Given the increasing concern that there is internationally about our access to energy and the environmental impact of certain raw materials, it was with great interest that a group from Transition Town Hastings visited Dungeness B Power Station run by EDF on 19th May. EDF operates two types of reactors in the UK. One type is Pressurised Water Reactor, the other, such as Dungeness B & most of the UK reactors, are Advanced Gas – cooled reactors. It is sited next to Dungeness A, which is in the process of being decommissioned. Spent fuel rods are transported by rail to Sellafield for storage.
Security was reassuringly rigorous, both before we were accepted on the tour and during our time going around the plant, including the opportunity to meet armed specialist police assigned to the facility. Health and Safety requirements were also strictly adhered to and great care was taken to ensure our safety as we toured around. We were also treated to a celebratory cake as Alison, who organised the trip was the 20,000 visitor.
The Interactive Visitor’s Centre, where we initially met, was very informative. The session was started with a talk, supported by a power point adapted from the Eco Schools website, to highlight the need for the efficient use of resources in all areas of life including the need to “reuse/recycle” and save water and energy resources by using these effectively. There was an explanation of the production of nuclear energy and the running of a plant. There was also a section where the environmental impact, land resources needed and CO2 footprint of a range of energy sources including renewables were compared. The main message was that in the UK, in our particular circumstances, that a mixture of methods both renewable and nuclear was the most beneficial. There is not, however, a clear solution at present to the problem of the final storage of all levels of nuclear waste. (it is possible to find very informative presentations about all these issues on the Eco Schools website)
During the tour we received a very informative presentation regarding the production of nuclear energy and questions were answered, as far as we could judge, thoroughly and honestly.
After the tour, the opinion was that we could thoroughly recommend taking the opportunity to tour the facility.
We are inviting all local residents to come along to a lunch picnic at Warrior Square Gardens on June 18th (1-4pm). We’re taking part in the UK’s annual get together organised by the Eden Project and Great Get Together (In celebration of Jo Cox’s belief that we have more in common).
Hastings is well known for its passionate support of the environment, and for addressing the impact of climate change. We realise we are an important part of the solution – lead by example and show others what is possible. Transition Towns are now a global initiative encouraging communities to address the challenges they face by starting locally.
Transition Town Hastings was originally started in 2006, and gathered pace in 2015 when frustrations about an issue no government seemed to be taking seriously came to a head. The Transition Network or Movement offered a productive, all inclusive, a-political approach.
Over the last two and a half years, TTH has run numerous events to raise awareness of the issues. There was an initial Vision Day, on which the public were invited to come along and share their vision for a healthier, more sustainable Hastings. We’ve hosted a number of well attended ‘Pot Luck Dinners’ and shown many inspiring films including ‘Inhabit’ – an introduction to Permaculture which included a Q&A with the director Costa Boutsikaris, and ‘Demain/Tomorrow’ – a story presenting positive solutions to our ecological, economical and social crisis. We have also hosted inspiring guest speakers such as Jeremy Leggett (founder of Solar Aid), Pop-ups at St Leonards Festival, several swap shops and much more.
TTH started a Community Garden at St Leonards Warrior Square Train Station (North Side) which produced its first harvest last year. Feel free to come along to a gardening session (every weekend) to get involved, find out more or pick something for your dinner! There are many exciting plans for this year: the garden will be part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival which runs from 20th May – 4th June and on Sunday 4th June the station community garden will host ‘A Day to Clear Your Head and Clear Your Shed’ from 11-3pm. Donate an old rake or bring something unusual to plant something in. There will be music too.
TTH are also developing a project to tackle polystyrene take-away food packaging and the use of disposable plastic cups given out by local pubs during public holidays and events. We often see these littered on the seafront or on the beach, and when they get into the sea, they cause huge damage to marine life. We’d like to help local businesses come up with a solution.
All TTH projects rely on volunteers. We need a constant flow of people in order to keep these projects moving, so if you want to be a part of something special, either to volunteer on the current projects, fundraise or set up a project of your own please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Equally if you’d like to learn more about any of the above please visit our website www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk or email us at email@example.com
Find us on Facebook: Transition Town Hastings
Or Twitter: @TTHastingsUK
Last Sunday, in less than half a day, our team of eager volunteers put together a beautiful garden bench. We created a ‘Proposal Bench’ for the #JaneEyreProject which takes place in St Leonards from Feb 21 to March 7.
We are inviting visitors to the garden to sit, enjoy the space and write a proposal.
So come down to the garden at St Leoanrds Warrior Square (north platform), see what we’ve been creating and write some words.
Commissioned by the Hastings Storytelling Festival, this event featured:
FILM MAKER – Joe Kaufman
BARGAIN STUDIOS – Alfie, Amy & Danielle
STORY TELLER – Gareth E. Rees
COMMUNITY GARDENERS – Transition Town Hastings.
MUSICIANS – MAGIC CITY MOONFLOWER – Lynda, James & Ross.
We are currently in the planning stages of developing a campaign to support and encourage local takeaway food outlets to make the transition to sustainable packaging.
Too many times have we walked along the seafront and seen those dreaded polystyrene food containers blowing their way along the beach, or we go into a new and recommended cafe, only to be disappointed when they serve up your takeaway in a polystyrene box.
From speaking to businesses who’ve already made the transition, it was relatively easy and cost effective. Let’s make Hastings stand out as a green flagship town!
On Nov 29, Rock House hosted an evening of short, PechaKucha style presentations. These are intended to inform, inspire and even include calls-to-action. Our very own Karen Simnett gave an excellent presentation about the work of Transition Town Hastings and what we have achieved in the last 2 years!
Please share this with anyone you think would be interested.
On November 27th, members of Transition Town Hastings, Hastings Greenway, 1066 Cycle Club, Hastings Urban Bikes and other cyclists joined forces to protest about the delay to the implementation of a cycle path in Alexandra Park. The park route was approved in January 2016, and promised by Autumn 2016, but nothing has happened yet.
“We had 4 to 84 year old people riding bikes through the Alexandra Park route on Sunday, the benefits of cycling are for everyone. ESCC and HBC need to provide safe routes, so everyone who wants to, can feel confident to ride a bike in Hastings, whether that is to work, school or the shops.”
Hastings Urban Bikes
Those attending unofficially ‘opened’ the cycle path and cycled courteously through the park following the proposed route.
This is part of a wider issue where safe cycling and walking routes throughout the town are still not being delivered.
The 2014 Hastings Walking & Cycling Strategy was intended to improve “The health and well-being of the local community” and “To develop a culture of walking and cycling”.
In nearly two years since the adoption of the strategy, no progress has been made towards implementing the routes we need. Many of these routes were proposed for the ‘Hastings Greenway’ network in 2003!
HBC & ESCC need to deliver on their promises to implement a network of good quality walking & cycling routes. Community groups like, Transition Town Hastings, see the importance of safer, healthier and more sustainable transport options.
“Sunday was the first time that I have cycled in Alexandra Park and it reinforced my view about just how valuable and needed is this Cycleway & Greenway route through the Park . It avoids very unsatisfactory busy roads with dangerous junctions and will make the journey so much safer for cyclists and allow families and less confident cyclists to enjoy a really nice off road cycle route. The local authorities need to get on with it and complete the approved route.”
The East Sussex Pension Fund – which is administered by the County Council – currently has an estimated £172m invested in fossil fuels. In April, Hastings Borough Council – a member of the Pension Fund – passed a unanimous cross-party motion, calling on East Sussex County Council to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels.
Now members of the East Sussex Pension Fund can use the new web tool (available online at http://tinyurl.com/divesteastsussex) to contact the chair of the East Sussex Pension Committee, Richard Stogdon, and urge the Committee to divest the Fund from fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas).