Monday, 28 September 2009

Get Warm for Winter

Teignbridge Council is urging local people to make sure they’re warm this winter by taking advantage of specially subsidised low-cost loft and cavity-wall insulation.

The Council’s ‘Warm 4 Winter’ scheme, run in partnership with Miller Pattison, offers insulation for anyone from as little as £99. Thanks to additional funding from Teignbridge Council, some eligible groups of people, including low-income households, may even be entitled to free insulation. Meanwhile people living in Teignmouth and Dawlish may be able to benefit from discounts under the Devon Warm Zones scheme.

With winter on the way, Teignbridge is encouraging people to insulate their properties now, before they face increasing heating and energy bills during the colder months. Anyone applying for insulation now will be better placed to have work completed in time for winter, enabling them to stay warmer for less.

By insulating lofts and walls people can greatly reduce the amount of heat lost from their home, as around a quarter of heat is lost through the roof and about a third through walls. Good insulation helps keep energy costs down and can benefit people’s health. By reducing the energy taken to heat a home, it also helps the environment.

Miller Pattison is currently working with Nationwide Insulation Grants, which has a team of surveyors able to carry out free no-obligation surveys of Teignbridge residents’ homes. The company is also tele-canvassing in Teignbridge over the coming weeks to raise awareness of the Warm4Winter scheme and to book surveys for interested households.

Anyone wishing to book a no obligation survey can phone Nationwide Insulation Grants on freephone 0800 0190 235. Any customers with queries related to the scheme can contact Zoe Farmer at Teignbridge Council on 01626 215764 or

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Boiler Scrappage Scheme

I'm hoping Teignbridge Council will get behind the 'Boiler Scrappage Scheme', and see if we can’t use the Sustainable Communities Act to get the money from the car scrappage scheme transferred to a Teignbridge Boiler Scrappage Scheme.

It is a brilliant idea and joined-up-thinking by the campaign Reheat Britain . The idea came not from Friends of the Earth (but I’m sure they support it) but plumbers' merchant Mick Williams. It is a simple yet brilliant idea - that by replacing the UK's old, inefficient gas boilers it would be possible to achieve a major environmental benefit, while at the same time creating jobs and an economic boost, and reducing fuel poverty. It would work along similar lines to the car scrappage scheme, however unlike the car scheme, it would have the advantage of cutting emissions and creating a significant UK employment boost, rather than in the car factories abroad. Existing regulations mean that virtually all new boilers on the market are now highly efficient and A-rated, and best of all the two leading manufacturers, Worcester and Baxi are here in the UK employing Brfitish workers.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Loyalty Card with a difference

Whilst Exeter and Torquay have empty boarded up shops, Teignmouth's shopping area still looks vibrant. That's because of independent locally owned shops, which are by enlarge more resilient to the credit crunch. So it is good to see Teignmouth's traders lunching their own loyalty card, with some great deals available from local shops.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


MP Richard Younger Ross, councillors, police, local businesses, and most importantly the fans, have all hailed the MUSE concert, a resounding success . The two night Muse extravaganza reverberated through the streets of our seaside town as the rock superstars finished their two-night home coming gig; which we've waited 10 years for. Fantastic coverage for MUSE and Teignmouth in the national press. The Daily Telegraph dug up Mayor Vince Fusco's embarrassing moment (we've all been trying not to talk about it) and the Guardian mentioned my attempt to have the band's name on the 'welcome to Teignmouth signs' a few years back.

Many of the fans have posted on message boards how friendly Teignmouth was - do visit us again. When you consider an estimated 30,000 people visited the town yet only 10 people were arrested over the two nights , the 'Seaside Rendezvous' really was special.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Community Ownership

The Isle of Skye ferry is owned by the people who use and run the ferry, through a 'community interest company'. Could this be a model for the Teignmouth and Shaldon Ferry? Neither public ownership by Teignbridge District Council or private ownership offer the guarantee, that the community and Teignmouth Town and Shaldon Parish Councils want to ensure that England's oldest ferry carries on.
Community interest companies (CIC) are a new type of limited company designed specifically for those wishing to operate for the benefit of the community rather than for the benefit of the owners of the company. This means that a CIC cannot be formed or used solely for the personal gain of a particular person, or group of people.

CICs can be limited by shares, or by guarantee, and will have a statutory “Asset Lock” to prevent the assets and profits being distributed, except as permitted by legislation. This ensures the assets and profits are retained within the CIC for community purposes, or transferred to another asset-locked organisation, such as another CIC or charity.

The recent history of the ferry shows how close it has come to being closed down in the past. When ferry operator Teignmouth & Shaldon Bridge Company was wound up in 1949, it looked like the end of the ferry, luckily a buyer was found. The ferry service was sold to a private individual - Mr W. Powell. Teignmouth Urban District Council (TUDC) had been approached to buy the ferry, but had flatly refused, not wishing to have a 'drain on the rates'. In 1952 TUDC did purchased the ferry service from the late Mr Powell’s estate, for £3,500, in order to keep the ferry service going. There was very strong opposition to buying the ferry, notably a petition by Teignmouth and Shaldon Ratepayers Association . In February 1968 TUDC discussed selling the ferry to (sic) 'private enterprise', but decided against an immediate sale.

Renewable Energy Grants

In 1995 Liberal Democrats introduced and pushed through the Home Energy Conservation Act, a bill written in consultation with Friends of the Earth and fuel poverty groups.

Government grants to householders of up to £2,500 (or 50% which ever is the lower) for solar, wind, hydro and other renewable energy systems. There are quite tough qualification criteria and I understand there is a long waiting list.

If you want to save water, save energy, save money, and save the environment - for free!
you could fit an Eaga ShowerSmart unit, to your shower. The Eaga ShowerSmart fits easily to your existing shower unit and ensures a constant flow of 7.7 litres per minute, giving a full even jet and reducing fluctuation in the speed of the water flow.

As soon as you install your eaga ShowerSmart, it will start saving you money and water for a guaranteed 15 years. The average UK family is likely to save up to a substantial £900 over the product's lifetime. The experts say fitting the eaga ShowerSmart enables the average family to save more than 12,000 litres of water every year and cut carbon emissions by 1 tonne of CO2.
It is easy to install, once your free pack arrives, it takes seconds to install, without the need for a plumber. Simply undo your existing shower hose at the tap end, screw in your eaga ShowerSmart, with the provided washers on either end, finger tight, then screw the shower hose onto it. The eaga ShowerSmart is suitable for use with non-electric mixer showers or bath/shower mixer taps, provided they run off the mains water pressure. Follow this link to get your free ShowerSmart:-