Wilmslow Community Energy scheme at risk by Government apparent attacks on solar generation

North East Cheshire Community Energy (NECCE) fears their community solar scheme cannot go ahead due to the Government’s proposed plans to savagely cut support for rooftop solar energy systems.

Before the last election its parent group, Transition Wilmslow, was encouraged by Government support to start a community benefit society to invest in local energy generation and provide funds to plough back in to the wider community. This would build on the work Transition Wilmslow has done with Wilmslow Town Council doing household energy surveys, using a thermal imaging camera.

NECCE has been working hard for the last 9 months to identify suitable community buildings, raise awareness and set up the right structure, engaging with students who were keen to reduce costs for their school. They were particularly excited about getting solar panels on Wilmslow High School as it was spending over £100,000 per year on its power bill.

The benefits would be:

  • cheaper electricity for the school
  • a rate of return to people who invested in the scheme
  • income for a community fund.

In August, our local MP, George Osborne said:

“I am happy to support you wherever I can.”

Andrew Backhouse acting chair of NECCE has said that many people have been very keen to invest into something local that will:

  • pay them a level of interest
  • reduce our carbon footprint
  • help local schools generate their own electricity
  • help children learn about this in the process
  • and cut their costs.

This is now unlikely to happen!

The expected policy change is going to stop any chance of progress. We understand that the Government might want to reduce the cost of energy in the short term – but they should be thinking long term to cut carbon emissions further, taking advantage of local investment, and doing more to boost local community involvement.”

Here’s what Caitlin a sixth form pupil at the local school said

“I think it’s disappointing that the government has changed their stance on the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) considering their huge positive effect on the UK’s energy supply. The initiative’s removal has had a major impact not only nationally but also locally. Our school could really have benefited from solar panels, both environmentally and financially, not to mention the valuable learning resource that would have been created”

The community group have written to George Osborne asking him to support their cause and back subsidy for solar, but so far he is awaiting a response from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

If you want to know more about community energy locally, or to ask for help in reducing your energy consumption, contact Andrew on Andrew.backhouse@phonecoop.coop or 01625 537087

More details of NECCE  are on – http://necheshirecommunityenergy.org.uk/

Also see http://keepfits.org/news//we-should-call-community-energy-the-mailman

 

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Transition Network Newsletter

The latest edition of the Transition Network Newsletter – worth a read here

It includes details of:

  • their new publication -’21 Stories of Transition’
  • how a community responded when overwhelmed with refugees
  • news of Transitioners from around the world going to the Global Climate Conference which takes place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris.

 

What’s happening locally?

A Show: ‘Baked Alaska’

About climate change

Commissioned by Christian Aid and others to promote awareness of the effects of global warming, it is to be performed by Riding Lights Theatre Company of York in over 40 towns nationwide.
“The sketches and stories are based on the lives of real people struggling with the effects of man-made climate change. The cast’s comedic antics deliver this important message through satire and metaphor with both humour and impact.”

“It seems incongruous to call a show about climate change fun, but Baked Alaska is.

More information here  See this show locally at:

Alderley Edge Methodist Church, Chapel Road, Alderley Edge, SK9 7DU. Monday 19 October 2015

St Andrew’s Methodist Church Hall, Brownley Road, Wythenshawe, M22 0DW. Friday 13 November 2015

Both performances start at 7.30pm

A Film: ‘Growth Busters’

The first of Transition Wilmslow’s 2015-2016 film season

A film exploring the forces that fuel our worship of growth everlasting!

It tackles millionaire real estate developers enriched by public growth subsidies and economists who spin pro-growth propaganda.

More information and links to the trailer on our Film & Cinema section

Friends Meeting House, 1a Bourne St, Wilmslow, SK9 5HD

Thursday 29 October 2015, 7pm for tea and cake, 7.30pm showing, £2 admission

 

Film Night

Our 2014-2015 winter film series is here!

12 November 2014: 7.30pm. Wilmslow United Reformed Church, Alderley Road.

(Please note change of venue)

Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice 01The story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. The film received the 2014 News and Documentary Emmy® award for Outstanding Nature Programming.

 Watch the trailer here

£2 suggested donation – includes tea & cake!

Anything but a Bog Standard Landscape…

A New Vision for Lindow Moss

IMG_2386 IMG_2352

On Thursday 3rd April, Transition Wilmslow hosted a workshop to bring people together and discuss a new way forward for Lindow Moss.  Over 50 people attended, from local councillors, to English Heritage, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Manchester Museum, Environment Agency, and other interested parties.

Professor John Handley talked about the formation of the Moss (a much bigger area than that known as Lindow Common), and how the exploitation of the peat for fuel from the Middle Ages onwards created distinctive field boundaries called moss ‘rooms’. He described it as “one of the best preserved landscapes of its type in Britain and yet, astonishingly, it is not protected by designation of any kind.”

Tony Evans, Chair of the Saltersley Common Preservation Society (covering Lindow Moss), also addressed the group.  We heard about the apparent infringements of the planning conditions by the peat extraction companies, leading to a lowering of the water table, and effects including near-disappearance of wildlife such as water voles, and subsidence of houses in the area.

Groups looked at education, landscape restoration and heritage, access and usage, and ecology to identify possible steps to restore the Moss and were reminded that this year is the 30th anniversary of the finding of Lindow Man. The building buzzed with lively conversation.

The participants agreed a New Vision for Lindow Moss and that we would try to work collaboratively to bring about the project.

For Transition Wilmslow, the project brings together many of the strands that they are about: local community, biodiversity, food, education, carbon, resilience and legacy for future generations.  For more information please visit the Lindow Moss pages.

TW Film Night “The Economics of Happiness” Wed 6th March

The-Economics-of-Happiness-1-300x220Award winning documentary the Economics of Happiness is getting its Wilmslow premiere at an event at the Wilmslow Library on Wednesday 6 March at 7:30pm.

The documentary describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalisation and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future.

Both hard-hitting and inspiring, ‘The Economics of Happiness’ demonstrates that millions of people across the world are already engaged in building a better world. The film shows that countless people are united around a common cause: rebuilding more democratic, human scale, ecological and local economies – the foundation of an ‘economics of happiness’.

The hour-long documentary features stunning images, as well as a powerful chorus of voices calling for systemic economic change, including Vandana Shiva, David Korten, Michael Shuman, Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins, Juliet Schor, Zac Goldsmith, Bill McKibben, and Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of Tibet’s government in exile. The screening will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity for discussion.

The Economics of Happiness is a project of the International Society for Ecoology and Culture. It has received widespread acclaim and has won several awards, including best in show at the 2011 Cinema Verde Film Festival. Renowned eco philosopher and author Joanna Macy said: “It is good news indeed to find so persuasive an explanation of our ailing world as ‘The Economics of Happiness.’ This film connects the dots between climate chaos, economic meltdown, and our own personal suffering – stress, loneliness, and depression. It presents the localisation movement as a systemic alternative to corporate globalisation, as well as a strategy that brings community and meaning to our lives.”

Entrance to the event is free, but donations to Transition Wilmslow to help cover costs and fund future events will be very welcome.