Archive for June, 2010

Greener energy is just five minutes away

June 17th, 2010

Switching energy supplier is like getting fit or sorting out the loft: you wish you’d already done it, you have vague plans to do it, but you don’t know how to start – and you suspect it’s going to be a giant pain in the backside.

Personally, I’ve been putting it off for about five years with excuses like “I’m too busy” and “We’ll be moving house soon anyway”. But I had a day off on Monday and decided that the big scary process had to start some time. Little did I know that the first step was pretty much the only step.

I phoned Ecotricity free on 08000 302 302 and asked how I should go about switching to them. The answer? “Give us your name and address; we’ll do the rest.” They will contact our existing supplier and handle the switch. It will all be sorted in a couple of weeks. They’ll ring me on the day of switching to ask for final readings, and that’s all I have to do.

» Read more: Greener energy is just five minutes away

Local Transport – Time To Choose (2)

June 16th, 2010

Fortunately, a very nice chap at the county has produced a pdf of the posters exhibited at the Local Transport Plan drop in sessions. These summaries make it very much easier to make an informed choice of which scenario you would prefer to see implemented from those offered.

The summary gives the top three objectives, the three scenarios being considered to meet those objectives, a comparison of where the investment goes for each scenario, and a comparison of the impacts – green for positive, blue for neutral and red for negative.

Here’s the summary for Witney.

Investment in walking and cycling, low emission vehicles and alternative fuels is high in scenario A, Promoting Lower Emissions, but low or non-existent in B and C. The impacts of scenarios B and C are considered to be negative for the natural and human environment, and mostly neutral for the other categories including access by cycle and foot, climate change and air quality. Whereas scenario A is positive for all of these. As a group whose raison d’etre is sustainability, option A is clearly a no-brainer.

Now we could leave it there, and many of you might be quite happy with what’s being proposed, but along with other groups in the county we feel there are a couple of things missing.

» Read more: Local Transport – Time To Choose (2)

Bike Week

June 15th, 2010

If you’re not a regular bicycle user now’s the time to get the bike out, check the tyres, try the gears and oil the chain. The first Bike Week event starts at 10am in Witney this Saturday.

Bike Week isn’t limited to these organised events. It’s a chance to try riding to work, to the shops, to the pub or just for the pleasure and the exercise; personal sustainable transport can work for us all.

Stagecoach Charity Pedal

June 11th, 2010

Witney Bus Manager, Trevor Bayliss, and 10 of his colleages will by pedalling 160 miles in Market Square between 10am and 3pm this Sunday in aid of Breast Cancer. A relay event on four stationary cycles, the team will be covering the same number of miles as all of their bus routes laid end to end. Why not stop off in the centre and give them some support.   

What to do in the vegetable garden in June

June 11th, 2010

Pea pod
Now that much of the vegetable planting and sowing has been done, there is a change from the planting frenzy of spring to that of constant weeding and watering. Although we had a lot of rain during the first part of June, brighter weather is in the forecast here and there so watering may be necessary. You can see the forecast for the rest of the month on the Met Office site.

The Meteo website also has a rain radar showing rain over the Witney and the UK, which is useful for planning gardening days and watering.

Vegetables to plant out

Artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, celeriac, Kohl rabi, leeks, lettuce, peas, potatoes, rhubarb.

Whilst peppers and tomatoes can be grown in the ground, I prefer to keep them in pots in case the weather changes and I need to bring them under cover. I made this decision after last year’s ‘barbecue summer’ forecast. Feeling optimistic, I planted out a lot of peppers and tomatoes only for the next six weeks to bring torrential rain. The peppers in the ground had little fruit and all the tomatoes in the ground got blight. Not getting caught out like that again!

» Read more: What to do in the vegetable garden in June

West Witney Development Exhibition

June 9th, 2010

A public exhibition of the proposed development West of Witney and North of Curbridge taking place in the Marlborough Hotel at the following times:

Friday 11th June 3pm to 8:30pm

Saturday 12th June 10am to 4pm

Further details here…

Living Streets

June 7th, 2010

Witney Living Streets are holding their next meeting at The Plough in Witney onWednesday  9th June 7-9pm. We will be discussing 20mph in Witney and how we can move this on.  We also want to see if we can start a campaign to make Bridge Street more pedestrian friendly.

Witney Living Streets was founded in 2009 and so far we have campaigned to get the crossing reinstated on Welch Way and we ran an event to highlight World Car Free Day on 22nd September 2009.

If you are interested in joining us please come along on Wednesday and let us work together to prioritise pedestrian needs in Witney.

Living Streets is a national charity working towards making streets more pleasant for pedestrians.