist this attack of tower-mania." That "the Council leader has made his allegiances clear and that if Manchester's councillors won’t look after the city’s interests, then Sajid Javid should step in." (i.e. the Secretary of State - see below.) Manchester Evening News, 20 February: M.E.N. The Council is compromised by the cash deal for the site, undermining "…the ability to take a clear-eyed decision on something...worth so much to the city purse". The Guardian, 20 February: Guardian "Don’t trash Manchester’s history to make way for skyscrapers." The Guardian, 23 February: Guardian "Wanton vandalism." +The architect says that the Council pushed re the design. Manchester Confidential, 21 February: ManCon People are angry about the planning system. "The current planning regime plays at engagement. It appears to care little for public consultations or written responses. It seems to regard both as visits from troublesome and undesirable relatives, a duty rather than a virtue." The Guardian, 15 March: Guardian "Gary Neville has admitted his £200m plans for two bronze skyscrapers in Manchester city centre have “failed miserably” in the wake of huge opposition from heritage groups. The former England footballer faced a fierce backlash for his plans to bulldoze three historic buildings to make way for luxury flats, hotels, offices and restaurants. On Wednesday Neville said he had asked Manchester city council not to consider the application in its current form and that it would undergo further refinements." Manchester Confidential 15 March ManCon "We have failed miserably" said Gary Neville. THERE WILL BE DAMAGE TO OUR CITY: THE DEVELOPER SAYS SO: In their own planning application, the developer says: "The proposed development will also result in major adverse impacts on the setting of the Grade I Town Hall, Grade II* Town Hall Extension, Grade II* Central Library and Grade I St Ann’s Square and consequently also the character and appearance of the Albert Square, St Peter’s Square and St Ann’s Square Conservation Areas. The Heritage Statement therefore concludes that "the proposed development will result in substantial harm to the identified heritage assets." That is what Historic England said last July - that these plans "would cause a high level of harm" to our city centre - but their view was dismissed by the developer. The same developer is now admitting in his own planning application that Historic England were right. Thousands of us agree with Historic England that there would be unacceptable, irreversible and permanent damage to our city centre. The comments in this petition can be read on-line (click on "join the conversation" below). The "St Michael's" development proposals on the site of the old Bootle Street police station in Manchester city centre are just 150 metres from the Town Hall entrance in Albert Square. The dark 31 and 21 storey towers will overwhelm a heritage area of national importance - Albert Square, the Town Hall and our historic civic centre - and will be seen from many miles away. They're of much more than local significance, will have an impact on much of Greater Manchester and will be seen by millions of people. ONLY 14 COUNCILLORS WILL MAKE THE DECISION, BUT SHOULD ALL 96 MANCHESTER CITY COUNCILLORS KNOW WHAT WE THINK? It is the job of your local Councillor to represent your views and opinions and to decide how the Council should carry out its many important functions. Their job is to represent public interest, as well as the individuals living within the ward in which he or she has been elected. To find your local councillor: bit.ly/2lPtyTZ - their email addresses are all listed so that you can tell them your views directly. The full Council of 96 members does NOT get to vote on planning applications, given the "quasi-judicial" nature of the planning process. The decision is made by 14 Planning Committee members only. They are listed on the Council website: bit.ly/2l4zMef Councillor Ahmed Ali firstname.lastname@example.org (Rusholme) Councillor Shaukat Ali email@example.com (Cheetham) Councillor N Ali (Deputy Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org (Levenshulme) Councillor Barrett email@example.com (Sharston) Councillor Chohan firstname.lastname@example.org (Longsight) Councillor Curley email@example.com (Charlestown) Councillor Dar firstname.lastname@example.org (Moston) Councillor Ellison(Chair) email@example.com (Didsbury West) Councillor Fender firstname.lastname@example.org (Old Moat) Councillor Kamal email@example.com (Gorton North) Councillor Paul firstname.lastname@example.org (Withington) Councillor Siddiqi email@example.com (Gorton North) Councillor Watson firstname.lastname@example.org (Whalley Range) Councillor Madeleine Monaghan email@example.com (Sharston) None of these councillors represents the city centre, in which the buildings would be located, so their constituents have not been consulted by the Council on this planing application, even if they work in or travel to the city centre and would have an opinion on these plans for permanent harm to our unique civic heritage. None of the three councillors who do represent the city centre are members of the Planning Committee, so they don’t have a vote, although one of them may be allowed to speak at the meeting for a limited time. They are: Councillor Joan Davies firstname.lastname@example.org Councillor Beth Knowles email@example.com Councillor Kevin Peel firstname.lastname@example.org Also, although Councillor Pat Karney is "Lead Member for the City Centre" he is not on the Planning Committee either, he may be able to speak. email@example.com MORE INFORMATION: Only local residents and limited organisations were invited to see the model of the plans shown for just 8 hours in September. After complaints, one extra day was added as a last chance in October. Since that consultation, where 70% of people objected to what they saw, only the colour of the towers has changed - from black to bronze. The photograph above shows the developers model, on which every building was coloured white - including the giant dark towers, here coloured to show them clearly. White was not an honest or realistic way to show their impact - they're huge, and 500ft from Manchester Town Hall. The plans revealed last summer had changed drastically in less than a year, from light-coloured medium-rise blocks to two high-rise black towers of 31+ and 21+ storeys (both have a 'crest' on top). The smaller is an office and the larger a 5* hotel and luxury apartments -"a place for leaders to call home". These towers are grossly inappropriate to this location. They don't reflect, respond to or respect their surroundings. They are in the wrong place, out of proportion and overwhelm everything around them, including the town hall, central library and both old and new buildings in the city centre. The lower areas are crammed commercial sales areas, not the 'public open space' promised, and the already dark and dank Bootle Street will become even worse with a new 4/5 storey, essentially blank wall with one narrow alley. The Council has already said NO to smaller towers further away from the Town Hall than these giants, so its support for these plans is inconsistent and bewildering. Manchester's policy on tall buildings says they'll be supported where they are "appropriately located", and that they "...should complement the City's key existing building assets and make a positive contribution to the evolution of a unique, attractive and distinctive Manchester, including to its skyline and approach views. Suitable locations will include sites within and immediately adjacent to the City Centre with particular encouragement given to non-conservation areas..." These towers are in a conservation right next to other conservation areas. The developers want the Council to decide that the 'benefits’ of building the towers would outweigh the permanent and irreversible harm done to our city - but the 'benefits' are insufficient - too limited, too narrow, and in some cases not even real or relevant. The 'benefits' listed include some limited 'public open space', some initial building jobs and later on, jobs in a hotel, offices, a few shops and lots of drinking and eating places - and the synagogue congregation get a brand new building. But the 'public' space isn’t a benefit - it’s not public, is largely a cul de sac for commercial sales and is mostly in permanent shade. And, obviously, jobs and new business activity would still be provided with a different, better and more appropriate design that doesn’t scar our city centre for ever. It isn't an 'either/or' decision. This petition will be updated from time to time, so you can stay informed of important changes or developments, including the date and location of the Planning Committee meeting. Developers email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Developers information line: 0800 032 5725. Developers website: www.st-michaels.com (click on tiny words at the bottom of the home page "download consultation"). More pictures and info on Dropbox at: http://bit.ly/2cKUWOq