Minutes TWiG meeting 8/9/16 at Greenside Community Centre

TwiG  Meeting

8th. Sep 2016 at the Greenside Community Centre

 Present: Rachel, Lesley, Garry(chair), Gweno(minutes)

1. Apologies.

  Nick, Mick, Gwen, Laura

2. Minutes of last meeting.

Include Di’s comments on food festival in the July minute. Action. Nick. 

3. Matters arising –

– Food Fest feedback –

Overall very good feedback from everybody. 

Lesley emphasised that we need to recruit more volunteers, and more in advance for next year’s edition.
Gweno asked if we know how many people attended it. Lesley suggested that we should ask Nick if he could provide us with the number of paid entries.


– Hugh’s film – follow up.
A projection of the uncut video was shared at the Pack Horse Pub in Greenside on the 3rd of August 2016. Very good feedback from members who attended that projection. Loads of comments were made to Hugh.
Following the Local Food Festival film, Hugh is planning to interview people in the Blaydon area about Food. Steph volunteered to help and to liaise with Hugh on that Vox Pop project. Lesley volunteered as back-up.

Action: Steph And/Or Lesley to follow-up with Hugh.


– Last Shift Festival stall.
We were invited to run a stall on the 23/07/2016 for the Last Shift Festival. It was a very successful event.

Garry and Lesley say there was a very good attendance at the stall and that people were keen to talk about ways to reduce their carbon footprint/have a better impact on the environment. Very good ideas were shared. Lesley published a list of ideas on our website.

Action: Gweno to add 3 people on the All_members mailing list.


– Transition streets?
The idea to start a transition street group started with Diane who discussed it with Gweno thinking about starting a group in the ‘low-Greenside’. Rachel notes that Clara Vale would be a good place to try such a group as well. Garry also thinks that Clara Vale and Blackhall Mill would be nice place to start and that people living there would welcome the idea.

Gweno explains that one fear factor is that knocking at people’s door is not easy and requires preparation. Lesley suggests that we could practice some role playing activities to help with that.
Rachel said that we could contact Wilf (Transition Durham / Abundant Earth) as he can help with connecting with people through door to door campaign.

Also there are info and materials available on http://www.transitionstreets.org.uk/ to help with setting up a group.


– Solar array – update (Garry).

Garry explains to Rachel the Solar Array project.

Current status: Ross’s company Green Community Buildings CIC has received funding for the feasibility study.

Meeting with Ross is planned on Monday the 3rd of October 2016 at 7:30pm. Venue is yet to be arranged by Garry, and will probably be at the White Swan Pub in Greenside.

Action: Garry to book White Swan or another Venue, and to communicate to Solar Array (sub) group.


Community Energy meeting.

This is just an open invitation for all TwiG members to a meeting on that topic. It’s happening in Jesmond restaurant “As You Like It” on the Tuesday 13th of September 5-8pm. Email has been circulated separately)


4. Finance report and bank account – log ins?
Around £600. Signatories have been to Log in. Everything looks fine. Update from Nick at next meeting.

Lesley explains to Rachel that we get money mostly from event.


5. Website, Facebook and emailing – any issues?

No issues apart from the email missed by Gweno regarding the 3 persons to add in mailing list (see Last Shift Action). Gweno thanks Laura, Lesley and others for keeping the active Facebook page very active. Regarding the website, Gweno suggests that we could have a more active blog post. He thinks that people who like writing could post articles when they want about topics they care about. Gweno thinks that a person like Nick would certainly post interesting thoughts to make the website more active 🙂

Actions: continue good work on Facebook, write more posts on Website.

6. Food map – criteria – to be decided- see attached on email.

A discussion takes place around what do we want and what has been done already. Looking at the 3 examples Mick shared, the main argument against the Big Barn is that WE want to offer free promoted space for Local food producers whereas THEY charge for it.

Discussion on criteria for accepting a local food producer on The TWiG local food map:


1)   serving local people (Essential criterion: Are the majority of your products or services consumed/experienced in the region?) 

2)   producing or using locally produced (farmed) food* (To qualify for the directory a substantial amount of the food your business sells must be locally produced.  By ‘local’ we mean the farm is local, not that you get it from your ‘local’ shop. Exceptions may be made if you do not fulfil the criteria of sourcing a ‘substantial amount’ of local produce. Minimum of 2 ingredients. This may be made when an enterprise sources some produce locally and are committed to doing so above and beyond their competitors, but are restricted by a lack of local products or resources available, however they clearly demonstrate an effort to source more locally produced food. Below, please give some examples of foods/ingredients that your organisation sells/uses that are grown or reared in the local area. Please specify exactly where each is produced: e.g. “All our free range eggs are from Sky Farm near Stanhope”)

* also foraged


3)     supporting the local economy (Is the business locally owned? For example, does the owner live within the region?)


4)       Being based in or near to West Gateshead (Is the business located in West Gateshead? Businesses from outside the area will be included in the directory if the product(s)/service is very rare or not being produced within West Gateshead (e.g. goats’ cheese). Please explain why you think your business should be included.)


We all agreed on 1)

On 2) we looked at ‘Growing Middlesborough’ as an example of definition of what are the acceptable proportions of local/non local ingredients: at least 2 ingredients in their products sourced within 50 miles of West Gateshead. We also thought we should include foraged ingredients.

Following Rachel remark of packaging being also important, we also agreed that packaging should be part of the list of criteria.

On 3) we agreed and added that the local producer should not be part of a chain.

On 4) we discussed if the boundaries should be stricts are more open. Rachel gives the example of Wylam Nursery Tom and Joe”. Although they are just outside West Gateshead limits we would be happy to have them on the map. 

On top of the 4 criteria the Durham food, eligible food producers are asked if they fit I the following categories too:

(in the email: If they satisfy those 4 criteria and Wilf, Neil and Myself agree they qualify, they’re in, but we also ask them whether they fit into any of the following categories too: )


[ ] Organic

[ ] Certified Organic (provide your number below)

[ ] Free Range

[ ] Not for Profit

[ ] Uses Forms of Renewable Energy

[ ] Local Sourcing of Inputs (e.g. Animal Feed)

[ ] Supports Wildlife (supply detail below)

[ ] Rare Breeds

[ ] Heritage Varieties

[ ] Energy Saving (supply detail below)

[ ] Very Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions (supply detail below)

[ ] Community Supported (supply detail below)

Lesley said we should add ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘MSC certified Fish’.

It was also mentioned that maybe the Packaging should be part of this list of ‘Nice to Have’ rather than the list of 4 ‘must have‘. I’m not sure this was agreed?

Action: for all members – amend and/or ratify this draft list of criteria.



7. Transport –bus map, car sharing?

Lesley notes that the Derwent Car club is not extending geographically due to lack of funding.

Car sharing: Gweno asks for being assisted in this project as nothing is moving forward. Gary suggests that we should drop that project for now.

Bus map: Mick had a discussion with Nexus and it seems possible to have a map for the area. Mick is trying to arrange a meeting with Nexus. Rachel interested in going to meeting. 

Action: Mick to share any update.


8. reEconomy Regional gathering

Lesley says that we should do it only if other nearby local groups would be committed.

The general idea is that it is too soon for our still ‘young’ group. Lesley adds that we would need to involve councillors and that we have to explore this with caution.

No Action required for now. 


9. Recycling Centre
Gary’s idea is to have a recycling/re-use shop at Gateshead tip. Garry and Mick have had e-mail contact with Gateshead council and Sita/Suez that is managing landfills, recycling centre and waste in general. He said that they have similar schemes in place in Surrey (Re-use Network), Taunton and South Bookham Hampshire.

Action: Gary to give update on progress.

10. Actions from our end-of-year review/ how do we involve more people?

Lesley: we need to involve more people. Question about an event before Christmas? We should start now to think about organising our next event. We should emphasize on celebrating and involve other groups maybe?

Action: for all to start discussing next event.

 11. AOB

12. Date of next meeting.

Wednesday 12th of October @ the White Swan (TBC).


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