Sunday, December 26, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th December 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It seems like an early Christmas present for the green movement. Energy secretary Chris Huhne’s announcement last week that the government intends to make reforms to the market so that renewables will be more profitable than fossil fuel energy.

There are plans for enormous wind farms around our shores. The Thanet array, visible to us here in Deal on a good day, is currently the largest off shore wind farm in the world but it will be dwarfed by future installations off the East Coast.

As well as helping to meet our low carbon electricity needs of the future – we need to produce 30% of our electricity from renewables by 2020 – these wind farms represent a chance to rebuild our ailing economy after the recent banking crisis. This also means the chance to generate up to 25,000 much-needed jobs in this new industry.

Towns that were once the heart of the fishing industry, such as Grimsby, are eager to take the opportunity to make their towns prosperous once again by investing in an industry which will create real jobs, both during construction and for maintenance when the turbines are up and running.

But there are worries. The government is not leading strongly enough; it is not co-ordinating the emerging industry and British firms may not get enough of the work that will ensue. Foreign companies are queuing up for the chance to invest, heavily subsidised by their governments, while British companies are being refused loans by banks that have been bailed out by the taxpayer.

The government’s promised green investment bank has not materialised. Another victim of the recession, we hear, from Mr. Huhne but short-term thinking will not bring us out of this recession. We need jobs, real jobs that will help to create the low carbon society of the future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st December 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Christmas is coming and a time of over indulgence beckons. We do it every year, don’t we? We buy twice as much food as we are ever going to eat and end up throwing it away. Why not think a little bit more carefully about it this year? Many of us will have much less to spend anyway; many people have lost their jobs and are depending on benefits to see them through a very tough time. Is a simpler sort of life really such a bad idea?

Why not aim for the money that you spend to benefit someone other than a giant High Street retailer? We all have our favourite good causes and there is usually a way that we can buy goods, either in a shop, from a catalogue or on the Internet, that will enable a charity to continue its good work.

Shopping in a charity shop is, of course, the best way of recycling goods. You can donate items that you no longer need or use for the charity to sell to raise money for the cause. You can also buy goods from the shop to give as Christmas presents. This not only benefits the recipient of your gift but also the charity that has received your money.

When you shop for your Christmas food, think carefully before you buy special offers. Do you really need so much more than for an ordinary weekend? Try to stick to the principle of buying local food as much as possible. You will then eat fruit and vegetables that are in season, reduce food miles and therefore carbon emissions and support local growers into the bargain. Be creative with your leftovers – there are lots of lovely dishes to be made.

Most of all have a very Merry, if simple, Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Organising group meeting 5th Dec

The Deal With It organising group meet on Sunday:
  • Great feedback for the Zero carbon Concert
  • New events for 2011
  • Invited by Deal Town Mayor Ben Bano to a reception on 'Transition Town' Deal on 10th Jan
  • Green Social on Tuesday 28th Dec at Dealability
  • Organising a 'Green Energy Fair' in March
  • Delicious Deal starting in ernest - Deal Garden Share to be launched, meeting being arranged by mapping team and the baking group will get together
  • Steve looking at better emailing service at xmas
More details to follow in a mailing

Victoria's Green Matters - 6th December 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:The effects of climate change are rarely more obvious than in the home of the polar bear. There have been many reports of melting ice in the Arctic Circle, and scientists predict that if we continue to produce greenhouse gases at the present rate, two thirds of the world’s polar bear population will probably be gone in 40 years, if not sooner.

Recently, the Obama administration in the USA designated an area of 187,000 square miles of territory off the coast of Alaska as a protected area for polar bears. On the face of it, this seems like really good news but since the greatest threat to the polar bear is melting ice, giving them a protected area without taken action to limit carbon emissions seems to be nothing more than window dressing.

But there is a lot more at stake here. The designated area is sea ice and oil companies are keen to start drilling once the winter ice has lost its hold. The designation does not prevent drilling or other activities, just that applications will be subject to review. Oil companies are keen to stress that there will be no accidents like the spillage in the Gulf of Mexico and are more than willing to abide by stronger government regulations.

It will be interesting to see whether the corporate strength of the oil companies, waiting to start their explorations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, will overcome any reluctance by the Obama administration to give permission to drill in this protected area. It would seem foolish in the extreme from a layman’s point of view to continue to look for oil in a world that is already burning too much fossil fuel for its energy needs.

It is not enough to hope that the polar bear wins out but it is up to us all to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in favour of renewables

Sunday, December 5, 2010

ZCC Raffle winners


1.                  639   Fair Trade Organic Christmas Cake – Charlie
2.                  806   Wine – Vivienne Clifford
3.                  733   Wine – Pam Brivio
4.                  740   Condiment Set – Mr Barrett
5.                  685   Pashmina – Marie-Claude Bano
6.                  721   Exercise DVD – Alistair Gould
7.                  602   Tai Chi Book – Mr & Mrs Knott
8.                  675   Fair Trade Chocolates – K. Ward
9.                  633   Toiletries Set – Mrs White
10.             737   Dark Pink Cyclamen – Mr Barrett
11.             714   Pale Pink Cyclamen – Sean Furey
12.             812   Toiletries – Dover Bee Keepers
13.             671   Jar and Toiletries – K. Ward
14.             666   Wine – K. Ward.

Thanks to all those who donated prizes and Vicki & Tony for organising - The £50 surplus went towards the leaflet/poster costs....

Later Lighter - bill wins second reading

"Amazing news: at 2.10pm today the Daylight Saving Bill PASSED its crucial second reading in the House of Commons. The campaign won the two votes: an amazing 123 MPs  (including Deal & Dover's Charlie Elphicke ) (voted to close the debate (basically saying they'd heard enough and were ready to take a stance on the bill), with the motion itself being passed with a majority of 82 votes. You can watch the full debate here and read the Hansard transcript of the debate here.
There's still plenty of work to be done to make lighter evenings a reality but right now I want to thank you all so very much for your support in making this victory happen. Today's is the biggest development on this issue for decades, and only with your herculean efforts have we been able to make Lighter Later a reality. Time after time, MPs on the floor referenced your emails, letters and calls in support of the bill as what persuaded them to vote yes today
I'd also quickly like to thank Rebecca Harris MP (and her team) for their amazing work, the rest of the Lighter Later coalition and finally the team here: Sion, Maddy, Suki, Mal, Robin and John, and all at 10:10 – who have been working around the clock over the last few weeks.." from Later Lighter

Friday, December 3, 2010

Transition world roundup for Nov....

Great summary of all transition initiatives at the permaculture site

Sholden says NO

Housing development at Sholden  goes to a special planning committee of Deal Town Council at 7.15 on Wednesday 8th December.

Support the campaign to stop the building of  unsustainable houses on prime agricultural land.... come along to support Sholden Parish Council

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 1st December 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: It’s that time of year again. Time for the next United Nations Climate Change Summit, this time in Cancún, Mexico. We can but hope that this time it will be different and not a repeat of last year’s dismal failure in Copenhagen.

2010 has been a year of record temperatures and extreme weather and it does not seem possible to restrict world temperature rise to 2ºC. The complexities of the climate system means that even small changes could bring flooded coastlines, disruption to food and water supplies and species extinction. There are nearly 100 small island states and other poor countries that find themselves in the frontline when it comes to climate change and an agreement from rich nations to allow a global temperature rise of 2ºC when a lower limit is necessary will threaten their future.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, said “ If the world fails to stop emissions from continuing to climb by 2020, the prospects for the people on the planet are pretty bleak”. This is from a minister in a Government that seems set to backslide from committing to emission reduction at home. There seems little hope of a binding agreement on the world-wide reduction of carbon dioxide emissions so emphasis is being placed on schemes to reduce deforestation and land degradation, along with pledges of billions of dollars to help developing countries follow a low carbon route.

While the world economic situation is in such turmoil, it is easy to see why governments feel that they do not have time or money to spend on what is not directly affecting most of them at the present time. Such thinking is for the short term but climate change is a long-term problem, which will affect everyone eventually and many people immediately.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our star the bicycle generator.....

Couple more pictures of our wonderful bicycle generator and generators.....

Will Greenham - Bicycle Generator Engineer

Cocos Lovers powered by our Steve

Yes, we really did burn rubber!

Ben Bano - One Mayor power!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deal's Big Green Experiment works !

Despite a very large wobble when the snow hit Deal first thing on Sunday we had a great day at Deal Big Green Experiment: Zero Carbon Concert at the Astor on Sunday ... according to the Astor they estimate about 300 visited the events in the afternoon and evening.

Massive thank to all those who ran stalls, played music, did the collections, gave talks, helped setup, built generators, brought food and pedalled power the music - fantastic working example what a community can do ...

Special thanks to James & the team at the Astor for being so supportative and to Will Greenham (& all those who helped him) to build our wonderful bicycle generator that is now available for community use in Deal.

Over £177 was raised for the Astor Roof Insulation Fund.

We got a number of photos at our facebook page & more to follow 

or see our flickr site at

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Growing pains: Transition Towns

BBC Radio4's 'In Business' programme had an interesting edition tonight on 'Growing Pains: Economic Growth'.

A good & balanced discussion which covers the work of the New Economic Foundation and The Transition Towns (like Deal With It) movement... well worth a listen

Deal With It: Report on Tuesday's Transport Meeting

Some 17 hardy enthusiasts braved a very cold evening to attend Deal With It's Transport meeting on Tuesday, 23 November 2010.
Sarah gave us a very interesting power point presentation comprising information about car sharing, cycling, train and bus travel.

As an enthusiastic car sharer she was able to tell us of her own experiences which are so far good. Ian Kilberry, from Trains4Deal, also shared some of his acquired knowledge.

We were pleased to welcome Jeremy Cooper, Commercial Director for Stagecoach in Kent and Sussex, who gave us a very interesting talk about bus travel in general and bus travel in Deal in particular. He was very interested in all our comments and questions, noting some points in particular which were news to him. He is also an environmentallist, and practises what he preaches by travelling by cycle, bus and train when he can.

All in all, it was a very successful evening and very enjoyable.

Thanks to Vicki Nicholls and Rose Dowd for words & photos

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

350 Earth ... building up for Mexico...

This November 20-28, 350 EARTH will launch the world’s first ever global climate art project. In over a dozen places across the globe, citizens and artists will create massive public art installations to show how climate change is already impacting our world as well as offer visions of how we can solve the crisis. Each art installation will be large enough to be seen from space and documented by satellites generously provided by DigitalGlobe.

350 EARTH will be the first-ever global scale group show on the front line of climate change—our polluted cities, endangered forests, melting glaciers, and sinking coastlines. People around the world are invited to take part by attending signature events, submitting their own art, and spreading the word about the project.

350 EARTH will take place on the eve of the next United Nations climate meetings in Cancun, Mexico where delegates will work to create an international climate treaty. Our politicians have all the facts, figures, and graphs they need to solve the climate crisis. What they lack is the will. 350 EARTH will demonstrate the massive public support for bold climate action and the role that art can play in inspiring humanity to take on our greatest challenge: protecting the planet on which we live.

If you are in Brighton next saturday...
Next Saturday the 27th of November, we'll be gathering a massive crowd in Brighton for one of the largest artistic symbols of climate chaos the world has ever seen. If you are anywhere nearby, come out and participate!

Thom and artist Stanley Donwood have adapted the story of King Canute into a visual image of human beings trying to hold back the chaos of climate change (you may recognize it from Thom's album Eraser, or perhaps even the original Jonathan Porritt speech where Thom got the idea). We are hoping for a massive crowd there because, well, we will form the art ourselves across hundreds of meters, so the bigger the crowd the better the art.

Victoria's Green Matters - 24th Nov 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:  There is little doubt that the world’s ice is melting, and melting quickly. So, you may think, what has this to do with me? Apart from a bit of inconvenient ice and snow in the winter sometimes, melting ice is hardly my number one problem.

Recent scientific research has shown big changes in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. These are far away places but the sea level rise that melting ice creates will cause coastal flooding and endanger some of the world’s great cities, London among them, by the end of this century.

Rising sea levels could turn out to be the single, most serious effect of global climate change. Not only are air temperatures rising around the world but ocean temperatures are rising, too. Warmer water, originating in the south, is travelling into Greenland’s fjords and melting the sea ice from below, causing the glaciers to move twice as quickly as ten years ago and throw out more ice into the ocean. The volume of the oceans has remained the same for thousands of years but in the middle of the 19th century, when developed countries started to burn large quantities of coal and oil, this volume started to increase.

Coastal erosion has become a huge problem for many areas in the world, including the UK, and governments have spent many millions of pounds trying to slow it down. The underlying cause, the burning of fossil fuels, still continues at an alarming rate today. Little effort has been made by governments to cut carbon emissions to lessen the increase in world temperatures.

Changes in our way of life to adapt to a low carbon future must come from the bottom up, it seems. In other words, we must lead by creating communities that use the world’s resources carefully, ever mindful of our effect on world temperatures.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trains4Deal AGM

Please help us keep up the great momentum of the campaign! 
Come to Trains4Deal's Annual meeting:
in The Alma, West St Deal, as before.
on Monday 6th December (in two weeks' time)
at 7.30 pm.

Tell your friends and make sure there's lots of support to hear guest speaker, Cllr Julie Rook, Kent county councillor for Deal.

She will report on progress towards top-level action at County Hall on better rail services for Deal and Sandwich.

Next Monday, 29th November, Trains4deal will be at Southeastern's Stakeholder Forum in Tonbridge
Help us represent YOUR views.

Their  Managing Director, Charles Horton, will present their plans for the remaining four years of the franchise, followed by plenty of time for questions.

The company says, "We are now half way through our franchise and would be interested in your feedback in how Southeastern has performed.
This is a particularly challenging time for the rail industry and we look forward to hearing your views."

How well have they performed? What do you think?

A number of Trains4deal supporters are keen to organise a demonstration outside the meeting hall in Tonbridge. It's not an open public meeting, but they want to make sure Southeastern's top managers are fully aware of local anger and outrage at our continuing dreadful service. Transport can be arranged. Click on our website for details, and email urgently if you'd like to join in,

best wishes,

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eco-Christmas advice from Walmer Parish Council&DDC

Feel good this Christmas

As well as all the wonderful things about Christmas, it is also a time of excess, over-indulgence and waste. Enjoy its pleasures and feel good this year by trying some of the following:-

Buying Presents 
Remember to take your re-useable shopping bag.

Buy rechargeable batteries for toys.

Avoid shiny wrapping papers that can’t be recycled.

Instead of computer games that use energy, why not buy a board game that will bring the family together?

Present for gadget man? How about a wind up radio, or solar powered lamp?

Why not try using what nature provides and gather pine cones, ivy and fallen branches?

If you prefer the real thing to artificial, purchase a sustainably produced, locally grown Christmas tree.

Why not make your own tree decorations - edible tree ornaments are attractive and delicious too.

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without fairy lights. Switching from conventional to LED Christmas lights will reduce your energy consumption by 90%. As they don't generate as much heat, you’ll be making your tree safer.

Make your garden sparkle with waterproof solar powered lights.

Plan your menus ahead, check your stock cupboard and stick to your shopping list – that way you cut down on how much food you buy and there’s less to waste.

Turn your vegetable peelings into compost to provide nutrition for your plants.

Freeze leftovers – they’ll make a quick and cheap meal.

New Year’s Resolutions
Don’t dump – recycle your Christmas tree, wrapping paper and cards.

Start the New Year by taking an invigorating walk, or cycle – leave the car behind.

Make your New Year’s resolution to live leaner and greener– you’ll benefit, you’ll being doing your bit for the environment and helping to ensure a sustainable future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BBC Report on Guerilla Gardening...

BBC Radio had very good programme on Guerilla Gardening - listen to it at their website at

Also watch out in Deal in Spring (you know, when it gets light again ;) )...
as rumour has it that guerilla gardeners will be stalking the byways of Deal....
Deal Writers Group

Exciting New Anthology Launch

An evening of entertainment with readings from your local writers

7.30 – 9.00 p.m. Deal Town Hall , Thursday 2nd December 2010 (Doors open 7.15)

Free glass of wine.

Enter our limerick competition on the night for a chance to win a free, signed copy of the new anthology. Simply complete either of the following limericks:

Limerick 1 – first line: My father said, “Get a career …

Limerick 2 – first line: In Deal every day you can find …

Anthologies can be purchased on the night for £4.50

An ideal Christmas stocking filler for all the family!

Victoria's Green Matters - 18th Nov 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:  
 Let’s talk rubbish again! Better than rubbish, let’s talk recycling. From early next year we will be able to recycle much more of our waste, leaving very little to go for incineration or to land fill.

It has been very annoying to be able to recycle plastic bottles but not plastic containers of other types. We all have lots of other plastic containers because it becomes increasingly difficult to buy many products without the accompanying plastic package of some sort - margarine, cottage cheese, yoghurt, cream and many more. These cartons will all go for recycling, as will Tetrapaks in which many of us buy milk and fruit juice, amongst other things. While we must make every effort not to waste food, there are always things such as vegetable peelings that must be thrown away. If you don’t have space for a compost bin, both cooked and raw food will be collected each week and will be composted. For some people the new wheelie bins will be inconvenient and arrangements will be made for households that cannot accommodate the bins or will have difficulty in moving them.

It is good to hear that the new contract for waste and recycling will actually save the council £200,000 per year, something of a change from hearing how everything is too expensive to continue. But money is not everything and knowing that we are helping to conserve the world’s resources by wasting as little as possible is very satisfying.

As a country we are far behind others in Europe in the amount that we recycle. We have increased our rates of recycling since European legislation required our councils to provide a minimum level and it is good that they have taken that step further to enable us to waste as little as possible.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Every wondered what the Welsh for 'Zero Carbon Concert' is ...?

Well it is Gŵyl Dim Carbon ! 
I know this because our transition towns colleagues at Transition LLambed in Wales.....

Zero Carbon Concert to rock Aber
Aberystwyth hosts its first Zero Carbon Concert  at lunchtime Saturday 27th November. The town is maybe the only place in Wales to be taking part in this worldwide event.
Starting at a rather unusual time of 11.45am, the free Aberystwyth Zero Carbon Concert takes place in the bandstand on the promenade and finishes about 3pm.
It is one of many concerts being held on that weekend, just before the UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico. The Worldwide Zero Carbon Concert intends to demonstrate that it is possible to have fun without causing climate change.
Local organisers are planning a multiple line up at Aberystwyth bandstand over lunchtime on Saturday 27th November. Bands that will be rocking the bandstand include Quercus Burlesque, The Unknown, The Present, and The Horizons.
The line up will include other performers such as Côr Gobaith and Samba Agogo.
But it does not stop at performers - there will also be stalls and displays promoting ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
The Zero Carbon Concert, mid-day 27th November, has only been made possible with the help of Seren Events, providers of bespoke low energy solutions for any and all events .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Smugglers Singers CD for Deal's ZCC

The Smugglers Singers - a rough band of desperate Deal Shantie singers - have put out a special edition CD to raise funds for our Bicycle powered PA generator for 'Deal's Big Green Experiment: Zero Carbon World Concert' at the Astor on Sunday 28th Nov....

The cost of this rare collectors item is only £5 from Sound House

Elham low carbon village in the news...

From Kent on Sunday "Eco-friendly villagers are putting their urban neighbours to shame with green schemes that are successfully reducing their carbon footprints.

Three years ago a number of Kent's rural community leaders took up the challenge to help tackle climate change, with some now reporting impressive results thanks to the energy-saving efforts of their residents.

Villagers in Elham, near Folkestone, are among those to have successfully reduced their carbon footprints after being persuaded to take measures to improve their energy efficiency such as using low-voltage light bulbs and providing better insulation for their homes.

The Elham Environmental Group (EEG), which was formed in 2007, has also planted a large number of trees for the community and produced sustainable shopping bags for local traders.

Residents who sign up to the Fuel Club can also enjoy cheaper bills thanks to pooled deliveries of heating oil that limit the number of times lorries have to visit the village..... read on here"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Delicious Deal - the first course!

We had a very productive day at our food themed set of workshops - 'Delicious Deal'- on Saturday at DealAbility.

We have volunteers looking at three main iniatives:

1. Food Mapping. This will be doing some research on where our food comes. Sean Furey from Protect Kent described  how this had been tackled elsewhere in Kent and the sort of 'toolkits' which are available. We hope this initiative will be extended to cover things like cost comparison between buying & eating local compared to supermarket shopping. Rose R, Diana and Rose D will be getting this off the ground

2. Baking, Cooking & Preserves. This group is about getting 'older' skills out to an new local audience. The intention to get a practical skills & recipes group going with some dropin workshops - Jay, Vicki, Helen are moving this on.

3. Grow Group - A number of related themes here with the twin objectives of getting more people in Deal Growing their own food and setting up a local Community Garden & food coop. A good discussion was had about increasing peoples knowledge about sustainable growing thats supports wildlife habitats and just getting out there and dig! A Guerrilla Gardening campiagn in the Spring following the idenfication of possible sites & assessment on impact of wildlife over winter (Keiran, Steve, Thea, Adrian), A Garden Share scheme (Sandra, Sue & Steve), Looking a Community Garden sites  in the town (Thea & Steve). Adrian & Sue are going to host a 'Grow your own' at home with a demonstration of basic gardening skills and wildlife gardening. Mapping Allotment provision locally - still looking for someone to work with Steve to do the research.

Big thank you for Vicki and Rosie for organising the venue & all the prep work, to Deal Fairtrade for the display & cakes, Kieran for the home make chocolate and all those who bought cakes to share.

If you missed the day its not too late to get involved in any of the projects just email  or give Steve a bell on 01304 372673

Friday, November 12, 2010

News from Trains4Deal...

Soon news from our colleagues in Trains4Deal [and as someone who did the 45min wait at windy Dover while the HST customers waited for the local Deal train (except it was over 50mins tonight!) I personally cannot wait] ....

Trains4deal welcomes more last-minute changes for Southeastern's December timetable for PEAK TIME EVENINGS that benefit Deal and Sandwich rail-users:

(1) NEW 1724 from Cannon Street, arr. Deal 1933, Sandwich 1939

This gives a better (but not brilliant) connection at Dover for the 1740 high-speed from St Pancras, reducing your wait at Dover from 46 mins to 25!

It also fills a one hour gap in the Dover - Ramsgate service.

We'll still only have one direct train from Cannon St - see (3) below.

(2) NEW 1821 from Charing Cross, arr. Deal 2019, Sandwich 2025.

By not calling at Marden or Pluckley, this new service will hold the current speed record for the Charing Cross line - London to Deal in 1 hour 58 mins! (shows it can be done!)

(3) 1808 from Cannon St will run via Canterbury instead, but you could catch it , change at London Bridge (or maybe Ashford) onto the new 1821 from Charing Cross, and still get back home at the same time.

These evening changes are additional to the morning peak time changes announced previously. Full details at


Last winter's snow severely disrupted services on our line.

It was particularly frustrating when snow elsewhere in Kent stopped the Charing Cross trains getting through while the high-speed trains managed to keep running (even on the third rail track).

Trains4deal welcomes Southeastern's plan to run separate services, Charing Cross - Ashford and Ashford - Ramsgate when there's a winter emergency.

We'll press for priority to link our stations with the high-speed services at either Dover or Ramsgate in the vent of serious snoe - so our area isn't left completely stranded.


Trains4deal will be at the Southeastern Stakeholders Forum on 29 November - please send in any issues you want us to raise with Southeastern managers.


Deal County Councillor JULIE ROOK reports that discussions re. a trial of direct high-speed services during the Open Golf next July are "looking good".

KCC is looking at doing an independent survey of passenger satisfaction, an issue raised at the Kent Rail Summit:

The full Kent Rail Summit debate is on-line, together with the presentations from KCC and Southeastern. All are available by clicking the underlined words.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tidal barrage goes live (but in France)

We may have the longest coastline in Europe and the channel the highest tidal change but we just cannot make Tidal Energy happen. A few weeks after the Coalition Government put a red line through the Severn Barrage France has been using Tidal energy for nearly 40 years with the Rance River in Brittany....

From the Ecologist " The UK may have turned its back on the Severn barrage but across the channel they have been harnessing tidal energy from the River Rance for more than 40 years - and it may yet point to a way forward for smaller-scale renewable projects

Although France is rich in many areas, it is very poor in energy resources. The Germans and Spanish have coal, Britain has enjoyed an abundance of oil, gas and coal, the Dutch have gas from the North Sea, and the Swiss enjoy plentiful hydro-electric power.

French coal mining ended in April 2004 with the closure of the last pit in the Lorraine region. Until the end of the 1970s, French natural gas supplied between six and seven million tons of gas per year, contributing up to 15 per cent of France's primary energy production, but this has now fallen to just 2 per cent, and oil production now stands at less than 1.5 million tons per year..... read more here

How France eclipsed the UK with Brittany tidal success story
Robert Williams 10th November

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Green Xmas Lights for Sandwich

The Sandwich Christmas Lights Committee have 'Greened' this year's lights in Sandwich.

Paul Carter, Chair of the Committee said to Deal With It "for several years have been trying to turn the event 'green' by using LED lighting and this year I will. Our County Councillor has given me the grant so we are having LED lighting which will consume about a tenth of the previous electricity and we are having a vehicle-free parade! "

The Event happens on Friday 26 November from 6pm from the Guildhall in Sandwich..

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Deal ZCC: thanks to all our Buskers ...

A big thank you to all our buskers who came to play and sing on saturday in the high st to promote 'Deal's Big Green Experiement: Our own Zero Carbon Concert'  which is happening on Sunday 28th Nov @ the Astor.

We had the Smugglers Singers singing their shanties, Driftwood, Bottles, Mac, Eddie all playing.and a bit support from Lynda B...

Thanks to all whose who helped on the day to set things up & leaflet: Vicki & Tony, Charles, Kath, Carol,  Joy, Keinran, and all the kids! We manged to handout over 250 leaflets!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another C4 hatchet job ? Nov 4th

Channel 4 have a documentary on Thursday 4th Nov 9pm 'What the Green Movement got wrong' followed a studio debate on the issues raised at 10:20

'A group of environmentalists are challenging the movement they helped to create. These life-long diehard greens advocate radical solutions to climate change, including GM crops and nuclear energy.'

Hope it does not end up as a rant against Greenpeace & FoE...But I think it is made by the sort of people who shouted 'What Fire!' in the Towering Inferno!

See a good response in the Ecologist

Victoria's Green Matters - 3rd Nov 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:  
It is difficult to imagine that our actions here can have a long-term effect on the other side of the world. When you buy patio or garden furniture, do you spare a thought for the people who live in the rainforests from where the wood originates?

Indonesia has one of the largest rain forests in the world but hundreds of acres of trees are being cut down to make furniture, trinket boxes, doors and plywood to be sold here.  This devastation is endangering not only the people and wildlife but it is contributing to global climate change on a large scale.

These rainforests contain a remarkable biodiversity and are the only home to the pygmy elephant, the clouded leopard, the sun bear and the orang-utan. They all face extinction if the forest is destroyed. As trees are felled, the surrounding flora die too, allowing the free flowing of floodwaters to kill more trees, insects and plants and soil erosion follows.

The livelihoods of the local people are all affected by the floodwater. People move about by boat, wading through the water to get to the shops. There are fears for the rice harvest and rattan, for weaving into baskets and mats, is more difficult to find.

There are attempts to licence companies to log sustainably so that the forest is not ruined, but illegal logging is everywhere. It is very difficult to track the trees from forest, to sawmill and then to boat. There is so much money to be made exporting logs that unscrupulous companies continually take out timber extra to their licence. Products from sustainable logging can be bought in this country at B&Q, John Lewis and Argos.

It is important to remember to look for the Forest Stewardship Council certification when you are buying any wood products from overseas to ensure that you are not adding to the troubles of people so far away.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Zero Carbon Britain demo 4th Dec

Campaign against Climate Change
March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain
 ImageSaturday December 4th

Assemble at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park  12.00 noon.
Part of a Global Day of Action on climate on the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Cancun, Mexico.

Challenge the government to take the action we need to meet the climate threat.
The failure of the international Talks in Copenhagen doesn't mean the threat of catastrophic Climate Change has got any less grave or less urgent. Don't let them think last year's big climate demo was just a 'one-off wonder'.   Tell them we need urgent action now and take to government a message and vision for a Zero Carbon Britain that won't just stop with this demo but that we can build on afterwards !
And building a Zero Carbon Britain means Climate Jobs Now : we have a positive vision not only for addresing the global threat of climate catastrophe but also for the economic crisis.

10.30 am Protest Bike ride assembles at Lincoln's Inn Fields - to join the main protest at Hyde Park later. Bike protest web page coming soon)
11.00 am Climate Service at the Church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street organised by Christian Ecology,  see here.
12..00 noon Assemble on North Carriageway Drive (near Speakers Corner), Hyde park

12.00 - 1.00 pm Help us spell out a message for Zero Carbon by 2030 - with hundreds of people in a photo taken from above in Hyde Park.
Zero Carbon March to Parliament
via Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Picadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Parliament Square.
2.00 pm: Climate Emergency Rally opposite Parliament

March with us for…
Climate Action and Climate Justice….

Green Transport exhibit in London 16-18 Nov

Eco2 Transport is not an academic talking shop, it is an "act now" solutions-orientated, business-driven event for all organisations, both public and private sector, from SME to blue-chip corporate, enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint — and increase their cost efficiency.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Delicious Deal is unleashed!

Following our ‘Transition Town’ workshop in September we are launching our ‘Local Food’ Group - ‘Delicious Deal’.

The  purpose of the day is get everyone passionate about eating local food or growing their-own, involved in a number of projects; which will give us new skills, new opportunities to grow & cook our own food and to gain a better understanding of where Deal’s food comes from. 

In doing so we hope to reduce Deal’s Carbon Footprint & enjoy some local delicious food. Suggested projects are:
  • Deal Garden Share Scheme
  • Deal Guerrilla Gardening
  • Research into Allotment provision locally
  • Survey of where we buy our food
  • Local Food mapping  & Directory exercise
  • Skills for cooking real bread, preserves and family food.
All welcome - Please come along and tell us what YOU would like to get involved in and what is important to YOU

Saturday 13th Nov at 2-5pm
DealAbility, 43 Victoria  Road, Deal CT14 7AY

Night Flights over Thanet Council halt consultation....

Thanks to ProtectKent for the info

Video from recent meeting the expansion of night flights from Manston:

Link in case you cannot see the video

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carbon Free St Margarets Meeting report

Despite a cold and rainy evening, about 18 people attended an excellent and beautifully illustrated presentation by Alistair Gould, chairman of the Bay Trust, about St. Margaret's attempts to become Britain's first low carbon community.

This centered around their plans to set up community based energy production and Alistair explained the various options they had looked at to produce sufficient energy for the community and excess to sell to give a capital return.

An enthusiastic audience asked him lots of questions which he was more than happy to answer.

Tea, coffee and cakes followed to end a most enjoyable and informative evening'

Thanks to Vicki for the report and Jeremy for the Photos

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Local Transport in Deal Matters! 23rd Nov

On the 23rd November Deal With It are holding a special  meeting on local transport:  we will be looking at Car sharing schemes, local train services especially to Canterbury and Dover, safer cycling in the district and other green transport options. We hope to have representative from Stagecoach on how we could improve our local  bus service.

All Welcome.

For further details please contact Sarah Gleave -

Boris looks at Cliffe again for an London Airport?

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is considering a proposal to build an airport on the Hoo peninsula in north Kent.

The plan would see the facility built at Cliffe, in an attempt to increase flight capacity around London without extending Heathrow. Other sites under consideration include the Thames Estuary.
Cliffe, which is renowned for its birdlife, was last considered as a site for a new airport in 2002, by the then Labour government. However plans for the site were shelved in December 2003. (from

Monday, October 25, 2010

Victoria's Green Matters - 25th Oct 2010

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:  
There is no doubt – we are using up the world’s resources at an alarming rate and could soon need a second Earth to produce what we have come to expect as our due.

We think that we are really quite ‘green’ here in the UK, after all our rivers are cleaner, our air less polluted, we are planting more trees, using far less pesticides and our recycling rates are much improved. What could be wrong?

Unfortunately, we have exported much of the environmental damage that is caused by the production of consumer goods demanded by our society. Many people say that we can do nothing about climate change while nations such as China and India are developing and polluting the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate. Per head of population, they pollute very little and their increased production is to satisfy our, and other western countries’, demand for chemicals, steel, ships and other essentials.

It is difficult to believe that there are 200,000 more of us each day. How can we possibly sustain a population increase of this level with people continuing to be richer and demanding more products? Some people believe that we will simply use up all the world’s natural resources and destroy the environment until there is a massive breakdown.

There is another way. We have the ability to co-operate and to be creative to overcome the challenges that face us. We can change our culture and we can change our level of consumption. But, we must not stand by and do nothing.

Let us move forward by seeing the current economic climate as a chance to change our way of life; to reduce unnecessary acquisitions and to join with others in our communities to build happier, healthier and less stressful lives and do the Earth a favour in the process.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Elham Low Carbon Village speak at Protect Kent AGM


Gemma Watts, PR & Events Manager, Protect Kent

20 October 2010

The village of Elham is in the centre of a beautiful chalk-land valley near Canterbury. In 2007, Elham was chosen by Kent County Council with assistance from the Kent Energy Centre, as one of four villages in Kent, to pioneer local efforts to cut carbon emissions.

The Elham Low Carbon Initiative (ELCI) was launched to reduce the collective carbon emissions of the village by 20% over the first year.

Reverend Canon David Ratcliff, Chairman of the Elham Environmental Group (EEG) - set up to steer the programme, will be addressing Protect Kent Canterbury’s AGM on Monday 8th November from 7.30pm.

The meeting is open to all and is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the work of the Protect Kent Canterbury Committee within the City. There will be chance to have your say on local planning or environmental issues.

The AGM will take place at Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Ashford Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3XR. Wine will be served from 7pm, the AGM will commence at 7.30pm.

Thanks to Protect Kent for the posting....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trains4Deal News:

At Thursday's Kent Rail Summit in Maidstone, senior KCC transport strategists revealed to an audience including Trains4deal that the extension of the high speed service HS 1 to Deal is now a top priority in the council's submissions to the Department for Transport (DfT) for the specification of Kent's rail services under the new franchise, due to run from 2014.
“The promotion of Deal to the top of the list of changes the county council is lobbying for is good news and very encouraging,” Julie Rook , county councillor for Deal told the Summit, “We have just got to keep this campaign going - it makes no sense to exclude Deal from the high speed train network. I will be pressing for an early meeting with the transport minister.”

Read the full story at

Apple Fayre @ the White Cliffs on Saturaday 23rd Oct

Apple Fayre Weekend

Fairs & Festivals, Food & Drink

White Cliffs of Dover, Dover
Buy local produce, learn about and taste different apple varieties and have a go on fun games and competitions.
A marquee will accommodate a large selection of apples and juices, where visitors can taste old and new varieties before they buy. An apple expert will be on hand for consultations and other local produce stalls will be selling their wares.

Try your hand at guessing the weight of the pumpkin or finding the maggot! Prizes to be won.
Saturday 23rd October 2010+ show more dates
Sunday 24th October 2010
10am - 4pm
Free event. Usual car parking fees apply.
White Cliffs of Dover
Langdon Cliffs
Upper Road
CT16 1HJ

01304 202756

Kingsnorth power station plans shelved by E.ON

    Kent Kingsnorth power station site has been the scene of many protests including Camp For Climate Action last year. ( From Guardian Oct7) Environmental campaigners were celebrating tonight after controversial plans for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent were shelved, as the company behind the scheme postponed the project and blamed the recession. Energy group E.ON said recent falls in demand for electricity had forced it to rethink, but that the plant could still be built if economic conditions permitted. However, green campaigners were claiming a major victory over what they viewed as in effect a cancellation of the Kingsnorth station, which has become a focus for protest and concern over carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. In a statement to green groups including Greenpeace, the company said: "We can confirm that we expect to defer an investment decision on the Kingsnorth proposals for up to two to three years. This is based on the global recession, which has pushed back the need for new plant in the UK to around 2016 ... we remain committed to the development of cleaner coal and carbon capture and storage". John Sauven, head of Greenpeace, said: "This development is extremely good news for the climate and in a stroke significantly reduces the chances of an unabated Kingsnorth plant ever being built. The case for new coal is crumbling, with even E.ON now accepting it's not currently economic to build new plants."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is forging fruit legal ?

From the BBC "Today, Thursday 21st October is National Apple Day. Some may mark it with an apple picked from a nearby tree's laden branches. But is this - and foraging for other fruit, fungi and foliage - legal?

In recent years, people have begun to cotton on to the culinary riches that surround us in parks, forests and hedgerows. There is a vogue for foraged food, driven by high-profile chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as well as concerns about food miles and spending cuts.
And it has been a particularly bountiful autumn, with bumper crops of apples, pears and plums, blackberries, sloes and hawthorn berries, and mushrooms of all types.
But if you don't own the land on which it grows, can you legally pick it? The Theft Act 1968, for England and Wales, states that:
"A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose."

And the Scottish Outdoor Access Code allows foraging, but again, not for commercial use.
So the intended use is key. The legality or otherwise of foraging is "incredibly complicated", says Ray Woods, of the wild plant conservation body Plantlife

Points to remember:
  • Common law allows foraging for personal use
  • Some councils or other bodies have bye laws against foraging - look out for notices
  • Letting some fruit rot can benefit wildlife