BNC Text KS0

Oxford City Council Health and Environmental Protection Committee meeting. Sample containing about 11223 words speech recorded in public context

14 speakers recorded by respondent number C872

PS6H7 X f (Chair, age unknown) unspecified
PS6H8 X m (g, age unknown) unspecified
PS6H9 X f (chair2, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HA X m (i, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HB X m (h, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HC X m (foe, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HD X f (b, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HE X m (a, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HF X f (ei, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HG X m (bp, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HH X m (c, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HJ X m (d, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HK X f (e, age unknown) unspecified
PS6HL X u (d, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 139401 recorded on unknown date.


Chair (PS6H7) [3] Well, good afternoon, everybody, I think we'd better get started.
[4] We looked so thin on the ground, I thought we'd sit and wait and see if everyone's coming, but erm we'll have to get started anyway.
[5] We'll welcome, we have two speakers, Mr Bob Plumtree, and Ms Erica Ison.
[6] We asked them to the meeting and we look forward to listening to you later on in the agenda.
[7] The minutes of the meeting held in January.
[8] Any corrections to the minutes first?
[9] Page 1?
[10] Page 2?
[11] Page 3?
g (PS6H8) [12] Yes, Judith Gaffan I believe, erm not Judith Gaffon, whatever that meant, it's
chair2 (PS6H9) [13] Spelling mistake.
g (PS6H8) [14] Yes, she'd like her name spelt
i (PS6HA) [15] Yes, right.
chair2 (PS6H9) [16] Could you spell it out then, correctly.
g (PS6H8) [17] G A F F A N
chair2 (PS6H9) [18] ’ A’’N’, ah, thank you very much.
[19] Page 4?
[20] Page 5?
h (PS6HB) [21] There's a small typographic error, a line up from the bottom, fluoride should have a’ u’before the’o’, rather than the’o’before the’u’, to make it’fluo’, not’flour’.
i (PS6HA) [22] Yes, I
chair2 (PS6H9) [23] Page 6, 7.
[24] ’ Matters arising’, Page one, page two, page three?
i (PS6HA) [25] On page two, the recommendation [...]
chair2 (PS6H9) [26] four?
foe (PS6HC) [27] Yes, please, I wondered just quickly [...] erm the letter to the foreign office, has there, can we see a copy of this?
b (PS6HD) [28] erm We haven't as yet, erm the problem is I don't normally deal with the sub- committee, the person that's that should be dealing with it is not here today, so I've been unable to track down a copy of this letter.
foe (PS6HC) [29] Ah, I was just going to say, if it hadn't already been done, erm Friends of the Earth will be perfectly willing to do that. [...] .
b (PS6HD) [30] Yes, erm I'll check that up, I'm sorry about that.
chair2 (PS6H9) [31] Certainly I think I mentioned 2.
[32] A: points discussed at the public transport sub-committee.
b (PS6HD) [33] That's right, I've actually got the draft with me.
chair2 (PS6H9) [34] Have you?
[35] Yes please.
b (PS6HD) [36] This was discussed at Public Transport at its last meeting, and there's quite a lot of preamble, but basically erm in response to this request, erm Mr Townsend said that he reported the bus and coach council was looking at the question of pollution and green issues generally, and was about to produce a document suggesting ways forward.
[37] The bus industry as a whole was very conscious of the problem of pollution, and were trying to provide solutions as far as it could.
[38] Mr Brunhead, who represented Thames Transit Limited stated that the City Council could just be proud of what it had done, for public transport, and he was aware that the city council was looking again at the balanced transport policy, and ways of making the city centre more viable for bus and for public transport.
[39] He stated that the bus companies wanted to reinstate the dual bus lanes, and that these should be extended, and that traffic generally in the city centre should be reduced, and that public transport should be encouraged.
[40] erm Mr Brunhead also said that his company were investigating the possibility of fitting ceramic filters to its vehicles to cut out pollution.
[41] The City [...] reported that City Council was in the process of reviewing the [...] which included the updating of the balance of transport policy, and that this would be submitted to the Highways and Traffic Committee in the next few months.
chair2 (PS6H9) [42] Any matters arising on Page 5? erm page 6? erm We have a response on 49/2, on the front page of the agenda from the allotments sub-committee.
[43] erm There does seem to be a sort of slight discrepancy in the idea of us trying to have a nice clean city and then the people on the allotments committee continuing to build bonfires. erm And it is possible that they perhaps, they haven't in fact any alternative way of getting rid of their rubbish, on the allotments site.
[44] That either they haven't been able to think about it very carefully, not looking at the real options, or haven't got an electric point, so they can't have an electric shredder, or whatever the appropriate way of dealing with the more sort of shrubby erm waste that they're likely to have.
[45] There was a leaflet wasn't there about bonfires?
[46] We haven't actually, I haven't actually seen one.
[47] Did it go, was it a leaflet that the allotment sub-committee had?
g (PS6H8) [48] No Jan, I understand some information published from the company Double Day Research Association, erm including a leaflet and erm if you recall chair, we were asked about producing a leaflet for [...] some time ago.
[49] We haven't actually produced one yet, but it's something that we sort of erm attempted [...]
chair2 (PS6H9) [50] So hopefully, by [...] we will be able to reconsider whether or not they can cut out bonfires on the certainly on the larger allotments
g (PS6H8) [51] Yes
chair2 (PS6H9) [52] Anything else?
foe (PS6HC) [53] Are we talking about that now?
chair2 (PS6H9) [54] Have you something to add to it?
foe (PS6HC) [55] Yes, I've got an allotment actually in the city, and I compost most of my stuff, as most of you'll be aware, this is by far the best way of dealing with it.
[56] As far as I'm aware, the only reason to actually light a fire, make a fire is actually to kill pests, and disease, erm maybe, but those should be in relatively small amounts, so those do need to be incinerated to make sure they're killed properly.
[57] If you've got big compost, then maybe the heat of the compost might kill them, but as much as that, it will probably just rejuvenate them.
[58] So, that might be something to bear in mind, that it's not just the negative part, get rid of the excess sort of organics, but it's to get rid of cure disease.
g (PS6H8) [59] It there may need a press release which gives out a more balanced view to go out.
a (PS6HE) [60] Could be a need for a press release on that then, couldn't we, Chris.
chair2 (PS6H9) [61] Any last minute contributions [...] According to the
foe (PS6HC) [62] I heard a statement from the environmental health officer about what was being done on the environment, current position of the state, are we aiming to see that one?
chair2 (PS6H9) [63] Sorry, what page are we on?
foe (PS6HC) [64] Page seven of the minutes, last minutes.
i (PS6HA) [65] Oh, erm yes indeed we have, erm it's that was a report which I've put to Local Government Information which was in fact written by or contributed by officer Roy Holt and on the [...] to erm have a look at that, have a copy of it I mean.
foe (PS6HC) [66] Is that the same as the association of District Councils?
i (PS6HA) [67] No, they're doing one on their own, no, we'll come back to that later on.
[68] This one is [...] .
[69] This is Local Government Information unit, which is funded from all of the Local Authority Associations, and they have taken an interest in the passing of the environmental bills and they ran [...] , we do give them some help, which we did.
foe (PS6HC) [70] So this is erm
i (PS6HA) [71] Separate organisation.
foe (PS6HC) [72] Is this a national initiative?
i (PS6HA) [73] It's not a government one, a Local Authority organisation.
[74] In fact that's essentially a worth-while sort of [...] .
ei (PS6HF) [75] Are we going to go back again to Didcot Power Station in the meeting?
chair2 (PS6H9) [76] Sorry?
ei (PS6HF) [77] Are we going to go back again to Didcot Power Station in the meeting, or are [...]
chair2 (PS6H9) [78] Yes, it's on the agenda.
[79] [people talking] No urgent business?
[80] Item 5, Lucy's.
i (PS6HA) [81] Perhaps I'll just explain what this is about, chairs, it's not very self- explanatory.
[82] If you recall, there was an explosion at Lucy's erm just over a year ago, last March, erm when there was an explosion in their Air-Filtration plant.
[83] Following on after that, we had a public meeting to which erm Mrs Dick was invited, and about 90 members of the public.
[84] And erm this sub-committee asked for the C H O.
[85] to write to the Health and Safety Executive asking for a report on their findings of their investigation into the causes of the explosion, and erm after several letters, [...] if you recall at the last meeting I was asked to write to MPs and so forth.
[86] I didn't need to write to MPs because within two days of the meeting, this letter appeared.
[87] And the letter is tells me basically that they've not been able to find out what the cause of the explosion was, and that there hasn't been any further explosion since.
[88] What I can also tell you is that Lucy's engaged the erm British Cast Iron Research Association to carry out a survey, and they tried to repeat the circumstances of the explosion, and they couldn't do so.
[89] They just could not repeat what transpired.
[90] So, I think we're no nearer forward to having a reason for the explosion, but erm there hasn't been one since.
chair2 (PS6H9) [91] Any questions on that?
foe (PS6HC) [92] I have a comment.
[93] It seems that the length of time in them answering reflects the fact that all these sort of pollution inspectorates and Health and Safety Executives are understaffed.
[94] You know, because of cut-backs, and that's probably the reason why, it's a hell of a long delay isn't it, three or four months or so.
[95] And there isn't really an answer, this is just an assumption that it was [...] .
[96] It could happen again, you just don't know.
chair2 (PS6H9) [97] Well, if they really tried to do it again and they failed, there's not much else that we could ask them to do is there?
[98] Anyway, we know what the situation is a little bit.
[99] Item 6, Mr Bob Plumtree, would you like to give us some more information about saving the rainforests.
bp (PS6HG) [100] erm Would you like me to give you information, or would you like to ask me questions, and maybe I can try and answer them, I mean, it's just as you wish.
chair2 (PS6H9) [101] Well, could you sort of start by talking a little, and then
bp (PS6HG) [102] Yes, certainly, I'll do that.
[103] There are various activities going on at the present, looking at the state of the rainforest, and what is happening, one of which is a project which we are involved in ourselves, which is looking at the incentives to people to erm manage the forest, for sustained yield, so it produces timber indefinitely.
[104] And the other benefits in the forest.
[105] erm And what it makes people either do it or not do it, right from the forest end, right through to the consumer end.
[106] Now we are involved in a project at the moment, with the International Tropical Timber organisation.
[107] Perhaps I'd better introduce my sort of position here.
[108] I've spent 14 years in East Africa, most of it working with tropical rainforest and its utilisation, so I've been in Uganda, which is a relatively small country as far as forests are concerned.
[109] But I have worked in [...] conditions there.
[110] But since then I've been on a unit of tropical forestry in Oxford Forestry Institute, and I've been travelling regularly, almost yearly since I've been there.
[111] erm The trouble about the tropical forest is this tremendous variation from place to place, the conditions are totally different in different places, although the forest is similar in that it's got large numbers of different species of trees and flora and fauna.
[112] It's extremely rich in different species that it contains.
[113] And that in order to manage it to retain all the species, you need to more-or-less leave it alone.
[114] erm On the other hand, if you take the variety, you in fact leave it very mixed still, because you take your relatively small quantity out each time you go round, and you're taking a relatively small number of species, so that if you are logging in a tropical forest at the sort of intensity most logging takes place, you're only creating gaps where you take out the valuable species and leave the less valuable species.
[115] Probably in the nature of ten percent of what is actually standing on the ground in terms of trees is taken out of each logging in question.
[116] Partly because the species are not marketable, partly because trees are only taken over a certain size, erm and so on.
[117] And a large part of my time in Uganda was spent trying to market new species, taking on a wider range of species, and a more intensive utilisation, so that you've opened up your canopy enough to encourage the regeneration of the valuable species.
[118] erm So there are lots of questions as to what is actually the sustainable yield.
[119] And this little book, I don't know whether you've come across it, is a fairly technical description of what's happening in different parts of the world, and what is meant by sustainable management of tropical crops.
[120] It's fairly readable, I think for the non-forester as well as being fairly technical of course as well.
[121] erm Now, possibly I could go on as to whether in fact we could do anything about preserving the tropical forest in this country.
[122] Again, the conditions are very very different in every place, so if you go to Honduras, erm they have 2 million hectares of tropical forest, which is scarcely being used at all to the use of timber, but is being steadily cut down, and turned into, first peasant agriculture, and second, ranching.
[123] And the ranching [...] .
[124] If you go to Brazil, there's a lot of destruction of the forest.
[125] There's a tremendous amount of forest.
[126] If you refuse to buy it from Brazil, tropical timber, their exports are something in the region of between 3 to 5 percent of their [...] .
[127] So, in fact you're not going to do anything to them much in the way of discouraging them from removing their forest, by stopping them exporting small amounts of [...] .
[128] Zaire is a huge tropical forest, which is virtually untouched, and not being touched because it's too inaccessible.
[129] Indonesia has large industries, recently developed in the country, and are exporting large quantities to saw mills, whereas a few years ago they were exporting to lots, they are now exporting saw wood and ply wood.
[130] A big trade, probably the biggest imports of tropical ply wood and saw wood come from Indonesia, as far as this country's concerned anyway.
[131] erm Indonesia's policy in the past has been to clear and resettle excess population from Java, into the other, into Sumatra and [...] town, the two other islands bordering over Sumatra.
[132] And they have had this policy of resettlement called transmigration so they were actually clearing forest after logging, and then settling.
[133] This has been reduced, and there's been a considerable move in Indonesia towards turning over to sustained yield management.
[134] But having said that, over the whole of the tropics, there's something like a thousand million hectares of forest, of which one million is actually managed as sustained yield as defined by this book, which is erm managing the forest, and actually carrying out sort of [...] operations to improve the regeneration afterwards.
[135] It is not cutting the forest, going away, leaving it and letting the trees look after themselves, and the rest of the forest regrow, without actually going in and cutting it down and burning it.
[136] erm There's probably two-thirds of the logging that goes on in the tropical forest, which is about 5 million hectares a year erm is of that nature, so that the forest is left to recover after the logging has gone through.
[137] And forest, if it is left to recover, will in fact recover fairly well, probably with slightly fewer of the species that have been taken out, but the same sort of diversity of tree cover, and of fauna and flora, because in fact you're taking very little out when you're logging alone.
[138] So, the really destructive thing is cutting it down and burning it and turning it over either to shifting agricultural, or permanent agriculture, ranching or something else.
[139] erm Now, perhaps we come back to what can we do at this end, and I think Friends of the Earth has done an excellent job in bringing it to peoples' attention that large areas of tropical forest are being destroyed at roughly the rate of 0.7 or 0.8 percent of the forest each year, erm and they, you know I'm in agreement with them on the fact that forest is disappearing, it's dangerous in many places, it's catastrophic in some, for instance, particularly in West Africa, the clearing that's gone on in the Ivory Coast is pretty disastrous, and erm there are indications that the West African strip of forest along the strip of the West African Coast by removing that you're going to make not only that area slightly drier, but mainly the northern areas of those countries, and the [...] drier, so it may well affect climate.
[140] erm I would be quite happy to ban timber obtained from the Ivory Coast, because I think [...] forestry is particularly reprehensible.
[141] On the other hand, next-door-neighbour Ghana has a policy to preserve forest and look after a limited quantity of the forest, and manage it with sustained yield.
[142] So you've got two countries next door to each other, one of which is on the whole starting into reasonably good practice, whereas the other has [...] , although it says it has intentions of doing it, in the case of the Ivory Coast.
[143] You have another country along that coast, Nigeria, which has just got to the stage where it's got through its forest and it's not exporting anything at all, if anything it's importing.
[144] erm So I would say there are critical areas of the world where erm the destruction of forest is becoming particularly serious, and that's one of the areas I would particularly want to concentrate on, and possibly parts of Central America.
[145] erm So that there are differences between countries.
[146] If you then go within countries to the differences between individual areas or forests within a country, there are probably, the general policy is set by governments is more or less holds for all the different timber concerns in the country.
[147] So I think to some extent what one needs to do is to try and get at the governments, rather that at individual timber producers.
[148] erm Part of the project that we're on is trying to look at the possibility of tracing timber through from the forest right through to the end user, or at any rate, the sale at the saw-mill, in the same [...] .
[149] But it's going to be extraordinarily difficult to check that a piece of timber that you buy in a market here, or you buy down the road in a timber yard, is in fact, erm does in fact come from a particular forest in Ghana.
[150] And there are all sorts of methods of sort of cheating the system, if you're a timber industry in Ghana.
[151] erm There are possible ways of introducing chemical or dyes, or something like this, which we're going to investigate, but I think its, if you find that a particular dye does it's job, it won't be long before [...] .
[152] erm I think the general pressure on tropical governments now from the environmental lobby has got to the point where they aren't they're beginning to realise the problems.
[153] Certain ones of them, for instance the Brazilians may not be taking an awful lot of notice, or may not apparently be taking an awful lot of notice at the moment, but I think the pressure is on, and that things are changing, and more and more countries are going towards policies that will in fact support, sustained yield production and timber from the forests, and the reservation of the forests for that purpose, erm I mean in many countries have a policy where they just let tribal institutes use the raw material, and the forest is not reserved, and it's not looked after.
[154] The other aspect is there are a large number of people a large number of these countries depend on their forest industries for producing foreign exchange which is particularly scant, a lot of the world, particularly Africa is suffering from debt problems, erm I worked in Uganda for 14 years and I found it really [...] to get back there: the salary of a forest officer now is something, is worth in real terms something like 1 percent of what it was in 1962. erm His salary in 1962 was something in the region of six thousand a year in present terms, it's now worth 60. erm He has to go out and get most of his livelihood from some other source, and Uganda's an extreme case, but there are many other African countries where the position is similar.
[155] erm If you further make things difficult from the point of view of actually banning imports of timber from Uganda you may in fact be able [...] .
[156] I'm not sure whether it will or won't.
[157] But there is a school of thought that says that if one can make the forests economically or financially valuable to the countries then they're more likely to look after them than if you don't.
[158] So maybe what we need to do is to pay more for the timber, and be prepared to do that.
[159] And one of the, again I'm harping on to this particular project we're involved with at the moment, one of the objectives that we're involved with at the moment is to look at who gets what in terms of financial gain, right the way from the people who live in the forest, if there are people who actually live in the forest, to the people who live around the forest, to the industries, to the governments to the importers and exporters and the rest.
[160] Perhaps I've said enough.
[161] But I think it is it could well be counter-productive to put bans on buying tropical timber, particularly blanket bans, on the other hand, I think there's a lot of case to be, a lot of point in asking people and pressing people to say whether the folk that the timber is coming from sustained yield forest.
chair2 (PS6H9) [162] Thank you very much.
[163] Any questions or comments?
foe (PS6HC) [164] Well, I'm in agreement with you, and I think most environmentalists are in agreement that sustained growth is the way forward, and they have to be sustainable for the economies of the people who actually live there to survive, and sustainable for the whole planet to survive.
[165] But you were talking about, you did mention some statistics, could you?
[166] Am I right in saying is it one million hectares out of a thousand million hectares are actually sustainable at present.
bp (PS6HG) [167] Are actually as defined in this book, which is involves quite a lot of activity before felling and after felling. [people talking]
foe (PS6HC) [168] It doesn't need me to say that we've got a long way to go.
bp (PS6HG) [169] There is, there's a tremendous way to go, in action.
g (PS6H8) [170] Does the Oxford Forestry Institute have a programme of education for the ordinary members of the public to enable them to have this vision of their assets.
[171] Because I have this feeling I often have this feeling that these global aspects the person in the street, their first priority is about their damp house and the rest of it, it's very difficult to erm.
[172] And I just wondered how you try and tackle this problem
bp (PS6HG) [173] Well, we're basically a university department.
g (PS6H8) [174] Sure.
bp (PS6HG) [175] We are part of the university department with a sort of world-wide interest in forestry.
[176] erm We occasionally go on the radio, occasionally radio, occasionally, very occasionally on T V but not often.
[177] erm We had a conference recently which dealt with the tropical forest and some interested parties came, the timber trade, Friends of the Earth, this was a couple of Sundays ago.
g (PS6H8) [178] It was very good.
bp (PS6HG) [179] But we don't as a regular thing do much as far as the public is concerned but what we do do is training for tropical foresters, and during the summer vac.
[180] we have something like 60 tropical foresters, and we have a management course, a research course, and erm a social forestry course, which is combining farming and forestry.
[181] erm So that there are a large number of tropical foresters now who've been here and gone back to their own country, and one of the things which I point out to them these days is the need for public relations in their own countries, and getting information across to governments and being able to talk to economists and finance people in their own countries.
[182] But we don't do much beyond that, maybe we should.
h (PS6HB) [183] Bob could I ask you, if I understood correctly, one is that really logging is not the main problem, cutting down rainforests, and two, if their really was efficient logging it might actually be better for the rainforests, the consequence of which if that's correct would be that we should be concentrating on governments, rather than on timber.
bp (PS6HG) [184] Yes, I mean the main brute force of destroying tropical rainforest is population increase, pressure on land, and people going into forests, but a large part of that is determined by the government's attitude, whether it in fact concentrates on trying to improve agriculture, or whether [...] , under all sorts of pressures from the government to do that.
ei (PS6HF) [185] Sorry, I wanted to make two points, I think there's a big difference between foresters like yourself and the people who're actually out there logging, and you know, I have no doubt about the work you do at the Oxford Forestry Institute, and several of your tutors and lecturers have been to talk to us, and Friends of the Earth certainly is calling for sustainable management forestry.
[186] But I think the actual situation in some of these countries is that erm the loggers especially say like in Sarouac, where the government's only granted three year licences to logging companies, they're just going in there, cutting everything down because they've only got a short space of time, and they're trying to maximise, obviously, their profit.
[187] And I think there's a big difference between you talking about what happens as far as forestry is concerned and actually what some of the logging companies are up to.
[188] And I think the other thing that's important to bear in mind as well as far as logging's concerned is that a lot of the poor slash-and-burn cultivators that come in have come along roads that the logging companies have built, and these provide easy access, say straight into the heart of the Amazon or what ever.
[189] And it makes it easier for the slash-and-burn cultivators to get in rather than sort of coming in gradually round the edges, there are now great swathes cut through tropical rainforest at Amazonia certainly, and the Trans-Scabon railway is about to be put through which again will make it easier for the sort of [...] to come in, and I think that should be bourn in mind.
[190] I mean, I'm not against foresters, but loggers seem to be a fairly destructive lot, I mean some of the forestry practice that actually goes on is appalling.
bp (PS6HG) [191] Yes, I agree entirely, I think some of the logging is awful.
[192] erm And the cultivators coming down the logging roads, I agree entirely.
[193] erm But it basically comes down to the attitude that people have, if the government was, or whoever owns the forest, private ownership, or whatever, controls what the loggers do, I mean it's their forest it's up to them to control what the loggers do and don't do, and whether they let cultivators in or they don't let cultivators in.
[194] erm It may be that in certain places there's so much pressure on land from the people that there's not a lot they can do.
[195] erm And even governments can't do much.
ei (PS6HF) [196] There's a lot they can do though say to control the loggers in Sarouac.
[197] I mean basically areas that are supposed to be sustainably forested
bp (PS6HG) [198] Well, I think Savac and Sarouac are bad areas at present, there's a lot of peninsular-Malaysia all through this period, and has now got quite tough erm and is probably the nearest to sustainable management of almost anywhere in the tropics now.
[199] Now they're not applying the same rules and regulations in Savac and Sarouac, it's the island peninsular, maybe their reaction to the Friends of the Earth is symptomatic of a certain degree of bad conscience that they have with the, with the other two.
ei (PS6HF) [200] Because we're actually in quite close contact with Sarouac and Malaysia, which is close to the [...] Malaysia, you know, we do have reports that they've actually got great big arc lights on the slopes, and that the loggers are actually working 24 hours round the clock in some areas now, and that the forest you know is being completely chopped down.
bp (PS6HG) [201] Well, the other thing is the intensity of logging is much greater than [...] .
[202] And if you look at the, I've got a few statistics on these two.
[203] erm But if you look at the statistics, both Sathor and Sorarie are exporting huge quantities of logs which practically nobody else is doing.
[204] So that is another area that if I was to put a ban on imports
h (PS6HB) [205] That mainly goes to Japan I take it.
bp (PS6HG) [206] A large part of it goes to Japan.
chair2 (PS6H9) [207] Did you want to ask a question?
foe (PS6HC) [208] I was going to say that in a lot of these countries the logging concessions are owned by government ministers and the elite.
[209] You can't really ask the government to do something about the logging when it's owned by themselves, I mean, or rather it's controlled by the powers of the country and the only way to do something there is to boycott their timber, not to pressure the government, and we're back to, you know, back to square one.
ei (PS6HF) [210] I think certainly the Environment Minister has in Sarouac 10,000 hectares, he's actually got a license out there, and you know that's pretty depressing when you realise that the Environment Minister's got some of the licenses for logging.
bp (PS6HG) [211] Maybe there are cases when you can do nothing else than support the [...] .
[212] I would say that, I mean take Uganda as an example again, the permanent secretary who demanded a certain fee before he'd consider a certain [...] company got the push from government.
[213] So it depends whether all your government ministers [...] .
[214] And if you put pressure on government, you may in fact achieve the result that you want.
chair2 (PS6H9) [215] Now, we've moved on rather into sort of individual countries.
bp (PS6HG) [216] Yes, I think I mean if one goes into corruption one could spend an awful long time.
chair2 (PS6H9) [217] Did you want to ask a question?
[218] Sorry, I keep seeing your hand.
[219] Well thank you very much, it's obviously a totally different point of view to what we'll hear perhaps in a few minutes.
[220] It was really interesting to hear from a personal view, as well, actually, you know, I mean rainforests are to most of us just something we see on the television or we see pictures, it's sort of a rather romantic idea, or a mythic idea, it's lovely to talk to someone who's got a much more overall view of the whole problem.
[221] Thank you very much, please do stay with us either for the whole afternoon, or certainly for the next
bp (PS6HG) [222] erm Are you having the sort of other case first or?
ei (PS6HF) [223] I don't know whether it's the other case, I'm hear to tell you about our first of all, which I don't think is the other case.
foe (PS6HC) [224] That's fine, I'd had, on the subject of this boycotting timber, erm I know of two instances at least where Oxford City Council are still using tropical hardwoods, and I wonder, I mean, you know, obviously it goes against the grain of the signing of the tropical hardwood [...] .
[225] I was wondering if we ought to find out who's decided to start using it again, and whether they really checked, I have been told they check on the source, but it's like we're slipping back gradually, and I thought if we said, if we pledged that we're going to boycott timber, we should really keep to it unless we make a decision
chair2 (PS6H9) [226] Could you give the offices some details, rather than having it all out in public, thanks.
[227] [...] chase up what's happening.
[228] Because yes, we did say we weren't going to use tropical markets, erm perhaps in the view of some of the things Bob Plumtree's been saying, perhaps that was a little bit premature, perhaps we would want for some countries tropical woods, might want to reconsider, but erm I think that's something for the future, that's not for this afternoon.
b (PS6HD) [229] I think we've actually had a resolution through council
chair2 (PS6H9) [230] Yes, yes.
b (PS6HD) [231] And therefore if we are doing, thinking one department's doing something that you know that it oughtn't to I think it would be very helpful if you [...] .
chair2 (PS6H9) [232] It's partly a misunderstanding along the line somewhere, it would be very useful if you could actually check it up.
[233] Thank you.
[234] erm Well, welcome!
[235] [laugh] We may have heard from you, but erm please do tell us something about the Oxford Rainforest festival.
ei (PS6HF) [236] Yes, erm I'm sorry to disappoint you this isn't going to be the other side of the coin.
[237] This is just what we're doing, erm in Oxford this summer, from May 19th to June 5th, a) to raise public awareness about the rainforest, and the causes of its destruction, and what individuals can do to help.
[238] We're actually trying to let people have fun while they're doing this, instead of maybe hectoring them erm we stand on enough picket lines as it is outside D I Y stores, so they're probably fed up with seeing us there.
[239] erm This rainforest festival is actually being carried out over the country.
[240] It's under the auspices of Arts for the Earth, which is the creative branch of Friends of the Earth.
[241] It's happening in major cities, local groups are getting involved, so you might find a village firm somewhere is organising a sponsored walk.
[242] But we've actually got a festival which is upwards of 30 events.
[243] And we've tried to get something for everyone, we've got 2 classical music concerts, for instance, the Johannis Piano Trio, and then a specially sort of brought together rainforest orchestra, where professional musicians all over the county can come together to create a programme.
[244] Now those are all happening at the Holywell Music Rooms.
[245] We've got Rory Bremner at the Apollo, and our projected profit on that if we sell all the tickets is 15,000.
[246] We've got a lot of educational stuff for children, erm we're running a series of what are known as Pittstops, which is workshops for children at the Pitt Rivers Museum, all on a rainforest theme, erm rainforest collage, rainforest dance, rainforest masks and rainforest stories.
[247] But we've also had an artist from the Art Week event, which the Rainforest Festival overlaps with going into a chosen school, with a member of Friends of the Earth, we give them a talk about rainforest, and they do the, I don't know if you've seen them in the buses, the sort of advertising slots, we've got 80 of those slots on the buses throughout the rainforest festival, and the children are actually drawing pictures for them.
[248] And there are also 20 huge panels that are going on the sides of the buses, that kids have also painted.
[249] So we've been doing that with children as well.
[250] The Special Needs Unit, attached to the College of Further Education, is actually decking their Special Needs Unit out as a rain forest, both before and after, so there's the rainforest in all its glory, and then the rainforest after it's been chopped down and destroyed in the next room, so the Special Needs Unit are really enjoying that.
[251] We've got a broad-sheet on the three main areas of the world that has tropical rainforest, Latin America, Africa and also South-East Asia, and then we've got broadsheets like on the genetic diversity, we've got a broad-sheet on extracting preserves versus cash crops, and that kind of thing.
[252] So, because in this Festival we will be reaching people we normally do not reach as a group, for instance we're having two pop concerts, the Rory Bremner thing, we're going to be reaching people we don't normally see on our D I Y.
[253] picket, or people who come to our lectures that the rainforest campaign, we could be meeting thousands of people we don't normally see, so we've tried to produce an information package that will get them interested.
[254] So because we're doing something from our normal end of the spectrum as it were right through to trying to involve everybody in the city, erm we're hoping to get the issue across to a lot more people, and also raise money while we're doing it.
[255] The project we're hoping to sponsor, there's now Friends of the Earth in Ghana, erm who've Doctor Plumtree quite rightly said, Ghana are working hard on re-forestation schemes, and a scheme that Friends of the Earth is doing is a community re- forestation scheme, because a lot of the re-forestation schemes are from the top down, and they don't actually get the villagers involved in whatever, so we'll actually be funding community reforestation schemes, several species of trees, particularly those which help to regenerate the soil, especially if it's been degraded because the trees have been chopped down, or what-have-you.
[256] And so that the village benefits from the wood in some way, erm like there's a teak plantation they've got going at the moment, and in ten years time, the teak will be used to carry electricity, so that the village can have some electricity as well, I mean it's to do with giving the village something as well as trying to help the environment.
[257] And our other project will probably be in Malaysia, where we're hoping to be able to fund lawyers to go and visit the indigenous tribes, and educate them about the Malaysian process of law, because at the moment I'm sure you'll know that various indigenous people have been blockading the logging roads that go on to their demarcated territory.
[258] erm Because the loggers have been, as I said earlier, logging 24 hours around the clock, and they're supposed to be logging over a 70 year cycle, and they're not because the companies have only got three year licenses, and basically the indigenous people have just had enough, so they started to block the logging roads.
[259] But they were then held in remand in prison, and didn't really know how to defend themselves, so this project will be sending lawyers into the Long Houses of the indigenous peoples, trying to educate them about the process of Malaysian law, and work it into their system of customary law, which is known as ADAT, whereby within the Long House, all the community leaders and the members within the community debate disputes over land rights, the forest, the use of it, and try and get them to use their customary law with a knowledge of the Malaysian legal process in order to form associations and fight being thrown into prison because they're trying to defend the forest.
[260] A worrying thing at the moment is as I said we're in close contact with [...] is that the Malaysian Government is sending representatives over to visit the European Community Ministers in May, to try and say that there's absolutely nothing wrong with what's going on in their country with the logging, and they're saying that people like Friends of the Earth are calling for a ban on timber, not because they care about sustained yield, but because we want to be able to sell our own wood, and this is to depress their trade.
[261] And if as far as what's happening in Sarouac certainly is concerned.
[262] This isn't true, the logging practices were atrocious, and even tribal burial grounds have been uprooted by the loggers, and the number of deaths last year, in 1989, logging deaths was 94, because they're sending loggers up even steep slopes to get the timber than they would normally, so there's actually a lot of bad practice going on, so we're hoping to fund Friends of the Earth, Malaysia in their environmental programme to help the indigenous people defend themselves, and therefore the forest better.
[263] So that's where the money's going, and we're hoping that we make enough money in sponsorship so that the money we earn, people will know that it's all going out to help the projects we want to, and it's not being wasted on administration, especially after there's been erm a bit of a debark over Sting's money, where only 5% went to the Indians and also the Rainforest Foundation has since collapsed, so our head-office is going to be absolutely stringent about making sure that the money is spent where we've asked it to be spent.
[264] erm I don't know if there are anything else I should be telling you.
[265] Oh yes, I mean, if anybody would like to come to the presentation tonight, I do have an invitation.
[266] And also, it's not just Oxford Friends of the Earth who are involved now, it seems to be touching everybody, and people are just getting involved, and it's generating a really nice air of enthusiasm and care, and I hope that people feel it's beginning to be their rainforest festival.
[267] We're having a launch on May 7th, and the City Council have been very good to give us a rainforest tent at the Fun-in-the-Parks at South Park.
[268] And we're also having a sponsored Tree Best, where we're hoping that lots of children will come along dressed up as trees, and have raised at least 10 sponsorship each and we're having performances on a rainforest theme, and a dancer who will be doing a dance for rainforest [...] , and there's some rainforest type music and things like that, and there'll be prizes and certificates for the children who are trees, and there'll be an exhibition that head office are launching.
[269] So there will be quite a rainforest theme to May 7th, which is where we're sort of hoping to launch everything, and start selling tickets for the events, things like that.
[270] I do have info.
[271] I'm afraid only six each, just a leaflet about rainforests, just in case anybody's interested.
[272] There's also one about rainforest conservation in the timber trade, dare I say it, so there's six of these each.
[273] Plus there's invites for anybody who'd like to come along tonight, I know it's late notice.
chair2 (PS6H9) [274] It sounds really good fun!
ei (PS6HF) [275] It is, it is.
[276] Oh, and I forgot to tell you yes, there's quite a lot of visual art as well, and one of the really exciting things is our mail art exhibition, and that's M A I L, where we've invited people from all over the world, and within the community, to send in art on the theme of the rainforest.
[277] It can be no bigger than A4, and it mustn't project more than 3 inches, but at the moment they are pouring into Rosie Headers house, and we've had stuff from Japan and America already, and also from artists in the community, but anybody can enter for Mail Art, so if anybody's interested in a Mail Art sheet, I can get one for you, but those exhibitions are going up in Freud's, which is our sort of Festival Centre for the two and a half weeks during the Festival.
[278] We hope on Cabaret there every night, and we've got two rainforest exhibitions going on there, so the Mail Art's really exciting actually.
[279] Especially for Rosie, who's getting all the post.
a (PS6HE) [280] I was just wondering if later on, I mean there's a lot of work goes into it, later on, if you want to sustain a programme on this whether we could use the Town Hall, because often other [...] .
[281] erm And in fact, you can just continue.
[282] The other thing is the Information Centre where lots of visitors go, and if you've got an information pack, if you want us to buy it, that's fine, and we'll put it in there, you know, What's On?
[283] You've got a What's On list?
ei (PS6HF) [284] Yes, we've just produced a diary.
[285] The problem at the moment is, we've been on Word Processor up to now, but the designer is designing a programme at the moment, so I don't have a programme to show you because it's with the designer, erm all we've got is the diary, that we're kind of like again on the word processor, that we're producing tonight.
[286] But, also Tony Abora, who did the poster for your conference is
chair2 (PS6H9) [287] That was lovely.
ei (PS6HF) [288] is, well we've asked him to do something like that, well anyway, Tony Abora is working on the posters and the logo and things like that, all for free.
[289] And the lady that does the Watershed programme from Bristol is also doing our programme for free.
[290] We hope we've got a deal going with Oxford Mail, where they'll maybe deliver to 20,000 doors in Oxford the programme, door- to-door.
[291] So we are going to give it a lot of coverage, and obviously put it in places like the information centre.
a (PS6HE) [292] I think, if you send it in, I'll make sure that we do get it in there, because everything's paid, and that's that.
ei (PS6HF) [293] But sorry I can't show you any sort of programme, or anything, but that's because it's
a (PS6HE) [294] No, When you do, I mean, we'll do that.
chair2 (PS6H9) [295] Because everything's still growing!
[296] I mean.
ei (PS6HF) [297] I keep, apart from the fact that we've got an enormous number of deadlines, but David keeps saying,’ we must stop’, and then people ring us up and say’Oh, I, can I do this’, and we've, you know people say,’Oh, well, I play the saxophone’, and then we find out that he's got a huge band and he's very famous, and they've just rung us up to say, you know, can we play for you for free.
[298] I mean, it's been absolutely marvellous, the response we've had and the energy and enthusiasm of everybody getting involved.
[299] erm And as I said, we're trying to, not that I'm giving the opposite view to Doctor Plumtree, as I said, we're trying to fund the people on the front line, you know, the foresters in their back yard, as it were, we're trying to preserve it, and we also feel we're not being patronising, it's not like we're writing out a large cheque and saying’ here you are’, we're actually putting a lot of time and effort into this, I mean, it's now become a full time job for me and certainly for Dave Kester, and all the other people working on it.
[300] And we're not being paid, I mean, we're doing it as volunteers.
[301] So we're not being patronising with it.
[302] We're saying, we're trying to help you by raising this money, erm it's not sort of lecturing them or anything, we're trying to focus on communities and empower them by giving them money for projects they want to happen, it's not anything we've decided.
chair2 (PS6H9) [303] Anybody for some comments any questions?
ei (PS6HF) [304] Would anybody like an invite while ... Yes, 7.30 till 9.00, University Museum, wine and canapes.
[305] I'm making the canapes, I don't know whether that tempts you or not.
chair2 (PS6H9) [306] Haven't you got enough on your plate?
ei (PS6HF) [307] Yes, and does anybody want to give
foe (PS6HC) [308] Will you have a What's On tonight.
ei (PS6HF) [309] Yes, there'll be a brief diary there, while the programmes being
bp (PS6HG) [310] Are you sort of circulating a programme that the events sort of
ei (PS6HF) [311] Yes, yes, it just hasn't been designed or printed yet.
chair2 (PS6H9) [312] Lovely, thank you very much.
[313] No questions, no but you've obviously covered everything, you talk about it with such enthusiasm.
ei (PS6HF) [314] Yes, and we've got the window in Dillons [laugh] , and we've got the window in Dillons as well during the festival.
[315] They're going to put up our posters, and the diary, and things like that.
[316] You know, we've worked hard on trying to get it in everywhere, into peoples' notices and we've linked up with Art Week quite well, as well.
chair2 (PS6H9) [317] Well, thank you ever so much for telling you about it.
[318] And we look forward to seeing some more publicity, between us we have fingers in many pies, and the more we know about it the more chance we have to spread the word around.
ei (PS6HF) [319] You can come along tonight!
chair2 (PS6H9) [320] It's actually a very difficult time for us, with elections coming up.
ei (PS6HF) [321] Oh, of course, of course , sorry, sorry!
[322] I'm sorry, do you mind if I leave, because I've actually got to go and make the canapes.
chair2 (PS6H9) [323] Thank you very much, for this very nice time.
[324] Thank you both very much.
[325] It was very interesting erm Let's spread our wings a bit further round the environment, and have a look at our Friends of the Earth Environmental Charter.
[326] You're not going to talk about all of that.
a (PS6HE) [327] Not at all, I thought you might, you remember you had a quick preview of that, a few months ago, and you'll be pleased to know that the Chief Officers have now decided that the best way of dealing with it is for each, no first of all they decided that they'll recommend two members for the signing of the charter, that's the first step, it's quite a step forward, remembering they ... .
[328] Then they felt that the most effective way of dealing with it would be for each main committee to look at the various aspects in detail, rather than take the [...] and miss everything, best for each of the main committees to look in detail at each part.
[329] Now the response, what they have done is they've had a look, we have looked briefly at some of the aspects, overall aspects and you'll find that in a number of these things, Oxford City Council is already quite heavily involved.
[330] And that's good, and that's to be encouraged.
[331] But other things will have to be worked through.
[332] We will be needing, we've been to the rest of the committees, I think, perhaps you can carry on
b (PS6HD) [333] Yes, it's been to all the committees now, bar the Public Affairs Committee.
[334] erm If you look at page 14 of the agenda, it tells you what the committees, up until the Highways and Traffic Committee'd agreed.
[335] Since then the personnel committee have considered the report, and they agreed to the recommendations in paragraph 7(a), 1,3 and 4, but the third paragraph, 7(a) (2) to [...] .
[336] The Health Committee also considered it and they made a number of points.
[337] They noted and endorsed the reservations about the various areas of policy development and ways of implementing the policies expressed in the report.
[338] They asked the officers to submit a detailed report on the programme of research to be undertaken by the Association of City Councils, in advance of the issue being considered by Party groups.
[339] They asked the individual chief officers to prepare reports to the committees on action that could be taken on the detailed recommendations of Friends of the Earth.
[340] They agreed to adopt the Friends of the Earth information set out in paragraph 3.1 of the report.
[341] And that the future reports to the committee should consider green implications, including the financial implications of green issues.
[342] The report then went to Finance Committee, and I believe it actually referred the whole of the Report to the Party Groups, now.
a (PS6HE) [343] That's right.
[344] [laugh] I was sort of working out number B there.
[345] That is true, so in a sense what you have is two aspects.
[346] The charter has dare I say it, got the green light, yes, yes alright.
[347] We shall therefore be talking to the local chair of Friends of the Earth, whose name just escapes me a minute, yes, we shall be talking with him, thinking about a day.
[348] In relation to the association of District Council's erm proposition, that was a development package, and obviously groups want to meet in time to look at that, so we'll see if we can find some more information on that one.
chair2 (PS6H9) [349] I think it's really quite heartening to see so many aspects that the City Council are already taking notice of, and really are already putting it into their policies to view the environment as something precious, something we've got to look after, but you're warning us not to be too complacent aren't you?
[350] We haven't got all the answers,
a (PS6HE) [351] Oh yes.
chair2 (PS6H9) [352] We haven't got it all right.
[353] It's very heartening that the A T C are actually looking to us to do some work with them, and that they actually think that Oxford is moving forward in the right direction, and that they actually want to come and share some of our knowledge.
[354] erm Obviously, as it's being passed on to groups, we can't make any decision at the moment on whether we think it's a good thing or not, we don't get the opportunity to endorse it all, like today.
[355] But it's certainly really is a feather in the cap for Oxford, and specifically of the environment county department [...] . [people talking]
foe (PS6HC) [356] I'd just want to say a word of thanks.
[357] I mean, we've been quite aware that Oxford City Council's quite a good, always been quite a good environmental council, and erm the fact that this is going through is good news.
[358] I'd like to thank Peter for his enthusiasm, and all the rest of the council for taking it on board.
chair2 (PS6H9) [...]
a (PS6HE) [359] No, but the working out of the details will come through this so
chair2 (PS6H9) [360] And just note the situation at the end
a (PS6HE) [361] We'll have to find a suitable date for instance
chair2 (PS6H9) [362] Presumably, it, once we've found a date the notes for this committee will be [...]
a (PS6HE) [363] Oh yes, yes indeed [...]
chair2 (PS6H9) [364] Item 9.
[365] Didcot Power Station visit.
[366] That brings to mind the fact that at that meeting, two people at least, at least two of the co-opted members asked if there was a pollution sub-committee during this year, you know, during the year that finishes in May, and I'm afraid they were told no, because it wasn't in Council Diary.
[367] This is the date of today, it wasn't in.
[368] I'm sure I told you there wasn't another meeting when you asked me, and I gather there's been a bit of a problem as well for other people.
[369] It's because it wasn't printed.
[370] So I do apologise for the confusion.
[371] It's also confused a considerable number of other people back at [...] because very few have come down today, but I'm sorry that we've [...] .
[372] Page 15.
[373] Very, very concise.
a (PS6HE) [374] It's good isn't it!
chair2 (PS6H9) [375] Really good this.
[376] But a few mistakes.
[377] Do we need to correct them, or do we just leave them be.
b (PS6HD) [378] Up to you really chair, I mean they're not signed in any way, so if you want to I can you know get them amended.
a (PS6HE) [379] I think it would be better if we did, because these are [...] , so
chair2 (PS6H9) [380] It was silly little things, like the top of page 16, little 's', and the [...] sentence is certainly Catherine, not Cerainly.
[381] Actually it's funny, it's nice to know people are human! erm page 17 17, Nationa erm sort of half way down, it should be flue gas rather than fuel.
[382] It's the typewriter got [...] .
[383] And we rather assume that item 3 immediately under that was again F G B and not S D G, because nobody could work out what S D G stands for.
[384] F G B, yes, the same as the shortened form we used before.
a (PS6HE) [385] There's one on page 18, it's a quite serious mistake, second sentence says’ Didcot was being considered for the installation of FGD equipment’, I think they said it wasn't.
a (PS6HE) [386] Yes, that's right, I'd like to raise a separate point on that later on rather than the accuracy ones for this, do the accuracy ones first.
chair2 (PS6H9) [387] But for those other people who were actually at the meeting agreed Didcot are not considering this step.
c (PS6HH) [388] I think from my reflection, they did say they were at some stage in the future, they've not ruled it out.
[389] It depends on you, in what context you're looking at it, the timescale of that, but they haven't ruled it out completely.
d (PS6HJ) [390] I think the answer is, not in the foreseeable future.
c (PS6HH) [391] Ah, yes.
foe (PS6HC) [392] Basically, they haven't got the space anyway.
c (PS6HH) [393] That's right.
a (PS6HE) [394] Can I perhaps to that point raise an issue that we discussed at the [...] meeting, and that was this whole point about de-sulphurisation, and use of low sulphur coal.
[395] I don't know if you're aware that using low sulphur coal, reduces only by 50% whereas if you use the other method it reduces by 90%, and what, in fact, Didcot are doing by that, is really not giving us a very good service.
[396] And to top it, they are actually importing their coal which comes from Africa, which is another aspect [...] .
[397] However, whatever, the reason why I mention it, I do notice that Green Peace are thinking of, perhaps some members saw it in the press, did you, that Green Peace are making a formal complaint to the European Commission about switching from de-sulphurisation to importing low sulphur coal, and it may be something that we should focus in on as well.
chair2 (PS6H9) [398] Perhaps we should contact our M E P, I don't know if we've ever done that.
c (PS6HH) [399] What a good idea, ask him what their view is, ask him what his view is.
chair2 (PS6H9) [400] And he ought to be terribly concerned about the acid rain that's falling on Europe as well as what's happening
g (PS6H8) [401] I think that's right
e (PS6HK) [402] And there's also something else that I forgot to bring up and that is that they're trying to find new ways of removing the gases, and they reckoned that in 2 years there's going to be an electrical method, an electrical filter, and the lab is 99% efficient.
[403] So I don't know if there's any way we can pressurise
chair2 (PS6H9) [404] Instead of using this flue gas desulphurisation?
e (PS6HK) [405] Yes, because the snag is with that is that it means the vast amount of [...] , and then the gypsum that is produced has got to be disposed of hasn't it, so that the limestone is mined and then they've got to get rid of the gypsum.
foe (PS6HC) [406] Well, it is used in building.
e (PS6HK) [407] Yes, but this implies that it's the consumption of limestone and gypsum mentioned in number 7 here.
[408] So many labs require that gypsum is produced.
a (PS6HE) [409] Britain was actually given a lower standard check, on the basis that we would be using in many places our own coal, which has a quite a high sulphur content, or de-sulphurisation, we were given a lower standard, or a higher standard, or whatever it is, it was more relaxed for Britain, and that's why I like the idea of taking this up with the M.E.D., how it'll happen, how it will square in his mind.
[410] So, we shall have to get a letter out to him.
chair2 (PS6H9) [411] Yes, can we do it by this committee, or do we have to go though [...] .
a (PS6HE) [412] No, we're not spending any money are we?
[413] We are on a stamp! [laugh]
c (PS6HH) [414] Well, if we could find the money within the department, could you? [laugh]
foe (PS6HC) [415] Just like to clarify the figures, the view, the figure for reductions is 30%.
a (PS6HE) [416] Well, sorry Jack, I was going on the previous figures which
foe (PS6HC) [417] What did they say for Didcot, they'd bring the sulphur down from 1.9% to 1.2.
a (PS6HE) [418] At Didcot, yes, that's what they said.
foe (PS6HC) [419] Which, erm if you work it out for Didcot, it means they're reducing their sulphur output from 300 tonnes, to 200 tonnes a day, which, the figure of 200 tonnes is still erm terrifying.
[420] I'd just like to reiterate Peter's point, they have started importing coal from probably South Africa, to use at Didcot, it would be in the south, we'd be using coal from South Africa at Didcot.
chair2 (PS6H9) [421] The Oxford Schools Acid Rain Survey?
e (PS6HK) [422] erm Yes, I've got the report of the Pilot Study, some quite interesting results have come up.
[423] erm Mainly analyzing it with meterological data, you find that after the dry spell, when the rain does finally arrive it's more acid, and it's affected in [...] .
[424] erm And also, I've managed to find some relationships between wind direction and [...] and that shows that the long distance sources of pollution affect the City of Oxford as well.
[425] When the wind comes from the East it gave a high acidity, and also one day it was coming from the South, which maybe is local fall-out from Didcot.
[426] I must emphasise that these conclusions are quite tentative, because of the lack of data, hopefully as we carry on, and maybe get more schools involved, we'll get a bigger set of data, then we can actually do some statistical analysis, and, to be more certain of the results, but it shows general patterns that we'd expect, so it makes, it shows that it's quite easy for the schoolchildren, and it fits in very well with their geography courses, and the new G C S E curriculum.
[427] erm So now we started up the long term survey, and we've now got 10 schools taking part, and they're starting next week, and they'll be carrying on in the same way as they were the pilot survey, taking the same measurements.
[428] We were originally going to do weekly measurements, but I found on my own monitoring that you won't get much variation.
[429] It provides us with the data, but school children will probably lose interest, so I've decided to keep them going with the [...] , and they're quite happy about that.
[430] And we're also going to set up our own site, which we'll be able to carry on on a daily basis throughout the year, so obviously the schools can't do it during the holidays.
[431] erm There was also some interest shown by the Radcliffe Met.
[432] Office, who are setting up a permanent acid rain monitor as well, so then we'd have to, so then I've got to get back in touch with that person.
[433] The Pilot Survey showed some [...] monitoring, further standardisation of the equipment was essential, mainly though, I'm going to make sure all schools have got the same pipes and connector and I'm going to give them some solutions to test because there was a bit of variation between schools, and there will be variation geographically, so I want to be able to have a measure of any error that will be involved as well.
[434] And I then want to be able to collect information on sources of pollution around their sites, if they notice particularly busy roads, things like that.
chair2 (PS6H9) [435] Thank you very much, I'm sure the committee would like to join with me to congratulate you both on the survey and on the very interesting report that you've actually provided.
[436] It really must make the school children feel that they've really done some important research.
[437] The, for us as members to have all these beautiful diagrams, it really makes a tremendous difference.
[438] It really is very nice,
a (PS6HE) [439] It means you can understand it without a science degree! [laugh]
chair2 (PS6H9) [440] Yes well, it's very pretty.
[441] And I gather that it hasn't cost the department too much money.
a (PS6HE) [442] Don't know about that!
e (PS6HK) [443] It's about 20 a school, or just under really, for the equipment.
g (PS6H8) [444] Can I make a suggestion?
[445] You give some blanks for them to check on?
[446] Is it possible to arrange that they be given blanks and don't know which are the blanks and which are the real, because otherwise there's a risk after you've done this the schools will suspect that they're low, and therefore they will add a little on to their blank or something like that.
[447] Yes, well, it's just work thinking about, you might be able to eliminate that risk.
d (PS6HL) [448] I'm very pleased to see this report.
[449] I originally had this idea through the workers union in Manchester, and I was wondering if there were any comparative studies that were happening at the same time, and that would be really interesting to see how Oxford compares to other areas.
e (PS6HK) [450] There are, yes [...]
chair2 (PS6H9) [451] Are you going to mention your idea of the environmental day?
d (PS6HL) [452] Oh yes, that was another thing.
[453] I though it might be useful to get the school children together to discuss the results.
a (PS6HE) [454] Wonderful!
d (PS6HL) [455] I don't know if this is a good space to do it, or when you're in the middle of setting up.
[456] But we were discussing the results from the Environmental Day at St Edwards. [...]
e (PS6HK) [457] There's a problem really, of separate, the schools are all separate.
[458] Sometimes I don't get time to go anywhere properly, you know, it's all enthusiasm at the start [laugh] .
chair2 (PS6H9) [459] They do get a copy of this, don't they?
[460] Each school gets a copy of this report.
e (PS6HK) [461] Yes.
[462] Well, what will happen is that they'll use that to analyse this next time.
g (PS6H8) [463] That's it.
[464] I thought it was very interesting indeed all the information, and obviously I think one question is which schools are now going to be called in that weren't here before, and will that lead to a better distribution of collection points across the city?
[465] [...] I notice that we had two stations in East Oxford, whereas in fact this one left West Oxford out of it altogether.
[466] And you had one close to the City Council, one is very close to the St Edward School one, was that for deliberate reasons.
[467] I didn't know if you were comparing it at the end.
e (PS6HK) [468] It's who we managed to get contacts with.
[469] This one has got just about every secondary school in Oxford, county secondary school on it, so it's just where the schools are really.
g (PS6H8) [470] So are we going to [...] in West Oxford now.
e (PS6HK) [471] Can I let you know.
[472] I'm trying to think where is the secondary school in West Oxford.
g (PS6H8) [473] Well, there isn't, I mean that's the problem.
[474] You are using Middle School sites aren't you?
e (PS6HK) [475] There's various middle schools in West Oxford, so maybe I should try and contact the school and get them
g (PS6H8) [476] Otherwise, I mean, the possibility otherwise is Oxford City Council having a site in West Oxford, to fill that gap.
e (PS6HK) [477] I'll investigate that.
a (PS6HE) [478] Chair, the point about the schools is that we could put that information in the minutes for the next meeting, schools that are participating in the survey.
[479] So we could be aware of which ones
c (PS6HH) [480] You could put it in the Bulletin, how about the Bulletin, in the City Secretary's Bulletin.
e (PS6HK) [481] Yes, I mean you could put it in the minutes, but also it would be quick at the next meeting of this sub-committee is after the election, it'll be some time in June, so a quick way of dealing with it would be to put it in the bulletin, yes, but also, but I'll put it in the minutes, as well.
chair2 (PS6H9) [482] Yes, it has a wider circulation, other members read it.
g (PS6H8) [483] There is a school in Ferry Hinksey Road isn't there, a middle school I think, so that's the only one I know.
[484] The thing I'd really like is a glossary of terms.