Saturday, 31 May 2008

Bag Free Tenbury

Malvern Hills District Council are supporting a campaign to make Tenbury Wells Bag Free. They will encourage traders to only issue 'long life' or biodegradable bags. Anyone seen with a carrier bag will be tarred and feathered. This initiative follows on from other campaigns being run in various towns nationwide, and across the world.

I am still undecided whether this idea really makes sense and is worth all the effort and possibly the expense and inconvenience.

On a world basis, discarded plastic bags are a menace. They pollute the country side, take ages to degrade, and are a danger to wildlife.

The reason I have this slightly uneasy feeling about this campaign is that I feel it is tokenism, an easy band waggon to join, and diverts the need to do anything really meaningful.

I have been a proponent of green living and recycling for many years, back beyond the launch of Agenda 21, but I still have this slightly uncomfortable feeling about a campaign that make pariahs out of anyone who dares to ask for a bag to take home their shopping.

The plastic carrier bag is after all, recyclable, so it is not the bag that is the problem, but what people do with them when they get them home. If you shop at Tesco and other main supermarkets you can return the bags for recycling, even the home delivery service will take back your bags. Why doesn't Malvern Hills District Council and others allow the bags to be included in the recyclable items they collect from your doorstep? (Update 2/6/08. MHDC will collect Carrier Bags and a much wider range of recyclable items from Summer 2009)

As households we generate far greater quantities of non-recyclable materials than carrier bags. The past few years has seen a massive increase in the sales of pro-biotic drinks and yoghurts. Most of these are sold in plastic containers that cannot be recycled and all go to landfill where they take for ever to rot down.

Why not encourage or enforce the manufacturers of these products to use recyclable containers?

I look forward to seeing how this campaign develops, but as yet I am not convinced, but in the meantime I will carry on using the only free gift I ever received from MHDC.

Click here to read "Is Recycling a Waste of Time?"

Friday, 30 May 2008

Tandem Riders Visit Tenbury Wells

Long distance Tandem cycle riders Jonathan & Clare from Skyreholme, North Yorkshire, who are cycling from Land's End to John o'Groats in aid of Macmillan Cancer Relief, stopped in Tenbury Wells this week for lunch.

"Soon we reached Bromyard, and as we paused for a drink at the side of the road we spotted a gentleman decorating the outside of his house. We asked him how far it was to Tenbury Wells. "Dunno", he replied in a strong local accent, "I don't think I've ever been there!" For the record, it's 11 miles!"

Read about their epic journey in their Blog.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Sensory Garden

It seems that there are still plans to develop a Sensory Garden at the Burgage despite the suggestion receiving no support at the A Better Welcome for Market Towns meeting.

The voting at the meeting was:

Improve Riverside Seating = 16 Votes
Install an Events Sign Frame = 13 Votes
Install Heritage Interpretation Boards at the Bridge and Church = 12 Votes
Install Markers for a town walk = 8 Votes
Install Signage at the entrance to the Burgage = 8 Votes
Install an Electricity supply for events on the Burgage = 5 Votes
Build a Sensory Garden = 0 Votes

Even if the Council ignore the voting at the meeting as not being representative of the town, the Consultants engaged to carry out the study of the Towns needs, also ranked this idea joint 7th out of a list of 11.

Lets hope that the grant available is not squandered on someones pet project that has little public support, and if it still goes ahead, once the capital grant is spent, lets hope someone has considered the cost of maintenance and it doesn't turn into yet another patch of weeds like the beds in the car park.

Little White Men come to Tenbury Wells

The misleading pedestrian sign posts in Tenbury Wells have now had the addition of little white men to help end the confusion of motorists and coach drivers being directed down alleyways and footpaths.

See original blog article.