Greenpeace | Clean Air now!


Prime Minister: Clean Air now!

Car exhaust fumes, London.
Car exhaust fumes, London.

Air pollution in the UK is responsible for cutting short 40,000 lives every year. It’s now a public health crisis, where children, the elderly and the most vulnerable people in our society are most affected by dangerous and toxic air.

There isn’t a technological barrier stopping us from breathing cleaner air, we have the science and the tech know-how to put a stop to this crisis, what’s stopping us is lack of action from our politicians.

Theresa May government needs to act on this health crisis and take action to save thousands of lives every year.

Sign the Greenpeace petition to the PM

To: Prime Minister

“Air pollution is responsible for cutting short 40,000 lives in the UK every year. It’s time for this government to take robust and steadfast action to address this national health emergency. Create a bold action plan that cleans our air, reduces pollution and saves lives now”


My response to Greenpeace UK’s Say No To Fracking letters

Many residents have been using this template letter from Greenpeace to contact me about their concerns about the serious issue of fracking

I’m very concerned about the prospect of fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – in our area.

Fracking has been practiced in the US for some time and has been linked to contamination of water supplies and
atmospheric pollution, as well as increased traffic to construction sites. The government has promised lower energy bills if gas and oil from fracking is produced, but even the fracking companies admit this is unlikely to happen. The government should, instead, be concentrating on sustainable energy sources rather than this appalling method of extracting short-term energy supplies.

I would like to know if any companies are planning to carry out fracking in Devon and whether any relevant licences havebeen sold. If so, I would be grateful if you could let me know your position on the matter and what steps I can take to register my objections.

If there are no current plans or licences, I would be grateful if you could keep me informed of any future developments.


Here is my response to this e-mail:

Thank you for your email as part of Greenpeace’s campaign Say No To Fracking to defend neighbourhoods from fracking.

Like you I have serious concerns about the practice as it is linked to contaminations of water supplies, increased air pollution, and even small earthquakes. I think that hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is a retrograde step as it will boost carbon dioxide emissions and should not divert attention and funding from sustainable energy business growth.

recent report in New Scientist (7 August 2013) suggests that fracking for shale gas and oil, rather than stemming “global warming, could actually accelerate climate change by releasing methane – a more potent ‘greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide – into the atmosphere

I am concerned about fracking and am aware of the key messages published by UK Extreme Energy in July 2013.

They also publish a very useful set of briefing notes which you might you might find useful.

I have been in contact with officers at Exeter City Council and they have confirmed that there have not been any applications for licences for any form of shale gas or oil exploration within the boundaries of Exeter.

Also, to the best of my knowledge there have not been any applications within the county. The geology of Devon makes it unlikely that there is any prospect of there being any oil or gas reserves.

I have asked the officers to keep me informed of any change to this situation, and you could join me in subscribing the to Frack Off
e-newsletter for updates.

Friends of the Earth are also running a campaign against fracking – more from their campaign hub.

Thank you for your interest in this subject and I will endeavour to keep you informed if the situation changes



UPDATE 20/08/13
The Guardian carries this his is a useful and fairly balanced summary of the issue:
Fracks and figures: the big questions about fracking

It does concern me that the Tories and their allies are so hellbent on introducing th at any cost…

St James Ward | About me

This is the introductory message from me in the spring newsletter to residents in the St James ward.

“I was born in Plymouth, but moved away to go to Salford University in 1974. That was the start of 30 years in exile.

“It was while at University that my career path changed. I left Plymouth planning to be a research biologist but somehow became sidetracked. I now have a career as a freelance theatre sound designer and sound engineer for a wide variety of musical styles.

“If I ever had any definite career plans, it was to return to the South-West at a stage where I would never have to leave the area again. Well, that became reality when I moved to Exeter with my wife, Rachel, in 2004.

“Exeter was a city I never really visited when I was growing up (except for visiting the judo club next to St James’ Park for area championships – now the site of the important Fountain Centre). Arriving here I was struck by what an amazing city it is. And that has continued to be, especially when I realise that I can easily walk for home to the centre, enjoy the newly developed Princesshay development, and experience the unique delights of this glorious city.

“What do I stand for and what do I believe in? I am committed to promoting the causes of the co-operative movement and mutual dependency, such as the Exeter Credit Union. In addition, I am an active member of the Friends of the Earth “Campaign Express” awareness strategy and a supporter of Greenpeace.

“I would like to think that the challenge facing not just St James’ but Exeter as a whole is we should deliver services not solely by meeting targets but by involving citizens as active partners and using their energies to improve their neighbourhoods.

“As a sound engineer I spend my working life actively listening. If elected, I would be a councillor that actively listens to what you have to say. Help me be that listening voice”