Meeting in Glebe House, 23rd May 2012

Chair: Philip Leicester

Financial report:

We’re still in the black and are using up our grants on the apple press, banner and pasteurizer.

Date of next Meeting:

Thurs 28th June – not sure where yet as Amy was booking a venue. Steve to chair if nobody else steps forward

TL Logo and leaflet:

The sock man is public art and Neville said that we shouldn’t worry about copyright as it has been drawn by Ken for us. The logo was approved by the meeting. Need to put the logo on the WordPress blog.

The A5 General information leaflet produced by Philip was approved. It was agreed a budget of £100 for printing them, with a maximum of 500 made for Picnic in the Park.


Ian from Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) described the Greeniversity project. PECT was setup just under 20 years ago as part of an environment city status. PECT is a charity that is independent of the council, though they have had funding from them in the past. They do projects in Peterborough, as well as regional and national schemes. For example they have an environmental accrediation for SMEs which is a simpler version of ISO14001, run eco-schools (90% of schools in Peterborough signed up) and helping tenants and landlords to get people out of fuel poverty.

Greeniversity is a skills sharing platform, allowing the multi-cultural community to spread ideas and techniques. The system was based on an adult education class booking website. The signing up system is designed to make learning informal and friendly and doesn’t require people to sign up for long courses. Courses include wild flower growing, Indian cookery, knitting, foraging and natural skincare. They have a variety of venues in Peterborough which they can use for free, including PECTs own conference room, an FE college kitchen and local libraries.

Anyone can be a teacher and don’t require any qualifications. Some are individuals with a passion about a subject, whilst others are skilled business people using their workskills. What is taught does not have to have a green focus. The leaners come from all over the community. Greeniversity has been running for 2 years in Pboro and PECT applied to NESTA for a grant to see if the successful local project could be scaled up to run nationally. PECT’s current Greeniversity has 775 registered learners, 148 teachers (50 active) and gave 603 classes. Peterborough has a population of about 650,000, whilst Loughborough is around 50,000.

NESTA’s experiment is to see how well people giving to their community (in terms of skills, time and resources) can be replciated elsewhere. PECT are interested in what makes Greeniversity work in Peterborough and how that translates to other places like Loughborough. In some ways they’d like to see how different groups make different decisions.

Five groups have been approached: Loughborough, Cambridge, Leicester, Lincoln and Rutland.  The Greeniversity folk want to help support and spread skill sharing in these places. Greeniversity are rebranding and there may be some resistance to the “university” aspect, especially in university towns. To get round this we will be able to rebrand the Greeniversity website for whatever name/logo we choose. The project started in April for 18 months, and Greeniversity website will be relaunched in July/August.  We need to start running courses is September.

By September 2013 the target is for each area to have done 100 courses, some of which could be existing courses/workshops/etc. Rutland have advertised in their local press and already have five people willing to teach courses. We won’t be punished if we don’t make the 100 course target (especially as the 100 course target applies to cities much larger than Loughborough).  We have the right to moderate course suggestions made via the website before they are sent out.

There’s a grant of £750 for each town for resources including consumables. Steve offered to be coordinator if we decided to go ahead. Classes do NOT have to be free – they can be charged for to cover the costs of venues, materials, etc. There are some potential free venues, including Glebe House’s Forest Road premises, the LGS shed and possibly the local public libraries.

Caroline asked Ian what exactly our role(s) would be? As an example of how another Transition group have tackled the scheme he said that Rutland have a couple of people moderating the website, a couple of people going out to talk to people/distribute flyers, a person to talk to the media and a person to control the finances.

Initial strawpole in the meeting was 6 in favour, 4 against and 2 undecided. The major issue against was due to time & resources available and whether it would detract from other initiatives. After some discussion about the schemes that we’re already running or soon to be running, it appears we could potentially already have 30-40 courses already. We then had a formal vote: 11 in favour, no against and 1 abstention. So Transition Loughborough is going to join Greeniversity!

Next were Sub-group reports:

Hearts and Minds and Community:

Sue requested time at the next TL meeting for reporting on the council’s environment action team meetings. Picnic in the Park meeting took place at Sue’s house – David from FoE is kindly supplying tables and chairs for the PitP and a model solar powered house. Hailey will be helping at the event for the children’s art work as Ruth is ill, and Martha has got a contact for supplying the boards.

Sue has made contact with teaching assistants at Cobden school who are keen to do a board on Bangladesh and climate change/justice. This is an example of not going via community leaders.

Energy Group:

We met a couple of weeks ago in the Swan – about 12 attended. We now have 10 people in the solar scheme. We’re also mulling how to do an energy saving project now – eg solid wall insulations. One possible project is to have an exemplar of solid wall insulation with different
types of Loughborough housing stock in “open houses” so that other people can see how it works and ask questions. There was potential for partnerships between local suppliers, the University and council.

We also had the Energy Saving Coop present – something to be discussed and decided at the next TL meeting.  The next Energy Group meeting is on Wednesday 20th June at 7.30pm in the Swan in the Rushes.

Food and Garden Group:

The Apple Press test event at the LGS Shed last Friday worked well last week. Next Wednesday (30th May) a group will be going to the youth garden scheme – Roxanne would like to get some extra plants: leave any plant donations at the LGS shed on the University campus.  She’d also appreciate any TL members coming to help.

Two Fields/Paget Pastures is a project which TL is a partner in but its still in its early stages. There will be a proper eco-survey being made. It isn’t suitable for allotments or orchard use, so for the moment isn’t a Food and Garden Group issue.

The LGS garden are planning on erecting their polytunnel at 10am on Saturday – any folk who are around and willing to help are welcome to attend.


Bike Maintenance workshop will be held at 5.30pm on June 6th at the LGS shed on the University campus.  This is open to all – we’ve already had quite a bit of interest.

Women’s Environment Network are running some courses to encourage cycling. Sue contacted Campaign for Better Transport (what used to be Transport 2000) about cycling support as well.


The council are doing a consultation on open spaces – if we want to push for allotments as residents we need people to attend. The Community Focus Group will be held in early to mid June, at the Derby Road Playing Fields Pavilion, off Cotton Way, Loughborough.  If you are interested in attending please email Kath Kay (

We’re waiting to be reinvited to Hathern community group.

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One Response to Meeting in Glebe House, 23rd May 2012

  1. vicky dawson says:

    sounds like you had a good meeting sorry i was unable to attend. will be at the picninc in the park with wags stall will see you all then. regards vicky

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