From Transition Leominster Two positive messages for you all firstly from Pete:

Hello Transition Leominster members,

I have asked wonderful Annie Wood to circulate this email to all of you. This is a longish mail but please read to the end – exciting things are beginning to happen.

Like most other organisations we find the pandemic has temporarily kicked our plans into the long grass. However, there are now some promising signs that we may be able to make progress on one of our EDAP projects – the creation of a  Leominster community car pool of electric vehicles for very low cost ‘hire’ by members. Naturally this is likely to start with just a single car – as clubs elsewhere started – and that prospect is now in sight.

I had a good discussion with Cllr Ellie Chowns, cabinet member for economy & environment at Herefordshire Council who is herself a ‘village’ car share club member at Canon Frome Court (a big old house in the country divided into apartments, – some of you will know it). 

Last year I wrote a discussion paper for Herefordshire Council urging it to get behind a county-wide roll out of car share clubs which would be great in Herefordshire where many incomes are so low. Low mileage car users (say up to 7,000 miles a year) can save half their normal motoring costs if they opt to join car share. The idea is proving a success in a number of areas and it.s reckoned that one car club vehicle can result in getting up to 12 private cars off the road. Clubs are not suitable for all drivers, those who live in deep country outside a village centre and those who do a high mileage for their jobs etc. But there are many of us who will find such a club a lifeline for mobility. I look forward to the time when I no longer worry about how I am going to find the money to replace my aging crap car when it fails its next MOT – which seems likely!

Ellie says grants may be made available for car club start-ups.  She says another option might be the council loan us one of their small pool of electric cars. Changes in the way staff work mean they are being used less.

We have a car club guru in the county who is offering us help with the practicalities of getting started. Robin Coates of Transition Malverns,  is the driving force behind the MH car sharing club. It has18 vehicles including its first 2 electric vehicles. The club started in one village, Colwall, but now embraces a wider area including Ledbury town. 

As part of their commitment to carbon reduction MHCC have pledged to help car club start-ups. They are prepared to take us under their wing and run back-office functions, such as online booking, for us. 

We would obviously have to do some stuff ourselves particulary promoting and building up the club in our community. And there are 2 important roles that we must fill: Active volunteer support from the town/village for 2 roles, the Car Keeper and the person who does the Welcome/sign up of new Members and handles all Member queries (other than back office issues that we, Malvern, can handle remotely).

My reason for writing is simply a cry for HELP.

I sense this thing is at last beginning to take off. I have my strengths (I hope) and weaknesses – ex media man good on visioning, promotion and general ‘drum banging’ – but frankly I am pretty disorganised when it comes to….organising! Is there anyone out there who would like to volunteer to help with the practical side of launching a club, particularly the 2 roles itemed above?

We have a fantastic opportunity to take up major offers of support to launch a practical project as part of our Transition aims – please let’s not lose this opportunity. Contact me if you can offer any form of help or, at the least, register an “expression of interest” in becoming a car club member/user. Thanks, Pete Blench, acting chair, Transition Leominster peterblench47@gmail.com

Secondly from plantastik cic:

We are pleased that we have received a seed-funding grant of £500.00 for our project “plantastik CIC – community cafe serving vegan food” as part of Transition: Bounce Forward.

This funding from National lottery Community fund  distributed by Transition Network, will help us to purchase equipment to kit out a kitchen Thanks to National Lottery players for making this possible.  Look for more information about Transition: Bounce Forward at https://transition-bounceforward.org/ more on our cafe soon (see February edition of Leominster News)

Regards,  Annie Membership Secretary email: transitionleominster@gmail.com