LCRN: The Splendid Isolation Enews
Welcome to the London Community Resource Network's enews bulletin, your weekly source of resource and sustainability news.
In LCRN news: LCRN's Christmas networking party will be held on Thursday 15th December, all are welcome (in fact, encouraged) to attend; while the Local Government Association is looking for a local authority to take part in its food waste disposal pilot project.
In members news: Vital Regeneration are managing the Westminster Cultural Olympiad Fund, providing support to arts and culture projects in Westminster; Organiclea are offering shares in their solar energy investment opportunity; Crisis have praised all those who have kindly supported their 'Crisis at Christmas' campaign; Re-Cycle (in partnership with Action Bikes) now have five drop-off points for bicycles and bicycle parts across London, while SEED Foundation still need volunteers for their Camden food waste recycling project.
In London News: The Mayor has been criticized for decreasing London's waste reduction targets, a Tory MP has slammed his parliamentary colleagues over Thames Water's 'supersewer', while Merton Council has announced that 3,000 paying customers have signed up to their (formerly free) garden waste recycling service.
In National News: WRAP have announced that reuse is the only way forward for future resource efficiency, the Government website dealing with feed-in-tariffs crashed due to high traffic ahead of the subsidy cut, and recycling could be key to boosting economic growth.
And finally... Gift-wrapping minus the waste...
- LCRN NEWS
- MEMBERS NEWS
- MEMBERS EVENTS
- MEMBERS JOBS
- LONDON RESOURCE NEWS
- NATIONAL RESOURCE NEWS
- ENVIRONMENT SECTOR NEWS
- THIRD SECTOR NEWS
- CONSULTATIONS, FUNDING & TENDERS
- AND FINALLY…
‘Tis the season to be jolly! LCRN will be celebrating the end of the year in true winter warming style at Hackney City Farm. Please join us for mulled wine and cider, mince pies, cheesy Christmas music, and festive candles and light. All are welcome to attend, LCRN members and friends – an evening with sparkling company awaits. Do remember that this event is free - it is the season of goodwill after all. It will take place at Hackney City Farm on Thursday 15th December from 6pm - 8pm. Please RSVP with Jennifer@lcrn.org.uk.
The Local Government Association, as part of its Productivity Programme, will be running a pilot project using food waste disposers in domestic households. They are currently looking for interested local authorities who may have a refurbishment or building project underway or scheduled for 2012/13. The pilot project will work directly with a local authority, housing association and water company to trial the use of food waste disposers in residential kitchens. The purpose of this project is to test the technical, regulatory and legal barriers to using this technology for taking food waste out of the residual waste stream. For general queries about the project and expression of interest forms, please contact Philippa Roberts on 07779 655 329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information.
* Become an LCRN Member today
Join the network that’s innovating away London’s waste, the grassroots way. LCRN is proud to present our new membership scheme, open to organisations, charities, community groups and social enterprises in London dedicated to responsible resource management. Our new tiered system is based on both income and services so that you get the most bang for your buck. We strive to bring your organisation the right balance of business, organisational and communications support. Our free membership is still available, but come have a gander at what we’ve got on offer. Our rates are incredibly reasonable and our services can only be a boost for you in this economic climate. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Julian between on 020 7324 4708 or email email@example.com.
…for LCRN’s new membership scheme
Community groups and individuals across Westminster are being given the opportunity to bid now for grants of up to £2,500, as part of the Westminster Cultural Olympiad Fund. The fund is being managed by Vital Regeneration, on behalf of Westminster City Council. Successful groups will be able to deliver their own arts and culture projects in Westminster, using the Olympic and Paralympic Games as their inspiration. Everyone from across the borough will be able to get involved, including young and old, people at risk of exclusion, disability groups, the homeless, BAME groups, and the long-term unemployed. As well as attracting new people to this project, Vital Regeneration will make the most of their reach into the community, ensuring that everyone will be able to participate in this opportunity. If you are interested in delivering a project, grants will be for a maximum of £2,500 per project and all projects that receive funding must be completed by 11th September 2012. For more information on applying for a grant please contact Katy Haigh at Vital Regeneration - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are considering applying for a grant and are looking for an inexpensive venue to hold your activities, Vital Regeneration also manages a range of community facilities in Westminster, including creative workshop spaces and IT suites. To find out more please e-mail email@example.com.
Important update: For those interested in the scheme, you are invited to attend Vital Regeneration's Information Workshop on Thursday 15th December. This will be held from 10am - 2pm at The Greenside Community Centre, 24 Lilestone Street, London NW8 8SR. This venue is 5 minutes' walk from Marylebone Station. If you would like to attend please RSVP by contacting Katy Haigh on firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and application forms are available at Vital Regeneration's website.
Organiclea are excited to announce the launch of a new share offer providing the opportunity to invest in small-scale renewable energy. As previously mentioned here, this is a new initiative to create a community fund for investing in such projects, the first of which is the installation of solar panels at Organiclea's Hawkswood Plant Nursery. The project will benefit from the Government's feed-in-tariff for solar photovoltaic installations and will provide a financial and social return on the investment. The share offer is from GREEN (Growing Resilient Energy Efficient Neighbourhoods), the new corporate society that Organiclea has helped to set up along with other local partner organisations. The share offer document and information on Organiclea's website provide detailed information about the invitation to invest, but do get in touch directly if you have any further questions after reading the documents - contact Nicole on email@example.com. Please note the closing date of 20th January 2012 so that you do not miss out on this opportunity to support the long-term development of local food and other community projects.
For more information.
From the BBC.
Re-Cycle now has five bike and parts drop-off points in London, thanks to Action Bikes, who have five stores in Central and West London. Building on the the already parts recycling scheme that Action Bikes run for Re-Cycle, members of the public can now drop off not just bikes, but any spare parts that can still be reused. This is a completely free service with no obligation to make a purchase instore. Re-Cycle do kindly ask donors of bikes to donate some money so that they can continue running the charity - this can be done instore or online. So if you are in West London and you have a neglected steed that can be put to a second use, there is no excuse. Head down to Action Bikes and hand it over. They will also accept pedals and tyres, inner tubes with a hole in are very much needed. Bicycles will be sent to Isis Young Offenders' Institution for refurbishment, before shipment to Africa.
Action Bikes shops can be found here. More information on Re-Cycle can be found here.
As a result of council funding coming to an end, the food-waste recycling programme is due to finish on Maiden Lane Estate in Camden Town (near King's Cross) at the end of November. SEED Foundation, which has been working with residents to improve the service, has created a plan to help the estate's own social enterprise take over the system. However, much-needed start-up funding has not yet been secured, and volunteers are needed to bridge the funding gap between now and the end of March, in order to get the new system up and running. If you are interested, and would be able to dedicate three hours per month of your time helping out with collections, composting, machine management or marketing, please contact Clare Brass at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07773 768 184. A really rich soil improver will be offered as a thank you for your time.
Visit our friends at Project Dirt for more events across London.
* Stepney City Farm - British Bengali Food Journeys
Date: Saturday 17th December, 3pm - 5pm
Location: Stepney City Farm, Stepney Way, London E1 3DG
For more information.
* Dalston Winter Fair
Dalston Winter Fair is taking place on Sunday 18th December at Gillett Square and Dalston Culture House, and will be a source of free, festive fun for the entire community - including swing dancing, singing, and creative workshops. The Winter Fair is an alternative to the traditional commercial push at Christmas, and will be hosting 'swap shops', where you can find that special gift amonst other people's unloved treasures, swapping it for something you are happy to pass on. In the Gillett Square tent, Swing Patrol will be providing free swing dance workshops and performances, and there will be seasonal songs from around the world with performances from Emashi African Dance, local school choirs and many more. There will also be craft workshops, as well as table tennis, table football and other games with Universal Board Games.
Date: Sunday 18th December, 12pm - 6pm
Location: Gillett Square and Dalston Culture House, N16 8AZ (opposite Dalston Kingsland station)
More information is available from Hackney Co-Operative Developments.
* Talk Action - Consensus Decision Making
Date: Thursday 26th January 2012, 10am - 6pm.
Location: TCPA, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AS
Cost: £288: Large charities, public sector and businesses; £130: Smaller charities (under 15 staff) and individuals. Concessionary rates of £20 are available for students, pensioners and the unemployed. Please contact email@example.com for further details.
For more information.
* London Wildlife Trust - London Invasive Species Initiative (LISI) Manager
The London Invasive Species Initiative (LISI) is now recruiting for a manager. The role will be hosted by Greenspace Information for Greater London, the capital's environmental record's centre, and based at London Wildlife Trust's HQ in Southwark. This 4-year post will involve the promotion of the prevention, early detection and control of invasive non-native species across London, with a focus on wetland and aquatic species. To be successful you must have knowledge of and demonstrable experience of invasive non-native species issues and control methods, as well as experience of managing budgets and attracting project funding. As an excellent communicator, you will have the ability to work in partnership with and influence a range of organisations, as well as managing projects. The project is funded by Defra, and the LISI manager's work programme will be overseen by the LISI Steering Group, chaired by the Environment Agency. Remuneration will be from £27,000 p.a. - £31,000 p.a. with the entry point likely to be £28,500 depending on experience. The closing date for applications is Thursday 22nd December at 9.30am. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 4th January. For further queries please call 020 7261 0447 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information.
* TRAID - Freelance Sitefinders
Do you enjoy getting out and about, talking to people and helping the environment? Textiles recycling charity TRAID is looking for enthusiastic individuals to join their team of dedicated recycling bank finders across Greater London. It's a crucial role, helping develop TRAID's network of reuse banks and allowing them to support even more inspirational international development projects and groundbreaking environmental education. With a payment of £100 for every bank successfully installed, it is also a great way of earning a bit of extra cash. There will be regional training days held in mid-January, and the deadline for applications is the 31st December 2011. If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and covering letter to Mike Webster at email@example.com.
* Community Land Advisor - Bristol
This post is part of the Community Land Advisory Service (currently being developed by FCFCG) which is intended to help bring more land into productive community use for activities such as gardening and food growing. The Advisory Service offers detailed, one-to-one advice and support to community groups or landowners looking for help accessing/releasing land for community growing, as well as providing online information resources and guidance to specialist services. The postholder will facilitate access to land for community use in England, primarily through: the provision of specialist advice and support to community groups and landowners, focusing on finding and negotiating for sites, leases and licences, site suitability and land management; liaison with local authorities, other public and private landowners and community groups and networks; contributing to the development of a web-based brokerage facility. Ideal candidates will have a solid understanding of land transfer (leases, negotiation and legal issues) and of the community growing sector. This is a fixed-term contract until 31st December 2013, with extension subject to funding. The post is 22.5 hours (3 days) per week and the salary is £24,646 pro rata. The closing date for applications is 5th January 2012. To obtain a job pack, either visit the Community Land Advisory Service website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LONDON RESOURCE NEWS
Labour has criticized the Mayor of London for downgrading a number of waste and recycling targets. In his business and municipal waste strategies published in November, Boris Johnson ditched plans set out in a 2010 draft document to ask the Government for a national deposit system for bottles and cans. The municipal waste strategy reduced the target for waste reduction through reuse and repair from 40,000 tonnes in 2015 and 120,000 tonnes in 2031, to 20,000 tonnes and 30,000 tonnes respectively. The mayor also cut his ambitions for business waste reduction following a cut in funding allocated by the London Waste and Recycling Board Infrastructure Fund. The draft strategy aimed to divert 1.2m tonnes from landfill making 300,000 tonnes of carbon savings a year. In the final document the target was reduced to 500,000 tonnes of landfill diversion a year and savings of 3m tonnes of carbon over the lifetime of the projects.
A Tory MP has attacked his colleagues over plans to build part of Thames Water's 'supersewer' in his Fulham constituency. Greg Hands MP has backed furious local residents accusing fellow Tory MPs Zac Goldsmith and Transport Minster Justine Greening of 'nimbyism'. At a meeting with Thames Water, locals hit out at plans to move a major part of the proposed sewer from uninhabited Barn Elms to a residential area in Fulham. Locals fear traffic and pollution caused by the 10-year construction project would create a significant risk to the 7,600 schoolchildren in Britain's most congested borough. Mr Hands, the MP for Fulham and Chelsea, said that it was 'crazy' to move the sewer site to the Carnath Road in Fulham. He said: 'Zac and Justine are supporters of the scheme overall and my view would be that supporters of the scheme might consider hosting it.' Thames Water wants to build the £4.1bn sewer to collect 39 million tonnes of sewage released into the river every year. The tunnel would need 50ft high ventilation shafts along its 20-mile route.
From the Evening Standard.
More than 3,000 residents have agreed to pay for the council’s garden waste collection service despite the free service being scrapped last year due to budget cuts. Merton Council said 3,170 customers have now signed up to the scheme, which is £65 for a full year and £50 for pensioners, since the free service was axed in May to save £227,000. The council's leader, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, admitted the scrapping of the free garden waste scheme was the most complained about issue after his administration made £24m spending cuts in this year’s budget. From December 1, residents can still sign up for the remaining half of the year for £30, for which they will receive collections every fortnight without having to contact the council each time. Residents who sign up will get a brown wheelie bin, which holds 240 litres of garden waste, or paper sacks with a 75 litre capacity.
From the Green Guardian.
NATIONAL RESOURCE NEWS
Product reuse will grow in importance as the issue of resource security becomes more critical, according to WRAP's chief executive Liz Goodwin. By pursuing opportunities for reuse, the UK could reduce its reliance on raw materials, including rare earths, by as much as 20% by 2020. WRAP estimates that around 600m tonnes of products and materials enter the UK economy each year, with only 115m tonnes being recycled. WRAP has identified some 'quick win' resource efficiency strategies, covering a range of materials including copper, lithium and cobalt as well as rare earths, which could not only help reduce the UK's carbon footprint by 2020, but also address wider supply security issues. Also highlighted were the opportunities that have arisen by tackling the amount of WEEE in the UK. By 2020, it is estimated that 12m tonnes of WEEE will be disposed. A quarter will be made up of IT equipment, which will contain palladium worth £1bn, and iridium worth around £380m. Not only that, but research suggests that a quarter of all WEEE taken to recycling centres has a reuse value, which could deliver £200m gross revenue a year.
A key Government website where people who have installed solar panels can apply for the feed-in-tariff has experienced serious technical problems, as contractors rushed to register new systems ahead of the deadline for the cuts in the subsidy. Installers trying to log on to the Microgeneration Certificate Scheme website, where all new schemes must register, reported huge problems. Ever since the Government announced that subsidies paid to those installing solar panels would be halved, there was a huge rush by householders and companies to register by 12th December, the date when changes come into effect. All installations had to be registered with the MCS and the householder's energy supplier before the deadline. Anyone missing out would receive half the promised income, losing thousands of pounds over the 25 years that feed-in-tariffs are paid.
From the Guardian.
Recycling can benefit the economy in several ways by providing raw materials, creating jobs and encouraging business opportunities, according to a new study. The report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) examined the economic benefits of recycling in the context of building a green economy and found that the sector can help meet the material demands of economic production by preventing the environmental impacts associated with extracting and refining virgin materials. The study also found that revenues from recycling are substantial and growing fast. From 2004 to 2008 the turnover of seven main categories of recyclables almost doubled to more than 60bn euros in the EU. This growth is being driven by increasing demand for recyclables, as booming Asian economies help to push up the price of materials. Another driver has been EU waste directives - as a consequence, the amount of recyclables sorted and placed on the market has increased 15 % between 2004 and 2009. In addition, more jobs at higher income levels are created by recycling than compared to landfilling or incinerating waste. Overall employment related to the recycling of materials in European countries increased by 45 % between 2000 and 2007.
ENVIRONMENT SECTOR NEWS
* Resource Efficiency More Important Than Ever
The economic crisis makes the case for a resource-efficient future stronger than ever, according to EU environment commissioner Janez Potočnik. As prices rise, business and green agendas are increasingly aligned, he believes. Some countries have promised to cut red tape – including environmental rules – to help their economies recover and are wary about introducing new laws. Member states are also concerned about potential negative short-term side effects. But Mr Potočnik said the evidence suggested policies aimed at improving resource efficiency aid growth. At the moment, investors are being given mixed messages, markets are not designed to encourage green growth and countries are being locked into inefficient business, economic and infrastructure systems, he said. China's current five-year plan is greener than the growth plan of some EU member states, the commissioner noted. "They have understood that the global mega-trend is sustainability and this is future profit, and they have less lock-ins." A greener growth strategy will inevitably have winners and losers, Mr Potočnik continued, but the sooner EU countries act the fewer losers there will be.
* This Week's Debt Crisis News
* Canada Withdraws From Kyoto Protocol
From the Guardian.
THIRD SECTOR NEWS
* LVSC - Climate Change Case Studies
Are you a non-environmental voluntary & community sector (VCS) organisation in London that has carried out climate change work? If so, LVSC would like to hear from you. Your case study will be widely publicised across the sector in London and may help increase your profile. Your work could be about: preserving organisational resources such as energy saving and reducing waste; developing a sustainable building (e.g. refurbishment, building design); working with local communities to raise awareness of the impact of climate change, increased energy savings and and improving the health and well-being of local people; or working together with other VCS, public and/or private organisations to help improve the environment. The work need not be a fully developed project, even if it is a work in progress, responses are still welcome. The deadline for submissions is Friday 13th January 2012. If you are interested, please forward your case study to email@example.com.
* Charities Paying Unnecessary Energy Taxes
Charities will pay £78m of unnecessary tax on their energy bills in 2011, according to a survey by price comparison service Make It Cheaper. The survey suggests that almost half of third sector bodies do not know if they can get a VAT discount and are exempt from the climate change levy - a charge on businesses to pay for services to reduce carbon emissions, while charities only have to pay 5% VAT on energy used for 'non-business activities' for which the charity's only income is donations or grants, according to HMRC. The VAT discount applies to all energy supplies if these non-business activities for at least 60% of their energy. Based on the research, it is estimated that charities could reclaim £145m in overpaid tax over the past three years. Though according to the survey, two-thirds of charities are unaware that they are entitled to a rebate. Charities have to send a certificate, including their charity number, to their energy supplier to receive a discount.
From Third Sector magazine.
* Cut Red Tape To Help Charities
The European Commission should encourage public commisioners to offer smaller contracts and fund training for them so that they can better meet the needs of third sector organisations, according the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). The NCVO was asked to submit its ideas to an ongoing review of EU procurement directives, which was consulted on this year, with new recommendations expected to be published early next year. The NCVO says in its response that charities are hampered in public sector procurement by bureaucracy and a lack of clarity over the rules they must follow. The response says that the EU must 'reduce administrative and accounting obligations where possible in order to lessen the burden on small and medium-sized enterprises and not-for-profit providers.'
From Third Sector magazine.
CONSULTATIONS, FUNDING & TENDERS
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have launched the Local Energy Assessment Fund, a new £10 million fund to support community action on energy efficiency and renewable energy. It aims to help communities to equip themselves to deliver meaningful projects through mechanisms such as the Green Deal, Feed in Tariffs and the Renewable Heat Incentive. Funded work must be completed by 31st March 2012. It is expected that average grant values will be around £50,000. The maximum grant available under LEAF will be £130,000. The funding will be issued in two phases as follows: Phase 1 - Applications must be submitted online by 12 noon on 22nd Dec 2011 – successful applicants will be notified by 10th Jan 2012. Phase 2 - Applications must be submitted online by 12 noon on 20th Jan 2012 – successful applicants will be notified by 31st Jan 2012.
All work funded under LEAF must be completed by 31st March 2012. Communities applying will need to show that they can complete the proposed project within this 3 month period. Those applying can include up to £1,000 in the project budget to pay for support or advice from third parties in helping to develop funding applications to LEAF. (This will only be paid if the proposal is successful). The fund will support communities in working to understand and reduce the amount of energy that is used in homes and other buildings and where local action can help deliver savings of energy, carbon dioxide emissions and money. This work can include energy surveys of buildings (likely to be done by professional surveyors); practical energy saving measures and demonstration projects; workshops to help local people take action to save energy and reports on what more needs to be done in the area. If much of this work has been done already, then there is the potential to use the fund to further develop work on renewable energy systems.
Chris Church, Chair, Low Carbon Communities Network has been involved in this project from the start and is able to offer advice and support regarding the development of the application. He is available to help a couple of projects by the 22nd December. If you’re interested and could use some advice, please do get in touch with Chris Church: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Big Lottery Fund - £10m To Kick Start Sustainable Living Across England
Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is investing £10m in good causes funding to jump start more sustainable living across the country and communities in London are invited to apply for a slice of the funding. Spiralling food costs and fuel poverty are just some of the issues being addressed through BIG's Communities Living Sustainably programme which aims to inspire people to adapt the way they live, work and engage with each other to reap financial, environmental, and health gains. BIG will invest in up to 10 communities by providing: access to expert support and advice to help communities develop skills, knowledge and abilities and build on best practice; up to £10,000 to develop a project delivery plan that details the environmental, economic, and social challenges affecting the community and how they can be addressed; and grants of between £500,000 and £1m for up to five years - this funding will provide an opportunity for communities to work together to access further resources and support to ensure their communities are sustainable and resilient after BIG funding ends. The closing date for an expression of interest is Tuesday 31st January 2012. For more information please contact the Big Advice Line on 0845 4 10 20 30, or alternatively, visit BIG's website.
* Capital Growth Funding
The programme is administered by Capital Growth at London Food Link. It is intended to enable Londoners to benefit from a higher availability of affordable local food by maximising the use of land for food growing activities across the London area. Funding is available to help community groups develop new food growing schemes that will be sustainable and of benefit to communities in London. In particular, the scheme is eager to fund training and skills support to develop new sustainable projects. Projects should be focused on bringing more food to market in London, and be involved with a new food-growing space (not established before 1st January 2009) or an extension of a current food-growing project. It should be for wider community benefit, not solely for private or commercial gain. The next grant funding round has now opened and will close on 16th January 2012. The maximum grant available is £1,500.
For more information.
* And Finally, To Wrap Everything Up