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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Axewood Co-operative log bank helps ease fuel poverty

The latest Countryfile episode on BBC One took us to Devon: 

Matt Baker and Margherita Taylor are in a very snowy Devon.  

Margherita meets the people from the Axewood Co-operative, a group who chop down wood and give it away. Margherita meets some of the beneficiaries of this log bank and finds out how this initiative is helping ease fuel poverty locally. 

BBC iPlayer - Countryfile - Devon

The log bank was set up in June last year:
Launch of the East Devon Log Bank

And it was formally launched by County Cllr Claire Wright:
East Devon winter fuel log bank launches to help people struggling to afford heating bills - Claire Wright

The Guardian also followed the story at the time: 

Devon 'log bank' set up to help those struggling with fuel poverty

Foresters cooperative forging links with food banks and charities to reach those in need


Steven Morris
@stevenmorris20

Sun 10 Jun 2018
 
According to the latest government figures, 11% of households in urban areas of England are fuel poor. The figure rises to 14% for rural areas. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

A band of volunteer foresters working from a base tucked away in a steep West Country valley is pioneering a “log bank” scheme designed to help struggling families and individuals out of fuel poverty.

Inspired by the food bank system that has become a feature of austerity Britain, the idea is that people in Devon who are unable to afford to heat their homes will be supplied with free logs for open fires and burners.

For the last eight years members of the Axewoods Co-operative – the name is a play on the River Axe as well as the cutting tool – have managed woodland in east Devon without pay in exchange for the firewood produced as they work.

The scheme has been so successful that they found they were getting more wood than they were able to use themselves and decided to launch the log bank. East Devon district council has provided the group with a plot of land at its Knapp Copse nature reserve to season the wood and store equipment.

Axewoods is now forging links with food banks, charities and advice centres to find people who would benefit from a supply of logs.

Its chairman, Alan Dyer, said members hoped their scheme, which they believe to be the first of its kind, could help hundreds of people heat and power their homes.

“It’s not aimed at people who might turn up in their Range Rover, load up and say: ‘Thanks very much for the free logs,’” Dyer said. “Fuel poverty is a real problem in rural areas. In the south-west where wages are low and costs are high ordinary people are struggling to keep themselves warm. If they have access to a log burner or open fire, the wood we provide could make all the difference.”

FacebookTwitterPinterest Knapp copse nature reserve in Devon where the Axelwoods Co-operative operates. Photograph: East Devon district council

Fuel poverty is defined as a household living on a low income in a home that cannot be kept warm at reasonable cost without bringing residual income below the poverty threshold.

According to the latest government figures 11% of households in urban areas of England are fuel poor. In rural villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings the figure rises to 14%. In 2015 – the most recent year for which figures are available - the average fuel poverty gap for fuel poor households in rural villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings was £726.

Research by National Energy Action and the Campaign to Protect Rural England shows that rural areas are five years behind urban areas in terms of energy efficiency of homes and that people were paying almost 55% more to fuel their home as a result.

Axewoods is very much a product of austerity Britain. Ten years ago it became clear that many landowners, both private and public sector, were not prepared to spend money on managing woodland because bringing in commercial contractors was so expensive.

In east Devon people with an interest in sylvan areas and forestry work formed the cooperative and offered to manage woodlands in exchange for logs for their own use.

“The landowners have their woods managed and we get exercise and free wood,” said Dyer. “We have retired people, youngsters, unemployed, business people, coastguards come along. It’s an eclectic mix, which is half the fun.”

A new member flagged up that he had come across people burning rubbish in stoves – and often damaging them – because they could not afford good quality wood. The cooperative decided to try to find a way of getting its surfeit of logs to such people.

The environment secretary Michael Gove’s calls for curbs on wood burners and coal fires to reduce emissions are dismissed by Dyer as a “stupid soundbite”. He agreed people burning logs could be a problem in London, but not in the places such as Devon.

Nathan Robinson, a local authority nature reserves ranger who works with the cooperative, said: “In many rural areas of the district, wood fuel provides one of only a few viable options for how to heat your home. A project such as this which aims to supply firewood from sustainably managed sources to those in need is surely a good thing. It’s a win-win as I see it. Warm homes, well managed woods.”

Claire Wright, the Devon county councillor for Otter Valley, called the log bank a fantastic project. She said: “Some people genuinely do have to make a choice between eating and heating their house. I know not everyone has a log burner or open fire but for those who do then this service could be a bit of a lifeline.”


Devon 'log bank' set up to help those struggling with fuel poverty | Society | The Guardian
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Sidmouth Plastic Warriors > finding a 1985 Marathon bar wrapper on the beach > "Time to think about degradable packaging and take this recycling lark seriously."

Plastic bottles are ending up on our beaches by the ton:
Futures Forum: Plastic pollution: consultation on new drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme > limiting the scheme to smaller plastic bottles would exclude millions of larger ones found on UK beaches

As are cigarette butts - which are actually made of plastic:
Futures Forum: Plastic pollution: make big tobacco responsible for their cigarette butt pollution

The local media have taken up the story of a sweet wrapper found by the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors - from Devon Live:
Woman finds chocolate bar wrapper from the 1980s on Devon beach - Devon Live

And from the Herald: 

34 year old Marathon wrapper found in Sidmouth sparks calls for packaging changes

PUBLISHED: 17:53 18 February 2019
Sidmouth Plastic Warrior member Rachel Perram found a 34 year old wrapper on Sidmouth beach. Picture: Rachel Perram
Sidmouth Plastic Warrior member Rachel Perram found a 34 year old wrapper on Sidmouth beach. Picture: Rachel Perram


The discovery of a chocolate wrapper on Sidmouth beach from the 1980s has renewed calls for companies to think about the environment.

The best before date of the bar was dated 22-06-85. Picture: Rachel PerramThe best before date of the bar was dated 22-06-85. Picture: Rachel Perram
Sidmouth Plastic Warriors’ Rachel Perram was picking up rubbish on Valentine’s Day when she discovered the Marathon bar packaging.
On the reverse the wrapper showed a best before date of June 22 1985 – nearly 34 years ago.
Rachel took to Twitter to call on owners Mars to think about using plastic packaging of its products.
She said: “The humble Marathon bar - the snack that keeps on giving. Who knew? Found on Sidmouth beach today. [February 14] Time to think about degradable packaging and take this recycling lark seriously.”
Last year, the Herald reported on an old Smith’s crisps packet, dating back to the 1970s, that was found intact in a hedge.
Rachel said: “You can still read all the writing and the best before date. It’s really surprising. I pick up rubbish off the beach a couple of times a week. When I was a youngster their [Mars] packaging was wax paper and then they changed to plastic, the question is why hasn’t this gone full circle?”
As part of the group’s work, members contact companies via social media asking them to think about plastic-free alternatives, but says they struggle to get responses.
Rachel said: “It is lucky if we get a response from companies, they say our company takes ‘environmental issues’ seriously but that is just a cut and paste response. They [companies] do not want to speak to anybody and are pretty reluctant to do anything unless their competitors do it.
“Along with climate change, there is a connection between the two. These are the things that are slowly taking our planet. One thing goes hand in hand with the other.
“My concerns are that not only did we make mistakes in the past, but that there seems little inclination from the corporate world to change - unless forced to by legislation.”
Sidmouth received plastic free status last year from Surfers Against Sewage for its work to combat single-use plastic.
Sidmouth Plastic Warriors’ next beach clean will be held on Saturday (February 23), from 2pm to 3pm.
34 year old Marathon wrapper found in Sidmouth sparks calls for packaging changes | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
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Sidmouth Plastic Warriors > beach clean Saturday 23rd February

This coming weekend sees the next beach clean - at the western beach - with a message from the Plastic Warriors: 


Next Beach Clean

The next beach clean is now scheduled for February 23rd, meeting at the
Marine pub on the front at 2pm, and meeting back there at 3pm (do stay
for a drink if possible as they are being so hospitable to us!)

Looking forward to seeing lots of lovely Warriors out on the beach. We
ran out of litter pickers last time so if you do have your own, please
bring it along!

Please forward the poster to anyone you think may be interested, and
maybe even print it out if you have a noticeboard or somewhere that gets
footfall.

Thank you

Denise x

Denise Bickley
Sidmouth Plastic Warriors
Petition: currently stands at 7545 http://chn.ge/2BJItXK





Sidmouth Plastic Warriors – Doing everything in our power to get Sidmouth single-use-plastic-free
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Plastic pollution: consultation on new drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme > limiting the scheme to smaller plastic bottles would exclude millions of larger ones found on UK beaches

Campaigners have been pushing for some time for a deposit system on plastic bottles:
Futures Forum: "Bring back bottle deposits to stop plastic pollution in our oceans" >>> Surfers Against Sewage to deliver petition to Parliament tomorrow

What is the government going to do about the regulation of plastic bottles?
Futures Forum: Plastic pollution > Let's keep up the pressure > 58% of all plastic bottles found on British beaches and rivers were 750ml or larger and would be left out of the bottle recycling scheme if a size limit is added

It seems that the manufacturers are also keeping up the pressure - and the Surfers Against Sewage group is asking supporters to contact the Environment Secretary:


STOP INDUSTRY WATERING DOWN NEW RECYCLING SYSTEM
Today we found out that the government is considering an option to limit a new plastic bottle drinks recycling scheme after pressure from industry.
If successful the move could exclude billions of plastic bottles currently found on UK beaches.
In the face of this pressure the Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove MP must do the right thing for our seas and marine life and put in place a simple ‘all-in’ drinks bottle recycling system without further delay.
We know that Michael Gove uses Twitter so we are asking the SAS community to share our message with him. You can RT our tweet here or use this wording:
.@michaelgove We’re All-In for a #DepositReturnScheme that works for our ocean! Please include all sizes of bottles & cans to save our seas! #SurfersAgainstSewage #PlasticFreeCoastlines @DefraGovUK https://bit.ly/2V4CXVI
If you do not use twitter then please help by sharing our news article on facebook or via email with family and friends. Click Here for the article.
Our amazing SAS volunteers measured 27,696 single-use drinks containers from 500 beaches and rivers in clean-ups in October. Of the bottles, 58 per cent were larger in size and would be excluded if the drinks industry succeeds in convincing the government to limit the new deposit scheme.  We can not let this happen.
A new ‘all-in’ Deposit Return Scheme would be a huge victory for SAS campaigners after 329,000 people signed the petition we delivered to 10 Downing Street, so it is vital we do not let the scheme get watered-down at this late stage in the process.
Click Here to share our message on twitter today. 
Thank you for your support
Ben
You can read more about the recycling consultation here

Surfers Against Sewage | Environmental charity tackling plastic pollution

With further news on their campaigns:
Small businesses urged to back fight against limit on plastic bottle deposit return scheme • Surfers Against Sewage 


Surfers Against Sewage warns new recycling scheme could fail to capture billions of plastic bottles if industry succeeds in watering down the Deposit Return Scheme

18 February 2019


A consultation launched today on a new drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme shows the Government is considering the option of limiting the scheme to small bottles despite evidence that this would exclude millions of plastic bottles.

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) volunteers collected 27,696 single-use drinks containers from 500 beaches and rivers in clean-ups in October. Of the bottles, 58 per cent were 750ml or larger and would be excluded if the drinks industry succeeds in convincing the government to limit the new deposit scheme.

Despite the evidence found on UK beaches the British Retail Consortium has called for limits on the size of plastic bottles included in the scheme.

Surfers Against Sewage’s petition ‘Bring Back Bottle Deposits to Stop Plastic Pollution in Our Oceans’, supported by 329,000 citizens and delivered to 10 Downing Street, called for a comprehensive and inclusive system to be introduced on plastic beverage bottles and cans.

The charity is urging the government to reduce the amount of pointless plastic being manufactured, sold and used, as the first step to slowing the plastic pollution crisis; and to bring forward its ambitions and deliver an ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme sooner than the 2023 set out in the Resources & Waste Strategy.

A consultation launched today on a new drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme shows the Government is considering limiting the scheme to smaller plastic bottles despite evidence that this would exclude millions of larger ones found on UK beaches.

Surfers Against Sewage warns new recycling scheme could fail to capture billions of plastic bottles if industry succeeds in watering down the Deposit Return Scheme • Surfers Against Sewage

The 38 Degrees campaign is also pushing for action - and also asking for donations for its campaigning work:

Swallowing plastic
This is shocking. Scientists have found plastic in the digestive systems of every dolphin, seal and whale included in a study of British waters. [1] It proves the dangers plastic poses to our precious wildlife. And the government isn’t doing enough to stop the plastic crisis. [2]

Right now government ministers are drafting plans for our environment after Brexit. [3] But experts are sounding the alarm because their plans won’t do enough to turn the tide on plastic pollution for good. [4]

That’s where we come in. Together we can hold the government to account - and force them to take urgent action. We’ll need expert advice to seize every opportunity that comes our way, a dedicated staff team, and every tactic at our fingertips to make our voices heard. And none of this comes cheap.
Alone we would never have the power to stop our seas from choking in plastic, but together we’re powerful. After hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members got involved, together we won huge campaigns to stop plastic pollution - from crisp packets to cotton buds. [5]

But if we’re going to stamp out plastic pollution once and for all, we need to make sure the issue is top of the governments agenda - and we’ll need money in the bank to make it happen.
PS: 38 Degrees is the angle at which a pile of snow becomes an avalanche. When enough gathers in the right place, it becomes an unstoppable force. 38 Degrees campaigns are inspired by this idea, giving individuals a chance to join an avalanche of people working together for a better world.


NOTES:


[1] The Evening Standard: UK ocean plastic pollution crisis: Every seal, dolphin and whale washed up on British shores had plastic in their stomachs, report says:
https://www.standard.co.uk/futurelondon/theplasticfreeproject/plastic-pollution-single-use-plastic-a4053361.html
(Paywall) The Telegraph: 100% polluted: plastic found in all British whales, dolphins and seals:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/31/100-polluted-plastic-found-british-whales-dolphins-seals/
[2] The Guardian: Animals and birds under increasing threat from plastic waste:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/04/animals-birds-plastic-waste-rspca
The Express: Dozens of dead dolphins washed up on shore killed by plastic:
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1080169/dead-dolphins-washed-up-shore-killed-plastic-cornwall-uk
BBC News: Theresa May defends 'long-term' plastic waste plan:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42651480
[3] UK Government: Environment Bill: policy paper:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-environment-principles-and-governance-bill-2018/environment-bill-policy-paper
[4] The Evening Standard: Plastic in the ocean: Sustainable Seas Report warns plastic pollution 'could treble within 10 years':
https://www.standard.co.uk/futurelondon/theplasticfreeproject/ocean-plastic-pollution-single-use-plastic-sustainable-seas-a4041236.html
BBC News: Theresa May defends 'long-term' plastic waste plan:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42651480
The Independent: Environmental groups criticise 'weak' government plan to enforce green laws after Brexit:
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/brexit-green-laws-watchdog-environmentalists-michael-gove-government-a8691856.html
The Wildlife Trusts: Draft Environment Bill Published Today:
https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/draft-environment-bill-published-today
Business Green: Funding plans threaten independence of post-Brexit green watchdog, National Audit Office warns:
https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069444/funding-plans-threaten-independence-of-post-brexit-green-watchdog-nao-warns
[5] 38 Degrees: Walkers announce a new recycling scheme for crisp packets!:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/10/05/walkers-announce-a-new-recycling-scheme-for-crisp-packets/
38 Degrees: PG Tips: We won:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/02/28/pg-tips-won/
38 Degrees: Bottle deposits: We won:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/03/28/bottle-deposits-we-won/
38 Degrees: Cotton bud success:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2017/01/10/cotton-bud-success/


Home - 38 Degrees
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Monday, 18 February 2019

Reinventing retailing by changing the purpose of the store

Traditional high street retailers have got to think differently:
Futures Forum: The Future High Streets fund > "to help local leaders implement bold new visions to transform their town centres"
Futures Forum: The High Street Report > "a creative, locally led approach is vital to bring the crowds back"
Futures Forum: Crickhowell wins Champion High Street > highlighting the town’s range of independent, family-run businesses, as well as the community’s strength

Retailers are trying to think differently in Sidmouth: 
Futures Forum: How to revive the health of Sidmouth's high street > businesses form action group to promote town centre

Although the giants often have an unfair advantage:
Futures Forum: "There are no magic wands to save the high street in its current form, but allowing Amazon to continue making billions to enrich its founder and its shareholders at the expense of our public purse should not be an option."

Perhaps the high street can learn from another giant: 

Will ikea revolutionise its business model before it’s too late? The retailer is hoping a new store concept could be the answer

The idea is a 'planning centre', where no money or goods change hands. It's aimed at online shoppers who need a human advice and ideas


Ikea has announced it is planning to open smaller high street stores. (Photo: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

Friday February 1st 2019

Tottenham court road is a little-loved street of furniture stores in central London, made even more drab by boarded-up shops and sale signs plastered across the windows. But since October a new type of outlet has brought in some Lewis Carroll-like magical realism. Through vast glass windows, passers-by gaze in on a kitchen so tall it looks like part of Wonderland. Inside are no tills; indeed nothing is sold there.

It belongs to ikea, a Swedish furniture retailer, which also seems topsy-turvy; ikea is famously a staple of suburbia.

It may seem as if Alice has stepped through the looking-glass. But there is method in the madness. As other retailers are driven off the high street, partly because of competition from big-box stores like ikea, the company is heading into the heart of London, Paris and New York as part of an expansion into 30 city centres.

It is not only examining where it puts its shops. Though ikea woke up late to the importance of e-commerce, it is using the shock as an opportunity to rethink its business model; the internet will become more central to its future. Many of its competitors still see digital commerce as just one retail channel among many.

They are making a big mistake. Unless they face reality, more will join the ranks of struggling retailers such as Sears, jc Penney and Macy’s in America, and Debenhams in Britain—especially if consumer spending turns down.


Retail therapy

Retailing is not an industry prone to reinvention. Far from it. As Mark Pilkington, a former lingerie executive, explains in a new book, “Retail Therapy”, its two great innovations happened long ago, when shops grew into supermarkets, department stores and malls, and when merchandise moved out from behind the counter. The big stores became vast distribution systems, benefiting from oodles of capital and high barriers to entry.

Meanwhile, customers bought the merchandise and walked out with it; the retailer saw little reason to engage with them beyond advertising and pretending to listen to their complaints.

E-commerce has upended this arrangement. Strip out items that are not widely bought online, such as cars, fuel and meals, and the internet’s share of total retail sales last year rose above 17% in Britain, 16% in America and 15% in Germany, according to the Centre for Retail Research, a British consultancy. Above 15%, says Mr Pilkington, is the point at which legacy retailers, with their high cost of stores and staff, struggle to survive, posing huge risks to jobs, the commercial-property business, lenders and investors.

A customer looks around the new IKEA Planning Studio, which opens today on Tottenham Court Road, and is the retailer’s first step towards a new city centre approach. (Photo: John Nguyen/PA Wire)

Not bearing such costs or capacity constraints, e-retailers can offer a wider range of goods, at better prices, with a more personalised, data-driven service. E-commerce also changes the distribution system.

Retailing used to be cash-and-carry, with shoppers taking their merchandise home with them. Now they often travel by different routes, unencumbered by shopping bags. So in addition to sales, retailers have to factor in delivery. That is where ikea is devoting lots of attention.


Redefining the concept

Though Tolga Öncü, ikea’s head of retail, explains this with a wad of Swedish snus, or smokeless tobacco, beneath his upper lip, he appears more excited than nervous about the transition. The company’s strong brand and balance-sheet give it freedom to have a “test-and-fail” approach, rather than “being in a panic to do something”, he says. It has three big tasks ahead: redefining sales measures, logistics and the whole concept of the store.

Start with sales measures in stores. These will remain crucial; online sales make up at most 10% of the total, and stores are still the best way of attracting customers. But the idea that ikea’s success can be measured only by how much it sells per square foot is outdated. As it ships more of its products to people’s homes, it has to bear in mind online purchases, delivery and assembly.

In 2017 ikea bought TaskRabbit, a gig-economy startup that can spare customers the grief of assembling furniture with an Allen key and a wordless instruction manual. Logistics is another factor. As people shop online, they demand speedy delivery. Part of this comes via ikea’s stand-alone warehouses. But Mr Öncü says its large suburban stores, which are within easy reach of densely populated areas, can also “double up” as part of the logistics network, shortening delivery times.


Planning centres

This feeds into the third challenge—changing the purpose of the store. Rather than always stocking the full range of products, the priority in smaller stores is to allow customers to “touch and feel” items they have seen online. That means stores can keep less inventory. Meanwhile, space is freed for displays of kitchens and other rooms, with staff on hand to offer home-furnishing advice.

This switch to more personalised service will be particularly evident in the city centres. In Tottenham Court Road, the outlet is a “planning centre”, where no money or goods change hands. This is aimed at online shoppers who need humans to talk to about design without having to travel to suburbia. This spring ikea will open a different type of store in Paris, selling goods across a fairly small floor space. Its aim will be to attract local visitors more frequently, offering frequent range changes, fresh food and events.


An artist’s impression of the new, smaller shop on Tottenham Court Road in London. (Photo: Ikea)

Both store formats respond not just to online pressure, but to generational trends like urbanisation, demand for sustainability and reduced car use. ikea is lucky. Shoppers already treat going to its stores as an “experience”—albeit not one for all tastes. In an online world, it is vital to build on this to keep customers interested.

ikea is by no means safe. Its recent results show falling profits as it invests in new formats, but at least it has lots of cash on its balance-sheet. Others have less freedom to experiment, especially retailers who have overexpanded, been leveraged to the hilt by private-equity owners, and paid dividends out of sale-and-leaseback property deals that expose them to rising rents. Many are only just realising that their business model is bust. It may be too late.


Will ikea revolutionise its business model before it's too late? The retailer is hoping a new store concept could be the answer - inews.co.uk
As retailers abandon the high street, why is IKEA moving in? - Schumpeter
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Knowle relocation project: District Council rejects motion "for the ongoing costs to be published to show confidence that this project will breakeven"

Not only has the District Council refused to allow the debating of motions on how to deal with climate change:
Futures Forum: District Council rejects considering motion "to recognise that Climate Change and Global Warming are the key issues of our time, to acknowledge the strong concerns of young people and for the council to commit to introducing a policy of carbon measurement and reduction"

But it has also refused to consider a motion on the costs of its relocation project, as reported in Devon Live: 

Relocation cost motion rejected from being discussed

Various motions that councillors had put forward for debate at East Devon District Council’s full council meeting on Wednesday, February, were rejected by the council’s chief executive


By Daniel Clark Local Democracy Reporter
18 FEB 2019


Motions to support recycling, to call for a new property ombudsman to streamline complaints against shoddy builders, and for East Devon to get its fair share of the police precept rise will be discussed at next Wednesday’s full council meeting.

But motions over the full relocation costs of the move from Sidmouth to Honiton, to put electric charging points in all car parks, what to prioritise in a ‘No Deal’ Brexit and on climate change will not be discussed.

Various motions that councillors had put forward for debate at East Devon District Council’s full council meeting on Wednesday, February, were rejected by the council’s chief executive, as either the agenda already provides the opportunity for debate or the wording of the motions were inaccurate.


RELOCATION

Cllr Cathy Gardner had proposed a motion calling for the council to commit to publish an annual ‘summary of accounts’ for the relocation project until break-even is reached as relocation from Sidmouth to Honiton was proposed and predicated on the basis that the project would breakeven within 20 years and deliver cost-savings to the council tax payers of East Devon.


Cllr Gardner said: “Whilst some of this information is already available we feel it is vital for the ongoing costs to be published to show confidence that this project will breakeven. A majority of Councillors voted for relocation on the basis that money would be saved on energy bills. We are left unsure of whether breakeven will ever be proven.”

But an EDDC spokesman said: “The rejected motion contained inaccuracies and omissions that had the potential to mislead councillors and it was also premature. It is however proposed to bring a report to the next meeting of the Cabinet that will summarise the position reached with regard to the sale of the Knowle and the relocation. Cllr Gardner can raise the matters she is concerned about as part of the debate into that report.”


The motion would have called for the accounts to include
  • energy costs for the Knowle for the past 20 years (for comparison);
  • energy costs for both Blackdown House and Exmouth Town Hall per year;
  • the capital receipt for the sale of the Knowle;
  • a Red Book valuation of Blackdown House as of 1 March 2019;
  • the full costs for the relocation project since its inception, including: project management; removal, furnishing and equipment; staff retraining and travel expenses; new-build costs for Blackdown House; refurbishment costs for Exmouth Town Hall; and any other associated costs.”

Relocation cost, No Deal Brexit, electric charging points and climate change motions rejected from being discussed - Devon Live 

And those costs are very much open to debate - still:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: challenging the official line that "staying in Sidmouth was not an option"
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: financial profligacy in a time of austerity
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: fantasy 'cost savings over twenty years' are of no interest to people in East Devon

Here's a summary:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: a summary of the issues

And a summary of the summary:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: ready to move, but at what cost...
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District Council rejects considering motion "to recognise that Climate Change and Global Warming are the key issues of our time, to acknowledge the strong concerns of young people and for the council to commit to introducing a policy of carbon measurement and reduction"

Young people in Devon are saying very clearly that something has to be done about the threat of climate change:
Futures Forum: School Strike for Climate Action > letter from a Devon dad
Futures Forum: School Strike for Climate Action UK > Friday 15th February > reports from Sidmouth
Futures Forum: School Strike for Climate Action UK > Friday 15th February > reports from Devon

And the County Council is taking these threats seriously:
Futures Forum: Climate emergency: Devon to go carbon neutral by 2050

But the District Council is not, as reported by Devon Live: 

Electric charging points and climate change motions rejected from being discussed

Various motions that councillors had put forward for debate at East Devon District Council’s full council meeting on Wednesday, February, were rejected by the council’s chief executive

COMMENTS

By Daniel Clark Local Democracy Reporter
UPDATED 15:10, 18 FEB 2019


Motions to support recycling, to call for a new property ombudsman to streamline complaints against shoddy builders, and for East Devon to get its fair share of the police precept rise will be discussed at next Wednesday’s full council meeting.

But motions over the full relocation costs of the move from Sidmouth to Honiton, to put electric charging points in all car parks, what to prioritise in a ‘No Deal’ Brexit and on climate change will not be discussed.

Various motions that councillors had put forward for debate at East Devon District Council’s full council meeting on Wednesday, February, were rejected by the council’s chief executive, as either the agenda already provides the opportunity for debate or the wording of the motions were inaccurate.


CLIMATE CHANGE

Cllr Matthew Booth’s motion had called for the council to recognise that Climate Change and Global Warming are the key issues of our time, to acknowledge the strong concerns of young people in particular the recent walk out of school children and for the council to commit to introducing a policy of carbon measurement and reduction within all aspects of its own activity.

He said: “I personally do not care how we begin to do this, or who does it, but that we act now not wait for some planned strategy in the future.”


An EDDC spokesman said that the issue of climate change emergency is acknowledged to be of critical importance but that it would be appropriate to wait to see what Devon County Council decides. They added: “Currently, however, the County Council is considering its position and will shortly debate the matter. As we are in a two tier area it is appropriate for the District Council to assess the position taken by the upper tier authority and then respond accordingly. The public would expect us to work in partnership with the County Council rather than unilaterally.” 

Relocation cost, No Deal Brexit, electric charging points and climate change motions rejected from being discussed - Devon Live

This follows on from the demonstrations in Exeter on Friday: 
Futures Forum: School Strike for Climate Action UK > Friday 15th February > reports from Devon

As covered by Devon Live:

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Cllr Booth was there and made his points very clear, again as reported by Devon Live: 

Cllr Matt Booth, who sits on East Devon District Council, had submitted a motion calling for the council to recognise that Climate Change and Global Warming are the key issues of our time, that there are strong concerns of young people, and that the council should commit to introducing a policy of carbon measurement and reduction. However, the motion has been rejected for debate at the next East Devon District Council meeting.

Cllr Booth said: “I see it as essential that the Council is seen to be taking this very seriously, for everybody especially the younger generation, and certainly be seen to be debating it. The motion proposed that we must focus on the main critical issue that we face, as outlined by the IPCC report, and that is for this Council to immediately address the urgent need to reduce carbon in the atmosphere to slow down global warming.”

Last year the IPCC’s 15th Special Report warned of the devastation a 2°C rise in global temperatures would cause. A 2°C rise in global temperatures, it said, would put up to 30% of all species at risk of extinction.

But by reducing emissions and thereby limiting warming to 1.5°C, 50% fewer species would be at risk of significant habitat loss, 10 million fewer people would lose their homes due to sea level rises and 420 million fewer people would be exposed to extreme heatwaves.

Hundreds of Devon pupils swap school for climate change protest - live updates - Devon Live

The District Council's CEO has rejected another motion to be put to the council:

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING

Cllr Eleanor Rylance had submitted a motion calling for the council to plan for and implement over the next five years a full rolling renovation programme of its car parks estates to fit and bring into operation electrical charging points at every space for domestic cars, and cycle parks with charging points for all types of cycle and that there should be mandatory EV charging points for the parking spaces of every new-built house in East Devon.

She added: “This council should approach the future of electrically-powered domestic vehicles with enthusiasm and proactivity, play a positive role in helping develop the use of electrical and should make this infrastructure, that will be a necessity within the next ten years, available in advance of full electrification of domestic vehicles in 2042.

But an EDDC spokesman said: ““The agenda already provides an opportunity for this issue to be raised so this motion was inappropriate.”


READ MORE
Passionate youth campaigners say 'it's our future being threatened' as they demand carbon neutral Devon by 2030

Relocation cost, No Deal Brexit, electric charging points and climate change motions rejected from being discussed - Devon Live
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