A meeting of Encaf took place on August 5th at 7.0pm that was attended by a number of groups within the EnCaf network.
Francis reported on EnCAF activities since the last meeting:
Our network membership was now almost 70 organisations,
We have had some productive one to one meetings with several of them.
We had written to the Chair of the Council’s Environment Forum suggesting that the civil society membership of that Forum should be devolved to EnCaf.
We had written to some Councillors to discuss online their approach to the Edmonton incinerator.
Feryal Clarke was unable to present her contribution because she had internet connection problems from Cyprus. The tragedy in Beirut had jammed up the internet communications.
David Flint gave an overview of the Council’s Climate Change Strategy:
The strategy was a significant step forward from the original draft strategy with targets set for reducing overall emissions
But that there are gaps such as the lack of detail about emissions from the Edmonton Incinerator, some oddities in the accounting figures in a number of areas, and the slow pace of embedding the climate change initiative into every Council decision.
The plan, he said, was a focus for going forward but the Council will need constant scrutiny.
Others contributed to the discussion raising concerns about the lack of detailed impact and equality assessments, lack of integration with poverty strategy and little content about climate change adaption.
A major concern expressed by several there was the lack of adequate consultation by the Council and the manner in which they chose which groups to consult with – and this was particularly striking in the make-up of the Council’s new Environment Forum.
There was also concern over the lack of public participation in Council scrutiny panels and difficulties with internet access to official meetings.
Georgia Elliot Smith talked about action around the Edmonton Incinerator and the fact that a legal team had been set up to challenge national government on emissions on incinerators nationwide.
It was suggested that EnCaf think about how they set up their own “interest groups” to develop in detail action plans that we could then publish and recommend to the Council
Concern was also expressed that planning considerations were being taken away from local authorities in some areas making public participation more difficult especially in areas concerning climate change.
We discussed future meetings and it was suggested that we organise joint meetings with:
the Enfield Over 50’s Forum
the Enfield Youth Parliament, and
the All Party Parliamentary Group on Future Generations - the APPG that Bambos Charalambous chairs.
11) It was also suggested that we have at each meeting a 5 to 10 minute presentation from our one groups that was both educational and also about action planning
12) It was suggested as well that we could try to interview a spokesperson from each of our network members so that we have a video presentation for our website and for wider dissemination.
13) It was suggested that we try to get more BAME Communities to join up to EnCaf and it was also suggested that wen should try to get schools involved as well. Yasemin Brett highlighted the important point about how we approach each other in a multi cultural environment.
14) Despina Johnson talked about the work that Enterprise Enfield plans to do to encourage green social enterprise in Enfield and the role of social enterprises in addressing climate change was another point that we felt could have been included in the Council strategy.
15) It was noted that the Enfield Fair Trade Group will be starting again in Enfield and they may like to be involved in one of our meetings. And Christopher Travers said he would be interested in connecting with anyone who would like to develop a Transition Towns Group in Enfield.
16) We expressed the view that when we started EnCaf at the beginning of this year that we had no idea of how successful it would be. However it has grown rapidly from an informal group to almost 70 members. So we agreed that over the next few month we will develop a Constitution to make the organisation more formal whilst still incorporating its informal and network nature. This would be discussed with all members before being adopted.
We send a letter to the Chair of the Environment Forum expressing concern of the makeup of that forum and the absence from it of many groups concerned with climate change and the environment. EnCaf would draft that letter and the following groups agreed to endorse it. Better Street, Enfield Roadwatch, Fox Lane Residents, Extinction Rebellion, Enfield Transport Users Group, Friends of Broomfield Park and Divest Enfield.
That we mail Feryal Clark MP expressing concern about the change in planning regulations and its impact on climate change initiatives at a local level.
That we discuss with Bernie the setting up Interest Groups and how we kick start this
That Francis discuss with Tony Watts the structure of the next meeting that would be a joint one with the Enfield Over 50’s Group
That we contact the Youth Parliament and the APPG on Future Generations through Bambos Charalambous to suggest a joint meeting with each
That we work with Ade Adeshina to get more BAME Communities involved with Encaf
That we work with Liz Wright to get schools involved with EnCaf.
That we raise questions about the lack of green spaces in the East of the Borough with Enfield Council