Fortnightly Bin Collections?

One of our members reacts to the announcement that Basingstoke and Deane Council is considering switching to fortnightly collections of the “grey bin” (non-recycleable rubbish):

Here’s an interesting conundrum.

Basingstoke has a terrible record in waste and recycling. Last time we looked (a wrote to the Gazette about it) Basingstoke had one of the highest levels of household waste production and one of the lowest rates of recycling.

Alternative week collection (AWC) is one of the few proven ways of both increasing recycling rates and reducing household waste. However a key component is a separate food waste collection.

Basingstoke Council are proposing to move to the AWC but without separate food waste collection.  In my view we should support the Council in its proposal to move to AWC but ask for a food waste collection as well.  

The Gazette is running the story, with an online vote http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/15016381.Bin_collections_could_go_FORTNIGHTLY_in_Basingstoke_as_part_of_council_cuts/ (but I couldn’t get the voting button to work, so I added a post – Ed.).  The main response so far is seemingly along the lines “How dare the Council stop me throwing stuff away – that’s my right”

A report by the House of Commons is attached.  What do we think should be BTN’s position on this? Do we support it. If not what are we going to do about waste and recycling in Basingstoke?  Post your answers here or on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TransitionBasingstoke/?ref=bookmarks

Link to copy of House of Commons policy document on alternate-week bin collection:

SN05988wastecollectionHouseofCommonspolicydocument

Will we get a new railway station for Manydown?

This was sent to me by an active member of Basingstoke Transition Network.  My message from it is to keep up the pressure, both at Manydown and for a station at Chineham, because the case is clear and the obstacles can be overcome if new stations are given spending priority – SP, BTN Secretary.

As one who worked for Network Rail for over 10 years, and have a life-long interest in railways, I believe you are absolutely right to push for this new station site now, even if the build does not happen straight away.

“I’m sure you won’t need me to tell you that sufficient land would need to be reserved for it; that the size of that plot may need to consider not just local traffic but ‘railheading’ by car users. You’re probably aware that Basingstoke station car park has just been ‘double decked’, such is the growth in rail traffic.

“Nor is the site choice straightforward from the railway’s point of view either. The 2-track line to Southampton is running not far off full capacity. Siting the station on the western end of the four-track section at Worting might still have an effect on line capacity to Southampton if stopping trains need to slow down/accelerate on the 2-track section to Southampton. Siting the station on the 2-track section towards Salisbury might be preferable as the current services are much lighter. However, siting the station on the curve probably won’t meet today’s safety regulations: it might need to be sited closer to Oakley – which might not find favour with Oakley residents.

“In summary, …, given the soaring popularity of rail travel, it’s ‘greener’ credentials and the opportunity to receive from part funding from a major developer, this must be the moment to kick it off.”

Manydown consultation – time is short (13th Oct)

Final deadline for comments on Manydown development is Thursday 13th October 2016.  http://manydownbasingstoke.co.uk/get-involved/next-consultation/ is the website to visit, which has links to the materials shown at the open sessions in September (pdf file) and to the feedback form.

BTN is interested in the low-carbon sustainability of the entire estate, and notes that this is given little mention in the document, e.g.:

  • there is no commitment to make some or all of the houses be at the highest energy-efficiency standard (passivhaus);
  • it is not clear that cycling provision has been planned following best practice (the “planned” cycling provision in recent developments around the town is generally abysmal);
  • there is no true ambition in the plan to make public transport the preferred way of getting around so that fewer cars will be needed;
  • The sewage plan is to link to the existing works – where is the ambition to make a world exemplary system to extract energy from sewage?
  • and there is no evidence that Manydown will cater for the very bottom end of the housing market, e.g. planned houses-in-multiple-occupation for low-income single people.  Surely a well-planned, well-built and well-maintained HMO could actually be a DESIRABLE place to live, as well as one that minimises an individual’s carbon footprint?

Manydown represents a wonderful opportunity, but it will be missed unless there is a big change in direction.  Many small decisions could make a difference, e.g. a requirement that there be a preponderance of south-facing roofs to encourage the fitting of solar panels; but some large commitments need to be made at this stage, in particular provision for a sewage processing facility for the creation of methane gas by anaerobic digestion.

Hampshire CC new waste disposal charges

Hampshire County Council has announced new charges for disposing of asbestos, building waste and soil and rubble at its household waste recycling centres http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hantswebnewslist?id=728123

BTN says: Per household, Basingstoke generates more waste and recycles less than almost anywhere else in the country.   The County Council’s new charging regime is clearly not part of a strategy to reduce waste and increase recycling in the Borough.

Basingstoke Green Week 2016

Yes – the Basingstoke Green Week is back again.

Last year’s Green Week was a huge success.   Along with many other local groups we hosted loads of green themed events.  This year the Green Week is back and it’s bigger and better. And it’s longer! To squeeze in all the events it’s a ten day week.

The full programme oLogo Green Weekffers events and activities showcasing environmental living in Basingstoke and Deane. Most events are free – these include village markets, family fun days guided tours and cycle rides, advice and information days.  We even have a pop-up shop in Festival Place.

Our Green Week is all organised by volunteers and supporter by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Festival Place.

 

Whatever your age there is something for you. So join in, take part and enjoy.

Here are just some of the events.

Saturday 17th September

It all kicks off with Basingstoke Green Fair in Castle Square at 9pm.  There’s lot of stalls with local products, organic veg, and a chance to find out about local groups such the Energy Co-operative, Basingstoke Vegans, Incredible Edible, Natural Basingstoke and a lot, lot more.

That afternoon there is a chance to look behind the scenes at Chineham Energy Recovery Centre. This is where all Basingstoke’s waste goes to be incinerated. It is a real eye opener to see what happens to all the stuff we throw away.

Sunday 18th September

Start the day with a guided walk around Old Basing then finish that off with a plant-based BBQ and a beer at the Bounty Inn.

Monday 19th September

Work off the weekend excesses with a guided cycle ride around the countryside south of Basingstoke. Or you could visit the Swap Shop in Chineham or the learn how to repair furniture in Houndsmill.

Tuesday 20th September

Are you a local small business and want to know how you can increase profits reduce costs and become greener? Then pop along to the Carbon Management Workshop which will give you tips on how to cut your fuel, gas and electricity bills. You might also find out how to generate more revenue.

For lunch way not stop by at the Mug & Biscuit Café in South Ham

Tuesday and Wednesday 19th and 20th September

Want to find out more about saving energy and money? How to keep warm in the winter, how to give new life to old furniture? Well pop-in to our pop-up shop in Festival Place.

Heard about this revolutionary new technology called LED lighting? Come and learn more at the “Lighting Event” in Porchester Square.

Wednesday 21st September.

Mid-week blues? Lots happening today. A cycle ride to Oakley for morning coffee. Lantern making at the Ridgeway Centre and Herbs and Health in Kempshott should keep you busy.

Thursday 22nd September

The fun continues on Thursday morning by turning waste material into scarecrows in South Ham. There’s a Surplus Food lunch in Buckskin all made from locally grown surplus food.

That evening is the big get together with the Basingstoke Environment Groups’ Networking Evening. This is where all the people involved in making Basingstoke a more sustainable place to live at work meet up and learn about what each of us are up to.  It’s a great place for new comers to find out what’s going on. All welcome.

Friday 23rd September

Friday is practical day. Enough of the theory – let’s do something real! Two great workshops today. The Cycle Maintenance Course teaches you how to fix that old bike and how to make new ones work better.  In the afternoon the is the “Off-grid” Workshop.  Come and build your own off grid solar power electrical system- all materials provided – and get a free lunch.

Saturday 24th September

The big day. Lots of events in Buckskin, Sherborne, South Ham, Brookvale and Oakley. The biggest is Brookvale Sustainability Day.

Sunday 25th September

Did you know Basingstoke has its own Organic Farm? Well come along to the Northdown Orchard open day and learn at lot more about organic farming and enjoy an oven baked pizza.

Monday 26th September

Phew. The last day of a busy week (well 10 days). Did you know that by 2050 with current rates of growth there will be more human made plastic in our Oceans than fish! In conjunction with Café Sci with have a world leading expert coming to talk to us about our oceans and how we a dumping millions of tonnes of un-degradable plastic into them every year.

Want to know more?

Details of times and dates of all events are here  Green Week Programme Final August 2016.

Do please come along to as many events as you can. We are always short of volunteers so if you want to help out at any event contact us or the organizers.

Thanks – and please share with friends.

 

 

 

Basingstoke Transition Network statement on EU referendum result 24th June 2016

Basingstoke Transition Network statement on EU referendum result 24th June 2016

Basingstoke Transition Network (BTN) exists to promote community-based, forward-looking projects for transition to a low-carbon economy and robustness against climate change. The enormous threats posed by environmental degradation do not respect either borders or nationality, and the EU referendum result does not decrease our obligations to work individually and collectively to mitigate them. We call on all political sides to focus on co-operation and not to impede UK/EU/international collaboration towards our aims. We also urge UK politicians to increase environmental protection and carbon-reduction targets above the levels set by current EU agreements, and to strive for all appropriate higher thresholds, looking forward.

Basingstoke Transition Network, 28th June 2016.

BTN quick quiz for Council candidates 5th May

Thursday 5th May – Borough Council elections

If your ward is having an election this year, put BTN’s quick survey questions to your Council candidates (and share with us how they respond) –

1. Will they allow community-backed wind turbines in the Borough? Y/N
2. Will they oppose fossil fuel exploitation, especially “fracking”, in the Borough? Y/N
3. Will they push for a policy of “roofs are for solar panels” for all new and suitable existing buildings? Y/N
4. Will they set a high target for waste recycling (at least 70%) and make policy to meet it? Y/N

 

BTN writes to local MPs about EU referendum

Basingstoke Transition Network is not taking sides in the European Union in/out question, but we do feel strongly that our local MPs should be encouraging voters to think about the environment when they make up their minds in time for 23rd June.  However modestly they present themselves in this matter, their arguments will be influential with voters, hence we were disappointed to see no mention of the environment in the context of the EU referendum on any of their websites.  We have written to them all, stating our views on this.

The text of our letters is below.

 

FinalMMLetterreEUwithoutmyaddress33g

KMalthouseLetterreEUwithoutmyaddress63g

RJayawardenaLetterreEUwithoutmyaddress33g

We received replies from Kit Malthouse, whose position as declared on his website is against membership of the EU, and Maria Miller, who states that she is in favour of remaining in the EU.

kmalthousereplytoBTNEuropeletter293g

mmillerreplytoBTNEuropeletter173g

 

 

BTN response to proposed revised Local Plan

Happy 2016 from Basingstoke Transition Network.

Consultation on the proposed modifications to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Local Plan following its inspection by the Planning Inspector closes on 8th February.  The consultation can be read on http://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/localplanmods  We have prepared an open letter to Councillors opposing the proposed change (mentioned in our October 2015 post below) that would make it exceedingly difficult to build a wind farm in B&D Borough. PlanningPolicyLetter16Jan2016

Please draw this to your Local Councillor’s attention – the Council clearly has not registered that there is widespread support for wind farms in the Borough.  With the welcome COPS agreement in Paris the need is even greater for every Borough in the country to do its best to install renewable energy, and Basingstoke has good sites as described in the 2010 report cited in our letter.

Don’t forget to come to our AGM on Wed 13th January at 7.30 pm at Brookvale Hall, and put 17th to 24th September into your diaries as 2016’s Green Week!

Best wishes from Basingstoke Transition Network!