Saltford Environment Group
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You can find more news in our News Archive.
Twenty bag hoops gifted to Saltford Wombles in one clean sweep!
A huge thanks to Nathan Sheppard, of Saltford Building Services saltfordbuildingservices.com, for donating all 20 of the bag hoops we requested on our Amazon wish list!
These hoops will be used by the volunteers when out on the regular litter picks around Saltford; it will certainly make the refuse sacks easier to hold and control on windy days!
Nathan's support, and recognition, of the role Saltford Wombles play in the local community is much appreciated.
SEG responds to fracking consultation by Government
You can have a healthy fossil-fuel balance sheet, or a relatively healthy planet...
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is seeking views on whether applicants in England should be required to conduct pre-application consultation with the local community prior to submitting a planning application for shale gas development (fracking). Representative groups are asked to give a summary of the people and organisations they represent, and where relevant, who else they have consulted in reaching their conclusions when they respond.
The consultation, launched on 31 October 2018 and closing on 7 January 2019, seeks views on whether applicants should be required to conduct pre-application consultation with the local community prior to submitting a planning application for shale gas development. It covers the following areas:
Further details are on the gov.uk website from this link: shale gas consultation.
SEG made its online response on 14th November. We responded that community pre-application consultation be compulsory prior to applying for planning permission for shale gas development, and gave the following explanation:-
For the reasons given below, on democratic and ethical grounds a community should not be expected to host a new fossil fuel based energy production facility like fracking without its democratically elected representatives, the local authority, having the right of veto for such planning applications. It should therefore be for the local authority, not the prospective applicant, to consult the community it represents in any way that it considers appropriate including placing a requirement on any prospective applicants to conduct community pre-application consultations under the supervision and any specific requirements of the local authority. This should enable the local authority to take into account any relevant electoral mandates of its elected members, i.e. manifesto commitments at the most recent local election.
We agree with the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee report: "Planning Guidance on Fracking", Paragraph 91, July 2018 that stated "Shale gas development of any type should not be classed as a permitted development. Given the contentious nature of fracking, local communities should be able to have a say on whether this type of development takes place, particularly as concerns about the construction, locations and cumulative impact of drill pads are yet to be assuaged by the Government."
Fracking for shale gas does not meet environmental, economic (in net terms) or social objectives when the UK should be actively pursuing clean renewable energy sources and new battery storage technologies to meet its international commitments to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and avoid dangerous runaway climate change. The inclusion of shale development or production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Regime would significantly reduce the value and participation of local views in the decision-making process, a move opposed by a range of organisations, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Local Government Association and, it is reasonable to suggest, an overwhelming majority of informed public opinion.*
*Fracking is overwhelmingly unpopular with the British public, with a recent BEIS poll showing support of only 18%: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/
In response to the question "What (if any) shale gas development should be subject to compulsory community pre-application consultation? All shale gas development requiring a planning application/ Where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required/Other criteria or threshold (please specify)" SEG's response was:
All shale gas developments should require a planning application AND an Environmental Impact Assessment.
We reported in July the Government's proposals to streamline the planning process for fracking and reduce the ability of local communities to influence fracking applications. This is by treating non-hydraulic exploratory drilling as 'permitted development' as well as proposals to designate fracking projects as 'Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects'.
We then reported in August that the B&NES Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Development, Cllr Bob Goodman, confirmed to SEG in response to our seeking the Council's support for opposition to the Government's proposals that "the Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council has written to the Secretary of State, Greg Clark to strongly object to the proposals".
November 2018 (updated 14 November 2018)
Saltford shows its respect on Remembrance Day & WWI Armistice Centenary
Young people featured in Saltford's marking of Remembrance Day on Sunday 11th November and the centenary of the end of WWI with a large turnout of Scouts and Guides at the morning service at St Mary's followed by a procession and laying of wreaths at Saltford War Memorial.
In the afternoon the WWI centenary village event in Saltford Hall included a specially produced Saltford Heritage Centre WWI display, a display from the Parish Council and Bath Record Office on the results of the WWI genealogy research commissioned by SPC for residents, a display from Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society, and a superb display (see bottom picture above) by Saltford School children on their work depicting and describing WWI. A representative from the Avon Branch of the Western Front Association was present to give advice to residents on WWI artefacts etc. that they brought along to the event.
About 300 residents attended the afternoon event that was organised by SCA, SEG and the Parish Council. The refreshments, kindly provided by SCA volunteers, included "1918 War Cake" (which proved very popular!). Local band "Then and Now" played and led a sing-a-long of popular and topical songs. Just over £250 in donations for the Royal British Legion was raised.
B&NES Local Plan: Options & Transport Studies: winter consultation
The consultation on Options and Transport Studies for the draft B&NES Local Plan (2016-2036) is between 12th November and 7th January 2019.
During the B&NES Cabinet discussion on 31 October about this consultation, the importance of the Green Belt between Keynsham and Bristol and between Keynsham and Saltford was emphasised by Cabinet members and the Liberal Democrat opposition. The webcast of the Cabinet meeting can be found from this link (item 13 on the agenda).
Organisations and members of the public can comment on the Local Plan Options document via the dedicated B&NES Local Plan web page (link). Dates and venues for a number of staffed exhibitions throughout B&NES (all 3.30pm - 7.30pm) are:-
Whitchurch (Community Centre, Large Hall) Mon 19th Nov.
B&NES has said it will make hard copies of the document available to be viewed at the following locations during opening hours:-
We will publish further information here on our website when SEG's response has been produced. Background information on the Local Plan and our campaign to protect the Green Belt can be found on our Green Belt page.
SEG's members will be aware of our wish to protect the Green Belt surrounding Saltford from development including from developers and land owners that are seeking to include 9 parcels of Saltford's Green Belt in the Local Plan. SEG and our Green Belt Campaign is keeping a close watching brief on this issue and will provide advice to members and residents on how to respond to Local Plan consultations.
At the Saltford Parish Council meeting on 6th November SPC Councillors unanimously agreed that there should be a close working relationship between SEG and SPC for defending the Green Belt in the B&NES Local Plan.
November 2018 (updated 10 & 12 Nov 2018)
Local Lib Dems support for Saltford's Green Belt
SEG received a letter on 4th November from Duncan Hounsell and Alastair Singleton, the Liberal Democrat spokespersons for the Saltford Ward, expressing the importance of the Green Belt: essential agricultural land, habitats for wild-life, natural carbon capture, recreational activity, a haven of peace and well-being, as well as preserving the essential character of our towns and villages.
They made the point that "exceptional circumstances" have to be demonstrated to build on green belt land and that the word exceptional should not be replaced by convenient. They also said that housing needs to be built on brown-field sites first. Housing needs to be built where jobs and facilities exist to minimise the need for travel. If village communities desire small-scale housing development with affordable housing to meet their needs, that is fine. What is unacceptable is imposed large scale development changing the character of our villages.
A spokesperson from SEG said:
SEG reminds members and residents of Saltford that it remains politically neutral and works with all political parties in seeking the best for Saltford and the surrounding area.
A Saltford Fairtrade Christmas
It is always good to get a head start running up to Christmas and it's great to know that there are Fairtrade products to provide the essential ingredients to help you. Look out for the Fairtrade logo on sugar and spice and all things nice for your Christmas cake and Christmas puddings, lovely wrapping paper, Christmas cards and lots of great ideas for presents, oh and also herbs for your sausage rolls.
Come along to our colourful Fairtrade Traidcraft stall at the Christmas Fair on 1st December to start your Christmas shopping early. Oxfam shops and supermarkets also stock a good range of Fairtrade products and remember, each time you buy anything that has the Fairtrade logo, you will be supporting the producers and ensuring that they receive a fair price for their produce which will improve their lives and that of their communities. Christmas is about sharing and Fairtrade gives us all that chance.
We have one more date for your diary, 8th March, a long way off but worth waiting for. As part of Fairtrade Fortnight we we will be hosting Dr Roy Maconachie, Reader in International Development, Dept of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath who will be showing us a film he produced entitled 'Gender and Fairtrade - The Stories of Women Cocoa Farmers in Ghana'. This gives us a powerful insight into these women's lives and issues that are rarely discussed, but have been tackled by belonging to Fairtrade co-operatives. To find out more about our group and ordering from Fairtrade supplier Traidcraft take a look at our Fairtrade page.
We look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Market on 1st December and do have a chat with us (a great day out for our community) and also on March 8th.
Upcycling Craft Group & Nativity Scene Festival
Our Upcycling Craft Group have been invited to create a nativity scene to display at the forthcoming St Mary's 'Nativity Scene Festival'. We plan to use paper and plastic bottles to form our scene. It is a great opportunity to show upcycling skills using simple things that we all have around the house and of course it won't cost the earth. We have all the things needed to make this, so all you need to do is come along, share your ideas and together bring our visions to life and capture the festive season.
Everyone is welcome to pop along on November 15th, 7-9pm at Signs of Saltford (workshop). No skills needed to enjoy a free, friendly and creative evening. Tina and Frances are looking forward to meeting you. Do ring Frances on 07789---528834 if you would like to find out more about our group and this particular evening.
Fairtrade Christmas Extravaganza, Larkall, Bath (2nd Nov)
The Fairtrade Way to Get Ahead With Your Christmas Preparations
St Saviour's website is at https://stsaviours.org.uk where directions can be found (at the bottom of the home page).
First World War Centenary 11.11.18 - Saltford events
Sunday 11 November 2018 will commence with the traditional Remembrance Sunday service starting at St Mary's Church at 10am and finishing at the War Memorial at 11am.
In the afternoon there will be a major village event at Saltford Hall organised by Saltford Parish Council, Saltford Environment Group and Saltford Community Association. It will commence at 2pm and run until 5pm and entry will be free. During the afternoon you can see/experience the following:-
Tea and cake including "1918 War Cake" will be provided for this free entry event for Saltford's residents. Donations for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal will be accepted.
Residents are encouraged to bring along their WWI memorabilia to show to others and ask our WFA expert about them. They will also be able to search and print out recorded evidence of individuals who served or died during WW1. We also encourage residents to come forward with any local pictures they have of around 1918.
If you would like to be involved in any way with this event then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the SCA Office on 01225 874081.
Saltford Wombles: Litter Pick Sunday 28th October
Our next monthly litter pick is on Sunday, 2- 4 pm. Please note the earlier times owing to shorter days. If you are coming: Please email Jo on email@example.com for the meeting points as the focus for our litter picks will vary depending on our numbers. Thank you.
If you have litter pickers and gloves please do bring them, but if not we can provide them. We have bags provided by B&NES Council.
Also, please let us know whether you have a car you would be happy to use to ferry a group to a start point.
As with any Saltford Wombles litter pick, everyone takes part at their own risk and it is essential that children are supervised at all times by a parent/carer.
2Green Belt must be protected" say members at SEG's AGM
The main theme for discussion at a packed AGM held on 8th October at the Riverside Inn was the threat to our Green Belt from developers in the forthcoming B&NES Local Plan and the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP). SEG's existing Executive Committee was re-elected un-opposed.
Our Chairman Phil Harding in referring to the 2013 Saltford Green Belt Inquiry reminded members that a Green Belt designation is given and thus belongs to a local community to protect its surrounding land and setting. More than anyone else, it is local communities who live with and understand the real value of the "landscape functions" provided by their Green Belt and agricultural land. He said it should be for local people and their local planning authority to determine where new housing should be located - and this is the planning policy set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) yet developers constantly challenge the local decision making process. It is the local community like ours that faces the real short, medium and long term disadvantages when developments such as those put forward by developers for the Local Plan and JSP are allowed to proceed.
The meeting lasted a full 90 minutes due to the detailed discussion between members and SEG's Executive Committee on how SEG can respond to the challenges posed by developers seeking to build on at least nine parcels of Green Belt land around Saltford and also on Green Belt land East of Keynsham. There was overwhelming support for a new campaign to defend the Green Belt surrounding Saltford.
A larger version of the above map together with a short briefing note on the B&NES Local Plan and West of England Joint Spatial Plan process that was discussed at our 8th October AGM can be downloaded from the link below. Please note that the dates within the note are all subject to change.
If you want to help our Green Belt campaign but were unable to attend the AGM, don't worry. We will be seeking volunteers etc. when we contact members again once SEG's Executive Committee has prioritised the early actions arising from the meeting.
UPDATE (28.10.2018): An email describing our early plans and seeking volunteers was sent to all members on 27.10.2018. Information about our new Green Belt Campaign can be found on our Greenbelt page. We will update our website regularly as our plans develop.
Saltford Calendar 2019 now available
"The Saltford Calendar 2019" featuring some stunning photographs by local photographers is now available to purchase.
At just £6 each you can get your calendar(s) from the new Saltford Post Office or the SCA office at Saltford Hall any morning Monday to Friday. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The production of the annual Saltford Calendar is a joint SCA/SEG initiative. Net proceeds will be split between SCA and SEG to help further their voluntary work supporting our local community.
Can we limit global warming to 1.5oC?
Limiting global warming to 1.5oC would require rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a new assessment report "Global Warming of 1.5oC". With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5oC compared to 2oC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the IPCC said on 8th October.
The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC was approved by the IPCC on 6th October in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.
"One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1oC of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes," said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5oC compared to 2oC, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5oC compared with 2oC. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5oC, compared with at least once per decade with 2oC. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5oC, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2oC.
"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5oC or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems," said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.
"The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5oC are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate," said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.
The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5oC would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching 'net zero' around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.
"Limiting warming to 1.5oC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes," said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III. Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or 'overshoot' 1.5oC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5oC by 2100. The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.
Further information can be found on the IPCC website: www.ipcc.ch.
Upcycling Craft Group, 18th October
Have you wondered how we all seem to accrue an odd selection of redundant keys and what to do with them? What about creating your own bespoke jewellery with the Saltford Upcycling Craft Group?
We have all the items needed to make and finish your own jewellery (including keys). Do bring along any old nail varnish, beads, broken jewellery to repurpose in fact anything you can think of to decorate the keys (plus any 'accumulated' keys!); we all share. Everyone is welcome to join us for a fun, relaxed evening, no experience needed, we all learn together.
No need to book, just come along from 7-9pm on October 18th, at Signs of Saltford, 559 Bath Road. Tina and Frances are looking forward to seeing you. There is more about us on the "Less Waste" page of this website or on our Facebook page: Saltford's Make it Magic Group.
Tips for reducing plastic microfibres from clothing
A microfibre is a plastic-based thread that is thinner than a human hair. Many clothing products shed microfibres during their lifetime. For example, they wash out of our synthetic clothes. Most of these tiny fibres derive from polyester. It is light, warm and has quick-drying properties thus making it perfect for clothing. Other common microfibres include nylon and acrylic. They're in our carpets, curtains and other household textiles, as well as our clothes. Microplastic pollution is cropping up all over the world including in extremities like the Arctic and Antarctic.
Huge volumes of these microfibres from synthetic fabrics are getting into aquatic animals from our washing machines via waste water treatment works. This is alarming as these tiny plastic-based microfibres have the potential to poison the food chain.
Here are 8 tips from Friends of the Earth (friendsoftheearth.uk) on how you can reduce the release of plastic microfibres from your clothing:-
1. Wash at low temperatures
A lower-temperature wash is less aggressive and therefore less likely to shake out plastic fibres.
2. Put your washing in a special bag
Use a Guppy Bag (a mesh type laundry bag) or Cora Ball (a microfibre catching laundry ball) in your washing machine. They may help to reduce or catch the microfibres that shed from your clothes during washing.
3. Fill the washing machine
A full washing machine reduces friction between items - in other words, they don't rub against each other as much.
4. Reduce spin speeds
Faster spins dry clothes quicker but they also shake them up more, risking more plastics shedding.
5. Air dry rather than tumble dry
Tumble drying is more aggressive than air drying - and could cause your clothes to shed more plastic. And don't leave the fluff from your tumble dryer outside for birds to use as nesting material as that is another way for plastic microfibres to get into the natural environment!
6. Use a front-loading washing machine
Tests show that top-loading washing machines probably release more plastic fibres.
7. Buy fewer fleeces
Polyester fleece could well be one of the biggest emitters of microfibres. Consider buying a woollen fleece instead.
8. Keep your clothes for longer
Your clothes are likely to shed more plastic in the first few washes - so frequently changing your wardrobe will probably increase the amount of plastic you're sending into the environment. Buy higher quality clothes that last.
More and older news stories from SEG
Our 'Newsletter' archive page features most of our past and recently published news stories (click on image):-
Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG
In addition to volunteer assistance with projects such as Saltford Wombles (tackling litter), Fairtrade Group, and our Railway path habitat restoration project we sometimes have specific roles or posts that need filling.
Here are the current vacancies:-
Website skills wanted!
Our website is a popular resource for our members and others which means that in addition to keeping it relevant we want to make sure it continues to function as it should.
If you live in or near Saltford, care about your local environment and have current knowledge of website design and might be interested in using your IT skills for a bit of IT volunteering to help us behind the scenes please get in touch with our Chairman by email to email@example.com for a no-obligation chat on possible volunteer help.
First published June 2018
Want to get more involved with SEG?
SEG is seeking new Executive Committee members to help steer and develop SEG's future as we address the environmental concerns of our members at the local level. If you think you might like to get involved and join our Executive Committee (enthusiasm is more important than expertise!), please contact our Chairman, Phil Harding, for an informal non-committal chat.
The Executive Committee only meets 4 times a year and its working method is more about sharing ideas and getting things done in a friendly and productive atmosphere than being bogged down with time-consuming administration.
First published February 2018, updated April 2018
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Saltford Heritage Centre's next scheduled public opening will be announced here. Want a private viewing? We can also open the Heritage Centre for 1-hour private viewings by small groups on request (see the Heritage Centre web page for details).
"Think global, act local"