Friday 17 November 2023

ACE Brent (Action on the Climate and Ecological Emergency Brent), a new coalition of Brent environment groups, challenges Brent Council to step up its climate action

 From words to action
ACE Brent (Action on the Climate and Ecological Emergency Brent), a new coalition of Brent environment groups, challenges Brent Council to step up its climate action. 
ACE Brent does not believe that Brent is working effectively to reach Net Zero in 2030, and are asking for : 
  • A clearer, more measurable, accountable and ambitious Climate Action Plan
  • Prioritisation of actions that reduce emissions most and that protect the most vulnerable residents
  • Annual monitoring and reporting 
  • A new Climate and Ecological Emergency Scrutiny Committee
  • A new Brent Climate Assembly and regular reports to open meetings
Ace Brent have also drawn up a list of specific demands covering cycling and transport, insulation and retrofitting, divestment, planning, renewable energy, food, trees and green space.
They have written to all Brent councillors with their requests, and have organised a deputation to the full Council Meeting on Monday 20th Nov, Brent Civic Centre, at 6pm. 
Members of ACE Brent are Brent Cycling Campaign, Brent Friends of the Earth, Brent Parks Forum, Brent Pure Energy, Brent XR and Divest Brent.
Christine Smith, from Brent XR, says: 
This is an emergency. Act now!
Simon Erskine, Co-ordinator of Divest Brent, says:  
Divestment of the council pension fund from fossil fuels is an example of a climate action that has been a very long time coming despite active discussions with members and officers.
Sylvia Gauthereau, from Brent Cycling Campaign, says:
According to the council's own statistics, road transport is the largest contributor to air pollution in Brent, accounting for over 52% of emissions in the borough. The Council urgently needs to implement some specific measures, that are known to effectively tackle road pollution. This cannot be achieved without significant changes to the built environment, to enable anyone who wishes to actively travel, to choose so. The time for talking about it is over, now is the time to act. The evidence is there, the 'how to' examples are plenty, the guidance is available, the opportunity and appetite are there. It doesn't have to be massively costly. Just get on with it now.
Suzanne Morpurgo, from Brent Parks Forum, says: 
It's Brent's stated intention to be ‘one of the greenest, most biodiverse and climate resilient boroughs in London’ by 2030' . This needs an increase in tree cover and green spaces,  including sports ground provision. At the moment there is no clear plan for this, or any form of 'FiT' status for sites. We are happy to help.
Elaine Sheppard, A Co-ordinator of Brent Friends of the Earth, says:  
It's 4 years since Brent Council declared a climate emergency.  We are experiencing flooding and extreme weather in Brent. Our relatives and friends in the Global South are facing much worse. We have come together to request a stronger response as appropriate to the emergency. We need bigger change to reduce emissions, proper reporting and proper involvement of Brent residents in the actions being taken. We are looking for more action, ambition and accountability.


Anonymous said...

How is it possible if I were to own a house in Grendon Gardens that had mature trees overhanging Newland Court development, can the Bent Council come on my land and cut them down? or damage their roots when I live in a Conservation area?
How is that legal?

Anonymous said...

Brent Council pretend to care about the environment and climate change but don't give a damn.

Look at all the millions of £s of polluting fireworks set off in our local parks recently - it's illegal to set them off in public places yet nothing was done to stop this with all the firework pollution impacting people and wildlife. And all the polluting rubbish left behind was horrendous.

Philip Grant said...

Dear Anonymous (20 November at 10.09),

Brent Council could not come on your land and cut down your tree(s), but they can cut back branches which are spreading over their land.

As the trees in the back gardens of Grendon Gardens are "protected trees", because they are growing in a Conservation Area, the Council would need to apply for permission to carry out any work on them.

However, as they now have planning permission to build the.houses on the Newland Court garages land, they would be allowed to.cut back the tree canopies, in order to build the homes. As some of those trees are growing very close to the boundary, that could mean up to almost half of that canopy.

The (biased) report from a tree specialist, put forward to support the Council' planning application, claimed that because there was a boundary wall, few tree roots were likely to be present on the Newland Court side. That was disputed by objectors, but Planning Officers sided with the view that no root protection area was needed for the Grendon Gardens trees. This means that those trees are at risk of root as well as canopy damage.

[And all because Brent Council wants to squeeze five houses onto an impractically nsrrow site, to help meet its affordable housing promises.]