Meeting Minutes (January)

DRAFT 2 NOTES of 1st meeting by Zoom Tuesday 11th January 2022 7pm

Liz Clark welcomed everyone. This group has been set up in response to Northumberland County Councils Climate Change initiative and the recent formal declaration of a Climate Change emergency by Newton on the Moor & Swarland Parish Council. NCC have set up a network of Community Champions and is looking to set up resources for groups like this. Liz Clark, Carolyn Letts and David Francis are Parish Councillors who have done the initial organisation ask that others will over and run with it so the group is Community led.
The purpose of this initial meeting is to look at the aims and scope of the group and some possible quick wins.

People (Background and interests):
Jan – Environmental health/recycling/waste/policy background. Parish Clerk.
Mick – Percy wood. Tree planting, education, sustainable electricity supply to lodges and for vehicle charging, wildlife hides
Louise – Swarland Primary School.
Mick/Sandra – want to help (Swarland)
Kathryn – passionate about climate change & wildlife (Swarland)
Dave – Parish Council Chairman. Has access to good practice case studies
Vin/Jo – environmental health background (Jo) social housing, biodiversity (Vin)
Val/Rob – environmental science (Rob), creating woodland with 3000 trees planted in Hazon Valley
Rosie – red squirrel conservation, vet.
Neil – public transport to village. Rep for Vyner Park.
Greg – Environmental Health background, steward at Vyner Park
Carolyn – Parish Cllr, interested in all aspects of climate change and biodiversity, particularly improving public transport and safer walking/cycling routes.
Liz – Parish Cllr, involved in wildlife charity, passionate about biodiversity and climate change.

Possible Scope of Group:
 Focus within Parish Boundary but welcome people from neighbouring area.
 Focus on climate change AND biodiversity.
 Identify projects to help reduce carbon and other greenhouse gases aim for net zero by
 Raise awareness of climate change locally.
 Work with NCC and neighbouring groups (such as Felton Climate Group) to share knowledge
and ideas.
 Campaigning/lobbying.

Ideas for projects:
Public transport – more public transport, encouraging use of public transport, improving access (safe access routes) to public transport.
Recycling – Challenging council on limited range of recycling. Could have wider range of bins at Vyner Park. Having more and better recycling.
Campaigning (transport, recycling). Could NALC (Northumberland Association of Local Councils) be used to contact other Parish Councils to raise issues on climate change.
Farming practice –Encouraging landowners to modify practices. Contact to be made with local landowners.
Raising awareness of impact of Storm Arwen on trees etc. Gives opportunity for replanting with more diverse range of trees.
Facilitating e.g. solar panels, alternatives to fossil fuels, energy efficiency, negotiating reduced costs?
Mick – planting the right trees in the right place; nature trails – educational with school; grants available. Will pitch to directors. Draw on Rob and Val’s experience. Finding out what is already out there. Need to find out costs for schemes and availability of grants. PW is 165 acres.
Jan- improving biodiversity in Viner Park, trees, wildflowers – advice from Northumberland Wildlife Trust. Swarland Hall pond restoration – possible interest from English Nature for pond restoration or new ponds.
English Nature/Eco North – great crested newts, pond creation. Rob will provide contact.
Dave – PC insurance, funding, running some projects, purchasing to avoid VAT, influence planning policies
Felton Can – household survey for calculating carbon footprint.
Transition from oil to alternatives. Percy Wood making transition, also EV charging
Greg – building resilience around electricity
Liz – Carbon footprint baseline. Felton climate group are working on doing household basic
footprint. This is being developed with NCC and Newcastle Univiersity. If there was support for this, our group could take this forward in our parish
Other projects – Installation of public charging points, treeplanting, surveying parish for potential bus use, improving biodiversity in roadside verges and hedgerows. Home energy audits.

 David said that the PC could make funding available and also give protection of Insurance. PC
could run some projects. Can help with purchase of things by saving VAT.
 PC can raise issues via its role in Town and County Planning eg by asking for new energy
efficiency technology being used on new developments.
 Possible grants from NCC Climate Change.
 Grants for heat exchange and ground exchange pumps.

Next steps:
1. Put information about Climate Change group on Swarland Residents Facebook Page
publicising what has already been done.

2. Put information on PC website or set up own site.

3.Notes from meeting to be circulated to group and other interested persons.

4.If anyone wants to take on running the group contact Liz or Carolyn.

5. Monthly meetings. Dates to be agreed.

6.Venue for meetings to be decided nearer the time in person or via ZOOM depending on the situation.