Monday, September 30, 2013

Deal Green Energy Fair - 5th Oct: Talks

This year's Green Energy Fair in Deal we have interesting array of speakers plus we have Eternal Energy's Verity Green Van in the Town Hall Car park - so you can see how all this stuff works

Talks Programme as follows:

11.45 - 12.15
Paul Mallion Conker Conservation – Older Properties: how to make them enrgy efficient

12.30 - 13.00
Stephanie Karpetas – How the Green Deal works

13.15 - 13.45
Anthony Morgan – Carbon-Free Group: on the latest energy generation at home

14.00 - 14.30
Luci Ransome from Transition Scotland for practical advice on how to draught-proof your home

Sunday, September 29, 2013

HS1 Deal ... keep the pressure up

Thank you for all your support at this critical time as we try to influence the negotiations between the DfT and Southeastern on the future of our HS services.
Will they stop in March 2014?
...or will we get at least some of the long promised and eagerly awaited off-peak and weekend trains?
Please help us make the case by sending your story of why it matters to you - to
Keep an eye on the website for up-to-date news, and to see what others are saying.
Strength in numbers  - pass it on!

Tom Rowland / Ian Killbery
Join the rail-users' group for the Deal area
Campaigning for High Speed trains to Deal - NOW!
Join the trains4deal group on Facebook

Victoria's Green Matters - 27th Sept 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

The summer of 2013 has been a wonderful one for butterflies. Our glorious weather during July, August and September has meant that many species that had not been seen for some time have made a colourful comeback.
An online survey saw that 46,000 people had logged more than 830,000 butterflies from Scotland to the Scilly Isles. The survey recorded four times as many butterflies this year than 2012, which had been the worst for forty years.
But it is not only sunshine that butterflies need. Along with all other pollinating insects, loss of habitat is the crucial factor in the dwindling numbers of butterflies. In the past, wild flower meadows on farm land provided the habitat required for many species to thrive but the advent of industrial farming saw the ploughing up of these meadows and the excessive use of pesticides aided the sharp decline in pollinators.
Farmers are now re-instating these long lost meadows in an attempt to bring back species that we so desperately need to pollinate our crops. Yields from these crops have shown considerable improvement where pollinating insects abound and other wildlife has returned.
There are many ways in which gardeners can help encourage butterflies that include growing the type of plants that offer them food and breeding grounds but these same gardeners may not be happy with the abundance of both the large and small cabbage white butterflies that appeared this year. Skeletal cabbage plants are not required!
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shepherdswell Fracking meeting ...

Fracking in Kent? The Public Say No!
Jamie Weir, PR & Events Manager, Protect Kent 
Friday 27th September 2013
Almost 300 concerned members of the public crowded in to Sheperdswell village hall on Wednesday night to listen to CPRE Protect Kent’s views on the 3 applications for exploratory boreholes in Dover district. CPRE Protect Kent Chairman Richard Knox-Johnston introduced the organisations views and briefed the crowd on the serious concerns that CPRE Protect Kent has with the test boreholes being drilled, whilst the Chairman of our Environment Committee, Graham Warren, gave a technical description of the geology of the area and the potential impact that drilling may have on Kent’s water resources.  CPRE Protect Kent’s experts believe that in an already water-stressed area of the country, the prospect of loss or contamination of water resources that are already heavily committed is too great a risk and that the geological uncertainties of the Kent coal fields remain too great a hazard
Members of the public were given the opportunity to ask questions of the CPRE experts in attendance, whilst the local MP Charlie Elphicke also attended to hear the views of the public and to answer questions. He echoed the concerns raised by Protect Kent over the particular risks of gas exploration in this location and announced that he would raise these concerns with Ministers.
CPRE Protect Kent has a number of serious concerns about test boreholes being drilled in these rural areas, not least the landscape and traffic implications whilst our Environment Committee has raised serious concerns regarding the potential for groundwater contamination due to the particular formation of geological layers and fault lines beneath the chalk.
CPRE Protect Kent Chairman Richard Knox-Johnston said:
“There is considerable concern amongst those in the area about this drilling operation, the way in which it needs to be regulated and the unseemly speed with which the planning application is being processed. We are also concerned by the many impacts these developments will have on the tranquil landscapes of the Dover district. We would ask all members of the public who are concerned by these developments to respond to the Kent County Council planning applications to ensure that their voice is heard.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kents Downs Management Consultation end this week

The draft review of the Management Plan for the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is out for consultation now. This sets out the vision of the future of this special landscape, seeks to address key issues and threats and sets out aims, objectives and policies for the positive management of the Kent Downs for the next 20 years.

The Draft Management Plan has been divided into chapters for ease of access. You can download the whole document here or just turn to the chapters listed below that are most relevant to you. You can respond on line or download a paper version of the questionnaire or you can telephone 01303 815170 to discuss other ways to make your comments..

Consultation will run from 24th July to 27th September 2013.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Trains4Deal Meeting

Tom Rowland of T4D
A packed emergency meeting at the Bohemian, called at short notice by Train4Deal, tonight heard about the threat to the HS1 service to Deal next March.

The original deal financially supported by KCC was cover the HS1 trains stopping at Deal and Sandwich to the period to March 2014 when the franchise was due to end.

However after the debacle of the re-franchise of West Coast earlier this year the Government announced an extension of all franchises by 6 months to Oct 2014.

As the HS1 service to Deal and Sandwich was not part the original franchise the service could stop in March as no one KCC - SE Rail - Government had 'minded the gap'.
Cllr Ian Killbery from T4D

The loss of the service would greatly impact of economic well being of the town: commuters, many who have moved to Deal specifically because of the service, townsfolk who need access to the capital and as a gateway for tourists and visitors which brings money into the town economy supporting local employment & services for all.

Please get on to the T4D website to see their detailed business case which not only protects the existing service but also extends daytime, weekend and services for the Discovery Park.

We need to act now. 

Victoria's Green Matters - 19th Sept 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:‘Zero Carbon Britain’ is certainly a phrase with which to conjure. Can we really produce all the energy we need without producing the damaging greenhouse gasses that contribute to dangerous climate change? A recent report by the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) illustrates that we certainly can if we take the necessary steps to change our lifestyles.

Apart from the way we produce energy, we must look at what we eat, the way that we produce that food and the way we use land. Here in the UK, on average, we lack balance in our diets and tend to over-eat, leading us to suffer from many diet related diseases. If we changed our eating habits so that we ate less meat and dairy products and much more fruit, vegetables and cereals, we would significantly improve our health and also reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from agriculture. We would also need less land for food production, freeing up areas to grow biofuels for our energy systems and provide areas for planting trees and restoring peat-lands, a proven way of carbon storage.

We also need to reduce our energy use. This can be achieved by a combination of more efficient technology and changes in behaviour that will lead to large reductions in energy use for hot water and heating, cooking and lighting and transport. Insulation in new buildings and the retro-fitting of older properties will lead to a reduction in energy demand by about 50%. Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Deal's Insulation & Green Energy Fair - Sat 5th October

Deal With It will be staging its second Insulation and Green Energy Fair at Deal Town Hall on Deal High St on Saturday 5th October from 11am to 3pm

Victoria Nicholls, Deal With It Secretary said: “A recent BBC survey highlighted that some 38% of people were very concerned about paying their heating bills this coming winter. It found that 25% of people had put up with "unacceptably cold" homes in the past year as they struggled to pay bills.

The idea of our Green Energy Fair is to demonstrate that there is something we can do about it. Simple steps like better insulation and reducing draughts in the home can save pounds for us all.”

The event will have exhibitors from green energy firms, window specialists, Insulation providers and groups involved in the sustainable renovation of older homes. There will also be talks on the latest green technologies for the home and how to make older properties more energy efficient.

We will have representatives from Dover District Council and Kent County Council to talk about collective energy switching and the Government’s Green Deal scheme.

There will be practical ‘Draught-Busting’ workshops where people can learn the DIY techniques to make their homes more cosy.

Victoria's Green Matters - 12th Sept 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: Our coast is at the forefront of a changing climate and key wildlife species are particularly at risk from global warming. The UK’s coastal areas are being transformed by sea level rise and fiercer storms, a study by the National Trust has found.

Coastal erosion is accelerating, something that we have seen happening to our White Cliffs and sea levels are going to rise by up to half a metre by the turn of the century. Quite a scary prospect for those of us who live by the coast and even worse if you should live on the cliff top.

Many species have found that the changing climate is making life particularly challenging. Puffin chicks’ preferred diet consists of sand eels but these are disappearing due partly to over fishing and partly to changing ocean temperatures. A new fish has moved in to replace the sand eels – the snake pipefish. Unfortunately, the puffins are unable to digest these fish because they are bony and hard to eat. Another problem for the puffins, whose colonies can be found on the Farne Islands and Lundy Island, is that their burrows were flooded in the very wet summer last year and in the exceptionally cold winter that followed, many died of starvation.

This is just one example of what climate change is doing to our wildlife. Some species, of course, will enjoy the new climate and thrive but we are likely to lose more species than we gain.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Threat to Fast trains to Deal ... Meeting 19th Sept

HS 1 Funding runs out in March 2014

* Deal and Sandwich service due to cease

* Government, Southeastern Railways and County Council all refuse to take responsibility

Vital service improvements on ice for at least 4 years

Public Meeting: Thursday 19th September 7:45pm at the Bohemian (upstairs ) Beach Street

Promised upgrades to the HS1 service to Deal and Sandwich have been put on ice while Kent County Council has decided to spend £10 million on a new parkway station near Minster that nobody wants.

Deal and Sandwich will be left without any high speed trains from March 2014 because nobody is prepared to support them.

The new station is supposed to serve Manston airport and Discovery Park, the rebranded Sandwich site formerly occupied by Pfizer. But this proposed white elephant station is four miles from both and according to Southeastern Trains there is no business case for building it while residents in Ramsgate and north Thanet are strongly opposed to the proposed expansion of the airport the rail station is supposed to herald.

Meanwhile, Southeastern refuses to either implement the improvements that are so vital to the future expansion of Deal and Sandwich or to guarantee the existing service, despite the massive success the service has been over the past two years.

And while the train operator sits on the sidelines and the county council rushes around on a doomed and costly wild goose chase to build an unwanted new station, the Government does nothing.

This inaction is quite shameful. The whole mess is squarely a consequence of the disaster the Coalition has made of its Rail policy. All of the new franchise bids have been delayed as a direct consequence of the West Coast Mainline fiasco and the longest delay of all hits us with Southeastern’s franchise extended by a massive four years.

The longest train delay in history.

Monday, September 9, 2013

DWI AGM 28th Sept - 2pm Dealability

Deal With It - Transition Town Deal - Annual General Meeting

This will take place on Saturday September 28th at 2pm at Dealability , Victoria Road, and apart from the business , there will be refreshments and presentations explaining what is happening with the Station garden and at the Landmark.

Please come along and support us; much good work has been achieved this year, but if it is to continue, we need you!

Several of our present committee are retiring from the committee this year so we really need fresh energy and ideas!

In addition, after five years in the role of co-ordinator, Rosie Rechter is going to stand down.

So please come along , and self propose yourself to serve on the committee on the day, or contact us in advance so that we can propose you.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Landmark Pot & Plant Sale today

Thank you for everyone who supported our Pot & Plant sale today at the Landmark Community Garden.

Special thanks to all those who donated pots and plants, volunteers for helping and to Driftwood (Rose & Sue) for the added music.

We raised £40 to be split between the projects at Deal Station Garden and Landmark

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 5th September 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: Our oceans are the largest area of focus for climate change research. The deep oceans are warming as the warmer water at the surface circulates to the lower levels. This is thought to be a very important issue relating to the earth’s climate.

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are causing acidification in our oceans, the reason why many species of marine life, especially those with shells, are under threat. Seawater is naturally alkaline and as the oceans absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide they gradually become more acidic.

Coral reefs in warm water are already suffering due to a combination of these two effects but while acidification takes much longer to act, the consequence of rising temperatures can already be seen. Oceans, of course, are not the only parts of the planet to be affected but as everything is related in the overall scheme of things, effects are being felt around the world.

It is now generally accepted by most people that global temperature increase is exacerbated by human activity but there are still some people who refuse to accept that our energy intensive way of life has anything to do with the changes that are happening around the world.

Research has shown that with some changes to our way of life, a change in the way we produce food and what we eat and changes to the way we produce and use energy, we can live in a world which is not polluted with the results of this life.