Sunday, April 29, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th April 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:Our ‘greenest government ever’ has given the go-ahead for hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ for shale gas to proceed in this country. Its scientific report, released last week, tells us that as long as ‘robust measures’ are in place to monitor the seismic risks involved with fracking, it is OK for it to continue. So, we only have to worry about the earthquake risk, do we?

We don’t need to wonder about the damage to the areas surrounding these drilling sites; where returning waste water and nasty chemicals which will have been pumped underground to release the gas will be stored; what damage to underground water courses will occur when this process takes place; the release of methane, a damaging greenhouse gas, during the procedure; the fact that there will need to be 6 to 8 wells per square mile around each of the 10 sites to be explored, resulting in 800 wells in Lancashire alone. How many wells will there be in our part of East Kent? Most importantly, this shale gas is not a green option.

It is a fossil fuel which releases carbon dioxide (CO2) when it is burnt to release energy. True, it releases only half the CO2 of coal, but this is still too much for our ever warming climate. We are a windy island, surrounded by water. We should be harnessing the power of the waves, the tides, the wind and the sun in a mix to give us our energy from clean, renewable sources.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

C02 and the other Carbon Problem

RI lecture on the other C02  problem...  what the build up of C02 is doing to our Seas and the ecosystem we directly rely upon

CO2 and the Other Carbon Problem from The Royal Institution on Vimeo.

East Kent FOE meeting

Next Meeting will be held at  Farrier Street Deal on
Wednesday 2nd May 2012 at 7pm.


1) Coordinators Update.

2) New FOE campaigns and new look.

3) Stall at Canterbury Climate Fair Saturday 12th May.

4) Folkestone Green Fair 6/7th July.

5) FOE Local Groups Conference Imperial College London 14-16th

6 A.o.b and Date/venue of the next meeting.)

> Stuart Cox
> Group Coordinator

> email

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DWI Annual General Chat ends great mull...

Deal With It had over 25 people at its Annual General Chat (like a AGM but with more fairtrade biscuits Ed.) on Tuesday Night.

We had a preview showing of the inspirational Transition 2 film, a world premier of new green song from award winning local song-smith Adrian O, sustainable nibbles, a constitutional change to reflect the diversity of our community, some volunteers to join the core group, people who wanted de-litter Deal, some bright ideas on a community response on Dover District Council charge on Garden waste, ideas for an arts-wildlife-local-food-and-cream-tea-installation in the summer at Sue&Adrian's, discussions on the garden share scheme and a decision to end long-standing status as mulling transition group and go for a unleashing .... in fact we probably hold the transition world record for mulling.... but we may just want to reconsider that ;)

A big thank you to our Co-ordinator Rosie Rechter for another tireless year leading us, Vicki and Helen for secretaring and accounting for what we do and say and all our volunteers on and off  the core group and cake makers everywhere.

Big thanks for Sue from Deal Fair Trade for donation of the raffle prize.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Next Deal Beach Clean - Friday 11th May

The next Deal Beach Clean will be on Friday 11th May starting at 9:45am

This will be part of the MCS 'Big Beach Clean-Up' events around the country and is being supported by Marks & Spencer including our local one here in Deal.

As always we will be suppling kit for the clean and we log what we find.

Contact Sue or Wendy for more details at

For more details on the national event see

Friday, April 20, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 19th April 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
 Have you noticed how much litter there is around and about our lovely county? Travel along some of our major roads, from Dover towards Folkestone and Dover towards Canterbury, for example, and you will see the verges and hedgerows festooned with paper, plastic, cans and bottles.

 The area around the retail park at Whitfield is particularly dreadful with large amounts of packaging decorating the roadside. Companies that trade on the park should surely bear some of the responsibility for such a mess.

Imagine that you are a foreign visitor arriving in Dover – not an inviting prospect in itself – and travelling onwards to London or other parts of the country, perhaps visiting historic Canterbury; your first impression is of a dirty and untidy country that its citizens do not care about.

When we drive from the port in Calais onwards into France there is never litter at the roadside like there is here. What is the reason for this? Many people would say that the French pay more taxes so that councils have more money to spend. Much more care seems to be taken even in the smallest villages to make the drive through a pleasant experience.

Is this again an example of our councils’ short- sightedness when it comes to spending our council tax? Why is it not obvious that when creating pleasant and tidy surroundings for people to live in, they are encouraging pride in communities? Economy in the wrong place now will cost far more in the future.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Canterbury Climate & Fair Trade Market 2012

The Canterbury Climate & Fair Trade Market  will be taking place on Saturday 12th May 2012 in St Georges

Lots of Green and Fair Trade stalls, eats and music. Deal With It will be there with our stall so come up and say hi...

PS. Any Volunteers for the stalls please email Steve at

full details at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters- 12th April 2012

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

Our declining bee population is in the news again. A recent study, the first to have been carried out in realistic, open air conditions, has shown that there is definitely a link between this decline and crop pesticides.

Bee populations around the world have been declining for many years and there has always been an association with pesticide use, the varroa mite and other parasites and the loss of flower rich habitats. Pesticide manufacturers and the UK government have always refused to believe that pesticides have been the cause of bee decline but Germany, France and Italy have suspended use until confirmation one way or another.

Systemic pesticides such as the neonicotinoid group have now been shown to disorientate the bees, making it impossible for them to find their way back to their colony with food. Another effect was that far fewer queen bees were produced and reared. It is estimated that honeybee numbers have fallen by 50% in the US and UK over the last 25 years. As bees pollinate about a third of the food we eat, this can seriously affect the food crops needed to feed an ever growing world population. Scientists have known for a long time that pesticides have an adverse effect on the environment and are implicated in many human diseases but the powerful agrochemical industry holds too much influence and can dismiss the results of research out of hand. Our government goes along regardless – for how much longer?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

FOE: if we lose our Bees its going cost us a packet!

It would cost the UK £1.8 billion every year to hand-pollinate crops without bees - 20% more than previously thought - according to new research launched today by Friends of the Earth as it unveils a new campaign to save the bee.

The new figure - equivalent to the annual wages of 60,000 teachers - comes from research conducted by leading bee experts at the University of Reading on behalf of the environment charity as it launches The Bee Cause to call for action on bees before it's too late.

Friends of the Earth is also creating a temporary 150 square metre wildflower meadow in the shadow of the National Theatre, London, to highlight the need for more bee-friendly habitats - with the flowers used to create the spectacle given away to passers-by to encourage gardening that will help bees to thrive.

In recent years Britain has lost over half the honey bees kept in managed hives and wild honey bees are nearly extinct. Solitary bees are declining in more than half the areas they've been studied and some species of bumblebee have been lost altogether.

Costly hand-pollination is already being used in parts of the world, notably pear trees in Hanyuan County, China, where native bee populations have been wiped out by a combination of loss of their natural habitat and intensive farming.

Friends of the Earth is urging David Cameron to save these important pollinators and save the nation billions by committing to a British bee action plan. The plan outlines action on the planning of our towns, the way we farm and use pesticides and funding for nature experts in the Government to ensure vital bee populations are restored.

The charity is also providing information and resources on how people can help bees in their gardens and communities, including giving away 20,000 packets of wildflower seeds.

To support the call to David Cameron and find out what else you can do to help bees, visit .

Paul de Zylva, Nature Campaigner at Friends of the Earth said:

"Unless we halt the decline in British bees our farmers will have to rely on hand-pollination, sending food prices rocketing.

"Bees are responsible for most of our favourite fruit and vegetables so as well as the huge blow to our economy, our diet would also suffer.

"David Cameron must make the changes needed now to give our bees a fighting chance and save Britain billions."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deal Neighbourhood forum 24th April

Joint Press Release By: Kent County Council and Dover District Council

Have Your Say At Neighbourhood Forums
Local residents are invited to come along and have their say at the next joint Dover District Neighbourhood Forum meetings.  The meetings are being held on Thursday 19 April at St Mary’s Parish Centre in Dover from 3.30pm-7.30pm, and Tuesday 24 April at the Landmark Centre, High Street in Deal from 3pm-7pm.

Representatives from various public bodies will be on hand to talk about services in Dover District, and answer your questions on a one-to-one basis. An expert will also be available to assist you with the June digital switchover. There will be light refreshments and an opportunity to view displays and meet Forum members. All suggestions are welcomed from local people about what they would like to discuss at future meetings.

For further information, please contact Lynn Brisley, DDC Community Development Officer on 01304 872164 or email or see the Neighbourhood Forum pages.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Transition Conference in Sept in London

The 2012 Transition Network conference
14-16th September
“We’re thrilled to announce that the 2012 Transition Network conference will be held at Battersea Arts Centre in London in September. The event will start at around 6pm for an 7.30pm Grand Opening on Friday 14-Sept and end late afternoon on Sunday 16-Sept. Put it in the diary now, and we’ll be making further announcements soon.

The theme is “Building resilience in extraordinary times”. There’ll be something for everyone – urban/rural/town; new initiative or well-established; core teams or project groups; ambitious or tentative. In particular, we’ll be exploring some of the key elements of the “Building” stage of Transition, focussing on how Social Enterprises can be the drivers of the new economy and foster change on a grand scale. As always, it’ll be a challenging immersion into the cutting edge of transition, whereever that is for you, with plenty of time to renew old acquaintances, make new ones, and gather experiences that will be of great benefit to your initiative back home. 

Rippledown Permaculture Courses

Rippledown, our local environmental education centre at Ringwould outside Deal, is running a set permaculture courses this year.

The courses include a two day introduction course plus a full design certificate course.

Friday, April 6, 2012

DWI Meeting 24th April - In Transition Film 2.0

We are showing a preview at a special lounge film show of the inspirational new film on the Transition Movement - the catchly named 'In Transition 2.0' .

This is a crowd sourced and funded film which captures the excitement and creativity that transition iniatitives have unleashed in their local communities and shows how their are transforming their communities into sustainable ones.

Guess what. This what we are doing, here in Deal. So you get can get stuck in on your own doorstep to transform the world.

Film show starts at 7pm followed by sustainable nibbles, chat and our AGM  at 8pm. Don't worry we plan a bigger film show later in the year.

Tuesday 24th April
43 Victoria Rd

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Save Ricborough Recycling Site - Meeting 20th April

Richborough HWRS    Your skills and time are needed

KCC Cabinet member, Bryan Sweetland, has confirmed his decision to close Richborough Household Waste and Recycling Site on the Ramsgate Road, with effect from the end of the current contract, August 2013.

We have 16 months to change his mind.

This closure will affect residents in Deal, Margate and Whitfield/Dover with increased numbers of people using their facilities, with increased traffic and queues to and from these sites.

Additionally, it will vastly inconvenience people in and around Sandwich, Ramsgate and Broadstairs as well as the villages from Cliffs End to Ash, from Worth to Eastry, and beyond.

If you could actively help the campaign at any time during the next 16 months, we need to hear from you URGENTLY.  Please write to Richborough Action Group (R.A.G.) at:  73 The Street, Ash, near Sandwich, Kent CT3 2EN or email

We are meeting at the
United Reform Church in Sandwich on 20th April at 7.30 p.m.  Please do attend and let’s ensure , by our words and deeds, that we can persuade KCC to change their decision.

Dover Cycle Forum peddle to France...

Fancy a day trip to France by Cycle ?
 Interesting Forum meeting tonight - including discussion of possible rides.

Here is the date of the day ride to France we talked about:

The ride is on Sat 21st April, meeting 8.00 at Eastern Docks to catch 0925 (?) ferry from Dover
Trip details (not much online yet)

Spokes has contacted the Mayor of Ardres and is hoping to have a guided tour in English of the "souterrains du Bastion Royal". Final details will be on the website, or phone Steve Fawke (01227 830336).

Ferry travel details (and special offer, £8 day return - it's a Saturday) see:

Unfortunately the Deal/Sandwich to Dover railway is running rail replacement buses that day.

best wishes,

Ian Killbery
Chair, Dover District Cycle Forum
representing everyone interested in cycling in Dover District
affiliated to SPOKES East Kent Cycle Campaign

Tel: 01304-362569

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 5th April 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
 It seems as if there is an epidemic of short-sightedness travelling around our councils at the moment. Firstly, the development at Sholden and secondly, Kent County Council’s decision to close the Household Waste Centre (HWC) at Richborough.

We must realise, of course, that money is all that motivates most of these decisions even if action to save money now will cost more in the long term. In this case it is not only money that will be the cost. Imagine all those extra miles that waste will have to travel when it is first taken to Deal and then back to Richborough once the Green Energy Park is operational. How marvellous that we are going to have a Green Energy Park but the shine is dulled somewhat by the knowledge of all the extra carbon generated with waste being transported backwards and forwards.

Of course, this is future transportation – what about the extra transportation that will be incurred by the Sandwich residents when their nearest HWC is here in Deal? Not only will they have further to travel, they will probably have to queue up to access the facilities in Southwall Road, causing more traffic chaos in an already congested area.

A more immediate effect of losing a HWC nearby is an escalation of fly-tipping when people will dump their rubbish in any convenient place rather than drive the extra miles to the HWCs at Deal or Margate.

When will commonsense reign once more over council decisions?