LCRN: The Pre-Budget Enews
Welcome to the London Community Resource Network's enews bulletin, your weekly source of resource and sustainability news.
In members news: Enfield Freecycle has announced that its 10,000th member has joined, Spitalfields City Farm is launching the weekly 'Eco-chic Market', while London Bike Hub is launching a new cycle club: 'Women on Wheels in Ealing'.
In London News: Thames Water has been forced to retract claims over the speed of its repairs to leaking pipes, London has recently experienced the smoggiest day on record, while Heathrow airport has a new system to save water.
In National News: A series of waste regulations are to be scrapped as part of the 'Red Tape Challenge', the Government has released guidance for the future use of natural resources, and environmental campaigners have mobilised in response to plans for gas-fired power stations.
And finally... Vertical farming takes off in Sweden...
- 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…
London Re-use Network has opened its first re-use 'pop-up centre' in Enfield. The new centre is located in Units E4 - 6, Harbert Road, Stonehill Business Park, Edmonton N18 3QP and will sell: re-used furniture, beds, cookers, fridges, TVs, computers, bicycles, small electrical items, paint, and children's play equipment at fantastic prices. This unique venture highlights the versatility of re-use centres for residents in the north London area and allows the London Re-use Network to adapt to the needs of consumers looking for a bargain. The London Re-use Network is working alongside local re-use charities including: ReStore, Bright Sparks, Bikeworks, and the Forest Recycling Project to provide Enfield residents with access to a variety of affordable household items which have been checked for quality and safety. New stock is delivered daily and people are welcome to spend time at the centre browsing for a bargain - all money generated through the sale of items will help to pay for the service provided.
Enfield Re-use Centre has been refurbished using the help of local volunteers, and paint specially donated for re-use. A key focus for the London Re-use Network is to help create sustainable local employment, which is supported by training and skills development. A full-time member of staff has been recruited to run the centre with support from local volunteers. In addition to this, plans are afoot to set up repair workshops at a separate location on the business park where items can be repaired and refurbished, and then sold through the Enfield Re-use Centre, creating even more training and skills development opportunities.
For more information.
LCRN is looking for enthusiastic members of the public to help spread the word about composting and green living across any of the six west London boroughs (Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Richmond) by joining our composting champion scheme. You will help us at public events by providing expert advice to residents who are interested in finding out about home composting and how it relates to gardening. You will meet many people face-to-face and have an opportunity to work with community groups within your borough. You will be provided with free in-depth training on composting, including a session on becoming a confident public speaker. You will receive support from the South West London Environment Network every step of the way and all reasonable expenses will be covered. To thank you for your support, we will provide a free ticket to visit Kew Gardens.
If you would like more information, or to get involved, 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
Enfield Freecycle has been pleased to report that they have just registered their 10,000th member. Freecycle's aim is to keep stuff out of landfill - one person's junk is another person's treasure - and it enables people to offer things to they no longer need free to other members, with no restrictions on what can be gifted. Members can also post specific requests in order to obtain particular items - no money, no fuss, just goodwill and a sense of community. Freecycle provides a benefit to those who gift and receive items, but also to local communities and the global environment, with groups across London, the rest of the country, and the world.
For more information.
Starting on Sunday 25th March, and continuing every Sunday thereafter, Spitalfields City Farm is proud to present the Eco-chic Outdoor Market, where you can sample some East End talent and relax in an urban oasis just off Brick Lane. At the market you will be able to find: redesigned and upcycled artefacts, unique hand-made clothes, vintage fashion and jewellery, furniture, healthy food, arts and crafts, homeware, music, and you will be able to visit the Strawbale Cafe. Eco-chic Outdoor Market will take place at Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, London E1 5AR, and lasts from 10am - 6pm. If you require further information, or are interested in setting up a stall, please contact Rossana Leal or Alia Sulaiman at email@example.com.
For more information.
'Women on Wheels in Ealing' is a new cycling club run by women for women, with London Bike Hub providing help and support. It is not a classic cycle club, but a social body to encourage women of all ages and abilities to get together and cycle or try cycling. Future rides and photographs from previous rides will be circulated on London Bike Hub's website, however the first ride will take place on Sunday 25th March at 10am. It will leave from Hanwell Clock Tower (W7 3SP), and finish in Twickenham. Women on Wheels in Ealing can be contacted on 07940 184 742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information.
Visit our friends at Project Dirt for more events across London.
* Grow For Gold - Networking Event
This networking event will be focusing on the five themes of Capital Growth's 'Grow for Gold' competition. Participants will be given practical advice on how to implement these themes on their community food-growing spaces, plus a tour of Abbey Gardens, an amazing Capital Growth space in West Ham surrounded by the ruins of a 12th-century abbey. It will also be an opportunity for participants to meet other urban growers and share experiences, with delicious food and drink. The event will include workshops on: community engagement, enterprise, education, and creating a wildlife garden. The event is free to Capital Growth members or £10 for others (includes food and drink). The event will take place on Monday 26th March, from 5pm - 8.30pm, at East Thames, 29-35 West Ham Lane, Stratford E15 4PH. For more information, or to book a place, please call Paola on 020 7837 1228, or visit Capital Growth's website.
* An Event To Launch The Spring
Organiclea will be providing an afternoon of shared ideas and project practicalities on 'being London growers', with guest Rebecca Laughton, speaking about 'surviving and thriving on the land'. Rebecca Laughton's highly-acclaimed book, Surviving and Thriving on the Land, offers key insight for food-growing projects seeking long-term sustainability, with an understanding of human communities as well as plants. Based on time spent with 28 projects in the UK and France, backed up by real-life examples of issues to consider within projects enabling resourceful use of time and energy. Alongside Rebecca, Organiclea will share influences in the development of growing plans, organising work, and food-growing enterprise activities. There will be a presentation at 2pm, followed by workshops and a site tour. The event will take place on Sunday 25th March, from 2pm - 5pm. It will take place at Organiclea's Hawkwood growing site, at 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, E4 7UH. The event is free, and for further details please call 020 8524 4994.
For more information.
* Free Environmental Behavioural Change Training
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of improving your environmental performance and financial energy savings that you could make? Or improve your environmental behavioural change skills to help your organisation make these savings? Would you like to find out how your organisation can achieve effective change around sustainability? This one-day workshop, administered by Global Action Plan, will enable you to create an action plan for a behavioural change campaign focused on two areas of sustainability. Global Action Plan recommends waste, water, or energy as a first topic, as behaviours tend to be less embedded than on issues such as travel. The workshop will also provide a framework for building your implementation plan and come up with a realistic timeline for activities. The workshop will take place on Friday 11th May from 10am - 4.30pm. It is free of charge to voluntary and community sector organisations in London. For further information, you can also contact Sandra van der Feen on email@example.com.
For more information and to apply.
* Head Of Services And Partnerships
Global Action Plan is looking to recruit a Head of Services and Partnerships. The postholder will report to the Sustainable Business Director, and will be responsible for three Programme and Client Managers. The succesful candidate will be expected to deliver employee engagement programmes that move clients' workforces to being more sustainable, this will involve directly managing clients and personally delivering programmes. The postholder will also be required to form strong relationships with corporate partners and stakeholders, and to support Global Action Plan's charitable aims by improving the organisation's financial security. The successful candidate will have the enthusiasm and experience to creating behavioural change in challenging environments, someone who is well-organised with the ability to influence others, who should also have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, as well as an advocate of Global Action Plan's mission to create a more sustainable society. The position is full-time (35 hours per week) and permanent, with remuneration of £40-45,000 p.a, and based in Global Action Plan's central London office. If this opportunity interests you, please send a CV and covering letter to Ruth Whincup - firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information.
LONDON RESOURCE NEWS
Thames Water has before claimed that it repairs any leaking pipes within five days, however a BBC investigation found that the company could take up to two months to repair pipes, wasting million litres of water a day. On April 5th, Thames Water will introduce a hosepipe ban, and urges people not to waste water, as we are officially in a state of drought. However, with regards to repairing leaks, Thames Water has admitted its performance has not been good enough and retracted previous claims, though it has met leakage reduction targets set by regulator Ofwat for the past five years. It said that leakage has been reduced by a third since 2004, and currently repairs approximately 1,000 leaks per week.
From the BBC.
Pollution levels in London recently hit record highs, after pollution measurement systems were sent into overdrive by traffic fumes caught in still conditions, combined with an influx of 'dirty air'. Defra released a smog warning, ranking pollution levels as 'very high', and issued health warnings, telling people to avoid physical exertion, especially the elderly and those with heart and lung problems. Still conditions mean that pollution generated in London does not get blown away or disperse, this was coupled with heavily polluted air drifiting over London from industrialised areas, though the smog has now left us. Consequently, the Mayor of London's enviornmental director has said that standards for London's Low Emission Zone will be made more stringent.
From the Evening Standard.
The newly developed terminal two at Heathrow Airport (when it opens) is set to save 75 tonnes of water per day, thanks to new technology installed. The installation includes an ozone treatment system for water used in cooling towers, reducing consumption by 15%, while effluent water will be processed and recycled. It is estimated that the new system could save 75 tonnes of water per day, reducing the amount discharged to drains by 75% and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 190 tonnes per year. Cooling towers servicing an air-conditioning system are often the largest consumers of water in commercial buildings, so large reductions in water use by cooling towers will substantially reduce overall consumption.
NATIONAL RESOURCE NEWS
Rules concerning fly-tipping, hazardous waste and e-waste are set to be scrapped following the Government's Red Tape Challenge. Defra has also stated that it will address consumer concerns about the collection of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) through compliance schemes by 2014. According to Defra, there are 255 environmental regulations, and of these, 132 are set to be 'improved', 70 will remain as they are 'to uphold important environmental protections', while 53 'obsolete' regulations will be scrapped. Waste regulations in seven areas are set to be scrapped: waste transfer notes, hazardous waste, site waste management plans, fly-tipping, WEEE, waste carriers, brokers and dealers, and producer responsibility obligations.
Defra and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have jointly published the Government's Resource Action Plan - that outlines a number of measures to address the problems of the scarcity of raw materials for UK businesses. According to a recent survey, 80% of chief executives said that a shortage of raw materials was a risk to their business. The Government plan expects manufacturers to forge closer links with waste companies and local authorities, to improve end-of-life product recovery levels. Import and export of precious metals will be mapped across the country - currently China produces 95% of the world's rare earth metals, leaving UK businesses at the mercy of price volatility. Ministers have also committed £200,000 in financial support to assist local firms in developing new reuse and recycling processes.
Environmental campaingers have been preparing the biggest ever UK meeting on the future of shale gas, following proposals from the Government that could lead to the introduction of many more gas-fired power stations. The Government believes that investing in gas-fired stations will not hamper the UK's commitment to fighting climate change; however environmentalists believe that increased use of fossil fuels will risk carbon reduction targets and may force up the cost of energy. New rules - Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) - will prevent new coal-fired power stations being built, but give the go ahead for gas-fired stations until 2045. As it has been recommended that the electricity industry be decarbonised by 2030 (though this may be optimistic), new gas power stations would have to incorporate carbon capture and storage after that date.
From the Guardian.
ENVIRONMENT SECTOR NEWS
* Not Quite 'The Greenest Government Ever'
The Government's pledge to be 'the greenest ever' was dealt quite a blow in a recent poll, with just 2% of people agreeing with the statement. 53% of respondents believed that the current Government was 'about average when it came to environmental policies. In 2010, both before and after the general election, the Prime Minister promised to lead on green policy and push environmental issues to the top of the political agenda, and even had the pre-election slogan, 'Vote Blue, Go Green'. Industry and environmental groups have also expressed disappointment that the Government's Autumn Statement last year failed to deal with environmental issues. Greenpeace has called on the Government to focus on the natural environment in the upcoming budget, while leading businesses have urged investment in green growth...
* Go Green For Growth
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been called upon by leading businesses to introduce a growth strategy in the Budget that supports investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In an open letter, they warn that companies face rising costs for raw materials, and that their scarcity and price volatility are having a damaging effect on the economy. Instead, safeguarding the environment should help lead to a more competitive and resilient economy. This follows the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, where commented that burdening businesses with 'endless social and environmental goals', would not only fail in achieving those goals, but lead to businesses to fail, jobs lost, and 'our country would be poorer'. Critics rubbished this statement, arguing that environmental competitiveness is not a cost, but now am economic prerequisite.
* Warming Warning
According to new figures from the Met Office, the Earth has warmed more in the past 10 years that previously thought. Between 1998 and 2010, the workd warmed by 0.11C, 0.04C more than thought. The findings do not change any of the general conclusions surrounding global warming, namely that the Earth's temperature has increased by 0.75C since 1850, and that the 10 warmest years on record have occured in the last 14 years. The new findings include data from Arctic weather stations that had not been used, and means that the data is more in line with that generally accepted in the USA.
From the Daily Telegraph.
THIRD SECTOR NEWS
* Pickles To Have Word With Councils
Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, has pledged to have 'a polite word' with councils that unfairly reduce charity budgets but said that ultimately, the decision remained with the council. Pickles' department has produced a report - Best Value Statutory Guidance - that stated that local authorities should not make 'disproportionate' cuts to the voluntary sector, and Pickles himself rebuked Nottinghamshire County Council earlier in the year for not following this guidance. However, he pointed to the limited ability of the Government to intervene on local government issues, following the introduction of the Localism Act.
From Third Sector magazine.
* Review Of Social Enterprise Legal Framework
There may be announcements in the Budget regarding social enterprise, following a Government review of the legal and regulatory framework for social enterprise. The report is called Social Justice: Transforming Lives, and seeks to support the growth of the social investment market, while removing any barriers hindering it. Recently an amendment was proposed to the Financial Services Bill calling for the successor to the Financial Services Authority to support social investment. Last year, a report from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts in conjunction with law firm Bates, Wells and Braithwaite said that the Government should change the regulatory framework to make it easier for social enterprises and charities to attract social investment.
From Third Sector magazine.
CONSULTATIONS, FUNDING & TENDERS
* 'Sustainability Stories' Competition
Logica, a leading business and technology service company, has launched a competition to search for innovative projects that are delivering a more sustainable future. The campaign is in the form of an interactive hub - Sustainability Stories - which will showcase local sustainability projects, with a view to finding one winner that it can offer 20,000 euros (approximately £16,600) worth of business and consultancy support to. Some of the ideas proposed include a windstalk farm, a cloud transportation idea and a curved escalator that saves energy, among others. Logica will offer exposure for small projects through its Sustainability Stories platform, where entrants will be able to showcase their work, connect with like-minded individuals and interact with business experts. The competition is open to people in the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Germany and France.
For more information.
* Community Micro-Lenders
If you are a community-based organisation that puts people before profit and have identified a need for microcredit amongst your members or beneficiaries, then the London Rebuilding Society could help you become a community micro-credit lender. The Mutual Aid Fund is a scheme that enables community organisations to start a micro-loan fund for the benefit of their members and move away from grant dependency. The aim of the Mutual Aid Fund is to increase financial inclusion, as an organisation administering loans to its own members can use the fund to design financial products that are accessible, affordable, and appropriate for their members. The Mutual Aid Fund gives training on how to run a loan fund; will make a loan to your organisation to start up the loan fund (up to £10k, optional); equips you with a free loan management system; provides support and advice throughout the process; as well as offering peer networking and learning opportunities. The next 'Learning To Lend' course will take place at the end of April 2012.
For more information.
* Southwark EnviroGrants
For more information.
* Funding To Support Collections Of Food Waste From Businesses - Demonstration Projects
The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) administers the Collections of Food Waste from Business - Demonstration Projects scheme. Through the scheme, funding is available to to develop a number of demonstration projects which will help improve services to businesses, divert food waste from landfill and support the development of the Government's AD strategy. Funded projects will demonstrate good practice approaches to collecting food waste from businesses, look at ways to reduce service costs, and maximise food waste recycling. The overarching purpose of this programme is to encourage the collection of food waste from small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public sector buildings and larger businesses. All collected food waste will be required to be recycled through an AD or IVC process in England. The scheme can fund capital costs such as vehicles, bins, and publicity materials for projects that will significantly increase the amount of food waste collected. Up to 75% of the eligible capital costs will be considered. Operating costs can be funded; however the applicant will need to ensure that they have a budget available for the ongoing operation of their project post-commissioning, and for at least the two-year contractual period. There is a budget of approximately £500,000 for 2011-14. The maximum value of a grant under this current round is £100,000. The scheme is available to local authorities, private sector, or community sector organisations operating in England. Please note that the funding round for the financial year ending 31st March 2012 ended on 3rd February 2012. The closing date for applications for the next round is 13th April 2012.
For more information.
* The Sky's The Limit
The future of urban farming is a work in progress as Swedish firm Plantagon works to develop the world's first 'vertical greenhouse'. The greenhouse will serve as a regenerating food bank, tackling urban sprawl while making the city of Linkoping more self-sufficient. The greenhouse is a conical glass building that uses an internal 'transportation helix' to carry potted vegetables around on conveyors, maximising their exposure to the Sun. The building will use less energy than others would, making use of 'spillage heat', that energy companies cannot sell, as well as biogas and plant fertiliser, helping to decrease carbon emissions. It is hoped that the project will make food production less costly to the environment and consumers, with 80% of the world's population expected to live in cities by 2050.
For more information.