Luton FoE


David Oakley-Hill


99 Manton Drive, Luton, Beds LU2 7DL


01582 724257


[email protected] 







About Luton FOE

Luton Friends of the Earth is one of over 220 local groups of Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FoE has active groups in 70 countries around the world.) We campaign on a wide range of key environmental issues in the local area. We are very active on a number of fronts and always need people to join in.

FoE conference – We sent 3 representatives to national FoE local groups conference in September. David played his own green songs on Friday night! We came away inspired by the brilliant campaigning from HQ and from FoE groups across the country over the last year – climate has been the main focus, but this encompasses campaigns from transport, food, waste, and opposing incineration, airport expansion and other damaging developments to the sickening destruction from sea dredging highlighted by the FoE group Marinet.


How to save the world (and your money) at home. . . click here for an easy guide For more tips read Save Cash & Save the Planet published by FoE (Collins, £12.99) or Saving the Planet without costing the Earth – 500 steps to a greener lifestyle by Donnachadh McCarthy (£11.99, Fusion Press)

Climate action for businesses

Luton FoE’s Guide for Businesses to save money and cut their own carbon footprint. A simple list of actions that can bring environmental and financial benefits to all. We are discussing with Luton Business Chamber how to get the message across and help companies take action.

Carbon calculators for all   We are interested in the number of carbon calculators on the web. Most have their merits, but we’re keen to see a standard, simple, effective model that can be used for every individual or household so proper comparisons can be made. And carbon is only a token, easy to measure part of everyone’s Ecofootprint – this important point needs to be explained simply too.



Everyone is affected by climate change – yes, you too! If you’re in denial, or have been lazy about it, wake up and stop holding back the progress made by others. If you’ve been conscientious – well done! But there’s a lot more you can do, including giving others a gentle prod!

Al Gore’s campaigning across the world through lecturing and his stunning film An Inconvenient Truth to promote the message of the scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has brought a deserved Nobel prize, awarded jointly to Gore and the IPCC.

THE WORLD IS CHANGING FAST The film outlines scientifically but in simple terms how fast climate change is taking place and how dangerous it is for all of us. Ice cores show that global temperatures and carbon dioxide levels have always risen together in the past. Levels of both are now higher than for 650,000 years, before “civilised” humans and far above any natural cycles. This rise has happened very quickly, is causing the melting of the ice caps, and more extreme and dangerous weather.

NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM The thousands of scientists in the IPCC say that human activity has severely distorted natural cycles. They say that to regain the balance, we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 90% - maybe more. The only way to achieve this is to change behaviour from corporations to individuals in countries across the world. We must reduce excessive, frivolous and wasteful consumption; reduce the growing rich-poor divide so everyone has fairer shares. We must make big changes within 10 years, or it may be too late. This is a common threat to us all, and provides an opportunity to bring us all together and prevent wars – or make things rapidly worse.

WHAT TO DO / NOT TO DO Luton FoE members first saw Al Gore’s film in Sep 06. Afterwards we handed out our leaflet What you can do to save the planet – and your money to nearly all who’d seen the film. Many looked a bit stunned and were happy to receive a leaflet. Please read it and try to do as much as possible, and spread the word to others. Rainforests are the “green lungs” of the planet. Rainforest destruction is a big factor in climate change – it wipes out habitats that support whole ecosystems, so the wildlife that supports us all is facing mass extinction – much of it has been around for millions of years. Unless we protect this, what are humanity’s chances of survival? Buying what you don’t need, wasting energy and water at home, causing forests to be cut down by using too much virgin wood and paper and consuming products with a lot of palm oil and soya, taking long commuting journeys - and flying - must quickly become as anti-social as smoking.

Anyone with a garden should grow some of their own vegetables to reduce air miles – or get an allotment. It can be a healthy and enjoyable communal activity, and very satisfying. Support farmers markets and have an organic vegbox delivered such as Check where things you buy come from – try hard to buy : 1) local; 2) from UK or Europe; 3) Fair trade (these may travel some distance, but at least help people in other countries live more sustainable lives). Don’t be seduced by unnecessary gadgets. Try to avoid products from China or other countries the other side of the world.

WHAT WE’VE DONE FoE has done a massive amount to raise awareness of the problems, and locally we have played our part. We held several days of action, talking to people in the street. We have talked with local decision makers constantly to try to make a difference. Luton Council signed the Nottingham Declaration to act on climate change. We handed out our leaflet and talked to University of Bedfordshire students at the Freshers Fair at the Luton and Bedford campuses. We also asked them to sign a postcard to their MP urging them to do what they can to make the Climate Bill, which FoE has worked very hard on over the last couple of years, as strong and effective as possible. We believe it is vital to have a mandatory target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by at least 3% every year. This has cross-party support from over half of all MPs. The government says because weather varies year to year, this could not be guaranteed. But this is weak thinking – continuing climate problems ARE guaranteed!

FLYING Aviation must be made responsible for its massive impacts on people's lives - but not only the traffic, pollution, congestion, noise, and loss of land and wildlife. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution says aviation causes at least 9% of climate damage to the upper atmosphere, and is growing faster than any other source.

Luton Airport uses 22% of the county's energy. Quieter aircraft with increased capacity is a red herring. Emissions have doubled since 1990. The "need" to compete with other countries is rubbish - the more people fly abroad, the more they spend there, hurting our economy. Jobs from airport expansion are very costly indeed - they can't be used to justify everything we do, good or bad! 80% of what you pay to fill your car is tax. But the government doesn't tax aircraft fuel, to help pay for all the damage it does, or restrict internal UK flights.

If we care about our children’s future, we should treat flying abroad as a rare luxury, say once every 5 years. To fly to Europe for a weekend is ridiculous – wait until you can have a proper holiday! We must take our fast-changing climate seriously, as gardeners know - and thousands whose homes were ruined by floods this year. Those who choose not to fly are subsidising those who don’t care about their own future by over £300 a year.

We shouldn’t fly within the UK (either for pleasure or business) when it’s easy to take a train, bus, coach, taxi, hire a bike or car, or use local boats and ferries at our destination. As the TV series Coast has shown, there are a lifetime’s wonderful places to explore in Britain; and there’s Eurostar to 70 destinations in Europe, from which you can reach many other places.

GOVERNMENT CHALLENGE To tackle climate change will be the greatest challenge for the next prime minister and other world leaders. We would urge you to support politicians who you believe are taking the issues seriously. This can no longer be a talking shop – many people are already doing something. They must do more, and for those still doing nothing, ACTION must begin immediately.

RECYCLING When FoE got the Recycling Bill through Parliament, it compelled councils to collect at least two materials (such as paper and cans) door to door for recycling. Three years later, most councils would not get away with less than 4 materials, plus garden waste. We commend Luton Council for piloting food waste collections – it is vital these are made available to all so food goes to in-vessel composting - a biodigester - to stop landfill sites producing the potent greenhouse gas methane. Everyone should also receive a kerbside glass collection, plus textiles. Recycling centres should have banks for old video and audio tapes, cassettes and CDs. Nature reuses everything – we recycle 33%.

FAIR SHARES The Climate Bill is a vital start, but a 3% cut in CO2 each year won’t achieve the changes Al Gore and the IPCC are urging. Members of Luton FoE have met authors Aubrey Meyer and Mayer Hillman. The only model yet proposed to tackle rapidly and dangerously escalating climate change is the one they promote, contraction and convergence, in other words “Fair shares of carbon around the world”. Why should we consume more than our fair share of the Earth’s resources? We only have one Earth. The average UK citizen is using up over 3 people’s share – 3 Earths! Most of this is wasted – appliances left on, heating too high, no insulation, unnecessary car journeys. Obviously this can’t go on. If you take one Atlantic flight, you use up your share of carbon for a year, so should not be allowed any heating, cooking, home electricity or car travel that year!

Greenhouse gases from air travel are growing so fast that all householders, motorists and businesses will have to reduce carbon emissions to ZERO to meet government climate targets, says the Tyndall Research Centre. With fair fares, the less damaging way you travel, the cheaper it should be. It is good to see stations on our line to London being lengthened – something we have urged for many years.

HOME FRONT The government’s “Zero Emissions for new homes by 2016” is too late – it must begin NOW – we have the technology, we just need more people trained to build them. And what about the other 99% - where everyone lives already? Home Information Packs are a start – although far too expensive. There must be radical help from government for people to make their homes more energy efficient – not just in the structure of the building, but preventing energy waste through standby and chargers - and hot water and electricity must come partly from renewable energy such as solar panels.

WE’RE NOT ALONE People often say “what about America? What about China? But we’re NOT the only ones acting. In the US :

  • California is suing car companies for climate damage.
  • The Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific academy, has written to oil giant Exxon (Esso) to demand that the company withdraws finance for dozens of groups that have "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence". Please don’t buy their petrol!
  • Mayors of 300 US cities have signed up to Kyoto, starting a revolution from within.

    And many people from outside China are working with them to plan a more sustainable future – this is not to say it will be easy! But YOU can do more by buying British or European whenever you can. And find ways to have fun (without buying Chinese goods) which give you both exercise and pleasure!


  • rainforest destruction
  • wildlife extinction
  • human rights abuse
  • worker exploitation
  • no labelling - people can't tell if they're buying safe or damaging palm oil


  • companies should trace & display sources of palm oil
  • companies should not destroy forests for palm oil
  • companies should join a round table on sustainable palm oil

    Did you know palm oil is the biggest threat to orang-utans and hundreds of thousands of other endangered species? It's in 1 in 10 products bought in the supermarkets examples of products with palm oil. Palm oil plantations are causing hardship and suffering to people wherever they are planted. Destruction of forest ecosystems for palm oil is also a major contributor to climate change.

    We have held two palm oil days - the second was in summer 06, allowing Marie to jump about again hidden inside a luminous orang-utan (she does it so well!) We asked people if they would :

  • sign postcards to their MP to tell them about the impacts of palm oil production
  • sign a petition to Tesco asking them to join the other big supermarkets at the roundtable which is finding ways to source palm oil without destroying forests

    For more info see Press release

    Within a month, Tesco signed up to the roundtable. This is only a first step – while talks continue, please try to buy less processed and more British or European food. Enjoy European wines and avoid those from the US and Australia.


    The current rate of exploitation for palm oil is just one example of gross corporate irresponsibility. We also asked people to sign postcards to their MP supporting FoE’s amendments to the Company Law Bill. FoE wants -

    1) companies to be legally required to report on their social and env impacts

    2) Directors legally obliged to minimise any damage their company does to communities and the environment

    3) people overseas harmed by activities of a UK company are able to take action against them in a UK court

    The Company Law Bill has now become the Companies Act: Companies will now be required to publish details of their dealings and relations with suppliers. This will bring greater transparency into corporate reporting. The effectiveness of reporting standards are to be reviewed within two years.

    So far we have succeeded in our campaign on point one. Companies must now report on their environmental impact, and what they are doing to tread with a lighter footprint.


    The government wants 45,000 new homes built in or around Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis by 2030. This could include some land in East Herts. Since the Public Inquiry, Caddington and Slip End have been included. Some people in government believe that building more houses would bring prices down. This is completely unproven. They also claim that some of London’s ‘key workers’ (like nurses and teachers) need to have housing in Luton Dunstable and Houghton Regis. This is laughable – at the end of a long, stressful day, such people want a home close by they can reach quickly, and they wouldn’t be able to afford the rail fares anyway. Yet they expect the local area to provide only 30,000 jobs for these 45,000 homes. A large development in Dartford and Gravesend aims for TWO jobs per new home. So we are clearly a “sacrificial area”. This is so unfair, as well as impractical, when Greater London has masses of space for key workers and many more besides.

    We believe these plans to be out of proportion to future need. The numbers of new homes being forced on the south-east is absurd and unfair. Our overdeveloped conurbation is expected to take about 20% more. Energy, water & sewage needs would be massive, as would demand for construction materials, many of which would not be available from local sources. There is too much demolition of sound and often historic buildings, which should be refurbished rather than flattened for new build which is highly wasteful of materials. Most towns evolve over many years - trying to create a whole sustainable infrastructure from scratch in a short time is very complex and unlikely to work smoothly if at all.

    If towns throughout the country were asked to take 1% more development, THIS would be fair, and allow all communities to evolve at a more natural, manageable rate.

    FoE groups in this region have worked very hard together over the last few years to ensure that whatever scale of development our area receives, it is not just houses and roads, but planned sustainably. Existing wildlife areas and important landscape must be protected. Green open spaces, playing fields, meadows and wildlife corridors must be at its heart, as well as schools, doctors, shops and employment.

    Luton and South Beds FoE have produced a joint response to the Growth Area consultation. We began our campaign in 2003, when the Deputy Prime Minister announced his plan to build half a million homes across the countryside North of London. For many, it was a bolt from the blue which could have a serious impact on their lives. The local part is snappily titled 'The Milton Keynes & South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy' Luton FOE submitted an objection in Oct 2003. We have raised the issue repeatedly at the highest level and it has been debated locally by politicians, service deliverers and community representatives. David Oakley-Hill produced a paper to contribute to a debate by Luton Forum. We were able to field people to put the environmental case against the plans throughout the 6 weeks of the Inquiry (Examination in Public).

    The transport implications have not been thought through - employment is at the opposite end of the town from the housing! We argued strongly against the Translink busway, and submitted a supplementary paper on Key local infrastructure specifically about Translink, describing the extraordinary council U-turns.

    The EIA started in Northampton, discussing general principles and justification for the plans. (Luton FoE submitted 2 papers to this: Basis for the strategy and Effect on local areas.) It moved to MK, and ended in Luton, where it discussed Bedford for one day and Luton for two. Apart from the Translink paper, Luton FoE submitted 2 papers to the Luton part of the Inquiry: Growth/employment/environment/housing/infrastructure; and sustainability guidance. We also contributed to the submission on Bedford by Andrew Lockley (MK FoE), who grew up there. Giving evidence for Luton were David Oakley-Hill (Luton FoE) and Victoria Harvey (S Beds FoE). Summing up, the Inspector said he was impressed that throughout the Inquiry, FoE and CPRE were able to produce good people to speak with local knowledge.

    Luton Northern Bypass: A major east-west road has been proposed, and we attended 2 workshops 15 months apart, before and after consultants’ work. If it went ahead, it would create millions more car journeys, reducing quality of life for thousands, through noise, pollution, habitat and countryside loss, and wiping out CO2 gains elsewhere. This would be made worse as new residents would need to reach employment areas like the airport. It would go through many Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and damage Sites of Special Scientific Interest like Warden and Galley Hills. These are protected in law. Worst hit would be the area East of the A6 - it would be hard to justify this section on any grounds.

    We have worked with South Beds FoE to oppose the road, try to reduce the scale of any ‘growth area’ development, and ensure anything that happens does as little damage as possible, so the next generation can live in a ‘sustainable’ way. We proposed that if substantial development went ahead, it should be served by E-W rail or light rail, and a station in the Chalton area, instead of a major road.


    Luton can no longer use the name Translink, as it is owned by a transport body in Ireland.

    Unfortunately, Luton Council still wants to go ahead with the partially guided busway project, despite that it only aims to achieve a 1% shift from car use to bus use – so all it really offers is a slightly better service for existing bus users – at £100m, with vast disruption and congestion for several years affecting local businesses, and destruction of a valuable wildlife corridor. The FastTrack bus system in Dartford/Gravesend claims 19% have left their cars behind. The Croydon Tram network has saved many millions of car journeys. The trouble is, we have a railway, albeit disused, which needs to be used as one. It could provide a completely off-road solution (this could be a tram) to our problems, which could link with buses, taxis etc as in Croydon.

    The latest business case for the busway (we fail to see how one could ever be proven) has yet to be agreed by government.

    On 18 Jan 2004 a Luton on Sunday survey asked "Is Translink a good or a bad thing?" 98% (180 of 183) said that Translink guided busway, promoted by Luton BC, was a BAD THING. This supports previous surveys - most people want a railway reopened between Luton and Dunstable.

    For a consultation period which ended on 9 Feb 2004, Luton FoE produced two leaflets to help people respond to the government. One suggests points you might like to make in a letter. The other is an 'easy one', compiled jointly with the rail group ADAPT, which gives tickboxes. Luton FoE has featured in the local press on this issue frequently, most recently in April 2004.

    The government was to provide half the money for Translink, council taxpayers having to pay for the other half as a loan over up to 40 years despite NOT WANTING THE SCHEME! (Also see paper on Translink, above, submitted to Prescott Inquiry (EIA) and 'East-west rail link across South Beds' below.

    The inspector's verdict, published in autumn 2006, appeared to pay little regard to the well-argued testimonies of over 300 objectors. The best hope now is that common sense will prevail amongst politicians, and finance will not be forthcoming for this scheme, which would permanently prevent the proper use of the Luton-Dunstable railway line. Our major traffic problems will only get worse with the growth area and greater use of the airport, unless the railway is extended to the West Coast Main Line to help the many people who travel in and out of our conurbation.

    Woodpecker in Co-ordinator's garden bordering County Wildlife Site - see Networking for Nature Conservation (below)

    Specific campaigns include:


    Airport expansion
  • Aviation is the fastest growing UK source of greenhouse gas emissions, doubling between 1990-2000 (during this time CO2 emissions from other activities decreased by nine percent). CO2 released at 30,000 feet more than doubles the damage of releasing it at ground-level, making flying responsible for at least 11 percent of the UK's climate impact. If Luton Airport were included in the figures, it would account for 22% of all energy use in Bedfordshire.
  • Even with a widened road from the M1, which would encourage more car use instead of public transport, Luton and all its access roads would seize up into gridlock somewhere around 10-12 million. What is needed instead of internal flights is greater support for rail, which is less harmful to the environment. See Translink below.
  • Luton FoE became part of a large group, including 90 local authorities, called the Limit Luton Airport Alliance, . We had input to a strongly-worded letter handed in to the government at the end of June 2003 objecting to plans by airport management to transform Luton Airport into 'the new Heathrow'. Over 9 million passengers a year currently use the airport, and the maximum capacity permitted is 10 million. Recent plans to include a replacement runway to the south have been dropped, but extending the existing taxiway could give capacity for over 20 million passengers - a frightening prospect which would greatly increase carbon emissions.
  • Massive airport expansion is being proposed throughout the SouthEast. We produced a leaflet to help people write to the government to object.
  • This is Luton FoE's response to a Government consultation on aviation strategy: Future of Aviation.
  • Recently, various pressure groups have been working together to oppose expansion of Luton Airport. Luton FoE is in regular contact with LADACAN, an experienced local group campaigning against noise and expansion. They hired a lawyer to contest the government's plan to lengthen Luton's runway, which would allow Jumbo Jets A planning application could be submitted at any time to lengthen the taxiway, which could allow for up to 20 million passengers a year – more than double the present number. In 2007 there could even be an application for a second runway, to allow for 30 million passengers. This level of flying, replicated nationally, would wipe out all efforts in all other business and domestic sectors to cut CO2 emissions. Given the climate threat, airport expansion is one government policy which simply has to be torn up. We must all travel less, and take more holidays in Britain, which has many wonderful places to visit. It is no longer a luxury the planet can afford to zip off to a European city by plane for a weekend. If you want to see Europe, soak up the atmosphere and culture by seeing it properly over a couple of weeks – but go by train or coach, and once there, travel by bus or train or hire a car or bicycle.

    East-west rail link across South Beds

  • We are campaigning for an east-west rail or light rail (tram) link across South Beds between Luton, Dunstable, Eaton Bray & Stanbridge, Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes. The tracks are still in place between Luton and Dunstable. This would join the Midland Mainline (St Albans, Harpenden, Luton, Bedford) with the West Coast Mainline (Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Leighton Buzzard, Milton Keynes). Bus routes should link with stations. This would give hundreds of thousands of people from many towns and villages a real choice of using fast, convenient public transport links instead of their car. We want Luton to invite tenders from organisations interested in running a rail-based link. We have campaigned against a 'Translink' Luton-Dunstable guided busway, using the slogan 'Translink is the Weakest Link'. To see why we don't support a guided busway, have a look at the key reasons why a busway is wrong.
  • Advertising standards authority ruling: Luton Council misleads public. Luton FOE Press Release.
  • Letter to inform the District Auditor: Translink Auditor letter
  • Luton FoE campaigned to try to prevent a huge price rise for Network Card users: Railcard Letter

    Addressing transport problems in an integrated (joined-up) way

  • Working with Luton & neighbouring councils to develop a more sustainable transport system including the reduction of car use. Together with Luton Local Agenda 21 Transport Group, we have produced a spreadsheet report on this called Sustainable Moves with an introduction/summary at Sustainable Moves Introduction.


    The WasteBook

  • We edit The WasteBook, a website directory for the south-east of England. We think of it as a dating agency for businesses who have 'waste' to reuse or recycle and don't know how to find someone who might want it. Just go to We are seeking funding and a friendly web design tekkie to work with us on a regular basis, initially without payment !
  • Local recycling Every month we drive a van collecting white paper from offices in the Luton and Dunstable area, including from some council offices. This is taken to a paper merchant for recycling.

  • The Recycling Act Luton FoE members went to Parliament to help promote the Recycling Bill, which has now become the Recycling Act, compelling all local authorities to collect at least two materials door to door
  • ZERO WASTE, not incineration, is the way to go - it has been adopted by many local authorities around the world. David Oakley-Hill of Luton FoE is on the national Zero Waste Strategy Group, which has developed the ZERO WASTE CHARTER, a ten-point plan for the UK. He was at the Zero Waste Charter launch at Parliament, at which the first two UK local authorities signed up to reach Zero Waste by 2020. MPs met Moses holding the Zero Waste 10 Commandments, and were accosted by fire-breathing incinerator dragons and Alice in Wonderland characters to point out the danger and madness of big incinerators which consume not only reusable and recyclable materials but the finances (public money) of local authorities. Luton FoE is asking Luton and Bedfordshire to sign up and set a target of Zero Waste by 2020. Here's Luton FoE's Zero Waste press release about the launch, listing the ZERO WASTE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
  • What is a scrapstore? See and click on to 140 Scrapstores. We'd like to see a scrapstore in Luton and Bedford. Every town should have one!
  • The SLIC idea Sorting at Local Industrial Centres would massively increase the proportion of materials from industrial estates that are reused and recycled. It would save businesses money, while taking many unnecessary lorry journeys off our roads and reducing fuel and energy used.

    Illegal logging

    Luton FOE proposed a motion to national conference in September 2003 for a campaign on illegal logging. David wrote a letter to the EU in February 2007.

    Over 80% of timber from Indonesia is logged illegally. This has a devastating effect on wildlife found nowhere else on the planet, and on local peoples who depend on the forests for their survival. The motion was carried unanimously. Only buy wood with an FSC logo - look for this symbol. But don't replace something unless you really have to!


  • A Local Plan is an important and wide-ranging document that sets out what a council plans to do over the next ten years. For the first stage of Luton Borough Council's consultation on its new Local Plan, it asked 57 questions, and in March 2002 Luton FoE wrote a 10-page response. Since then we have participated in a "sustainability appraisal" of the process of developing the Local Plan.
  • In June 2003 there was a 6-week public consultation period, and Luton FoE sent in comments on the First Deposit Draft. In three years this will change to the "Local Development Framework"! FoE will try to ensure that no democratic rights are lost in the process. We are more concerned about the public's ability to participate in the new "Regional Spatial Strategies" which will replace Regional Planning Guidance.
  • Butterfield Green
    This development is well on the way to completion. The developers wanted to withdraw from their agreement with Luton Council on the important park and ride site. This is what David Oakley-Hill said to the development control committee. They agreed to insist that park and ride would be the first part of the development.

    Government Green Paper on Planning The Government produced a Green Paper on sweeping changes to the planning system. Luton FoE didn't like these at all - it would give more power to big business and take it away from ordinary people. This was Luton FoE's response to the Green Paper.

    Regional Development Agencies We are worried that a few unelected people will be making decisions which are likely to reflect the desires of business rather than the needs of citizens. This is Steve Hawkins' report on RDAs.


    We work with various residents groups, and in February 2002 we planted two willow and two hornbeam trees on the County Wildlife Site along the river between Kingsdown Ave and Stockingstone Road. In the last ten years Luton FoE and residents have planted over 100 twelve foot trees and many smaller ones along the River Lea corridor. This letter helped to save a hedge.

    Some young oak trees in Stockwood Park were to be dug up as they were growing in a wildflower rich area, and would soon shade out the flowers.

    At a site meeting in Summer 2003 with the council's conservation officer, Luton FoE suggested that the oaks could be moved to another part of the park. In November 2003, thanks to volunteers from North Chilterns Trust, 14 oaks were successfully moved.


    Luton FoE co-ordinator David Oakley-Hill gave a talk for an hour in May 2002 to 200 people at the University of the Third Age. This is what he said.

    After he sent this letter, the views of Luton FoE's Steve Hawkins were discussed on Radio 4's Home Planet.

    The public wants GM free foods, food free from chemical residues, and organic alternatives. this is the result of Luton FoE's Supermarket Survey.

    For years Hydrogenated vegetable oil has been creeping into all processed foods. Here's an email about transfatsTransfats.doc from David Oakley-Hill on 2 July 2003 to Radio 4's You & Yours.

    Hydrogenated fat is now to be removed from all Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets' own-brand products – a victory for good health and common sense!

    Healthy food – David sits on LSP Health group and Luton Food Network to promote local and healthy food, growing your own fruit and veg, and prevention of disease through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Members of Luton FoE receive and promote to others the excellent organic vegbox home delivery service.

    See the worrying stuff below. It doesn't just apply to babies! (Did you know the Americans spelled mould like that?) Well worth shampooing the carpets with a 'green' shampoo now and then, not putting bleach down the loo or chemicals on the garden, and not buying anything that needs dry cleaning. Also avoid processed foods containing hydrogenated oils. And of course, instead of washing lettuces, peeling apples and top and tailing carrots, just buy organic.

    The Case Against Meat. Evidence shows that our meat-based diet is bad for climate change, the environment, aggravates global hunger, brutalizes animals and compromises our health. So why aren't more environmentalists switching to a vegetarian diet?


    David Oakley-Hill researched and produced a draft report for Luton Forum Health Committee on Chemicals in Food and the Home. Due to other pressures this has not been completed, but it contains some useful advice.

    Mobile phones and masts

  • Council closes school in Valladolid where 4 cancer cases found.
  • The Great Mobile Phone Cover-up by Dave Edwards
  • RECYCLING: If you are thinking of replacing your mobile, visit or

    And finally, if we don't change attitudes soon, here's how things could be in 2032 ...

    Why FoE groups should get involved in Local Assemblies - community involvement in decision making

    Local Assemblies? What are these? The Assembly is the community voice of Luton Forum (the local name for Luton's LSP - Local Strategic Partnership). LSPs now operate all over the UK, as a new attempt to achieve joined-up thinking and more democracy in local government. Luton Assembly members were elected by representatives of the 500 voluntary and community groups in the town.

    Because of his experience in environmental campaigning, David Oakley-Hill has been elected on to Luton Assembly. The biggest projects he has been involved in so far are:

  • helping to write the Community Plan (or Strategy), which will soon become more important than Local Plans;
  • The Sustainable Communities Plan

    Energy in homes   David has been mentioning to decision makers at every opportunity the need for new homes to be energy neutral, not just “a little more efficient”, and for much more done to reduce energy demand from existing homes (the remaining 99%). David and Peter Eltringham visited Donnachadh McCarthy’s Ecohome in Camberwell on his open day. He was seen advising the family on energy saving in the TV series “It isn’t easy being green”. He has PV and a wind turbine for electricity, and solar panels for hot water. He produces more energy than he needs, and sells spare energy to the national grid.

    Walking bus   This is a crocodile of junior school children led by parents, which ‘picks up’ passengers on the way and cuts cars driving to school and parking dangerously. Through Luton Assembly (part of the Local Strategic Partnership) David has stimulated interest in setting up some Walking Bus schemes in Luton. However, this is at an early stage.

    There are many Assembly related meetings, usually in the daytime, but David would recommend it to any campaigner who is self-employed or has flexible hours. Another way to be involved is to go to public meetings such as neighbourhood forums or area committees, and to keep an eye out for and object to planning applications that could result in environmental damage.


    P.S. How to save the world

    A quick guide to things YOU can do in everyday life.


    Feel free to contact us about any environmental issues. We may not be able to help, but we may know someone who does!

    Friends of Earth's local group pages are maintained by the local groups themselves. Please contact the local group co-ordinator. `

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