Campaigns

 Wandsworth Council must Divest from fossil fuels

Climate change is the most pressing issue facing humanity. Wandsworth council currently has £69m invested in fossil fuel industries. This is counter-productive to it's 'Our Greener Borough' initiative which was set up to help reduce Wandsworth's environmental impact. 

Local government has a duty to act for the public good and fossil fuels are in direct conflict with this.  Help Wandsworth Green Party's campaign to get our council to divest from fossil fuels by writing to your Councillor.  

Here is a template letter to help you do it!  If you write please copy us in wandsworthgreenparty@gmail.com.
 

< INSERT DATE>

Pensions committee, London Borough of Wandsworth:

Chair: Councillor Maurice Heaster           e: MHeaster@wandsworth.gov.uk     

Deputy chair: Councillor Guy Senior        e: Gsenior@wandsworth.gov.uk 

Opposition Councillor James Daley         e: JamesDaley@wandsworth.gov.uk 

Councillor Melanie Hampton                       e: MHampton@wandsworth.gov.uk 

Councillor Peter Carpenter                           e: PCarpenter@wandsworth.gov.uk 

Councillor Rory O’Brien                                    e: RO’Broin@wandsworth.gov.uk  

 

BY EMAIL

Copied to ward councillors :   

Cc:   [Ward Councillor1    -  check at  https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0

Cc:   [Ward Councillor2  - etc

Cc:   [Ward Councillor 3  - etc -

 

Dear Chairman and Members of LB Wandsworth Pension Committee

Climate-damaging, financially strand-able fossil fuel assets, accounting for  6.6% of LB Wandsworth’s pension fund

As a council taxpayer, resident in [INSERT WARD ] ward of LB Wandsworth, I write to express serious concern at the fossil fuel investments held in LB Wandsworth’s pensions fund is in conflict with the current 'Greener Borough' initiative .  

LB Wandsworth reported in early 2014 in response to a Freedom of Information inquiry that fossil fuel investments – oil, gas and coal, held either directly or indirectly - accounted for £69.6 million of LB Wandsworth’s pension fund at that time.   What is the current holding, please? In early 2014 the share of those fossil fuel holdings amounted to 6.6% of your total fund.   The average fossil fuel holding across UK local authority pension funds at that time was 6.1 %, as reported by researchers at Go Fossil Free.

“Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2”, as the US Environmental Protection Agency bluntly puts it:  see https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data  In advice commissioned by the UK Local Authorities’ Pension Fund Forum and delivered in July 2016, the Carbon Tracker Initiative points out to LAPFF members the severe financial hazard facing councils holding fossil fuel investments.   With climate science increasingly proving that reserves of coal, gas and oil must be left in the ground to avoid heating the earth’s atmosphere further to unsustainable levels, fossil fuel holdings such as LB Wandsworth’s are rapidly becoming - in Carbon Tracker’s term - ‘stranded assets’  - ie with no market value, and thus unsaleable.

Institutions in capital markets are realising the imminence of ‘stranded’ assets, of a ‘carbon bubble’.  With no sign of a sustained recovery in global oil prices, in April 2016 for the first time in nearly 70 years, Exxon lost its triple A rating for its bond risk.  In September 2016, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned investors of the ‘potentially huge’ losses to oil & gas companies from reserves that would soon be ‘literally unburnable.’  In October 2016  Exxon, long the most stubborn oil company in the value it continues to place on reserves, warned it may have to write off as worthless 19% of its global assets.  

Here in London, Sadiq Khan’s manifesto pledges the mayor to eliminate fossil fuels as soon as possible from pensions controlled by the London Pensions Authority.  In September 2016, the London Borough of Waltham Forest voted to become Britain’s first local authority to divest from fossil fuels. LB Waltham Forest joins bodies such as the British Medical Association, the Environment Agency, the universities of Surrey, Glasgow, SOAS and Oxford Brookes, the cities of Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Sydney &  Melbourne among 600 public institutions worldwide, who have already withdrawn public approval & social licence for fossil fuel investments.

I ask that LB Wandsworth’s pension trustees follow the lead of LB Waltham Forest, Sadiq Khan and city governments from Sydney to Stockholm.  The UK’s municipal stocks of fossil fuel assets should be sold, in favour of morally better, financially more remunerative assets.  Please can you confirm whether you support divestment from fossil fuels by Wandsworth Council and let me know whether you have any specific plans to help ensure this divestment.

Yours sincerely

 

[ your name and address ]

 

 
 
 
 

Toxic Air in Wandsworth

 

Pollution across Wandsworth is well above legal and healthy limits, according to tests carried out by Wandsworth Green Party. 

 

Alarmed by the well documented toxic air in Putney, greens tested levels of nitrogen dioxide at 10 sites around Tooting and Battersea over the summer.

 

Toxic Air Campaign

 

The results were truly shocking.  All 5 sites in Tooting showed NO2 levels well above the maximum level of 40 micrograms per cubic metre with one site on Upper Tooting Road showing over twice the legal limit.  Even within the confines of Battersea Park 3 out of 5 locations tested exceeded the healthy limit. 

Wandsworth Greens call upon the Council to take more action to tackle this problem, such as fines for vehicles whose engines idle unnecessarily and making cycling and walking more attractive alternatives to car use.  We also call upon the Mayor of London to strengthen plans for the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) where vehicles must meet exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel.  Current plans would have the ULEZ  covering London’s congestion charging zone only and would see it taking effect in 2020 but if we are going stop the silent killer that is  toxic air we need a London wide ULEZ and we need it much sooner than 2020.

Air pollution tests in Battersea ParkAir pollution tests in Tooting

Falcon Park November Update

The Falcon Park pitch application to put a pay to play astro-turfed football pitch in the park will come before the next planning committee meeting, on 16 November. The Council have recently rewritten their planning statement to state that they believe the new astroturf pitch is needed even though Battersea Sports Centre can now stay open for the time being.  Apparently the new leisure centre within the York Road and Winstanley Regeneration Project which will eventually replace it has no space for outdoor pitches, even though it is to be built next to a new park.
 
As well as taking up almost a quatar of the park for a facility that only those who can afford it will be able to use, the plan will require the removal of turf and the felling of eight mature trees. 
 
Hopefully Councillors will take note of the 200 or so formal objections that have been made to the application, not to mention the 871 signatures on the 'Save Falcon Park  e-petition. 

 

What you can do:-

Please sign the Save Falcon Park petition now 

Make an objection to the Falcon Park development plans to your councillor (find your councillor here) 

Join the Save Falcon Park facebook page here

 Aerial view of the proposed Astro turf in Falcon Park

 

We are fighting to have this development blocked and to achieve a  protected status for the park similar to Royal Parks & Commons.

 

Save Chestnut Avenue on Tooting Common

 

Chestnut Avenue, Tooting Common

 

A number of the 77 Horse Chestnut trees on Chestnut Avenue, Tooting Common have succumbed to ‘Bleeding Canker’. In spite of 3 surveys commissioned by the Council all saying that with good management many of these trees can survive, the Council is planning to remove all trees on the avenue, healthy and infected, and replant with saplings of a different, single species.

 

A consultation took place over the summer but with questionable process & results as is often the case with Wandsworth consultations. Most locals want the council to keep the avenue and replant only where trees pose a threat of falling.

 

We are supporting Friends of Tooting Common and Save Chestnut Avenue campaigners to pursuade the council to change their mind.   Please help us save the trees!

 

 

A victory for People Power in Battersea Park

 

After three years hard campaigning local residents have succeeded in saving this Grade II listed Victorian park from being turned into a race track every summer. Both Formula E and Wandsworth Borough Council have confirmed that the 2016 Formula E race will be the last in Battersea Park.

 

A crucial factor leading to this success was a legal challenge which set out the main reasons in law why the Council has acted beyond statute in imposing the construction of a Formula E car racing circuit within the park.  This was backed up by a campaign of e-mails and letters to sponsors and to the FIA,the governing body of motor sport of which Formula E is a part.

 

 

It is sobering that big money seems to be more responsive to citizens' concerns than the elected politicians who are supposed to represent them.  During the campaign our council showed a stunning disregard for due process in consultation and for the views of the local community. Nightingale Cllr. Ian Hart accused Battersea Park Action Group of faking the petition signatures; Cllr. Torrington, a resident of Putney, declared that parks were a luxury and Cllr. Cook made insulting remarks in the press, implying that people living on the edge of the park were only ‘nimbies’. 

 

Wandsworth Greens would like to thank Battersea Park Action Group for their fantastic lead in this campaign!

 

Boy on scooter heading towards fork lift truck

  

Wandsworth Green Party Response to Formula E

 

 

 

Other campaigns we are linked to in Wandsworth:-

South West London Keep Our NHS Public

 
Wandsworth Greens regularly attend our local 'Keep Our NHS Public' meetings which take place on the second Tuesday in the month, 7.30pm, at  Colliers Wood Community Centre, Colliers Wood High St,  3 minutes from Colliers Wood tube. All welcome Contact: Mike Squires  drmikesquires@gmail.com.  For More Information about the campaign group see here.

 

Wandsworth Living Streets

We have been long been campaigning with Living Streets for 20mph speed limits across the borough. Recently the council agreed to hold a borough wide consultation and we worked hard distributing leaflets encouraging residents to respond.  In the end 3, 382 residents responded; 59% said Yes, they wanted 20mph on all residential roads. 40% said No.  

 

As for the A and B bigger roads, 37% wanted some or all of these to be 20mph too.

 

 

 

On Tuesday, 5 July, the Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee met and agreed to proceed in the light of this result with making all residential roads 20mph. 

 

 

 

London Cycling Campaign

Green Parties across London have endorsed the six key policies of the London Cycling Campaign:-

1. Safe routes to School
2. Streets without through motor traffic
3. Dedicated space on main roads
4. Greenways
5. 20mph limits
6. Liveable town centres.
 
For more information on London Cycling Campaign see here.
 

 

 

 

Renters Survey

Parks for People

South West London Keep Our NHS Public

Living Streets

London Cycling Campaign

 

Local groups

Sign Our Petition to Home Secretary Amber Rudd to keep Refugee Families Together

Families should never be separated when running from war, torture and persecution.  Please sign the petition

Join the call for a London Wide Ultra Low Emission Zone

The air we breath in Wandsworth is lethal. Please sign this petition

Thassaly Road Green Space under threat

Please see details here and sign the petition.  Contact us at wandsworthgreenarty@gmail.com if you would like to get involved in this campaign.