June 2012 Newsletter

Can Shipston feed itself in the future?

Daniel Murray an MSc student from Warwick University is making a special study of the potential for Shipston to produce more of its own food and has asked if Transition Shipston supporters can help in his research. Daniel has written this outline for us....
In the face of global challenges the need for change is apparent. People around the world are realising this which is why small scale, community-led initiatives, like the transition movement, are becoming more prevalent. Highly diverse groups around the globe are initiating local responses in areas such as food production, energy provision and waste management in an attempt to reduce environmental impacts and improve local resilience through building networks that develop support systems and encourage creative responses to the issues faced.
Therefore, as part of my MSc in ‘Environmental Bioscience and Climate Change’ at the University of Warwick, I will be producing an academic study on the potential that Shipston-on-Stour has to supplement food supplies with local production. The project will have three main focuses:
Establish how residents currently source food
Establish the potential for increased local food production through community gardens, allotments, use of surrounding underutilised green spaces, farmland and so on
Compare the environmental and economic advantages and disadvantages associated with the intensification of local food production through ‘traditional’ farming methods and more environmentally friendly methods such as organic
The aim of this project is to explore the idea that local communities can reduce their environmental footprint whilst also making themselves more resilient to global environmental changes. At the core of this is the belief that global problems can only be tackled on a local scale through reducing energy dependence (particularly fossil fuel derived energy) and improving self sufficiency through increasing local food production and reducing the environmental impacts of this production. In theory this ‘relocalisation’ can provide benefits to the local economy which in turn offers a route to sustainable economic prosperity. I will no doubt be contacting many people in the local area and bugging you for information but if anybody would like to contact me regarding the project then feel free to email me at daniel.murray@warwick.ac.uk
Daniel Murray

How to start a Car Club
Car rental on your doorstep?

For the last 18 months the people of Hook Norton have been able to book a car on the internet and walk into the village to pick up the car. All they need to do is to join the village car club for £60. The scheme is ideal for couples or families who don't need to run two cars or individuals who don't travel often. The fee to hire the cars works out much lower than commercial hire so within a couple of bookings the cost of joining is repaid.
At the Transition Shipston meeting on 4th July at the Townsend Hall David Newton from Hook Norton Car Club is coming to talk to us about how the scheme works (see Diary below).
The Hook Norton Car Club is administered through MoorCar www.moorcar.co.uk. This is how the scheme works...

How to convert your own car (How to start a car club)
If you have a car and only use it occasionally then you might consider sharing the use of the car with your friends and neighbours. Moorcar will help you set up your own car club.
You can charge for use by the hour and the miles driven, it is also possible to charge a flat monthly charge between a group of friends and get everyone to pay for the fuel they use.
If you choose the best way of charging for your circumstances, you will be generating a small income to offset the costs of the tax, MOT and the insurance.
So what is involved:
Moorcar can show your car at your address (location) on their website. They use a Google map to place your car outside your house. If you need leaflets to advertise they can customise these for you.
When you are ready to allow other people to book the car, Moorcar will insure the vehicle. This will require that the vehicle has had a recent service, MOT certificate and valid car tax.
Members of your car club can register through the Moorcar website. This will collect all the information required to allow a member to print off the driver’s declaration for insurance purposes.
Once a member is accepted they can make bookings for your car. Members can also make bookings with any other cars in the Moorcar network or a growing number of car clubs across the UK.
It will be your responsibility to collect any charges and make regular checks on the vehicle. Moorcar can provide a checklist for essential items like tyres, oil, water, windscreen wash etc. The simplest system to provide your members with access to the car keys is to attach a keysafe to a nearby wall which gives access to the car keys with a push pin code. Moorcar can suggest a suitable choice of keysafe.
The Transition Shipston Guide to Local Stuff

Transition Shipston is compiling a directory of “Local Stuff”. It will incorporate the local food directory that was published 2 years ago but also include other local information… evening classes, alternative therapy, music, arts, walks, cycle routes, businesses, pubs and cafes (serving local produce).
If anyone can recommend “stuff” for entry contact Pam Bennett pam@pambennett.com
Further objection to the supermarket
Ainscough Strategic Land has recently sent an amendment to the District Council to their planning application for a supermarket plus housing and a petrol station on the Campden Rd. Shipston Heart Alive! Campaign is sending in an further objection to this. If you want to hear more come along to the SHA!C meeting next Wednesday, 13th June, 7.30 at the George. To see the amended plans go to www.stratford.gov.uk/planning
Self-build homes for Shipston?
With so much more housing allocated to Shipston wouldn't it be nice to have a small self-build housing estate instead of a large developer designed one. In October Transition Shipston is planning to have a speaker on building your own home. Here is some info to get us started from The Community Self Build Agency...
To make it possible for men and women from all backgrounds to benefit individually and collectively from being a member of a self-build housing group. Whilst participating in the planning, design and building of their own homes they acquire a range of skills and experience. The Agency is particularly interested in opening up opportunities for those with limited income or the unemployed to participate.
What is Community Self-Build?
Community self build is about a group of local people in housing need, building their own homes and gaining much more besides. As the concept of community self-build becomes more widely known, it is more likely that projects will be initiated by potential self-builders, rather than other organizations. Some projects have already been initiated by groups of individuals. Those without building skills, participate on the basis that they are prepared to make the necessary time commitment and be prepared to learn new skills. Read more
When your life might depend on your next door neighbour, rudeness becomes an unaffordable luxury." Jason Heppenstall
Ask MP to sign up to the Rio-UK Declaration!
The Rio+20 Earth Summit is taking place in Rio de Janeiro this June, 20 years on from the original Rio Earth Summit. The UK should be leading the move to a fair and green economy, not going backwards on its commitments. Please ask Nadhim Zahawi our MP to show his support by signing our Rio-UK Declaration.
Take action here and spread the word! - http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/rio-action