Notes on Transition Loughborough Open Meeting 13th March 2013

Chaired by Steve King

Finance Reports

Paul (acting treasurer) reported that the latest balance in our account is £611.35. Of the £750 PECT Skill budget we’ve £256.19 left (included in the £611.35). Paul pointed out that we have no steady income stream, but Jon pointed out that we have £400 owing us from New World Solar still.

Steve said that we’re not getting free hire of the Old Courthouse room after all – we were charged £15 for the last meeting and will probably be charged for this evening’s meeting. We agreed to keep on using the Old Courthouse for these meetings, with donations taken in the meetings as we used to do.

Sub-group reports

Heart & Minds

In Transition literature Hearts and Minds refers to looking at what’s going on inside ourselves, and there will be no real change unless we tackle psychological barriers. This includes people in the Transition group as well as people outside the transition movement, as there are plenty of people outside of the transition group who are living more sustainably than we are, either by choice or hardship.

Sue suggested it could be “Hearts & Minds & Communities.” Barry said that to live sustainably we need to look at emitting just 0.33tons of CO2 per year – a reduction of 87% over current output.

Heart and Minds will need to look at issues of equity, global issues, out reach to ethnic communities around the town. Need encouragement from each
other to support change.

Sue said it would be a waste of time setting up a Hearts and Minds group unless people want to do this sort of thing. Barry suggested an example of TL itself looking at its carbon footprint by using a lower power drill on the apple pressing scratter. This would an example of us making power reduction changes ourselves, or even ideally we could convert it to human power. Suggested that Hearts and Minds should really be an aspect of each of the other sub-groups to bear in mind our philosophy of maximising carbon reductions. We still want a separate Hearts & Minds group to support people both within and without the Transition group.

Charnwood Youth Council work with youngsters in hardship and last year TL helped them plant up their raised beds. They would like help again with plants and planting as the asylum seekers were really keen last year. It was Paul and Roxanna that did it last year – Paul said that he was happy to be the link to Andrew Lake and to organise something again.

Picnic in the Park – had been discussed in a couple of sub-groups but it was generally viewed that we were already committed to too many jobs so nobody could put the required large amount of effort into this.

Bangladeshi Social Association – it was mentioned at the F&G outing last night that the we’re talking with them about the Loughborough Community Allotment and they were pretty keen to be involved.  This will hopefully also evolve into the sharing of growing different types of food and how they are cooked.

Energy

Jon reported on the solar discount scheme, which is still open but hasn’t had any takers recently, and the Retrofit Loughborough project, which is looking to provide examplar houses demonstrating energy efficiency/saving measures. It was mentioned that Environ in Leicester give away free low energy light bulbs and water savers (Environ Trust now appear to be Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire).  Paul said that he’d had his house looked at with a thermal camera from the group in Leicester.

The Energy group are also looking at reviewing what we’re doing to see if we’re attacking the most pressing energy problems in the town in the most appropriate way.

Food & Gardens

Paul gave an overview of F&G group. We have the Loughborough Community Allotment and have a got a small shed donated by B&Q and an aluminium greenhouse. This site will be a major focus of F&G this year. Ken has been involved in the community orchard in Gorse Covert and the first 16 trees were planted on 2nd March. On Wednesday 20th March at 5.30pm we’ll be having a Spring Equinox meeting at the LCA to get the community involved in initial plantings at the site.

We’re trying to help people grow things locally but we also want to encourage local food purchases from shops. An evening at Delice Deli is being arranged for Sat April 6th from 6-8pm show casing local Leicestershire food – £10 per head for main course and dessert (please tell them if you’re veggie), with drinks paid for individually.   All are welcome and encouraged to book a place as soon as possible by dropping into the Delice Deli.

There’s a plan to have a “local food crawl” of community gardening spaces, finishing up with a “Big Tea” (we’ve too many places to visit to do a Big Lunch!).

Had the seed swapping and seedling pricking out workshop last Saturday which went well. Zina is offering to do a two hour workshop on the carbon footprint of food. Sue to check on format and requirements for the workshop and whether Zina can put it on the Greeniversity site.

Suggestion to have folk help Cobden School plan out and plant their planters. Jon said he was happy to provide some advice.

Some folk from F&G visited Nottingham organic gardening group last night to attend a talk on Incredible Edible in Todmorden. Lots of great information.

Loughborough Skill Share Network

Steve has been asking for feedback on Greeniversity, LSSN and the Greeniversity website. Sue said that someone she had spoken to had found the web site had been found confusing and time consuming. Steve encouraged people to try out the Greeniversity website.

Library skill share sessions – Steve ran them weekly at first to get going but is now doing them monthly. The next one is on 13th April where Sue and Janet will be running a Make Do and Mend session. Steve explained that its free and all are welcome to come and share skills.

Transport

We’ve had an offer of doing a bike workshop at the Charnwood Youth Council. Jon will arrange the next workshop there after talking to the folk who actual do the bike workshops.

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