Minutes of TWiG meeting 4/8/14

Notes from Transition West Gateshead meeting. 4th. August 2014.

At the meeting. Garry, Nick, Rachel, Di (facilitator), Mick, Lesley (minutes).

Apologies. Steph and Ike (Blaydon Burn Farm), Julie Simpson, Pauline Gertig, David and Sarah (Hop Garden).

Notes from last meeting were agreed. We said that all those attending should ask if acronyms, initials, references are used that they do not understand, as it is easy to fall back onto jargon and not realise that other people don’t understand it.

Matters arising.

Mick said that Blackhall Mill Apple Day is confirmed for Sunday 19th. October.

He has also put an article about the Transition group in “The Forgery “- their community newsletter.

(He also mentioned that they have a film evening once a month on Sundays. The transition group could put a film forward?)

Current Projects.

Suma group. Rachel and Nick had mentioned our plans to the current organiser of the SUMA group based in High Spen (Marie), and she had responded to say that she was happy to take more people into that group. Some concern was raised about that group getting too big (storage is in Marie’s house) but we said that we thought Marie would let us know if that was the case. Lesley to write to those who had expressed an interest asking them to give details to Marie.

October Feast. Lesley had approached St Joseph’s in Blaydon but it was not available for the date we had agreed. (18th. October). Di had approached Greenside Community Centre and it was available – we can have kitchen, supper room and hall for the afternoon for £50. It is not so accessible by bus but not too bad. We agreed to go with this. Di will book.

We discussed the purpose of the event and who it is aimed at. We agreed that it is an affirmation for people who are already interested, and who have ideas they want to make happen. We will also try to draw in those who are not yet committed but have an interest. It is not aimed at the “general public”.

We agreed that it should be fun and family friendly and that there should be relevant activities for children. We also agreed that it should act as an information exchange and we could ask people to bring relevant information and possibly have stalls.

There was some disagreement about what should happen at the event – how far it was just about a get-together and having fun, and how far it should include consultation/visioning/awareness-raising. We felt that if we had a long enough time, we could include some of both.

There was also some disagreement about the provenance of the food. If we are asking everyone to bring a contribution, should this be in keeping with Transition aims- i.e. show some awareness of food miles and low carbon packaging?  Some felt that it was too early in the process to introduce this element, others that this was the point of the work we are doing and so should be a guiding principle. Lesley was asked to come up with a form of words that we could send to those coming, which would explain our philosophy without being threatening. Then the group will discuss this.

We came up with the following outline plan –

All those who want to help with cooking a surplus soup arrive 1.00 p.m. People can bring their surpluses then or drop off to group members beforehand.

3.30 p.m. People turn up, mill, look at stalls.

4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. “Thinking time” – could be a short film, flipcharts to write on about vision for the area, ideas, what’s already going on etc., small discussions, skills sharing – needs more thought. (Children’s activities at same time).

5.00 -6.00 p.m. Eating.

6.00 -7.30 p.m. Music/dancing.

BYO drink?

Di will ask Fred Phethean about making musical instruments with children. (possibly Woodcraft Folk if not).

We will all make lists of groups who we think we should approach to bring info. Di will check when the kitchen will be available from and what equipment we need to bring.

Formalising the Group. We need to start to make the group more formal if we are hoping to apply for any money (e.g. for the Feast). Di gave us a link to the Transition Network info on this (www.transitionnetwork.org/resources/transtion-primer) and asked us to look at pages 17-20 in particular which shows the different types of organisations. Mick thought that a basic constitution from GVOC would probably do for now until the group was surer of its direction. Lesley will contact GVOC to get a copy of the basic one, and send it round group to see if others are happy with this.

We also agreed that we will need a bank account. We discussed various options. Di will contact Nationwide; Mick will contact the Post Office. Lloyds may be good as they have local branches, although several other banks use the Post Office. To discuss at next meeting.

We still need to look at roles in the group (chair, minutes etc.) and also groundrules.

Information Exchange/Matters arising

Highfield community orchard – Nick has contacted the person he knows re. contaminated land, and will pass on details. Council are considering a number of options for the site.

Surplus Swap. Lesley will send out an e-mail to test out how interested people are in doing this, as the courgette glut is upon us.

Sustainable Communities Act – discuss next time.

Durham Dales Leader funding. It’s possible that this will be extended to the Derwent Valley, which covers part of our area. It can be used for sustainable development so could be very relevant. There is an info day in Rowlands Gill on 15th. August.  Mick, Lesley and Garry are going along and will report back.

Other project ideas – keep on agenda.

Next meeting

Wednesday 10th. September, 7.30 p.m.

Somewhere in Greenside – community centre or Pack Horse. Di will investigate and let us know.

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