Congleton Sustainability Group (CSG) is opposed to fracking wherever it occurs. We also oppose it here in Cheshire because of its effects on our local environment. Please read our full report HERE.
Congleton Sustainability Group (CSG) aims to raise awareness of the issues associated with the challenge of climate change and the consequent need to develop a low carbon, sustainable future through ethical, social, cultural, economic, environmental and community action to promote, encourage and support the development of education and research concerning areas affected by resource depletion.
As volunteers we work to do this by:
- Commenting on planning applications large and small
- Publishing and working to implement a Carbon Reduction Plan for Congleton and the surrounding area
- Raise awareness of local food opportunities like Congleton Apple Juice & Congleton Food4Free
- Work for all of our Schools to be Green Flag Schools
- Work to protect local wildlife habitats and biodiversity
- Campaign tirelessly for better public transport, cycle routes, innovative housing design to promote healthy and sustainable living, local employment
- Campaign for a community energy scheme and work with other transition towns and similar community led initiatives to nudge the town to make the transition to a low carbon, sustainable, ethical future.
Congleton Sustainability Group objectives includes:
- Growing more food visibly, locally
- Providing people with help to improve their property to become more energy efficient
- Using the River Dane to generate electricity
- Challenging future building developments in the Town to be energy efficient
- Celebrating the excellent work in progress in all Congleton Schools by the Eco Schools initiative educating all our children
- Making walking and cycling pleasant around the Town. Congleton’s Cycling Campaign is working to improve cycling in and around Congleton for workers, shoppers and school children alike
Congleton Sustainability Group is made up of 7 sub-groups, each sub-group has its own committee and volunteers.
- Carbon Reduction Group
- Congleton Apple Juice
- Commenting Team
- Cycling Campaign
- Food 4 Free
Congleton becomes an official Transition Town
Congleton Sustainability Group, have worked on behalf of the Town to become accepted as members of the UK-wide group of communities, who are collectively known as the Transition Network.
Members of the Transition Network believe there might just be a more sympathetic way of life than the one most of us are living just now – by working to be more sympathetic towards each other and more sympathetic to the environment around us.
Transition communities are about finding positive, practical and fun alternatives. Such as using our cars less; shopping, playing and working more locally; growing more of our own food; adopting renewable energy schemes to save money.
Congleton Sustainability Group is made up of members of local schools, community groups, campaigners and talented residents working together to create ideas that will initiate change. It is important to emphasis that with all our projects our prime focus is helping people save money, whether it is by growing their own food, installing solar water or photovoltaic panels to reduce energy costs or improving cycle paths to save fuel.
A Transition town it isn’t a process defined by people who have all the answers. We truly don’t know if this will work. The Transition Network is a community experiment on a massive scale.
What we are all convinced of is this:
- if we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late
- if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little
- but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.
Everything that you read about Transition communities is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. No great political strategy. There’s not an ivory tower in sight, no professors in musty oak-panelled studies churning out erudite papers, no slavish adherence to a model carved in stone.
Congleton Sustainability Group, just like the other transition communities, is made up of people who are actively engaged in transition in a community. People who are learning by doing – and learning all the time. People who understand that we can’t sit back and wait for someone else to do the work. People like you, perhaps…
Get involved with The Congleton Sustainability Group
Congleton Neighbourhood plan – Get involved and have your say!
Congleton has started the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan. The Town Council want the residents of Congleton to have a say in all aspects of the future of the Town, find out more at the website www.mycongleton.org
Havannah Micro-hydro Project, Congleton, Cheshire:
Dane Valley Community Energy Limited has secured a grant of £16,800 to conduct a feasibility study to construct micro-hydro power generating equipment on Havannah Weir in Congleton. The contract for the study has been awarded to Derwent Hydro, based in Duffield, Derbyshire who have 20 years’ experience in design and installation of hydro schemes.
The feasibility study will establish the water flow over the weir and calculate the potential for electricity generation, together with the costs of the civil engineering work to build the scheme, the permissions from the Environment Agency to use the river and initial views on Planning Permission from Cheshire East Council.
The grant has been awarded from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF). RCEF is a £15 million programme, delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community. For more information on RCEF, visit www.wrap.org.uk/renewables.
To be awarded the grant Congleton Sustainability Group formed Dane Valley Community Energy Limited to manage the project with Paul Guymer, Mervyn Sara and Peter Aston as voluntary directors.
The feasibility study started during November and is expected to be completed by April next year. If the report concludes that generating electricity from the River Dane at Havannah creates sufficient income, then a community share scheme to raise the capital will be launched in the town. Shareholders will then receive a regular dividend from the generating income and it is intended that sufficient funds will be available after paying for maintenance of the equipment to fund projects focused on improving the local environment and its sustainability. As one of the first community based generation schemes in the Cheshire East region, the project will provide an ideal vehicle for involvement by local companies and institutions which care about their environmental credentials.
Paul Guymer who led the project to investigate micro-hydro power generation on the Town Weir in Congleton Park in 2012 said that “It would be wonderful if this scheme proves to be feasible. The Park scheme may not have generated sufficient power to pay for itself whereas the Havannah Weir at 4 metres high is almost twice the height and therefore offers much better prospects of being feasible.”
For further information, contact Peter Aston on 07971 805372, or check out updates about Dane Valley Community Energy Limited at www.congletonpartnership.co.uk/sustainability.