StARLink was delighted to participate in the first Mid Scotland & Fife Rail Forum at which we were joined by representatives from the Levenmouth Rail Campaign and Newburgh Train Station Campaign, along with campaigners for the Alloa-Dunfermline freight line upgrade.
The morning included an excellent presentation by David Prescott of Allan Rail Solutions; David is a rail industry expert with extensive knowledge of the field and learning from him as to where the various Fife Rail projects sit within the Scottish context of rail infrastructure development was of immense practical value – and generally presented an encouraging scenario for each campaign.
We discussed the transport appraisal (STAG) process – its strengths and weaknesses, the issues with which groups have been faced when trying to initiate it or progress beyond it to implementation and whether there exists an opportunity to amend or replace the STAG via the upcoming National Transport Strategy review.
The third topic of our focus group was that of engagement with other stakeholders, i.e., how the campaigning groups have to date worked with key stakeholders (including Transport Scotland, Fife Council and Network Rail), how this work could be improved and how each might better communicate and work with these agencies.
The Forum concluded by discussing “next steps” – the actions each group might take forward and how we envisage the agenda of a subsequent Fife rail forum.
Following on from the formal agenda we discussed how the various Fife campaigns dovetail as part of an overall Fife rail infrastructure improvement agenda, the benefits each can bring to the other and the possibility of a strategic implementation project incorporating all Fife rail proposals.
StARLink is indebted to Mark Ruskell MSP – Scottish Greens and his constituency team for organising and facilitating this excellent workshop.
FCCAN is representing our member organisations on the Fife Environment Partnership, a policy level body whose focus is on climate change outcomes.
The Fife Environmental Partnership (FEP) has responsibility for delivery of the climate change mitigation and adaptation outcomes of the community plan, and also has the remit of setting “the strategic direction to protect and enhance Fife’s environment in a sustainable manner to pass onto future generations.”
Membership includes Fife Council, NHS Fife, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Fife College, University of St. Andrews, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, Fife Voluntary Action, and FCCAN
Crispin Hayes (Sustainable Cupar) has agreed to follow on from Suzy Goodsir (Greener Kirkcaldy) as representative of FCCAN.
What Fife Environment Partnership about?
Brings together public sector and third sector organisations to work at a strategy level on climate change in Fife. It is measures its progress against 6 key outcomes:
- CC1 – More efficient use of resources (energy, waste and water)
- CC2 – More energy is from low carbon supplies.
- CC3 – Encourage more sustainable transport and travel including reducing the need to travel.
- CC4 – Ecosystems are used sustainably and strengthened
- CC5 – Places are adapting to cope with Climate Change (including land use, coastlines, buildings and infrastructure)
- CC6 – People are adapting to cope with Climate Change.
FEP’s main strategy document is the “Climate Change Strategy 2014 – 2020”. It identifies key areas that we need to address to meet the challenges and take advantage of opportunities associated with climate change, and sets out six outcomes that we will work towards over the next six years.
Our next network meeting – 23rd November, St Bryce Kirk, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1ET,
The theme is active travel/sustainable transport in Fife: how are network members engaged in these areas around behaviour change, infrastructure, investment, developing joint projects? How can we link the range of activity to feed into the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan for Fife that is underway?
Lunch will be available between 1-2pm allowing networking and registration time. The Meeting will start at 2pm, finishing at 4.30pm.
It would be great if you could come to our next network meeting
At our networking event on the 31/5/16 we heard about the Fife wide Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan being prepared by the Fife Environment Partnership. Find out more. Our network will be participating in the plan consultation process and this event will help us develop some strategic opportunities and messages. At the last networking meeting on 22/8/16, we agreed to hold an event that focused on what the network is doing around travel and transport.
So this next meeting is a chance for the network to collate ideas, activities, aspirations and see how we can present a collective community voice.
The meeting will be informal. The network is trying to look ahead and see what could be achieved in Fife (eg a vision, possible projects) and how to play an effective part in the Action plan. What might be possible in Fife both strategically and practically from infrastructure development to behaviour change.
There will be a few speakers including Fife Council, Sestrans and some of our members followed by table discussions and reporting.
Please share with your networks/contacts and via social media. It would be great to see a strong community presence at this event.
The first Fife Environment Partnership Conference and Fair on the 20th September brings together community groups, social enterprises, business, public bodies, Councillors, Fife Council staff and FEP members who will be showcasing their Carbon Reduction projects. The Partnership is looking to encourage partnership projects, share information and enable funding to reduce carbon emissions.
This free all day event is at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline. Any community group involved in projects to reduce carbon can have a stall at the fair, to promote and showcase their project, and attend the conference.
There are only 200 invites so to ensure yours please contact Carolynm.firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07813112780 or click on the link below .
Stalls – There are spaces for Fife Communities Climate Action Network members to have a stall, but you will need to reserve these via Carolyn Bell (see above). There will be a Fife Communities CAN stand there too, so if you cannot make it, please contact Ali Macleod (network member) on email@example.com if you wish us to display any info or leaflets etc on our table.
Reasons FEP Fair may be useful for community groups
Excellent opportunity to find out how communities can raise funds to buy community assets ( land, buildings and energy systems )
- what finance models other communities have used
- options for shared ownership models
- information on community shares where finance benefits are kept within community.
- What grants and loans are available
Excellent opportunity to talk to funding companies
Excellent opportunity to find out what other communities across Fife are doing.
Excellent networking opportunity to meet council departments and staff who are planning the following types of projects for next 10 years.
- Sustainable transport projects re walking, cycling, electric vehicle points and hydrogen refuelling travel hubs
- Renewable energyand district heating sites
- Potential areas for biomass fuels and solar farms
- Energy master plans for communities across Fife
- Projects planned to reduce fuel and food poverty
- Sustainable Social housing projects
- Potential future funding for developments across Fife
- To find out about the future energy and carbon reduction strategies and vision for Fife
Excellent opportunity to talk with technology companies who can deliver low carbon heat. They will be giving presentations with case studies on heat from:
- sea water,
- waste ,
- waste water
- and heat storage.
Fun opportunities to have
- a low carbon lunch prepared by a master chef professional winner with ingredients from within 50 miles radius,
- be entertained by a low carbon fashion show,
- be a top gear eco driver
- See world’s first hydrogen waste trucks and green racing car built by young people in Fife
Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative has kindly agreed to host the next networking event of the Fife Communities Climate Action Network. This is an opportunity for us to discuss how young people can engage in tackling climate change. We will meet on site so that we can see and learn about the range of activities that the initiative is undertaking focused on young people.
Afterwards, we will discuss other issues, including opportunities for the network to input into the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan for Fife that is about to be prepared by the Fife Environment Partnership. They have asked our network to contribute. Given this action plan will focus work in Fife on climate change for the next few decades, we need to discuss how the network will develop over the next few years – what kind of impact and outcomes are we looking to achieve to ensure community action is realised, integrated and supported.
This is also a good time to discuss the development by network members of joint working and projects.
There will be refreshments and a light buffet. The outline agenda for the event is:
5-6pm – Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative
6-6.45pm – Light buffet and networking
6.45-8pm – Discussions as mentioned above.
To register, please sign up here
The recent networking event was a full house with 29 people attending. Here are the presentations:
‘Introduction to Fife Communities Climate Action Network’ – Crispin Hayes, Fife Communities CAN Steering Group Member outlined the aims, members and activities of the network.
‘Introduction to the Fife Environmental Partnership’ – Carolyn Bell, Technical Officer, Resource Efficient Solutions, Climate change and Zero waste. Carolyn introduced the Fife Environmental Partnership, its members, and their timetable for developing the Sustainable Energy Climate Action Plan for Fife, commenting on how it fits into the current Climate Change Strategy, and indicating the opportunities for communities to engage along the process.
‘Local authorities and community groups: getting the best for your project through supportive partnership’ a report for Scottish Communities Climate Action Network. Elizabeth Leighton, Co-author of and also Chair of Scotland’s Climate Challenge Fund Grants panel outlined key findings from this report on how community groups could work better with local authorities to tackle climate change.
‘Community Engagement Adaptation Learning Exchange and other initiatives helping communities to become resilient to climate change’ Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director of Sniffer described the work of the Adaptation Scotland programme to support communities (eg Climate Ready Communities) to help ensure that Scotland is prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of climate change.
The next networking event of the Fife Communities Climate Change Network is on the 31st May at Rothes Hall, Glenrothes 10 am – 2pm.
Book your place here:
Please come along to share ideas and information and learn about the work of others that will help communities to engage in climate change. Following a series of speakers, there will be time to discuss community based actions, finishing with a networking lunch.
‘Introduction to the Fife Environmental Partnership’ – Carolyn Bell, Technical Officer, Resource Efficient Solutions, Climate change and Zero waste.
Carolyn will introduce the Fife Environmental Partnership, its members, and their timetable for developing the Sustainable Energy Climate Action Plan for Fife, commenting on how it fits into the current Climate Change Strategy, and indicating the opportunities for communities to engage along the process.
‘Local authorities and community groups: getting the best for your project through supportive partnership’ a report for Scottish Communities Climate Action Network. Elizabeth Leighton, Co-author of and also Chair of Scotland’s Climate Challenge Fund Grants panel. This report explores how community groups could work better with local authorities to tackle climate change.
‘Community Engagement Adaptation Learning Exchange and other initiatives helping communities to become resilient to climate change’ Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director of Sniffer (managing Adaptation Scotland). Adaptation Scotland provides advice and support to communities via its Climate Ready Communities work to help ensure that Scotland is prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of climate change.
We hope you can make the event. Please tell others.