Public Money for Nuclear? — Write to the EU and say NO

by on Oct.08, 2014, under News

The UK is push­ing for huge state sub­sidies for new nuc­lear, Hinkley C in Somer­set is the test case. What hap­pens at Hinkley will have a knock on effect for Moorside.

Please help Stop Moor­side by writ­ing to the EU Com­mis­sion urging them to turn down the UK’s plan for huge state sub­sidy for new nuclear.

There is a draft let­ter below.  Please feel free to rewrite this in your own words or send it as it is.

Write to:


Sug­ges­ted let­ter you could send sent to us by the ‘STOP MOORSIDE: “Biggest Nuc­lear Devel­op­ment in Europe“‘ campaigns

Dear Com­mis­sion­er­Mi­crosoft Word — Dear Commissioner.docJoaquín Almunia,


I am hor­ri­fied to read reports that the European Com­mis­sion is to do a U turn on its ori­ginal view that aid would be incom­pat­ible under EU state aid rules.

Nuc­lear power star­ted in the UK with Magnox react­ors. The so-called leg­acy waste from these react­ors is held at Sel­lafield in dis­grace­ful conditions.

The stated reason for the UKs pro­mo­tion of nuc­lear power is that it is car­bon free. This car­bon free status does not how­ever include the full life car­bon audit from uranium min­ing to pro­posed geo­lo­gical dis­posal and the car­bon foot­print of acci­dents such as Wind­scale, Three Mile Island and Fukushima.

If the full car­bon audit life cycle was included nuc­lear power may even be in energy defi­cit, espe­cially as the fossil fuel energy needed for waste stor­age and acci­dent is unquan­ti­fi­able. Sel­lafield stopped pro­du­cing elec­tri­city in 2003 but uses over £30M of gas every year.

Nuc­lear power is a mature tech­no­logy in that it has been around for dec­ades.  It should by now be com­mer­cially viable without state aid.  The UK in con­trast plans to scrap sup­port for the younger and more eco­nom­ic­ally robust industry of solar install­a­tions over 5MW.

The argu­ment that new nuc­lear will provide secur­ity of elec­tri­city sup­ply is unten­able given that the earli­est new build pro­posed would not take place until 2023 for Hinkley C in Somer­set and 2024 for Moor­side (next to the world’s largest stock­pile of plutonium). Uranium for the new build react­ors would come from for example Peru, Aus­tralia, Canada, Russia.

The waste from the new build react­ors would be hot­ter, requir­ing unquan­ti­fi­able fresh water resources for dec­ades of cooling.

Please ensure that your ini­tial resolve is upheld, that aid would be incom­pat­ible under EU state aid rules.

Yours sin­cerely,




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Free Public Lectures: Institute of Physics Talks, 2014/15

by on Oct.08, 2014, under News

Tues­days, 7-8pm
Chichester 1 Lec­ture Theatre, Uni­ver­sity of Sus­sex
• 14th Octo­ber 2014 — Mak­ing Use of Uncer­tainty: From Quantum
Phys­ics to Quantum Tech­no­lo­gies by Dr Jacob Dun­ning­ham
• 11th Novem­ber 2014 – Smash­ing Phys­ics: Inside the World’s
Biggest Exper­i­ment by Prof. Jon But­ter­worth
• 9th Decem­ber 2014 – Rise of a Giant: The European Extremely
Large Tele­scope by Dr Aprajita Verma
• 10th Feb­ru­ary 2015 – Map­ping the Uni­verse
by Dr Karen Mas­ters
• 10th March 2015 – Jewel of the Solar Sys­tem:
Cel­eb­rat­ing 10 years of Cas­sini at Sat­urn
by Dr Caitríona Jackman


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LISTEN HERE: Murder Clinic — The Scrap of Lace (Radio Play)

by on Oct.08, 2014, under News

Listen here to The Scrap of Lace — a murder mys­tery radio play read by Radio Free Brighton volun­teers and work exper­i­ence stu­dents from Down­lands School.


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Interview: Hong Kong Demonstrations

by on Oct.04, 2014, under News


Inter­view with Jessie Kwok„ a res­id­ent of Hong Kong and pre­vi­ously, an RFB volun­teer. She gives us first hand exper­i­ence of the demon­stra­tions and the reac­tion of Hong Kong cit­izens to cur­rent events

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Howard Johns: Power To The People!

by on Oct.02, 2014, under News

Howard Johns is the founder of South­ern Solar Ltd, and has been installing solar hot water sys­tems and other small scale renew­able energy sys­tems for over ten years. Dur­ing this Power To The People speech, he talks about renew­able energy, spe­cific­ally Solar Power.

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Permission for hundreds of homes and jobs at derelict fruit and veg market, Circus Street, Brighton

by on Sep.18, 2014, under News

Coun­cil­lors have approved a major regen­er­a­tion scheme in cent­ral Brighton which will deliver hun­dreds of jobs and homes.

The plan­ning com­mit­tee today (Septem­ber 17, 2014) agreed the Public-Private Part­ner­ship scheme by Cathed­ral (Brighton) Ltd, the Uni­ver­sity of Brighton and the city coun­cil to trans­form the one–hectare site off Cir­cus Street.

The former muni­cipal fruit and veg mar­ket would become a mixed-use scheme and ‘innov­a­tion quarter’, expec­ted to cre­ate 400 jobs and inject £200m into the city’s eco­nomy over the next 10 years.

Per­mis­sion includes 142 new homes, 20 per cent affordable.

New teach­ing and research facil­it­ies would be cre­ated for the Uni­ver­sity of Brighton, includ­ing a new lib­rary.  Pres­sure would be taken off the city’s fam­ily homes by the inclu­sion of 450 units of stu­dent accom­mod­a­tion, say officials.

Along­side will be a new dance stu­dio for South East Dance, expec­ted to attract 70,000 vis­it­ors and users a year.

Work­spaces would be aimed at start-up busi­nesses, artists and lar­ger com­pan­ies.  A mod­ern office build­ing, includ­ing over 3,000 sqm of flex­ible space would help grow­ing cre­at­ive and digital busi­nesses remain and flour­ish in the city.

Per­mis­sion includes res­taur­ants or shops at ground floor level, around a new pub­lic square.  Cathed­ral are prom­ising a “new genre” of urban devel­op­ment with green walls, green roofs, 78 new trees and allot­ments for food grow­ing — pro­du­cing over 200kg of food per year for residents.

Developers have agreed to pay £250,000 to improve local trans­port and recre­ation pro­vi­sion and to use at least 20 per cent local labour for construction.


For more inform­a­tion you can visit:

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Latest news on our Pledge to Save the NHS

by on Aug.13, 2014, under News


Our Pledge to Save the NHS! What you can do now.…

Sus­sex Defend the NHS and Brighton & Hove Keep Our NHS Pub­lic are seek­ing sup­port from local Uni­ons and Com­munity Groups for their Pledge to Save the NHS (attached here).  It’s aimed at pro­spect­ive par­lia­ment­ary and coun­cil can­did­ates, and the cam­paign to get them to sign it will be launched at the end of the sum­mer, with press events, a web site, let­ter writ­ing and a hust­ings planned lead­ing up to the elec­tions in 2015.
We’ve got off to a good start: so far we’ve secured sup­port from the GMB, Brighton & Hove NUJ, Uni­son Sus­sex Part­ner­ship Branch, Brighton & Hove Uni­son, Brighton & Hove People’s Assembly, and Brighton & Hove Trades Coun­cil. And there are more in the pipeline. (We’ll be adding logos shortly)
Are you a Trade Union mem­ber? If so, please raise sup­port­ing our Pledge to Save the NHS with your branch so that we can add your Logo and show the local par­lia­ment­ary and coun­cil can­did­ates where their pri­or­it­ies should lie. We’d be happy to provide a speaker at your next branch meet­ing to tell you more about our campaign.
And if you are a mem­ber of a Com­munity Group, please see if it will lend its sup­port too.
Events com­ing up

Can you join us? Let us know if you can help out for a while at any of these stalls or if you plan to come to our meet­ings. We also have work­ing groups for our Roll of Dis­hon­our, Pledge to save the NHS, & SMS cam­paigns, if that is more your style. Let us know!


Sat 6 Sept

999 Call for the NHSPeople’s #march4nhs Rally for end of march from Jarrow

West­min­ster Lon­don– details to follow

Tues 9 Sept 

 Health and Well Being Board

4pm Hove Town Hall

(lobby for SMS tbc)

Tues 9 Sept

Sus­sex Defend the NHS organ­ising meet

7pm Brighthelm Centre

Wed 10 Sept           

Health Over­view and Scru­tiny Committee

4pm Hove Town Hall

Tues 23 Sept

B&H Clin­ical Com­mis­sion­ing Group Board and AGM

2–4.30 & 4.30−6 Brighthelm Centre

Tues 14th Oct

Health and Well­being Board

4pm Hove Town Hall

Thurs 16th Oct

Policy and Resources Committee

4pm Hove Town Hall
Cupp Sem­inar: ‘The NHS Cit­izen’ with Simon Bur­all and Anthony Zachar­zewski
1.30 — 2.30pm, Fri­day 10th Octo­ber — A500 Check­land Build­ing, Falmer cam­pus
Simon and Anthony are part of a lar­ger part­ner­ship devel­op­ing NHS Cit­izen<>. A national sys­tem of pub­lic and patient engage­ment being developed to hold the Board of NHS Eng­land to account. While the sys­tem is national, most patients and cit­izens exper­i­ence the health ser­vice at a local level. This sem­inar will explore how the sys­tem is being designed to work and will invite par­ti­cipants to draw on their exper­i­ence, expert­ise and know­ledge to help answer ques­tions about whether and how such sys­tems can plug into local spaces where cit­izens are already debat­ing health and social care. Simon is the Dir­ector of Involve<> and Anthony is Dir­ector of Dem­soc<> and both are involved in numer­ous innov­a­tions to enhance civic participation.

This sem­inar is free and open to all but advance book­ing is required. Refresh­ments will be avail­able.
Book on to this event<>


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The LOOming Eco Crisis

by on Aug.13, 2014, under News

Centre for Altern­at­ive Tech­no­logy media officer Kim Bryan explores the impacts of the loom band craze

Its a ques­tion that has been both­er­ing me for a while as I watch my son Neru glee­fully pro­duce another brace­let for his already covered arm. Surely these things must have an envir­on­mental impact. I stuck my head in the sand and got on with enjoy­ing my son’s abund­ant cre­ativ­ity. The thing is, I work at CAT and even­tu­ally the nig­gly voice took over; this is what I found out.

Every­where you go these days you see them – on trains and buses, at play parks, lib­rar­ies and schools: tiny col­our­ful elastic bands being trans­formed into a myriad of dif­fer­ent things. The loom band craze has taken of at a phe­nom­enal rate; kids every­where are get­ting cre­at­ive and mak­ing  jew­ellery with these easy to use and appeal­ing elastic bands.


Yet the envir­on­mental con­sequences of loom bands are becom­ing increas­ingly appar­ent. A surge in demand has led to the devel­op­ment of new plant­a­tions in East Asia, with act­iv­ists point­ing toair and water pol­lu­tion from the pro­duc­tion pro­cess. Animal wel­fare groups have soun­ded the alarm of the threat to animal and mar­ine life. In addi­tion, the loom bands are not recyclable.

Loom uses non-latex rub­ber, which means the bands are a syn­thetic product made largely from sil­ic­one. Syn­thetic mater­i­als require less land to pro­duce, but they aren’t renew­able, as nat­ural rub­ber is. Recyc­ling con­sult­ants WasteCon­nect said loom bands are a grow­ing problem;

They can’t be recycled and when a child does even­tu­ally get bored with them and the craze dies out, they will just be tak­ing up space. I really don’t know what can be done with them that would solve the grow­ing problem.”

In the Phil­ip­pines animal wel­fare organ­isa­tion PAWS has warned pet own­ers to keep their pets away from loom bands due to the risk of intest­inal obstruc­tion. In the US some veter­in­ari­ans have treated dogs and cats with severe vomit­ing or diarrhea caused by ingest­ing one or more loom bands. If the animal swal­lows sev­eral bands, an intest­inal block­age can form, a prob­lem that can become fatal without sur­gery. Cats, which have smal­ler digest­ive pas­sages, are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­able. The bands are also dif­fi­cult to spot on an X-ray, mak­ing dia­gnosis a challenge.


Wild­life can exper­i­ence the same effects from elastic bands,  ducks are among the most vul­ner­able creatures, with the bands get­ting wrapped around their beaks or necks . The anim­als some­times ingest the bands, which can cause prob­lems as they pass through the digest­ive tract. Paul, dir­ector of con­ser­va­tion at the National Mar­ine Aquar­ium in Ply­mouth, said: “’Loom bands, like any plastic item, are cap­able of per­sist­ing in the envir­on­ment for many, many years and there is abund­ant evid­ence of small plastic items mak­ing their way into the diets of mar­ine anim­als and seabirds with tra­gic con­sequences. I’d be par­tic­u­larly wor­ried about loom bands being taken to the beach, due to the like­li­hood of them get­ting into the sea.”

In the US, an online peti­tion has been set up call­ing for a ban on the bands until they can be ‘pro­duced and recycled in an environmentally-sustainable way’. The peti­tion says:

Sur­ging demand for Rain­bow Looms has led to the devel­op­ment of new rub­ber plant­a­tions in East Asia. Not only does rub­ber pro­duc­tion task the regional envir­on­ment, but it also con­trib­utes to air and water pol­lu­tion. The syn­thetic mater­i­als used to pro­duce the looms are not renew­able or recyclable.”

The Centre for Altern­at­ive Tech­no­logy runs kids’ activ­it­ies through­out the sum­mer that make recycled green jew­ellery. There are some really easy to ideas on line that use nat­ural mater­i­als such as clay, stones, shells, yarn, etc. Friend­ships bands used to be a huge phe­nomenon and involve plait­ing col­oured pieces of thread together, res­ult­ing in a mini work of art that is bio­de­grad­able, easy to do and much more envir­on­ment­ally sus­tain­able.  Bet­ter get the yarn out then!


Media Depart­ment
Machynlleth, POW SY20 9AZ
United Kingdom


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What Climate Change propaganda is/isn’t telling us…

by on May.26, 2014, under News

Graph depict­ing the increased pres­ence of Meth­ane, Car­bon Diox­ide and Nitrous Oxide, all of which pose a dir­ect threat to the polar ice caps and cli­mate at large.

With the increased pres­ence of the Green Party in both Europe and on our own turf after the recent elec­tions, the cli­mate change dia­logue is becom­ing more and more trans­par­ent. Below are links to two pieces of pro­pa­ganda: the first being the Exxon Out­look for Energy 2040, a pub­lic­a­tion aimed at Exxon share­hold­ers and the politi­cians who work for them; the second being a report from the Arc­tic Meth­ane Emer­gency Group, backed by sci­ence and sci­ence alone.

The former makes no men­tion of meth­ane and fails to acknow­ledge the rap­idly accel­er­at­ing cli­mate change crisis. The lat­ter uses inform­a­tion from the IPCC to try and identify areas of weak­ness and for­mu­late some pro­gres­sion from where we are now, pla­cing ser­i­ous cata­strophe within a four year reach. Who are you going to believe?

Down­load the Exxon report here:

View and share the AMEG inform­a­tion here:


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LISTEN HERE:Caroline Lucas MP presents In Our Hands: Public Services for People recorded at Brighthelm May 2nd

by on May.02, 2014, under News


In Our Hands:

Pub­lic Ser­vices for People

at Brighthelm Church & Com­munity Centre

Inspired by national cam­paign ‘We Own It’, Car­oline Lucas MP and a panel of high pro­file speak­ers explored why pub­lic ser­vices should be brought back into pub­lic hands. They dis­cussed how to do this and and how to ensure that the private com­pan­ies cur­rently run­ning everything from our NHS and pub­lic trans­port to our schools and bene­fits sys­tem are more account­able and transparent.

- See more at:

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