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Climate Emergency- be a part of the solution!

We needs governments to act and lead us, through sweeping changes in the way our society is run, to a better future, not only for mankind but for all the other species on the planet. I hope you have already signed the petitions to the county council and to central government urging them to act.

Another action you might like to take is to become an earth protector; Mission Lifeforce aims to create a law of ecocide to stop companies and governments from damaging the environment. Sign up at [donation required]

We can all contribute to saving the planet by making small changes in our own lifestyles,
for example
Buy Green Energy It doesn’t even have to cost you more! The Guardian [22nd August 2018] says that green deals now account for half the cheapest 10 tariffs. I prefer to buy from a company that actually generates green energy, such as Ecotricity [currently offering to donate £50 per annum to Friends of the Earth for every new customer], Good Energy or Octopus, though there are many green energy retailers as well.
The smaller companies tend to have higher customer satisfaction but Scottish Energy have now also gone 100% green and the new player on the market is Shell Energy [yes Shell!] who have seen the writing on the wall and have bought into green electricity in a big way [though they are also still expanding their fossil fuel business].

Electricity is the fuel of the future;

Committee on Climate Change says ban gas boilers in new homes by 2025 [Guardian 21stFeb]
Gas hobs or boilers should be banned from being installed in new homes within the next six years, government advisers have recommended.A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says that from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid – with super-efficient houses and flats heated using low-carbon energy instead. It also warns that UK homes are not fit for the future, with efforts to cut greenhouse gases from housing stalling and properties at growing risk of overheating and flooding.The committee called on the government to get serious about tackling emissions from homes and ensuring they are adapted to cope with a future of more extreme weather.
Plastic Free Wirksworth

We are gearing up to start asking Wirksworth businesses to commit to reducing their single use plastic; we will ask them to choose 3 items that include single use plastic and change them to items that are plastic free. We hope that this will encourage them to think even further about their plastic use and continue to reduce it thereafter.

As we have identified over 50 businesses and organisations, help would be appreciated in speaking to everybody. If you have a personal connection to any of the Wirksworth businesses or organisations and would be willing to approach the manager about this, please let TW know on this e-mail. Training and literature will be provided. All volunteers welcome, even if you don’t have a personal connection.

Recycle your crisp packets The Featherstar pub is now a collection point for the recycling of crisp packets. Packets from all brands of crisp are accepted.

The EU parliament has just passed a law to ban plastic stemmed cotton buds, stirrers, straws and cutlery and also polystyrene cups and oxo-degadable plastics [that break into microplastics but do not completely break down]. Will the UK make its plastics bill fit for purpose? Currently the target is to phase out “non-essential single use plastics” by 2042!

Growers have organised a public meeting with speaker, Martin Redman, talking about regenerative agriculture and whether it can halt Climate change and save the planet.
Date; 10th April, venue; Wellspring Centre- see attached poster.

Peak Extinction Rebellion, based in Wirksworth will be sending a group down to London to taking part in the international “rebellion”, starting on 15th April, aimed at getting the government to take climate change seriously. For more information, see

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Wirksworth town council declare a climate emergency
On 18th of February, the town council considered a petition, collected by members of Peak Extinction Rebellion, to declare a climate emergency. Several townspeople were there in support of the petition and, among others, representatives from Peak Extinction Rebellion, the youth of Wirksworth and Grassroots Wirksworth spoke in favour of the proposal to declare a climate emergency.
After debating the issue, the council did indeed declare a climate emergency and “resolved that Wirksworth Town Council establish a working party (comprising Cllr Pollock, Cllr Gratton and Cllr Taylor) to liaise with local groups and prepare a report on what action(s) the Town Council might take in support of its resolution to declare a Climate Emergency. The group to report to Full Council (after it takes office in May)”.
The councillors have not said how they will constitute the workparty but if you have relevant expertise in environmental or energy matters and feel you can contribute to the working party, please contact Grassroots Wirksworth [ ] to volunteer.
It was also pointed out at the public forum before the council meeting that anybody in the town who would like more influence on town or district council policy is free to stand for election at the upcoming town and district elections. The town clerk, Mr. P. Jennings, is happy to meet with any prospective candidate to give information about the duties and limitations of the post of town councillor.
Derbyshire Climate Coalition formed
On 19th of February, representatives of over 30 community and environmental groups from throughout Derbyshire met in Derby to discuss what action to take over the present climate emergency. Representatives from Peak Extinction Rebellion and Grassroots Wirksworth were present at the meeting.
It was resolved to form the Derbyshire Climate Coalition with the intention of lobbying every council in Derbyshire to declare a climate emergency and to produce and enact plans to become carbon zero by 2030. [The precise wording of the proposal to be decided by a co-ordinating group comprising one representative from each Derbyshire district].
Due to upcoming local elections, the county council will be targeted first, with every county councillor contacted by their local Coalition representative to urge them to support the declaration of climate emergency. We advise all citizens who are concerned about climate change to contact their local County Councillor and call upon them to insist that the County Council declares a Climate Emergency. With concerted efforts we will encourage them to support this proposal. If you wish to actively participate in the Derbyshire Climate Coalition campaign, please contact Wendy Bullar, .
Volunteers wanted to help with an environmental and gardening group at Anthony Gell School
The Growers group have been contacted by the environment lead at Anthony Gell School for assistance with the garden [which includes polytunnel and raised beds] and environmental projects [eg. building bird boxes]. Growers are already involved with vegetable propagation for the Rotary plant sale and are working with children from the local nursery as well as maintenance and development at the community garden so extra volunteers are needed to help with the Anthony Gell project. Please contact if you can help.
Plastic free Wirksworth
Members of the Transition Waste and Recycling Group have asked for the support of the town council for a campaign to reduce the use of single use plastics in Wirksworth. The Environment and Town affairs recommended that “at the Annual Town Council meeting on 13th May 2019 a council representative be sought to attend Grassroots Wirksworth subgroup on Waste & Recycling. That when the new council take office in May 2019, the review of the Council’s policy in regard to plastic and the wider environment be made a priority” This recommendation was approved by the full town council meeting on Februray 18th. Meanwhile, the group will continue to plan for the upcoming campaign, which will follow a format provided by Surfers Against Sewage, who are now supporting many communities throughout Britain in the fight to eliminate plastic pollution.
If you wish to help with the campaign, please contact Alex Warzynski on .
Stoney Wood
There is concern about the district council’s decision to make the area just outside Stoney Wood, on the Middleton Road, a temporary traveller’s site. A spokesperson for Stoney Wood Group says “The Town Council are taking legal advice on the situation and Stoney Wood Group will be issuing a statement in the next couple of days. So not much to say at the moment apart from people need to contact DDDC with their concerns and they could also attend the Wirksworth Environment and Town Affairs Committee meeting on Monday [4th March, 6.30pm] where it will be discussed.”
One member took issue with the first item on the “Save money while saving the planet” leaflet, circulated last month. He thought it “irresponsible if not criminal” to suggest people should have fewer children as “the population is falling in Britain”. However, the government office of national statistics states that
“In mid-2017, the population of the UK was an estimated 66 million – its largest ever
The UK population is projected to continue growing, reaching almost 73 million by 2041.
Sustained UK growth results from births outnumbering deaths (by 148,000 in 2017) and immigration exceeding emigration (by 282,000 in 2017).”
It is incontrovertible that the world is overpopulated by humans, that this is the major cause of climate change, habitat loss and mass extinction and that people would save money by having less children so Grassroots Wirksworth does not retract the statement.
The only feedback to my request for comment on the statement that Grassroots Wirksworth should support the declaration of a climate emergency was agreement so this is now Grassroots Wirksworth policy.

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The gathering commenced with a meeting about reducing plastic waste and was followed by the AGM

1. Phillip Munn asked if members were interested in developing a plastic free shop to leave their contact details with him. He will organise a meeting in the new year. [First meeting has taken place see “Wirksworth Zero Waste Shop” facebook page]
2. Treasurer’s report
John Berry reported that there are very few transactions in the year and the job is not onerous if anybody wants to give it a try. We started the 2017 [sic] year with a positive balance of £400 and finished with £425[year runs from January to December].
The Give or Take event is the function that generates most income.
3. Election of treasurer for the year 2019.
Keith Orford proposed John Berry seconded by Hilary Hebron.
John indicated he was willing to stand. No-one wished to block the proposal. No other nominations were received.
John Berry was elected treasurer.

Reports from Groups
4. Activists; Hilary Hebron reported on recent rally with Extinction Rebellion a newly formed group taking direct non-violent action of civil disobedience to highlight the need for URGENT government action on climate change, as recommended by the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] in October. Members also continue to support the campaign against fracking, attending protest rallies at various sites and online campaigns concerning the environment and human rights.

5. Energy and Housing; Peter reported on the Community Land Trust, which has achieved charitable status this year. Call for Land had resulted in 4 replies. The Group were following these and an additional option of refurbishing homes built in the 1950s. New members are charged just one pound for life membership. Please join; the more members the CLT has, the more weight it will carry as representing the people of Wirksworth and Middleton. A call was made for members to consider becoming Trustees of the CLT.

6. Gardening; Rosemary reported on the 8th year of successful growing at the Community Garden, mentioning that Growers had installed a fruit cage this year and plan to make improvements in the area below the patio and in the compost area next year. There is a new initiative, with one of the children’s nurseries, to involve pre-school children in the garden. Rosemary asked for volunteers to help with gardening at Waltham House, a newly resurrected outreach service.

7. Waste and Recycling; Kate reported that the group has been swelled this year by new members spurred to action by seeing programmes on the horrific accumulation of plastics in the oceans. The group has organised this evening to seek further members to run various campaigns to reduce waste and to inform townspeople of actions they can take to reduce plastic waste in particular. If everybody took the following 5 actions, there would be an enormous reduction in the plastic waste produced.
1. Always carry and use a reusable shopping bag.
2. Carry a reusable cup if you patronise coffee shops.
3. Carry a reusable water bottle and tap water rather than buying water or fizzy drinks when out and about.
4. Take your own reusable cutlery for takeaways when out and about and a packed lunch in a reusable container rather then buying plastic packaged sandwiches etc.
5. Refuse plastic straws- you can buy a reusable one if you must have a straw!

8. Transport; Keith reported that Trent Barton were beginning a consultation on bus routes in Wirksworth. The bus no longer goes along Bournebrook Avenue as buses couldn’t get past parked cars. New buses [and trains] are now coming into use that require much less fossil fuel for power. He asked anyone who was interested in developing a transport group to contact him [or e-mail Transition].

9. Communications; Nick reported that a new information leaflet is nearing completion. It describes Grassroots Wirksworth and is intended not to need updating. The communications group currently has only two members and help is needed to maintain communications with members. Please contact us via the Transition e-mail if you can help.

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On Mondat 18th February Wirksworth Town Council became the first Derbyshire Council of any tier to declare a Climate Emergency. Ten rebels attended and several spoke. There was some glorious rebellious misbehaviour, clapping and cheering. And even an attempt to join in the debate by councillors after the public forum had closed. The “purdah” argument was seen off. Clauses 2 – 5 were seen as a sound basis for moving forward with Cllrs Pollock and Gratton agreeing to organise a working party with local activists to map out a way forward for the town.

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  • Action Group News
  • Other News

Action Group News


Communications Group

We would value more help to manage the website, inbox and newsletters. If you have experience of IT, particularly WordPress, Mailchimp, websites or are willing to learn then we would love to hear from you: Please put Communications in the subject bar.


Activist Group

In June, a small group of us joined the demonstration outside the Assembly Rooms in Chesterfield before the start of the public enquiry on Ineos’s application for a test well with a view to fracking for shale gas at Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane, Derbyshire.

The objectors were very hopeful about winning their case and preventing the drilling but the decision came though in August that the exploration has been approved. Yet again local democracy has been bypassed, the health and well-being of the local population ignored and industrial action approved in the green belt, not to mention the perpetuation of exploration for fossil fuels when the fight against climate change requires that we should not burn all those fossil fuel reserves we already know about, never mind those not yet discovered.

Protests will continue.

The government is intent on exploiting shale gas and plans to make exploration for shale gas a permitted development, treating it like the addition of a small porch to the front of your property or putting solar panels on your roof- no planning permission required! If you object to this, take part in the “consultation” on their plans here and / or here  though, if you respond to any of their questions other than the yes/no of whether exploration should be made a permitted development, your answers could be represented as supporting it.


Waste and Recycling Group

The need to reduce our plastic use is something that has been constantly on our minds for many years. This is now in the forefront of many peoples minds and we are planning to have a campaign in Wirksworth against single use plastics in particular. If you want to help with this, contact

Meanwhile, if you want to reduce your own plastic use, both the butchers in town are happy to use your own reusable containers to pack your meat purchases in. I find that the tubs from takeaway meals make great food containers- it’s still plastic but at least you reuse it many times before recycling it.

The film A Plastic Ocean is available on Netflix.

Sue’s Sustainables is an exciting new business in Belper at The Gatehouse, De Bradelei House, Chapel Street open Wednesday to Friday 11 – 2, Saturday 11 – 4 with occasional later evenings and special events. Take your own containers for re-use. Find them on facebook.


Energy & Homes Group

Much of our work has been involved in securing charitable status for the Community Land Trust. It will own assets on behalf of the communities of Wirksworth Town and Middleton Village. These will include low energy affordable homes for rent to those who cannot afford ownership.

We gained charitable status early summer and are formally launching the CLT at Wirksworth Cricket Pavilion on Wednesday 10th October from 7 to 9pm. The evening will be chaired by Tim Ellis Chair of East Midlands Community Land Trust with a presentation from John Lees on Passivhaus standards. Refreshments will be available and there will be an opportunity to join. A £1 fee enables new members to join for life.

Further information from Noel Mayes

Here’s the press release:  Registered Charity No.1178158

LANDOWNERS in Wirksworth and Middleton are being asked to come forward with land suitable for development.  Grassroots Wirksworth Community Land Trust is seeking land for the potential development of low energy affordable housing for the people of Wirksworth and Middleton.

Interested landowners have until the 31stOctober to register land. Registered sites will then be considered for suitability.

WTCLT chair, Noel Mayes said ”We have set up the CLT so that we can build affordable homes for the people of Wirksworth and Middleton. By doing this we can make sure the homes remain affordable and the land they are built on is held in Trust for the people of Wirksworth and Middleton. WTCLT is now a registered charity. All the trustees live in Wirksworth and are committed to building low energy Passivhaus standard homes.”

To register your land or find out more about the work of the CLT contact us at the address above, or email

or John Mather   East Midlands Community-Led Housing 01522 785288  or come along to Wirksworth Cricket Club at 7pm on Wednesday 10thOctoberfor the CLT launch and a talk on Passivhaus by Jon Lee of the Ecology Building Society.

Transitioners will also be aware that the government are consulting on changes to the Feed in Tariff.  Please make your thoughts known. The following may be helpful.


The Feed-in Tariff [FiT] scheme is scheduled to close to new applications on 31 March 2019. Existing accredited projects will be unaffected. The Government has stated there will be no new public support for renewable energy until 2025 at the earliest (unless cost reductions can be shown to reduce consumer bills). The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) closes to new projects in 2021 and there is no clarity beyond this date. Meanwhile, the UK is obliged to meet legally binding targets by 2020 for renewable energy and is currently well behind targets for heat and transport. Over-achievement in power would help meet the target. The Committee on Climate Change has stated that we have a ‘Policy Gap’ in the UK regarding how to meet our next target for the Carbon Budget. In addition, the electrification of transport will cause a large increase in the requirement for power, which has been estimated by the National Grid to be around 4GW of new power capacity [equivalent to approximately 2 x new nuclear power stations] by 2030 to charge electric vehicles on the road by that time. Therefore, nationally, there will be a continued need for more renewable power generation to meet the energy gap.

Consumers considering installing renewable energy schemes are protected by maintenance of data bases [MID] and accreditation of installers to schemes [such as MCS and RECC], which must not be lost.

Other parts of the UK are actively supporting renewable energy. Scotland has recently introduced an interest-free or heavily subsidised loan programme for small-scale renewable installations. This could be extended to include energy storage devices as this would benefit the system as a whole and the consumer in terms of maximising savings. Locally, Wirksworth is the third poorest fuel poverty area within the three counties of Nottingham, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. On-site renewable energy is an obvious way to reduce energy bills in households facing fuel poverty.

The simplest solution is to continue ‘Export Tariff’ Payments

This provides recognition of the power supplied to the grid, which would otherwise not be compensated for at all. Maximum generation takes place during daylight hours when consumption is also high. The tariff is paid for by the larger electricity supply companies directly, as they sell on the power procured to their retail customer base, at a higher price than they purchase it.

Existing owners of small scale projects will favour this rather than giving the electricity they generate, free, to the big 6 power companies.

Other options include altering the tax system for renewable energy and recognition of the importance of carbon reduction in new build. For example, the carbon reduction benefit delivered from increased self-consumption could be used to in calculations to grade the Energy Performance Certificate. This would encourage new-build developers and building refurbishment contractors to install such measures as a means of achieving the required Certificate. Building regulations should be strengthened to encourage the use of renewable energy on-site at new housing and commercial developments. For example, a target could mandate a percentage of the building’s power consumption be provided by solar PV on new buildings. Similarly, a revival of the Government’s Zero Carbon Buildings programme would be enormously beneficial at no direct cost to Government.

Small-scale renewable energy must be supported in the England. It is widespread across Europe, and not only delivers clean energy, but also jobs and investment as well as transitioning us to a low-carbon, flexible energy system.

The Fit consultation  closed on the 14th September.  Further information from Brian Hebron



Other News


Stoney Wood Volunteer afternoon 13th October 1pm-4pm Meet at the Community Orchard.


The national Transition Network has recently changed its statement of purpose following a review.


The Woodland Trust is offering free trees to schools and communities. To be delivered from March 2019.


Trafford Hall, the home of the National Communities Resource Centre in Chester, is running a series of reasonably priced courses for community volunteers. See the website.


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  • Minutes of Co-ordinating Group meeting 14th June
  • Better by Bus meeting notes
  • Action Group News
  • Dates for Diaries

Minutes of Co-ordinating Group meeting 14th June 


Better by Bus meeting notes. 

Previously circulated to many but here’s a reminder.


Read more »

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On 9th May Grassroots Wirksworth hosted a public meeting about local bus services with speakers from Trent Barton and from Derbyshire County Council. Here are the notes of the meeting.

Better by Bus Public Meeting Notes

At the end of the meeting the possibility of a car share scheme was introduced and 2 handouts made available. These are here:

wirksworth car share transition town

Car club benefits

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  • Minutes of First Steering Group meeting 16th March
  • Action Group News
  • Dates for Diaries

First Steering Group meeting 16th March 2018 – summary


The newly proposed steering group met on 16th March 2018 and agreed that its primary role was as a co-ordinating group with a named representative from each active group (or a deputy) plus the Treasurer as fixed members plus representatives of those organising public meetings.  It should also be open to other Grassroots Wirksworth members who wished to attend.   It will be renamed the Co-ordinating Group (CG).  The named representatives will find a deputy if he or she cannot attend.  Its roles will be to:

  1. Ensure that what each group is planning to do is shared with other groups;
  2. Identify gaps and opportunities that groups haven’t yet identified to promote the transition initiative;
  3. Agree a calendar of events some of which will be organised by individual groups and others will be organised by the Communications Group;
  4. Organise the annual gathering;
  5. Network with other groups within the town and with other local or national transition groups.

The meeting also agreed some dates for future meetings/events and the role of the Communications Group.  The full minutes of the meeting: Draft Minutes of the First Co (1)

Action Group News


Waste and Recycling Group

The March Give or Take was postponed due to bad weather and will now take place on Saturday 7th April.  Flier

You can donate any item of good quality and in working condition, apart from CRT TV’s and monitors, between 8.30am and 11am.

You can come just to take items for free, you do not have to give in order to take. Open from 9am to 12.30pm.

We ensure that as many unclaimed items as possible will be taken to charity shops, donated to Derby refugee centre or recycled. Typically, only a bagful goes into non-recyclable waste.

Any monetary donations will support the work of Grassroots Wirksworth in promoting sustainability.

Activist Group

We have been heartened by the recent refusals of planning permission for test wells for shale gas in Woodsetts and Harthill, both near Rotherham and and by the lack of government approval for fracking at Kirby Misperton, where Third Energy is removing some of their equipment and now has no plans to frack this summer.

A coalition of environmental organisations, community groups and academics has written to the Prime Minister in support of the National Trust in its legal fight against INEOS, who are seeking a court order to force the National Trust to allow seismic tests in Clumber Park. The letter questions the need for fracking in this country and disputes that this technique is environmentally sound in relation to climate change. Some of the Activists have felt moved to add their own letters to the PM.  Read the coalition letter here: Coalition letter

However, the government are also trying to force minerals planning authorities to approve planning applications for shale gas by sneaking in changes in the National Planning Policy Framework, now out for consultation. This is mainly about housing but, tucked away on page 56, paragraph 204, they direct that ” Minerals planning authorities should: a) recognise the benefits of on-shore oil and gas development, including unconventional hydrocarbons, for the security of energy supplies and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy; and put in place policies to facilitate their exploration and extraction;

  1. b) when planning for on-shore oil and gas development, clearly distinguish between, and plan positively for, the three phases of development (exploration, appraisal and production) ”  If you disagree, send your comments to the government before May 10th. See here.

We continue sharing e-petitions, many concerning the reduction in use of disposable plastic items.

To join us, contact


Wirksworth: better by bus An evening exploring the future of transport in the Wirksworth area and surrounds. Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 7.30pm at Wellspring Church Wood Street DE4 4DS. What would encourage you to use the bus more? Do people in Wirksworth want bus services? How do we support Community Transport? Speakers: Vicky Williams, Commercial Manager, Trent Barton Buses & Chris Hegarty, Senior Project Officer, Public Transport Unit, Derbyshire County Council.

Please make this event known and come along. Flier here: Better by Bus flier Topics include what type of bus Trent could be running in future and whether Derbyshire Connect is a better way of serving the villages and linking with Wirksworth and much more.

See the recent Report on the Derbyshire Bus Partnership here   We seem to be more fortunate than most. See February press article  ‘Britain’s bus coverage hits 28-year low’

Other News

  • The Government has issued a consultation document on proposed legislation for a national planning framework that states a presumption for sustainable development but which is very loose. See here and the full policy.
  • See the Transition Network site for latest national and internal news and views.

Dates for Diaries

7th April: Give or Take.10 – 12 at Wellspring Church. See Flier.

22nd April: Earth Day. Transition will be manning a stall at Mount Cook, where many activities are taking place in conjunction with the Stone Centre and the Eco Centre. Our topic will be reducing plastic use. Will anybody who can help, either to prepare the display or to man the stall, please contact

9th May: Wirksworth: better by bus at 7.30pm Wellspring Church (See above under Transport)

12th May: Rotary charity plant sale. Transition Growers are growing lots of herbs and vegetable plants to complement Rotary’s flowering plants so come and buy, grow your own food and support local causes at the same time.

28th May: Carnival with Grassroots Wirksworth presence.

1st – 3rd June: Belper Goes Green is Transition Belper’s ECO Festival that aims to share simpler, low carbon and environmentally friendly ways of doing things in a relaxed and uplifting way that puts a smile on the face of Belper. They will have 2 solar-powered stages of, mostly, acoustic entertainment, a CAMRA Beer Festival with 40 real ales and ciders, hot and cold food including plenty of delicious veggie/vegan options, toys and activities to keep the little ones happy, crafts and community art projects to get stuck in to, a wellbeing area to relax and find peace, energy and low carbon travel advice, craft and recycling stalls galore, a whole range of community groups, charities and campaigns plus a whole lot more! Further info can be found here.

21st July: Visit to Whistlewood Common. More details and sign up in next newsletter.

  • End of Mar 18 Newsletter.
  • Next newsletter will be mid June 2018.
  • Click here for website Home Page.
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  • First Steering Group meeting 16th March
  • Action Group News
  • Matlock Food Assembly
  • Dates for Diaries

Change of Dates for your Diary from the last newsletter:

Friday 16th March 6pm to 7.30pm will be the first TW Steering Group Meeting at the Eco Centre, not an open meeting as previously advertised. The main business will be to clarify how the new group will work. See the next item to find out about the changes made at the Open Meeting on 19 January.

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