Sevenoaks people very receptive to SSTIE’s NHS campaign

Today there were 21 people on the streets of Sevenoaks campaigning on the NHS and standing together with the 1DWU (1 Day Without Us ) national campaign in support of migrants.

SSTIE Members & supporters gathering signatures to support the NHS in Sevenoaks

Hundreds of EM Euratom petition leaflets were distributed along with many of SSTIE’s new leaflet inviting people to join us along with a couple of hundred 1DWU leaflets.

57 signatures were gathered in 2 hours for the Euratom petition demanding that the UK stay in Euratom.

SSTIE on the streets of Sevenoaks

 

Cancer Isotope Supply Concerns – An Issue For Swanley Shoppers

On 27 th January 2018, 16 members of SSTIE (affiliated to the European Movement) campaigned in Swanley speaking to hundreds of Swanley shoppers on the issue of EURATOM, which is the EU agency that oversees, among other things, the supply of isotopes to the NHS for cancer diagnoses.

There were a number of signatories supporting the European Movement petition to the government that the UK should continue to be a member of Euratom after Brexit as we do not have a reactor capable of producing these isotopes.

600 leaflets on the Euratom petition and hundreds of SSTIE’s own leaflet were accepted by Swanley shoppers.

On the general issue of the EU most people in Swanley seemed to take the view that things will work out in the end. They were quite philosophic about it and were heard to say we managed fine before and we’ll manage fine once we are out. At the same time a number were prepared to read and consider our views.

It was interesting to see the extent of support for Remain among the local Labour party people who were also out campaigning on the NHS and with whom a number of us had very positive contacts.
All in all it was a positive campaign and this encourages to return to Swanley which we will do later this spring.

Tonbridge wants MPs to have the final say

SSTIE were campaigning on the streets of Tonbridge for the first time on Saturday 9th December. We had 21 volunteers over 4 hours from 10 am to 2 pm, during which time we spoke to hundreds of people and we were pleasantly surprised by how positive the overall response was.

The majority of the people we spoke to think that Brexit is a mess and that it is not what people voted for – no matter how they voted in the referendum.

Continue reading “Tonbridge wants MPs to have the final say”

Roaming

One of the EU’s great recent achievements is abolishing mobile roaming charges.

It used to be that when crossing a border within the EU, you’d see the savvy travelers swapping their PAYG SIM cards, while the not-so-astute contract customers would absorb horrendous roaming charges (which they’d only notice on their bills at the end of the month). Continue reading “Roaming”

Newsletter August 2017

Cooperation between South East Remain Groups

On the 12 August SSTIE ran a Workshop in Sevenoaks which drew representatives of 14 Remain groups from Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire.  We had expected 25 participants and were delighted that more than that turned up. This is most unusual for an event like this and demonstrates just how many like-minded people there are around. Continue reading “Newsletter August 2017”

South East Groups Workshop (12 Aug 2017)

Sevenoaks and Swanley Together in Europe are pleased to announce this workshop for local groups in the South East.

The event will use interactive peer-to-peer learning techniques to allow participants to share experiences, learn from each other and explore ideas for cooperation.

DATE: 12.08.2017
TIME: 9.30-13.00 followed by networking until c.15.00
VENUE: 71 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN3 1AX
COST: Free

Objectives:

-identify common areas of interest;
-consider the potential for Remain groups to cooperate;
-identify areas where cooperation would be helpful;
-exchange experiences and discuss ideas to overcome commonpbstacles;
-discuss ways of achieving our similar aims in opposing Brexit;
-facilitate networking and to open communication channels between Remain groups in the Southeast;
– establish cooperation working groups;and
-discuss specific projects being organised by participating Remain groups.

Programme

What are our Energy Futures?

Entering the common Electricity & Energy Market is a slow process taking many steps; for instance, it took two decades to agree the European Standard Colour Code for Electricity Wiring. We are now in mid-leap for another step and may well have to change direction in mid-air. The step I am talking about is agreeing the domestic supply voltage.

The Low Voltage Directive, 2014/35/EU, stipulated that the supply should be 230 Volts ±6%. For countries that had previously been on 220 Volts, the transition was easy: legacy equipment had its life expectancy shortened, and replacement products would be better performing. The consumer did not notice the change and everyone wins. But for us, going from 240 down to 230 Volts, it’s not been easy. If we change, life expectancy of legacy products goes up, but performance goes down. If we don’t change, life expectancy of new products will go down. The EU passed Standard EN50160 which allows our supply Voltage to be 230 +10%/-6%. This does not alter the technical reality at all, it just allows European Appliance Manufacturers to sell into the UK. We still have a 240 Volt supply.

Now what happens when you go to the shops to buy “white goods” or Electricity Appliances? The appliance is probably labelled 220-240 Volts, which is a lie, as it is most likely designed to operate at 230 Volts. You either have to shop around for a product specifically designed for the UK market, which is shrinking in relative terms and probably only satisfied by the more expensive high-end products. Or you have to accept market reality, with the caveat that the product will burn-out sooner than expected.

Keith Taylor, our Green MEP, is acutely aware of this problem and suggests complaining to one’s Energy Supplier, the Energy Ombudsman or the Citizens Advice Bureau whenever an appliance bought since 2014 burns-out. (Though I somehow doubt that any of them could be persuaded to take the matter seriously)

This is not the only problem. Energy Companies force, what is often significantly more than 240 Volts, into an increasing number of devices designed to take 230 Volts they need more Capacity. Increased Capacity means more Power Stations; and the difference between accepting the Low Voltage Directive (without the caveats provided by the Standard) and not; amounts to several Power Stations at least the size of Hinkley Point. In other words, if we switched to 230 Volts along with the rest of Europe, we would not need to invest in Hinkley Point.

Power Stations need raw fuel, and Nuclear Power Stations need fissile material. Just one cold winter of fuel starvation and the politics will quickly turn very nasty. (Just think of the real story behind Iraq, Afghanistan and Pearl Harbour). The EU is there to ensure equitable access to raw fuel for all members; and the importance of this job should not be under-estimated.

Nuclear Safety is another issue. The greatest threat to our Nuclear Safety here in Kent is the giant old and run-down Nuclear Power Station at Dunkirk. Power Stations like this typically have an incident somewhere in the world once every three years, and the last ones at Dunkirk where in 2006, 2007 & 2009. – How long will it be before we have a Chernobyl or Fukushima on our doorstep? As an EU member, we are entitled to over-site of the safety at here; but if we leaves, what guarantees do we have?

The question is. If we leave the EU, will we continue with a switch to 230 Volts or will we stay as we are? Will the EU rescind EN50160 in order to improve standards, but making EU products less suitable for our market? Will manufacturers step up to fill our relative declining market? And, will we remain a member of EURATOM? (Theresa May wants us to leave).

SSTIE on the Streets of Sevenoaks

On Saturday 11 March 2017, members of the group Sevenoaks & Swanley Together in Europe (SSTIE) took to the streets of Sevenoaks as part of Open Britain’s National Day of Action. They handed out leaflets encouraging people to write to their MP about getting the best possible Brexit outcome for Britain.

Open Britain’s Day of Action in Sevenoaks on 11th March 2017

On Saturday 11 March 2017, members of the group Sevenoaks & Swanley Together in  Europe (SSTIE) took to the streets of Sevenoaks as part of Open Britain’s National Day of Action. They handed out leaflets encouraging people to write to their MP about getting the best possible Brexit outcome for Britain.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the group signed up a couple of new members for Open Britain. Photos were tweeted by SSTIE secretary Heather Styles, who also prepared a press release for the local papers.

“We had a successful day on Saturday” said SSTIE Coordinator, Peter Kinsler, “I was very interested to find a number of young people really concerned by the outcome of the referendum and where it is all going. It seems clear to me that we need to target seriously places which young adults frequent to give them the chance to sign up and be involved in what could be a political process covering a number of years. They are the ones who are going to be  affected by Brexit and we need to get them on board as fast as possible.”

SSTIE is currently looking to recruit new members. Further information about how to get involved in SSTIE’s activities and how to apply for membership is available on the SSTIE website.

Photo of SSTIE members
Members of SSTIE outside the post office in Sevenoaks