Wednesday, June 29, 2011

East Kent FOE Letter on 'Fracking'

"A new report for The Coop warns that the full environmental impact of  Shale Gas Drilling needs to be fully assessed before any more projects are approved.

There is growing concern over the controversial technique used - 'Fracking' where the rock is fractured using chemicals.

In The US Texas have become the first state to pass a law requiring companies to disclose which of up to 600 substances they use in fracking. Growing disquiet has forced Texas Governor - Rick Perry to act after companies constantly refused to disclose the information. In New york State contamination of water supplies has lead to a ban on all fracking operations until the effect on their water supplies can be fully addressed.

The UK Government and Local Councils need to act now and stop all further Shale Gas Drilling at least until all the wider environmental concerns can be exposed and addressed."

Stuart Cox
Group Coordinator
East Kent FOE

Talking Transition to Deal Town Council

On Tuesday 28th June 2011 DEAL WITH IT chair Rosie Rechter gave a 10 minute presentation to a full council meeting of Deal Town Council asking them to pass a resolution to support Deal becoming part of the Transition town network.

With the backing of the town council, Deal will be able to do more, faster, in the process of becoming a sustainable, resilient, low carbon community, better able to cope with the challenges of climate change, exponentially rising fossil fuel prices and the global financial crisis.

Rosie stressed that many initiatives have already been undertaken but with local democratic
representatives' support, the grass roots movement could move faster towards a low carbon lifestyle promoting local producers, retailers, local transport links and green tourism, as other Kent transition towns and low carbon communities are doing.

Mention was made of Poole's move towards tidal energy generation as a social community-owned enterprise !

The presentation was well received and DTC cllrs agreed to discuss the matter fully next month. Our hopes are raised and our fingers firmly crossed - Watch this space!

Thanks to Sarah for the report & Rose for the Pic

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters- 30th June 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It’s all about waste again this week! Come September, we will be able to recycle far more of our packaging waste than ever before. Of course, this can only be a good thing but should there be so much packaging in the first place? There is 10 million tons of packaging produced in the UK each year.

Campaigns against excessive packaging have only been mildly successful and the volume of packaging is rising by 1% per year, partly due to the fact that more goods are being sold. We are continuing to find goods in the supermarket needlessly wrapped in polythene or placed in plastic trays in plastic wrapping.

The Government has recently rejected calls to put a tax on plastic bags, to restrict manufacturers’ use of raw materials and to bring in a bottle deposit scheme because of resistance from retailers. Again, big business holds the sway against common sense when it comes to safeguarding the world’s resources.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has been trying to get the reinstatement of the deposit scheme for soft drink and beer bottles that we had in the 1970s. Many of you will remember how we used to take bottles back to the shop to claim the deposit – only a few pence then. It is widely accepted that such a scheme would reduce litter and aid recycling but again opposition from businesses has scotched the plan. A similar scheme has been running in Denmark for many years, where machines have been produced to accept returned bottles and to give out the correct money. What an incentive to recycle a money back scheme could be and surely there would be fewer bottles littering the streets.

Far from being the greenest government ever, this administration seems to be back-pedalling on many of the promises it made before the election.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Support Elham Community PV Scheme

Thanks for supporting the Elham Environment Group Community Solar Scheme!

We are entering the application process to bid for £100,000 worth of solar PV panels for our community building roofs - to get through to the next stage we need to show maximum support as that is part of the selection process.

So far we have 70 supporters which is great - but in a village of over 1,500 people I feel we could do better! Please could you each persuade one more person to sign up, a neighbour, friend, relative....they don't have to live in the village to support the idea.

Some people have had a technical problem with the website which I know is frustrating, but they are looking into it, along with the fact that so far people who aren't online can't support the scheme, which isn't ideal.... If anyone you know has technical problems signing up or wants to support but doesn't use a computer please let me know so that we can ensure their support is still registered with Energyshare.
Thanks! And don't forget, if you can persuade one more person to sign up we can double our numbers and be amongst the top groups. We have 9 days left!

To reply to this message, follow the link below:



- 20 JUNE TO 22 AUGUST 2011

Read the draft, find out more and complete the online consultation survey at
Dear colleague
We need your views to make Kent a better place over the next 10 years.
The Vision for Kent 2011-2021 is the new community strategy for the County. It is owned by Kent Forum, a partnership of Kent ’s Councils that agrees shared priorities and responds to the needs of local communities and businesses.
Vision for Kent sets out three big ambitions to make Kent a better place. They are:
- To grow the economy
- To tackle disadvantage
- To put citizens in control
The ambitions have been developed by many organisations that provide services to the people of Kent , including from the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The draft Vision for Kent 2011-2021 is now out for formal consultation. We want your views on how to achieve the three big ambitions, and whether the draft meets your needs and the needs of the people that you provide services to.
You can read the draft, find out more and complete the online consultation survey at
Please forward this email onto anyone else who may wish to take part in the consultation.
If you have any questions, please contact the Kent Forum support team on:
T: 01622 694122
Our sincere apologies if you receive this email more than once.
Emma Carey
Community Engagement Manager - Dover
Room 1.97 Sessions House
Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ
Tel: 07850 924247

Monday, June 20, 2011

Soul on Sunday at the Landmark

The Landmark have another Soul on Sunday in the Landmark Community Cafe this Sunday 26th June 12pm to 3:30pm.

With Good Food, Live Music, Local Artists at work, and food giving a taste of the Caribbean.

£10.00 per person for two courses.

Jack's EKM Letter

The EKM published Jack Domane's letter but with a couple of key edits.... We are happy to publish the full letter but its Jack's personal views:
"Before we say no let us coordinate the facts. We are to be dependent upon Russia for our gas, oil from militant Islamic States and now electricity from the Continent as our power generating system degrades at an alarming state. There are Government considerations of buying power from Iceland with thousands of kilometres of cable at enormous cost and power loss. Why? When we have our own geothermal power less than 3 miles under our feet where we stand.

Drilling a hole the size of a football a mile down into the earth will do no harm and the samples gained would provide enormous value. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking U.S) with water and sand is not a big seismic problem but adding highly toxic chemicals that could enter the table above is A POSITIVE NO.

If permission could be granted for this research project with a CONDITION that they drill further, to 4.500 metres (2.8m), which is down to deep geothermal engineering, we are going forward in solving our energy problem. It should be realised that the mass of this world that we live on is 99.97% over 200c, a very thin crust with eternal heat just under our feet. With 2 holes drilled a few metres apart through sedimentary, sial and into the basaltic sima rocks, we have clean, sustainable heat and power lasting into eternity. The engineering process is quite simple, a ram pump pumps water down to the rocks above lithosphere plate level that are above the magma, turning to pressurised super heated steam and passes up the secondary pipe to turbines, which turn generators feeding the grid. The lower pressure steam is exhausted into pipes providing heat for houses, commercial buildings, offices and schools etc. and as it condenses it is passed back to the ram pump for re-circulation, the pump itself operated by HP steam. Is the system new? No the system was used in the 1920’s and still going strong. No carbon, no waste spoils and free. 26 countries have geothermal power WHY NOT THE U.K?

Whilst I rigorously oppose any attempt to use highly toxic chemicals into the earth I would gratefully welcome the opportunity to persuade Coastal Oil and Gas Limited to drill for tests into Deep Geothermal for heat and power.

And finally, why aren’t these tests being carried out at or by the Richborough Power Station site with its existing road and grid infrastructure that is well away from residential areas, unlike the proposed site at Woodnesborough

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Government ignored Peak Oil warnings....

From the Ecologist

Report reveals threat of civil unrest from energy shortages, which has been played down as 'alarmist' by ministers

The government was warned by its own civil servants two years ago that there could be 'significant negative economic consequences' to the UK posed by near-term 'peak oil' energy shortages.

Ministers were told it was impossible to know exactly when production might fail to meet supply but when it did there could be global consequences, including "civil unrest".

Yet ministers consistently played down the threat with the contemporaneous Wicks review into energy serurity effectively dismissing peak oil as alarmist and irrelevant.

The report on the risks and impacts of a potential future decline in oil production has just been published – but only after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) was repeatedly threatened under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act with forced disclosure.

The information is revealed at a critical time when oil prices have soared to historic highs of around $115 (£71) a barrel hitting motorists through higher petrol costs and helping to drive up household gas bills. The price of oil and gas tend to be linked due under the terms of many wholesale gas contracts.

This report admits it is not possible to predict with any accuracy when crude production will peak and go into steady but final decline.

But it goes on to say that 'if peak oil happened before 2015, this would have significant negative economic consequences for some of the main importers of UK goods and services resulting in a negative impact on the UK economy in the longer term.'

Civil servants from Decc argued that while global oil reserves were still plentiful, it is "clear" that existing fields are maturing and new production is being slowed by bottlenecks.

Yet it concludes that 'alternative technologies to oil will take a long time to develop and deploy at scale.' continued at ecologist

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wye food festival 18-30th June

"We feel passionately that our little village has some great producers and places to eat, so we decided to push the boat out and attempt our first ever food festival. This will be a ten day celebration of good food with great offers and special events showcasing producers, chefs, shops and community groups that love cooking and eating. Put 18 June to 30 June in your diary and pop back here to view all the details.

The Festival will be launched at a specially extended Wye Farmers' Market on Saturday 18 June and at the Wye Gardeners' Society Summer Show. Already we have special dinners confirmed, beer and wine tastings, wild food foraging courses, a photograhy competition, a specially extended farmers's market, cookery demonstrations and walking tours and there's months to go yet. Please come to some of our events and support our local businesses."

If you are interested in taking part contact the Wye Food Group (part of the Wye Business Association), they would welcome any further ideas or contributions -

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gas drilling at Sandwich 'could lead to water contamination'

From 'Your Sandwich' - Read full article here

"Kent's entire water supply could become contaminated if plans to explore for gas lead to controversial 'hydraulic fracking', according to a leading geologist.

Thanet-based Dr Alasdair Bruce said the risks involved with such activity could affect the whole county and also lead to threat of earthquakes.

His warning followed a planning application by Welsh company Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd to drill an exploratory borehole in land at Woodnesborough, near Sandwich.

Although director of the firm Gerwyn Williams stressed it was a simple test of the coal, experts and activists fear the activity will lead to hydraulic fracking if gas is found in shale rock at the site.

The controversial extraction method was recently halted in Lancashire amid concerns it had caused two minor earthquakes in the area.

The process involves firing high-pressure liquid into rocks to force gas out, but it is believed it could activate fault lines.

Folkestone has been hit by two earthquakes in recent years; one in 2007 measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale and a later one in 2009 measuring 2.8.

Dr Bruce said the targeted rock in Woodnesborough sat below an aquifer and above fracture and fault lines.

He said: "The prime issue when I heard of these plans was of the possibility of water contamination. But it's not just contamination of the aquifer above the rock – our supplies in this county are shared around.

"This is a Kent-wide issue, not just something that would impact the immediate area of Deal and Sandwich."

Dr Bruce, who said the firm had chosen the "worst possible site" to carry out tests due to the small amount of clay in east Kent, added: "Fracking underneath the rock could reactivate faults believed to be the cause of the Folkestone earthquakes."

The geologist, who runs environmental consultancy firm Rock Doc Ltd, said although an exploratory borehole would not lead to a major incident, the fracking process could lead to a health and safety problem.

And Kent Green Party spokesman Steve Dawe said the party believed if gas was found in hard shale rock at the Dover site, the Welsh company could seek to remove it with fracking.

He warned it could lead to earthquakes and contaminate water with methane and hydrochloric acid.

Fracking is banned in South Africa and a major investigation was carried out in America following problems with the method. The French National Assembly's lower house has also voted for a ban.

But Mr Williams of Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd said the public were being misinformed due to the recent earthquakes in Lancashire.

He said: "Shale is absent in Kent, the only type they have is lower limestone shale. We're drilling an exploratory hole to test the coal. This must have happened thousands of times in Kent over the years. As far as everybody's fears are concerned, we wouldn't be able to do anything that isn't safe. ... Continues "

Next Deal Beach Clean with be Sunday 31st July

The next Deal Beach Clean will be on Sunday 31st July - meeting at Deal Pier for at 9am start. Cleaning equipment and MCS log sheets provided.

Organised by Deal With It and Marine Conservation Society

More details from Deal Beach Warden, Wendy Boorman -

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dover Cycle forum 8th June report

Very Useful meeting attended by a dozen or so people chaired by Ian Killbery
including Cllrs Bond, Carter and Frost - Sue Delling and Sarah Gleave there from

Update on the progress of Kent's Local Sustainable transport Bid and on progress on the River Dour Greenway and need for updating of Dover Cycling Plan.

Special Guest Speaker Steve Fawke chair of Spokes, and Speaker for Sustrans, on how these organisations work to combat car culture - the successes we've had in Britain with rural shared use paths and the need for more to be done on urban
shared use paths.

Huge number of deaths due to car pollution and car accidents need for lower 20mph speed limits to be worked towards through a combination of lobbying for national legislation and public awareness.

Animated discussion enjoyed by all.

Next meeting tues 13 sept @ 7.30, Deal

Thanks to Sarah for report

Friday, June 10, 2011

Deal Garden Share needs your help - we got Moles!

One of Garden Shares in Deal has had an attack of the Moles!

Grower Matthew had just planted up the 3/4 acre site when our little friends started to appear. Has any one a solution which does not involve hurting them?

Please send any suggestions to

Support North Deal Community Park's bid for funds on the 29th June

North Deal Community Park scheme are bidding for £60,000 from the Jubiee Peoples Millions supported by ITV. Remember to vote for them on Wednesday 29th June - Check the bid website for details: here

"Fitter, Healthier, Happier – that’s what we all want to be! At present, for over four thousand people in our neighbourhood there is only one public space, and that is a flat and uninteresting unused playing field. We want to create a new play area for 8-13s, add trees and other landscaping, a circular path, so that parents with buggies and people with disability scooters or wheelchairs can get out in the fresh air, and finally, a dog exercise area, to help our dog walkers keep their dogs fit and happy too. Vote for us and the Jubilee People’s Millions will help our community group turn this unloved place into a real Community Park.

Contact the scheme at:
A Community Park for North Deal
18a Harold Road, Deal, Kent

Thursday, June 9, 2011


On Tuesday 21 June at the Astor Community Theatre, Stanhope Road, Deal, at 8.00 p.m. there will be a showing of this very important film.
The film is a shocking insight into the possibilities of nuclear disaster whether nuclear terrorism, deliberate bombing, or as a result of human error. A chilling and informative wake-up call about the urgency of a threat we tend, these days to largely ignore.

See film trailer here:

Victoria's Green Matters - 8th June 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Another depressing report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the increase in global greenhouse gas emissions during the last year has focussed attention on the United Nations climate negotiations, due to take place in Bonn next week.

It would seem, from previous experience, that there is little hope of the talks bringing forth an enduring agreement on the problem of climate change. Is it too much to hope that the shock rise in emissions will concentrate minds on the need for urgent action to cut the amount of carbon dioxide being pushed into the atmosphere? Even the worst economic recession for 80 years has had little lasting effect on greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of limiting a global temperature rise to 2°C seems like just a dream.

A world temperature rise of only 2°C would see summer temperatures of 40°C in southern England, greater risk of starvation through drought and failing crops, coastal flooding affecting 10million people and species extinction.

It seems strange that the ordinary person in the street can see the dangers of extreme climate change looming but governments are still focussed on producing energy from our remaining stocks of fossil fuels, even going as far as prospecting for oil under the melting ice of the Arctic. Even if new stocks are found, we cannot safely use them. Surely the solution is to create a new, green energy industrial revolution? This will create more than just limits to climate change with innovations leading to more technologies and hence more jobs.

Local action will have to take the lead here with individual councils moving forward to adopt and advocate a low carbon lifestyle, putting in place new technologies to produce clean energy for the community.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Shale Gas in East Kent - Newsround

Campaigners have mobilised to stop the proposal to produce gas from the shale deposits by the controversal 'fracking' method: This is where a cocktail of chemicals, sand and water is used under high pressure to smash or 'frack' the shale deposits some 1500-4000m underground. This method has been know to contaminate ground water.

BBC Kent:



Your Sandwich:

Gas News:

Evironmental Agency's view 

Energy & Climate Change 5th Report here 

Coastal &Oil & Gas in Wales here

Monday, June 6, 2011

No Shale Gas in Kent!

Deal With It expressed it’s concern of the decision by local authorities to approve a test bore site for shale gas near Woodnesborough at the junction of A257/A256. It is similar operation in Blackpool that has hit the national headlines recently. That site’s operations has had to be halted because it appears to be causing earth tremors.

Shale Gas drilling is controversial because a sand, chemical and water mixture is pumped at high pressure deep inside the earth to break up the shale coal layer (‘fracking’ or fracturing the rock) and so release methane gas. It is portrayed a ‘green’ energy solution but reality the industry knows little of its long-term impact and there is lot of evidence from the USA of the practice polluting water supplies.

Rosie Rectcher, Deal With It Coordinator: “We are very concerned about this. It is not just the recent experience of what has happened in Blackpool although given the amount of old mine workings in the district that is of course a major concern. There is considerable evidence of the danger that this sort of operation poses to our water supply. Given we live in one of the most arid parts of the country we should not be taking risks with our water supply. Our part of Kent has the opportunity for many green energy solutions, from wind farms, tidal and the new energy park recently announced in the district. We do not need Shale Gas in Kent. We call upon the Kent County Council to reject the application”

The Planning application is KCC/DO/0069/2011 and be viewed at KCC Planning Portal here

The Guardian did a good overview of the shale gas process - read here

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rippledown Open Day

It was wet June Open day at the Rippledown Environmental centre today but could not dampen the enthusiam shown by the many kids who explored Kent's environmental jewel. There was lots to do in spite of the rain. It was the ideal conditions to see Newts!

Deal With It had a stall (the stuffed fox was not ours!). Many thanks for Vicki, Tony, Charles, Rosie, Norman and Steve for helping.

Well done to all at Rippledown who organised the day. It was a great day despite the weather - please rerun in 2012!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

DWI to talk transition to Deal Town Council

Deal With It are going to do a presentation on 'Transition Town Deal' to the full Deal Town Council on Tuesday 28th June at 6:30pm.

This is an important step in making 'Transition Town Deal' a reality...

This follows our successful Mayor's networking event in January this year. We will not be having our normal monthly meeting at Dealability this month.

But come along and support Rosie on the 28th followed by some 'Green drinks' at a local pub....

Victoria's Green Matters - 2nd June 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
The developed world’s high carbon lifestyle is a worrying threat to the planet in more ways than one. While climate change promises the opposing challenges of catastrophic flooding and drought, the oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide at an alarming rate, causing the water to become too acidic for marine life to exist.

A proportion of the billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that we emit each year remains in the atmosphere, causing it to heat up but about a third of it is absorbed by the oceans, producing carbonic acid. Coral reefs and shellfish beds are dying and the lives of fish are threatened.

Scientists estimate that about one million tonnes of carbon dioxide is absorbed by the oceans every hour and as a result our seas are 30% more acidic than they were a century ago. Increased acidity affects the levels of calcium carbonate in the shells and skeletons of many sea creatures and also changes their reproductive cycles.

The oceans have been affected by acidification in prehistoric times but these occurrences happened at a much slower rate, enabling sediments to act as a cushion. Levels of carbon dioxide are rising much faster today and the surface seawater will be 150% more acidic than it was in 1800 by the end of the century. Millions of species of fish, shellfish and micro-organisms will not survive and there will be no richness or variety in the seas.

It is an unhappy picture; and it is not so distant in the future. We continue with our high carbon lifestyle even though we know that the damage that we are doing to the climate and the seas will soon be irrevocable. We need to take steps now to embrace a lifestyle that causes far fewer emissions of carbon dioxide and maybe we will be able to repair that damage.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

East Kent FOE meeting Deal 6th June

Our next East Kent FOE meeting will be held in Deal on
 Monday 6th June2011 at 7pm.

1) Coordnators Update.
2) Energy Bill.
3) The Richborough Energy Park.
4) Venues for Summer Stalls.
5) FOE South East Regional Gathering in London 30/6/11.
6) FOE Conference in Nottingham 9-11/9/11.
7) Any other Business.
8) Date/Venue of the next meeting.

For meeting details contact Stuart on Tel. 01304 363729