Reigate and Banstead Council agrees Climate Change Motion

At the full Council meeting on 7 February 2019, Reigate & Banstead Council adopted a Climate Change motion tabled by the Green Councillors.

The Climate Change Motion commits the Council to greater and more urgent action on climate change, in light of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018, which stated that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Motion on climate change at tonight’s Council meeting

At the Reigate & Banstead Council meeting tonight, the Green Councillors are tabling a Motion on Climate Change – and asking questions on the future of children’s services in the Borough with proposed closure of all our Children’s Centres; the future of Earlswood Common when Reigate Golf Club closes; Green Belt protection and provision of affordable housing.

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Green success: Surrey County Council budget amendment approved

Surrey County Council agreed its new budget meeting today. This included an amendment from Green county councillor Jonathan Essex requiring the Council to request business cases for further capital investment to increase school places in Surrey for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and to assess the viability of bringing more residential care of children and adults in house.

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Cleaning the Common

Councillor Hal Brown, Councillor Jonathan Essex, Green campaigner Ruth Ritter and five volunteers tackled the litter on Whitebushes Common on Sunday 27 January.

After stretching through brambles, wading across muddy ditches and contorting aching body parts to reach awkward corners of undergrowth, an impressive pile of bin bags was generated. A tyre and even a toilet was dragged out of the undergrowth, which frankly made the mind boggle. There was still more work to do when the session ended.

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Development Plan ‘needs improvement’: Aerodrome site saved

Helen Hockenhull, the Planning Inspector appointed to examine Reigate & Banstead Council’s ‘Development Management Plan’, has provided feedback following last year’s hearings. You can read her Post Hearing Advice Note here – it’s the last download on this page.

She said the plan requires major modifications, the most significant of which is to remove the Redhill Aerodrome site (and surrounding area) completely from the Plan.  This is an amazing success for all those who made such a strong case for protecting the precious Green Belt in this area, including us, many residents, and bodies such as the local Parish Councils.

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Have your say on proposed council cuts

How do you think Surrey County Council should invest its money?

Surrey is consulting on proposed changes to some of its vital services:

  • Children’s Centres
  • Concessionary bus travel
  • Libraries and cultural services
  • Special educational needs and disability
  • Community recycling centres

If you have views on these, please share them with the Council by 4 January 2019.

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Ambition needed on transport and air quality

I spent Bank Holiday Sunday reading Surrey County Council’s new draft strategies for electric vehicles and for addressing the air quality and climate impacts of transport.

What do they all say? Here’s a quick summary of the new strategies, together with a few of the points I submitted in response to the consultation.

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Garden cities, Redhill Aerodrome and investing in companies: Our questions to the Council

The Green Councillors have tabled three questions to tonight’s meeting of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. The usual procedure is that the Council Executive member with the relevant portfolio will read out an answer, then we will have the right to ask a supplementary question.

If you’d like to hear the answers, you can watch the webcast here: https://reigate-banstead.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

The meeting begins at 7.30pm.

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“Tory debate on air quality is hot air without action on Heathrow “say Surrey Greens

Cllr Jonathan Essex, Green County Councillor for Redhill East, has criticised Surrey’s Conservative Councillors for preventing the mentioning of Heathrow expansion during a discussion on air quality across the county.

Cllr Essex moved an amendment to a Conservative motion at Council on Tuesday 10 July, calling for the County Council to support local authorities opposed to Heathrow expansion because of local air quality and noise impacts.

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Expanding Heathrow will harm the climate and people’s lives

Last night, the House of Commons voted to approve the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement [1]. This paves the way for a third runway at Heathrow, and signals the government’s intention to fly in the face of international climate change agreements, as well as ignoring those calling for public transport connections, air pollution and noise pollution to be addressed first.

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