Meeting Minutes (April)

Tuesday 19th April 2022 7.00pm at Swarland Village Club

1. Apologies / Welcome to new members

Apologies had been received from: Louise, Karen, Nick, Marlene, Elizabeth, Sandra & Mick, Jo & Vin, Mick S, Greg and Bryan.

2. Actions from the last meeting

– NALC Toolkit – Liz reported that she had looked at the NALC Climate Change Toolkit and a set of case studies from other councils. There may be some useful examples of community transport initiatives to explore further.
Composting Workshop – Proposed date 11th May 7pm. [Note since meeting, this is being held for SNAC members only and others who have already contacted Suzanne].
Queens Jubilee Fund application – Application for £500 was submitted in the name of the PC but no decision has been received yet. May need to make request to PC at meeting on 27th April for funding if unsuccessful.
 – Letter to farmers / landowners – Around 10 Farms/landowners identified and letter has been sent to them. No responses yet.
Letter to MP – Letter about hydro treated vegetable oil (HVO) has been sent from the group to Anne-Marie Trevelyan. There is a link on the SNAC website to a template if individuals wish to send their own letters.

3. Bus Survey Questionnaire

Carolyn provided an update. There had been an item in the April edition of The Column with a hard copy of the survey form, a link to the SNAC website if people wished to complete on line, a link on Facebook and details also to Percy Wood  via ‘Going on Locally’. Around 60 replies received so far. From the 15 forms Carolyn had received, most respondents were eligible for a bus pass, and 8 used the X15, walking 1.5 miles to the bus stop. Main use is shopping/leisure. Reasons to use bus were not having to drive/parking issues/cost of fuel and being ‘green’. Frequency of possible use was weekly/several times a week. Liz said that the analysis of the online responses was different with younger respondents and we seem to have got a good spread of forms from bus users/non users.

Closing date is 30th April. Carolyn will do a reminder to Parish Councillors and also put something on Facebook. The results will be analysed and brought back to the next meeting for discussion, with a summary to go in The Column in June. NCC will be contacted and presented with the results to see if some sort of service can be restored. If no success with this, SNAC could look at a community bus/taxi service/car share.

David said that ARRIVA stopped the service due to dwindling numbers but also because of safety concerns about crossing the A1 as the reservation was very narrow. This safety concern could be brought up with Costain Community Relations in connection with the A1 duelling.

Hard copy forms left at the Club and at Vyner Park will be collected by Suzanne after the closing date. Suzanne

4. Footpath Survey

Around a dozen volunteers have come forward to help with the survey. Meeting at Marlene’s on Fridays 22nd April at 10.00. Volunteers will have 2 weeks to do the survey then Marlene will pull the information together feeding back to SNAC at the meeting on 17th May. Marlene

As well as defects on existing paths, SNAC wants to look at the possibility of creating some circular walks, and possibly reinstating old footpaths. Carolyn suggested on completion of survey a booklet could be produced of walks in the area.

Marlene is also attending a meeting with NCC’s Footpath Officer and a rep from Felton CAN in the next few days.

5. Recycling Facilities

Jan said the Vyner Park Committee have said ‘no’ to additional recycling bins being placed in Vyner Park. Jan has collected some information about recycling at Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s. Kathryn had also pulled together an enormous amount of information about recycling in the area including at Tesco’s and the Co-Op. She had found a useful website ‘Terracycle’ who have schemes for recycling razor blades, toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes etc etc.

Some local shops offering refilling services;

  • Gallery 45 in Felton – Weigh shop offering pulses, pasta, dried fruit etc bring own bag.
  • World of difference – Narrowgate, Alnwick – Detergent, shampoos, conditions etc. Bring own container.
  • Eco Morpeth – 37a Newgate Street (moving soon to corner of Oldgate/Newgate St.) Refil shop for personal care products and food. Local Produce. Planning a café.
  • Body Shop, Morpeth – Return, recycle, repeat scheme.

Jan and Kathryn will pull together information, then SNAC can decide the format it wants the information in e.g. leaflet, web page etc. Jan & Kathryn

It was not clear at Sainsbury’s that they recycle plastic film. Signs seem to invite carrier bags only. Staff unaware of scheme. Jan to do letter to Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, M&S, Aldi and Lidl about need to publicise store recycling schemes and make sure they are clearly available to customers. Jan

6. Tree Planting

Percy Wood have submitted a funding application. The NCC scheme about which the PC had recently been contacted seemed only for larger sites. SNAC ideally is looking for sites open to the public, and is working on identifying landowners who would be willing to plant trees (see 2 – letters to farmers above). Would school plant trees?

Suzanne has looked at Vyner Park as a possible location and suggests field at the south of the site, to thicken up boundary. She will draft letter and contact Karen (as VPC Rep) before sending to Steve Woolfrey (VPC Chair). Suzanne will also order the plaques for the Jubilee Trees Suzanne

Jan to contact NCC for permission to plant trees on verge at NotM. Jan

7. Articles for June Column
So far we have the following items;

  • Footpath Survey summary – Marlene to draft item. Marlene
  • Bus Survey results summary – Carolyn to draft item Carolyn
  • Recycling – Jan & Katherine to draft item. Jan and Katherine
  • ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ 24-26th June.

8. For information

  • Cowslip Survey – details on the SNAC website.
  • The Big Plastic Count – Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic have scheme running 16-22nd May to count plastic being generated. Data will be collected nationally. Liz will put details on SNAC website. Liz
  • NCC Climate & Biodiversity online event 27th April 2022 – link on SNAC website.
  • ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ Climate change events at Alnwick Playhouse and Alnwick Garden 24th-26th June. Link on SNAC website. Programme just published. Liz will put details on SNAC website. Liz
  • NCC Climate Champions – Would be useful to liaise with other similar groups to SNAC to find out what is going on. Liz to contact NCC and other groups she is aware of. Liz

9. Any other business

  • Val was asked if she would host a SNAC tour of the woodland and ponds she and her husband had created. Val kindly agreed, and Tuesday 24th May was suggested (to be confirmed).
  • Kathryn suggested that SNAC could possibly join the North East Eco Group.
  • Kathryn suggested SNAC taking on a stall at Swarland Show on 3rd September, possibly selling Furoshiki which are Japanese reusable cloth gift wraps to raise funds for SNAC. This was agreed. Jan to book stall. Jan
  • SNAC website – Liz requested that everyone send her any useful climate change related links they find which she will put on the website as an information resource. All

10. Date of Next Meeting – 17th May 2022 at 7.00 pm. Venue to be confirmed.