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Transition Marlborough general blog

General blog for all miscellaneous posts regarding Transition Marlborough.
Published by Sam Page on 30 October 2014

To the Crown Estates ConsultantsImage

Transition Marlborough (TM) is a community-based organisation committed to low-carbon, sustainable solutions within the Marlborough Community Area.

Overall comment

We acknowledge that there are 772 families on the housing list in the Marlborough area: TM does not object to the provision of more homes in Marlborough, provided there is appropriate development of the town's infrastructure and services to support the increase in population. This development, if approved, would increase the population of the town by around 10 per cent, and therefore its impact on infrastructure and services, especially schools and medical practice, would be significant.  Our comments apply to both options presented at the public consultation, Option A and Option B.

Specific issues

Marlborough Rail Link
TM is actively promoting the restoration of the rail line to Marlborough, and this initiative has obtained strong support from the local community. The potential advantages to the Salisbury Road development should be obvious although we recognise that the railway link is at an early stage of development. Nevertheless we would argue strongly that the housing development should be compatible with the potential railway development, and be designed accordingly, i.e. with an access road to the proposed site of the new station and car park. At present this is not the case and we believe that this is a serious shortcoming in the proposal.

Cycling and walking
TM actively promotes cycling and walking within Marlborough as an alternative to car use. And Wiltshire Council has a range of policies to promote cycling and walking in the county's market towns. We would therefore expect to see at this stage a coherent presentation of cycling and walking routes within the new development with linkages to the town centre, St John's Academy, Marlborough Business Park, the Marlborough Cycle Network and the national cycle network. While the scheme proposal mentions improvements to cycling facilities between the new estate and St John's Academy, this is inadequate. We therefore wish to see the cost of up-grading the whole of Marlborough's cycle network funded out of the 'Community Infrastructure Levy'.  This should include the provision of safe crossing of the A346 and up-grading the footpath MARL30 as a cycle route to Savernake Forest.

Buses
Marlborough's current bus service is extremely poor in that it links with neither local employment centres nor the three closest railway stations, at times that are suitable for commuters. This means that an additional 220 households would need at least 2 cars each, to enable both bread-winners to get to and from work. We would be interested to see the travel plan which is being prepared for the proposed development.

Traffic congestion and air quality
Salisbury Road through to Herd Street, the north-south route through the town, is often congested, with associated nitrogen dioxide emissions which already exceed the EU safe limit. By inspection it is evident that the new housing development would exacerbate these problems. There is nothing in the current proposal to indicate that these issues have been understood or that there has been any consideration of practical mitigation measures.

Zero Carbon Housing

Government policy, will require all new homes from 2016 to mitigate, through various measures, all the carbon emissions produced on-site as a result of the regulated energy use. This includes energy used to provide space heating and cooling, hot water and fixed lighting, as outlined in Part L1A of the Building Regulations. The proposed Code level 3-4 is only the minimum required in terms of domestic energy use, carbon emissions, water use, materials used and waste. We would like to see a more ambitious design which achieves an EPC Rating of at least 'B' for all new dwellings in this development. Since families in social housing are vulnerable to fuel poverty, we recommend biomass district heating as a sustainable solution.

Allotments

There is a waiting list for allotments in Marlborough. With rising food prices and the need to eat more fresh vegetables, we would like to see the practise of setting aside land for family allotments revived in the new Salisbury Road Estate.  A good example in Marlborough town can be seen in St Johns Close, where a small, social housing estate with family allotments was established in the 1920's and is still a hive of activity today.

Published by Alexandra Wax on 18 September 2014

We are launching our latest project - Transition Streets, Marlborough.

 

Get together with your neighbours  -  Save money  -  Cut your carbon footprint

 

Ask six neighbours and friends who live near you if they'd like to form a Transition Streets group, and we'll give you workbooks and a facilitator to get you started.

If you are interested, and want further information, contact:

 

07771 347 379     streets at transitionmarlborough.org

 

Published by Alexandra Wax on 26 July 2014

Wednesday 30 July 2014, Stonebridge Wild River Reserve

on the eastern side of Marlborough, between the A4 and St. Martins. Grid Ref SU194692

MAKE A MOVIE WORKSHOP - advanced booking a must, £5 per person. Just bring your smartphone and create your own film inspired by Stonebridge Wild River Reserve - moviemaking tuition provided.

More details from Ann 01672 511028 or www.riverkennet.org

Published by Alexandra Wax on 26 July 2014

This is a day trip, run by Wiltshire Community Land Trust, to Worth Matravers in south Dorset to see the community-led Roman Barns scheme that provided local individuals and young families with homes they can afford to live in and run. It features homes designed from scratch to be energy efficient. Find out how Worth Matravers CLT (Community Land Trust) achieved this, and got to do an archaeological dig, too.

There's also an optional diversion to Bourton near Gillingam at the start of the day, to see how air source heat pumps, solar PV, underfloor heating and LEDs have all been used in a 1970s terraced home to minimise energy bills.

Book your place at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-dorset-day-out-keeping-the-bills-down-tickets-12240697255

Published by Sam Page on 27 January 2014

At the last hub meeting it was decided to focus more on implementing community-based projects and less on themed groups, in order to acheive the urgent changes we need in reducing carbon emissions, in the light of recent extreme weather events.  We are currently implementing the following projects:

  • Supporting the Communities' Market to encourage local food production
  • Improving access to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) in order to retrofit dwellings that are 'hard-to-treat and vulnerable to fuel poverty
  • Lobbying for improved cycle paths and more cycle racks in order to reduce our reliance on cars
  • Lobbying to extend the train line electrification from Newbury to Marlborough
  • Supporting Kennet Community Energy to encourage local ownership of power generation
  • Creating community orchards in green spaces in residential areas around town
  • Supporting the Swop Stall to prevent unwanted items from going into land-fill
  • Up-dating the Recycling Directory to reduce waste
  • Training more people in permaculture to promote food self-sufficiency

Please get in touch via enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org to help us speed up the implementation of these and other projects, in order to increase our self reliance in the face of climate change. If you have an idea for a new project, please consider the following:

  • What is the objective of of your project?
  • How do you know that this is what the community needs? (e.g. Have you done a survey? Is it in the Marlborough Area Plan or Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy?)
  • How will you measure your success? (e.g. by using 'time-lines', 'milestones' and 'key indicators').
  • What problems will you have to overcome, before reaching your objective?
  • Who are your partners?
Published by Shirley Pryor on 26 November 2013

Many Transition Towns have a Community Choir, including Marlborough. However, Vanessa Lafaye was way ahead of us: she started the choir in 2010, a year before Transition Marlborough was launched. Since then, they've gone from strength to strength and grown from about 20 to nearly 50. Vanessa maintains that anyone who can speak can sing and welcomes newcomers at taster sessions at the start of each six-week term. The choir performs in concerts, at the Jazz festival, in care homes for the elderly at Christmas and even does a flash mob in Waitrose. All of their concerts are charity fundraisers. Following last year’s success, they will be performing again this year as part of the Christmasfest, in aid of the Jubilee Centre.  Details below:

 

Christmasfest

An evening of seasonal music featuring local artists:

Mike Booth and Marcella

Mother’s Jam (feat. K Lee)

NewQuay Times

Skedaddle!

Marlborough Community Choir

21st December 2013, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

7:30pm

£5/£3 children under 12, includes mince pie

Mulled wine for sale

ALL PROCEEDS TO THE JUBILEE CENTRE

Tickets:  Roger Grant 01672-516235 roger.grant195@btinternet.com or the Jubilee Centre

Sponsors of the concert include: AMS Accountancy, BBC Wiltshire, Marlborough Golf Club, SEOGadget Ltd,   St Peter’s Café and The Marlborough

 

Published by Sam Page on 27 September 2013

A specially commissioned choral work: music by Robin Nelson, words by Michael Polack

Swindon Choral Society & Children’s Choir with Professional Soloists and Orchestra

Sunday 20th October at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church, Swindon

 

Atlantic Odyssey follows, through music and song, the remarkable annual journey of the Arctic Tern, which migrates from polar north to polar south and back, flying 40,000 miles each year, further than any other bird, and experiencing more light in its two polar summers than any other creature. The piece also marks some of the historical events and geographical locations along the Arctic Terns’ routes.

Atlantic Odyssey seeks to celebrate and raise awareness of the wonders of the natural world, as embodied in this remarkable, elegant bird.

It also warns of the increasing human-created threats to the marine environment, which the Arctic Tern and so many other creatures depend on.

The premiere of this work - with music composed by Robin Nelson to words by Michael Polack (both live in Avebury) and accompanied by projected photographs by local wildlife photographer, David White, – will be performed by Swindon Choral Society and the Warneford School Choir, with professional soloists and orchestra, in St Peter’s Church, Carronbridge Road, West Swindon SN5 7ES on Sunday 20th October at 7.30pm.

Tickets (£15) from www.swindonchoral.org.uk or Swindon Central Library.

An exhibition linked to this event and displaying the photographs to be projected is on view in the Link Centre Library, West Swindon, until 5th October.

Published by Lorna Harvey-Frank on 26 September 2013

Nurturing our Nature

Joanna Macy Workshop

Helping us Acces our Inner Strength

 

Half-Day Workshop for anyone who wants to bring forth their best response to the challenges of our times

 

This workshop is for you if you are worried about the state of the world and want to explore inner transition as a way to support outward change.  It will help you to find positive and creative ways to respond to the ecological and social challenges facing us today.

The workshop is based on The Work That Reconnects, an approach to change that was developed by Joanna Macy:  it will be led by Rosie Lewis and Karen Scott, both qualified practitioners of this approach.  The Work That Reconnects aims to connect people to themselves and the world around them and to help them feel more alive, motivated and positive in the face of our difficult times. By the end of the workshop you will feel energised, connected and inspired by your own potential.

 

Saturday 19th October  :  10am - 1pm

Venue:  Quaker Meeting House, The Parade, Marlborough, SN8 1NE

£20

(nobody turned away due to lack of funds!)

Booking:  email rosie_info at yahoo.co.uk or call 07811 445242 (by Wednesday 16th October please)

Please call if you would like to find out more before booking

ALL ARE WELCOME

 

Find more on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/JoannaMacyWorkshop

For more about The Work That Reconnects please visit: www.workthatreconnects.org

 

Published by Alexandra Wax on 29 April 2013

Saturday 18th May, 10am - 1pm

Venue:  1st floor, 3 - 4 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1EJ (the offices of 'Develop')

Suggested donation of £10 to help cover the costs of venue hire and refreshments

Booking: email rosie_info at yahoo.co.uk or call 07811 445 242 (by Wed 15th May please)

ALL ARE WELCOME

This half-day workshop is for anyone who is questioning what it's all about and who wants to explore the possibiility that there might be more to life...

Surely there's more to life than this....?

What do we mean by 'this'?

....a life that is based on having to work work work just to keep afloat, and where your value is based on how big your house is, how new your car is and how much 'stuff' you have...

...a world in which we have lost touch with where our food comes from and have forgotten the simple pleasures of climbing a tree or listening to the sound of the waves...

....a society that doesn't seem to be taking car of its children's and grandchildren's futures...

 

This workshop will:

  • help you connect with other people who are thinking and feeling the same way
  • allow you to voice the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings you may have about the way things are going
  • offer new perspectives on the problems that we are facing
  • reconnect you with your inner strength and a sense of what's possible

 

By the end of the workshop we hope that you will:

  • feel energised and uplifted
  • feel a connection to others who share your perspective and concerns
  • have a sense of what you can do to start to create a more fulfilling way of living

 

If you would like to talk to one of us to find out if the workshop is for you, please call Rosie on 07811 445 242 or Karen on 07885 239 752.

To find out more about The Work that Reconnects please visit:  http://workthatreconnects.org

Find on Facebook at JoannaMacyWorkshopChippenham

Published by NickSted on 19 March 2013

The new Social Value Act came into force a few weeks ago.  It applies to all publicly accountable bodies such as Town and Parish Councils, County Councils, Housing Associations etc.

It's stated aim is "to support community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to win more public sector contracts and to change commissioning structures so that a wider definition of value rather than just financial cost is considered"

Very few publicly accountable bodies have yet heard of this Act but any financial decisions that are now made have to weigh up social value over financial cost and publicly demonstrate why any particular decision was made.  If not, then such decisions can be challenged by community groups.  How this will all work in practice remains to be seen but the legislation is in place.  Find out more about it here.

The Act may benefit Kennet Community Energy but it may also have an impact on other groups in Transition Marlborough.

 

NicK Stedman  

 

 

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