Newsletter issue 16

7th January 2022

Moya Pinson

We start this newsletter with the sad news that Moya Pinson passed away on the 22nd December 2022. Moya was an amazing, inspiring person who worked diligently to support people, communities, wildlife, and the environment. She organised the popular monthly litter pick in Westlea. Moya engaged with people, organisations, businesses, and representatives to help raise awareness of issues and clear up Westlea.

She supported Keep Swindon Tidy and Plastic Free Swindon in many ways. Moya made a poster for the Keep Swindon Tidy gallery, promoted the campaign to people and organisations in her local community, contributed to the Life of a Plastic Bottle, supported both Keep Swindon Tidy Days, helped design and word Keep Swindon Tidy leaflets, co-ordinate delivery of leaflets around the west Swindon parish, shared information, photos and petitions, enquired, recorded an interview for the radio, and supported me!! I am so grateful for Moya's help, her kindness, consideration, love, support, enthusiasm and effort.

Moya was involved in so much more. She was an advocate for equality and social justice. She would write to, meet with, and advocate for, prisoners, many of whom had little or no support. Moya volunteered for Threshold, a local homeless charity, which works to support rough sleepers into housing. She helped families of those affected by drug addiction. She volunteered at West Swindon Library for the Summer Reading Challenge. During the lockdowns of 2020, Moya helped people grieve for loved ones who had died. After the lockdowns of 2020, she worked at Steam, helping direct and support people being vaccinated.

Moya and I met many times and regularly corresponded. She was highly considerate and always took the time to provide input. I resonated with, and was inspired by, her empathy, kindness, and drive to help others. These words from one of our litter pickers, "Moya did so much for our community, and it’s going to be a lonelier place without her infectious enthusiasm for everything she was involved in. She embodied the christian ethic of loving everybody and doing good works. A fabulous lady who is going to be sorely missed."

Moya sitting smiling, holding a cup of tea.

Thank you Moya x

Keep Swindon Tidy

Gorse Hill Ecoheroes

Gorse Hill Baptist Church hosted an Ecoheroes event in August 2022. They kindly offered to make Keep Swindon Tidy signs! Read more.

Blackberry Alley signs

To help keep Blackberry Alley clean and tidy and stop people dumping rubbish there, we put up 2 home-made signs made from wood that we found dumped there! Courtesy of Karen Leggett. Thank you Karen!

Regular picks

We continue to egularly litter pick in Gorse Hill. It is a right mess in parts!! We have been working with Central North Swindon Parish Council (thank you!!) to get bins installed around the Great Western Way. Thanks to Karen, Ruth, Julie, Phyllida, Lynne, and Phil for your efforts.

We were contacted by Loraine Weston asking if we could help clean up South Marston Industrial Estate. Loraine works for a business there and has been litter picking when she can. It turns out that there are some areas which neither the parish council or estate management are taking responsibility for. So we have stepped in to do what we can.

Rubbish collection at South Marston industrial estate

We have been supporting the monthly Freshbrook litter pick organised by West Swindon Parish Councillor Geoff Gould. This is in addition to our regular work there.

Growing South Swindon Community

This organisation, founded last year, has been given a plot at Westcott Rec' Allotments to help serve its core remits of developing community and transforming spaces. For those interested in getting involved, there's an event at the new hub on the 14th January. See the poster below for details. For those who use Facebook, there is now a Growing South Swindon Community page.

GSSC event poster.

Birds and Bees radio show

Swindon 105.5's Birds and Bees show focuses on the environment and science. It provides a variety of news, activities, interviews, and analysis at local, national, and international levels.

Birds and Bees logo
Public open spaces

Responding to town centre development proposals, Josie Lewis discusses the importance of public open spaces, the lack of provision centrally, and proposals for the Oasis which would seem to give away public land.

Christmas specials

Studio presenter Ayaan Jami hosts a Christmas special with regular presenters Gerry Hannon and Ben Bell, with special guest Rod Hebdon, the Green Party Parliamentary candidate for south Swindon. Part 1 | Part 2

COP27

A follow up to COP27 hosted by Glynis Hales. With guests Asher Minns, borough councillor for climate, Keith Williams, and south Swindon Labour Parliamentary candidate, Heidi Alexander.

Government

No targets for plastic reduction

The government confirmed that they have no plans for single-use plastic reduction targets, preferring instead to have reduction targets for all waste. Yet another method to obfuscate. There's a Greenpeace petition asking the government to implement adequate measures to deal with plastic pollution.

Inadequate legislation

The government recently announced it is to ban another few items of plastic. Given the vast numbers of plastic items, how long would this approach take to deal with plastic pollution?

Fracking

With the door left open to lift the moratorium on fracking and a government that cannot be trusted, we wrote to the other local political parties about fracking. We got responses from the Labour Party and the Socialist Party. Read more.

Removal of human rights

The government continue to work to become unaccountable. We wrote to both local MPs to express concerns about The Bill of Rights Bill. Read more.

Zero waste

GAIA recently produced a report called Zero Waste to Zero Emissions, which details the vital importance of reducing waste to limit global warming and its affects. We sent it to both local MPs and Swindon Borough Council (Keith Williams, Councillor for Climate Change, and Jane Milner-Barry, Shadow Councillor for Sustainability).

Lack of chemical regulation strategy

We support strong regulation on synthetic chemicals, which includes plastics. The Retained EU Law Bill threatens the development of that in the UK.

Energy Charter Treaty

Trade deals and corporate courts serve the interests of industry, affecting the ability of countries to introduce effective legislation to deal with environmmental maladies such as plastic pollution. Read more and take action on the Global Justice Now website.

Retained EU Law Bill

Has been commonly termed as a bonfire of regulations which could cause further environmental maladies. Take this Friends of the Earth action to write to your local MP.

News roundup

As usual, the library is regularly updated to cover major developments and aspects of plastic pollution. It's by no means perfect. If it's missing anything important, please let us know.

That's all, thanks for reading. Best wishes for the new year!