Welcome back …

Dear Transitioners

Welcome back!  We hope you all had a good summer break + enjoyed the hottest, sunniest summer ever.  Is this the portent of things to come? – good or bad?  Discuss!  Well, it’s food for thought.

Talking of food, while most took a break, Food Sense garnered the most amazing army of volunteers + coming together of the community to produce 1,092 free packed lunches (in plastic free packaging of course) for all children attending the Summer Play Scheme at Overmonnow School.  We didn’t know until 10.30 each morning how many lunch packs to prepare + they had to be ready to go by 11.30 – a mind-blowing task.  We will write the project up in detail + post on our website in due course but there is much information to put together before this can be finalised.  In the meantime we send our heartfelt thanks to all who supported the project which, we hope, will lead to a much improved scheme in future years as we continue to work on this with the County Council.  Our formal letter of thanks is reproduced at the end of this email.

Meanwhile there are two consultations that require our input.  The Welsh Government is asking for our views on fracking in Waleshow dare anyone even think of fracking in Wales? – but a response would be good.  We will discuss the Transition Monmouth response at the Members’ Meeting on Tuesday but if you would like a copy of the WG paper please email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for a copy.  The more responses the better!

And then there’s the MCC Local Development Plan – for which we have been asked to submit candidate sites.  These are normally for housing developments but can also be for recreational + other purposes such as the creation of woodlands for the purpose of flood prevention.  Responses are required by 19 November + we will discuss a Transition Monmouth submission – but if you have any ideas please let us know – or make your own submission.  Further information on http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning-policy/candidate-sites.

Surplus food:  Food Sense:  We have set up a distribution system for surplus food that is being made available by Waitrose, Marks + Spencer, + LIDL.  If you would like to be part of the network or know of groups or individuals who could make use of it, please email mail@transitionmonmouth.org.  Up till now the fresh food on offer is mainly bakery items.

It’s also the time of year when there is surplus food that you have grown yourselves.  Please bring to the Swap Shop at Monmouth Priory on Saturday 15 September or email us.  On an on-going basis, fruit + veg are particularly useful for the community lunches held each week.  We are also planning an apple juicing event + will try to let you know in time – but certainly all the latest information gets posted on our Facebook pages.

Plastic Free Monmouth is delighted at the news that Raglan Dairy will be supplying milk to primary schools throughout the county in glass bottles!  No more plastic bottles, no more straws – a saving 437,000 a year of each!  Our congratulations to James Durose at Raglan Dairy + a big thumbs up to Monmouthshire County Council for a wise decision.  While we are working hard to reduce the use of plastics, we still have to clean up those that get out into the wild – so come + join the litter pick on 16 September.  Next meeting – Tuesday 25 September, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – all welcome – please join in with our aim of achieving plastic free status for Monmouth!

And lastly – HELP!  Most of our regular helpers are away for our coffee morning so please offer your services if you are able to help – 9.30 onwards on Saturday 15 September at Monmouth Priory.  Contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk / 01600 715065.

Now, here are those dates for your diaries:-

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 11 September, 7.30 to 9.00 at the Robin Hood to talk about Food Sense, Plastic Free Monmouth, fracking in Wales, the Local Development Plan, Nature Isn’t Neat, apple juicing …… – then time to talk about whatever is on your mind.  Come + chat!

Abergavenny Food Fest Fringe:  Friday 14 September, 6.45 pm at St Mary’s Church:  Food, Poverty + Power – see https://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com/programme-2018/food-poverty-and-power/ – a free event

Abergavenny Food Fest Fringe:  Saturday 15 September, 2.45 pm at the Festival Farmyard in the Castle Street car park:  Food Justice:  What is it + why do we need it? With Mary Ann Brocklesby + Pamela Mason

Transition Monmouth Coffee Morning:  Saturday 15 September, 10 till 12 at Monmouth Priory:  Fairtrade refreshments, homemade cakes, sew a bag, MyGreenScene ethical home + clothing products, tools from Tools for Self Reliance Cymru, + Swap Shop for seeds, plants + produce – bring all that surplus from your gardens, + meet friends old + new!

Litter Pick:  Sunday 16 September starting at 2pm from the car park near the Skatepark on Rockfield Road.  The river banks will be a target so bring your kayaks, canoes + waders.  To help in planning, please email jim.s.handley@gmail.com to say if you will attend

Discussion Workshop:  How we collect data + use it to make better decisions about environmental management:  Tuesday 18 September, 7.30 at the Robin Hood:  Led by Matthew Macdonald-Wallace of Mockingbird Consulting

Plastic Free Monmouth:  Tuesday 25 September, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – please come + get involved.  This is a campaign in which everyone can ‘do their bit’, be it changing the way you do things at home or where you work, or at the school, church or community group that you are involved with.  We have loads of ideas + information, + plans for the coming months including achieving PLASTIC FREE MONMOUTH status very soon.  It’s fun + it’s exciting – promise!

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 9 October, 7.30 to 9.00 at the Robin Hood

MCC Climate Change Champions:  Wednesday 10 October.  This group has met quarterly for over 10 years + includes representatives from around the county.  Plastic Free will undoubtedly be on the agenda.  Contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for further details

Newent Climate, Energy + Environment Forum:  Saturday 20 October, 9.45 to 4 pm at Newent Community School with key speakers (including Dr David Drew MP, Shadow Minister for Environment), discussion groups, workshops, trade + information stands

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 soon, hopefully for the Members’ Meeting on Tuesday 11 September, our Coffee Morning on Saturday 15 September, our discussion on Environmental Monitoring on Tuesday 18 September + other of the great events happening in the next few weeks.

Ann Eggleton, Chair
Bryan Miller, Deputy Chair

transitionmonmouth
creative community action…for life after oil

Summer Playscheme Lunches:

We would like to express our thanks to all those involved with the Monmouth Summer Playscheme lunch project. During August, nearly 1,100 free, healthy and nutritious packed lunches were put together (in plastic-free packaging) for the children attending the morning sessions of the Summer Playscheme at Overmonnow School.

This ambitious project (managed by Tŷ Price, Transition Monmouth Food Sense + Monmouth Methodist Church) found funding and volunteer ‘sandwich-makers’ from the Monmouth community.  Thirty-five volunteers gave up one or more of their Summer mornings to make sandwiches, bake cakes, pack the lunches and generally ferry things around Monmouth in order to get the freshly-made lunches to the children on time.  But, there are a whole host of others without whom none of this would have been possible.

Contributions + assistance came from local businesses (Wigmores Bakery, Munday + Jones Fruit + Vegetables, Milking Solutions, Tinsley Supplies Ltd);  community groups (Home-Start Monmouthshire, Monmouth Fairtrade Forum, Monmouth Lions Club, Monmouth Rotary Community Champions, Overmonnow School Parents’ Association, Rockfield Community Centre, Sunbeams Toddler Group, local branches of The Women’s Institute);  Monmouthshire Housing Association, and various local individuals.

This project was a great way to make sure the children all got a good lunch + also showed how different community groups can work together.  The feedback from parents + children alike has been very positive, with one little boy describing the lunch as “scrummylicious”!

Without the generosity of both time + money from its supporters, this would have been an impossible project to get off the ground.  So, a huge thank you to everyone involved.

Kate Rees – Transition Monmouth Food Sense
Maggie Riches – Tŷ Price, St Thomas’ Community Hall
Ann Langford – Monmouth Methodist Church

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Yes, apologies for another one!

Dear Transitioners

This is just a quick update on dates for your diary.

Plastic Free Monmouth:  Tuesday 26 June, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – note change of date:  Please come + get involved.  This is a campaign in which everyone can ‘do their bit’, be it changing the way you do things at home or where you work, or at the school, church or community group that you are involved with.  We have loads of ideas + information, + plans for the summer months.

It’s fun + it’s exciting – promise! – especially as it’s part of a wider campaign with groups similar to ours in Chepstow, Abergavenny + Usk, + with enthusiastic backing from MCC who unanimously voted this week to proceed with achieving Plastic Free County status for Monmouthshire.

Summer Play Scheme Lunches:  Tuesday 26 June, 7.30 at Ty Price (yes, sorry, it’s at the same time as the Plastic Free meeting):  Working with the Ty Price Community Centre, the churches, WI, Rotary Community Champions + others, we are set to provide around 50 packed lunches for children attending the Summer Play Scheme at Overmonnow Primary School – but we need volunteers to prepare the lunches – every weekday morning for four weeks starting Monday 30 July.  Please contact mail@transitionmonmouth.org if you can help – even a couple of mornings would be great + much appreciated.  We are also short of around £750 to fund the 1,000 lunch packs so all contributions welcome!  Thank you.

Carbon Consciousness + Carbon Saving:  Tuesday 10 July, 7.30 at the Robin Hood:  A discussion evening led by Martin Burgess from Aberystwyth University:  Time to sit back from the daily hectic round of activity + ponder on why we are doing this, what we want to achiever, how do we go about it.  If you would like to participate in a Focus Group discussion at 3.30 that day (£25 honorarium to participants), please contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk

MCC Climate Change Champions:  Wednesday 11 July, 7pm at Ty Price.  This group has met quarterly for over 10 years + includes representatives from around the county.  Plastic Free will undoubtedly be on the agenda.  Contact vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for further details

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 17 July, 7.30 to 8.30 at the Robin Hood for updates on our various projects – Food Sense, Plastic Free Monmouth, flood prevention, Nature Isn’t Neat, plans for the autumn + beyond – then time to talk about whatever is on your mind.  Come + chat!

iNeed Hope Festival:  Saturday 21 July, 1pm – 7pm on Vauxhall Fields – see their Facebook page for all the fun.  We will have our Beans Stall there + our Plastic Free Monmouth display.  Contact anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can help, even for an hour or two

And the Local Produce Markets:-

Abergavenny – Thursday 28 June – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 7 July – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 14 July – 10 till 2 – see the Grosmont Market Facebook page

Ann Eggleton, Chair
Bryan Miller, Deputy Chair

It’s all go……

Plastic Free Monmouth goes from strength to strength with huge support + interest, not just from our members but also from the community.  We have attended four events with our display + given out hundreds of leaflets – + we have the whole hearted support of the County Council.  The Strong Communities Select Committee gave unanimous support to a Plastic Free Monmouthshire + this will now go for ratification to Full Council.

Our various groups – Schools, Local Businesses, Individual/Household Action, Community Spaces + Groups, Events, Town Council – are all working hard to meet the requirements of the Surfers Against Sewage criteria in order for the town to achieve Plastic Free status.  If you want to be involved please contact Anna Hill – plasticfreemonmouth@gmail.com or via the Plastic Free Monmouth Facebook page, + please post stuff on that page, especially good news about what’s happening at local schools, businesses, community spaces.  Or come to our next Plastic Free Monmouth meeting – 7pm on Thursday 28 June at the Robin Hood.

We have been reminded that we, as well as similar groups in other towns, all started around 2005 with trying to get rid of plastic carrier bags.  It was called ‘Doing a Modbury’ following a campaign by a wildlife photographer (who happened to live in Modbury) who was appalled by the damage to wildlife + the countryside that she saw whilst photographing.  Her campaign caught on, leading to Government legislation (Wales was way ahead of Westminster), consumption was reduced by nearly 90% + has led to a permanent change in behaviour.  We can do the same with all the other awful single use plastic stuff!

Lunches for children during the summer holidays part of our Food Sense project – is well on its way but we still need more people to make up packed lunches each weekday morning over the period 30 July to 23 August – so, if you have the time to get your sleeves rolled up, please let us know your availability for a 9.30 am start at the Ty Price Community Hall.  We will produce a rota so even if you can only manage a couple of mornings that would be a great help – email mail@transitionmonmouth.org with any availability you might have.

RECS – our flood prevention project has been a dream – hard work but the benefits have been enormous by way of community involvement, having the various agencies working together, + of course, of great benefit to the environment.  We are very grateful to all who have participated.  We started this in January 2016 + our consultants, Atkins, will present the outcomes on Monday 18 June with Community Engagement Sessions at 1pm + 3pm in the Shire Hall;  please email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for further information.

Now here’s the diary for the next few weeks:-

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 12 June, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – Plastic Free Monmouth, Summer Play Scheme lunches, flood prevention, woodland management, Chippy Playground + anything else you want to talk about!

Transition Monmouth Coffee Morning:  Saturday 16 June, 10 till 12 at Ty Price:  Fairtrade refreshments, homemade cakes, plastic free stuff + friends old + new!

RECS – our flood prevention project:  Monday 18 June at the Shire Hall for presentation of the final outcomes with fascinating maps + ideas for action – Community Engagement Sessions at 1pm + 3pm.  If you wish to attend the Stakeholder Presentation in the morning please let us know

Plastic Free Monmouthshire:  Thursday 21 June, 11.30 at County Hall to discuss arrangements for the Usk Show

Abergavenny Community Canteen:  Saturday 23 June, 7 for 7.30 at Holy Trinity Church Hall – a spicy chickpea + vegetable dish followed by desserts prepared by the Syrian refugees living in the town – raising money for the Abergavenny Town of Sanctuary Group – book at abercommunitycanteen@gmail.com

Plastic Free Monmouth:  Thursday 28 June, 7pm at the Robin Hood:  Come + hear about the latest developments in this exciting campaign

MCC Climate Change Champions:  Wednesday 11 July, 7pm at Ty Price.  This group has met quarterly for over 10 years + includes representatives from around the county.  Plastic Free will undoubtedly be on the agenda – further information (in due course) from vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk

Members’ Meeting:  Tuesday 17 July, 7.30 – details to follow

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Grosmont – Saturday 10 June – 10 till 2 – see the Grosmont Market Facebook page
Usk – Saturday 17 June – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 28 June – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 7 July – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 14 July – 10 till 2 – see the Grosmont Market Facebook page

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Robin Hood for the Members’ Meeting on Tuesday 12 June, our Coffee Morning on Saturday 16 June + other of the great events happening in the next few weeks.

 

Plastic Free is taking off in a big way

Dear Transitioners

Plastic Free is definitely taking off in a big way. We held a great workshop last week – many new faces, many children! It was particularly heartening to see the children participating, + also to have Roger Hoggins (MCC Head of Operations) attend. We now have groups taking the project forward under the headings of:-

  • Schools
  • Local Businesses
  • Individual/Household Action
  • Community Spaces + Groups
  • Events
  • Town Council

If you missed the workshop but want to be involved please contact Anna Hill – plasticfreemonmouth@gmail.com or via the Plastic Free Monmouth Facebook page – stating your particular interest/which group you want to join, or just to be kept informed.

We are also working with similar groups not only in Monmouth but also in Chepstow, Abergavenny + Usk with the aim of having a Plastic Free Monmouthshire + will be presenting at the Strong Communities Select Committee on 24 May when we hope to obtain MCC commitment to become a plastic free county. An excellent report has been prepared by MCC Officers for this meeting – email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk for a copy.

Lunches for children during the summer holidays – part of our Food Sense project working with the wonderful people at the Ty Price Community Hall – is looking feasible so we are working very hard to make it happen. What we need now is some funding – please let us know if a local business or charity might support this – we estimate we need a total of £1,000. We also need more people to make up packed lunches each weekday morning over the period 30 July to 23 August – so, if you have the time to get your sleeves rolled up, please let us know your availability for a 9.30 am start at the Ty Price Community Hall – email vivienmitchell@yahoo.co.uk + we will set up a rota.

Now here’s the diary for the next few weeks:-

Members’ Meeting: Tuesday 15 May, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – Plastic Free Monmouth, Monmouthshire Well-Being Plan, food poverty (making progress), flood prevention, woodland management (both going brilliantly), Chippy Playground (showing signs of moving!) + anything else you want to talk about!

Community Canteen: Saturday 19 May, 7 for 7.30 at Holy Trinity Church Hall – a mild Thai red curry with pumpkin followed by rhubarb + orange cake – raising money for the Abergavenny Food Bank – book at abercommunitycanteen@gmail.com

Bee Friendly Monmouthshire: Sunday 20 May, 10 to 4 in the Nelson Garden – interactive street theatre by Artizani, bumblebee walks + talks, local plants + flowers for sale, flower guessing, honey tasting, ‘bug’ hunt, tombola, stalls – come!

Gwent Wildlife Trust Open Garden: Coed Cefn, Tregare: Sunday 27 May 2-6 – a beautiful garden with much for children to explore, + Swap Shop for seeds/plants/produce, + Fairtrade tea/coffee, sandwiches + homemade cakes. Transition Monmouth is doing the refreshments – offers of help would be much appreciated – email anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can provide a cake, sandwich filling, or help out on the day

Big Lunch: Sunday 3 June, starting at 10am at Claypatch Woods, Wyesham – more details soon on the Wyesham Community Woodland Project Facebook page

Food Sense: Wednesday 6 June, 7.30 at Ty Price – Lunches for children in the school holidays, a community cupboard, food surplus schemes, lunch clubs, + any other ideas on food poverty/food surplus + waste. All welcome!

Food Sense – lunches for school children during the summer holiday: Thursday 7 June, 7.30 at Ty Price

Members’ Meeting: Tuesday 12 June, 7.30 at the Robin Hood

Transition Monmouth Coffee Morning: Saturday 16 June, 10 till 12 at Ty Price

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Grosmont – Saturday 13 May – 10 till 2 – plant themed event
Usk – Saturday 20 May – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 24 May – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 2 June – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 9 June – 10 till 2 – see the Grosmont Market Facebook page

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Robin Hood for the Members’ Meeting on Tuesday 15 May + other of the great events happening in the next few weeks.

Ann Eggleton, Chair
Bryan Miller, Deputy Chair

April 2018

Dear Transitioners

So, Waitrose is going to stop handing out single-use unrecyclable coffee cups in the autumn. Should we cheer? – or should we be angry that it has taken a massive public outcry to get them to desist from their irresponsible, antisocial behaviour? Whatever – it’s one small victory in a battle that we shouldn’t have to fight – but it shows what we can do, so please keep up the pressure in whatever way you can!

And that’s what we’re doing with Plastic Free Monmouth. A Steering Group now includes facilitators for action with Monmouth Town Council, local businesses, schools, community spaces + groups, individual/household action, + events – litter picks, stands at events etc. If you want to get involved, contact Anna Hill – anna_boase@hotmail.com or via the Plastic Free Monmouth Facebook page. We have decided to use the Surfers Against Sewage toolkit as a framework to achieve Plastic Free Town status by the end of the year – https://www.sas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Plastic-Free-Coastlines-Community-Toolkit.pdf.

To get the community involved we will be holding a Public Workshop at the Shire Hall on Thursday 3 May, 6pm for a 6.30 start – please come, + bring your friends + neighbours. This is something for everyone, especially community groups, schools + businesses! We are also working with the County Council + similar groups throughout the county with the aim of being the first Plastic Free County.

The Welsh Government is getting active too + is asking for your help in tackling the problems associated with single-use plastic waste by providing evidence; their document is here: “Tackling the plastic problem: Using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste”. Responses please to ETTanswers@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk by 18 May 2018 – + queries via the Welsh Treasury mailbox.

And another bit of cheery local news – in Monmouth you can now get your milk delivered before 9am in glass bottles every Monday, Wednesday + Friday by Raglan Dairy, along with an array of other stuff. Email James Durose – raglandairy@gmail.com – for a price list. Raw milk is likely to be available soon!

In case you think we’ve become a single issue group – we haven’t! There’s considerable, albeit difficult/tortuous progress, with our Food Sense project – let us know if you would like to be added to the email list for agendas/minutes for activities including community lunches, food for children in the school holidays, using waste/excess food, a community fridge – much to do! With RECS, our flood prevention project, the feasibility study is nearing completion + next month we will hold a community consultation on the proposals which are exciting + innovative – even Natural Resources Wales + the County Council are excited, + there will be much for community involvement.

Now here’s the diary for the next few weeks:-

Grosmont Market: Saturday 14 April, 10 to 2 – a special ‘Make Do + Mend’ event – do you have something that needs fixing, a dress that needs altering, a leather bag that needs adjusting, electricals that need a diagnosis? – all this + the usual stalls for fresh veg, craft, antiquities, vintage – + food to eat!

Members’ Meeting: Tuesday 17 April, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – Plastic Free Monmouth, the Monmouthshire Well-Being Plan, food poverty (making progress), flood prevention, woodland management (both going brilliantly), Chippy Playground (showing signs of moving!) + anything else you want to talk about!

Spring Clean Tools Sale: Saturday 28 April starting at 10am – tools from TFSR at The Tools Depot near Gilwern Road, Sawmills, Llangattock NP8 1HW – every imaginable tool, + some you can’t!

Monmouthshire Women in Agriculture 1900-2018: Saturday 28 April, 9.45am to 4.30pm at the Abergavenny Community Centre, Merthyr Road, NP7 5BY – £8 to include lunch + tea – register with katrinagass@yahoo.co.uk /01873 855760

Community Canteen: Saturday 28 April, 7 for 7.30 at Holy Trinity Church Hall – a hearty vegetable soup served with a variety of filled tortilla wraps followed by a rainbow fruit salad – in aid of the Abergavenny Arts Festival – book at abercommunitycanteen@gmail.com

Plastic Free Monmouth Community Workshop: Thursday 3 May, 6 for 6.30 at the Shire Hall – we want your ideas about what we can do + achieve

River Festival: Friday/Saturday 11/12 May: Full details on the ‘Wye Valley River Festival Monmouth’ Facebook page + in the Beacon nearer the time

Bee Friendly Monmouthshire: Sunday 20 May, 10 to 4 in the Nelson Garden

Gwent Wildlife Trust Open Garden: Coed Cefn, Tregare: Sunday 27 May 2-6 – a beautiful garden with much for children to explore, + Swap Shop for seeds/plants/produce, + Fairtrade tea/coffee, sandwiches + homemade cakes. Transition Monmouth is doing the refreshments – offers of help would be much appreciated – email anneggleton@waitrose.com if you can provide a cake, sandwich filling, or help out on the day

And, as ever, there are your Local Produce Markets:-

Grosmont – Saturday 14 April – 10 till 2 – Make Do + Mend, + the usual stalls
Usk – Saturday 21 April – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 26 April – 9.30 to 2.30
Usk – Saturday 6 May – 10 till 1
Grosmont – Saturday 13 May – 10 till 2
Usk – Saturday 20 May – 10 till 1
Abergavenny – Thursday 24 May – 9.30 to 2.30

We hope to see you soon, hopefully at the Robin Hood for the Members’ Meeting on Tuesday 17 April + the Plastic Free Monmouth event at the Shire Hall on Thursday 3 May.

Ann Eggleton, Chair
Bryan Miller, Deputy Chair