MINUTES: First Informal Meeting - Wed. 8th June 2011, 7pm, The Vine

Minutes written by Carolyn

As it wasn't a formal meeting I didn't take formal minutes.

Present were Jeff, Laura, Carolyn, Chris, Justin, Andy, Andrew, Anne, Sue, and joined later by Christine and Bill

Points discussed :-

Bike to work day/week/month. Should have an incentive such as meeting at a pub. Involve the cycle shop .

Christmas Shopping Challenge- can you do all your Christmas shopping within the local area using locally sourced products only? Buying goods locally, supporting local producers.

Involving Schools- Justin felt that the schools would be far in advance of ourselves in terms of environmental awareness,both in regard to teaching and in their own recycling/energy usage etc. It was felt that we should perhaps seek help and guidance from them.

Landshare. It was discussed that a local Landshare scheme could be set up. Many people have large gardens they can't use. There is a long waiting list for allotments, so maybe we can set up a scheme?

Community Bus. Sue feels that the idea of an electric bus patrolling the streets around the area, bringing people into town, would reduce the number of cars, the parking problems etc. It was suggested that this could be funded by Tesco and other local businesses, with a nominal charge made to passengers. There is a lot of money, time and effort involved in setting this up, plus issues like insurance etc.

Plastic Bag Free town. Would it be possible to make Tenterden Plastic Bag Free? All stores would have to give paper bags instead of plastic. Andrew said he actively dissuades customers who ask him for a bag. It was felt the larger chain shops wouldn't be keen to change, but maybe smaller traders would, especially if we could find a source of paper bags at good prices.

Parkgate Centre. It was discussed that we should talk to Chris Weir at the centre and try to get him involved in the project. Anne says he needs help to look into funding and grants,and into ways of making more money from the things he collects. It was suggested that Jeff should make a visit to the centre and talk to Chris about Transition,and how we can help each other. Suggestions include a collection point for cardboard, toner cartridges and making him a Chamber member to advertise his facility

Litter Picking Day/ Clean Up Tenterden. It was discussed that to make the most of our opportunity we should give ourselves enough time to organise this properly.
We have set a provisional date for 24th September, after the school holidays and before Folk Festival. Jeff will liaise with Alan Sugden to find out where to obtain the equipment e.g. litter pickers,bags etc. He will also find out about the disposal arrangements for the rubbish that is collected. How does the litter normally get disposed of? Could the Town Council arrange to have our collection removed? Would it cost money? Sue felt that we shouldn't have to pay as we would be doing the job for them. How is the litter from litter bins etc. normally removed? Possibly need to talk to Cllr Mike Pearson about this. Also may need to talk to Cllr Carter about Tentertainment, and how they dispose of their refuse.
To maximise the publicity it was suggested that we advertise the event as widely as possible, seeking volunteers. Involving the schools, the local paper, the town website and the Transition Facebook page and blog. We should also put posters and flyers out nearer the time. We should also talk to Neighbourhood Watch, Community Officers, PACT meeting, and  the Town Council. The suggestion was also made that we should develop an 'Adopt your Road' idea, so that individuals can take part in their own bit of the town.

It was decided that the group should meet again on 29th June, provisionally in the William Caxton.

Action Points.

Jeff to contact Chris Weir, Alan Sugden, Mike Pearson, Mike Carter and Debbie at the William Caxton.

Date and venue of next meeting to be confirmed by Jeff.