Councillor Report - February 2021

27 February 2021

I therefore move that Cabinet consider the development of a Tree Strategy which will: (1) Increase the number of trees on Council owned land by direct planting or enabling community - led planting of saplings (2) Involve working with other public and private land owners in the Borough with a view to increasing the level of tree cover (3) In doing so, aim to get an extra 10,000 trees planted by 2023 (4) Develop a network of volunteer tree wardens throughout the Borough whose role will be to map the location of existing mature trees and report on and monitor their condition, notifying the Council of any threat to their continued existence’ The motion was defeated as the controlling group voted against it. However, an assurance was given that a Tree Strategy was in preparation. At the full Council meeting in November 2020, an assurance was again given that a tree strategy was in preparation. It is perhaps worth noting a) that the tree planting season for the Spring is almost over and b) that trees play a crucial role in helping to prevent flooding. Whilst fully accepting that Covid 19 has caused delays in policy development, it would be helpful if the Cabinet Member for the Environment could give an update on the development of the Tree Policy and, as a first step, it is suggested that contact is made with the Tree Council to establish a trial tree warden scheme in one of the wards in the Borough.

Let’s look on the bright side for a change!

17 January 2021

This year, many more people began to see the importance of the natural world to us all and environmental destruction, industrialization of crop and livestock farming, wildlife exploitation and trafficking and human disease are part of the same continuum.

Happy New Year! - It Pays to be Positive

03 January 2021

I know that sometimes it is easier said than done. While not everyone is an eternal optimist, a positive outlook is good for your mental, emotional and physical health, so I hear! It has been a most strange, disturbing year and absolutely devastating for some, so hopefully 2021 will bring in some much needed light and positivity.

Council report November 2020

28 November 2020

Details of our push for a more rigorous climate change and green recovery strategy and localised more effective track and trace.

"Humans merely share the earth. We can only protect the land, not own it. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Chief Seattle 1786 – 1866

24 November 2020

Right on our door step is one of the most beautiful and most fragile environments. Cannock Chase is a remarkably varied landscape with ancient woodland, open heath and forestry. We are privileged to have in residence four of Britain’s six reptile species along with some rare and endangered birds like the nightjar, woodlark and woodcock, not to mention some seldom seen plants and insects. We are very lucky.

‘Beam Me Up!’

31 October 2020

The Friends of the Earth site which presents how well your own council is performing against 4 key indicators: transport, renewable energy, waste re-used, recycled or composted, and housing. At the time of writing Stafford does not score well. Only 2% of commuter journeys are made by public transport, cycling or walking; only 4% of our energy is renewable whereas some similar councils have over 50%; waste, re-used, recycled or composted is around 50% and only about 38% of the housing stock is well insulated.

So much for promises.

28 October 2020

In September, the United Nations Biodiversity Summit was launched under the theme of, ‘Urgent Action for Biodiversity for Sustainable development’. World leaders pledged to clamp down on the destruction of nature on earth. Signatories to the, ‘Leaders Pledge for Nature’, have committed their countries to put wildlife and climate central to their post pandemic recovery. Boris Johnson urged leaders to turn the words to action, ‘We must act now, right now. We cannot afford to dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today’. One of Boris Johnson’s former ministers once said of the Prime Minister’s promises “Get it in writing, then get a lawyer to look at it”. This Prime Minister doesn’t have a good track record of delivering on his promises, whether on Covid-19, climate or anything else. Nor does his party.

‘Purpose is an incredible alarm clock’.

26 October 2020

‘Purpose is an incredible alarm clock’. That’s a phrase I’ve heard a few times in my life; it’s never been attributed to anyone in particular, yet it doesn’t make it any less meaningful or ‘true’. We live in a time where now has never felt more late, and our trees and natural spaces are ringing with purpose. The Wildlife Trusts is urging members of the public to back our principles and add their own views to the consultation, found at this link ( , before it closes on the 29th of October.

The Rake’s Progress

24 October 2020

It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that development continues apace and the Proposed Government Planning Reform intends to introduce further changes to the current planning system which will significantly reduce the ability of local people to influence planning as decision making becomes more centralised. The Stafford and Stone Green Party has submitted its response to the consultation which closed on the 1st Oct after a very short consultation period.

Council report October 2020

10 October 2020

-Government changes to planning system -Borough Council plan for a ‘Climate Change and Green Recovery Strategy’ -Empty houses in Castletown -Petition re weight of lorries on Doxey (Road) -School buses not running -Problems with contractors on Castle View Estate

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