Meeting Notes 2018


Notes of Transition Chester Monthly Meeting

Tuesday 2nd January 2018 at the Old Custom House

3 attending: Arnold Wilkes, Peter Benson and Graham Booth.

Apologies: John Tacon, Stephen Savory and Catherine Green

1 – UPDATES   

Item Action
CCELi.        The Northgate site has not generated the predicted power in the months of Oct, Nov and Dec. This is not seen as a major loss of income as the amount of power produced in these months only accounts for about 12% of the total.ii.        An amount of £3000 has been set aside for future projects and £1000 for community benefit.iii.        There are no further developments on any of the projects under consideration by the society.iv.        A panel, consisting of Catherine Green and Julie Savory (members), Graham Booth (director) and Joanne Stanton of CVA (Chester Voluntary Action), has been established to oversee the awarding of the community benefit fund for year 2017. CVA will select small, local community based groups from their database and send out and receive application forms. Any community based group wishing to apply for funding must be registered with the CVA and have a bank account for their group. Application forms will go out in mid-January with four weeks to complete and return the form. Depending on the number of applications, a number of applicants will be selected by the panel and asked to come and present their project/idea before the panel, who will award all or part of the £1000 to who they consider the most relevant and deserving cause(s). The application form is very simple and the second stage selection will be informal with all successful applicants and the panel in one room listening to each applicant present their project/idea.



Steve Hughes has previously given a presentation on his “supertree” project (see Notes for August 2017 on the website). Steve is funding his project primarily from donations and we have previously discussed making a donation from our funds. Funding for LED lighting and a solar panel have been suggested as an appropriate contribution for this project.We now need to decide if we are making a donation, how much that will be and informing Steve. It was thought by the 3 members present that there were not sufficient attendees to vote and that this item will be decided at next month’s meeting if more members present. After a brief discussion the members present concluded that Steve’s project is a worthy one and due to Steve’s dedication to this project we should support him. Graham to email Steve and update him with Transition’s position re. supporting the project. Also request estimates for LED lighting/solar panel.



Stephen Savory has proposed that Transition host a presentation on the dangers of unconventional gas exploration (fracking). Colin Watson of the Green Party gave a presentation on this theme to the Chester Sustainability Forum and Stephen is proposing that we ask Colin to present it to our members, joined by similar sustainability/environmental local groups.After a brief discussion it was decided that it would be unlikely that we could attract many people to attend and even more unlikely that those attending would not already be informed about the dangers of fracking. Transition attendances over the last 4 meetings have averaged 4 members. It was concluded that the Sustainability Forum would be a more appropriate place to organise a presentation for the members of participating groups. No action














Graham informed the meeting that he would definitely be standing down as co-ordinator at the AGM in March. A discussion then ensued about the low attendances and the way forward for the group in 2018. It was agreed that we are again in a similar position to the one at the end of 2013 when we invested in a public awareness event at Alexanders to attract new members. It is proving a real challenge to retain active members. The 3 members concluded that we need more members present to make decisions about the future of Transition Chester. We appeal to members to put Tuesday 6th February in your diary and attend the next meeting to discuss the way forward, the AGM in March and the election of “officers”. Members make a special effort to attend the next meeting – Tuesday 6th February 



 5 – AOB

Arnold gave feedback on the Liverpool Symposium event he attended with Terry Walsh in October 2017. The event was well attended and inspiring. There were presentations on such varied subjects as aquaponics, veggie tourism and folding bikes. Aquaponics has been taken up in schools and is something the Bluecoats Primary School in the Garden Quarter could be encouraged to introduce. 

Peter Benson informed the meeting of the “straw free Chester” initiative and how the success of the Blue Planet TV series has successfully raised public awareness of plastic pollution, particularly in our rivers, lakes and oceans. He is proposing that we support this initiative and consider how Transition can get involved in similar efforts to reduce the use of plastics in Chester.


Peter suggested that Transition consider organising a “Greener Chester Challenge”. This involves local businesses being challenged to make innovations in their business practice that result in a greener city – improving health, reducing pollution, supporting the local economy, improving habitats for flora and fauna etc. It would be organised as a competition with prizes and a ceremony when the prizes would be awarded to the best entries.  This is an ambitious project and the first step is to make some initial enquiries to test the appetite of local businesses for such a challenge.









Graham to post a link to the Straw Free Chester campaign on the website.






Arnold to contact Green Drinks and GFN groups and local businesses.



NEXT MEETING – TUESDAY 6th February 2018

The next meeting will be held at the Old Custom House, 65 Watergate Street CH1 at 7.30 pm

Graham Booth

9th January 2018


Notes of Transition Chester Monthly Meeting

Tuesday 6th February 2018 at the Old Custom House

11 attending: Terry Walsh, Arnold Wilkes, Peter Bulmer, Stephen Savory, Simon Brown, John Tacon, Alice? (from France), Catherine Green, Steve Hughes, Peter Benson, Shelley Booth and Graham Booth.

Apologies: Joseph Dawson,

1 – UPDATES   

Item Action
CCELi.        Nine applications received from Lancaster University students for an internship of 140 hours to research how CCEL can create a revenue stream by investing share capital to replace inefficient lighting systems with LED lighting in local shops, car parks, businesses etc.

ii.        A panel, consisting of Catherine Green and Julie Savory (members), Graham Booth (director) and Joanne Stanton of CVA (Chester Voluntary Action), has been established to oversee the awarding of the community benefit fund for year 2017. Application forms went out in mid-January and are due back on the 11 February. Depending on the number of applications, a number of applicants will be selected by the panel and asked to come and present their project/idea before the panel, who will award all or part of the £1000 to who they consider the most relevant and deserving cause(s).

Steve Hughes confirmed that he had submitted an application. He later told the meeting that he had sought other funding sources from Joanne Stanton.



CWAC planning committee refused Island Gas (IGas) permission to flow test an existing well that they had installed at Portside North, Ellesmere Port in 2014. Against the advice of the planning officer the councillors voted 10 to 1 against the development. This was a major victory for local anti-fracking groups. IGas are now considering an appeal on the decision.



Simon reported another successful apple pressing season with 17 pressing events in total, including 4 in local schools. A total of £110 was added to Transition funds from hiring the press to private individuals (community groups loan the press for free). Unfortunately the old press was damaged beyond economic repair during the season and was replaced with a new machine, half the cost of which was provided by the person who was hiring the press when it broke.









Steve Hughes gave an overview and update of the project he has dubbed “Chester Supertrees). The project is progressing well with various partners engaged in supporting the project. CWAC is collaborating with Steve in improving and landscaping the proposed site which is Hoole Way roundabout near the new bus station. They have produced a plan and photos of how it will look and how the Supertrees will be positioned within the improved landscaping. The Supertree structures will cost around £10,000 and the whole project around £25,000.  LED lighting and a couple of 2KW solar panels have been included to illuminate the “trees” which could be sponsored by Transition and/or CCEL. Steve is also collaborating with Chester Zoo who are supporting the project and are interested in using the site as an educational tool for children. 

A total of £7,500 has been raised so far. Steve’s next fund raising event will be to run 200km in 20 hours to raise a further £20,000.


There will be a public consultation taking place on the 16 February between 6pm and 7pm at the St Werburgh Centre, Brook St.


Steve has started Friends of Supertrees (FOREST) and there is a meeting on Thursday 8 February at the Commonhall Social Club at 7.30pm.


After Steve’s report, there followed a general discussion about the project and many points were made about the positive aspects of project from an environmental and community action perspective and also potential  negative aspects if the project was not sufficiently thought through and funded following completion.


Some points made were:

  • Who will have responsibility for ongoing maintenance?
  • Dealing with the dead end which leads to the now redundant underpass – could be used for storage
  • Pumping is required to remove surface water and flooding has occurred in the past.
  • The site is prone to anti-social behaviour
  • What permissions are required for the installation of the Supertrees?
  •  Environmental information boards and art work
  • Air pollution measured in real time not diffuser tubes.


A vote was then taken on whether Transition should in principle financially support the project which was approved on a show of hands.


A vote was then taken to on a proposal to donate £500 from Transition funds which at present amount to £1,636.61 plus what is in the Suma account. This was also approved.


It was agreed that £500 would be transferred from the Transition Savings account to The “Supertree” account when any required permissions are approved. Steve to notify Transition when permissions in place.

























































Graham to send a letter of intent to Steve to pay the Supertree project a sum of £500.






 It was agreed that Peter Benson would report back to the group on developments of the Straw Free Chester campaign, started last year by Christian Dunn.Terry showed us a biodegradable straw which the Exsqueeze Me veg and juice shop in Handbridge uses as part of its no plastic policy. Peter Benson



Graham gave advanced notice that he would definitely be standing down as co-ordinator at the AGM in March and that if the group was to continue in accordance with its constitution a new co-ordinator and secretary would be required. Nobody at the meeting volunteered for either position. 

A short discussion took place on how Transition Chester could continue without key positions being filled. Ideas from this discussion included:


  • Have a revolving co-ordinator, to be chosen at each meeting for the next meeting.
  • Be more flexible with the intervals between meetings
  • Change the website host to reduce the cost of £120 per year. John Tacon advised a much cheaper host.


There will be an agenda item at the AGM to decide how the group will continue if no volunteers are forthcoming before or at the next meeting.










John to provide details of the website provider for CWDV.

Graham to check if Transition can use this provider for less cost than Webmedia.



Arnold advised that the soft fruit bushes in the Hoole parks need pruning in the near future and before the insurance runs out, which will not be renewed. Graham to arrange a date before the 16 February.



Catherine raised this subject as a discussion item. She strongly believes this major development increasingly looks out of step with retail trends and the land could be used to create a much needed open space in Chester. Others commented along the same lines and there was a general consensus that the continued pursuit of new and more retail premises is not in the best interests of the future economy of Chester and the residents of Chester.  



The meeting will be held at the Old Custom House, 65 Watergate Street CH1 at 7.30 pm. Please put the date in your diary to attend this meeting.

Graham Booth

8th February 2018


Minutes of Transition Chester AGM 2018

Tuesday 6th March 2018 at the Old Custom House

10 members Present: Terry Walsh, Arnold Wilkes, John Tacon, Diana Wilderspin- Jones, Simon Brown, Peter Bulmer, Stephen Savory, Peter Benson, Catherine Green and Graham Booth.

Apologies: Shelley Booth, Julie Savory, Nick Drew

1 MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM                                                                         ACTION

The minutes of the last AGM were circulated in advance of the meeting. They were agreed as an accurate record of the 2017 AGM  



The report was circulated in advance of the meeting and will be posted on the Transition website.



Coop saving account                 £1082Coop current account                £  554

Suma account                          £  416

Total    £2032



Co-ordinator – Graham stood down and did not want to be re-elected. There were no other nominations for the co-ordinator’s position and it is now vacant. 

Secretary – there were no nominations for secretary and the position remains vacant.


Treasurer – Arnold continues as treasurer.




Graham is submitting the above submission on behalf of Transition Chester. It is posted on the home page of the website. If you have any comments on his submission email them before 12 March.  


Since no resolutions were submitted for approval that concluded the business of the AGM

There was then a roundtable discussion on the future of the group. The following points were made:

  • There is a large sum of money in the Transition account and the constitution has to be followed if the group is to be dissolved.
  • Other environmental/sustainability groups in Chester enjoy a healthy membership. Their members tend to be younger and campaign on single issues.
  • Transition Liverpool were in the same position as Chester a few years ago and are now flourishing
  • Key members of TC have moved into other related organisations such as CCEL and anti-fracking.
  • Chester Sustainability Forum (CSF) is an alternative organisation to TC with a much higher profile. It is taking over the role of TC as an umbrella group.
  • CSF is not open to the public whereas TC is
  • TC was in the same position three years ago and new people came into the group following the public awareness event at Alexanders.
  • The group could continue with a revolving chairperson and less meetings more focused on a presentation or discussion of a single issue.
  • The website is a useful tool to get information out and is needed for the apple press bookings
  • TC could be combined with CCEL.
  • The group could be kept going with quarterly meetings. Peter Benson, Peter Bulmer and Stephen volunteered to chair a meeting. This would enable the apple press service to continue under the TC banner. Simon is happy to continue organising the apple press service.
  • Graham offered to update the website and change the hosting from Webmedia to reduce the cost From £120 pa to £49 pa. To send out emails with Mailchimp
  • Since the TC account pays no interest we should spend some of the money helping other active groups.
  • A potential project for TC is to use the builder’s bags near to Simon’s house to grow herbs, veggies. It needs permission from Highways. Residents were willing to do the ongoing maintenance.
  • The PL insurance has lapsed and we should consider renewing it.





























Graham to change website hosting







The following decisions were taken with unanimous approval:

  • Arnold requested reimbursement for the telephone calls he makes in connection with Suma. It was agreed that he could take £5 per month out of the 5% that is charged on Suma orders.


  • To renew the PL insurance which has now lapsed


  • To continue holding TC meetings on a quarterly basis. The chair for the next meeting will be Peter Benson. The chair for the September meeting will be chosen at the June meeting


  • To invite Nick Drew from Transition West Kirby to carry out a group “health check” exercise at the next meeting.


  • The constitution to be amended to take account of the changes agreed at this meeting.






Peter Benson to organise the next meeting and choose a suitable venue.


Graham to contact Nick Drew


Peter Benson




Catherine notified the meeting of a CWAC consultation on their Health Improvement Strategy which closes on 27 March 2018. Areas covered include eating well, being active, stopping smoking, drug misuse, alcohol harm etc. The consultation is available online at CWAC’s website


The venue for the next meeting to be confirmed.

Graham Booth

10 March 2018