Notes from 6/6/19

Thanks to Aine who chaired the meetings, next meeting facilitator: Barbara

Picture from Scotland

Electric Vehicles

Talk from Bill Smith, Bill owned and ran Bashchurch service garage for 35 years and has an extensive knowledge of the motor trade and electric vehicles from their first introduction to the present day. This 30 min talk is packed with information and Bill can be contacted with questions.

Electric vehicles, Bill Smith

Climate Emergency


1: We should frame proposals around the CAT Zero Carbon Britain report. This indicates that UK could reach net zero by 2030 and outlines the shape of this transition

2: Library should be an information hub for this process.

3: BRACE to use its July 4th meeting to discuss ideas to present to the July Council meeting. We should attend council meeting to better understand their remit and invite the mayor to attend at least one of our meetings. David Senior is Welshpool town Councillor who has pushed climate emergency statement for Welshpool

4: Newtown meeting, other town are going through a similar process as us, they are looking at food, energy, land transport and waste. Re convening in September with clear proposals


  1. Can we have a link to the this website www.brace.cyrmu from the council website
  2. Electric vehicle charger behind the library/ institute or old jail
  3. Land and biodiveristy: Spraying.. is there a biodiversity plan for Powys? Cutting of verges for biodiverity. Andrew Collins is in contact with contractors, happy to leave out May cut.
  4. Cultivating the town’s green spaces. Cae Bodfach and composting at the allotments, keen to explore more green spaces in town we can plant up with bee friendly, edible herbs etc
  5. Next Town Council meeting is 19th June in Llanfyllin institute – suggested we listen in and on July 17th make a 5 min presentation from BRACE to council
  6. Town council: can they invest saving in North Wales Credit unioin or similr. Look at divestment from high street banks
  7. 21st June is the next school strike – calling for support from Adults

George Monbiot on why ‘Climate Change Goes Deeper Than Capitalism’

This is an excellent interview, unpacking how we perceive the climate crisis

Guardian columnist George Monbiot is one of the foremost progressive political thinkers in Britain today, one who has long put a spotlight on environmental issues, particularly those ignored by the mainstream press. He joins us The Elephant to talk about how the climate change crisis isn’t just an isolated problem, but one that is intimately intersected with other major problems we’re facing in our societies – from the run-away political power of corporations, to the rampant consumerism that dominates our culture.

Recorded for The Elephant Podcast

The alternative to hypocrisy is cynicism

George Monbiot

Cymru Ein Dyfodol – Our Future Wales

You can interact with O.F.W here

I think this really matters, it is essential for Wales as a nation as it puts us on the leading edge of positive change. Evaluating all new development through the perspective of the Well Being of Future Generations Act creates an essential lens that can steer policy in the right direction. The over-ruling of the M4 extension this week is a fine example. We need to find transport solutions that dont involve investment in more roads or the destruction of increasingly rare habitat.

As a farming nation regenerative agriculture can be the leading edge of our climate response. Here is Tim LaSalle talking on the essential role agriculture can play. This is the start of a big conversation. We will be picking up on this on June 20th at our next meeting and I think this si a subject that has an especially broad appeal. .

Short film on possibilities of holistic grazing
Theme for June 20th Meeting is agriculture and farming

June 6th Meeting

Brace poster #permaculture #climate change #llanfyllin
Climate emergency is here, what do we expect from our local authorities?

Argyfwng – Emergency

This week we return to the theme of emergency. Notably the Welsh first minister has indicated he will not support he M4 extension in South Wales as it is incompatible with the declaration of a climate emergency. So obviously this can be a powerful tool to leverage action from authorities who have been nothing but inconsistent over the realities of the low carbon future we are planning for.

It is felt we should produce a clear statement of intent and expectations from the Town and County council with regards to this on gong situation. This will be the key theme of the next meeting.

Last week, we welcomed to our community gardening talk our colleague Bill Smith from Ruabon who is retired motor mechanic offering extensive experience and knowledge of Electric Vehicles and we expecting him to return this week offering to answer questions and clarify understanding of this emerging technology.

All this and more this Thursday!

First Minister Mark Drakeford is widely expected to announce tomorrow that the proposed M4 relief road south of Newport will not be built.
Although there has been no leak of Mr Drakeford’s decision, which he will announce to AMs in the Senedd, many interested parties have concluded privately that what had been the Welsh Government’s preferred “Black Route” will be rejected.
The rising cost of the project, now estimated to be well over £1bn, coupled with the Welsh Government’s recent declaration of a “climate emergency”, are believed to have swung Mr Drakeford against it.
Bodies like the CBI are strongly in favour of the relief road, complaining that the current M4 is not fit for purpose and sometimes causes serious delays, especially around the Brynglas tunnels. But the proposed relief road is opposed by environmentalists, who say the Gwent Levels, a sensitive wetlands landscape, would be wrecked by having a motorway built through it.
Those against the project also argue that much of the congestion is caused by drivers who use the M4 as a local road, and that it would swallow up the Welsh Government’s entire borrowing allocation, leaving no capacity for worthy schemes elsewhere in Wales.
However, when a public inquiry into the scheme began in early 2017, Welsh Government economist Stephen Bussell gave evidence that the project had a benefit-cost ratio of 2.22, with economic benefits of £2.12bn against a cost of £952m.

The estimated cost of the project subsequently increased.

Meeting 23 May

As usual we met at the Cross Keys Llanfyllin, informally meeting for coffee and chats at 7.00 and then kicking off for real at 7.30. NEXT Meeting June 6th, Cross Keys Llanfyllin

Thanks to Lesley Sweet who facilitated the meeting and helped compile the agenda.

First event from the food and compost group

Community compost Sunday. Exploring the possibilities of the fast turn around 18 day compost See event poster above

Guest speakers and input into meetings. Especially in the 7.00 – 7.30 slot or full talks on dedicated evenings. Please submit suggestions

Climate Emergency. It is felt the sense of urgency has slipped and we want to press the council to pass a cliamte emergency motion. Re visiting the statement made by the Welsh Government in April we are reminded that they have set a target of public sector net zero by 2030. That’s 10 years.. we want to know what the plan is.

Cultivate Newtown. We had discussed a full visit to the horticulture training centre, instead we have opted for a hour long slideshow and talk from Steve Jones next week at the Keys, normal time. 7.00 for 7.30 p,m

Bike repair cafe. Please any potential bike engineers wanted.. planning for an event perhaps twice a year

Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.

This is my summary of the spirit of the Pope’s statement Laudato Si

About Repair Cafe

From Repair Café website – if we want to become an ‘official’ repair cafe

Want to start your own Repair Café? You can!

The Repair Café Foundation supports local groups around the world to start their own Repair Café.

For a voluntary one-off fee of € 49 we offer the following digital starter kit:

  • the extensive Repair Café manual with everything you need to know to start your own local Repair Café. This step-by-step manual is based on our years of experience, and guides you through all the different stages of setting up your own Repair Café: from finding local repair experts and a suitable location, to collecting the right tools, creating publicity, finding funds for your initiative etc.
  • our logo to use in all communications about your local Repair Café
  • templates for announcement posters and flyers
  • templates for forms to cover liability and collect feedback from people who visit your Repair Café
  • sign boards with the names of the basis stations in your Repair Café (like ‘Electrical appliances’, ‘Furniture’ and ‘Textiles’) and posters to decorate the room in Repair Café style
  • we will put you in contact with other people or groups in your area who have shown an interest in starting their own Repair Café as well

 When your Repair Café gets started, we will

  • mention your Repair Café location on our website
  • create publicity for your initiative via our network
  • send you a unique code with which you can order the highly ingenious Repair Café toolkit from iFixit Europe for free, only paying shipping costs (normal price: € 74,95 + shipping costs)*

From Montgomery team (11th May 2019)

They pay out £300 for insurance although Repair Café don’t suggest that you actually need it as people sign a disclaimer.

They have drinks and cake for people to buy and ask for donations for repairs.

They use a hall with outdoor space for working on the bikes (could be done indoors but it gave them more space) – Institute would be a good comparison for size.

They had laptop and projector playing a video on loop – this time was from the story of stuff

Also have a simple craft area to keep children amused (and hoping to do fabric repairs/upcycling in the future.

Most popular are electrical, electronic (IT), bikes and sharpening of gardening tools. After the 1st event they decided to take the gardening tools to the person sharpening off site as the generation of sparks at the first event attracted a crowd which wasn’t great for H&S !!

When people arrive a form is filled in and a label attached to the item.

Montgomery Repair Café House Rules

  1. The work carried out in the Repair Café is performed free of charge on a voluntary basis by the repair experts at hand.
  2. A voluntary donation to assist with the costs of running the Repair Café is greatly appreciated.
  3. Any use of new materials such as leads, plugs, fuses, hinges, brackets, or replacement parts are to be paid for.
  4. Neither the organisers of the Repair Café nor the repair experts are liable for any loss that may result from advice or instructions concerning repairs, for the loss of items handed over for repair, for consequential loss or for any other kind of loss resulting from work performed in the Repair Café.
  5. Visitors offering items for repair do so at their own risk.
  6. Experts making repairs offer no guarantee for the repairs carried out with their help and are not liable if items that are repaired in the Repair Café do not work properly at home.
  7. Repair experts are entitled to decline to help repair certain items.
  8. Repair experts are not obliged to reassemble dismantled items that cannot be repaired.
  9. Visitors to the Repair Café are solely responsible for the tidy removal of broken items that could not be repaired.
  10. To cut down on unnecessary waiting times during busy periods, a maximum of ONE broken item or THREE items for sharpening per person will be examined. The visitor may then join the back of the queue if they have another item for repair/sharpening.

Regenerating the landscape

Farming and land management is both part of the problem and a big part of the solution. Economic forces and government incentives have pushed farms to be more intensive, bigger and with more and more inputs. This has created cheap food but it has come at the expense of the landscape, wildlife and biodiversity.

Part of the climate change response is to manage landscapes much more organically, to rebuild soils and soil carbon with set of techniques often called regenerative farming.

Climate emergency is here

MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency.

This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tabled the motion, said it was “a huge step forward”.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged there was a climate “emergency” but did not back Labour’s demands to declare one.

The declaration of an emergency was one of the key demands put to the government by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, in a series of protests over recent weeks.

Addressing climate protesters from the top of a fire engine in Parliament Square earlier, Mr Corbyn said: “This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe.

“We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis.”

Blog page

At the moment it is set up so that new blog posts appear on the home page. We can create other pages for each of the groups or topic areas if we like. Anything is possible. It is often best to let it evolve organically then make some changes when we have a better idea of how we want it to work.

This is easy to change if we want to, if you would rather have static page as an introduction.

This picture shows a general view of the flooded city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, on April 02, 2019. – Iranian emergency services were bracing for widespread flooding on April 3 with mass evacuations planned as extensive rainfalls in regions neighbouring Khuzestan converge on the oil-rich southwestern province. (Photo by Aziz Babanejad / TASNIM NEWS / AFP) (Photo credit should read AZIZ BABANEJAD/AFP/Getty Images)