Docstoc

Michael Dees

Document Sample
Michael Dees Powered By Docstoc
					Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008



Response to climate change consultation
1

How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?

Neither easy nor difficult

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?

No. Action on a scale proportionate to a problem (ie, global, not some local council) and
value for money for the poor people who have to fund it all.

How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Very unhappy

Utterly shameful and cynical waste of public money. The London Borough of Merton is in
no way the proper agency to deal with issues of a truly global scale. This document
serves only to flatter the sense of self-importance of officers and councillors who imagine
themselves as grander than solving mere local issues and pander to reactionary
minorities who insist on 'action' where none would be better.

Why has no Cost-Benefit Analysis been included as part of the assessment? I am pretty
certain why - any rigourous analysis would illustrate this stategy can certainly impose a
lot of costs on local businesses, residents and tax-payers but can do precious little to
alter the planet's climate or the effects of any change upon Merton's residents. Then the
officers and councillors would have to concentrate on the mundanity of local issues
where they can make a difference.

Such contempt for the tax-payer really is disgraceful. If you're going to propose these
regulations and expenditures (and therefore taxes), at least have the courtesy to
demonstrate why they will make people in Merton better off!

Ans to Q4:

Scrap it. A couple of items may be worth pursuing in their own right, but certainly not
because our little borough has any power at all to alter climate change! Unfortunately,
most will cause more harm than good, or are already the remit of other agencies which
Merton should not be attempting to duplicate!

Aim EE1: All nine of these propaganda policies require someone to be paid in order to
'co-ordinate' them, not to mention the media (posters, hoardings, leaflets, websites,
books, newsletters etc etc) that will need to be produced. There is nothing at all about
climate change that is specific to merton. The climate does not respect borough
boundaries of policy. This stuff should be left to the Energy Saving Trust and similar
bodies.

There should be no advertising whatsoever in council propaganda, re policy EE9. If the
propaganda cannot be justified on its own account - under no circumstances should the
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                            31 January 2008



council open itself to possible pressures of advertisers in order to establish itself in the
publishing sector. The council should be unimpeachable - and that means no favours to
suppliers, and no financial interests or dependencies.

Aim EE2: This is a waste of money and is not the proper remit of a council. The Energy
Saving Trust and others already perform this function.

Aim EE3: Merton cannot influence the climate, so should not waste taxpayer's money
attempting to 'educate' its employees as to how to do so. Turn off lights to save money
by all means, but the focus should be on minimising council expenditure (and therefore
tax) while performing necessary functions (ie, ones that cannot be done by others).

Aim E1, E2 and E3: same principles as above. These are either duplicated, ineffective
or, in terms of halting climate change, futile. The emphasis should be on reducing
expenditure and taking less tax.

Aim P1,2,3 and 4: The reason why developers do not already implement these policies
without the the council forcing them to through planning policies is simple: they are a
waste of money. If electricity were more expensive, then developers would respond to
pressure from buyers to make developments 'effectively insulated', for example.
Therefore these specific policies can only fall into one of two categories: 1) waste of time
writing it, because developers would do it anyway. 2) waste of resources having to
comply, because people have to be forced by the council into doing something that is
not viable.

T4 "Promote car free, work place and residential travel plans in all new developments." It
is unclear whether 'promote' means, in this case, "tax people to pay for someone to
extoll the benefits of", or "Force property owners to comply with this policy through the
planning system." Neither of which is great, but the latter would be significantly more
harmful.

"Procurement and Fairtrade"

"Supermarkets transport millions of tonnes of produce around the country,
unnecessarily creating CO2 emissions from the cold stores and lorries."

I am ashamed that my council has a policy document with such utter tripe as this written
down and made publicly available. My council really believes that supermarkets
'unnecessarily' transport their produce from farms and factories to their shops? What
utter nonsense! How else does the council suppose produce gets from where they are
made to us?

"As well as helping to sustain local industry, sourcing more food and goods locally will
help to reduce the “food miles”, unnecessary cold storage and resultant C02 emissions"

Studies have shown lamb from New Zealand, including airfreight, produces less CO2
than British lamb, likewise with Kenyan tulips compared to Dutch and countless other
products. Merton council should not be promoting this discredited soundbite, and the
vacuous thinking which lies behind it.

"If farmers are impoverished then there is a great danger that to feed their
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008



families they resort to aggressive and environmentally damaging agricultural
techniques such as felling forests to grow crops."

This is patently wrong. Low prices are the market's signal for producers to exit a market,
they are a symptom of oversupply. Higher prices will provide a greater incentive to
produce (through forest felling or otherwise) than low prices. Low prices encourage
people to do something else - high prices encourage more production. Even council
officers should know this!

Aim PF1: This is a waste of money, and a harmful waste of money at that. Poor people
in the third world do not need rich world local governments keeping uneconomic
production afloat out of charity, thereby ensuring prices remain low and they remain
poor. Nor does deforrestation caused by the artificial incentives of high prices help the
environment. Especially not when this is all costing more in order to do this damage.

Time to get back to community policing, rubbish collection, grafitti removal, education etc
etc.

2

Feedback on the Draft Merton Climate Change Strategy

    1. Aims EE1 to EE9 – there are opportunities to link in with the Mayor‟s DIY Planet
       Repairs campaign. The aim of the campaign aims to provide the public with
       practical advice and useful information that will enable them to make simple and
       effective changes to reduce their carbon footprint. The campaign is also
       providing a number of incentives, such as money back on the installation of loft
       insulation and other energy efficiency measures. More information is available at
       www.london.gov.uk/diy/.

    2. Aims EE1 – EE9 – there are also opportunities to link in with the Mayor‟s Green
       Homes Service and the Mayor‟s Green Concierge Service. The Mayor‟s Green
       Homes Service aims to provide advice to homeowners, tenants and landlords,
       providing information, help and advice on simple green practices that will help
       reduce the city‟s CO2 emissions and achieve the targets from the Mayor‟s
       Climate Change Action Plan. More information is available at
       http://www.londonclimatechange.co.uk/. The Mayor‟s Green Concierge Service
       is for homeowners who are able and willing to pay for expert advice from Ten UK
       who specialize in reducing the „carbon footprint‟ of homes. The Green Homes
       Concierge service staff visit homes, calculate energy wastage and recommend
       tailor-made measures to reduce energy consumption. The payment covers the
       service for one year during which the service will research and advise
       homeowners on contractors, provide discounts on energy saving equipment and
       manage any necessary home improvement work. More information is available
       at: http://www.londonclimatechange.co.uk/greenhomes/green-concierge-service/.

    3. Aims EE10 – EE12 – there are opportunities to link in with the Mayor‟s Green
       Organisations programme and the Mayor‟s Green 500 initiative. The Mayor‟s
       Green Organisations offers services, information, advice, tools and case studies
       and sets out how organisations can really make a difference. More information is
       available at http://www.londonclimatechange.co.uk/. The Mayor‟s Green 500
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                            31 January 2008



        initiative aims to help London based businesses or businesses in trade in London
        address climate change by acknowledging and encouraging organisations that
        commit to better green practices. The Green 500 provides businesses with a
        tailored carbon management service that provides specialist advice on reducing
        carbon emissions. More information is available at
        http://www.green500.co.uk/cms/.

    4. Section 3 on Energy (p6) – there is the opportunity to use the information in the
       CCAP which states that 54% of the contribution to CO2 from the domestic sector
       is from space heating and cooling. This will provide further evidence why this is
       an area that is being targeting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    5. Aim E4: “Develop the business case to create advisory services on a commercial
       basis for residents who can afford to, and want to, go green” – this would provide
       another opportunity to work with the Mayor‟s Green Concierge Service (see
       comment 2)

    6. Aim E5 - “Determine current CO2 emissions and monitor progress on reductions”
       – Merton can use the London‟s Energy and CO2 Emissions Inventory (LECI) to
       assist the calculation of Merton‟s geographical CO2 emissions. There will also
       information available shortly on greenhouse gas emissions based for 2004 –
       2006 through the London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
       (LEGGI). There is the opportunity to link this aim with the forthcoming Local
       Performance Indicators on CO2 emissions and to link climate change into the
       borough‟s Local Area Agreements.

    7. P7 – “What you can do – Produce clean energy/heat – consider installing wood
       burning stoves or biomass heaters in residential properties” - the Mayor‟s policies
       promote communal heating systems and not the installation of individual stoves
       of heaters in individual properties.

    8. Aim P1 “Apply a policy requiring 20% renewable energy for all appropriate
       developments until the LDF is adopted” – very supportive of this aim as long as
       it‟s related to energy efficient design and supply policies in the draft Further
       Alterations to the London Plan, in particular policy 4A.15 as amended by the
       Panel report following the Examination in Public (see recommendation number
       1.4 in the attached report). There is the opportunity to link this with the Draft
       Further Alternations to the London Plan (FALP), which now also requires a 20%
       reduction in CO2 emissions to be generated from onsite renewables.

    9. Aim P3 “Require large housing and commercial developments to use CHP/DHP
       units” – very supportive of this aim. There is the opportunity to again link with the
       Draft FALP which requires new developments to demonstrate that their heating,
       cooling and power systems have been selected to minimise CO2 emissions and
       that their heating and cooling infrastructure should be designed to allow the use
       of decentralised energy. There is also the opportunity to work with the London
       Energy Partnership on the mapping of heat networks in London (contact
       ross.hudson@london.gov.uk)

    10. Aim P4 “require all developments to be effectively insulated” – recommend
        firming this aim up, first of all to confirm that this is for new developments and
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008



        secondly to give an indication on what you determine to be “effectively insulated”.
        For instance, requiring a U-value higher that what is required in building
        regulations.

    11. Aim P8 “promote the use of sustainable materials in all new developments” –
        recommend consideration on how “sustainable” will be assessed, e.g. locality,
        recycled content, embodied carbon, etc.

    12. Aim P13 “Explore the feasibility of erecting wind turbines on open spaces in
        partnership with residents and local organisations” – there is the opportunity to
        utilise the London Energy Partnership‟s (LEP) London Wind and biomass energy
        study and the LEP Wind feasibility studies -
        http://www.lep.org.uk/projects/energy-demand-and-supply.htm

Feedback on the Draft Climate Change Strategy: Evidence Base

    1. Section 2.10, p5 – Might assist the reader if it is made clear that the expected
       impacts are for the UK, and hence British crops, habitats and landscapes.

    2. Section 2.18 – London (Greater London Authority) – London‟s 60% target for
       2025 excludes aviation. There is an opportunity to reference the London Plan
       and the Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan that is providing some of the
       mechanisms to reduce CO2 in London. There is also a new duty on the Mayor
       as a result of the adoption of the GLA Act to have regard for climate change and
       the consequences of climate change in exercising his powers and to produce a
       „climate change mitigation and energy strategy‟ and a „climate change adaptation
       strategy‟. The climate change mitigation and energy strategy must minimise
       emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gas substances.

    3. Section 4.2 Figure 3 – the energy hierarchy presented here is not the same as
       the energy hierarchy presented in the Draft Further Alterations to the London
       Plan and supported by the Panel Report following the Examination in Public.
       The hierarchy has changed from the original 2003 Energy Strategy version, and
       now “cleaner energy” supersedes “greener energy”. Appreciate that you are
       using information from the LGA, but would strongly recommend using the energy
       hierarchy that is available for London.

    4. Section 4.15 “Work has already taken place to examine the possibilities of
       implementing district heat and power in Merton. However, a further operational
       study must take place…” – recommend contacting the LEP on their heat network
       project – contact Ross Hudson as above. In support of the need to progress a
       further study, please note draft Further Alterations Panel Report recommendation
       1.12 (p31) for a new Development Plan policy on implementing district heating.
       This will become a requirement for the Council in their LDF process.

    5. P22, 7.2, Transport – There a figures available for London from figure (i) in the
       London Climate Change Action Plan for the proportion of London‟s contribution
       from ground-based transport, which at 22% is different to national figures of 40%
       because of the effect of London‟s highly used public transport infrastructure. You
       might want to reflect this in the strategy.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008



Biodiversity Comments:

    1. This section is titled “Problem” but actually looks at both problems and
       opportunities. The reference to CO2 uptake by trees and forests is not relevant
       in London, firstly because of the tiny scale of any possible tree planting here and
       secondly because there is considerable doubt that forests in temperate latitudes
       actually function as net absorbers of carbon (unlike tropical forests, where they
       clearly do play an important role in CO2 uptake). Trees do have a role to play in
       mitigation in terms of shading buildings to which reduces cooling needs – but
       have a bigger role in adaptation to climate change, particularly in alleviating the
       urban heat island effect.

    2. All the examples of benefits seem to refer to trees - the wider benefits of the
       natural environment for adaptation, including reducing runoff and the use of
       wetlands in sustainable urban drainage systems, could be mentioned. There are
       benefits of green roofs, both for mitigation (insulation) and adaptation (reducing
       run off), which could be mentioned. An additional aim could be to encourage
       new developments to incorporate green roofs, rather than including this only as a
       “what you can do” bullet point.

    3. The problem is expressed as trees dying, but there will be far wider changes in
       the natural environment that will be threatened by drier summers

    4. Aim B4 could add “and do this in ways which also benefit biodiversity”

    5. Aim B5 should drop the reference to carbon uptake for the reasons discussed
       above.

    6. Aim B5 and/or B7 could make a link with the Right Trees in a Changing Climate
       database produced by the Mayor and Forestry Commission http://www.right-
       trees.org.uk


General comments

    1. Figures are available for London in the London Climate Change Action Plan,
       which may be preferable to UK-wide figures. This includes the statistic that 38%
       of London‟s emissions (excluding aviation) is domestic, and of this 54% is from
       space heating and cooling.

    2. This strategy does not appear to cover Climate change adaptation in depth. Will
       Climate change adaptation be covered in an additional strategy, so as to meet
       the forthcoming Local Performance Indicator on Climate Change Adaptation? It
       is recommended that either climate change adaptation be addressed in this
       strategy or in a subsequent strategy. For more information or to set up a
       meeting, please contact Alex Nickson – alex.nickson@london.gov.uk.

    3. Additional sources of information which may assist in the development of the
       strategy include Futerra‟s work on communication and climate change
       (http://www.futerra.co.uk/ or http://www.climatechallenge.gov.uk/) and the New
       Local Government Network‟s report “Carbon Footprints, Local Steps” which looks
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008



        at how local government can rise to the climate change challenge
        (http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/press-releases/massive-carbon-reductions-could-
        be-made-decades-ahead-of-2050-target-according-to-nlgn-report/)

Links

Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan Examination in Public Panel Report
September 2007:

http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/strategies/sds/eip-report07/index.jsp


3

I am disappointed that the document presented for public consultation is only a
preliminary consideration of the issues. It lacks well defined targets specific to Merton
and really has the broad aspirations and „helpful‟ suggestions one might expect in a
magazine article.

This is an important issue on which Merton has, in the past, developed some good
initiatives. I hope that a coherent and closely defined strategy will be produced for
consultation in the near future and that the present document will be viewed as the
preliminary draft that it clearly is.


4

1. How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?

Quite easy to understand

 - However, there should be tangible targets in the strategy.
 - The Aims tables could be confusing, as the headings and the actions have the same
labelling system.


2. Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?

Yes

- However, the importance of Peak Oil should also be stated.

3. How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Quite happy

*Environmental Education:
 - I believe any business tendering for a Council contract should be required to present a
sustainability policy and, where necessary, be encouraged to improve upon it.
 - Many high street businesses have 24-hour lighting. If they were encouraged to turn off
their lights, etc when they were closed, this would not only reduce production of CO2 but
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                           31 January 2008



also send a message to those who visit the town centres after dark. The larger
businesses might even be encouraged to take it nationwide.
 - Reference should be made to the Sustainable Communities Bill, and how people will
be made aware of it's implications.

*Transport:
 - "Maintain journeys made by sustainable transport at 40%" - if we already have a rate
of 40%, this is very unambitious. If 40% is actually a future target, this needs to be made
clearer.
- There is currently a debate (and studies have been made) about the impact traffic
lights have upon people's driving. One of the issues is increased production of CO2 from
the constant acceleration/deceleration of vehicles, not to mention the energy/financial
costs of maintaining them. I think there are 11 sets of traffic lights between Wimbledon
Hill and the end of The Broadway, at least one of which serves no purpose (the
pedestrian crossing between Morrisons and Woolworth). The Council should take a
serious look at which traffic lights are really necessary - I believe Westminster Council is
already addressing this issue.

*Water:
 - At present, the drains on red routes are badly maintained and I believe this was
instrumental in some of the flooding the borough experienced last summer. I've been led
to believe this is due to restrictions imposed by TfL. If this is the case it should be
addressed as a matter of urgency.

*Procurement:
 - The Council should have a stated policy on the air-freighting of goods and support
demands for products in general, and food specifically, to be labeled more clearly.

4. Are there any comments you would like to make about the climate change strategy?

 - To have any relevance, the climate change strategy must be at the heart of all Council
business and every Council report should include an impact assessment.


5

My greatest criticism is the use the word 'small' in para 1.1 of the introduction. The
emission of CO2 of course is caused by the accellerating use of fossil fuels, but these
are rapidly depleting in the view of many experts. Colin Campbell of ASPO-ireland.org
estimates a peak for all liquid fuels in 2010, and the latest issue of ASPO-usa.com warns
that Russia may not be able to meet the gas demands of all its customers demands also
by around 2010. I think it is imperative that the Council should not be so complacent
about this aspect of the problem.

I should like to see great urgency given to Aim P13 on page 9 to help focus the attention
of the borough on these issues


6

Hello,
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008




I have the following comments on the Draft Strategy:

In general I am impressed that the Council has produced this document and appears to
be taking climate change seriously. However I don't see a lot of evidence of any real
commitment to spending at the level likely to be required to make any of these
suggestions effective. That is my first major comment. On more specific points:

p7 - Use energy more efficiently - This should be a major priority as improvements to
current housing stock represent the greatest potential for reducing CO2 emissions.

p9 - re Planning permission
The granting of planning permission for alterations to current housing stock should
incorporate requirements that:
a. Suitable measures to increase energy efficiency have already been undertaken (eg
installing solar panels, insulation etc) on the exisiting structure as well as incorporated
into the new building, or
b. the applicant will agree to implement measure to improve energy efficiency throughout
the whole building as well as the new addition.

The Council will then have to decide what are "suitable measures"

p11 W6 - Community composting sites with waste going to parks/allotments? - this
should be easy to set up if it is not already happening.

W8 - this should be a high priority - could possibly be done with other boroughs to help
with high set-up costs."

p13 - GeeWhiz cars need special charging points. How many are there in Merton and
could more be installed to encourage use of these vehicles?

My additional comment is that Merton should join the movement and work towards
becoming a Transition Town.

7

How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?

Very easy

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?

No.

The strategy fails to address the issues of food production, distribution, consumption and
waste.

Climate change adaptation, retrofitting of domestic properties and in other areas,
suggestions about which are made later in this response.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008



A section on food should be included along the lines of the following suggestion:

Food

The Problem

Our consumption of food contributes more to our greenhouse gas emissions than any
other human related activity. From the manufacture of fertilizers and pesticides through
the machanisation of agriculture, the greenhouse gas emissions of the animals we eat,
distribution, packaging, supermarkets and other shops, car journeys to and from shops
and the waste resulting from the food we throw away. Helping local residents and
organisations source locally produced organic food will contribute significantly to
reducing the borough's carbon emissions.

What we do now

1. Merton has 18 allotment sites which provide a unique outdoor leisure activity for
residents living in the urban environment. (i'd be interested to know what these 18 sites
equate to in terms of square meterage and what the current percentage uptake is - i've
emailed danny lovelock)

2. A farmers market has been running in Wimbledon Park since May 2000. Located in a
school playground, this market is very popular with the local community and is centrally
situated in Wimbledon, serving people who live in both Wimbledon village and
Wimbledon town.
An additional market in Raynes Park has been planned for some time.

3. Residents are able to access commercial organic box schemes run by national
companies who supply organic vegetables from UK farmers directly to the consumers'
doors.

Case Study
Western Road Allotment Site - Local residents are working in partnership with the
council to make unused allotment sites available to individuals, schools and community
groups. Community food growing initiatives introduce residents of all ages to food
growning as a fun and healthy partime which has many positive benefits including
reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with food.

What we will do
1. Work with community groups and residents to acheive 100% use of all of the
borough's allotment sites
2. Encourage residents to grow organic food in gardens, roofs and balconies and permit
residents to grow food in unused green areas (such as verges)
3. Assist residents and community groups to set up and run community supported
agriculture projects.
4. Plants fruiting trees in all green spaces in the borough and develop a system of
harvesting by and for the local community
5. Promotion of health benefits of low meat/dairy diet as part of a healthy diet to reduce
obeisity, diet related illnesses and greenhouse gas emissions.
6. Encourage residents to compost at home and collect biodegradable waste from those
unable to compost for use in community composting schemes
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008




What you can do

1. Eat less meat/dairy as part of a healthy balanced organic diet
2. Grow your own fruit and vegetables or buy organic vegetables from a local farmers
market or box delivery scheme
3. Start composting at home

How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Quite unhappy

The strategy needs specific, measurable, acheivable and targets set to a
realistic timescale which reflects the urgency with which the challenges of climate
change present us. The aims should be re-written as specific measurable targets aimed
at meeting the overall aim to reduce the borough's carbon footprint by 3% per year and
ultimately reduce carbon emissions in the borough by 80%.

Climate change is a serious issue which requires significant action to be taken
immediately. Anyone reading this strategy would not get this impression as the actions
are not significant, immediate or concrete.

Some other suggestions regarding the aims are detailed here:

Chapter 3 Energy

Establishing district CHP schemes in the borough is absolutely essential to reduce the
borough's carbon footprint and provide energy security. There has already been a
feasibility study into A chp plant as part of the mitcham regeneration scheme and
another as part of the colliers wood area intensification plan so there are no excuses or
not implementing these schemes

Large scale wind turbines should be erected in in Morden park, Mitcham Common and
Wimbledon Common and the council should immediately begin working with the
stakeholders of these open spaces to ensure successful passage through the planning
process.

I welcome the move to encourage wood burning stoves using fuel from sustainably
managed sources and the borough should implement a massive tree planting program in
the borough of working trees which will provide food, materials and fuel for the borough.

Chapter 4, Planning and Development

Add the following action points:

       Ensure secure high-standard covered cycle parking is available at every
        workplace, station, public transport interchange, all entertainment and leisure
        facilities and shopping areas, as well as in all new homes.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008



       Make planning permission necessary to pave over front gardens for car parking
        or any other reason.

Define the size of large scale developments described in P3

Chapter 5, Waste

The domestic recycling service should be enhanced and extended to included
businesses. The borough should aim for zero waste and set a target date to acheive
this.

The borough should work with local communities to close the recycling loop. For
example, food waste can be collected from flats, composted using an in-vessel system
and then used in food growing programmes which can then supply fresh vegetables to
the same households.

Chapter 6, Transport

Change aim T1 to Increase journeys made by sustainable transport to 60%

Add the following action points:

       Make 20mph the standard speed limit on Merton's streets to reduce road danger
        and encourage cycling and walking.
       Deliver free on-road cycle training for Merton's children, subsidised training for
        adults and compulsory training for highway engineers and transport planners.
       Return one-way systems and streets to two-way operation and create
        advantages for cycling and walking, thus maximising route choice and minimising
        diversion. Pedestrians should be favoured over vehicular traffic and the centres
        of Wimbledon, Morden and Micham should be pedestrianised.
       Ensure the completion of the London Cycle Network Plus (LCN+) to a high
        standard with effective removal of all barriers as soon as possible
       Adopt ambitious targets to encourage walking and cycling to all major events in
        the borough, eg tennis, culminating in the first 'active spectator' Olympics in
        2012.
       Work with TfL to create a Paris-style mass cycle hire scheme in the borough in
        time for Wimbledon Olympic tennis venue 2012.
       Work with police on a major campaign of action against cycle theft including a
        minimum 5% theft reduction target
       Work with police to enforce the law regarding vehicle engines left idling for long
        periods, eg at level crossings
       'Countdown' timing indicators at all bus stops to make public transport more
        attractive.

Action T9: bio-diesel will bring its own problems, and the commitment to continue to
explore possibilities is too woolly and non-committal. We therefore suggest broader but
firmer commitment: increase the proportion of council vehicles running on alternatives to
fossil fuels to x% where "x" should represent both a significant step forwards from the
present proportion AND significant proportion (at least half) of the total council vehicle
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                           31 January 2008



fleet. Electrification of public vehicles should be favoured ahead of biodiesel which is not
a sustainable solution to public transport and council fleet requirements.

Within the next 20 years, our entire transport system must be replaced by one that is
powered completely by renewabe energy. The Centre for Alternative Technology
envisages that battery electric vehicles will be the technology that enables this.

Electric motors are 4-5 times more efficient than internal combustion engines, giving an
immediate energy saving. They also have lighter motors and other components,
producing lighter vehicles and supporting a virtuous cycle of efficiency improvements.

A vehicle to grid system would allow users to sell the use of the onboard battery storage
back to utility companies while they are not being used - helping to overcome some of
the variability issues of renewable energy technologies.

Under what you can do, add:

       Turn off your car engine when you are likely to be stationary for more than 30
        seconds

Chapter 7 - Water
The council needs to ensure that the borough's victorian drainage is replaced to cope
with the kind of deluges which we experienced last july and which flooded a number of
properties in the borough, including mine. Rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling and
flood prevention need to be seriously addressed as a matter of urgency. The economic
and social cost to the borough of an interuption in water supply or of flooding is
significant.

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the climate change

strategy?

The climate change strategy should lead to the development of an energy decent plan
for the borough detailing speciic actions to reduce the borough's energy dependence by
80%. an example of an energy decent plan is attached. The council should work with the
local community to develop the plan and implement the actions.

There should be a reference to the recently passed Sustainable Communities Act
and how the borough plans to engage the community to use this legislation to help make
our borough more sustainable. The citizens panel which has to be established by law
could also be used to monitor progress on the climate change strategy.

There should be a list of mechanisms by which the strategy can be implemented, for
example the council's tendering process and procurement (EMAS), and examples of
good practice from elsewhere.

There should be a proper investigation of how many local businesses, particularly eco-
businesses, would be ready and willing to provide support for initiatives and may already
have conducted extensive research for themselves that could be adopted or may be
already involved in projects that could be developed.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008




There should be reference to initiatives such as the eco-forums in schools involving the
community AND service-providers AND contractors at once to promote ideas that can
take hold quickly (and can be built into the curriculum meeting several of their own
targets into the bargain).

Projects already underway like Merton Parents already exist with ready-made networks
– the Council simply has to pin-point a few localised projects and set target dates to
achieve them. The document should explain what these organisations do and provide
links to relevant websites to make this document a useful, living, ongoing tool to inspire
people – people follow web-links.

This could replace the case study idea which looks like tiny examples that cynics could
see as a drop in the ocean (which they are not when taken together – this needs to
reflect the huge movement that is happening on all this in the borough). And it should
explain properly what things are e.g. eco-school – what does it mean in real terms that
people can relate to?

There should also be a requirement that all reports submitted to cabinets or committee
meetings should contain a mandatory sustainability impact assessment and provide brief
but clear training about what needs to be taken into account in writing these. So for
example a report on criteria for allocating school places might have an adverse impact
on pollution by increasing the number of cars delivering children to schools the other
side of the borough – this should be included as an impact notwithstanding any
recommendations of the report so that it is properly taken into consideration.

8

How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?

Quite easy to understand
The numbering of the 'aims' and 'actions' is a little odd and possibly a bit confusing -
there are both 'actions' and 'aims' with the same numbers - eg Aim EE1 to raise
residents' awareness of climate change across the borough and action EE1 to support
the Eco-schools programme and work with schools to develop other climate change
practices and integrate climate into learning. Completing this form electronically, it's
impossible to complete an answer to question 4.

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?

No

This document is a fair attempt, but it feels a little lacklustre.
- There seems to have been little effort made to get the views of residents, or to bring
this strategy to their attention (odd given 'aim' EE1. Has the Council embarked on a
leafleting, or email campaign or some public adverts to let people know?
- The consultation is well under the 12 weeks consultation period that is stipulated by
the Cabinet Office as being the optimum time, and over the Christmas holiday period
too.
- Furthermore, the document is missing that 'exciting idea' that would capture the public's
imagination - for example, Islington's Climate Change Fund or becoming a plastic bag-
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008



free zone. This would help generate interest and enthusiasm for the plan. For a strategy
that "reaffirms our ambition" it's pretty dull!

How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Quite unhappy

There are several issues where we feel there could be improvement in the strategy.

- 2. Environmental awareness. See above comments in relation to efforts with regards to
consultation and adopting something exciting and ambitious to capture people's
attention and help bring the messages on climate change home.

 - 4. Planning. Aim P1. What are "appropriate developments"? Does this just mean new
build? What about brownfield developments or large house conversions for example?
Aim P9. How will Merton ensure that biodiversity is considered - does the Council have a
biodiversity officer?

- 5 Waste. Aims W1 & W2 (increase recycling/divert from landfill). There's nothing here
about increasing kerbside recycling. Merton is still not meeting the 27% recycle or
compost rates - there's nothing we can see to try to meet that target. What can be
learned from boroughs with recycling rates in the 30s (%)? What about encouragng
transport companies to install or allow recycling facilities

Aim W3 to reduce amount of waste generated - at para 5.3 of the summary text, a
trading standards department campaign to reduce excess packaging is mentioned, but
where are the actions to ensure that it's effective or even to measure it? The
commitment to "lobby government to set guidelines on excess packaging" seems just lip
service. How and what's the plan?! What about lobbying local businesses, what about a
plastic carrier bag free zone?

- 6. Transport. Aim T1 (actions T1-T4) - Could cycle parks be considered at main
stations in borough?

Aim T2 (actions T5-T8) - Could (and does) the Council consider flexible working/working
from home to reduce need of employees to travel?

Aim T3 - public procurement is really important. What will Merton do about sustainable
procurement?

There seems to be some confusion about the Low Emission Zone - it's to do with air
quality NOT climate change/carbon dioxide. For example, if one follows the suggested
hyperlink, it states: “the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is to improve air quality in London.
London has the worst air pollution in the United Kingdom and amongst the worst in
Europe, adversely affecting the health and quality of life of many Londoners. The Mayor
of London has a legal obligation to take steps towards meeting national and European
Union air quality objectives which are designed to protect human health.” It‟s therefore a
bit worrying that the strategy says this is a “key element in the fight against climate
change”.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008



- There's also no reference to the DfT's "Act on CO2" campaign - this is a great website,
with info about better driving, best in class cars etc

- 8. Biodiversity. Considering actions B1-B9, has Merton Council considered appointing
a trained Biodiversity Officer. Such an officer could also help with action P9.

Generally
-The document seemingly lacks an Impact assessment: no financial information is
available as to how much the Council's new initiatives are going to cost, or if they are
going to save money: why? We should know where our council tax is going.
The strategy seems a little short-sighted on national government plans, referring only
briefly to the new planning bill and the energy bill etc, but what about the climate change
bill and the effect that this may have on local issues? The new local transport bill? The
TIF bids that Merton could investigate for local road-pricing schemes etc and also, has
the PPS1 (climate change planning policy statement) been introduced yet? If not, that
could have implications in terms of sustainable planning. (We would put this as an
answer to question 4, but this document, as it is downloaded from Merton's website, is
set up in such a way as to stop you from doiing so!)

9

You require replies to your consultation on Merton's Draft Climate Change Strategy by
30th January.

There has not been sufficient time allowed for consultation with our local Residents
Association or the John Innes Society, so I put forward the following comments as an
individual.

Q1. Quite difficult to understand - reason - so light weight and sketchy.
Q2. No - other LA's CCS' are far more comprehensive.
Q3. Quite unhappy - not enough aspects of the subject are covered; there is a lack of
corporate co-ordination and a failure to take into account work already carried out by
LBM.
Q4. It is a great pity the draft plan has been put forward for public consultation at such
an early stage in its formulation. It is clear from other LA's CCS's that a CCS should be
a far reaching, major, Borough specific strategic planning document, covering all aspects
of climate change from reduction in emissions through to dealing with extreme weather
and changing economic conditions.

Short of re-writing it, which it is not fair to ask the public to do, one cannot give
meaningful comment on such a preliminary draft. One looks forward to further
consultation when the draft has been progressed to a more comprehensive document.

10

All drains in the road-gutters should be cleaned and cleared. This used to be done on a
regular basis years ago but I never see it done nowadays. This would help prevent
flooding in the sudden heavy downpours, which we are to expect in the near future, due
to climate change
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                            31 January 2008



Mothers of new babies should be encouraged to use the old-fashioned terry-towelling
nappies with nappy-liners rather than creating mountains of 'disposable' nappies.

We should go back to the old-fashioned method of householders having strong metal
dustbins into which they put all their non-recyclable waste. The refuse collectors could
empty the contents into their lorry and return the dustbin to the correct house. This
would obviate the need for mountains of black refuse bags!

Supermarkets should stop issuing free plastic carrier bags. Shoppers should be
encouraged to take their own re-usable bags or baskets.

Supermarkets should stop selling fancy products that require masses of plastic and
cardboard packaging.

People should be encouraged to eat fresh unpackaged vegetables [and to compost the
peelings if they have a garden].


11

How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?

Neither easy nor difficult. It was easy to understand only because it dealt in broad
generalities and avoided any specific or practical issues.

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?

No. It does not seem to me to seriously address any of the issues it supposedly covers.
There is little or no commitment to do anything specific - only advise, explore,
encourage, examine the possibilities. It is not a strategy - it is only a promise to maybe
start thinking about planning something.

If I have to mention one neglected area, it is any mention of food. But the point is that all
sorts of council policies - CPZs, education etc. all have an impact on the problem. If the
council means to take the subject seriously it can't be relegated to some sort of vague
adjunct to education/publicity.

How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Very unhappy. As explained above, very few actions were mentioned and these were
very feeble. It seems that the council will only be taking action where forced by such
external things as the landfill tax. And even then, the attitude seems to be to try to tick
the boxes rather than follow the spirit of the law.

To take one area - the council has the power to take some radical steps regarding
sustainable transport - speed limits, road space allocation and so on, but will commit
itself to nothing.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                            31 January 2008



For another, there is nothing to stop the Council setting up a local CHP plant. The
planning and finance are in place - such things have been common in other countries for
years. But all Merton will promise to do is: 'explore the feasibility...if practical'.

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the climate change
strategy?

The LGA Climate Commission report urged councils adopt 'demanding targets' , 'bold
leadership', 'turn commitment into effective action', 'lock onto a more demanding
trajectory'. They are right.

What I think is evident from the scientific introduction is that Merton has grasped the
simpler argument about climate change - that we are making things gradually warmer -
but that's all. They think it is something we should probably do something about, but a
slow serious of incremental changes will eventually turn things around.

They seem to miss the point that nobody is bothered about the current gradual increase
as such. They are bothered because after a certain point this slight rise will set off vast
'natural' events like the melting of the permafrost - once that happens, it really won't
matter what Merton Council does as the matter will be out of our hands. If we want to
prevent this, then we simply have to do some quite drastic things immediately.

To put it another way, we are paddling our canoe towards the waterfall. We simply need
to get out of the river! Just paddling a bit slower is not going to do it, let alone Merton's
'strategy' of thinking about maybe paddling slower in a few years time.

12

How easy did you find the climate change strategy to understand?

Very easy to understand

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?
Yes

How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Neither happy nor unhappy. There are lots of good actions, but identifying more specific
actions would support change more effectively:

Environmental education and awareness raising - Retro-fit one existing (typical) home in
each ward with insulation (including solid wall and floor insulation, as well as more
widely used loft and cavity wall insulation etc.) and demonstrate the impact this has on
the energy bills for that home. One demonstration in Germany saw annual energy bills
cut from €700 to €100 for a 70 year old apartment.

Energy - Encourage businesses to turn off lights and computers at night.

Planning and Development - ensure that floor insulation is installed in every new
property, along with cavity wall and loft insulation, low energy boiler etc. Floor insulation
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                          31 January 2008



doesn‟t cost much but can make a big impact as 15% of domestic space heat is lost
through floors, according to the DCLG's Review of Sustainability of Existing Buildings.

Transport - The need to encourage walking is recognised here and in other council
documents. However, in practice, walking will only become the preferred choice if
specific actions are taken to make pedestrians feel more important. These include
widening pavements where there is heavy use, providing good quality walking surfaces
and stopping vehicles from using pavements either by mounting them whilst travelling or
by parking on them. How can parents encourage children to walk to school when even
the pavements are not safe from cars? Besides causing an obstruction particularly for
people with limited sight, wheelchairs and push chairs, parking on pavements givens the
clear message that pedestrians are unimportant and walking is of low value. Currently,
neither traffic wardens nor the police see parking on pavements as a problem and those
I have spoken to are prepared to do very little about it. Failure in this area undermines
efforts to encourage walking. The Council should liaise with traffic wardens and police to
encourage them to stop vehicles parking on pavements.

Install measures to slow down through traffic

Use of bio-diesel is good, but only if it comes from a sustainable source.

Biodiversity & the Natural Environment - Consider planting large trees in public open
spaces. Small ornamentals may be easy to look after, but large trees support more bio-
diversity, have a larger impact on micro-climate and provide more focus and character to
an area.

Procurement and Fair-trade - When looking at what shops and services are needed in a
shopping centre, specify that food shops providing local/healthy/organic food are
essential to improve health and/or reduce environmental impacts i.e. differentiate
between different types of food shops.

When making procurement decisions, the environmental impact of transport associated
with each procurement choice should be part of the consideration.

City Knowledge - Use thermal imaging to identify buildings leaking most energy.

13

I‟m not familiar with the planning law but I find there is a big omission in your climate
change policy changes to existing buildings. A specific one is the issue of crossovers
and the disappearance of front gardens. You are probably aware of the water
management issues but a topic that is in general not mentioned in the issues related to
crossovers is the disappearance of a lot of hedges and trees that results in a important
reduction in bird populations. http://www.rhs.org.uk/gardeningmatters/frontgardens.asp

I have nothing against crossovers: I got one myself recently, but I made sure no trees
were removed and I left the bushes in place (but I had to remove one hedge). But most
people have the front garden paved over completely.

Part of your policy should be, as was done in a way with the Merton 10% rule, negotiate
with the department of communities the ability to impose certain restrictions on
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                         31 January 2008



crossovers (http://www.merton.gov.uk/democratic_services/ds-agendas/ds-
archived_reports/_000-5363/4887.pdf) in specific point 3.7. Climate change and
biodiversity are allegedly high on the agenda of both Labour and the Conservatives. One
can impose for instance that at least one tree needs to planted (AND maintained) and/or
hedges or bushes, numbers related to the surface amount.

Planning approval would only be granted for a loft conversion or an extension if a tree is
planted (AND maintained) in the front garden etc. This would enable existing completely
paved over front gardens to be „ripped open‟.

There are enough guidelines freely available on water management issues related to
crossovers. There are also guidelines on trees and foundations and I‟m sure there are
people at the council who can advise on these issues.
http://www.pavingexpert.com/geosheet.htm


14

General

The draft strategy does not contain enough SMART targets - Specific, Measurable,
Achievable, Realistic, Timed. Our response therefore makes a number of suggestions
to introduce such an approach. Our response draws on our current mayoral manifesto,
agreed at LCC level, and published here.

Chapter 4, Planning and Development

Add the following action points:
    Ensure secure high-standard cycle parking is available at every workplace,
       school, station, all entertainment and leisure facilities and shopping areas, as
       well as in all new homes.
    Make planning permission necessary to pave over front gardens for car parking

Chapter 6, Transport
Change aim T1 to Increase journeys made by sustainable transport to 60%

Add the following action points:
    Make 20mph the standard speed limit on Merton's streets to reduce road danger
       and encourage cycling and walking.
    Deliver free on-road cycle training for Merton's children, subsidised training for
       adults and compulsory training for highway engineers and transport planners.
    Return one-way systems and streets to two-way operation and create
       advantages for cycling and walking, thus maximising route choice and minimising
       diversion.
    Ensure the completion of the London Cycle Network Plus (LCN+) to a high
       standard with effective removal of all barriers
    Adopt ambitious targets to encourage walking and cycling to all major events in
       the borough, eg tennis, culminating in the first 'active spectator' Olympics in
       2012.
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                            31 January 2008



        Work with TfL to create a Paris-style mass cycle hire scheme in the borough in
         time for Wimbledon Olympic tennis venue 2012.
        Work with police on a major campaign of action against cycle theft including a
         minimum 5% theft reduction target
        Work with police to enforce the law regarding vehicle engines left idling for long
         periods, eg at level crossings

Action T9: Bio-diesel will bring its own problems, and the commitment to continue to
explore possibilities is too woolly and non-committal. We therefore suggest broader but
firmer commitment: increase the proportion of council vehicles running on alternatives to
fossil fuels to x% where "x" should represent both a significant step forwards from the
present proportion AND significant proportion (at least half) of the total council vehicle
fleet.

Under What you can do, add:
    Turn off your car engine when you are likely to be stationary for more than 30
      seconds

15

How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?

Very easy. Thought it was informative and had relevant case studies.

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?

Yes and No. Thought it could be stronger on the targets it has for everyone to achieve.

How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?

Thought the actions were measureable on the whole but some quite cague and could be
stronger. For example, if driving more slowly to reduce CO2 emissions from cars – why
not bring in more 20 MPH limits in the borough? Do parking permits incentives low
emission cars etc?

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the climate change
strategy?

To help encourage businesses to be greener the system on the Isle of Wight worked
very well – the green island awards. They audited your business and you got a Bronze,
Silver or Gold award depending on your green practices – it has encouraged companies
to be greener and shared best practice.

16

How easy did you find the Climate Change Strategy to understand?
Very easy

Has the strategy addressed the issues that you think are important?
Yes
Response to consultation on climate change strategy                        31 January 2008



How did you feel about the actions contained in the strategy?
Very Happy

Are there any other comments you would like to make about the climate change
strategy?

    1. W4 quote „Explore possibilities of working with third sector organisations to
       increase reuse and recycling rates across the borough‟. This is help up because
       Merton will not empty our recycled bin without charge. They say only ONE free
       empty (and that‟s our normal refuse). Charities and not-for-profit organisations
       need a second free empty.
    2. I strongly agree that extending Tramlink will build on the improvements to reduce
       traffic in Merton.
    3. Very few mentions of third sector in the 23-page document. Merton must plan to
       let third sector help them more… at present we are treated like businesses and
       we cannot afford to pay like businesses can. A different arrangement for charities
       and not-for-profit organisations is need so we can get co-operation to do what we
       can do – recycle.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:9
posted:3/15/2010
language:English
pages:22