Sustainable Llangollen

An invitation for local groups to work together on environmental and social issues

Launch Event with FREE food!

Friday 17th February, 7.00pm – St Collen’s Community Hall, Regent Street, Llangollen

Llangollen Friends of the Earth are looking to establish a coalition of local groups to work together on environmental and social issues.

This is an invitation for groups in Llangollen to come together informally, to discuss where we could work together to achieve strong positive outcomes.

Friends of the Earth in Llangollen would like to develop the idea of a community shop, although we are open to ideas for alternative projects.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW INVITE / FLYER

The Cooperative donation

Great news for our party – There will now be significantly more food available after the regional Coop team agreed to sponsor our event.

We now have access to £50 worth of food and drink from our local Coop. On a local, national and international basis, the Coop have a fantastic reputation for helping support social and environmental causes.

To find out more about The Cooperative’s principles click here: http://www.co-operative.coop/join-the-revolution/our-plan/

Community Party!

Free food and live music – Friday 25th November – 7pm start with free food until 8.30pm –  St Collen’s Community Hall, Llangollen.

Hosted by Llangollen Friends of the Earth to celebrate the start of the UN Climate Talks in South Africa.

Open invite to all!

Full resolution poster available here; English / Cymraeg.

A supermarket for Llangollen?

What will a supermarket mean for Llangollen?

  • Less choice – As local shops close, there will be no choice but to use the supermarket.

Between 1997 and 2002 more than 13,000 specialist stores aroundthe UK – including newsagents, Post Offices, grocers, bakers, butchers – closed. The loss of local, independent shops can have serious impacts in terms of access to food, particularly for people on lower incomes or those who don’t have use of a car

  • Job losses – Supermarkets destroy as many jobs as they create. Llangollen will lose its friendly appeal and knowledgeable specialist staff.

Supermarket claims that new stores bring in jobs fail to consider the wider picture of independent retailer bankruptcies. A 1998 study by the National Retailer Planning Forum (NRPF) examining the employment impacts of 93 superstore openings between 1991 and 1994 found that they resulted in a net loss of more than 25,000 jobs or 276 per store opened

  • Leaching of money from the local economy – Supermarkets use distant suppliers who contribute nothing to the local economy. Supermarket profits go to their shareholders, contributing little to the local economy.

A Friends of the Earth study of local food schemes found that on average just over half of business turnover was returned to the local economy – compared to as little as five per cent for supermarkets.

  • Additional traffic – Traffic problems on the A5 will be compounded by the addition of a supermarket.

The distribution systems used by supermarkets and the location of out of town stores generate large amounts of traffic. Recent work for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) suggests that car use for shopping results in costs to society of more than £3.5 billion per year, fromtraffic emissions, noise, accidents, congestion and accident

  • Loss of character – Llangollen is a unique, thriving, market town. The addition of a supermarket could be the start of a decline towards being just another clone town.
  • Increased carbon emissions – A new supermarket would actually produce more CO2 than if every family in Llangollen drove to and from Wrexham every week.
  • Exploitation – Supermarkets use their market dominance to exploit suppliers and farmers in the UK and overseas.
  • Food and packaging waste is generated. Packaging now makes up nearly a quarter of household waste. A shocking 35-40 per cent of all household waste which ends up in landfill begins life as a purchase from one of the big fivesupermarkets.

Counterpower book launch – 13th November

Counterpower front cover

Full details for the Counterpower book launch can be seen below;

*** Counterpower Book launch – Sunday 13th November 2011 – 7.30pm – St Collen’s Community Hall, Llangollen – Upper room – Refreshments available ***

Tim Gee is the author of, ‘Counterpower’ (www.newint.org/counterpower) and also works for FoE UK as a campaign trainer.

Tim will be hosting a book launch along with a participatory workshop, or alternatively a talk followed by a question-and-answer session.

Light refreshments will be available on a donation basis. Hope to see you there!

 

Plas Derwen – Post script

Plas Derwen Development

An article from Simon Collinge, first published in the October edition of the Llangollen news;

In Augusts’ Llangollen News, under the Llangollen Town Council report readers might have noticed the application 03/2011/0696 Plas Derwen, Abbey Road – application for modification or discharge of planning obligation relating to the payment of commuted sum for the provision of affordable housing and public open space.

The Town Council quite rightly, raised objections. The original plans submitted for the development were for a much smaller and less intrusive build and included affordable housing for local residents. The developers, however, thought they could make more money from a larger, more prestigious development so submitted new plans for the incongruous development now dominating the approach to Llangollen on Abbey Road. Apparently, Planning Regulations require new build schemes should have a percentage of affordable housing and developers have to pay a “commuted sum” – in this case believed to be in excess of £200,000 – to the authority if they chose not to provide urgent needed accommodation for local people.

I wrote to the Town Council to ask if our two County Councillors would be supporting them and objecting to this attempt by the developer to avoid paying the commuted sum and their obligations to the community.

Ian Parry, the Town Council Clerk replied

Although the Town Council may object to an application we cannot insist that our County Councillors support our decisions. They may hold different views. Also I understand that they are ‘not allowed’ to indicate their position on a particular issue before an application goes to committee as this would prevent them from speaking at the meeting.

I will be writing to both our County Councillors asking them to consider supporting the Town Council in this matter.

Apparently the matter will be considered at the Denbighshire County Council Planning Committee in October and I would encourage residents to write and express their opinions regarding the developer not paying the “commuted sum”.

E-mail: your.voice@denbighshire.gov.uk

Website: http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk

Bikes on Buses

X94 in Llangollen

The Assembly government has recently announced that the Wales wide TrawsCambria bus network through Wales is to receive £2.2m to fund new buses. The X94 Wrexham-Barmouth bus service, which passes through Llangollen, is part of TrawsCambria network.

Public transport systems work best when they are integrated. By integrating bicycles with buses you greatly increase the flexibility of bus services. People can ride a short distance to their local bus stop, use the bus to cover the majority of their journey and then finish off the last few miles by bike.

The current fleet of buses which serve the X94 route are fitted with bike racks. This is a great idea, especially for the X94 which serves a number of tourist towns.

In reality there are some problems. The main problem is that passengers are not able to actually use the racks! I have been informed by several different drivers on the route that I couldn’t use their rack because it wasn’t working; in fact one driver said that the bike racks have actually never worked.

Let’s hope that the new buses bought with the £2.2 million investment of public money include provisions for carrying bikes that actually work. I have contacted the assembly government regarding this and am currently awaiting their response.