'Incinerator, protesters jailed, HS2 – what a week'

Protest on Primrose Hill

A beacon of hope on Primrose Hill, October 30 - Credit: Dorothea Hackman

The North London Waste Authority has not yet paused to review the massive incinerator they plan to build at Edmonton. Even the firm they plan to give the contract to in a few weeks, Acciona, says it is inexplicably over capacity.  

Civil liberties and the right to protest is still under threat as people are imprisoned for breaking an injunction in which they are not even named. Climate activists want government to take action to avert or at least minimise the impact of climate change, it is not going away.

And HS2 are predictably not bothering to build the track now that the developers have grabbed the land. The north gave up their local rail improvement projects for a high speed line to London, and now they won’t even have that.

Dorothea Hackman

November has disappointed Dorothea Hackman - Credit: Dorothea Hackman

COP26 just promises again like Paris, though financial support to the Pacific islands about to be drowned may yet follow…. The only thing that could have stopped the rising tide, floods, drought, fire and famine would be to stop the increase in temperature and that would mean halting the fossil fuel industries. 

Although we are in the third of the world that prospers, this is not true for everyone in our communities. Millions are driven into poverty and destitution by austerity economics, minimum wages, rising costs and the impact of the pandemic, Brexit recession, and climate change. Also, a third of the world will become refugees, we need to plan now for this. Sadly, it does not look as if we will no longer need Foodbanks anytime soon.

But around Euston the Foodbank half year and annual statistics paint a clear picture.

Need trebled at the beginning of lockdown and continues to increase steadily. The need for support is greatest in number for those on low wages, with benefit changes running a poor second. Increasingly our large families need regular support as more children fall into poverty, but homelessness is still a major factor.

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Euston Foodbank continues to receive donations, thank goodness, enabling the need to be met for now. But sister Trussell Trust Foodbanks can no longer spare from their stocks, and purchasing food is rattling through resources. The urgent requirement is however for bigger premises, so that there is room to store five tons or so to distribute every week, and a more respectful arrangement for queuing than out in the street.

You can see the Euston Foodbank Annual Report on the website.

Dorothea Hackman is head of the Camden Civic Society and a trustee of Euston Foodbank.