Core group meeting minutes Dec 17

Transition Town Hastings




Approval of last minutes/Matters arising.

Old bathing pool- ken?

Cycling route- Laurie?

West Street Celebrations- TTH Swap shop made- £51.60



Complete signed Constitution- Action-Is there anything to do on this?

Membership – Sarah trialing an option on ESC website



Garden– New bench, Waiting to see about 2nd water butt- don’t know until end of next week- Action Chris to find out.

Plan separate meeting for gardeners to look at buying tools and what to plant in future. Action- Alison to ask for dates/doodle poll in Jan & set up quarterly garden meet at end of a session?

Action- Alison contact Natalie again

Karen can’t lead on garden on 9th Dec- Action- Chris volunteered to do. Thank you Chris!


Energy– free workshops- Scrappy Dog Draught Excluder, Making your own solar panel & Charger- Ore Community Centre & Broomgrove Community Centre. Running training modules look on Energise Sussex Website.

Action- Karen to promote them all more.

Sarah said if there are ideas for other workshops- let ESC know.

Energy clinic in Ore -Sat 9th Dec- Action- Karen is working there



Green Party Food Waste- see leaflet- Action- Chris to send us Peter Chowney’s correspondence.

Grow wild- sarah’s email?

Action- Sherry, Mischa, Richard etc to meet re creating a Wellbeing Hub at Silchester Rd. Funding from Mind?



Facebook updates

Newsletter – someone to take over January newsletter while Karen away? Action- Sarah and/or Chris to do



Thought café, Nov 24th, The Beacon- update/next one?

Mischa- Film nights, Pot Luck, Talks, food workshop around Mischa’s Table by Daphne Lambert (Green Cuisine Trust).

Mischa- ‘We the Uncivilised’ & A wind farm on boat film to look into?

Next -Christmas Green Drinks- 21st Dec- at Beacon- Action- Karen to promote? Get poster design from Scott G?

Swap Shop- next one?

Pot-luck in New year- Action- Alison to check with st Johns Feb 2nd?

Healthy Culture Workshops

Community spaces- Mischa enquired?

Central Hall (Blind Centre)

Salvation Army

Christ church


Action- Chris to ask re Concordia Hall prices



Mosaic- anyone want to do another funding app- Andrea?



Student Volunteering (Sussex Coast College)- filling roles, publicity etc. Students due to do placements next year March, April & June but will need Employer’s Liability, risk assessments, policies, inductions etc- to e want this level of responsibility and complication? We all agreed- no!


Podcasts – can anyone send relevant ones to Karen to use in newsletter etc    

Next meeting-

When- Weds 17th Jan

Who is chairing?

Who is taking minutes?

Action- Sarah to book please.



New funds for our community garden

Great news. We were successful in our application for a Sustainability & New Economy Grant from Quakers UK.  We will receive £200 to help fund the development of our community garden at St Leonards Warrior Square station, specifically around the water collection.

There is no water supply close to the garden and we so for the past few years volunteers have been carrying buckets of water across the foot bridge to top up water needs over the spring and summer months. We’re really excited to be able to take control of the water supply by purchasing some large water butts for the north platform. These will allow volunteers to spend more time focusing on planning,  designing and planting.

Core group meeting minutes Nov 17


– New suggestions (from Linda):

  • Chasing Coral, freely accessible on the net (and Netflix)
  • Chasing Ice (but costly to screen)
  • Modified (non GMO labelling in US and CA)
  • Just Eat It (food waste in US and CA)
  • Greenpeace Film Festival

We the Uncivilised (suggested by Karen) – showing in Lewes at “The Depot” on Wed 29th Nov at 20h – could somebody go and check whether it is worth bringing to Hastings

Issue of cost of movie rental, but this could be covered by donations or a small ticket (e.g. £3 per person)

As a side suggestion – Karen suggests sending a podcast with each newsletter, invited everyone to send through interesting podcasts


  • The Palace – available for free
  • Electric Palace – charge

ACTION: Linda to follow up and check cost of screening for her suggested titles


  • Great wealth of experience in community work
  • Interest in partnering up with TTH
  • Training in New Economics (3-year project)
    • Keen on sharing this through open reading / training groups


  • Issue is still outstanding and a decision should be taken by Xmas
  • Site in question still needs work done on it before the Council could sell it
    • Some asbestos contamination
    • Brief from Council is to have lots of affordable housing + a leisure element

FOOD WASTE CAMPAIGN (Update from Chris)

  • Discussion stuck – Peter Chowney not showing clarity about issues at stake
  • Lots of outstanding issues in the email track that need addressing – of which food waste is a small issues compared to the entire procurement process
  • Further updates to come




Complete signed constitution

  • Some items still need to be added by Chris before final version can be circulated

ACTION: Sarah and Chris to finalise

Clarification of roles –Co-Chairs, Co Secretaries to meet separately to clarify division of roles

Monthly meetings: first Monday of the month, postponed by a week if it falls on a Bank Holiday. Next meeting on Monday 4th December

ACTION: Sarah to book meeting room for next meeting



  • Small water tank already bought
  • Aim to install a second tank in parallel
  • Quaker fund to possibly contribute £400
  • SouthEastern also suggested they might contribute but unwilling to commit a clear budget

“DONATION PILE” at the garden (suggestion by Linda)

  • Should we have an area where any excess produce by any individual can be brought and offered to the community
  • Objection is that it takes time and effort to build a dedicated structure

SIGN-UP SHEET for “Leaders” at the garden sessions

ACTION: Sarah to review dates for fortnightly sessions and update sign-up sheet


  • Kate to report at next Core Group
  • Looking at establishing a project at the Pier to generate energy through kinetic action of waves on a platform


  • If the council is not willing to do this, should community initiatives be started instead ?
  • Chris to look around the country at community recycling initiatives
  • Lidia suggests to contact allotment associations and check if they could collect household food waste


  • Friday 24th at the Beacon, 18.00-22.00. Talk on “Climate Change, The Anthropocene, & Language – Nicholas Royle & Alex Lockwood In Conversation”.

ACTION: Green Drinks: Karen to arrange with Scott and Anna (possibly again in Ore?)

ACTION: Karen to put together next issue of newsletter


  • Bags of Help (Tesco) to subsidise a mosaic from a local artist outside SLQ station – still waiting to hear from them (£2.000 for winner, £1.000 for runners-up)
  • Trinity Wholefoods offering £500 – to apply for funding for new tools
  • Could somebody check with B&Q and other DIY / garden centres for possible contributions
  • A volunteer was found to cut out a “COMMUNITY GARDEN” sign in individual letters to go on the railings


  • HVA contributed more detail to the updated constitution
  • Discussion:
    • Should we have a database of “members” including areas of interest / skills to coordinate action groups
  • Sarah mentioned the intention to publish a directory of groups and companies doing community work in specific areas to coordinate efforts
  • We could be suggesting monthly contributions (Standing Orders) form members


ACTION Update from Laurie to be put on the agenda for next month


  • £518 total balance between bank and cash
  • TRIODOS bank account – Chris to look into conditions for TTC to transfer the account over to them (and conditions for a community account)


  • Local resident (LC) applying for an Arts Council funding for an event in December
    • Possibly in the building of the “Old Italian” restaurant
    • Suggesting a Xmas present swapping event – but objection to this is that we should be actually fundraising for cash rather than swaps.
  • HULL (CITY OF CULTURE) is using lights to make tower blocks more attractive – could be applied to Pier – mentioned by Sherry
  • Local resident (PO) (illumination schemes internationally) would like to establish a “trade show” for renewable projects on the Pier – mentioned by Sarah
  • SPICES – COMMUNITY CURRENCY – mentioned by Sherry
    • Recycling earns you time credits to incentivise positive behaviour
    • Time credits can also be exchanged at partnering organisations (eg college training, “paintball events”…)
    • Suggestion to start a time-bank in Hastings ?



Your Plants Will Grow High Next Spring When You Use These Autumn Gardening Tips

By Clara Beaufort

Horticulture knows no such thing as time off. There’s work to do right now if you want your flowers and vegetables to enjoy lush, healthy growth when warm weather returns. Use the tips in this post as your guide to gardening success.

Clean up the Dirt

Start your autumn chores by removing dead or dying plants from your garden beds. Give the remains a close look-see for evidence of mold or blight. If you see such signs, then burn the infected plants. If you don’t, then add them to the compost pile so they can work for you all winter long. Remove any foreign matter and give the soil a good, deep raking or tilling to break up clumps and aid aeration. Taking these steps now will lay the groundwork for next year’s harvest, according to the experts at Mother Earth News.

Mulch in Moderation

Too much of anything is a bad thing; that includes mulch. You should add a thin layer to your beds on top of 1-2 inches of compost. Anything more can actually work against you by preventing the cold from killing mold and blight.

While you’ve got your hands in the dirt, remove the roots of weeds like Bermuda grass and nutsedge. Otherwise these pests can overwinter in your garden to menace you next year, according to the gardening gurus at DIY Network.

Water Ahead of Time

Hard winter soil can block rain and melting snow from nourishing the roots of your trees and shrubs, according to Better Homes and Gardens. So get the jump on frost by giving these plants a generous watering now. This will act like the hump on a camel’s back, providing much-needed moisture throughout the cold season.

Don’t Forget Your Lawn

Autumn is for fertilizing your grass. Turf can store nutrients over the winter, digesting them in a gradual process that will help to ensure greener results next spring. You should aerate your lawn before winter cold sets in.

Consider Planting Cover Crops

Plants like hairy vetch and cereal rye can safeguard your soil over a long, severe winter, making them good choices for cover crops. Just make sure you till them into the ground next spring before they go to seed. This is a favorite trick of organic gardeners, according to Rodales. The seeds are small and even modest rainfall can help to establish them in the soil, making this idea almost effortless to implement.

Handling Hardscape Maintenance

The term “hardscape” refers to stone walkways, retaining walls, and other non-organic elements of a garden or landscape design. While less fragile than living plants, these structures do need annual care. This should include:

  • An autumn inspection to correct imperfections that could lead to trouble down the road. For example, a crack in a walkway might seem like a small thing. But it may become a trip hazard should water enter it and freeze, forcing the stone or masonry to expand. You should also look, not only for cracks, but for soil or stone cavities alongside or under hardscape. Otherwise wintertime precipitation could fill the gap and turn to ice, creating a problem called “frost heave” which can damage or even destroy hardscape.
  • A general sweeping to remove foreign matter, followed up with a washdown from a garden hose or pressure washer. This will discourage the growth of mold or mildew, which can deface hard surfaces.

Performing these needed steps will protect your garden and your landscape features from winter’s wrath. So give it your best, then brush off the dirt off your pants and start planning for next spring.


Guest blogger: Clara Beaufort

Writers in conversation at the Beacon, Hastings

Join Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast for an exciting evening featuring two writers with their eyes firmly fixed on climate change, the Anthropocene and, of course, language. Nicholas Royle and Alex Lockwood will be reading from their recently published books and will take questions around the topics discussed. The Beacon will also open their kitchen for a special vegan dinner that can be bought after when the conversation can continue.

See the event page for more details and a link to book tickets.

Green space for Ore Community Land Trust

Ore Community Land Trust (OCLT) has a stated purpose of  “Seeking to acquire land in the Upper Ore Valley to save and enhance urban woodland and green space for community use and to protect animal habitat”.

OCLT was set up in 2009 and is now registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This widens their scope as they are keen to take on other green spaces and woodland in the Ore Valley, although their primary aim is to bring Speckled Wood into community ownership.

The organisation’s recent AGM reported the following activities:

1) HBC is planning to transfer the green spaces in the Ore Valley over to OCLT.
2) OCLT are in the process of buying a container as a volunteer base in Speckled Wood. They need more volunteers to support this.
3) OCLT are working with TCV to organise some green gyms in Speckled Wood. The first one will be for women.

Read more in the Ore CLT Annual Report AGM 2017