Sustainable Pendeen

Sustainable Pendeen sign

Sustainable Pendeen is a series of free pop-up events, primarily for the people of Pendeen, about specific and locally relevant environmental issues, challenges and options. Each event will bring together factors such as scientific and practical information, local knowledge/experience and exciting experiential activities. There will be a strong focus on positive changes that will enhance the welfare of individuals, the community and our planet. The events overall will be tailored to meet the needs of all ages (including and especially children), circumstances, abilities and incomes.

The third Sustainable Pendeen event is planned for Saturday 14 March 2020 and will be called Puzzled by Plastics?.

The ‘Sustainable Homes’ event on 9 November drew in about 150 people into the warm and cheerful Centre of Pendeen on a grey and windy day. The event made a particular emphasis on our existing homes and the impact of our local environment. People talked to stand holders about: renewable energy systems, EPCs, insulation, switching energy suppliers, Community Land Trusts, Co-housing schemes, repair workshops, mould control systems, their Neighbourhood Plan and much more. There were also very well received and interesting, illustrated talks by local people about their experiences of managing their electricity use with the aid of technology, retro-fitting renewable energy systems and even going off grid! We are hoping to run these talks again in the New Year, so if you missed them keep an eye open on this website for dates and times.As before, we really want to hear what people think of the event and its subject matter. 50 people completed our short feedback form and a few more people put comments on our Have Your Say wall. Thank you for contributing to this, the feedback is outlined below.

Out of 50 completed feedback forms:

39 people lived in the Pendeen/St Just rea and 1 person owned a holiday home in the area.

41 people said they were better informed after attending the event and 4 said they were not. 49 people said that they were glad that they attended the event and no-one said that they were not glad they attended.

31 said they planned to act on something they had learnt or thought about more as a result of attending.

Of those who planned to take some form of action:. (some people mentioned more than one action)

13 people planned to take various water saving measures.

9 were planning/considering more sustainable heating/water systems.

3 planned to improve their home’s insulation

3 planned to switch their energy supplier

3 planned to have an up-to-date EPC

2 planned to go to the local Care and Repair Cafe

1 planned to get a green energy survey

Other actions mentioned were about -using less energy and helping wildlife.

Most people completing the forms made contributions in the box that asked – “What actions would you like official bodies such as The Town Council, County Council or Government to take to help people make their homes more environmentally friendly and sustainable?”

The vast majority of these comments are about the cost of changing from fossil fuels to green energy heating and hot water systems and of alterations to homes, such as double glazing and insulation. There is considerable concern that people on low incomes, who do not currently qualify for grants/subsidies because they are not on benefits, are at a disadvantage and cannot afford to make their homes more sustainable. This is seen as a matter for central and local government to make grants for insulation, double glazing and renewable energy systems available to a much wider group of people and homes. Several people called for a revision of Cornwall Council’s policy with regard to The HEAT Project and a widening of the eligibility criteria to include those on low incomes.

There is also concern expressed that all new builds should be obliged to be as sustainable as possible; that central and local government planning policies and processes should be reviewed to enable sustainable alterations to existing homes and that heritage organisations need to consider their part in helping sustainability.

There is some concern expressed that central and local government should take more of a lead in encouraging change and supporting greener policies; that they should have more joined up policies that include community energy projects and self supporting communities, better recycling to include black plastics and food waste, regulations that support wildlife around/on new builds, e.g. swift and bat boxes, nesting boxes generally etc.

Many people mentioned the central role of education regarding sustainability and that schools should be at the forefront in this, hopefully spreading the knowledge to families and neighbourhoods.

Jane and Sandra , the Sustainable Pendeen event organisers, would like to thank all the Pendeen people who gave their time to help at our first Sustainable Pendeen event about TRANSPORT on Saturday 24 August and at our second event about making our HOMES more sustainable on Saturday 9 November . Thank you all, including reception desk staff, marshals, Paulene and her Café team, raffle sellers, stands helpers etc We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thanks, too, to our brilliant Sustainable Pendeen Sponsors . Delia Webb, of Funny Faces, who designed and helped to finance our lovely, bright green, Sustainable Pendeen tote bags which are on sale in The Centre for £2. Stuart Davis , of Penwith IT Services, for giving us his professional help with setting up our equipment, computers and projector and being so helpful and supportive.

FEEDBACK FROM OUR FIRST EVENT ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES Our aim has been to encourage discussion around the topic of electric vehicles and sustainable transport and we promised to relay pertinent comments to organisations and individuals from the written and verbal feedback we received. The comments we received covered the following issues:

  1. The need for central government to take the lead in promoting/subsidising/incentivising electric vehicles and charging points.
  2. That all new builds should have charging points and off -road parking.
  3. The need for there to be a comprehensive network of charging points that increases ahead of demand and is distributed geographically evenly and fairly.
  4. That charging points need to be available to those who live in flats, terraces and other homes that may not have off road parking
  5. That electric vehicles should use renewable energy and that we will need to have enough renewable energy as their use grows.
  6. That electric vehicles need to be more accessible, not just for the rich/higher earners. What about financial help to cover setting up electric car shares /car pools?
  7. The need for an integrated, reasonably priced/subsidised electric public transport system. More frequent and cheaper buses that include difficult to get to rural areas. Some people don’t drive, others cannot afford cars.
  8. Recognising that 15% of a car’s lifetime carbon footprint is in its manufacture, and similarly in scrappage and disposal. The answer is not scrapping vehicles but to use them to the end of their lives, as long as they are running as efficiently as possible.
  9. Outlaw drivers who keep their engines running while stationary, or even parked. on the ground they need the air conditioning on.

We have sent, as promised, our short report which includes details of the event and the nine points above to the appropriate organisations and individuals. They include the following: Our MP Derek Thomas, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, Edwina Hannaford, the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Geoff Brown, Climate Change and Business Adviser, Ben Simpson and James Hatton, our local County Councillor, Sue James, The Town Clerk at St Just Town Council, Judith Summers at The Neighbourhood Plan, Jay Chapman at CRCC, Jill Stott The Project Manager The Tin Coast Partnership, Professor Katharine Willis, The University of Plymouth, Deborah Clarke of ACRE and the Trustees and Volunteers of The Centre of Pendeen .

Jane Haslam and Sandra Coak Event Organisers September 2019