LCCN Newsletter – Issue 35

Welcome to the 35th 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. Please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at: www.lowcarboncommunities.net

  • Energy Savings’ Trust’s “Green Communities” programme axed
  • New report by Sustainable Development Commission
  • Cool green videos…
  • Report on small scale farming
  • The Big Climate Connection
  • Local Travel Planning
  • Bristol’s £50,000 renewable energy project
  • Consultation on Localism Bills
  • Update on Feed-in Tariffs
  • BT relaunches free web-hosting for charities and community groups
  • Leadership and Engagement project for ‘BME” — Black and Ethnic Minorities

EST Green Communities programme to go
The Energy Saving Trust has announced that their Green Communities programme is to end. They say that funding “from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2011/12 will be reduced by around half from this year’s level. This reduced settlement will focus on continuing to deliver free, impartial advice to individual householders across the UK. Unfortunately this means that there will not be sufficient funds to continue with our work on Green Communities as it is currently delivered.”
See the letter here for more details.

New Sustainable Development Commission report
Making Sustainable Lives Easier: A Priority for Governments, Business and Society.
The report is based on research on interviews with “officials and experts from business, civil society and academia”. It concludes that we are far from living lives that are ‘sustainable’ for future generations, and that the Government’s favoured approach – nudge – with a reliance on personal choice and responsibility will not be sufficient without these wider structural changes. It proposes a new approach to underpin policies for more sustainable lives – see our website for more details and links here.

From YouTube to EcoTube…
From the people at Ecotube there’s some new Green videos…
COP 16 IN 2 MINUTES – very entertaining!
CARBON NATION MOVIE – is this the film we’ve been waiting for?
GREEN & ETHICAL MARKETING – ARE YOU A SAINT OR A SINNER?
V FOR VENDETTA – must be seen – excellent guerilla promo –remixed from a movie

Another new report: ‘Small is Successful! Creating sustainable livelihoods on ten acres or less’
Small is Successful! is the outcome of 12 months research commissioned by the Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC). This research addressed the lack of information on financially viable, small scale farms in the UK. Working with eight real life case studies, the report demonstrates that economically viable and highly sustainable land based livelihoods can succeed on holdings of ten acres or less. The report and its policy recommendations opens up truly affordable opportunities for new entrants into farming.  None of the smallholdings received subsidies, and the incomes examined exclude non-agricultural activities, such as any courses, consultancy work or B&Bs that the smallholders also provide. In comparison, the average English farm lost £19,000 in agricultural activities last year, remaining in business largely due to subsidies from the Single Payment Scheme. The full report can be downloaded from:http://www.ecologicalland.coop/projects-small-successful

Join the Big Climate Connection and be part of a nationwide campaign to show our MPs how concerned you are about climate change
Hundreds of people across England are getting together as part of the Big Climate Connection – connecting with their communities and with their MPs – to ask that their climate concerns be represented. They are working to organise lobbies with their MPs in April to make sure their MPs understand the importance of the upcoming Energy Bill and votes for more energy efficient homes, protecting people from fuel poverty and lobbies for better climate finance for poor countries.
We need you to get involved! There may be others in your area already planning a lobby –  you can check out the lobby map to find out what’s happening near you. And if nothing’s going on, you can sign up on the map to organise a lobby.
There are public meetings taking place too – the next one is taking place in Manchester this Saturday! Check out the map or this list to see what meetings are taking place.
We are still looking to build networks in George Osborne’s and Eric Pickles’ constituencies. Are you a climate concerned constituent of Tatton or Brentwood & Ongar? Get in touch –lobby@stopclimatechaos.org
With your help we can make sure our MPs understand the importance of turning their words into action on climate change!
For more information on the Big Climate Reconnection visit – www.thebigconnection.org

Local Travel Planning
Transport is still perhaps the hardest place to make real low carbon changes. The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) is an opportunity for local authorities to strengthen Local Transport Plans with value for money smarter travel initiatives.
Sustrans are running a programme on this – http://www.sustrans.org.uk/resources/



Council’s £50,000 fund to help communities generate their own energy
The Bristol city council is launching a new £50,000 fund to help communities get their renewable energy projects off the ground.
The Bristol Community Energy Catalyst Fund will provide up to £15,000 per project to enable community projects to go from just a great idea to a successful working enterprise.
Assistant cabinet member for sustainability, Councillor Neil Harrison, said: “We are committed to improving the carbon efficiency of the city, and have set ambitious targets to cut emissions by 40% by 2020.  We are investing in renewable energy as a key part of this.”
The Catalyst Fund is just one of the ways in which the Council can help community energy projects. The Council wants to hear from community groups about what they are doing and ways in which the council can help them.
The Catalyst Fund will be open to applications from mid-February, with the selection process and awards of funding being decided mid-March – so groups won’t have to wait long to find out if their application has been successful. Interested applications can register their interest now by emailing bridget.newbery@cse.org.uk.
To find out more about the Catalyst Fund or book a place on the workshops, go to www.cse.org.uk/bristolcommunityenergy.

CONSULTATION: Localism Bill rights
Two consultations on the Community Right to Buy and the Community Right to Challenge have been opened by the Department for Communities and Local Government. This gives community groups and voluntary organisations the chance to put forward your views on how these new rights can be made to work in practice. NCVO will be producing a briefing shortly on the consultations, and also will be hosting two events on 9 March in Manchester (joint with GMCVO) and in London on 15 March. If you would like more details or want to attend these events email daniel.fluskey@ncvo-vol.org.uk
Deadline: Friday 29 April
For a copy of the consultation documents click here.

Feed-in-Tariffs
Anyone tracking the FITs review may wish to read Jonathon Porritts’ blog on this. It starts “There’s a dreadful sense of inevitability about the chaos surrounding the current status of Feed-in-Tariffs for PV……”
BT relaunches free web-hosting service
Charities and not-for-profit community groups can access a free web-hosting and design service through the communications company BT. Its Community Web Kit provides free website hosting, a free address, a choice of layouts and designs and a step-by-step guide. The service is part of the telecom giant’s Get IT Together campaign to encourage as many people as possible to get online.

For more information click here.

BME Leadership and Engagement Project
Date: Friday 18th March 2011
Time: 9.30am – 2.00pm
Venue: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal, Green, London E2 6HG.
Our Seminar is part of a series of events organised within our BME and Environment Series in collaboration with COIN and Global Action Plan and aims to:
Objectives of the event:
To provide participants with practical tools to engage friends and neighbours in adopting positive environmental actions
To build leadership capacity among BME Migrant and Refugee communities
To build new support networks – participants will meet other BME activists and groups to engage on environmental issues
Seminar targeted at: individuals & community reps from diverse BME communities & professionals from Local Authorities, PCT, Voluntary Sector & other agencies involved in or interested in breaking barriers & delivering an Environment Agenda4Change.
Cost per Delegat
FREE
If you wish to make a booking for this event please complete the booking form on the leaflet or alternatively send booking details to farah.chaudhry@taha.org.uk or admin2@taha.org.uk

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