Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Knowle relocation project: further FOI requests

The District Council has appealed against the Information Commissioner's request that they publish the full, un-redacted report from consultants Davis Langdon, which had looked in detail at relocation:
Unredacted Minutes and Reports of Relocation Working Parties - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

This case is now with the Information Tribunal: case EA/2014/0072:

In fact, the Davis Langdon report had not been made available to the Inspector when considering the District Council's draft Local Plan:
Knowle evidence at Inspector’s disposal is inadequate, says SOS legal representative | Save Our Sidmouth
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: latest

Since then, two new and separate FOI requests have been made to the District Council on the issue of relocation:
Relocation from the Knowle - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow
Knowle relocation - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

Relocation from the Knowle…Freedom of Information request asks fundamental questions | Save Our Sidmouth
Comprehensive Freedom of Information request on Knowle relocation | Sidmouth Independent News
‘What do they know’ about Knowle relocation? | East Devon Alliance

See also:
East Devon resident’s battle for transparency on office relocation project - Claire Wright
EDDC cannot (will not) tell us which officers make which decisions | East Devon Alliance

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Cycling: Sustrans publishes Sidmouth to Feniton study

There has been a lot of frustration about the slow progress when it comes to putting cycle tracks on the ground:

Congratulations, Devon County Council, on your continued commitment to sustainable transport.
But what about EDDC’s Draft Local Plan?

We need resolve on cycle network - Exmouth life - Exmouth Journal

However, meanwhile, a lot of work has been going on 'behind the scenes'...

The cycling organisation Sustrans has put together a proper feasibility study for the proposed walking/cycling route from Sidmouth to Feniton:
Futures Forum: Cycling: Sustrans to invest in Feniton to Sidmouth route
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Latest on Cycling matters

Study assesses feasibility for new route from Sidmouth to Feniton

25 April 2014
feasibility study has been published looking at the possibility of developing a walking and cycling route from Sidmouth to Feniton.
The concept of the 16km multi-use route has been around for many years but has now been explored in more detail.
The study has been produced following a community meeting last year which highlighted the need for the report as part of the legacy work of the construction of Coleridge Bridge in Ottery St Mary, which opened to the public in August 2011.
The concept of a trail broadly follows the line of a dismantled railway and takes in Tipton St John and Ottery St Mary although the study reviews a number of route options. Many sections of the old railway line have been built on, and 28 private landowners have so far been identified along route options.
We have also assessed the benefits and challenges of developing a multi-use trail across East Devon, at an estimated construction cost of around £1.4 million, although the provision of a bridge over the A3052 at Bowd which is desirable would potentially double the construction costs.
Any possible route would have to be delivered in sections over a number of years and would serve around 26,000 residents. The aim would be to develop a route that is convenient, safe, accessible and attractive, in order to provide local communities with a realistic alternative to the car to encourage people to travel by foot, cycle or horse. It could potentially generate around £600,000 per year of additional spending in the area from cycling visitors.
Paul Hawkins, Devon Area Manager for Sustrans, said:
“The East Devon countryside is a beautiful experience on foot and cycle, and the concept of linking up these communities with a safe route is very appealing and would provide both tourism and local commuting benefits. Delivery of a whole route would be complex, involve many stakeholders and take many years, but with careful planning sections of the route could be delivered to the benefit of local communities.”
Devon County Council is committed to investing in cycling and has both encouraged and enabled around a 15% growth in average daily cycle trips across the whole county over the past five years.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“This report is useful in highlighting future possibilities, but it has to be remembered that this trail is a long term ambition rather than something which can be achieved overnight. A lot of work would have to be done to make this scheme a reality.
“Devon is a leading authority when it comes to cycling, and we have demonstrated in recent years that we have become a premier destination for cycling tourism. We’ve been successful in getting more people cycling in Devon which can benefit people of all ages and abilities."
Councillor Claire Wright, Devon County Councillor for Ottery St Mary Rural, said: “The production of a the feasibility study, which Paul Hawkins worked really hard on, is a really important step forward. I look forward to moving the Ottery section of the project forward with the help of the Otter Trail group and other members of the community.”
Study assesses feasibility for new route from Sidmouth to Feniton | Sustrans

1 comment:
Peter Bending on 28 April 2014 at 8:43 pm said:

I do hope this come to fruition, although, if it takes as long as the Exe valley trail I may not be able to cycle all of it in one go.It would a wonderful legacy for our youngsters

Study explores multi-use trail linking Sidmouth to Feniton | News centre

Photograph. Kirby Jones: Part of the old railway line between Feniton and Ottery.

1. At 11:26 am on 29th Apr Gavin Jones wrote:

Re the Sustrans route, the Bowd crossing could easily be accommodated by ‘on demand only’ lights which would benefit pedestrians also and would not appreciably disrupt motor traffic (unlike other crossings which automatically allow for pedestrians even if there aren’t any!).

Otter Trail cycleway feasibility study completed - Claire Wright

A meeting to present the report in Sidmouth has been postponed from next week
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Cycling matters - from Sidmouth to Feniton
to late June: watch this space...

Monday, 28 April 2014

Jeremy Rifkin and the Collaborative Commons

On Radio 4 today:

The Future of Capitalism

Anne McElvoy talks to the social theorist Jeremy Rifkin who foresees the gradual decline of capitalism and the rise of a collaborative economy. As new technology enables greater sharing of goods and services, Rifkin argues that it provides a challenge to the market economy. The sociologist Saskia Sassen warns that the majority of people may not enjoy the fruits of this new world as increasing inequality, land evictions and complex financial systems lead to their expulsion from the economy. The Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng looks back at the history of international finance and how gold and war have shaped the economic order of today.
Producer: Katy Hickman.  SHOW LESS
  • Jeremy Rifkin
    Jeremy Rifkin is an author, an adviser to the European Union and to heads of state around the world and President of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, DC.

    The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and The Eclipse of Capitalism is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

▶ BBC Radio 4 - Start the Week, The Future of Capitalism


Jeremy Rifkin "The Zero Marginal Cost Society" - YouTube

The Zero Marginal Cost Society
The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism: Amazon.co.uk: Jeremy Rifkin: Books

> Zero Marginal Cost: it costs nothing to produce more of a good - but you can't make a profit... unless you have monopolies...
Is capitalism driving itself out of business? - Fortune Management

> The Information of Things: as prosumers, producing your own stuff - whether publishing or music-making: using new transport and logistics systems.
Understanding IoT: The Internet of Things explained - Cloud Tech News

> The Energy Internet: making your own energy and selling it on the grid.
Three coalitions that could catalyze the Third Industrial Revolution. - Project Syndicate
Smart Grid Solutions - An Energy Internet

In Germany: 25% of the population have their own geothermal heat pumps, wind-turbines, solar-panels - through individual households and community enterprises.
Renewable energy debate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Germany in transition | Down To Earth
Germany and Energy Issues | The Energy Collective

> The Collaborative Commons: between private enterprise and the state: goods and services provided by the social economy/civil society: non-profit educational/sports/environmental organisations and economic activity.
Collaborative Consumption | Sharing reinvented through technology. Watch Rachel's TED Talk
Sharing economy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For every car which is shared, 15 new cars are not purchased.
The future of driving: Seeing the back of the car | The Economist
ACCESS: the Magazine of UCTC
Collaborative Fund

See also:
Futures Forum: Resilience: "building a world of resilient communities"
Futures Forum: The Circular Economy
Futures Forum: Building resilience in local communities and economies: the Transition Town movement today
Futures Forum: Steady-state economy... Post-growth economy
Futures Forum: “Energiewende” – energy transformation... reducing dependence on fossil fuels and changing the role of the large traditional utilities.


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Spring has sprung... notably the bluebell and the dandelion ... and spring has sprung early ...

Fingers crossed - for the gardener and for wildlife:

Good news for Britain's gardeners – spring has sprung early
Monday 21 April 2014

Last year, gardeners were hit by a series of extreme and damaging weather events, as an unusually cold spring gave way to a hot, dry summer – only to be followed by the wettest winter in decades. By contrast, the weather in recent weeks has been ideal for wildlife: warm with a little rain and very little frost.

Ian Wright, a south-west garden adviser for the National Trust, predicted a “really great spring-flowering bonanza. Bluebells feel like they’re out slightly earlier than normal,” he said. “It’s also been a really good spring for rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias and they seem to be flowering for longer.” He added: “Vegetable gardeners are also finally able to start digging over and planting out their crops now that soil conditions are improving.”

It’s good news for the animals relying on our gardens too. “Butterflies, hoverflies, moths are all ahead of the game – which is good news if you’re a swallow and have just flown 6,000 miles. Bumblebees are looking really good, there are a lot of ladybirds around. Things are shaping up really nicely but I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” Mr Oates said.

Adrian Thomas, a gardening expert with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, added: “Birds are nesting early, especially robins and blackbirds. If the weather continues in a benign way many birds may get a third or even a fourth brood this year.”

This being Britain, however, it could all change quickly. Mr Oates warned that if the jet stream jumps south of its usual course, as it did last March, the “wheels could come off”, reducing temperatures and increasing rainfall.

Good news for Britain's gardeners – spring has sprung early - Home News - UK - The Independent

Warm spring after mild winter proves a boon for wildlife across Britain 

Friday 18 April 2014
Jump to comments (29)

Bluebells in bloom in Micheldever Wood, Hampshire. The Woodland Trust says native bluebells are flowering much earlier this year.

The mild winter and warm spring have meant that there is a wealth of wildlife on display for those staying in the UK, from bees and butterflies to blossom and buds.

Bluebells are flowering far earlier than in last year's cold spring, with peak displays expected in time for Easter, according to a survey by the Woodland Trust.

Top 10 wild foods to forage in spring
Roger Phillips, author of a new book on foraging, shares his top 10 springtime finds

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Found everywhere, dandelion leaves are great in salads - especially when blanched. The flower buds are also terrific, but I love the petals as a salad decoration most.

Top 10 wild foods to forage in spring - Telegraph

Blooming lovely: In defence of the dandelion

National Trust nature and wildlife specialist Matthew Oates is excited about this year’s booming crop of dandelions – a weed that actually has a huge amount to offer.

We are midway through the annual two-week dandelion peak and Mr Oates is enthusing about the range of benefits they bring. First there are the health benefits – the plant is a diuretic, good for gallstones and liver problems and rich in vitamins A, C and K, and calcium. The leaves can be made into tea, the roots into coffee, the petals into wine, and it is probably the best all-round nectar source in early spring, he says.

They have aromas that can ward off pests and, in turn, diseases, crab spiders hide under their petals and turn yellow in the process and various moth larvae feed on its leaves, Mr Oates says. Also they are beautiful and not as difficult to control as people think.

But Mr Oates is not a defender of the dandelion at all costs – an avid cricket player, he says there is no place for the weed on the green and accepts they can cause problems if not taken in hand around vegetable plants and flower beds. Anywhere else, though, they should be encouraged, he said, so long as they are dug out as they’re starting to seed.

Good news for Britain's gardeners – spring has sprung early - Home News - UK - The Independent

Plantwatch: The advance of spring

Friday 25 April 2014
Jump to comments (16)

Spring blossom of the horse chestnut. Photograph: Tim Graham/Corbis

Bluebells are blooming, horse chestnut tree flowers are out and everything is looking lush – and it probably comes as no surprise that this spring has come early thanks to unusually mild weather.

To gauge how early spring has arrived needs a long history pf observations, though, and is something that amateurs in Britain have excelled at for a long time. For example, since 1947 Jean Combes in Surrey has been recording the dates when the leaf buds open on her local oak, ash, horse chestnut and lime trees. Her records show a huge advance in the leafing dates over the past 67 years, and especially since the 1990s when very early springs started to become very apparent. Leafing is now about 25 days earlier than in the 1950s, which mirrors a rise in temperatures over the same period – an advance of about six days for every 1C increase in spring temperature.

Of course, climate change sceptics can jump on some freak cold and late springtimes, such as last year, and argue that this proves that the climate isn't changing. But last spring was something of an odd-man-out and historical records that go back even further, over 250 years, show an unmistakeable pattern of springs coming earlier as temperatures have risen in recent times.

The Nature's Calendar survey at the Woodland Trust continues to record the dates of natural events in both spring and autumn and is asking for volunteers to send in observations to their website at www.naturescalendar.org.uk

Plantwatch: The advance of spring | Science | The Guardian

A history of the East Devon local plan ... part one

Here is a very useful set of summaries from the East Devon Alliance - of how we got to where we are with the Local Plan, now out to consultation following the rejection of the submitted draft by the Inspector Mr Thickett:

The replacement of the 2006-2011 Local Plan has taken a long time - and in 2008 a report noted that the District Council had not yet completed a 'Statement of Community Involvement'... i.e. how the public would be involved in changes to the plan... and that, in fact, this was significantly behind in its timetable - to quote from the EDA.

History of the Local Plan – Part 1 and already in 2008 things are “slipping” | East Devon Alliance

It seems that there were concerns back in 2009 that the Local Development Panel was giving a 'positive steer' to some sites which was "leading to the initiation of premature pre- application discussions for sites which would be ‘departures’ from the current development plan." 

This led to "concern that this is seen as reacting to local agendas rather than positive planning towards a long term vision for the district and likely to lead to ad- hoc decisions being taken."

Why did the draft Local Plan fall at the first hurdle? | East Devon Alliance

And there is more from the 2009 report, with EDA comments in brackets:

"However, following the issues and options consultation, the recent focus of the LDF panel appears to have been on considering strategic allocations [many of which just happened to be sites owned by EDBF members] rather than articulating and achieving ownership of a wider common spatial vision about the 'shaping of the place' and where they want to go to now."

"Advice and support in developing the engagement strategy for the core strategy between now and submission including how the council can use suggested consultation tools and techniques to effectively engage with the community." [This Panel is meeting in secret, is not doing what it should be doing and is not talking to the people it should be talking to.]

"Evidence base: Guidance on assessing the coverage and robustness of evidence and provision of advice on key issues to be considered during the evidence gathering process and dissemination of key messages to partners." [All of the above were commented on, in some form or another, by Mr Thickett. It is obvious that the above advice was not taken on board.]

The Planning Advisory Service report into shortcomings of the Local Development Framework process for the draft Local Plan (2009) – further reflections | East Devon Alliance 

More to follow...

Recycling in Ottery

The District has its own recycling centres:
East Devon District Council - Local Recycling Centres and Recycling Banks

And recently, the Sidmouth/Ottery centre was moved:
Futures Forum: "New state of the art recycling centre for Sidmouth area"

The County Council has carried out its own consultation:
Futures Forum: Devon Waste Plan Consultation

To what extent can these matters be handled by communities and enterprises?
Futures Forum: Otter Rotters: Please support them by signing their online petition
Futures Forum: VGS AGM: Otter Brewery
Futures Forum: Freecycle in Honiton

There's a great place in Ottery St Mary:

Recycling in Ottery

Recycling in Ottery (RiO) is a community reuse and recycling centre. Reuse collections are undertaken across East Devon. RiO  takes recyclable materials and furniture, appliances, building materials salvage, books, clothes and household goods.  Electrical items are PAT tested for reuse but computers and IT items are not accepted. RiO will collect items for free and makes a small charge to cover delivery costs. Goods can be purchased directly or through the RiO LETS scheme, by working in exchange for goods.
Set up from an environmental perspective, RiO is now most appreciated for its social benefits. Volunteers also have a voice at our consensus decision making management meetings held every month. We are a not for profit company and distribute any surplus money to the community through the RiO Grand grants scheme.
RiO provides training in repair and renovation. We do talks to schools and local groups, and have run a theatre education company, the Green Dream Players.
Recycling in Ottery | Devon Community Recycling Network

RiO: Recycling in Ottery

Where to find them:
RiO: Recycling in Ottery

Upcycling: 'Kevin's Supersized Salvage'

There are plenty of places locally to go 'upcycling':
Futures Forum: Freecycle in Honiton

But you could try a hanger in Durham:

Kevin's Supersized Salvage: Kevin McCloud upcycles an Airbus A320 

into egg cups and desk lamps

See what surprising household objects can be made out of a junked plane

Kevin McCloud has taken a break from judging amazing homes to instead find new ways to reuse junk in Kevin's Supersize Salvage.
In this one-off Channel 4 programme, the Grand Designs presenter is given a scrapped Airbus A320 and a challenge to make it disappear by 'up-cycling' the contents that would otherwise be scrapped.           
While essential things like the engines are reused in other planes, mountains of fibreglass and plastic are destined for landfill, but this show will demonstrate how it can all be used.
There's everything from a desk lamp made from a chair leg, a rabbit hutch made from an overhead locker and even ten egg cups created from hinges and bits of the wing.
And you won't believe what one of the designers does with a big chunk of the fuselage, for all that and more check out the gallery above.
Kevin's Supersized Salvage is on tonight 24 April at 9pm on Channel 4

Kevin's Supersized Salvage: Kevin McCloud upcycles an Airbus A320 into egg cups and desk lamps - Mirror Online
Kevin's Supersized Salvage – TV review | Television & radio | The Guardian

Kevin's Supersized Salvage on Channel 4 yesterday was totally inspiring for anyone interested in making things from 'waste' materials. A whole aeroplane repurposed into useful products including a garden office, rickshaws, coat hooks, lampshades. Also lots of interesting stuff about finding niche markets for these types of products. Fascinating too to see the evolution of the products from raw concept to final products selling for high prices in upmarket shops. Would have been nice to see more 'affordable' products but one of the aims of the project was to make more money than the aeroplane would have made if the metals were salvaged and the rest sent to landfill so aiming for the high end of the market was their best (and probably only realistic) option.....

Crafty Green Poet: Supersized Salvage!
Kevin's supersized Salvage - C4 9pm - PistonHeads

The Designers

Combing passion, design knowledge and practical making skills, each of our three designers have one thing in common – they live to redesign, repurpose and remake.
The Designers
The Designers

Paul Firbank – Salvage Designer

Based in the East End of London, Paul sorts and sifts through London’s scrap yards, railway arch grease shops and thrift markets looking for the remains of outmoded modern metal parts and vintage engineered machinery.
‘Paul Firbank, the Rag and Bone Man, is the unchallenged King of the Scraphill, Ruler of Recycling and a gifted craftsman in metal’ - Kevin McCloud.
Paul restores, welds, turns, strips, brushes, polishes and varnishes, transforming these discarded scraps into bespoke pieces of contemporary lighting and furniture. Paul and his partner Lizzie set up the theragandboneman.co.uk in 2011.

Max McMurdo – Upcycling Entrepreneur

Max takes everyday waste objects and upcycles them into beautiful yet functional pieces of furniture and accessories. He has made an array of products, from bath chairs for the Body Shop, to an aeroplane wing desk for Theo Paphitis.
‘If we are to change consumer attitudes towards recycling and re-use, we really must provide desirable eco-friendly alternatives.’
In 2003, Max set up reestore.com, a company dedicated to designing a range of desirable furniture salvaged from waste destined for the landfill; and spreading the ethos of upcycling remains Max’s number one goal.

Harry Dwyer – Designer, video maker, electronics engineer

Harry is the wildcard among our three designers (harrydwyer.com). He grew up on a farm tinkering with machines and building whatever he could imagine. His creations are often driven by a desire to make something fun and unusal, the bigger, wilder and more original, the better.
Harry has created bespoke vehicle restorations and custom interiors for various private and public commissions including pimped up vans for ‘bands in transit’ a Ford motor company project. He also turned an Austin 500 van into a two horsepower motorboat that he sailed down the Sharpness canal.
Harry is a semi-professional maker and whilst he takes on commercial projects he also runs a small electronics company (aircraftworkshop.co.uk), and recently collaborated with the artist Antony Gormley.
Kevin's Supersized Salvage - Articles - The Designers - Channel 4
About | The Rag And Bone Man