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Planet Shaftesbury 19-11-19

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Approximately twenty of us gathered on yet another wet and windy evening, a mix of new faces and regulars. The meeting started with a look at the timeline we drew up a few meetings ago, which is now in the process of going onto this website. A chance to fill in any gaps and give newcomers an idea of what we’ve been doing.

News/updates followed.

  • On the Town Tree Plan, Robin spoke of a keen interest to participate from Shaftesbury School. Diana spoke of Environment Agency interest in work of the Tree Group

  • Annie/PS members keeping Town Council ‘on the case’ with regard to installation of a water fountain in town centre

  • Post-October-Rebellion XR ‘debrief’ thoughts from those who participated passed on by Richard, who told us that feedback like this from groups will feed into the strategy for new year actions. April Rebellion scheduled to start on Easter Monday.

  • Trudy spoke of personal plan to keep a ‘rubbish diary’ and find creative uses for waste materials – inviting others to join her.

  • Follow-up to October meeting with Simon Hoare (see previous blog entry) will be in Blandford on Sat 8th Feb (further details TBA).

  • Fiona updated us on Gillingham Town Council’s follow-up to declaration of Climate Emergency – they are inviting public to submit ideas.

  • Maude told us to expect a Dorset Waste Partnership presentation in February, details TBA.

  • Next repair workshop at Rising Sun pub (on way to Ludwell) scheduled for 13th Jan

We then looked ahead to the issues and practical actions for Planet Shaftesbury in 2020 – based on experience from 2019 and commitments from the Dec 6th meeting: focus on action and bringing people in (outreach).

Ideas that have come up at previous meetings were displayed on separate tables according to theme: transport, energy, nature, waste, food, and ‘other’. There was also a list of Planet Shaftesbury’s different options for responding to an issue, eg – by having a focus for a regular meeting; arranging a public talk, information stalls or event. Specific proposals were for

  • One or more people to encourage schools, care homes, hospital to participate in Meat-Free Mondays – (Mandy, who made this suggestion, will be tackling Gillingham)

  • PS meeting with focus on making Shaftesbury cycle-friendly, could include: linking with schools, town and Dorset councils, cycle routes, batteries for electric bikes, services for cyclists

  • Film showing: A Plastic Ocean, linked to other ‘Plastic-free Shaftesbury’ events eg. talk from Dorset Waste Partnership, information stalls, local repair cafes, promotion of individual efforts such as keeping waste diary

  • Eco-Day, Fair or Market at which to provide information on home energy efficiency, reducing waste, promote ethical local suppliers – (several proposers)

  • Establish a network of people willing to host living-room discussions as part of outreach

  • Linking with schools staff/governors/parents for wider collaboration. (Trudy has links, Alex More the deputy head at Shaftesbury School was mentioned as a potential contact)

  • Organise a Bioblitz fair – count of wildlife etc in designated local area engaging schools and local community

  • Form more productive connections to other Dorset groups building on XR connections and website (Christina will engage with existing Dorset connections via Bandcamp)

  • Trees – active support for the town’s tree planting plans including via the PS website

  • Birds – support actions to reverse the decline in birds (swifts & swallows) previously associated with Shaftesbury (Jocelyn will be put in touch with other work going on in the town).

These will inform the focus for the next monthly meeting and will be revisited as 2020 gets under way. We ended the meeting on a high. (notes by Richard -1st part - & Rachel - 2nd part)

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Thanks Planet Shaftesbury, for all these interesting and positive reports, and apologies for not making it to the last meeting. Greener Gillingham is slowly growing and starting to make things happen - we have just set up a Terracycling Centre in the small building next to the library (opposite Waitrose). It was very complicated to set up so we are starting small, with just a few basic items (eg. crisp packets, sweet wrappers, bread bags etc.). The centre will be open from 10 till 12 on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. The first one was last Saturday and we collected an amazing amount!

Meanwhile a group of us will be coming to the meeting with Simon Hoare…

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