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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village

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LATEST NEWS

"Just the Job" - film showing 1950s Saltford

New 'retrofit' installers directory for energy efficient homes

Help shape the region's future development

An Ethical and Fairtrade Christmas

Lockdown 2 - support in Saltford

Single use plastic straws & cotton buds banned!

Saltford Parish Council's new website & logo

Planning White Paper : Local Democracy & Environmental Protection

Green Homes Grants - complete work & apply by 31.3.2021

Mead Lane - B&NES Cabinet agrees to end moorings by Dec 2022


More news in our news archive >>


Current VOLUNTEER assistance sought by SEG >>




"Just the Job" - film showing 1950s Saltford

November 2020

The 1956 short (6.5 mins) silent cine film "Just the Job" is about a Wolf Cub from the 1st Saltford Scout Group who whilst out during Bob-a-Job week tracks down some burglars and brings them to justice. Made in Saltford by Bristol Cine Society it features Saltford Cubs, Scouts and Brownies.

The film features several village locations that have since changed substantially. Click here to to view Just the Job (external website - Vimeo).

Many thanks to SEG member Ruth King (Bristol) for bringing this fascinating film record of 1950s Saltford to our attention.

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New 'retrofit' installers directory for energy efficient homes

November 2020

B&NES Council has announced that the council's Energy At Home Information Service is creating an Installers Network for tradespeople who fit energy efficiency home improvements to existing buildings, often referred to as 'retrofitting'.

Residents who contact Energy At Home will be able to access the network to find qualified traders who can install a range of energy saving measures in their homes.

The council is looking for sole traders and businesses in the local area to come forward to join the network if they are qualified to install: loft, floor and wall insulation, draughtproofing, double or triple glazing, solar panels and low carbon heating such as air source heat pumps.

You can ring the Energy at Home information service on freephone 0800 038 5680 or visit www.energyathome.org.uk for information.

For future reference SEG has a link to the B&NES "Energy At Home" information service on our Energy page.

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Help shape the region's future development

November 2020

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is developing a Spatial Development Strategy (SDS), replacing the previously rejected draft Joint Spatial Plan, to "make sure our region remains a thriving, successful and innovative place for the future". The objective will be to make sure the development of homes, spaces for employment and transport links happens in the right places giving all residents access to opportunities and a better quality of life. It will help WECA meet our area's "aim to be carbon neutral by 2030 and ensure that nature and wildlife can also benefit".

To help inform the drafting of the SDS, people living and working in the West of England can give their views on a WECA online survey that can be accessed through WECA's website (link) until Monday 14 December 2020. If you would like a paper copy or the information in an alternative format, you can telephone 0117 428 6210.

The survey is quite simple and should take around 10-20 minutes to complete. The questions seem to imply that nature and the environment has the potential to be given greater priority in new plans than hitherto. We can only hope this will be the case.

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An Ethical and Fairtrade Christmas

November 2020

With Christmas around the corner the Saltford Fairtrade Group would like to get everyone thinking about where the produce they buy comes from and how ethical it is. That lovely chocolate, coffee, tea and many more items we enjoy come from developing countries where farmers and their workers can often experience poor working conditions and receive 'below market price' for their products meaning they don't get a fair living wage for their produce.

Fairtrade requires participating companies to provide their farmers a guaranteed fair wage. This must never be below the market price with the added bonus of a premium which the farmers jointly decide what their greatest needs are. The cost to us may be a little higher but the cost to the farmers and producers means healthy happy workers and a new generation of educated children.

Take a look at the Fairtrade website to see for yourself the benefits of being a Fairtrade producer (and consumer)! You can also find out above sourcing a wide range of Fairtrade goodies. We would also recommend you look at Traidcraft's website for their collection of handcrafted ethical gifts, homeware, toys, fashion, and hand-harvested foods - all sourced from fair trade co-operatives, traditional artisans, and small-scale growers around the world. Our Saltford Village Fairtrade Group have an ordering service with Traidcraft and you can order items through us (saving on delivery costs) by emailing your list to kath.mccarthy@hotmail.co.uk. If you would like more information, please ring Kath on 01225 344066.

See the list below to help you find some different Fairtrade products that you may not have thought of. Look out for them when you are out shopping to help you whip up a veritable feast for Christmas. Keep a look out for the green/blue and black/white Fairtrade logo in all our local supermarkets and in independent traders in Keynsham like W F Buss and Conscience.

   Herbs; Spices; Liqueur; Vodka; Cocoa powder; Vanilla Bean Extract; Vanilla Pods; Packets of nuts - brazil, pecan, peanuts/peanuts and raisins, cashews; Olive oil; Fridge coffee based drinks; Flowers; and Cotton wool.

Thank you for choosing Fairtrade.

Saltford Fairtrade Group

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Lockdown 2 - support in Saltford

October 2020

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Just a reminder as a 2nd national lockdown commences on 5th November that help is available via the Saltford Support Hub for Saltford residents self-isolating or needing assistance. Help can be provided by local volunteers with picking up shopping, posting mail, a friendly phone call, walking the dog, delivering urgent medical supplies, meal distribution, small emergency cash sums where needed, etc.

To access this assistance ring the Saltford Support Hub helpline number 01225 632216.

For COVID-19 information including support see useful COVID-19 links and telephone numbers on our Links page >>

NOTE: The new lockdown 2 national restrictions from 5 November as published by HMG can be seen on the gov.uk website from this link.

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Single use plastic straws & cotton buds banned!

October 2020

The ban, originally intended to start last April but delayed due to COVID-19, which came into effect this month, makes it illegal for businesses to sell or supply single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.

This is welcome news, especially to those who litter-pick in and around Saltford and have been alarmed at the amount of plastic and other waste carelessly discarded into our environment since lockdown without any thought of the consequences. We can hope further bans on single-use plastic items will follow and that the throw-away culture will be addressed too.

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Saltford Parish Council's new website & logo

October 2020

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At the end of October Saltford Parish Council (SPC) launched its new look and easy to navigate website and a new logo (see above) which is a caricature that draws on key views and sights. SPC's website is designed to meet the latest accessibility requirements for official websites and can be viewed from this external link.

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Planning White Paper : Local Democracy & Environmental Protection

October 2020 (updated 2.11.2020)

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Our Chairman, Phil Harding, has written to our local MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, on behalf of SEG to lobby him about the Government's proposals for reforming planning. The main text of that letter (26.10.2020) was as follows :-

   There are, as I am sure you are aware, many concerns that the Government's plans for reforming the planning system to speed up the delivery of new homes will remove local democracy and decision making from the planning system. Giving developers the ability to build more or less what they like where they like within only the broad parameters of a "Growth" or "Renewal" zone designation is a serious departure from the current system as local communities will have no say on the individual developments that take place in those zones.

   This removal of democratic control and participation in the planning process to protect the Green Belt and other local green spaces will help to undermine the Government's recent commitment via the UN "Leaders' Pledge for Nature" to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 against the background of the WWF's report "Living Planet Report 2020". That showed that the world's population numbers of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have fallen by 68% (i.e. over 2/3rds!) on average in less than 50 years, from 1970 to 2016. Wildlife is in freefall and this catastrophic decline shows no signs of slowing; land management including where we build new homes has to help reverse that decline, not contribute to an ever faster destruction of nature with dire consequences for us all.

   Undeveloped land within and outside the Green Belt has a far higher real value to the economy and society than short term economic gain from its development. Our quality of life depends on such land not just for the open spaces for recreation it provides but the potential eco-system support for nature and biodiversity that in turn underpins our nation's food production and food security.

   The UK is Europe's third most densely populated nation yet lacks any strategy to address the many problems for society and the natural environment that comes from that situation. The UK can therefore ill-afford to reduce its resilience to climate change and future food shortages by blighting the land that feeds us and enables the UK to trade in international food markets.

   By removing decision making from local planning authorities, the proposals will also make delivery of much needed affordable homes more difficult than easier. More imaginative ways of providing new and affordable homes are necessary such as the re-development of retail spaces, and, for example, a housing association approach for delivering social housing that allows equity to be accrued during tenancy yet is affordable for meeting social housing needs. Furthermore, it is far too early to know if the fallout from COVID-19 will reduce demand for home ownership compared to other, more flexible, options for a modern workforce. Likewise, there may be a glut of unused over-provided student accommodation with the transfer to more online learning.

   Handing over planning decisions to those with short-term economic interests rather than securing a sustainable future for the wider community will not ensure new housing connects to the appropriate services necessary for low impact lifestyles. To quote from the last Conservative election manifesto, we need "homes built where they are needed not determined by a one size fits all formula".

   I hope you can use your influence to help ensure decisions on where and what houses are built remain the responsibility of democratically elected local planning authorities who consult and listen to their communities and that the Green Belt and other green spaces retain proper and full protection from development to enable a healthy future for everyone.

   In the current climate of rising environmental awareness, made higher as people have spent more time observing nature during COVID-19, a Government will retain more support from implementing policies that protect and enhance our environment and nature than policies that hand over planning control to vested short-term interests that will do the opposite.

   Phil Harding

UPDATE 2.11.2020

In his reply dated 30.10.2020 Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Government's proposals continue to protect the Green Belt and AONBs whilst placing higher regard on quality, design and local vernacular. The reply makes no reference to the need to protect and recover nature through appropriate land management; we can only hope that the combined effect of lobbying by many and the constant raising of these evidence-based concerns will encourage the Government to proceed with more caution than might otherwise be the case. SEG believes that strong national and local policy reasons to resist development of the Green Belt around Saltford will remain when the consultation outcome and new planning policies are announced.

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Green Homes Grants - complete work & apply by 31.3.2021

October 2020

Homeowners and residential landlords can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to homes. Improvements could include insulating your home to reduce your energy use or installing low-carbon heating to lower the amount of carbon dioxide your home produces.

Vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, up to a maximum government contribution of 5,000. If you, or someone in your household, receive certain benefits you may be eligible for a voucher covering 100% of the cost of the improvements. The maximum value of the voucher is 10,000.

You must redeem the voucher and ensure improvements are completed by 31 March 2021.

Further details from this link to the gov.uk website: green homes grant scheme from where you can also make enquiries about the scheme.

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Mead Lane - B&NES Cabinet agrees to end moorings by December 2022

October 2020

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At its monthly meeting on the evening of 8th October B&NES Council's Cabinet decided the future of moorings in Mead Lane. Before taking its unanimous decision, the Cabinet received deputations from residents, Saltford Parish Council, Saltford Ward Councillor Duncan Hounsell and live-aboard boaters.

The Cabinet discussed the findings of the "Atkins riverbank mooring assessment report (28.9.2020)" and agreed a long-term aspiration to relocate moorings from Mead Lane with a target date of no later than 31.12.2022 whilst asking Officers to create a charging mechanism for moorings in Mead Lane from 1.3.2021. The Cabinet agreed to remove the 48-hour moorings at Mead Lane from 1.11.2020, on a permanent basis, so that this part of the riverbank can be reallocated as open space for other leisure purposes. It also agreed to no winter moorings from 1st November to end February on safety grounds.

Other specific actions agreed included to identify alternative sites for 14-day moorings along the watercourse before ending 14-day moorings in Mead Lane and to create a joint River Warden post with the Canal and River Trust (CRT).

Future decisions on Mead Lane/moorings were delegated to the Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Paul Crossley, in consultation with the Director of Environment. The Cabinet Members for Transport and Director of Environment, in consultation with Avon and Somerset Police, would review the parking restrictions along Mead Lane.

SEG RESPONSE

The Atkins survey of the riverbank lacked a full condition survey of the rock armour below the water level so whilst Atkins found that the riverbank was stable at present (from only a visual surface inspection) it is not known how long it will hold throughout its full length. It is inevitable that the mooring of boats including narrow boats will gradually damage and reduce the lifespan of a rock armour stabilisation scheme designed and installed at a 45o angle.

As was acknowledged by Cllr Crossley at the meeting, the Mead Lane riverbank is very close to a narrow single-track road and to residential housing whilst the lane provides sole road access to Wessex Water's Sewage Treatment Works including Wessex Water's Scientific Services laboratory for testing drinking water and wastewater/effluent samples where 24/7 access is essential. Those factors together with the design aspects of the bio-engineered rock armour stabilisation scheme that protects the roadway and key utility service pipes including a pumped sewer main beneath the road, means that Mead Lane is unsuitable for moorings; B&NES Cabinet has by its mooring ban decision unanimously accepted that.

SEG supports B&NES Council's objective to identify alternative 14-day mooring sites for the live-aboard community along the watercourse before ending 14-day moorings in Mead Lane. However the 2+ year timescale does mean a prolonged period of risk to the riverbank's rock armour and stability and other factors that have made this such a contentious issue that has been difficult to resolve. The continuation of the parking ban should help keep the lane open at all times.

The effectiveness of the new River Warden will therefore be key to ensuring the temporary re-commencement of 14-day moorings from 1.3.2021 does not lead to the problems caused by a minority of boaters since moorings started to occur in Mead Lane from 2015 when boats first started to moor there and then became much more numerous from the B&NES 2017 mooring trial that served to attract more boat moorings at this location.

It is therefore to be hoped that rapid progress can be made in finding new and suitable moorings for boaters well before 31.12.2022, preferably in 2021, so that moorings can end in Mead Lane and the riverbank can revert to being an open space sooner rather than later - including as a Local Nature Reserve as SEG and others have called for - and the rock armour can be repaired and be the subject of a regular inspection, care and maintenance programme.

A positive outcome from all this can be more and better mooring provisions for the live-aboard community whilst Mead Lane riverbank reverts to being a public open space with excellent wildlife habitat enjoyed by the local community and visitors alike.

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Current areas of local volunteer assistance sought by SEG

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Whilst our partner organisations such as Saltford Wombles (for tackling litter) and the Fairtrade Group always welcome volunteer assistance, SEG sometimes has 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 phil@philharding.net for a no-obligation chat on possible volunteer help.

First published June 2018, updated January 2020

Executive Committee: Want to help steer 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 January 2020

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Saltford
Weather
Station

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Saltford Heritage Centre's next scheduled public opening will be announced here.

Special Features:

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Geology, Saltford's

Green Belt Inquiry 2013

HISTORY OF SALTFORD

Railway Path Habitat Project

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Contact Us

All general, membership & urgent (e.g. Press) enquiries by email to our Chairman please.

HOW TO JOIN SEG: If you live, work or have a particular interest in Saltford & wish to join our email membership list please send an email to our Chairman. Please include your name, address & contact telephone number in your email application. NOTE: We provide information about membership including personal data protection by SEG on our "About Us page".

CONTACTS:

Chairman & Website Editor*: Phil Harding
phil@philharding.net (07814--720763)

Secretary: Vacant Position

Treasurer: Andrew Stainer
andrew.stainer@btinternet.com

SEG Green Belt Campaign: - contact our Chairman (contact details above)

Saltford Station Campaign: Chris Warren
cherokee1883@live.com

Saltford Fairtrade Group:
saltfordfairtrade@hotmail.co.uk

Saltford Heritage Centre
Curators: Phil Harding & Andrew Stainer (contact details above).

Saltford Wombles is independent of SEG but contact details can be found on our Less Waste page.


Cookies and Privacy Policy Statement

SEG respects the privacy of visitors to our website. We do not use cookies to collect personal or other data about visitors to our website; the only data we collect via our ISP's hosting service, and without the use of cookies, is the number of visits to each of our web pages but not who the individual visitors are.

* EDITORIAL POLICY including SEO, web design and marketing for www.saltfordenvironmentgroup.org.uk

Will Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), website design and other similar companies please note that this website has all the SEO ranking (1st), social media links, & smartphone compatibility that it requires to meet its specific objectives. The same applies to companies that produce bespoke marketing materials. We are not a commercial enterprise so please do not send marketing emails or requests for placing links to other websites which will not receive a reply as it is our policy not to reply to marketing emails of this nature unless they are from a Saltford-based organisation seeking to assist SEG. As a general rule our editorial content is sourced locally in Saltford and NE Somerset or from reputable non-commercial organisations based in the UK.
 

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Do you care about the village of Saltford, its environment, wildlife and future as a thriving, more sustainable community? Then join us and also follow us on facebook. See our 'About us' page for how to join (membership is free!).

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We welcome support from local businesses to help cover our costs and keep membership free for our members. If your local business would like to support SEG (e.g. a logo + link on this page is very inexpensive), please contact our Chairman (see above for contact details).


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