LCRN: The Can't Play Spin Enews
Welcome to the London Community Resource Network's enews bulletin, your weekly source of resource and sustainability news.
In LCRN news: LCRN will be running a new project providing support for SMEs in South London's building sector.
In members news: New Economics Foundation have launched their 'Move Your Money' campaign, while Computer Aid International have sent three ZubaBoxes to support marginalised rural communities in Africa.
In National News: More carpet has been diverted from landfill than ever, Tory MPs have expressed concerns over wind energy, and Defra's plastic packaging recycling targets have been criticized by the industry.
And finally... A novel way to reduce waste, and build furniture...
- 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…
LCRN, in partnership with Carbon Smart and South London Business, has launched a new ERDF programme aimed at the building sector in South London. It aims to provide business and environmental support to SMEs in the South London building sector, whether they be a construction or cleaning firm, or a design or decoration firm, free of charge. It is designed to foster collaboration between organisations, share skills and resources, and provide advice and mentoring, helping firms access contracts and supply chains, while keeping resources in the London economy. Also provided free of charge will be bespoke Carbon Smart environmental training, supporting your organisation to achieve an active environmental policy and environmental accreditation. Further updates will follow in due course. For more information on the programme, please contact Julian Halse on 020 7324 4708 or e-mail email@example.com.
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
…for LCRN’s new membership scheme
Computer Aid International has announced that Ensoft, a UK company that develops software used within the internet and large corporate networks, has donated funds for three ZubaBoxes to educational and rural development projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. Computer Aid's ZubaBox is a solar-powered ICT hub fitted into a shipping container, designed to provide low-power computing solutions to communities that do not have access to mains electricity or ICT. As a self-contained unit that is powered by solar, it can be deployed to the most rural and isolated communities anywhere in the world. The ZubaBoxes will be sent to support economic growth in Nigeria, where they will be used by two schools in Taraba State. Another will be sent to support rural development in Zambia - where it will be sent to a locally-led co-operative that has led the largest rural wireless mesh network in Sub-Saharan Africa. The final ZubaBox will support improving education in Zimbabwe. It will be sent to UNESCO's Madziwa Secondary School, located 16 miles outside Chipange. Schools in the area do not have access to mains electricity, but the ZubaBox will mean that schools in the area will be able to access computers and e-learning materials.
For more information.
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Visit our friends at Project Dirt for more events across London.
* Valentines For Everyone
For more information.
* Building An Effective Board Of Trustees
Do you want to strengthen your board of trustees? Are you interested in becoming a trustee for a charity? Would you like to find out more about a trustee's role? If this is the case, then the Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre can provide all the answers at an affordable, high-quality training day. The training will be delivered by Bybreen Samuels - who has more than 15 years' experience of developing organisations and individuals. From a fundraising perspective, she has generated over half a million pounds in one application for an organisation that provides day care services for elderly people. She is the CEO of Insights To Impact, who teach the not-for-profit sector, enterprising individuals and organisations on how to create and implement their personal and professional business models, revenue streams and marketing systems.
Date: Wednesday 29th February, 10am - 4pm
Location: Macbeth Centre, Macbeth Street, London W6 9JJ
Cost: £20 (non-refundable). Includes course handouts and refreshments
For more information, or to book, please contact email@example.com.
* Financial Sustainability Workshop
What can be done, in an increasingly difficult environment, to improve the chances of your organisation surviving, and even growing? This free one-day workshop for community and voluntary groups will help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation, and prepare a strategy for improving its ability to plan, to manage its finances, to diversify its income, and move toward greater self-sufficiency. The workshop will be led by Bruce Wood and Lana Hersak from London Rebuilding Society - a social enterprise that specialises in creating innovative forms of finance which benefit local communities and the environment.
Date: Tuesday 21st February, 10am - 4pm
Location: Innovation Warehouse, 1 East Poultry Avenue, EC1A 9PT
Cost: Free (community and voluntary groups only)
For more information.
* Sustainability Ambassadors
Question 1: Describe a time when you made a stranger smile and want to talk to you.
Question 2: How would you respond if an athlete strongly disagreed with the sustainability message you were sharing?
Question 3: Why sustainability is important to you?
For more information.
* Administrative Assistant
* Waste Prevention Assistant (2 Vacancies)
* Senior Policy Adviser - Resource Stewardship
For more information.
LONDON RESOURCE NEWS
A hidden camera has caught Londoners turning a blind eye to bicycle theft in broad daylight. A secret film crew recorded an actor armed with a boltcutter stealing 10 bicycles from Dagenham Sunday Market. The test was set up following the release of new figures showing that cycle theft is on the increase. More bikes are stolen in London than any other British city, with 22,464 thefts reported to the Metropolitan Police in the past year. The experiment in Dagenham found that it took an average of three minutes for people to recognise a theft was taking place, and up to 15 people could walk past without anyone intervening. Although more people are being encouraged to take up cycling - there are a million bicycles in London alone - people are being deterred by the fact that 17% of people have their bike stolen. Government statistics suggest that only 20% of cycle thefts are reported to the police, while the London Cycling Campaign said that two-thirds of cyclists will use their bike less often due to the risk of theft.
From the Evening Standard.
London restaurants, bars and cafes have joined forces to launch the UK's first 'Straw Wars' campaign in a bid to cut down on the use of plastic drinking straws by customers. The initiative has been launched in response to growing concerns over the huge number of straws (billions) discarded every year, and the impact that they have on landfill and marine pollution. Organisers of the campaign believe that in the UK alone, an average of 3.5m McDonald's drinks are sold with plastic straws every day. The idea behind the scheme is that food outlets ban straws completely or only provide one when a customer asks for it. Soho is the first community hub to take part in the initiative which organisers hope to roll out in other cities and areas if it proves successful. It is thought that around 60-80% of marine debris is made up of plastic waste. Scientists estimate that every year at least one million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die when they become entangled in, or ingest, plastic waste.
The Mayor of London is calling for students across the capital to come up with 'innovative ideas' to cut carbon emissions from buildings and make them more energy-efficient. As part of the Low Carbon Prize, students from further and higher education institutes in London are being urged to come up with initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, in a bid to drive investment in retrofit building projects. Finalists will have the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including leading architect Sir Terry Farrell, and Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, as well as being in with the chance to a share of the £20,000 prize. The prize is being sponsored by home builders The Berkeley Group and the winner(s) will be rewarded with a cash prize presented by the Mayor at a City Hall event, as well as help to the develop the practical application of their ideas with expert mentoring from an industry leader. It is estimated that emissions from London's buildings, businesses and households account for nearly 80% of the city's carbon emissions - equating to 35m tonnes of carbon every year. This figure needs to reduce 13m tonnes by 2025, if London is to reach its target of cutting carbon emissions by 60%.
NATIONAL RESOURCE NEWS
Waste carpet is emerging as a serious material resource, according to recent figures that show that 66,000 tonnes of carpet was diverted from landfill last year. This represents an increase in the diversion rate of waste carpet from 10% in 2010 to 16.5% in 2011, according to Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK). The figure is fairly evenly split between recycling and reuse (32,000 tonnes) and energy recovery, mainly in cement kilns (34,000 tonnes). The proportion of carpet sent for recycling has risen from 33% in 2010 to 48% in 2011 as new outlets have developed and established outlets have grown. According to CRUK, recycling capacity has increased in response to the growth in specialist facilities able to handle carpets in reuse, recycling, and energy recovery processes.
More than 100 Tory MPs have written to David Cameron calling for cuts in subsidies to onshore wind farms and more influence for local people to stop them being built. In a major revolt against Government policy, they joined forces with politicians from other parties to express concern at the level of public money going to the sector. State help for one of the most controversial sources of renewable energy is being cut, but only slowly, under plans laid out last year. The MPs also expressed concerns that the proposed National Planning Policy Framework 'diminishes the chances of local people defeating onshore wind proposals through the planning system'. Critics say that giant turbines are a blot on the countryside, do not generate sufficient energy and could cause health problems. Organised by back-bencher Chris Heaton-Harris, the letter's 101 Tory signatories include senior figues (admittedly, the ones you would expect) such as David Davis, Bernard Jenkin, and Nicholas Soames. Also among the signatories was Matthew Hancock, a close acquaintance of George Osborne, which will raise suggestions that the Treasury is sympathetic to the calls. A Downing Street spokesman has said: 'The Government has commissioned a review of subsidy levels and we are already proposing a cut for onshore wind subsidies to take into account that costs are going down.'
From the Evening Standard.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has slammed Defra's proposed plastics packaging recycling targets, labelling them 'unachievable and deeply concerning'. The BPF said that minsters' preferred proposal for plastics packaging targets, outlined in a consultation, ignored expert advice and had been 'widely ridiculed' within the industry. The trade body said: 'The direct cost to plastics packaging producers and handlers would be an extra £70m over five years which is in effect a direct and unfair tax on the packaging sector to support an unachievable target. The Government uses excessive growth figures for plastics packaging which have been widely ridiculed within the industry.' The BPF said that Defra had ignored the views of its own expert committee, the snappily-named Advisory Committee of Packaging's Plastic Packaging Recycling Task Force. The stinging criticism followed Defra publishing a consultation on recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste for 2013-17.
ENVIRONMENT SECTOR NEWS
* Hell Hath No Fury
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has quit his post following the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to charge him and his ex-wife with perverting the course of justice following a 2003 speeding case. The charge carries a maximum life sentence although a legal precedent in the case suggests that a guilt verdict would lead to a prison sentence of fewer than two years. The claims first emerged last year at the height of a bitter divorce after Mr Huhne left his wife Vicky Pryce, for one of his aides. The speeding charge dates back to 2003 and the CPS decided to bring charges after police seized e-mails between Ms Pryce and a Sunday Times journalist. Mr Huhne, the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh, said that he was innocent but would stand down to 'avoid distraction'. He will be replaced as Energy and Climate Change secretary by Business Minister Ed Davey, though Deputy PM Nick Clegg said that he hoped that Mr Huhne would be able to return to government in the future.
From the BBC.
* Slashing (Green) Red Tape
The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has refused to deny that the Cabinet Office is proposing to rip up thousands of pages of environmental regulations and guidance as part of the Government's 'red tape challenge'. It is understood that the proposal is led by Oliver Letwin, and follows the cutting of planning regulation guidance from over 1,000 pages to just 50, that sparked a national outrage last year. Letwin told senior environment officials at a meeting on the 12th January that the planning proposals showed how the cutting of guidance could 'work very well' and said that he wanted the same for environmental regulations. At the 12th January meeting, Letwin met senior officials from Defra, as well as the Environment Agency and Natural England. It is alleged that Letwin said that he wanted all environmental guidance replaced with a single 50-page document. The proposal was apparently met with 'disbelief'. Defra and the Cabinet Office declined to comment on the meeting, while Caroline Spelman has claimed that she was not present.
From the Guardian.
* Carbon Emissions Back To Normal
UK carbon emissions rose by 3.1% as the economy recovered in 2010. The dramatic fall in emissions caused by the recession has proved to be a blip - emissions fell by 8.7% in 2009. The UK's carbon emissions have been falling over the past decade as energy-generation has switched to less carbon-intensive gas power, but this is the first time emissions have risen since a modest rise in 2003. The Department for Energy and Climate Change said that the overall increase was down to a rise in gas use by households and a switch away from nuclear power to coal and gas for electricity generation. The country's largest reactor, the Sizewell B in Suffolk, was offline for six months in 2010. A particularly cold beginning and end of 2010 was blamed for an increase in household emissions. Despite the rise, the UK is still on track to meet its climate commitments. The rise in emissions is also unlikely to derail efforts to hit a self-imposed target of cutting emissions by 35% by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions normally move in lock-step with GDP, with the Stern Review calculating that a 1% change in GDP brings a 0.9% change in emissions. That should change, however, as energy generation and transport fuels decarbonise over the next two decades.
From the Guardian.
THIRD SECTOR NEWS
* Transforming Local Infrastructure
72 partnerships made up from local voluntary sector support groups have received funds from the Office for Civil Society's £30m Transforming Local Infrastructure fund, set up to help infrastructure bodies work together more closely. The fund, which was announced in the Government's Giving White Paper in May and is being administered by the Big Fund, the non-lottery funding operation of the Big Lottery Fund, was set up to support 'transformational' activities, such as pooling resources, sharing services and forming better links with local businesses. It will not fund existing work. A spokesman for the Office for Civil Society said that the successful projects included plans to make it easier for local people to volunteer, to help social entrepreneurs, to help charities take over community assets and to increase support from the private sector.
From Third Sector magazine.
* Defining Social Enterprise
Labour MP Hazel Blears is planning to write to Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd, urging him to consider a statutory definition for social enterprise, after he recently confirmed that the Government has no plans to introduce one. A statutory definition had been hinted at during a parliamentary debate on the Public Services (Social Value) Bill where Blears called for a legal definition for social enterprise. In response, Hurd admitted that such a definition could be needed in future, however recently confirmed (responding to a parliamentary question from Blears) that the Government has no plans to introduce a statutory definition.
From the Office for Civil Society.
CONSULTATIONS, FUNDING & TENDERS
* Southwark EnviroGrants
* WEEE Hadn't Thought Of That One
The UK throws away £762 million worth of electrical items every year - a shocking waste of money and resources, especially when trying to encourage reuse and recycling. The London Reuse Network encourages reuse of furniture and appliances, but now someone has decided to kill two birds with one stone, by reusing e-waste as furniture.
For more information.