Questions for members of the PKC Climate Change and Sustainable Development Team.
Viv Milford (Climate Change and Sustainable Development Officer) attended the Climate Café. Questions and answers:
-Planning permission difficulties, including for green initiatives such as solar panels etc. - Can you check with the planning dept re - installation of double or triple glazed windows, pv solar panels etc in conservation areas. Treatment of people wanting to do eco builds? It was raised at the last council climate change and sustainability committee meeting and the outcome of that motion was that Councillor Watters would write to the relevant Scottish Government minister to ask for a review in to permitted development rights within conservation areas. And then the council would complete a review of their own conservation areas and boundaries.
- Pedestrian/bike access. Residents are complaining that people on foot or on bikes are not allowed to enter the recycling site. (Not only does this encourage car use, but it also prevents people without access to a car from recycling. Viv mentioned this was all due to having had pedestrian access at all sites and then there was a fatality of a pedestrian (local man) at Friarton, and along with there being less staff at recycling sites now, so PKC stopped people coming onto the site unless they were in a car or van.
- Paint and chemicals can't be tipped here but can in other places, as has been the case for a few years. Paint in its liquid form is a chemical waste and they don’t have a licence to take them. There used to be places that took old paint, one being near Castle in Cupar in Fife but they found that so much of the paint was frost damaged so they could not recycle/reuse it and ended up with more paint going to land fill than being reused. It was too costly.
We need to stop storing paint in garages and huts etc as its too cold for them. The recycling centre will only accept tins of paint that is either allowed to dry completely so it’s a solid lump or to pour sawdust, sand or ash and allow to dry out completely. Not a great solution. The best solution is to use up all your paint even if that means mixing it or sharing it with someone else. Maybe something for the Mens Shed?
- Freegle store or charity items eg. PUSH at Friarton. Viv asked that we contact Ana De Miguel at PKC Waste team worked with Remake to get them reuse/storage containers in Crieff. They had a service agreement with PKC for taking the reuse items from the container. We could approach Ana and ask for her help in Pitlochry to find a site for a storage container etc and a space for stopping to drop off. Maybe at the PKC Waste Depot. She could give us some advice on what they did in Crieff to set this up. A recent source of funding for community projects of this type is SUEZ a dry mixed recycling and waste management service. (In the past they paid for things like the reuse containers, signage etc). What helps with the reuse of bigger items is locating reuse containers somewhere where people can stop to offload these items and most charity shops don’t have the space outside to offload and don’t have the storage space indoors. Remake works because it does and they are happy to diversify what they take in etc.
- Is there any new information on possible sites for allotments and lack of an allotment officer/greenspace ranger? She wasn’t sure what was happening with the position as the full extent of the cuts has not been fully published yet. She did mention that PKC were looking for volunteers to help with keeping cemeteries clean and tidy. However, in terms of food growing, Rachel Robson RRobson@pkc.gov.uk (Good Food Project Officer); Kim MacDonald KimMacDonald@pkc.gov.uk (Good Food Coordinator -Communities) would be good people to get in touch with.
- Is the vacant land at the entrance to Lettoch Terrace PKC land and if so could we get permission to plant some fruit trees or bushes there? Susie Norris PKC is going to check to see who owns this piece of land and let us know if its ok to use.
- Can we get permission to plant trees at Mount Zion to replace felled one. Viv is going to check this out as she knows there are two officers looking into this about replacing the trees etc.
Update on CAP Steering Group - Just to keep you updated, the Community Action Plan steering group were informed on Monday 13th March that we are now a Development Trust - Pitlochry Community Action Trust. This will consist of members of the existing steering group becoming trustees until an EGM can be organised. However we are also looking to recruit new trustees of the Trust to join or even replace the current team. Becoming a trustee will be a very fulfilling and varied role.
Insulate Pitlochry another event? As the event in January between PCAT Theme 5 group, the Climate Cafe and the Heat Project was so successful Martin (Heat Project) has suggested it would be good to have another event soon. There were 14 home surveys completed from that event. So the next event in the Co-op has been organised for Saturday 15th April 10am to 2pm. The event will focus on energy and insulation, and potentially be called ‘Insulate Pitlochry: A project of PCAT’ and again be supported by PCAT Theme 5, the Heat Project and Climate Café. On arrival volunteers parking at the Co-op should let staff know their licence plate number to avoid parking tickets. This event could also be used to launch a smart meter survey for a possible local community energy project and we are also investigating a Highland Perthshire Community Energy project which could include any or all communities in the Tay and A9 area. A few people are happy to help would anyone else like to help for an hour?
Energy Fair PCAT Theme 5 group are also planning an Energy Fair on Saturday 2nd September again with Climate Café and the Heat Project. If you would like to help, please get in touch soon.
Recyclosaurus and Escape Rooms Workshops – Drew Scott is offering a workshops. There is a children’s upcycling event, Recyclosaurus on Saturday 15th April just for some Easter fun. And a number of Escape room sessions as a part of Earth Day, Saturday 22nd April. Please check attached posters.
Earth Day – PKC ha also organised an event in Perth and there will be a Climate Café Network stall there to help promote ourselves in Perth.
The Big Place Conversation has begun! This is a conversation happening in Perth & Kinross communities throughout 2023 to find out what you love about your place, and what could be improved. We'll be talking about things like :
Waste Reduction – I had contacted Etape, Pitlochry Highland Games and NYSP about waste reduction last year but didn’t get very far. Thought it might be an idea to ask them again this year as there is more time to do so. Would anyone like to help?
Burnside Toilets Update. Thank you to everyone who has become a member of Sprout, our new community environmental organisation. The deadline has changed to 20th April due to Easter holidays so there is still time to support the project. We have 68 members and at least 8 letters of support now.
Biodiversity Town? Catherine Lloyd – Tayside Biodiversity Partnership has been in touch with me regarding this as they have now received some funding to roll out the Biodiversity Villages, Towns & Neighbourhoods Initiative. The basic concepts behind the project are:
Presentations and workshops - I am going to sort a monthly talk or workshop for the Climate Cafe as I still have funding for this so any ideas would be appreciated.
Climate Week and or Tattie Bogle Trail October – Drew Scott is interested in helping with this event this year so looking to see if anyone else would like to be involved.
Guided tour Martin Mathers is doing a guided walk in Black Spout Woods on Sunday 7th May at 11am, through the Tayside Woodlands Partnership. Meet up in the bottom car park and dogs are welcome.
Next Climate Cafes are Tuesday 11th April 1pm and Thursday 13th April 7pm in the Pitlochry Library. Everyone is welcome.