July 2008 Archives
The number of low carbon groups establishing in Cheshire continues to grow and last Wednesday's first meeting of the Cheshire and Warrington Low Carbon Communities Network was a great success (at least those of us who debriefed in the pub afterwards thought so!)
Discussions centred around funding, community engagement and access to information. These will all be covered in future meetings of the group.
Supported by Cheshire County Council and chaired by Chris Mahon, Chair of the Sustainable Cheshire Forum this new group follows other successful regional networks such as Shropshire and ClimateX in Oxford. It seems many community groups are now seeing the benefit of working in partnership to share skills and experience. Action Climate Change Tattenhall has produced an excellent leaflet brought along by John Plummer and other groups shared updates of their group's progress. Sonia Mysko from Bollington Carbon Revolution shared news of two successful Eco Teams which have run in the area to support behavioural change among residents (and across Cheshire this initiative, supported by the Cheshire Federation of Womens Institutes has proved very popular).
Roy Alexander from the Ashton Hayes Parish Council Going Carbon Neutral Project sent his apologies as he was attending a public meeting elsewhere in Ashton Hayes to inform residents of plans for a village microgrid. I caught up with him later in the pub where he told me
"It was a great meeting, about 30 people turned up. They asked some interesting questions and there were offers to help with fundrasing and organisation".
These are exciting times for low carbon communities - but particularly for Ashton Hayes Parish Council who have set the bar high - not only will they be raising funds for the village microgrid, but also there are plans to take over the running of the village shop as a community enterprise and buy land to create a recreation field!
Several attendees at our meting on Wednesday have already signed up to attend the Low Carbon Communities Conference in Llangollen in October, here they will have the opportunity to meet with some very successful projects from other parts of the UK and listen to some inspiring stories of what ordinary people can achieve when they work together on a common goal.
I'm off on holiday now, but when I come back I'll have more news on Transition Chester and a sneak preview of an interview with Dave Hampton (Carbon Coach to the rich and famous).
On Wednesday 16th July the Cheshire and Warrington Low Carbon Community Network will be hosting it's first event in the Village Hall in Ashton Hayes. This is an opportunity for low carbon and transition projects in the Cheshire and Warrington area to get together and share ideas. We hope this will be the first of many events. If you are part of a low carbon / carbon rationing or transition group and you have not had an invitation please let me know.
Many local authorities are supporting regional networking of carbon reduction projects and we're pleased that Cheshire County Council are supporting this initiative. At the Low Carbon Communities Conference in October we'll have representatives from other regional networks talking about the benefits of co-operation and collaboration
I'll be posting full details of the event later this week.