Action Groups

45 people attended the open meeting of WinACC on Saturday 1 December and the following Action Groups were reported on, or proposed, and discussed. Contact details are given of those who have initiated the groups and/or are willing to lead them:

Communications and Advice Group: The WinACC website - aimed primarily at people looking to reduce their carbon footprint, people looking to help WinACC, and journalists – has been developed by the Group. Many useful suggestions were made at the open meeting about the further development of the website, including the addition of a discussion forum, which has now been added.
Contact: Robert Hutchison:

Science and Technology Advisory Panel (STAP): The STAP will comprise a small group of committed local scientists and technologists to support the work of WinACC in areas where critical informed opinion is required. The STAP will provide accurate up to date scientific and technical information – including brief summaries of key reports - and advice to WinACC on topics requested by Action Groups; and the STAP will provide a watching brief on new scientific and technical developments relevant to the Action Groups.  
Contact: Dr David Knight:

Low carbon refurb group: The group has yet to formulate aims and a clear timescale. However, according to the Energy Saving Trust, domestic energy consumption accounts for 27% of UK carbon dioxide emissions. The case for focusing on ‘low carbon refurbishment’ is that, even in 2050, well over 90% of the buildings in the UK will be those that have already been built. To those wanting to ‘green’ their homes, existing buildings represent more of a challenge than new ones, but relatively simple measures can make a big difference.
Contact: Jess Lloyd:

Local Development Framework: A meeting took place on Tuesday 15 January to discuss how best to respond to the City Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF). The proposed draft response will be discussed by the WinACC Steering Group on 28 January.   The LDF is of great importance to creating a low carbon future in Winchester because it is the LDF that will shape the local authority’s decision making on spatial planning and development issues from 2009 onwards.
Contact: Chris Bestwick:

Low Carbon Champions Training: The group is discussing the skills and competences needed by effective ‘low carbon champions’ and appropriate training for such champions. In January and February the Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN) is organising a varied range of short training courses in London. See the COIN website or contact Mim Saxl at COIN on T. 01865 727911,
Contact Robert Hutchison:

Transport: The transport group intends to concentrate initially on reducing car use through the development of car sharing schemes and personal travel plans. Sustrans has already run a dozen trial ‘personal travel plan’ schemes, under which households and other organisations are offered expert advice and analysis of what journeys are made by car and how some can be made by other means.
Contact: Mary Mirchandani:

Local renewable energy group: The suggestions currently under consideration are for community wind turbines and hydro power. This is inspired by the topography of Winchester: a city situated on a river, surrounded by hills. The first (and most difficult) stage will be to establish a strong core group including all sections of society – business, public sector, local authority etc. Once established, and with some clear proposals, the group will move on to engaging with professionals in renewable energy, to advise on feasibility, planning, costs and funding. To move this project forward, there will be a meeting at 1000 on Saturday 12 January at the Friends Meeting House, Colebrook Street.
Contact: Rob Parker on 01962 890160, email

Grandparents and grandchildren acting on Climate Change (GAGA CC): The hope of the future, the experience of the past, the pink and the grey marching forward together. This could really catch the public imagination. WinACC aims to accentuate the positive aspects of reducing carbon footprints. GAGA CC will be fun! GAGA groups can plant trees for tomorrow and vegetable gardens for today… can join in with arts workshops to communicate feelings about climate change, and science projects to understand and promote renewable sources of energy.
Contact: Philip Glassborow:

Theatre group: Hena Chowdury, a theatre director and stage manager, would like to start a theatre group and devise a play about shared concerns on making Winchester green. A devised play is one where the performers write their own script through a series of workshops. Hena says’ Theatre is a great way to coherently express your standpoint… Daring productions have often been instrumental in creating counter cultures’.

Contact: Hena Chowdury: or 077 1788 3447.

Future WinACC Open Meetings

Open meetings of WinACC will be held on the first Saturday morning of alternative months in 2008 – starting in February. The dates for the meetings will be Saturdays 2 February, 5 April, 7 June, 2 August, 4 October, 6 December. All open meetings will start at 1030 and finish at about noon at the Friends’ Meeting House, 16 Colebrook Street. Tea and coffee will be served from 1000.

Live for the Future: Tackling Climate Change

Winchester City Council’s climate change plan Live for the Future: Tackling Climate Change comprises two documents: the Framework and the Action Plan, both available on the City Council website. The documents were discussed by the Cabinet of Winchester City Council meeting on 12 December. The Cabinet decisions were as follows:

1. That “Live for the Future: Tackling Climate Change” be approved.

2. That the decision on whether, as part of the budget growth proposals, to allocate capital funds of £400,000 to pump prime a Climate Change Reserve to match fund grants available at a national level for energy efficiency projects within the Council’s estate be deferred to the next Cabinet meeting on 16 January 2008, to enable further information on the Salix funds to be obtained.

3. That Cabinet considers, as part of the budget growth proposals, £18,000 to core fund the new Winchester Action on Climate Change Group to deliver a programme of public engagement in climate change across the District.

Hampshire County Council Climate Change Commission Report

The County Council’s Climate Change Commission Report was published in October and approved by the County Council in November. The Report is available in hard copy form and can also be downloaded from the County Council’s website. In addition to approving the conclusions of the report, the Council passed a number of resolutions including that ‘In addition to responding to the impacts of climate change on Hampshire, the County Council will set a series of targets and actions endeavouring to reduce our carbon footprint’; and ‘The County Council will continue to play a leading exemplary role, both locally within the Hampshire community and nationally within the local government sector, in seeking to eliminate the man-made causes of climate change’.

Funding and offices

WinACC originated in a ‘coffeehouse challenge’ meeting on July 21. WinACC has now won a £1,500 award from the Royal Society of Arts and the sponsors of the Coffeehouse Challenge, Starbucks and T-Mobile. The award is to be used for helping to set up an office for WinACC, and to help fund a major public event in summer 2008. WinACC has also been offered a grant of £4,500 from the University of Winchester along with office accommodation at the University. All this support is most welcome and gratefully received.

Robert Hutchison
Convenor, Winchester Action on Climate Change