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Low Carbon Oxford North news - April 2020
Welcome to our latest newsletter. 

We are all facing a period of upheaval and uncertainty, and worry and distress for many. At the same time it has been heartening to witness the support and cooperation emerging through our community, to help each other and in particular our more vulnerable neighbours. We are also seeing lots of information about online activities and events to help us stay connected and engaged.

We are sending this newsletter out early to share information and resources which we hope may help at this time. 
(Please note: if the links in the table of contents are not working in your email, click 'view this email in your browser' above.)
In this edition we cover:

LCON events and other news
 

LCON events and other news

 

Tree mulching cancelled

First, in line with Government guidance our planned tree mulching morning has been cancelled. Oxford Direct Services will continue to ensure maintenance of planted trees and develop plans for more tree planting next autumn and winter.

Meanwhile, as spring arrives, our trustee Brenda reports that the 100s of trees we have planted seem to be thriving. The first saplings went in about November 2012, so some of them are getting well established and tall. A few are in flower. And the occasional primrose can be spotted with their lovely pale yellow flowers – we planted bluebells as well in the first areas. It is heart-warming to see nature taking over from our initial inputs and to know we have helped to create an embryonic forest.

 

Climate Cafe

We experimented with an online version of the Climate Café this Sunday, and it worked surprisingly well. There are many connections between this pandemic and the climate crisis, and we think a regular opportunity to connect with others and share responses may be particularly important right now. So Climate Café will be weekly from now on, for as long as needed. They will take place on Sundays at 16.30. Please register on Meetup to receive the instructions on how to join using online videoconferencing platform Zoom.
 

Moving other LCON events online

LCON will be reviewing its planned activities for the year and we hope to be able to offer speaker events online through a platform like Zoom. We will announce more details after Easter. 
 

Communities for zero carbon

On 7 March low carbon community and campaigning groups got together to hear about experiences from the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change and Oxford City plans for a Zero Carbon Oxford, and to discuss how we can collaborate to ramp up action across Oxford. Discussions highlighted the importance of working together to influence decision-making and policy – for example city plans for Zero Carbon Oxford - as well as the need for balance between collaborative initiatives and local community projects.  
 
Along with other activities we will be working with other groups to develop plans in light of the Coronavirus situation. A follow-up (online) meeting for representatives of community and campaigning groups is scheduled for 21 April; more news soon. 

 

CoHSAT update

A year ago, the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel received a £5000 grant from the Low Carbon Hub to undertake five transport-related activities. The summaries of these can now be found here. We are delighted that all of them have linked in with and informed the City and County Council’s policies on traffic control in Oxford.
 
We have now applied for and received a second grant from the Low Carbon Hub to look at another five transport-related activities. We are really looking forward to grappling with these issues:
  • Making St Giles more of a public space for pedestrians;
  • Looking at the opportunities to provide secure, covered cycle parking on the road in ‘hangars’;
  • Investigating where pavements in Oxford are too narrow for the number of pedestrians;
  • Helping groups in the other county towns develop CoHSAT-type groups;
  • Researching the potential for a ‘State of travel in Oxfordshire’ annual report.
Meanwhile the County Council is in the process of devising the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan 5, for the whole of Oxfordshire up until 2050. They have issued a survey ('engagement activity') "to offer a platform for opinion and interest" before a full consultation later this year, deadline for completion 17 April. COHSAT have produced a list of the survey questions for ease of reference, available here. This will help you identify which topics are of interest and make it easier to go straight to the relevant section in the survey. We do encourage you to participate and help shape the future of travel in our county.
 

Low Carbon Hub Community Energy Fund and Lord Mayor's Climate Change Fund

The Low Carbon Hub launched their 2020 Community Energy Fund share offer on 10 March, an opportunity to invest in local energy solutions to the climate emergency. It closes on 10 June 2020. You can also support the Community Energy Fund through donating to the Lord Mayor's Climate Change Fund
 

Covid-19 and our community

 

Support

Local businesses, neighbours and students are mobilizing to offer support to each other and in particular older and vulnerable people. Oxford Together has been set up by the Oxford Hub to coordinate support. If you are able to offer help with things like buying groceries, running errands, etc, you can register with Oxford Together here

To provide support to those in need, Oxford City Council and Oxford Hub are working together to create new Locality Response Centres in Oxford. You can check the latest information here. And Oxfordshire County Council has put together relevant information about local services here

If you need help, here are some organisations, groups and websites offering support:

OxfordAgainstCorona is group of student volunteers offering help to those in self-isolation including:
  • Picking up groceries
  • A friendly phone call
  • Posting mail
  • Dog walking
  • Urgent supplies
  • Running errands
They can be reached on 07747 106667 (text or Whatsapp) or visit studentsagainstcorona.co.uk and fill out the form. 

Another organization, Oxford Mutual Aid, is also offering support, asking people to get in touch if they need anything. Email: oxfordmutualaid@protonmail.com . Facebook: search “Oxford Mutual Aid”. Twitter: @oxfordmutualaid. Leave a message and someone will contact you. Or call/ text 07310 160 595. To volunteer, visit facebook or twitter. 


Online forum nextdoor.co.uk has lots of helpful local information, for example streets setting up whatsapp groups and buddy schemes to support vulnerable neighbours and local shops offering home deliveries. It’s easy to register and you will receive updates and news in your email inbox. Go to https://nextdoor.co.uk.

Waitrose is now opening its doors for older and vulnerable customers only between 8-9am.

M&S are reserving the first hour of trade every Monday and Thursday as a special shopping hour for their more vulnerable and elderly customers and the first hour of trade on a Tuesday and Friday for NHS and emergency services workers.


Deliveries from the Covered Market: you can order from Bonners, Feller, the fishmonger and others and pay using contactless on delivery. More information here

East West Provisions on Banbury Road is offering a home delivery service on weekdays, subject to a minimum order of £10. Orders can be placed by email info@eastwestprovisions.co.uk (this is preferred) or by phone 01865 311288.

Kingston Fruiterers are selling fruit boxes for £18, veggie boxes for £15, and salad boxes for £10.50.  Cash only.  They intend to be open a few mornings each week, likely between 9:30 am - 11:30 am, with the boxes available on tables in their garage (located about halfway down Longworth Rd).  If you want to call to make sure they are selling boxes that day, the number is 01865 552812.


Here is a Google doc put together by local residents with links to information on supermarkets and pharmacies (opening hours, deliveries etc).

Finally, here is a list of independent shops offering home delivery.

 

Connecting online

As well as nextdoor.co.uk and the usual social media, there are numerous online meeting platforms that allow people to gather virtually. At LCON we are using Zoom, which allows you to meet for free for up to 40 minutes. It is available as an app or you can download it on your computer here. And the following link contains a comprehensive overview of different online platforms for remote working and connecting more generally.
 

Keeping busy and looking after ourselves

There are lots of resources out there to support us in looking after ourselves. The CAG network have recommended the suggestions at https://www.findingsteadyground.com/ as a good place to start. Some other suggestions include:
For those looking for online creative or cultural activities, or to learn something new, here are a few suggestions:  
  • Chatterpack: "A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources. Includes things like virtual museum tours, online language learning and more.
  • 64 million artists: is offering a "daily creative challenge". Sign up here
  • Gareth Malone has launched "The Great British Home Chorus", for those who like to sing. Sign up here
And there are lots of tips and resources to help us keep fit at home. One high profile example is the return of the “Green Goddess” to BBC, aimed in particular at older people who are having to self-isolate: “The Green Goddess’s exercise segments will feature on BBC Breakfast at around 6.55am and 8.55am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They will be streamed, either live or pre-recorded, from her home.” 

If you prefer to have a sheet to print out with some exercises to do at home, you might like these “Exercise Snacking Instructions”.

And if you're still looking for the right class for you, here’s a compilation of different types of exercise classes, all available free online.

A reading list - "Post-capitalist reading in a time of pandemic"

Some of us looking for a longer-term perspective on the current situation may find this blog interesting and helpful, "Post-capitalist reading in a time of pandemic". It is being updated regularly and links to articles such as:
  • Coronavirus is a historic trigger event — and it needs a movement to respond by Paul Engler. Even in times of social distancing, building a collective, social response to the pandemic is our only salvation.
  • Building Back Better Depends on Addressing the New Divides in our Economy by Katherine Trebeck. The spread of covid-19 shines a light on our economy — its inequalities, power structures and absurdities. The opportunity is to address some of the cleavages between parts of our society by building a wellbeing economy …
  • Green jobs are the answer to the coronavirus recession by Kate Aronoff. The climate case for making the government the employer of last resort.
  • We can waste another crisis, or we can transform the economy by Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen and Thea Riofrancos. It’s a perfect time to pour massive amounts of money into green public investment, both to shore up the economy and to put us on a path toward a low-carbon future.
  • The Covid-19 crisis is a chance to do capitalism differently. By Mariana Mazzucato. Government has the upper hand for the first time in a generation. It must seize the moment.
And on climate change, our trustee Sarah recommends Chris Goodall's latest book, "What we need to do now for a zero carbon society". Available online at Blackwells

Diary dates


We know many organisations have cancelled or postponed planned events, and many are reviewing what activities they are able to offer and whether, for example, it is possible to move events online. Meanwhile, we have listed below LCON’s Climate Cafes (weekly for the coming month) and the XR-hosted ‘Climate Conversations’ event, all of which are now taking place online via Zoom. We hope to have more information and dates for further LCON activities and plans after Easter. 

29 March: LCON’s Climate Café: 4.30 to 6pm. Online via Zoom. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page. 
5 April: LCON’s Climate Café: 4.30 to 6pm. Online via Zoom. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page.
12 April: LCON’s Climate Café: 4.30 to 6pm. Online via Zoom. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page.
18 April: Climate Conversations. Talking with friends, family and passers-by about the climate crisis. 2-4.30pm. Organised by XR Oxford. Find out more and register on eventbrite
19 April: LCON's Climate Cafe: 4.30 to 6pm. Online via Zoom. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page.
10 May: LCON's Climate Cafe: 3.30 to 5pm. Online via Zoom. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page. 
14 June: LCON's Climate Cafe: 3.30 to 5pm, Online via Zoom. Details and RSVP via our Meetup page.

 
Do you want to contribute or comment? Please get in touch, julia.patrick@lcon.org.uk .
 
Contacts
LCON website: www.lcon.org.uk
Email: info@lcon.org.uk
Twitter: @LowCON
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taketheco2outofox2

Keep well and safe.
Best wishes from
Alison, Brenda, Sarah, Rebecca, Tina
The LCON Board
Julia - Newsletter Editor
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