"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and
open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values
of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall
be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity."
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Shadow minister visits Harlow's mini-moto campaign
Liberal Democrat shadow transport secretary Alistair Carmichael MP visited Harlow to learn more about the successful campaigns being carried out in the town against illegal nuisance mini-motos and quad bikes.
Mr Carmichael was briefed by participating organisations including local police, who told him about last year's successful Catch & Crush operation in Harlow, and the plans to repeat it this year.
Local councillors Robert Thurston, Lesley Rideout and Su Lawton joined Mr Carmichael at Staple Tye neighbourhood office.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
15 ways to save energy
To celebrate Environment Week, Liberal Democrats have published 15 ways in which you can save energy and reduce your 'carbon footprint'. Even choosing just one of these will help.
1. Use energy-saving light bulbs (some are being given away in the Civic Centre this week!).
2. Turn down the thermostat by one degree.
3. Take a shower instead of a bath.
4. Put a water saving device in your toilet.
5. Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.
6. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.
7. Use a reusable bag, rather than plastic carriers.
8. Dry washing by hanging it, rather than tumble drying.
9. Wash clothes at lower temperatures.
10. Draught-proof windows and doors.
11. Boil only the water you need, rather than filling the kettle every time.
12. Switch off your TV and other electrical applicances at the mains rather than leaving them on stand-by, and unplug mobile phone chargers when not in use.
13. Increase the amount you recycle.
14. Share car journeys to work with a colleague, cycle, or replace a car journey with public transport at least once a week.
15. Switch to a more environmentally friendly electricity supplier like Good Energy, who supply only 100% renewable electricity from the natural energy of wind, sun, or running water.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Melting ice - a hot topic
Councillors Eleanor Macy and Lorna Spenceley joined around 50 staff and residents in Harlow's Civic Centre to hear for themselves what impact our lifestyles are having on the planet.
Eleanor welcomed Dr Rob Mulvaney from the British Antarctic Survey, who spoke about his work with fellow scientists gathering evidence from deep within the polar ice caps of Antarctica.
Dr Mulvaney has spent 14 summer seasons in Antarctica, living in tents for up to three months at a time while drilling ice cores, and measuring sheet thickness and flow. He has worked on glaciers in Greenland, Alaska, Spitsbergen and Sweden.
He showed the audience two samples of ice - one a thousand years old, the other considerably older - and the trapped bubbles in it which provide evidence of how our climate has changed. The evidence shows that the present rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which lead to climate change, are due to our lifestyle and not part of the earth's naturally varying climate. Eleanor says:
"The talk was very interesting and gives us all something to think about with our lifestyles and the effect our daily actions are having on the planet. It was fascinating to hear that by drilling deep into the polar ice caps scientists can see what the climate was like up to 500,000 years ago."The event was organised to mark World Environment Day. It also forms part of Harlow Council's Environment Week, organised to raise awareness of what local people can do to help protect the environment and the planet.
The British Antarctic Survey is part of the Natural Environment Research Council. Based in Cambridge, it has, for almost 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain's scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from around thirty countries.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Tin can car
A giant tin can was in Harlow today to help promote the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle message for Harlow Council.
The can, which is drivable and looks like a giant can of beans, was in the Water Gardens outside Next and ASDA from 10am to 2pm. It has display boards on the back and a video advising people on the benefits of recycling and reducing waste. The metal recovered from recycling old food cans can be used for parts on a car.
The promotion is part of a series of events organised by Harlow Council for its Environment Week. The week provides local people with information and advice on what they can do to protect the environment and reduce global warming. Events include a talk by the British Antarctic Survey, allotment open days and the launch of new energy saving schemes. Today's promotion also coincides with Recycle Now week.
'Recycler', the robot made of recycled materials, will now be rapping his reduce, reuse and recycle message in local schools. Cllr Eleanor Macy says:
"People showed an interested in the can and its message, but the weather wasn't great which affected visitor numbers in the Water Gardens. The purpose of the can was to catch people's attention and get them thinking more about recycling and waste reduction in order to reduce pressure on landfill and the environment. The can shows exactly what happens if you recycle.
Measuring carbon footprints
With World Environment Day just around the corner, Harlow Council visited Cllr Eleanor Macy last week to measure how environmentally friendly her home and lifestyle were.
Environmental health officer David Taylor invited Abbie Brook, from specialist environmental consultancy Green Pebble, to assess Eleanor's home in Hookfield and advise on ways to cut down carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and generally reduce her environmental impact.
They looked at Eleanor's meter readings, water usage and grocery choices, examined how well insulated the property was, and assessed the heating and lighting systems. Eleanor said:
"I was quite excited to find out what I could do to reduce my environmental impact easily. Like most people I don't have the time to make too many drastic changes, so I'm hoping that this exercise will help me to help the environment without having to make major changes to my lifestyle."David and Abbie will be returning to Eleanor's home shortly to review the meter readings, and to assess whether their advice has made an impact on Eleanor's household. They will also be providing Eleanor with a list of actions she can undertake to reduce her carbon footprint.