Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day Swim

Along with Cllr Terry Falcao, Dom from Liberal Youth, a group of smurfs, numerous Santas, and about 150 other hearty souls - dived in to the sea by the pier this morning in aid of the RNLI. The sea was a lot warmer than last year and warm winter sun made this year's dip quite pleasant. There were coach-loads of sightseers, nearly two thousand people watching the Boxing Day swim, I'm sure the town's cafes and coffee shops did a good trade.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Buzz Off Mosquito

Well done to Dominic Falcao, chair of South Devon Liberal Youth. First Great Western will be switching off the Mosquito at Teignmouth station when it is not appropriate following a campaign by South Devon Liberal Youth who have been calling for an end to the indiscriminate use of this so-called deterrent.
The Mosquito, a high-frequency ultrasonic device which emits a sound that can be heard only by the young, has been in use at Teignmouth railway station for nearly two years. A speaker emits an irritating high-pitched ringing sound; Mosquito devices are indiscriminate and target all young people, including babies, regardless of whether they are behaving or misbehaving. Having the Mosquito switched on whilst young people wait for trains to take them to school and college was pretty shoddy treatment of our young people.

Saturday, 19 December 2009


Teignmouth Traders Association, Teign Estuary Transition, and Teignbridge Council launched the ‘Don’t Forget Your Old Bag’ campaign today in the Triangle at the same time as the Farmers’ Market.
Canvass bags were given out to shops who had agreed to participate in the campaign. Volunteers from Transition had canvassed shops on Tuesday and got a very positive response.
It’s really great to see the three different groups working together for Teignmouth.
Here’s five top tips from Teigbridge’s recycling officer Ben Bryant (shamelessly lifted from the
• Reuse any existing carrier bags you might already have, this is even better than recycling
• Refuse to carry your purchased goods home in a new plastic bag
• Replace plastic bags with a reusable bag for life made of jute/hemp/raffia or paper or use a backpack, trolley or basket
• Remind Yourself to store reusable bags in designated place, e.g. by front door, in handbag or car boot
• Encourage others – friends family and local retailers to turn their back on plastic carriers

Thursday, 17 December 2009

70% Recycling

Figures released this week reveal that Teignbridge Council recycles over 70% of its office waste following the start of a new waste management scheme in March 2008. The scheme saw the council get rid of individual staff bins in favour of communal recycling and waste bins for each of its teams, encouraging recycling and reducing waste.

Existing paper recycling bins remained, while other recycling bins which were previously available in only one location were placed in each department. This enabled staff to conveniently dispose of glass bottles and jars, tins and cans, plastic bottles, printer cartridges and batteries. Kitchens also saw the addition of new 'caddies' for food waste, thin card, and used paper towels and tissues. These caddies enable the Council to compost waste 'on-site', using a new miniature version of the 'In Vessel Composting' technology that deals with all of the food waste from around the district.

Results for 2008/09, the scheme's first full year of operation, have been tallied, and show the council recycling over 70% of its waste. Key results over a 12 month period include:

· Approximately 5.1 tonnes of food/kitchen waste has been composted.

· 1872kg of plastic cups have been recycled.

· Approximately 29 tonnes of paper recycled; which can save up to 203,000 gallons of water, 493 trees, 11,020 gallons of oil, 87 cubic yards of landfill space and 116,000 kilowatts of energy.

· 4.12 tonnes of cans, cardboard, plastic and glass has been recycled.

· Approximately 50 fluorescent light tubes have been recycled, which together contain enough mercury to pollute 1.5 million litres of water beyond the UK safe drinking level.

Cllr Gordon Hook, Teignbridge Executive Spokesperson for Environmental Services said:

"As a district Teignbridge has a household recycling rate of over 57%, placing it firmly in the national top-ten. As a council we're the first to encourage residents to recycle, but we realise that we must practice what we preach. That was the idea behind the separate waste system, and we're pleased to see such strong results from it.

"Recycling our office waste has many benefits, from environmental to financial, and we're even producing our own compost to use on the grounds. We're aiming to lead by example, and show our residents that we, like them, are more than willing to do our bit for the environment."

Envirowise; a government supported scheme which offers free, independent support to businesses to become more environmentally friendly, resource efficient and save money; states that approximately 70% of office waste is recyclable, but on average only 7.5% reaches a recycling facility.

Teignbridge's Forde House campus alone composts and recycles 70% of its waste without counting light tubes and IT equipment. It has recently also started to have larger items of office equipment sent for recycling instead of going to landfill, so its overall figure is expected to rise next year.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Don't Forget Your Old Bag

A 'Make Teignmouth plastic bag free’ event will take place on Sat 19th December, where Teign Transition will be helping. My fellow West Teignmouth councillor Alex Cross was the initiator of the campaign.
Designs for the re-usable bags, painted by Teignmouth's primary schoolchildren will be displayed in local shops.

Transition Blog

Teignmouth's Transition group has a blog:

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Student Holiday Membership

Teignbridge council’s leisure centres are trialling a 4-week student membership pass over the Christmas and New Year period.

The pass provides a flexible opportunity for university students to keep active and use the sports centres while back home from studying away. The 4-week pass aims to encourage continued use from young adults during the holiday period and raise awareness of the facilities, preventing loss of custom to other leisure and fitness centres in Teignbridge.

Further information is available at

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Carlton Theatre

The Project Group which has been working on the concepts for the new Carlton Centre (which will replace the Carlton Theatre) met this morning to consider the final design and with agreement from everyone there, officers have been asked to prepare and submit a formal planning application to Teignbridge District Council.
The application will probably be submitted within the next 7-10 days and then take the normal planning process for a major application, coming to the planning committee for councillors’ consideration.
Local newspapers will be getting more information about the planning application with sketches etc so that the public can participate in the planning exercise. I’ll post anything I can on this blog.

Times Verdict on Boiler Scrappage

The Times budget report has given the boiler scrappage scheme, a maximum of four green lights, the only part of Alistair Darling’s budget to get four greens.

The scheme got greens for it ‘traction’ - politically, financially, environmentally and practically. KPMG suggests boiler scrappage would be a good stimulator for jobs.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Boiler Scrappage

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to announce a boiler scrappage scheme this week. Local MP Richard Younger Ross backed the Reheat Britain campaign, tabling an Early Day Motion in Parliament, attracking dozens of MPs of all parties to sign.

A £300 discount for homeowners to trade in their old boilers for new greener models is expected to feature in the Chancellor's Pre-Budget Report speech at the House of Commons on 9th December. By replacing a G rated boiler with a new A rated condensing boiler and better controls, household bills can be cut by up to a quarter. In a family home that could mean a saving of £235 a year.

The Reheat Britain campaign was started by plumbers' merchants owner Mick Williams and environmental campaigner Sian Berry.

Sunday, 6 December 2009


‘Propeller type’ wind turbines on houses and buildings are always a problem when it comes to planning; the fact is they aren’t particularly pretty especially in the suburbs and villages. Inevitably these applications elicit strong opinions. So I was interested to learn more about the Power Collective’s innovative RidgeBlade, potentially an affordable and effective way of harnessing the wind's power to produce renewable electricity.

RidgeBlade addresses the twin problems associated with traditional micro-wind generation technologies – visual impact and efficiency. RidgeBlade’s unique design means it can reliably produce electricity in low or variable wind conditions. Because RidgeBlade is fitted on the ridge line at the top of a building and uses the existing roof area to collect and focus the prevailing wind; this is where the wind is forced to travel over the roof surface, accelerating the airflow though the turbine. Even if Ridgeblade is retro-fitted, it creates very little visual impact. This means that it is suitable for locations including urban houses, rural buildings and environmentally-sensitive areas like Dartmoor National Park.

Teignbridge’s Energy Efficiency Officer will be finding out more. RidgeBlade will be commercially available in 2010. Details of grants for domestic renewables are here:

RidgeBlade® is a registered trademark and the illustrations are ©copyright of the Power Collective.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Ferry Won't Run Over Christmas

Hopes of having a temporary ferry service over the Christmas holidays have been dashed. Teignmouth Town Council, Shaldon Parish Council and Teignbridge District council had agreed a plan to operate the ferry with ferryman Greg Allan acting as a self employed contractor.
Unfortunately the requirement to have an MCA operators' licence has sunk the scheme.

The service will be running again once a new lease has been signed.