How WE can help to get to zero carbon emissions

“People must use less transport, eat less red meat and buy fewer clothes if the UK is to virtually halt greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the government’s chief environment scientist has warned.

Prof Sir Ian Boyd said the public had little idea of the scale of the challenge from the so-called Net Zero emissions target.

However, he said technology would help.

The conundrum facing the UK – and elsewhere – was how we shift ourselves away from consuming, he added.

In an interview with BBC News, Sir Ian warned that persuasive political leadership was needed to carry the public through the challenge.
Asked whether Boris Johnson would deliver that leadership, he declined to comment.

Mr Johnson has already been accused by environmentalists of talking up electric cars whilst reputedly planning a cut in driving taxes that would increase emissions and undermine the electric car market. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49499521

Top Tory on prorogation of Parliament

Still no view from our MPs Swire and Parish.

Pro-European Micheal Heseltine makes some strong points, whatever your view on Brexit:

… A government which is frightened of parliament is frightened of democracy. I hope that every member of parliament in feeling this humiliation will use every legal and constitutional weapon to obstruct a government proposing to force on the British people a historic change for which they have long since lost any mandate.

To abandon parliamentary scrutiny is a constitutional affront. My party, the one I have worked for all my life, told the British people about the new role that Britain could play in the world. Britain has helped to change Europe from Fascist and Communist dictatorships to Parliamentary democracies. And now I am told by the leader and the cabinet of that same party that we were all wrong – that we now must become some subordinate vassal state to the United States.

This is outside anything I could ever have believed that the Conservative party would propose, and I hope that large numbers of Conservatives, as well as friends from other political traditions, will join together to resist it. …”

Sheffield holds referendum on return to committee system of local government

Owl says: Current EDDC Leader Ben Ingham promised to return EDDC to the fairer committee system when he was Leader of East Devon Alliance (that was after he had been a Tory and an Independent and prior to working with Tories rather than East Devon Alliance after the May 2019 elections).

Then, all went quiet. He has entrusted a review to one of his councillors with no mention of what, if anything, he intends to do when it is completed.

Petiton time?

Activists in Sheffield have used provisions of the Localism Act 2011 to require the city council to hold a referendum on ending the cabinet system and reverting to committees.

The It’s Our City group said it had collected 26,419 signatures – in excess of the 5% of electors required for a petition subject to be put to a referendum after verification of the signatures.

Two members of Sheffield’s cabinet have resigned so that they can support the campaign to return to the committee system, as have four councillors who held the roles of ‘cabinet assistant’.

It’s Our City said the cabinet system meant that only 10 of the city’s 84 councillors had a real role in making decisions.

The group called for: “A committee-based system, which is more democratic, and where all our councillors would have a meaningful say in making decisions.

“Some people might remember that the current system was brought in to make councils less bureaucratic and more streamlined and do away the with lengthy process of arriving to decisions. We are not arguing for a return to the old system – we want to see a new model that takes the best bits of both worlds peppered with a hefty dose of public engagement.”

Former cabinet member for finance, resources and governance Olivia Blake said: “My preference was to resolve the debate on the council’s governance structure without the need for a referendum but now that it is almost certain to be held, it is time to take a public position on where we go next.

“I will take the side of the people. I will back the committee system. It is a starting point for a wider debate on how to rejuvenate our democracy, and it is important that Labour voices contribute to this debate.

“I have added my name to the It’s Our City petition and will make further statements in the coming days about the role I intend to play in the upcoming referendum.”

The council confirmed the petition had been received and said signatures would be checked.

Previous referendums to mandate a return to the committee system have been held successfully at Fylde Borough Council and the former West Dorset District Council.”