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Reading Community Energy Share Offer
Sun 10 March 2019

Reading Community Energy have now launched their latest share offer, for solar PV installations on 8-10 additional buildings in/around Reading. They are keen to attract local investors as far as is possible to help give the scheme a sense of local ownership. In early March they need around £280k more to carry out their plans, and hope to raise the money by 29th March. The details are on the link.

Planting Verges in Reading for Pollinators
Sun 3 March 2019

Help needed for a new project.

Econet has started a research project to plant up some of Reading's roadside verges with plants for pollinators. We are looking for volunteers to identify a suitable patch near their house/work (in Reading Borough) that they would help to plant up and then monitor during the year.

Reading Council call 'Climate Emergency'
Sat 9 February 2019

Extincion Rebellion Reading say:

The deputy leader of Reading Borough Council Tony Page has tabled a climate emergency resolution for the full council meeting on 26th February.  The full wording is on the link.

There are 3 important ways you can help make this a major turning point in the amount of carbon Reading produces.

1. Write or talk to your local councillors about it.    Obviously we welcome this move, and on first sight the resolution appears to want urgency and action.  However on closer inspection it fails to commit to the type of profound changes expected for an emergency.  Here are its weaknesses, with suggested responses :

a)  The resolution commendably refers to accelerating the timescale for carbon reduction, and 2030 is mentioned as a potential target for zero net carbon.  However there is no pledge to work directly to this target; instead it is made conditional on 'substantial policy changes from national government'. 

Our response: We would like RBC to follow Lambeth and Bristol councils in committing independently to the 2030 target.  Here is the  Lambeth Resolution

b) The RBC resolution includes a list of 13 proposed measures, referred to as a 'radical agenda', however there is no commitment for RBC to action them. Despite the reference at the top to  'more concerted and urgent action needed at local, national and international level' ,  it is only the national government who are being called on to take responsibility.      Furthermore the 13 actions have no measurable targets, so it's not clear how they could be used to drive any future RBC commitments.   Finally, the description of the measures as radical is misleading since most if not all are already covered in the Government's  Clean Growth Strategy. 

Our response: any measures listed in the resolution should be pledges that RBC are making themselves, and they should include measurable targets.  Any reference to national Government 's responsibilities should tie them in to the Clean Growth Strategy . 

c) 2 vital aspects of such a major declaration are missing: i) all existing council policies and strategies, eg the Local Transport Plan, should be reviewed to reflect the climate emergency, ii) there should be a regular, eg annual, progress report.

Our response: the resolution needs to include both of these aspects.