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Posts Tagged ‘Save our countryside’

October member poll results now in

November 18th, 2011 by

38 Degrees members work together to decide what we campaign on, and polling enables us to get a clear picture of what the key priorities are. Last month, thousands of us voted on the next set of campaign priorities for 38 Degrees and the results are now in!

Ideas have been suggested on the 38 Degrees Facebook pageTwitter, the blog, on the website and by email. Once a picture started to emerge, a team of volunteers in the office shortlisted the most popular. For more information on how the team sorts this data have a look at this blog.

Thousands of 38 Degrees members voted on the campaigns you thought were most important. Using spreadsheets and other tools the team has listed the results in order of the priority and urgency you felt on these issues.

Below is a graph of the poll results – it’s a little small. If you want to see the results in more detail just click on the image a bigger graph will appear.

 

The top results are:

  • Robin Hood Tax: Continue to push for a Robin Hood Tax, that would give billions to tackle poverty and climate change
  • Save the NHS: Continue the campaign to stop Lansley’s NHS plans
  • Clamp down on tax dodging: Continue to demand a real clampdown on tax dodging
  • Stop Rip off bills: Stop rip-off gas and electricity bills
  • Save our Forests: Continue speaking up for our forests and challenge future attempts to sell them off
  • Run research & Local NHS: Run local NHS campaigns to expose cuts to the NHS
  • Reform media laws: To stop media moguls like Rupert Murdoch ever getting so much power again
  • Campaign against secret lobbying: Step up the campaign against secret lobbying
  • Campaign against planning laws: Continue the campaign to protect our countryside and local communities
  • School meals: Make sure every child from a poor family receives a free school meal

 

What next? 

These results will determine what we focus on in coming months. They give the staff team a clear direction for researching campaign opportunities and developing ideas for action. We won’t be able to do everything immediately. Sometimes we have to wait for the moment when we can effectively create change by moving together.

 

What do you think? 

What do you think of these results? Are there any other campaigns you think should be on the list?

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Save our countryside petition hand-in

October 17th, 2011 by

38 degrees staff and volunteers handing in the petition at 10 Downing Street

Photograph by 38 Degrees

This morning a small delegation representing a huge number of 38 Degrees members were at 10 Downing Street to hand in the Save our countryside petition. In under four weeks, more than 100,000 38 Degrees members who don’t want to see their countryside overrun with bulldozers have come together to sign the petition.

Here are just a few comments 38 Degrees members made on the petition:

  • “Builders have lots of sites that are mothballed and others with planning permission already.Who is this change to benefit……” Chris
  • “I support new home development, but it needs to be built in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We need to protect our countryside.” Nicholas
  • “This is a disgraceful attempt to demolish local checks and balances in favour of wealthy opportunists.” Graham
  • “We can’t keep using up countryside. We must increasingly look at redeveloping old urban land. Yes it’s more expensive, but it’s so short sighted to leave ruined old urban land, sometimes not even used, and build over green because it’s cheap and easy.” Joe

Today the government shut the door on its ‘consultation’ process, their way of reviewing how planning decisions are made. Here’s a blog from a few weeks ago.

The petition delivery to Number 10 was timed so that the views of over 100,000 38 Degrees members would be seen by the government as they make up their mind what to do next and ensure they put our interests ahead of lobbyists from the construction industry.

When we work together we can win. 38 Degrees members had a big impact when we came together to save our forests earlier this year. Now, tens of thousands of us are doing the same to protect our countryside.

Today’s hand-in marked a milestone in the campaign but it’s far from over. The government’s plans are still on the table. The National Trust, the Woodland Trust and Friends of the Earth still remain greatly concerned with the implications of the NPPF.

The petition, signed by over 100,000 of us so far, will send a loud message to the government demanding they provide real protection for our beautiful green land and countryside that all of us cherish.

If you haven’t signed the petition you can do so here, then send it to your friends and family.

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Save our Countryside – update

October 9th, 2011 by

Pic of countryside in danger

The clock is ticking. The government shuts its consultation on proposed changes to the planning system in just over a week.

Almost 100,000 38 Degrees members have signed the petition against the proposed planning changes. The more of us who sign the petition the more likely we are to change the government’s mind.

Here are some of the things journalists, experts and organisations such as the National Trust have been saying abou the government’s plans:

The chief executive of the National Housing Federation says: ‘there are serious dangers that these changes could let private developers off the hook in terms of delivering thousands of affordable homes on their developments.’

The new planning rules will scrap “section 106″ agreements which provide half the 50,000 affordable new homes” according to Michael White.

The main cause of the housing crisis isn’t planning, it’s ‘the lack of money – thanks in no small part to the government’s decision to cut the affordable housing budget by 60%’ argues Caroline Lucas MP.

The National Trust has set out 10 ‘asks’ of the government on how the NPPF should be amended. These include:

  • The NPPF should adopt an explicit ‘brownfield first’ approach
  • It is fundamentally wrong that neighbourhood plans should be led and funded by business
  • The NPPF needs clarification of how planning should promote genuinely, robustly defined, sustainable development

George Monbiot, the Guardian journalist, points out “the framework’s new presumption in favour of sustainable development – by which the government means all development except coal-mining – will make it almost impossible to resist a developer’s proposal. It takes a system that is already unfair, unbalanced and undemocratic and makes it even worse”.

Under pressure from opponents of the planning reforms (including tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members), the planning minister Greg Clark has admitted that the proposals in the NPPF on brownfield land, housing targets and “sustainable development” could have been clearer.

The consultation period ends in just over a week – let’s keep up the pressure. If we work together to get more people involved in the campaign and more signatures on our petition, we can stop the government’s plans to sell off our countryside just as 38 Degrees members stopped them selling off our forests!

Please add your name to the petition, it only takes a minute, and then share this page with a friend:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countryside

 

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38 Degrees: Don’t scrap environmental and wildlife protections

September 21st, 2011 by

Back in April, the government caused a public outcry by considering scrapping vital wildlife and environment protections, claiming that they were ‘red tape’. The laws include the Climate Change Act, National Parks Act and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. These aren’t pointless pieces of ‘red tape’. They’re important safeguards for Britain’s wildlife and countryside, and the air and water we all share.

Groups like the RSPB and Greenpeace have been speaking out, telling the government not to consider scrapping these vital protections. We launched a massive people-powered petition which collected over 52,000 signatures opposing the environment section of the Red Tape Challenge.

Today marked the end of the consultation so we made sure they got a response they can’t ignore: thousands of 38 Degrees members’ signatures and comments saying exactly why these laws need to be respected, not labeled ‘red tape’. 38 Degrees volunteers went to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to hand in the huge petition.

Now ministers have three months to propose changes to the law. We’ll be keeping a close eye on them, to make sure they’re making protecting wildlife and the environment a priority.

The red tape challenge petition

Photograph by 38 Degrees

 

 

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Planning: New menace to our countryside

September 19th, 2011 by

Green belt destruction

Photograph by Raymond Zoller

Our English countryside is under threat again. The government is trying to rush through massive changes to the planning system, which would make it much easier to build on green field sites. We have just a few weeks to stop this happening.

Experts are lining up to condemn the government plans. The National Trust warns of “unchecked and damaging development”. Friends of the Earth predicts “a building free-for-all that will blight our countryside with bad building”.

A massive people-powered petition can make the government think again. It worked to stop England’s forests being sold off. It can work again to stop precious countryside being wrecked by bulldozers and concrete.

Please add your name now, then forward this message to all your friends: 38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countryside

The government says their plans, called the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), are in the name of economic growth and “sustainable development”. Yet we know that foolishly handing over more power to developers to bulldoze over our countryside is not the path to Britian’s long-term happiness or prosperity. Nor do they bother to actually define or explain what “sustainable development” is or how it would work in a system so heavily weighted in favour of big developers – leading experts to complain it’s mere spin.

Jonathon Porritt, former head of the Sustainable Development Commission, outlines some of his concerns: “ it is just a bit of a problem that there is no reference to environmental limits in the NPPF, no reference to health, no reference to social justice, and no reference to the practicalities of delivering low-carbon growth.”

The English countryside is something we all enjoy. It’s far too precious to build on willy-nilly. Once our green fields are gone, they’re gone forever.

If we work together, we can stand up for a balanced, careful approach to deciding what to build and where to build it. We can protect local communities’ right to have their say, make sure social housing is built where it’s needed and protect wildlife and beautiful, tranquil places.

Having to act fast to stop an urgent threat to our countryside feels eerily familiar doesn’t it! It’s only a few months since half a million of us came together to stop plans to sell off England’s forests. It worked that time – now let’s come together again to stop this new threat to our beautiful green places.

Take two minutes now to add your name to the petition: 38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countryside

The government “consultation” ends in October. They say that after that they want to press ahead quickly. So we’ve got just a few weeks to make this petition huge. Please add your name now, then share this blog post with all your friends and ask them to sign the petition too.

Further information:

Stopping dangerous changes to the planning system was prioritised by thousands of 38 Degrees members in the August campaign priorities poll. You can see the full results here.

National Planning Policy Framework

Campaigning organisations:

The National Trust

Friends of the Earth

Campaign to Protect Rural England

The Woodland Trust

Interesting Articles:

The Guardian: This localism bill will sacrifice our countryside to market forces

The Telegraph: HANDS OFF OUR LAND

Planning For Sustainable Development

The Guardian: This wrecking ball is Osborne’s version of sustainable development

The Guardian: A development free-for-all will lead to chaos

Posted in Save our Countryside

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August member poll results now in

September 16th, 2011 by

38 Degrees members work together to decide what we campaign on, and polling enables us to get a clear picture of what the key priorities are. Last month, thousands of us voted on the next set of campaign priorities for 38 Degrees and the results are now in!

Ideas have been suggested on the 38 Degrees Facebook page, Twitter, the blog, on the website and by email. Once a picture started to emerge, a team of volunteers in the office shortlisted the most popular. For more information on how the team sorts this data have a look at this blog.

Thousands of 38 Degrees members voted on the campaigns you thought were most important. Using spreadsheets and other tools the team has listed the results in order of the priority and urgency you felt on these issues.

The results 

(Click on the image to enlarge)

The top results are:

  • NHS: Continue the NHS campaign to protect our health service from privatisation and competition law
  • Planning: Start a campaign against the recent changes to Planning laws
  • Tax-dodging: Demand a clamp down on tax dodging
  • Banks: Push for taxpayers to get a fairer deal from bailed-out banks
  • Energy Bills: Stop energy companies imposing rip-off increases to gas and electricity bills
  • Arms Dealing: Stop UK arms companies selling weapons to oppressive governments
  • Forests: Keep speaking up for our forests and challenge future attempts to sell them

What next? 

These results will determine what we focus on in coming months. They give the staff team a clear direction for researching campaign opportunities and developing ideas for action. We won’t be able to do everything immediately. Sometimes we have to wait for the moment when we can effectively create change by moving together.

It’s clear that the NHS remains a big priority, so we’ll carry on working to protect it from privatisation and other threats as the Bill passes to the House of  Lords.

On forests, we’re currently meeting with the Government’s Forest Panel in the aftermath of many successful forest get-together events to hand in our petition and demonstrate just how important the protection of our forests are to 38 Degrees members.

Some new campaigns might also emerge based on things that pop up in the outside world. You can still suggest any new campaign ideas through our member’s forum and vote on the issues that are important to you.

What do you think? 

What do you think of these results? Are there any other campaigns you think should be on the list?

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Pressure builds to save green laws

April 29th, 2011 by

hedgehog

Photograph by Alexander Olm

Nearly 40,000 of us have now signed the petition against government plans to scrap key protections for wildlife, the environment and the countryside.

Pressure on the government is building fast: It’s only two weeks since the Guardian newspaper first revealed this new threat to wildlife and the environment. As well as our big people-powered petition, more and more respected organisations are speaking out– including the RSPB, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

Let’s keep the pressure building. Can you help get the petition to 50,000 this weekend by asking your friends to sign?

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