Gwyrddio Penarth Greening
Minutes of a meeting held on 7th December, 2009 at
The Windsor Public House, Windsor Rd, Penarth
Present: Catherine Wenger, Vanessa Mordin, Angela Davison, Russell Jones, Ramesh Patel, Mary Taster, Pat Breay, Tony Cooke, Val Roberts, Daphne Kibble, Ian Harvey, Keith Howells, Robin Simpson, Bronwen Roberts, Richard Griffiths, Michelle Fitzpatrick, Max Wallis Nonn Vaughan, Stewart Ward, Sandy & Gareth Clubb, Tricia Griffiths (Chair), Gloria Sturges
Apologies: Viv Liles, Joe Newbury, Paul Kinnersley & Roz Robinson
1 Welcome: Tricia welcomed everyone, particularly new members.
2 Item not covered by agenda:
2.1 Vigil for Copenhagen meeting – Catherine informed members about a candlelit vigil to be held in Cardiff on 13th December at 5.30pm by Primark in Queen Street. It was agreed that it was better for Penarth to support Cardiff rather than stage something locally at this late stage. Tricia to circulate members with details.
3 Minutes of meeting held on 30.09.09: Agreed as an accurate record.
4 Matters Arising:
4.1 Arcot Street – Tree planting proposal to calm traffic now further forward with positive response from some councillors and AM. Trees will probably be sited at either end of the street but funding for trees will have to be found. Plans include contra flow cycle lane.
5.1Management Committee: Tricia reported that Leonie Horton had resigned because of a change in her work commitments. Leonie’s resignation meant we were without a secretary and the management committee did need new members.
5.2 The questionnaire designed by Sandy had now been completed by about 50 people and would provide a baseline of information on which GPG could build up a picture about what local people felt about climate change and related issues.
5.3 One of the key roles for GPG was awareness raising. Keith and Gloria offered to help on an ad hoc basis. Keith also kindly agreed to take on the role of publicity officer.
5.4 Logo – Thanks to Stewart we now have a draft logo. This meeting asked if Stewart could make it slightly bolder – Stewart agreed.
5.5 Amalgamation of surgeries. Tricia had written to the Local Health Board but had had no reply. She would pursue. There followed a discussion about what new projects GPG should become involved in vis a vis sustainability.
Russell said that all major new projects were now subject to a full audit for sustainability. At this point Max spoke about the Billybanks and the people who were currently living there. Their future was uncertain but the Council had pulled back on eviction at the moment. He wanted to ensure that people were kept informed. Members agreed that this was not an issue for GPG to take up, but information could be circulated on the basis that individuals could respond as they felt appropriate.
5.6VCVS Kickstart Grant. This had been refused because we did not yet have
a) a bank account and b) a bank statement. We could apply again and other
sources of funding were being pursued.
5.7 Treasurer: Ramesh had been co-opted to the Management Committee and elected Hon
5.7 Newsletter: Tricia was hoping to collect the most useful of all the information she received
and put it together into a Monthly Newsletter. It would be useful if GPG members who attended meetings, which had wider interest, could report on these. Vanessa’s offer of help with the Newsletter was appreciated.
5.8 Open event in the Spring: some kind of public meeting at which GPG’s aims could be
promoted – possibly with a film or talk.
Agreed that GPG should hold a meeting to which all the General Election candidates were invited. Possibly in April – Management Committee to organise.
NB Italics above indicates matters discussed at this meeting.
6Website: Tricia reported that not getting the VCVS grant meant we could not
pay for it to be done professionally. Tony said that students at Glan Hafren where he teaches might be interested in working on it and Catherine mentioned a friend, Jess Day, who had also offered her expertise. Both offers gratefully accepted. Tricia to follow up.
7 Project reports:
7.1 Anti-plastic bag group: Press release going to the Penarth Times on results of survey of retailers (most very supportive of GPG). As the Welsh Assembly has agreed to a charge for plastic bags some of the steam has gone from our campaign, but it was clear that despite the charge plastic bags would still be used by some and that GPG still had work to do. Members discussed whether developing a local reusable bag was viable – suggested that children could design something for the bags that would attract parents etc. Angela prepared to look into this. Important to make small charge for bag as likely to be valued more. Michelle said that Vale Council was producing their own bags from cardboard and plastic (blue).
7.2 Garden Share: Idea seems to be popular and not difficult to organise once the legal side had been resolved (i.e. ground rules, insurance). Gloria Nonn and Pat agreed to join this group.
7.3 Loyalty Cards: Val & Sandy to join Mary and Tricia in visiting a number of shops as a pilot. Agreed that it would be helpful if Town Council endorsed the project. Phil to investigate. Swansea were involved in a similar scheme.
8 Brainstorming: Sandy distributed the ideas and wish lists compiled at a previous meeting
for members to select 3 from each section in order to get a clearer idea of what direction
GPG should go in relation to development and projects.
Talk – Water & Climate Change – Catherine Wenger
Catherine gave a succinct overview of coastal, river, ground water and surface water flooding. Intense rain was challenging very old drainage systems and changes in weather were making this situation worse. More patios, paving and extensions also prevented water from draining away but biggest problem was the drainage system. There was a major cost in treating combined drainage system (i.e. foul and rainfall going to same drain). Rules were needed to restrict paving allowed and legislation was coming out (Flood and Water Management Bill). Local Authorities would have to carry out flood risk assessments in their area. This would affect insurance etc. The Welsh Assembly was pushing for all new builds to comply with the code for sustainable homes.
Individuals could help by considering if paving necessary and whereever possible using permeable products. Catherine suggested that by looking into sustainable water systems water could be saved; in particular she recommended water butts, re-use of water (i.e. bath water for the garden – equipment was available).
Tricia thanked Catherine for an excellent overview, which stimulated an interesting discussion.
8 AOB, wind down and next meeting.
9.1 Trees – Russell asked if anyone knew of sites for trees (striplings) he had spare – nothing known at the moment but obvious interest in the subject.
8.1 Venue – agreed much better and should meet every two months.
8.2 Talk – try and get someone from the Vale Council on trees and related matters for next meeting