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Transition Marlborough general blog

General blog for all miscellaneous posts regarding Transition Marlborough.
Published by Sam Page on 28 March 2016

Image Free Film: Wednesday, 27th April, starting at 7.30pm in the Function Room of the Bear Hotel, The Parade 

Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives.

Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.

90 minutes

Entrance is free, but please bring snacks to share and if you can, stay for the discussion afterwards, on how we can protect our bees.

 

Quotes from the Press

“The most important documentary film since An Inconvenient Truth.”
Filmstar

“An essential documentary…If you like eating, see this film.”
Channel 4

“Verdict – Fascinating subject expertly covered.”
Empire

“A ‘bees knees’ of a film. Powerfully argued and very timely.”
Sunday Times

“Be advised, this is more than a documentary”
The Independent

“Alarming enough to convince you that this is an issue that needs action at the highest level.”
The Daily Express

“This Bee Movie has a real sting.”
The Times

Published by Sam Page on 27 March 2016

Image The report entitled 'The potential policy and environmental consequences for the UK of a departure from the European Union' prepared by the Institute for European Environmental Policy, in collaboration with the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the World Wildlife Fund (March 2016) considers the potential consequences for the environment and for environmental policy of the UK choosing to withdraw from the EU, based on different scenarios for the UK’s future relationship with its neighbours. The assessment identifies potential influences on the decisions to be made in a future outside the EU, including international agreements, the changing context and already established UK policy positions. It builds on an overview of the EU’s record, particularly in developing and applying environmental policies, but also in relation to agriculture and fisheries policy. You can download the full report, here...

The following are some of the key environmental achievements of EU countries working together within a common legislative framework that would have not occurred at the same level if they had acted alone:

  • A substantial decline in most industrial sources of air and water pollution, particularly in improving urban air quality and in tackling diffuse water pollution, for example from farming.
  • A fall in greenhouse gas emissions and rapid recent growth in the deployment of renewable energy.
  • Significant reductions in the pressures on human health from environmental pollution.
  • A significantly improved system of protection for species and habitats.
  • A transformation in waste management, with a major increase in recycling rates and the first steps towards the creation of a more circular economy.
  • The establishment of a thorough system for the review of the safety of chemicals that can be expected to lead to the future withdrawal and substitution of various toxic substances.
  • The foundations for addressing the mounting pressures on the marine environment in the form of a legislative framework which is starting to have an effect.
  • Improvements on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters at EU level.
  • The wide application of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment procedures (also adapted and used by the European Investment Bank as conditions for all infrastructure investment decisions inside and outside the EU).
Published by Sam Page on 28 February 2015

Image That’s right folks – a film festival is coming to Marlborough in November, 2015 though we are going to need your help giving it a bit of a jazzier title…but more of that later.

Cinema has an important role in educating, raising awareness and informing people, as well as entertaining and we are planning to bring you a weekend of some of the most thought provoking films of our time, whilst coming together as a community. Ecology, culture, economics, migrations, wars, the widespread felling of forests and social issues are areas that we feel it is important to explore and while doing it we want to converse, entertain, eat and rejoice together.

The full line-up of films is still being considered but we already have confirmation from eminent Sussex filmmaker Philip Davidson who’s films have won awards and been shortlisted at the Cannes Film Festival. Philip has kindly agreed to a screening of two of his films: An Autumn Day and his latest release Our Power. Philip will hold a talk on ‘How to Object. How to get involved’ during a live audience discussion and debate that will also feature a talk on what is happening in Transition Marlborough.

A film festival incurs high overheads and we shall be seeking support from the British Film Institute who run a: Film Festival Fund as well as support from The National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ programme to cover ourselves. A Sponsorship Pack is soon to be sent out to local businesses and groups who may wish to support us at a local level, and should you wish to do so please contact the Festival Coordinator Ellie Gill by email: info@plainfresh.co.uk

In the meantime we need a great title for the event. We increasingly hear how climate change is one of the most important issues of our time and this often leads to a sense of frustration and disempowerment. What we want from this festival is to showcase how by coming together and making small changes, as well as big ones, we can face the challenges we find ourselves in. To this end the title of this festival needs to be engaging, inspiring and hopeful. You can send in your answers to our online competition along with any suggestions for films that you may like showcased during the festival. The best title suggestions will then be entered into a public poll, with the author of the winning title given a £25 Gift Voucher to spend at Marlborough Communities Market.

Check out the Festival Facebook page, here...

Enter the Competition: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7Q8TKX9 

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.

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