Notes from tonight’s meeting

Another nice meeting tonight.

1. We reviewed the poster which has been created for Rob Hopkins’ talk on 7 June.


2. We discussed the draft letter which Finn has drafted on the IVC in Runfold. I have posted the text here:

Please let me have any input/feedback by the end of this week.

3. We discussed that I have drafted a letter to the Residents Associations of Farnham. Thanks for the input received so far. Again, please let me have any further comments by the end of this week and I will send the letter next week.

4. We discussed Thursday’s meeting with Waverley Borough Council.

Finn has collected the display boards from Paul. We will show these, plus some leaflets, plus the In Transition movie (plus perhaps The End of Suburbia and The Power of Community).

We discussed again that the purpose is to listen to Waverley and suggest things that might help them.

We also thought it might be a good idea to prepare a short list of simple easy wins for Waverley, viz:


* More land for allotments

* Plant edible trees (fruit & nuts) in public spaces

* More land for Community Supported Agriculture projects like the Farnham Local Food Initiative


* Create biomass plants to burn local wood (eg from Alice Holt)

* Build anaerobic digesters to create gas and energy from sewage and household waste


* Implement the Greenways

* Install charging points for electric vehicles

* More public transport, and better information systems (like the rest of Surrey), including cross-border public transport.


* Insulate the public housing stock

* Install solar PV to earn 7% return Feed in Tariff for the council

* Install solar thermal next year

* Install ground-source heat pumps and wood pellet boilers etc as possible on council buildings

* Introduce long term loans for any resident/business that wishes to introduce energy saving measures, such that monthly repayments are less than monthly energy savings (as has been done in Camden)


* Train local people in growing their own food and other key skills

* Consider introducing a local currency for Waverley

5. We discussed our meeting schedule.

We agreed to switch to fortnightly meetings, alternating ‘social’ and ‘formal’ meetings.

4 May will be a ‘formal’ meeting in the Queen’s Head.

Gayle will investigate whether 17 May can be a social at her house (in Bucks Horn Oak).

1 June will be ‘formal’, 14 June will likely be ‘formal’ also, since Jonathan has said he will organise another barbecue around 20 June.

Looks like we will need to continue to be flexible and discuss week by week (fortnight by fortnight) as we move forward.

6. Greenways

Tom described the meeting he had today with Surrey CC to discuss Greenways.

Greenways are routes designed to be used by non-vehicular traffic (bikes, pedestrians and disabled people). He described how five years have been spent agreeing two routes through Farnham. The northern route is called the Scholars Greenway and runs from Potter’s Gate school, past the UCA, along the edge of Farnham Park to the schools in Weybourne. The southern route is the Weyside Way, forming part of the National Cycle route from London to Portsmouth by linking Guildford to Alice Holt forest.

The Greenway Principles include:

  • inclusive, catering for pedestrians, wheelchairs, pushchairs, cycles and mobile carriages
  • community-led
  • bringing together user and community groups and landowners along the route
  • with high standards for safety, access, and resolving conflict of use issues
  • having distinctive identity and signage

All this has taken several years to design and negotiate, and Tom was feeling very frustrated because all that work has today been overridden by one person at Surrey CC who last week unilaterally placed an order for signage that is different from what had been chosen and agreed.

It is very frustrating, but I suppose the main point is to get the route up and running, and then try to get the signage improved over time, back to the (frankly much better) designs which Tom and others had come up with, and which Casper had also got involved in helping to design).

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