Low Carbon Communities Newsletter, Issue 16

Welcome to the 16th LCCN newsletter. These come to you regularly with updates on what the Network is doing, other developments and, if you tell us, what you’re doing. We’re keen to find contributors who could send us an update (monthly?) on whats happening in their region that may be of interest elsewhere. And please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at www.lowcarboncommunities.net

Help the LCCN develop!
Whatever you may think about the Prime Ministers’ idea that ‘your country needs you’, the LCCN could use some help! We are looking for a few people to join our Management Group. This is not a difficult role – perhaps four meetings a year and some email discussions. It would suit anyone who’s been active in local groups for a while and is looking to develop their own skills and get more involved in national action.
The job is first and foremost about helping build and steer the LCCN so that it can be more effective in delivering on its objectives which are primarily about supporting local action (see thewebsite). No specific skills are needed but we’d obviously be very happy to hear from people with an interest in network and website development, in fundraising and in how information travels around the UK.
If you’re even slightly interested, do get in touch to discuss the idea. Send an email to Chris Church, Chair of the LCCN (chrischurch@cooptel.net) with some background on what you’re doing now and we’ll send you more information.
Keen readers of this newsletter will know that we have talked about a national conference being run by the Communities and Climate Action Alliance which was almost set for November 26/27th. Sadley, while we have the funds in principle to run the event, accessing the money is taking time. We have therefore decided to postpone this event until mid-January. This will also give us more time to ensure that the event meets all our needs. More details in the near future.
Sadly, the meeting of Alliance members with Greg Barker – Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change (to discuss the role of communities in tackling climate change) has also been postponed at the last minute (he has gone to Brussels). This will be rescheduled for November.

All go in Herefordshire

Herefordshire’s ‘H.Energy’ week of events has just started – with a rich programme of 40+ events across the country. it’s a very interesting programme and would be well worth a look for anyone planning anything similar. it’s run by a group of local organisations along with the council’s Environmental Partnership. For full details see – www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk/h-energy

News from Tutbury Ecopower Hydro project
A report from Tutbury Ecopower
During the latter half of 2009 and
through this year we have been working hard to get the project off the drawing board and out into the muddy fields of Tutbury. It’s been a tough challenge, and in the process we’ve learned a lot oabout our environment, and also the technical and administrative hurdles you have to clear in order to generate electricity from water! Those of you that have been keeping tabs on the hydro project from the beginning will know that we were aiming to re-develop the old Mill Fleam – which channelled water from the River Dove to the edge of Tutbury village and drove a succession of water mills dating back to the industrial revolution.
The last few months in particular have been a roller coaster (or perhaps Log Flume?!) of ups and downs for the project. In 2009 we received two independent reports giving us confirmation that the Mill Fleam could be redeveloped to host a generator capable of around 15KW of power. Over the last 6 months as we tired to move the project forward beyond the paper reports, we have had to conclude that the original Fleam project is not economically viable.
But, all was not in vain. The TEP team are made of sterner stuff and weren’t prepared to get stuck in the mud and give up. Our ambitions are now bigger.
At the head of the Mill Fleam is the main weir on the River Dove. You can see a picture on our web page – www.tutburyecopower.co.uk
We have just recieved a draft report from our hydro consultant partners, H2Ope, which confirms that a larger scale Archimdean Screw generator would be feasible at the weir and capable of generating around 75KW – which is 5 times more power than the original Fleam design. Initial feedback from the Environment Agency is positive, and we hope to hear from them soon regarding the avilabilty of perhaps even more flow being available for the generator.
If all goes to plan, we hope to make announcements regarding the shre scheme early next year, and break ground during the summer. You can register your interest for the future share acheme at
– www.tutburyecopower.co.uk/share

National Ethical Investment Week

National Ethical Investment Week runs from 7-13 November 2010
NEIW is a campaign to ensure that everyone knows that they have green and ethical options when it comes to their finance and investment decisions. It brings together Advisers, Charities and Trusts, Financial Organisations, Faith Groups, NGOS and Community Groups to spread the word about green and ethical investing. There are more details at www.neiw.org about the week and at http://www.neiw.org/neiw2010/get_involved . They are keen to to encourage people to spread the word.  They add that “We are also (in case you know anyone who may be willing) really keen to find “modern green and ethical investors” (ie. mainstream, professional or private sector job, etc.) to feature as case studies in the personal finance pages of the broadsheets (Telegraph, Times, Mail, …!) – whether they have green and ethical investments or say a Co-op bank account. Preferably “toe in the water” investors who also have conventional funds too.”  If that’s you well get in touch!

Fashion doesn’t have to be BAD!
This year, two Devon Climate Change groups in Bovey Tracey and the Teign Valley in Devon have concentrated their efforts on Fashion’s Footprint. Inspired by a Fashion Footprints seminar held by a local organisation, CCANW (the Centre for Contemporary Art in the Natural World) they have held two very successful events.

Bovey Climate Action held a Funky Fashion Footprints Green Street Fair in August, with ‘Make and Mend’ help and advice, Knitting workshops, Peg weaving, Lazy Laundry hints, Ethical shopping info and Textile ideas.

Greener Teign has just held a 10.10.10 Global Work Party eco-fashion event to highlight the environmental impact of the textile/fashion industry with a strong emphasis on CO2 emissions and recycling.  Local school, Christow Community Primary produced “Teigny bags” from recycled materials and T-shirts using natural dyes, which were exhibited with the eco-fashion.

Both events show how we can buy less, but enjoy fashion more – and they also highlight the poverty, pollution and hopelessness that our thoughtless buying habits trap people in; people who live too far away for us to notice…

Two other local primary schools in the Teign Valley (Hennock and Doddiscoombesleigh) are also joining in the Global Work Party by carrying out insulation/draft-proofing to improve energy efficiency. Further information from:  www.boveyclimateaction.org.ukwww.greener-teign.org.uk and www.ccanw.co.uk.

The Savoy Reopening: 10.10.10
The Grade II listed Savoy hotel in London reopened on Sunday 10th October and includes over £2.4m of environmental technologies. Leading the way in environmental responsibility in the five-star hotels in London, The Savoy has introduced a combined heat and power plant that means heat from kitchen appliances is part-used to heat the domestic hot water system (over 40 per cent in energy usage is going to be saved); they will achieve a 90 per cent recycling rate from waste away from landfill; all food waste is recycled into renewable energy; a Herb Garden has been introduced with partners Westminster Council as part of the Capital Growth Programme (www.capitalgrowth.org), and the hotel undertakes Thames-side clean-up days with charity Thames 21. The hotel is also introducing the world’s first ‘Green Butler’ and there is a particular ‘Elements Stay Package’ that guests can request if they would like to know more about the environmental work behind the scenes at the hotel and to take tours of ‘Greener London’. http://www.fairmont.com

Zero Carbon Britain 2030 Seminar
Time: 1.30 – 4.30pm
Date: Monday 18th October
Venue: Development House, London

You are invited to come to an intensive seminar with Peter Harper (Head of Research at CAT) and Martin Kemo (Lead Author/Editor) of the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 report.

More info here

One million climate jobs now!
Pamphlet Launch
6-8pm Thursday 14 October
Last year, the Campaign against Climate Change trade union group – working with unions, academics and climate activists – produced a pamphlet, One Million Climate Jobs NOW! An updated version of the pamphlet, which has sold thousands of copies around the world, will be launched at an event in the House of Commons on October 14th.
More info here

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