Notes on 16th January Open Meeting

Held at the Old Courthouse, chaired by Phil Leicester and starting at 7.30pm


Financial report.

Steve presented the report from Paul. As of 7th January 2013 we have a positive balance of £963.16. £500 of that is the skill share grant to help fund workshops.

Future Meetings.

Open meetings are now bimonthly, always held in the Old Courthouse. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 13th March from 7pm.

Subgroup Reports:

Steve suggested that each sub-group should produce objectives for the year to present to the next Open Meeting in March, so that we know what we’re aiming for and the everyone can comment on them.  This was viewed as a good idea.

Hearts & Minds.

Sue reported that she, Ruth and Barry are meeting to discuss what they mean by hearts & minds. Barry produced a document on engaging people and behaviour change that was circulated before Xmas.


Phil reported that there are a few things going on at the moment. The solar PV scheme isn’t really making much progress as the market is rather stagnant at the moment – we need to try to drum up more interest. Joe hass tried to get people to log solar PV usage but its not been easy, so Phil has suggested a Sheffield based project that allows people to record data and see graphs and comparisons against other installations.  Sue said that she would have liked a face to face forum of solar PV owners in Loughborough so that she could compare her system to others and ask for advise from knowledgeable users.

Retrofit Loughborough project aims to encourage people to install solid wall insulation and open their homes so that others can see what has been done and talk about what was involved. The project has had a number of meetings at offices of Permarock Ltd in Loughborough attended by Phil and Judy. The Retrofit Loughborough project is a gathering of companies, TL volunteers, University staff and the Energy Saving Coop – there’s another meeting on Thursday 17th.

In February there will be an Energy Saving day (which can be run as skill share workshop) which will be run by Tina from the Energy Saving Coop.  The exact date and location are yet to be confirmed.

Phil introduced a “mini-project” to get photographs of outside walls of people’s homes so that Permarock can provide estimates of solid wall insulation costs to the Retrofit project.

We tried to get Charnwood Borough Council to take part in Retrofit project but they were too snowed under to commit, although they are doing some similar projects of their own. DECC have awarded £3m to Leicestershire local authorities for this sort of project.

Lastly in March we’re aiming to have an eco-homes open day, for people who already have any energy efficiency measures installed. This will be part of a national scheme. Steve suggested talking to landlords about energy efficiency measures in rented properties, especially if they include energy costs within the rental prices.

Judy will be running an “understanding your energy bill” session as part of the Loughborough Skill Share Network on Jan 26th in Loughborough Library (10.30-11.30).

Scott said that his house uses LED based lighting – if he turns on all his lights it consumes about the same as a single 60W incandesent bulb. He’s also got water saving techniques installed – an ideal exemplar!

Next energy group meeting is on 13th February.

Food & Gardens.

Ken reported on the community orchard project: this has been going on for about six months with the council potentially providing around an acre of land in Gorse Covert. The initial aim is to get a dozen trees in by March this year. There is a meeting of the orchard group on Friday 25th January to discuss funding.

Fiona has offered to run a Transition Community Allotment scheme based at King George Street allotment site. Paul is applying for a grant for a shed for the new scheme – we need to settle on a descriptive name for this application. There’s a meeting for people interested in taking part in the project on 2nd February at 10.30 at the site.

Fiona is also running a seed swap on February 23rd at Loughborough Public Library 10.30-11.30. People are encouraged to bring any excess seeds they have and want to swap with other gardeners. Later in the year Fiona plans to run a seed saving workshop.

Mike came to talk about Loughborough in Bloom. Loughborough won the East Midlands in Bloom and Britain in Bloom “Best small city” category in 2012. It was the individual community groups across the borough the made a real impact, improving their local areas – LiB sent in 23 such groups into the judging, whereas all the other councils managed 80 between them. The LAGS scheme got a level 5 (which is the top mark) for their first year in the scheme which was a great result-.  Overall LiB had four Level 5’s (LAGS,  Charnwood Garden Project, Thorpe Acre Residents Association and Friends Of Queens Park).

Last year’s theme was “Wild flowers” – this year’s theme is “Edible Britain” which includes fruit, veg, edible berries and even things that are edible by animals and birds. Perennial planting scores higher than annuals – for example perennials could replace annual bedding plants.

Mike felt that several TL projects could form good entries for the “Its Your Neighbourhood” part of the scheme. Some of our schemes could be complementary to one another. Application forms are available in March and have to be returned sometime around April/May. The RHS are making some seeds available to community gardening groups.

Loughborough is hosting the spring seminar for East Midlands In Bloom on 20th February at Loughborough Town Hall with a delegate fee of £12 per head (inc lunch).  TL will fund one delegate who would otherwise not be able to afford it – it was suggested asking Andy or Bobby if they would like to take up this offer. Individuals can attend this seminar – having a few delegates will reflect well on Loughborough.  An application form can be found at the end of the EMiB newsletter.

Martha had talked to Louise about running a pruning workshop in Herrick Road – they just need to ask either Andy or Tim Atkins if they can run this.  This needs to be done quickly so that the workshop can run before the end of the winter pruning season.

Reskilling Project.

The aims and objectives are to organise 60 workshops this year – we had a target of 100 set last summer by PECT’s Greeniversity (who have funded us this year) and have run 40 so far (41 including the bike workshop run earlier in today). The longer term aim is for the Loughborough Skill Share Network to be self sustaining with local people sharing knowledge and abilities with one another.

Steve has arranged taster sessions for people who want to test the water with workshops to be held in Loughborough Public Library 10.30-11.30 on Saturday mornings from 26th Jan. There will be a preparation meeting 17.30-18.30 on Monday 21st Jan in the Library.

The Greeniversity website has been unusable so far but it looks like it might now be fixed enough for us to use. Jon is going to set up the Loughborough Skill Share Network section and then help Steve to admin it.

Discussed the sustainability aspects of skill sharing – do we only promote “good” sustainable workshops or can anyone share any skills? The core is sustainability but Steve was happy for a few “non-green” skills to bring people into the scheme.


Jon reported on the bike maintenance workshop that was run today. It was suggested that we have a weekend one – possibly in Southfields Park. This location may be great as it would engage with the folk using the skateboarding/BMX area in the park.

Any Other Business

Books: Judy has brought some books to the meeting that people can borrow. This could form the basis of a Transition Library – it was suggested that we have a stamp made to say that a book is being loaned by Transition Loughborough.  Other people with books that might be of interest to Transition members that they would be happy to loan out are encouraged to bring them to the bi-monthly open meetings.

Sue asked if anyone has been thinking about Picnic in the Park this year? Food & Gardens had mentioned this but TL as a whole needs to consider this soon – probably an agenda item for the meeting in March.  Sue will contact Charnwood Arts for information on dates, themes, etc.

Meeting close at 8.56pm

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