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