Minutes from the General Meeting of Linlithgow Climate Challenge
7.30pm 28th June 2010 at the Low Port Centre.
Present: Rose Hill, Mel McEwan, James Hiddinga, Ruthie Cadell, Elisabet Thorin, Wendy MacGregor, Sheila Redfern, Tracy Curle, Dorte Al-Gailani, Corinne Anderson, Alan Brown, John Buckley, Dave du Feu, John Fleming, Peter Fairweather, Emily Watts (Transition Scotland Support)
Apologies: Peter Roberts, Annette Greenfield, Kirsty Leonard, Jill Hudson
The meeting was opened with a welcome from John Buckley.
1. Minutes from the General meeting held 19th April 2010 have been completed and Alan undertook to post these on the web as soon as possible.
2. Financial Report – The Treasurer was unable to attend the meeting and a financial report will be presented at the next meeting in August.
3. Co-ordinator Updates – Strategy and Plans. Alan requested that anyone who has not already completed and returned a membership form to please do so as soon as possible.
We have now become a part of the Transition Network. Transition Towns are a network of like minded towns who want to build sustainable and resilient communities that are less dependent on oil and less vulnerable to outside factors.
The CCF money has enabled us to recruit a co-ordinator for each sub-group and now to secure some premises. From today we have the use of Police House, Court Square, Linlithgow. Telephone and Internet connection will be available there from 15th July and we have the premises leased to us until the end of October from WLC. From then, ownership will pass to the Police and we will need to renegotiate with the Police for continued use, possibly having responsibility from that point for building maintenance, although there should be money available to cover this.
The main concern for the Steering Committee has been what happens once the CCF money runs out in March 2011. Various scenarios are being considered, including reviewing potential local assets such as the Bus Station and Clarendon House for community development potential. Alan, Ron Smith, John Aitken, David Tait and a few others will be meeting with Alan Caldwell [guest speaker at AGM] to discuss future funding strategies for LCC and for Linlithgow.
A meeting has been set up for 1st July by Rachel Nunn of Going Carbon Neutral Stirling to bring together a variety of environmental action groups, NGOs, businesses, local authorities to debate how to work collaboratively on climate action avoiding duplication and gaps. Alan will attend this on behalf of LCC.
The Sub-Group Co-ordinators were then invited to provide a summary of their plans:
Food and Gardening: Mel provided a summary of the Linlithgrow events planned for Summer – Autumn 2010. These include fruit picking, farmers market stall for bare root trees, foraging walk, herbalism talk at Annet House, Scottish Food Fortnight and the launch of our local Food Leaflet. An initial planning meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening to start considering arrangements for this year’s Harvest Feast. The orchard renovation continues and some jam making equipment has been purchased with the intention of hiring this out. Progress on allotments at Oakwell has been limited as the volunteer who had offered to produce drawings of the site for the planning application has been unable to complete the work due to other commitments. An alternative architect is now being sought. Progress with the potential site at Kettilstoun has also been slow with consultation currently taking place regarding building a Pavilion to cater for a number of potential user groups at the site following a suggestion by Tom Conn.
Energy Audits: Rose reported that Annette has completed her training and has been shadowing on a number of audits. Approximately 10% of the 1000 target audits have been completed to date, and the team are happy that the target is achievable and can be made up later in the year. All members are encouraged to contact Rose to arrange an audit if they haven’t already done so. During the audits, householders are given advice on renewable energy improvements to their homes and advice on behavioural changes that could be made to be more energy efficient. They are asked to make a pledge with regard to what they will do following the audit. So far 65% of householders have made a pledge (against a target of pledges from 50% of all audits undertaken). A number of audits have been generated from the Renewables event and the team have now forged better links with the Renewables team to maximise the benefit from each contact.
Renewables: Alan presented a report on behalf of James who had to leave the meeting early. He has carried out a review of installers and producers of solar technology and has also researched the processes around the production of the technology. He now has a shortlist of 3 producers including AES (based in Forres), Zen Solar Systems (UK wide) and Ecologic Living (Carlisle based). He has identified McDonald Bros in Fife as a potential supplier of hot water tanks (which are an essential component for solar technology). LCC will act as facilitator in sourcing bulk purchase offers & grants but will not be involved in the individual contracts which will be direct between the householders and suppliers / installers. However James has indicated that by negotiating the bulk purchase, he is hopeful he may be able to secure grant funding for up to 30% of the cost and potentially up to 40% off the normal cost of supply / installation. He is also talking to the council about the possibility of installing the technology on new social housing, however this will be dependent on council funding being available.
Transport: Dorte reported that Linlithgow Climate Challenge and Linlithgow Cycle Action Group are jointly working on a branded campaign called LinlithGO – encouraging people to use more sustainable modes of transport such as walking / cycling / bus for short journeys within the town. The Springfield initiative was launched yesterday with the successful Bike Fun Day at Springfield Primary. All homes in the Springfield area have now received a map detailing off-road walking / cycling routes and bus timetables into town, along with a survey to gather information about current travel habits and barriers to using more sustainable transport. The project will be repeated in Linlithgow Bridge after the summer and follow up surveys will be undertaken in both areas to assess the impact of the initiatives. 2 bike trailers have been purchased and will be available for hire. First Bus has been approached to discuss the possibility of a bus promotion, but no response has been received to date. During June and July, Kingsfield Golf Range are offering half price putting to anyone who arrives by bike and members are encouraged to take advantage of this offer.
4. Future Events: Other than the future events already covered in the co-ordinators plans, LCC are planning to have a stall at the Big Tent Event in Falkland from 24th – 25th July 2010. Anyone who is available to assist should speak to Alan or Peter.
5. AOCB – Elisabet advised that fliers for the Book Festival are available from the Line Gallery. She will also provide some leaflets for Alan to keep in the new LCC office. Mike Small from the Fife Diet and Fi Martynoga will be at the Book Festival promoting a food theme to the event.
Emily Watts from Transition Scotland Support introduced herself and said she is pulling together case studies from Transition Towns in order to spread knowledge and experience and would be keen to speak to people about their own personal stories as to why they have got involved in LCC. She will be attending the Harvest Feast and plans to bring a film crew to film the event and interview attendees – volunteers required!
Alan advised that we need to consider how we communicate / sell our Transition Town status to the community. It was suggested that we could have an online debate using the website, however it was recognised we would have to make the debate accessible to non-web users too. Alan suggested having a meeting at the new office to discuss this further.