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February 2017 Newsletter
A round up of news and views
Permaculture Course - this year's Permaculture Course starts on Saturday 18th March. This is the 5th year that we have held this course and graduates still meet regularly to discuss all aspects of organic food production and ways of living lightly on the planet. This year Milly is introducing a taster session on 'social permaculture' into the course. The art of composting, natural pest management, bee conservation, renewable energy and forest gardening are still included in the programme.
At only £45 for 10 Saturday morning sessions, this is a low cost way of beginning the journey into a fascinating subject that is essential to our survival, in the face of imminent food price rises and threats to family farming in the UK.
Air Pollution - Some good news at last, our town councillors have voted to request that Wiltshire Council install metrocounts on all roads leading to the town centre. These strips will collect data on current traffic speeds and where average speeds are already 24mph or less, Wiltshire Council will install 20mph speed limits on those roads. They say that if the data shows that traffic is travelling more than 24mph, then a 20mph limit will be unenforcable. We believe that the introduction of 20mph speed limits on roads within the Air Quality Management Area will not only make them safer but also lead to smoother vehicle running, thereby reducing the air pollution associated with accelarating and braking. The metrocounts will be paid for by Marlborough Area Board and the Town Council. The Transport Group is planning to give out leaflets to motorists, informing them of the need to drive slowly over the metrocounts once they are in place.
Last year, we also requested that 'no idling' signs be erected at bus stops in the High Street, to encourage bus drivers to switch of their engines while waiting and councillors have assured us that these will appear within the next two months.
#ShowtheLove- Well done to all those who braved the cold with their giant green hearts, to show the love for our planet a couple of weeks ago. We hit the headlines in two local newspapers and our #ShowtheLove tweet was retweeted to more than 30,000 followers, via @transitiontowns and @cleanairLondon! Read more, here...
Did you know that more than 1,100 EU laws protect our environment? - the EU Energy and Environment subcommittee has concluded that one of the key challenges will be that of effectively maintaining environmental protection through the Great Repeal Bill, given the complex and extensive nature of environmental legislation. They also identified a risk of a vacuum once the European Commission and Court of Justice of the European Union no longer have a role in the oversight and enforcement of environment legislation, given the significant impact those institutions have had on the UK's compliance in the past. Read the government's report here...
The Green Party has outlined 10 challenges that must be addressed to protect our environment, post Brexit. These include the need for a legal mechanism which will keep UK environment laws in line with future changes to EU law. They detail the 153 EU Directives, including those that deal with air pollution, pesticide use and food safety, which will fall away once we leave the EU. You can read their report, here... Don't forget the Unite for Europe March in London, on 25th March.
Neighbourhood Planning - Thanks to everyone who completed their questionnaire in time. 1,001 were recieved by the Consultants in total, which is a robust response. The results will be posted on the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan website, by the end of March. Since the number one issue that was raised during the village hall consultations last year, was 'congestion and parking', the Neighbourhood Planning group has agreed to enlist a consultant to collect data on the current car parking capacity in the town.
The Transition Marlborough team
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