Minutes of the Meeting of the Castle Point Climate Action Group Steering Committee held on 13th February 2023
Present: Steve Geary Ray Lennard-Brown Rob Lillis Sue McKay Luke Osborne (Chair) Emma Powell Pat Roberts Nikki Saunders
1. Apologies for Absence Apologies for absence were received from Laurence Chapman, Eileen Peck, Jo Wylde, Robert Baillee and Sam Lofts.
2. Earth Day Event – Saturday 22 April 2023 – St Michael's, Daws Heath
a) General Arrangements Nikki confirmed that she had booked the venue for the event. This included both St Michael's Hall and the adjacent car park and field. There was a yoga class in the hall in the morning, so setting up within the building would be have to be delayed until around 11.30. A slight complication had arisen because the Essex Wildlife Trust had now decided to hold their “Bluebell Day” the next weekend. Nikki had suggested to the EWT that they join our “Earth Day” rather than organising a separate event a week later, but they were not open to this suggestion.
b) Publicity It was agreed that the main publicity campaign for the event should begin in mid March, using the usual Social Media feeds together with posters on all the Council's Notice Boards and in the windows of supporting local businesses. Hopefully the large banners printed for the Eco Fare could be adapted in some way to publicise this event.
c) Guided Walks and Children's Interest Trail It had been supposed when the event was first suggested that some members of the Wildlife Trust might be asked to undertake guided tours of the woods. Now that EWT had decided to hold their own event seven days later, however, that option might not be realistic. Stephen rightly suggested that the walks should concentrate on the negative affects of climate change* and the dangers of habitation loss. (* This is poor wording – I am not implying that there are positive affects of climate change! sm) This would anyway be a somewhat different emphasis to that provided by the EWT guides, who usually explained how woodland management can improve biodiversity in nature reserves. It was agreed, therefore, that Emma would seek guides through our Face book page, and Sue would see if Jo Loman from Buglife was able to assist. It was also agreed that some form of self-guided Family Trail should be set up, perhaps with a small prize for completion.
d) Organisations to Be Invited Nikki noted that she had the contact details for a number of craft people and small local businesses that dealt in ethical goods, and she would contact them to see if they would like a stall. Stephen noted that “Plantfaced” would do the catering. Emma confirmed that she would contact Essex Greenpeace, the Badger Protection League, Eco Essex, SABS, the Essex Electric Vehicle Group, OLIO, and the Benfleet Horticultural Society. It was suggested that the EV group might be able to bring an electric car, so allowing visitors to look around it and ask questions. Hopefully the group would dispel some of the adverse myths about EV use. Sue would contact Friends of the Earth, Buglife, RSPB, and the Community Allotment Group. She would also get in touch with Nigel Stephens to see if he could run a stall on veganism and the environmental impact of animal husbandry. Jo Wylde had the contact details for Essex and Suffolk Water, who had attended the previous event. Ray confirmed that he would be willing to sell plants again , and it was likely that Joan would be prepared to do a “make do and mend” stall. It was felt that, if possible, “a repair shop” offering repairs to a wider range of consumer goods would be desirable if an appropriate organiser could be found. Luke noted that he had a number of contacts with local companies providing or producing environmentally sustainable products. This included a company that were experts in retrofitting houses to Pas 2035 standard. If available to attend, they would be able to provide advice to people on how to make their homes more energy efficient.
3. Financial Position Nikki confirmed that the Group had £532 in the bank, of which £500 had come from Waitrose and the opening deposit of £32 from Ray L-B, who had raised the money from his plant sales. This meant that sufficient funds were available to pay for the April event, although Robert Baillee had not yet been paid for the banners created for the autumn fare.
4. Environmental Initiatives in Schools
Emma noted that ,whilst the Ambassador Scheme had unfortunately not progressed, she was pursuing a similar initiative through the education system. This alleviated many of the contact and safeguarding issues that “bugged” the Ambassador scheme, as schools obviously had all the necessary safeguards in place. She was involved with the UK Schools Sustainability Network, and also ran a group for teachers in Essex schools to encourage and support environmental education.
Although Malcolm had now revamped the website and was personally developing a section dedicated to extreme weather events, assistance was needed from other members to add useful material to the site.
7. CAVS Community Breakfast – Wednesday 22 March 2023
Eileen Peck has agreed to attend the above mentioned event. If anyone else is free to assist, please contact Eileen.
8.Castle Point Council's Climate Action (Net Zero) Plan
Emma reported that the last meeting where this matter was to be discussed had been cancelled. She had continued to contact the Council regarding this issue, but was not getting much response. It was agreed that, unless the Council indicated some positive action in the near future, CPCAG would begin to robustly petition the Council to declare a Climate Emergency.
9. Environmental Event at Hadleigh & Thundersley Cricket Club – Saturday 25th March 2023
Emma reported that the Cricket Club had invited CPCAG to participate in the above-mentioned event. The event would commence with a litter pick, but the Club also intended to have a number of environmental stands together with some appropriate workshops, such as the making of bird boxes. Emma would provide further information when it became available.
10. Date of Next Meeting It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 13th March 2023, commencing at 7.30pm, at St George's Church Hall, Rushbottom Lane.