- Luton residents come together to “Save Our Trees”
Saturday the 1st of August saw bridges in Luton draped with banners and campaigners with placards as Extinction Rebellion Luton joined forces with Trees4Luton and local residents in support of the ‘Save Vauxhall Way Trees’ campaign, to prevent the felling of a mile and a half of roadside woodland along Vauxhall Way in Luton.
The sound of horns from supportive drivers rang along the length of the road, as drivers shared their dismay at the unnecessary plan to replace the wildlife corridor, a woodland habitat for bats, owls and hedgehogs with a dual carriageway and large multi-lane junctions. Campaigners ask for the scheme to be dropped, considerably redesigned, or applied only to the section closest to the airport, to preserve as many trees as possible.
The council is accused of ‘green-washing’ the plan with a new joint walking/cycle path that is unnecessary as cool, quiet woodland walking and cycle routes already exist on parallel roads. The council declared a state of Climate Emergency in January and committed to becoming a carbon neutral town by 2040, but critics say that the council’s attitude so far does not reflect this, as they continue to push for airport expansion and road expansion to sustain it, cutting down hundreds of mature trees essential to mitigate pollution and carbon emissions from the town.
“I have contacted the council and met with them about these plans, but been ignored” Says Steve, Hartsfield Road resident for 30 years who joined the campaign after meeting protesters on Saturday, “I am happy that others feel the way I do about our community and the nature around us. We need to press home the value of keeping green spaces for all to enjoy”
“The two potential future developments used to justify the plan, airport expansion and a 1000+ home estate on Eaton Green Road, look highly unlikely to proceed” Said campaigner Mark Rees, “so all we are saying is, give trees a chance!”
Join our Campaign to stop this beautiful wildlife corridor from being destroyed.
Sign the petition: change.org/VauxhallWay
Join our FB Group Save Vauxhall Way Trees
- Save Vauxhall Way Trees
XRLuton fully support the “Save Vauxhall Way Trees” campaign.
Come along to Wigmore Park on Saturday 18th July, 11am, to meet for Samba Band rehearsal – skills not needed, just a drum or next best thing, or just a willing to take part in related actions 🥁🥁🥁
Follow this link to sign the Change.Org petition: http://chng.it/ZCKSPxBJ
Join the Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3626396450704257/?ref=share
- A softer side of the rebellion
XR Luton ladies were invited to a Precious Pearls event for women, at High Town Methodist Church.
It was a great event with lots of interesting speakers, then there was a piano player, singing and dancing, making this quite a giggle! The emphasis was on caring for Mother Earth, and it was wonderful to hear that so many women are aware of the Climate Crisis and want to be part of the change we all need.
We set up a stall with Rachel’s beautiful table cover, and our new leaflets which show Extinction Rebellion are more than a group of complainers – we are searching for solutions and have some of the answers to create our future. Lot’s of positive conversations and connections made with this community.
Thanks Ann for organising the event, hope to see you for another one soon!
- Card presentation to the council
This week we were able to present our giant card to the council executive, calling for a declaration of climate emergency. It has been signed by many of us at XR Luton, attendees at a recent Luton Council of Faiths meeting, and members of the public we talked to at our march on Friday.
Hazel Simmons received the card, and we then read a statement to the council executive outlining the need to act, and calling for a sense of urgency.
Both were well received, and councillor Tom Shaw spoke to us about the council’s plans to consult on a net zero target for Luton. He mentioned 2030, twenty years earlier than central government’s current target.
We are grateful for the council making space for us on the meeting’s agenda, and we look forward to working with them to develop solutions for Luton.
We will also keep up the pressure on the council to ensure that this positive rhetoric turns into real policy. We do note that even in the press release to announce these new climate policies, there is a robust defence of airport expansion. We recognise the complexities of these issues, but ultimately airport expansion is not compatible with net zero climate targets. We will be raising this in futher discussions and actions with the airport operators.
Thanks to the arts and creative team for a wonderful card, and the politics group for liasing with the council.