A hectic January was followed by an equally hectic February culminating in a great party celebrating Plastic Free Monmouth achieving plastic free status (as defined by the Surfers Against Sewage criteria). But, this is where the creative work begins – if you would like to join in or have an idea you would like to take forward, please contact us via the Plastic Free Monmouth Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We think it would be rather wonderful to have a plastic free shop in town (as well as at Square Farm), have all the fish + chip shops + fast food outlets use only paper packaging, promote Plastic Free with a display on Saturdays in Agincourt Square, do more outreach with the schools etc. Yes, please come + join us!
Our main effort however is the Climate Emergency. We are very proud of some of our younger members who attended the School Strike in Cardiff last month. In the meantime, the oldies are progressing, slowly but thoroughly, working with the County Council to enable them to pass a Climate Emergency Motion while understanding the implications of such a commitment. This was further discussed at a meeting of the Senior Leadership Team (Chief Executive + Chief Officers) last week – details at the end of this newsletter – + will be followed by a Seminar on 9 April for Councillors, Senior Officers + community groups together with experts on climate change + decarbonisation. Please let us know if you would like to attend. Further details will be posted on our various Facebook pages when available.
Much to do! Here are a load of dates for the coming weeks:-
XR Celebratory Event: Saturday 9 March: A gathering of XR Affinity Group in Wales: Cardiff – see Abergavenny XR Discussions on Facebook for details
Members’ Business Meeting: Tuesday 12 March, 7.30 to 9pm at the Robin Hood – our Incredible Edible Herb Garden, project updates + plans
In Our Hands: Wednesday 13 March, 7.15 at the Abergavenny Community Centre – the story of farmers who refuse to be victims of history as they bring back the worm to the soil, the ‘culture’ to ‘agriculture’ + flavour to the tomato, followed by discussion
Community Orchard Picnic + Tidy Up: Noon on Saturday 16 March at the Community Orchard on Two River Meadow (access along the tarmac road that runs from the Old Monnow Bridge along the Monnow) to help prune, tidy, remove tree guards, whatever – children welcome – bring a picnic, wear suitable clothing + footwear, bring gardening gloves + secateurs, pruning saws, + hope for fine weather!
What do we want to have in the Local Development Plan? – Tuesday 19 March, 7.30 to 9pm at the Robin Hood: Discussion led by Haydn Cullen-Jones. At the initial call for submissions we submitted six sites emanating from RECS – our flood prevention project. But there is much more to consider – housing, transport, our high streets, local businesses, jobs etc – all within the context of the Climate Emergency + the Well-Being of Future Generations Act. Come + have your say, or just come + listen
XR Discussion on Climate Change: Wednesday 20 March: Particularly aimed at those new to XR but also for anyone with questions + concerns for the future. Further details will be posted on Abergavenny XR Discussions on Facebook or contact email@example.com
Climate Ready Gwent: Visioning Monmouth in 2040 – + what we can do to mitigate the problems of climate change: Thursday 21 March, 6pm to 9pm. This is a session primarily for the agencies, including Monmouth Town Council. Numbers limited so please reserve your place with firstname.lastname@example.org; light refreshments will be served
Community Engagement Event: Wednesday 27 March, 4.30 to 8pm at Monmouth Comprehensive School: We will have separate displays for Transition Monmouth, Plastic Free Monmouth, Wyesham Community Woodland, + maybe others. Please let us know if you can help on the stalls – it’s a lot of time to cover – + don’t worry if you feel you don’t know enough. What is needed is a friendly face to take details of interest to pass on as appropriate
Wyesham Community Woodland – Claypatch: Sunday 7 April, 10 till 12: Working party + activities for children + hot drinks if you bring a mug – further details on the Wyesham Community Woodland Facebook page
Climate Emergency Seminar: Tuesday 9 April, 2pm at County Hall. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to attend
Members’ Business Meeting: Tuesday 9 April, 7.30 to 9pm at the Robin Hood – project updates + plans
XR Week of Big Events: 15 to 21 April: Further details from firstname.lastname@example.org or check the Abergavenny XR Discussions page on Facebook nearer the time
The Big Swap: Saturday 27 April, 10 till 12.30 at Rockfield Community Centre, Cornwallis Way, Monmouth – our usual Swap Shop for seeds/plants, but also for swapping clothes, books, toys etc + refreshments
And the Local Produce Markets:-
Usk – 1st + 3rd Saturdays – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – 4th Thursday – 9.30 to 2.30
We hope to see you on Tuesday at the Robin Hood + some of the other events too maybe?
creative community action…for life after oil
Facebook: Transition Monmouth, Transition Monmouth Chat, Wyesham Community Woodland, Plastic Free Monmouth
Climate Emergency Motion for Monmouthshire County Council: Progress Report
Discussions are on-going as Councillors + Officers wish to have a good understanding of the commitment + its implications. Hazel Clatworthy has sent us these notes of a meeting of the Senior Leadership Team (Chief Executive + Chief Officers) held on Tuesday 26 February:-
- It was agreed that decarbonisation is absolutely central to what the Council wants and needs to work towards
- It was agreed that we have control over our own activities, so that it is well within our ability to be able to work towards zero carbon for our own estate
- The Council has an important role as an exemplar who should be able to lead by example and be an animator for change with communities, businesses and partners
- However, it is harder to be able to make commitments about carbon emissions across the county as a whole when, notwithstanding we can have some influence, carbon emissions across the county are affected by many factors that are beyond our control. We don’t have legislative powers to make countywide changes
- For any motion that may be put to the council, it is really important that the council means what it says and acts to make change happen, rather than to sign up to things and then forget about them
- It is also really important that before the council agrees to a motion or proposal, that it really understands what the impact of the motion is and what it is agreeing to do
- Such a step needs to have full buy in, ownership and understanding amongst all councillors
To that end, SLT have agreed that rather than taking a report to a Select Committee, that there will be a Member Seminar open to all Councillors. Local community groups will be able to speak and talk about the proposed Climate Emergency motion, and councillors will also hear from local and national climate change and decarbonisation experts. Cllr Jane Pratt who came to our last Community Climate Champions meeting has agreed to this approach.
After the Member Seminar, members will have a better understanding of the issues and what the motion would commit us to, including information on emissions and best practice taken elsewhere.