‘Whether you like it or not, we are part of the climate emergency in Havering’-XR

Havering Extinction Rebellion today write in the Havering Daily:

This week has been a big week – we have COP26 ending today in Glasgow, and this week in Havering, the much-awaited Havering Climate Action Plan has been published.  Extinction Rebellion Havering have been lobbying our Councillors for this Action Plan since 2019 when we stood outside Romford Town Hall asking for a climate emergency to be declared so that someone would be held accountable for putting a plan and actions in place. 

Now the Climate Action Plan is here, what does it say and where will it lead us?  It definitely makes a lot of good suggestions, and sets forth good intentions in the areas of the built environment, business continuity, energy, people, procurement, public protection, stakeholder and community, transport and waste management. It all sounds really positive and full of action until we look at the detail….as unfortunately there isn’t any real detail in a lot of the action points.  There are no real targets, no real accountability and no measurability. We will not be able to see if we are progressing in Havering, because we can’t see where we are now on any of the action points the Council has created. 

The actions are unfortunately very vague – for example ‘Establish how best to influence Academy Trusts / Department for Education on promoting low carbon school buildings, improving existing buildings’.  There is no further data provided on how many schools, if any, are low carbon buildings already or where we sit on this currently.  Surely a way to measure success annually would be to monitor how many schools have then been spoken to and how many have managed to improve annually? If we are not provided with the data, and if there are no targets, a year will go by and we will not be able to see any difference made. A cynical person might even wonder if that’s the reason why any sort of target or data has been left out.  

A cycling and walking strategy is also set to be put in place which would be a fantastic addition for reducing emissions and encouraging residents to use our streets, but unfortunately this plan is yet to be created, and will be progressed by 2022/2023.  This isn’t yet underway so we imagine it will be 2023 so this is not real action resulting from this plan but simply throwing the problem further down the line. 

We need to be looking at what our Councillors and MPs are saying versus their actions, and calling them out when they don’t match up.  Our Prime Minister is telling the world we are world leaders on climate change and that we need to reduce emissions whilst he flies back and forth on his private jet.  Our leader of the Council says “it is about taking action and setting out how we will achieve our commitments…” Yet we have not seen that in this action plan at all, there is hardly any real or immediate action and definitely no way to monitor the progress or if we ever achieve what we set out to.

As The Havering Daily reported on Wednesday, not one of our rivers is classed as in ‘good health’.  We can visibly see sewage going into the River Ingrebourne locally.  Homes, parks and lakes have been flooded with sewage all in the last year, and yet the action for water is: ‘Liaise with water authorities and water companies to ensure that people in Havering have access to safe and clean drinking water,’ and this will be purely ‘reactive’, when ‘reports arrive from DEFRA, water companies, residents and other partners’.  This is wholly inadequate, because this is exactly the same as the action we have now, and what we are seeing now is simply not good enough.  Our streets should not be flooding with sewage, our own MPs Andrew Rosindell and Julia Lopez should not be voting for sewage to legally be allowed to flow into our rivers and seas.  We must let our Councillors and MPs know that this is not OK.

Andrew Rosindell spoke recently in the Havering Daily, ‘I am absolutely clear that I am firmly on the side of cleaner rivers. We must cherish our rivers and do whatever we can to keep them clean and beautiful.’ But his actions are completely the opposite, voting against an amendment to the Environment Bill which would have seen water companies held to account for polluting our rivers and seas.  Now they are legally entitled to pollute our water.  Again and again we have seen actions that don’t match up with their words.  Is anyone else fed up with the same old drivel and no action?

We are leaving this World for our children and grandchildren.  Do you feel happy with the decisions being made for the planet on your behalf by our Councillors and MPs?  If not, now is the time to speak up and let them know.  You can email them, phone them, tweet them even!  Or join us in protest.  Tomorrow, Saturday 13th November we will be taking part in the ‘Rise & Rebel’ march leaving from Gray’s Inn, Holborn at 10.30am.  If anyone would like to join please meet us there, we will be noticeable with our Havering flags!  Everyone is welcome, including families https://www.facebook.com/events/916054965676676/?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22search_results%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22search%22%7D]%2C%22ref_notif_type%22%3Anull%7D

Love & Rage

Extinction Rebellion Havering

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