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LOW CARBON HEADINGTON

Low Carbon Headington consists of Headington residents who aim to raise awareness of climate change, reduce local carbon emissions and promote a more sustainable lifestyle in our local community.

Low Carbon Headington is a Community Action Group, one of a network of voluntary groups in Oxfordshire see www.cagoxfordshire.org.uk.  We are a pathfinder group for Low Carbon Oxford.

For more information about us, email @gmail lowcarbonheadington.com or phone Jill (766368), Mary (762879) or Lesley on (450305).

LCH Strategy meeting

Ten members of the LCH Core group attended a very useful strategy meeting during April, at which we had an opportunity to stop and think: to record the group’s achievements, to revisit our key purposes, and to identify direction and priorities for the coming year or two.

We considered what the group is doing really well, the opportunities and possibilities available to us, and our aspirations and plans for the future.

We hope you will think we have made some good plans, and we hope that some of you will want to help us with these projects!

Here’s a summary of what we decided:

Our main focus will be on

  1. Extending the thermal imaging project
  2. Increasing Carbon Conversations groups
  3. Communicating with and expanding our active membership
  4. Boosting sustainability in the Neighbourhood Plan
  5. Developing a working group with a political focus

1. Thermal Imaging Project:

Last winter Low Carbon Headington ran a pilot thermal imaging project with two aims: 1) to raise awareness of where Headington homes were losing heat, so that residents could take protective measures and reduce their heating bills, and 2) to lower the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere to lessen climate change. Thermal imaging isn't a new tool for community groups in Oxfordshire: for example, in Eynsham, over 300 properties have been imaged by the local Low Carbon group Green Tea over the last three winters.

LCH borrowed one of the County Council's two thermal imaging cameras and a volunteer attended a training session in how to use it. Thermal imaging cameras record infrared emissions, turning whatever they see into a palette of colours depending on the heat emitted by the surfaces. Although absolute heat loss is hard to calculate, the thermal images can highlight significant areas of loss. The pilot concentrated on just one road, Gardiner Street, and aimed to involve as many residents as possible. One of our members lives in the street and she visited all her neighbours to ask if they would like thermal images of their property. The response was very good and 24 households agreed to be involved.

Conditions to record thermal images have to be very exact. The weather should be dry, not windy or sunny, and the homes to be imaged need their heating running for at least three hours so the fabric of the building has had a chance to warm up sufficiently. The difference between the internal and external temperature should be at least 10º C. Most thermal imaging is therefore done on frosty nights in the late evening.

On a suitably bitter night, images were taken of the front of most of the houses in Gardiner Street. These digital images were then e-mailed through to individual households together with an invitation to an event where the images, which aren’t easy to interpret, could be explained by thermal image experts.

The pilot project offered plenty of food for thought. It is hoped to roll the project out  to further streets in Headington this coming winter. We are planning to work with children at Windmill School, carrying out thermal imaging with them on a street by street basis.

In the long term, over the next 3 years, we hope to involve more organisations in Headington to carry out as much imaging as possible. A planning meeting was recently held to discuss the logistics of this – funding, organisation, etc. The aim of the project is not only to increase the energy efficiency of buildings in Headington, but also to raise awareness of Low Carbon Headington and its work in reducing carbon emissions, and to increase active membership.

If anyone would like to get involved in this project, please e-mail me at: alison.grunewald@googlemail.com


2. Carbon Conversations

We shall continue setting up Carbon Conversations groups to help people reduce their carbon footprints (see below). The next one in Headington will be held during the autumn. We shall talk to Bury Knowle Library about putting on another ‘taster’ session in the autumn as one way of recruiting participants.

Carbon Conversations groups also have the potential to expand our active membership.

Anyone else who is keen to get involved with this project please contact Mary (marygill@f2s.com) or for more information: http://www.lowcarbonheadington.org.uk/index.php?page=carbon-conversations

3. Communicating with and expanding our active membership

We shall mainly do this through projects 1 and 2.

4. Neighbourhood plan

Two members of the group have been working on sustainable planning principles for consideration in the Headington Neighbourhood Plan. (For instance priority should be given to energy efficiency in new houses and shops.) There are draft proposals which need to be discussed by the Core Group and it will then be finalised.

Anyone else who is keen to get involved with this project please contact Robin (robingill@f2s.com)

We also have representatives on the Headington Transport Group which will make recommendations on transport to be included in the Neighbourhood Plan.

5. A new LCH working group with a political focus

LCH aims to raise awareness in our community of climate change and reduce local carbon emissions. But we know that if we are to succeed in overcoming the threat of climate change we need top-down action on climate change too, from those with political power. We agreed that LCH should also try to use its influence as a local community group to encourage discussion about how to solve the problems of climate change in political terms and influence EU, government and local authority policy. This seems to us especially important in the run-up to the general election in 2015.

We have in mind contacting all candidates for MP, questioning them on climate change policies, and trying to enter a dialogue with them. We would then disseminate information about the different parties’ positions to the public in Headington (e.g. via the LCH market stall, and possibly at a public meeting). We would not be endorsing a particular party but would seek to inform Headington people about the parties’ different positions, and to raise the profile of climate change among local citizens. We would hope that more people will consider this an important issue when they decide how to vote.

Anyone else who is keen to get involved with this project please contact Mary (marygill@f2s.com)

Events in the city and county

A message from Community Action Group (CAG)

SAVE THE DATE! CAG will be hosting another CAG Network Social on Thursday 5th June from 7-9pm in the Common Hall Café at Oxford’s County Hall, OX1 1ND.

For those of you who missed it over the last few years, the evening will be an informal social event (with food and wine!) for groups to catch up with each other and also to meet representatives from Oxfordshire County & District Councils, plus many other local social and environmental organisations. The aim is to share ideas and resources with each other, and also to discover ways in which the related organisations attending can help your group to further its own projects and ideas. For example, Oxfordshire County Council can provide help setting up community bus schemes and Low Carbon Hub can advise groups on how to identify energy projects in their communities and schools.

The CAG network is the largest of its kind, now standing at nearly 60 groups involved in a huge range of waste, energy, food, transport and conservation projects and initiatives. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the rest of the (ever expanding) network and also to link into the external launch of the new CAG Low Carbon Communities Handbook and an opportunity to see the results of the Community Impact Modelling Tool.

Please email Peter Lefort at peter.lefort@resourcefutures.co.uk without delay, telling him the number of your group going to the social.

Climate Change and Flood Alliance

The flooded Thames valley is an indication of what to expect in future now that climate change is happening and climate activists from all over Oxfordshire met in early 2014 to discuss what could be done locally. People from groups as disparate as various low-carbon groups, the One Million Climate Jobs campaign, No-Dash for Gas, the Green Party, the Quakers and People and Planet attended. They decided to call themselves the Oxfordshire Climate and Flood Alliance and to work together to:

i) spread the argument about the link between climate change and flooding;

ii) bring together as many groups as possible in Oxon to demand a meeting with David Cameron about climate and floods;

iii) establish a network that could help provide support and solidarity for those affected by flooding.

Re point ii, at the last meeting, it was decided that the petition should be targeted primarily at groups, i.e. trade unions, local schools, the University (starting with students unions and then moving on to junior/senior commons rooms), residents’ associations, and environmental, faith and fossil disinvestment groups rather than individuals to enable more information to be included. The wording of the petition was finalized at the end of the meeting and hopefully will be circulated in the near future. The Oxfordshire Climate and Flood Alliance is on Facebook.

The Key

The Key is a fortnightly guide to all the latest news, information on up-coming events, funding and jobs from Oxfordshire’s environmental community.

The Key is produced by CAG Oxfordshire and ClimateXchange in association with the Low Carbon Hub, a new Oxfordshire-based social enterprise supporting communities that want to take action on climate change.

Contact Peter Lefort at peter.lefort@resourcefutures.co.uk

Local activities

Cultivate VegVan now in Headington – buy local vegetables and fruit here!

The VegVan is parked outside Barclays Bank every Saturday from 10am -4pm.

About Cultivate

Cultivate is all about bringing people together to create a better food system for Oxford. Better for everyone who eats food, better for everyone who grows food, and better for the planet.

Cultivate believes in making change through practical action, as well as talks, events and education. So in their first year they established a new market garden on 10 acres of land just outside Oxford and created a mobile greengrocer's shop, the VegVan, to get more local food into the city.

Cultivate is a cooperative organisation owned and funded by the community.

About the VegVan

Cultivate’s mobile shop, the VegVan, sells fresh, locally-produced food at regular weekly mini-markets in and around Oxford. You will find a selection of fruit and vegetables, grown at their market garden and sourced direct from other local farms. You can contact the VegVan direct on 07579 96537407579 965374

The VegVan is parked outside Barclays Bank in Headington every Saturday from 10am-4pm.

For more information about Cultivate, see http://cultivateoxford.org

LCH activities

LCH working groups and contacts: please get in touch for more information or if you want to help.

Wind Turbine Group

The Wind Turbine group is in the process of developing a report for David Cameron – as MP for Witney and via one of his constituents – about the necessity of promoting ALL forms of renewable energy in the area – on-shore turbines included. We were advised by a member of the Low-Carbon Hub that our report would carry more weight if it includes an actual proposal and are currently considering whether to include the existing proposal for a wind turbine at Thornhill Park and Ride.

Contact Jill. winsomelosesome@jillhaas.plus.com

Thermal Imaging Group

See report in this newsletter. Contact Alison. alison.grunewald@googlemail.com

Swap Shop

Swap Shops take place on the third Saturday of every month from 11- 12 at Gladstone Road Community Centre, OX3 8LL. Swap Shops are a great opportunity to drop off your unwanted but re-usable items which are in good condition (including electrical items) and/or to take away anything else you fancy. You don’t have to bring something to take something away, and you don’t have to take anything if you bring something, everything is free, so come along and join the fun! Leftover items will be kept for the next swap, offered to local charities, recycled, or as last resort, sent to landfill for disposal. Contact Kate at kate.hart@tiscali.co.uk

Community Gardening

Visit each other’s gardens, get advice, swap plants and help extend gardening in Headington. Contact Jennifer:  marsdenjennifer@hotmail.com

Electricity Monitors Library

Find out more about your electricity use. Contact Jill. winsomelosesome@jillhaas.plus.com

Farmers’ Market: We have a stall at the Farmers’ Market between 8:30 and 12:30 on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month. If you would like to help, contact Mary on marygill@f2s.com

For car club information: Co-Wheels (www.co-wheels.org.uk), contact Robin robingill@f2s.com

LOW CARBON HEADINGTON AGM - ALL WELCOME

The Baptist Church, 78 Old High Street, Headington, OX3 9HW at 8 pm Monday, 23rd June. Bring and share food. Please contact Lesley on lesleyharris2003@yahoo.co.uk for full details and an agenda.

National news

Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change has come up with a “Tipping Point Declaration” it would like groups like Low Carbon Headington to endorse. The text can be found on Google, i.e. “Tipping Point Declaration”, Kirklees.

 


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