Presentations on –
* Project Sensible which is planning to introduce big batteries and other energy management techniques in up to 40 homes in The Meadows, from February onwards;
* Alan Simpson gave a talk entitled ‘People Like Us’, covering best practice from abroad, particularly from Germany.
Further to the end of month report, more detail regarding Bridgeway Shopping Centre, proposed housing developments in the ward, news on playing equipment for The Green and on Victoria Embankment.
Bridgeway Shopping Centre is more open following the removal of the metalwork. The cafe could well be back in use within some weeks and we are still seeking tenants for the empty half of the Co-op supermarket – and the council needs the rent.
Arkwright Street is being opened up as a through route for walkers and cyclists; and preparations will also further prepare the route for NCT to run their Navy 2 & 3 services through The Meadows, along with the LocalLink L1 electric bus service. Main aims are to provide more residents with some services that are more acessible and to provide bus stops near Bridgeway Shopping Centre.
The high demand for new housing is driving developments at –
– London Road Island (70-odd apartments for private renting by Monk Estates; granted planning permission in September);
– Arkwright Walk and Blackstone Walk (a mixture of owner-occupied flats and semi-detached & terraced housing by Keepmoat; due to go to planning committee in November);
– at the south end of Wilford Crescent East, housing on the former Trent Works site (25 or so properties) and the conversion of Mundella House (12 or so); by Blueprint, designs were to go to committee again in December, but this may be delayed.
Worth remembering that long-standing plans envisage hundreds of new properties in The Meadows (along Crocus Street) and beyond (east of Meadow Lane).
The council is exploring options for 22 or so apartments on the site of the closed police station and around the former miners’ welfare club.
The west of The Meadows has been without proper playing equipment for a while and the good news is that the charity that allocates development money for such projects has now endorsed the project for The Green with an offer of £40k. Consultation is underway on the layout of the equipment and we hope to have the equipment available in March.
Parks are also working on improving Victoria Embankment, and further to the new Meadows Cricket Pavilion and the recently set out tree trail in the Memorial Gardens, the newly installed lighting along the carriageway may be brought into operation on Thursday.
General concerns over lack of money in people’s pockets remain. Also concerns regarding crime (not as such reflected in the official statistics) and (for want of a better term) strutting behaviour.
Further cuts to the City Council’s budget next year of £20-£25 million will also mean bad news breaking over public services in January.
Further to a post celebrating progress by Nottingham city, a short summary of the progress in The Meadows, with an update on Project Sensible and a link to the Jeremy Corbyn video that draws heavily from experience in The Meadows.
Such green achievements in The Meadows include –
– bus priority measures – the bus lane along Meadows Way East;
– tram services at 3 stops in The Meadows plus ‘ng2’ and Midland station;
– decades of taking heat from waste before landfill at Eastcroft (Meadows);
– new green housing off Green Street, and off Wilford Crescent West; and new green council housing in the west of The New Meadows; and and an exemplar green house;.
– helping solar panels to be installed on properties, by both NCH and MOzES – the Meadows own energy services company;
– a hundred and more enjoying lower price energy using a council owned business – Robin Hood Energy – whose income is ploughed back into lower prices, and have amongst the cheapest pre-payment schemes;
– planning policies to reduce the need to travel, and improvements to walking and cycling routes; to require greener buildings, including in the newest council housing;
– warmer homes through the decent homes programmes for council housing;
– energy efficient street lighting; with new lighting being provided at the end of this month for walkers and cyclists using Victoria Embankment;
– simple recycling (mainly doorstep) available to every household;
– schools involved in growing their own food (Greenfields and (I think) Victoria (ex-Riverside);
– testing the use of batteries to store energy rather than immediately send it into the grid (Project SENSIBLE).
On Project SENSIBLE, Julian Marsh reports
“The tenders for the domestic batteries and monitoring systems is currently being sought with prices expected back at the end of the month. This will enable us to firm up on numbers. It is hoped that we can start the meetings with the final volunteers in November and December and then begin the installations at the beginning of the New Year.
“The School system is currently having its tender documents put together and this will be tendered mid-October. Installation will either be Christmas or Easter in the School breaks.
“The Mundella Building is currently having its performance specification finalised and prices for that will be put forward by the Design and Build Contractor.
“Some of you will have been at the Meadows Library … to hear Jeremy Corbyn launch what we hope will be the Labour Party policy on energy – based largely on a community model. Mozes has helped by putting forward ideas for this and so we got the honour of being the location for the press release and for the attached little film which focusses specifically on what we are doing in the Meadows.”
The Meadows was chosen because of Nottingham’s green and energy initiatives – a lot being made of Robin Hood Energy which celebrates its first birthday today – and because of the green initiatives within The Meadows – new eco / energy efficient homes, MOzES (a local energy services company) and Project SENSIBLE (an EU project for which the local component is exploring the use of batteries to store electricity before transmitting it back out to the national power network).
No doubt the policy and the speech (which was read) will become available in full elsewhere.
The event itself was a press conference and 6 journalists attended. Their questions prompted unscripted chat and a different kind of interest.
* BBC East Midlands quoted the GMB as saying this new policy won’t keep the lights on. This view is a bit disappointing, given insulation has the potential to reduce the need for something like Hinckley Point C which is some years away and going to cost a lot of money and will supply energy at a high price. Insulation in Nottingham has made people feel prouder of their homes, reduced fuel bills and given people work.
* The Press Association asked why this issue had been driven down the agenda. Jeremy said this always happens, until there is a crisis, and then panic measures are brought forward. Alan Simpson said with climate change, crises were going to become the new norm.
* The Guardian (check) asked given the cost of the green initiatives, why an emphasis on being world leaders on climate change, especially given the new resolve of the USA and China. Here, some acknowledgement that Britain had under Labour provided a world leadership role, but there is a desire to be ambitious about this.
* Notts TV wondered if deprived families hadn’t got other priorities than sustainability. Rather like Lilian Greenwood in Clifton, Jeremy had found that people in his constituency were very interested once their homes had been improved and their fuel bills were down.
* Bloomberg asked whether Robin Hood Energy was seen as the blueprint. Jeremy said he was impressed, but I noticed the potential to misunderstand RHE as green, when the limit to the tariffs it can currently offer means it doesn’t yet offer a green package.
* The Nottingham Post asked whether Jeremy was going to catch the tram to attend his rally at The Forest. He wasn’t, but he had used the Nottingham tram before, and he also wanted to celebrate the buses in Nottingham. (Kinda disappointing from the N Post – we all have events to get to in circumstances that mean we can’t use the greenest option – just a trite point.)
* Scisco Media asked about population growth.
A bit doubtful about these policy statements are something that should distinguish leadership candidates that much since policy is something that the party should determine.
Jeremy then went on to address a rally at The Forest.
A map of Project Sensible’s energy initiative in The Meadows.
Alan Simpson contrasted the despair of green initiatives in Britain with the progress in Germany.
As a last minute sub, I explained how initiatives since the seventies for public transport, social equality and revenue protection in Nottingham had led to environmental progress in Nottingham.
During questions, I explained that the priority is to ensure Robin Hood Energy gets off to a sound start, and that options for a green energy rate are being explored.
Notes on the Em-Power-Nottingham event are available.
Alan Simpson, former Nottingham MP and now climate change advisor to the Welsh Assembly talked about community energy projects in Germany, Professor Mark Gillott and Dr Lucelia Rodrigues from the University of Nottingham Department of the Built Environment presented the MOZES community energy project in the Meadows, along with Dr Anton Ianakiev who will discuss the Remourban city demonstrator project in Nottingham.
The slideshow of Project Sensible is available.
An open morning for new social housing being provided by ASRA. And their officers meet the chair of NeMTRA, the local tenants and residents association.
The designs are by the architects who designed the new housing on Hunter Street and Green Street, and the colour palette of the render is familiar.
There was repeated concern at MPT public meetings as to whether the houses would be big enough, but local community reps who attended seemed to think they were quite big.
A view from the rear of Pitcairn Close, of Osier Close and the new Tasmania Close