EcoSutton meeting with Andrew Mitchell, Friday 18 November 2016.
Towards a cleaner, greener Royal Town
On Friday, 18 November, 3 representatives from EcoSutton, John Heywood, Sue Fenoughty and Kath Taylor, met with Andrew Mitchell, MP, to discuss the follow up of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change which was signed by foreign minister, Boris Johnson, on behalf of the UK, only the day before, on the 17th November. The UK has become the 111th country to ratify the Paris climate agreement, which aims to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change by cutting carbon emissions.
It was agreed that cutting carbon emissions in our Royal town poses a particularly big challenge due to the high number of car owners: there are more cars per head of the population of Sutton Coldfield than anywhere else in the country. The suppression by some car manufacturers of the particularly harmful effect of nitrous dioxide emissions from their diesel engines, triggered EcoSutton to investigate air quality in Sutton Coldfield. Mr. Mitchell agreed that traffic outside his office in the High Street is heavy throughout the day, and to prove his point, he took the EcoSutton reps. outside and photographed the passing vehicles. EcoSutton are following this up by purchasing portable air monitoring devices to use outside schools, etc. during rush hours periods. Mr. Mitchell also agreed that car manufacturers should be encouraged to make electric cars which would cut down on harmful carbon emissions, and better access to charging points was discussed. EcoSutton are also pursuing cleaner, safer routes for cyclists in and around the town.
Other ways of reducing our carbon footprint were put forward by EcoSutton which had been proposed at a public meeting at St. Peter’s church hall, Maney in October, attended by people from a variety of local Churches , Mosques and community groups. Ideas included energy conservation, such as insulating our homes, schools, offices, shops, etc. It was also suggested that all new buildings with south facing roofs should install solar panels thus cutting down of our reliance on energy produced by carbon producing fossil fuels. There are various schools in Sutton currently extending their premises, and Mr. Mitchcll agreed that the reducing cost of solar panels should encourage builders and developers to install these.
EcoSutton wishes to thank Mr Mitchell for his time and attention to our recommendations and will await his full response.