Transition Presteigne Coordinating Group Meeting
3rd February 2010 7:30pm Dukes Arms
Present: Wendy Toomey, Rachel Francis, Sue Eaton, Lin Scrannage, Colin Kirkby, Dave Clarke (Presteigne Zero
Waste), Lucy Boyd, Tania Dolley, Gilly Johnston, Richard Pitts, Judith Whateley, Alison Hatton, John Wilding,
Jonathon Gilpin, Nigel Griffin, Alison Parry.
Apologies: Stephen Wilson, James Tennant Eyles.
Welcome to two new members of the Coordinating Group: Alison Hatton & Sue Eaton,
Minutes of Previous Meeting were passed as correct.
Low Carbon Communities Challenge: bid made on our behalf, from Cwm Harry Landtrust, incldung four other
Marches communities was unsuccessful.
Zero Waste – high profile project, WAG funding with Cwm Harry, Presteigne being ideal community to try scheme,
just started, within the 30 mph limit only. In April will take over entire waste collection services, starting now with food
waste which accounts for one third of black bin liner. In April a ‘kerbside’ collection, using electric vehicle and boxes
rather than bag, and whole town will be separated into 5 collection days. Cwm Harry to sell waste in bulk, and value
comes back to the community.
Recycling centre will be mainly for those who don’t have the doorstep system (ie outside the 30mph zone).
Community Group benefiting will encourage people to recycle. After one year the project will be taken over by PCC.
Food waste goes to Ludlow. Other rubbish to different places. Every household will have two big boxes for
recyclable material, with lid. Project will include waste analysis quarterly, to monitor progress towards the Zero target.
CK keen to set up a community waste group as part of TP that people can ask questions and then to challenge
industry re what is not recyclable. RP keen to see relationship between Zero Waste and TP – this group would
essentially be a Waste Themed group for TP process.
Phase two of project will be to address issues of consumption, work with householders, run sessions to help people
consider purchase choices, and work with manufacturers re packaging etc. This project is about behaviour change
and education, not threats and fines, ie ‘slow recycling’, aim to demonstrate accelerated learning that can be
achieved with appropriate support and resources. Presteigne will be watched by Wales, UK and Europe to see how
we get on with this exciting and groundbreaking approach. No one anywhere has tried this approach.
Help with composting could also happen later on.
Dave Clarke posed two questions:
1. Aim to ask householders where would like value of recyclate to go – 5? Local Groups to benefit, ie. school, church,
scouts etc. John W suggested TP could be a beneficiary.
2. Help needed to deliver the boxes to doorsteps, knocking on doors and talking to householders – end of March.
Community Groups being asked to help, in return for a small donation to the group. Interested members of TP should
contact RP. RP will email TP membership to advertise this opportunity.
Dave Clarke will be in Elda’s café three mornings a week to talk to people, answer questions etc.
Food Security Project:
RP reported on progress. Two other transition groups, Llandrindod and Machynlleth are keen to work with RP to
develop and pilot 6 ‘tools’ (surveys/ techniques) to enable them to assess how vulnerable their food supply is.
Hopefully they will be piloting the tools in their communities over the summer. RP will keep circulating details of the
project to the TP food Group.
Themed Group Updates:
Group to arrange a meeting. Want to organise bike rides in spring. Powys are proposing two cycle ways for
Presteigne, Colin will pass on details of this. Biodiesel - Jonathan has discussed possibility with Bryn to use the
spare pump. If Bryn has to pay tax, will cost extra 35p, and would then be over £1.30 per litre if put directly into car,
but if pumped into containers this won’t have to be paid. TP Members requested to talk to Bryn at the Garage if you
are interested to show there is support and interest. If it goes ahead, Transport group could publicise. Need key info
and technical points to encourage customers.
RF reported that Household Energy Service (HES) has won Big Green Challenge £300,000. Rachel explained how
this might involve Presteigne, and passed round latest HES newsletter. Has focused so far on Bishops Castle and
Clun where 1 in 5 households now engaged.
Could also link with transport, food group.
RF is focusing on Communications, will advertise for new coordinator for Presteigne and Knighton. Possibility of job
share for two people. That role could include being on Energy group or lead it?
Need conversations about how TP and HES can work together.
27 February there is open consultation session in Bishops Castle, 12.30 for lunch, and meeting 1.30 – 3.30.
Focusing on overcoming barrier to taking up deals, eg help clearing lofts before insulation. Possible ideas such as
‘renewable rentals’, one of the BGC groups were looking at how to make renewables more affordable, like TV
Town Council has approved plans for community orchard. Lining up ordering trees for Autumn as no stock available
now. Will be Standard trees, 3-4 years old, so can still camp or park underneath. Apples, cherries, plums, perry
pears, damsons, mulberry & walnut. Adam Davies helping us to look after orchard to prune, clear etc. One more
pruning session on 21 February, 11.00 – 1.00. Trees benefit from same person pruning them, so one person/local
group could look after a tree. Approaching groups to invite particular people to look after the tree, its fruit etc. CK is
funding trees with some money left from selling bags, and Pete Mustil will contribute something from sale of electric
Allotments – update from John W. Have 36 quarter plots, and 36 people applied for one. Once ploughed, will fence &
harrow. Official launch is 25th March. Will be managed organically. River is SSSI, CCW given permission re
ploughing. Jonathan raised possible issue re impacts on the pond, from turfing and gravel as water vole, legally
protected, burrows in bank. Water supply has not been changed, application for whole area (Wentes
Meadow/Withybeds) to be designated as Local Nature Reserve.
CCW grant progress report:
Films: 2 shown, 3 more due: ‘Fresh’ Feb 12th, ‘Transition Movie’ 26th Feb, and ‘Yes Men’ on 11th March. Attendances
good so far.
Banner: Trying to get TP banner produced – quilting groups and WI not interested, Rosamund Black happy to do it
and has some ideas. She wants to use natural fibres. Volunteers sought to help her with this? Idea to make the
letters out of plastic/oil based rubbish to make point re need to find replacements for these items. Needs to survive
Leaflet: RP progressing this. Will need people to help proof read final copies.
Library: As some money left over, we could get certain books for a library, and DVDs too - any ideas for films and
books. Gilly has list of what is in Rowan tree library. Other members may have books they could share. Gilly,
Richard and Jonathan will meet to discuss further. Main library would be happy to stock books/DVDs for TP.
Treasurer’s Report: - £1100 in bank now. John suggested TP could be included in community groups considered to
benefit from Zero Waste funds.
Any Other Business
‘Ecohouse’ project happening July 3-4th – number of local houses with eco-features will be open to the public.
Next Meeting: will be Thursday March 4th, Dukes, 7:30pm
TP Coordinating Group Meeting, 3rd February 2010.
Consideration of Stephen Wilson’s Discussion Paper
RP explained the need to address the issues within SW’s paper ahead of other plans to do so, on account of the
potential for confusion and damaging relationships within the organisation, in the absence of such an opportunity. RP
had asked SW had provided apologies at previous meeting, but would try to attend nonetheless. SW explained to RP
that he was happy to go along with conclusions the group arrived at in his absence.
Many issues raised in the paper, which ultimately come down to capacity. As a group, do we have capacity to be a
transition town? Should we pursue a less ‘formalised’ process as in Todmorden who are doing things with no
structure, or should we pursue our aspirations for the TT process. Either way a clearer idea and plan for a way
forward would benefit all and enable us to prioritise accordingly. This discussion seen to be the start of this.
RP suggested main problems lie in communication and engagement, one leads to another. Whilst there are points
that he would challenge, the discussion paper seen to contain many good ideas, and many that have been identified
previously. Problem lies in volunteers to do it. Also recognised a need to be realistic about expectations.
Re Communication, we’re in need of communicating with ourselves (Coordinating Gp., Themed Groups etc), the
membership (120 names), and the wider community groups etc. Judith W offered to put together some thoughts on
what Yahoo groups could offer us, ready for the next meeting. RP to agenda whole issue of communication for next
meeting. The CCW grant will see a lot of material that will help to raise the profile of TP - leaflets, films, banner,
display, library etc. We also need to make sure we make the most of the opportunities that the films and other
material presents us with.
‘Vision’ process also raised and considerable discussion on this. Integral part of the Transition Process. GJ
volunteered to lead a visioning exercise for any members of the Coordinating Gp. This could then provide a starting
point for a wider community exercise. RP offered to present some further points on ‘visioning’ (what it involves,
benefits, options on how we could do it etc.) for further discussion at the next meeting. We need to consider how we
respond to this aspect of the Transition process.
The relationship between TP and the Town Council also discussed. The relationship currently works really well, with
two orgs working together to mutual benefit. Both Allotment and Orchard owes everything to this relationship and the
hard work put in by everyone involved from both organisations.
‘Big project/themed groups’ balance also raised – whilst big projects can be a ‘switch off’ for some, and a diversion of
time & energy for others, everyone recognised they present potentially important opportunities to promote & reinforce
everything we stand for. At no point is, or has there been intention to focus permanently and exclusively on one or
the other. Both HES and Zero Waste essentially grass-roots led or delivered projects that TP is very keen to support
and this reiterated at the meeting. The L3 bid, which was more funding led, was unsuccessful, despite much hard
work. Whilst it was initially discussed and agreed upon by the Coordinating Group as being something that might
bring extra resources to make our jobs easier, it was recognised that the tight deadlines caused huge problems re
timing and communication for everybody concerned. This needs to be borne in mind in future should any similar
In summary, the observation was made that whilst there are lots of things we could and should be doing, there is
nothing that the group can’t consider and discuss and action, given time. SW’s Paper has provided us with an
opportunity to revisit and clarify key issues and think hard about how we want to proceed. This process itself may
take a little time but it was considered important to do so.
To progress things therefore the following actions were agreed upon:
1. Communication will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. As part of this RP will provide a list of
jobs or roles that could be undertaken to improve communication, using Judith W’s categories.
2. Themed Groups to consider how they can improve communication.
3. Judith W. to provide information on Yahoo/emailing possibilities.
4. Gilly J to consider organising a visioning exercise for any members of the coordinating group, which could
be used as a starting point for the wider process, however we decide to pursue it.
5. ‘Visioning’ will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. RP will prepare some thoughts and ideas on
this as a starting point for further discussion. END.