Heritage for the Future

Transition Shipston supporters have been working with Transition Stratford on a district wide initia-tive for ―Sustainable Energy for Historic Buildings‖.
The aim of the initiative is to re-duce the energy use and carbon emissions of older buildings. The scope of the initiative will be older buildings - those which were con-structed before the Second World War – recognising the special challenges faced for buildings of historic character which are listed or within conservation areas. The initiative will seek to preserve older buildings so that they can continue to be used in a low car-bon, low energy future affected by climate change and avoid the waste of the energy already used in their construction. Plus learn from older building techniques how to maintain them in a sustain-able way.
The group aims to produce a checklist to help people get started with case studies showing how buildings have been sustain-ably refurbished with links to the wide range of technical informa-tion already available and a direc-tory of local businesses.
The initiative will be promoted through a variety of means includ-ing:
recruiting a range of local busi-nesses to support the initiative: for example, estate agents, ar-chitects, organising bespoke training for different groups of professionals
Arranging for simple advice and checklists to be made available to property owners: for example, through planning officers, estate agents etc
Promoting the initiative through local and other media.
It will be important to consult rele-vant businesses and other organi-sations about proposals in order to secure their support for the ini-tiative.
Contact Pam Bennett pam@pambennett.com

The Big Society

On Friday 5th November, Voluntary Action Stratford on Avon (VASA) hosted an event at the Shakespeare Hotel attended by well over a hundred people and at which various speakers gave their reaction to, and assessment of, David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’. Of particular note were inspiring talks by Chris Grimes on the setting up of the community run Blockley Village Shop and by Priscilla Groenveld on The Parenting Project that provides an all encompassing, largely voluntary, service for parents and children.
The guest speaker was Nadhim Zahawi MP who expounded on the Government’s ambitions and plans to bring about a fundamental shift from control by Whitehall at every level in order to create more vibrant and sustainable communities. The key was to be local action and accountability – giving people more control over their lives.
It is now very apparent that society’s ills cannot be cured by the application of yet more public money through the State; neither should people be treated by big business as economic assets in a game of seeking profit and avoiding loss. Britain was once known for the vibrancy of its charitable institutions which gave us the highest standard of living in the world, the highest levels of literacy in the world and the lowest levels of poverty. What charities can do to support and mobilise people is at the heart of the Prime Minister’s vision. It is likely in future that very local institutions, many of them run by volunteers, will be at the centre of our lives and have the potential to make a real difference in every community. The challenge today is to help them flourish and succeed. Could Transition Towns with their green credentials and ethos of caring and sharing and local resilience be a foundation upon which to build the Big Society?
Douglas Nethercleft

Special Shipston

With another developer about to make proposals to develop land at the Campden Rd including a supermarket that threatens the existence of our unique shops Helen and Tom Winnifrith remind us what makes it so special:
“Do we give Shipston enough credit as a fantastic place for shopping of all sorts? Here are some of the things we buy in Shipston, always with friendly, helpful service and often with happy encounters with friends :
Practically all our food and drink, including fish, meat, fresh local veg, groceries, a dressed salmon for special events, pheasants, free range turkey and chicken, champagne, grand sherry and wine, cheap plonk, Fairtrade tea and coffee, good cheese, special bread (or flour and yeast to make our own), organic groceries, coriander, root ginger, Seville oranges, too much chocolate. Perhaps too many pints of beer, mainly Horseshoe, White Bear, Black Horse). Clothes, often thanks to all four charity shops, also new large men‟s clothes and larger shoes, shoes for toddlers expertly fitted. Three separate sets of grandchildren regularly have their shoes bought in Shipston because their harassed mums find it such a pleasant experience compared with elsewhere- and not more expensive. Meals out and Indian and Chinese takeaways. Petrol, oil, a new bulb for the car‟s headlight (bought in the car parts shop, which we failed to fit but were rescued by the garage which services the car) Printer cartridges. Masses of haberdashery, cut to measure, for knitting and sewing projects- and wool from both wool shops. A clock radio (same price as online with much friendlier service). A vacuum cleaner which works, (unlike the disastrous Argos purchase). New bags for the vacuum cleaner. A walking stick. A WC, with far more help about the complicated choices than we would have got in a huge retail warehouse. A replacement contact lens. Stamps and stationery. A lovely soft doll from the toy shop. 2 rocking horses- both from the dump. Euros, dollars, dinars, kruna, shekels (bank). A hat. Babyclothes and toys. A beautiful old watering- can from the antique shop. A fireguard for a daughter (charity shop). Flowers. Seeds. A suitcase (charity shop again). Dowelling, paint, picture hooks and nails- with lots of help about what was needed. Haircuts. A new watch strap, fitted free. Photos developed, a gold chain mended, photocopying. Free Internet access (library) when our computer was unwell. Books (charity shops). A daily paper delivered. Prescriptions, pills and potions. Christmas and birthday cards (often recycled ones from St Edmund‟s)”
Tom and Helen Winnifrith