New chief executive at Friends of the Peak District

Tomo Thompson joined the charity in August 2018. A retired British Army Officer, with 25 years of experience doing odd things in strange places, he also has a background in change, risk and project management.

Tomo has spent over thirty years being active in the mountains of the UK and further afield. He is passionate about introducing people of all ages to the mental and physical wellbeing benefits of being outdoors, through expedition leadership and outdoor pursuits instruction. Continue reading

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How to include hearing-impaired people in meetings

  1. Lighting is crucial.
    The deaf person needs to sit with their back to the main light source so tha
  2. Image result for hearing impairmentt the faces opposite are illuminated for lip reading.
  3. Minimise background noise.
    Hearing aids amplify ALL sounds, so be aware of distractions such as mechanical fans in a projector, or a noisy fridge – or worst of all, most village hall urns! Avoid whispering comments to a neighbour or having a private conversation round the table, outside the official debate.
  4. Look for a hearing loop in the room.
    If there is one, make sure it’s switched on and that the deaf person knows about it. This can be a factor if you’re booking an outside venue for a meeting.
  5. Raise your hand when you wish to say something.  
    This enables the deaf person to identify who’s speaking. Don’t start speaking till the chairman says so.
  6. Keep your whole face visible while you speak.
    Don’t cover your mouth with your hand, or turn away from the deaf person.
  7. Speak clearly.
    No need to shout or even to talk slowly, unless the deaf person asks you to.
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Don’t let the government fast-track fracking: PETITION

Recent proposals by the government would make it as easy to get permission for an exploratory fracking well as for a conservatory.

If they go ahead, local decision-makers and communities would be stripped of the ability to block fracking in their areas – with decisions forced over their heads from a national level.

There are strong public reservations about the huge risks fracking poses to our countryside – but the government is looking to fast-track the process anyway.

Will you join tens of thousands of others in calling for the government to drop these proposals?

Sign the petition

Fracking risks industrialising our countryside and poses significant harm to our climate and environment.

Paving the way for it – without guaranteeing that these threats will not materialise – is too great a risk to even contemplate.

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Posted in business, campaign, community, county, derbyshire, east midlands, energy, farm, government, landscape, leicestershire, lincolnshire, northamptonshire, nottinghamshire, peak district, planning, planning policy, protest, region, rutland, safety, volunteering | Leave a comment

Calling all Archers fans!

A wonderful one-woman show with live music: No Finer Life by The Archers agricultural editor, Graham Harvey
Set in the Oxfordshire countryside at the end of World War Two. Graham Harvey brings to life the true story of a land girl who goes in search of the best-selling author who transformed the way we farmed the land in post war England.One of two London-born brothers, George wrote The Farming Ladder in 1944 telling their story, of a dream that had come true.

In 1924, even though they had no experience, they had scraped together enough cash to pay for a small rented Cotswold farm, just as farming was entering the deepest of recessions.

Yet their methods turned it into one of the most productive in all of England. By the time of World War Two, when embattled Britain faced starvation, farmers by the bus-load visited the little farm to see for themselves how farming might be done at a time of crisis.

George’s book brought together wisdom about farming, anecdotes of Cotswold life and concerns for the future of the land. More than anything it offered a dream of a better life. It was an immediate hit and many of the 100,000 hardback copies sold were bought by service men and women who shared that hope.

The story moves between the 1940s and the current day, reflecting that the love of the countryside, the need to protect it and issues of national identity, are timeless

Graham Harvey will be taking part in an after-show conversation – included in the ticket price – where he will discuss the issues in the play… and all things Ambridge!

The show features live music composed and performed by Alastair Collingwood and is directed by James Le Lacheur, who has recently spent a year in London’s West End in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Elizabeth is played by Rebecca Bailey.

 

Posted in campaign, east midlands, farm, leicestershire, lincolnshire, northamptonshire, nottinghamshire, peak district, rutland | Leave a comment

Deposit refund system could save councils £35 million a year

Image result for deposit refund schemeNew study finds that local authorities stand to benefit from introduction of a DRS for plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans

A new report published today finds that local authorities across England could save up to £35 million every year if a deposit refund system (DRS) for drinks containers was introduced in England.

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Developers renege on affordable homes as countryside faces housing crisis

Council targets to meet local need missed in many areas

New research from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), released today, shows a growing crisis of affordable housing provision in many rural areas.

Using Government data, the research indicates that the proportion of affordable homes being provided by non-metropolitan local authorities has halved in five years [1]. In 2011-12, 35% of new dwellings in shire districts and unitary authorities were affordable; in 2015-16, this had decreased to just 16%. Other than a small recovery in 2014-15, those years showed continued decline.

CPRE’s research also shows that just five of the 15 most unaffordable districts outside London have met their most recent lowest affordable housing target. In Epping Forest, the tenth most expensive borough outside of London, just 14% of new housing over the past five years has been affordable. The borough’s target is 40%.

The Government data also shows which councils have provided the lowest proportions of affordable housing. Over the past five years, an average of just 6% of the new housing in Oadby & Wigston, Leicestershire, has been affordable. In Poole, which aims for 40% affordable housing, just 7.7% of completed homes have fulfilled the criteria.

As councils no longer receive direct funding for affordable housing, and, until recently, very few councils have been building homes (just 1,890 across the entire country in 2015-16 [2]), the main way affordable homes are currently provided is through conditions on developers being granted planning permission.

A pattern has emerged, however, where developers claim through a viability assessment that it is not or no longer possible to build the requisite proportion of affordable homes as part of a development [3]. In Horsham, Sussex, an American real estate investment trust recently told the council that a viability study demonstrated its development could not provide more than half the council’s 35% affordable housing target. Faced with the prospect of an appeal, or seeing the development cancelled, the council waved through the 2,750-home and business park development, accepting the developer’s assessment [4].

Recent research from the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) shows that councils are increasingly concerned about affordable housing and the effect that viability assessments have on providing it. In the TCPA’s study, over 60% of councils surveyed agreed that the viability test set out in the National Planning Policy Framework has hindered their ability to secure sufficient social and affordable housing to meet local needs [5].

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said:

“Many councils are falling woefully short of their targets to provide affordable homes. Yet you also have to look at those developers who continually use shady tactics to renege on promises to build affordable homes and new community infrastructure. These are often the promises that win them permission in the first place.

“Developers have councils in a bind. It’s either fewer affordable homes or missed housing targets. And either way it’s young people and local people in need who lose out.

“As just 8% of rural housing is affordable, much of the countryside is already out of reach to those on average incomes. If we don’t change things this will just get worse. The next Government must reduce the power of these viability studies, stop highly profitable developers gaming the system and give councils the hard cash to start building houses again.”

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Introducing our new national chairman

This is Crispin Truman, who has been announced as CPRE’s new chairman, taking over the reins from Shaun Spiers.

Crispin Truman to take up appointment
in autumn

 The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new chief executive, Crispin Truman, who has led The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) for more than a decade. Continue reading

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