City-wide meeting minutes 6th June 2009

Transition Edinburgh meeting, Saturday June 6th 2009

Johanna Carrie, John Ireson, Joe Payne, Brian O’Hare (chair), Michele Hipwell
Various apologies received/absences anticipated


1.    Minutes of last meeting
2.    Bank account
3.    Funding
4.    Painting Edinburgh Green
5.    May 3rd TE event
6.    April 12th Science Festival event at The Royal Botanical Gardens
7.    Membership
8.    Local groups update
9.    Any other business
10.    Next meeting

1. Minutes of last meeting
These were accepted

2. Bank Account
This now exists, largely thanks to Hamish Ross. Current authorised signatories include Hamish, Johanna and John. (The previous minutes indicate that Eva Schonveld and Liam Young are also signatories.)

3. Funding
While previously, Lukas Lehmann had been planning to resubmit an application to the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), it was decided at the meeting on May 3rd that this action would not be taken.

4. Painting Edinburgh Green
The last CCF funding deadline was missed, but Gerri and John have been working on getting a bid for £6000 of fast-tracked before the next official deadline in October.
If funding is not secured, fundraising events and/or charging an entrance fee will need to be considered. It was also suggested that Neighbourhood Partnerships might be able to help.
ACTION: JI to look into the possibility of Neighbourhood Partnerships helping with funding this event.

Friday October 2nd: The Filmhouse is booked for screening of the Transition movie, if it is ready. (It is due for completion in October!)
Discussion ensued as to concerns raised about there being no people of ethnic minorities in the film. While the difficulty of the predominantly white, middle-class nature of Transition was noted, it was accepted that the film will still give an accurate picture of Transition as it exists currently.

The Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street, Leith has been booked (for £300) as venue for the whole of the weekend.
Saturday October 3rd: A festival, with stalls and publicity. Potential stallholders have been contacted and it is hoped there will be 3 stalls per area of interest, a total of 15.
Sunday, October 4th: A conference designed more for activists, incorporating workships, open space, etc.

Next meeting
The next meeting is on June 30th at Liam’s, between 7 and 9 p.m. This is the deadline for the approached organisations to get back expressing their interest and it is expected that a more detailed programme will be drawn up on this date.

5. May 3rd TE event
This event was eventually branded as a ‘momentum afternoon’ for reinvigorating existing Transition groups. It was attended by between 20 and 25 people, only 1 or 2 of whom were new faces.
The programme included:
Consensus decision making workshop
Screening of ‘The Story of Stuff’
World Café discussions (?)
Discussion of the (now-abandoned) CCF proposal

It was opined that the event had succeeded in its aim of reinvigorating, but that the town centre had been very busy that day because of a road race, which therefore provided further competition for engaging people’s interest.
JI suggested that it might be profitable for TE to attempt to tap in to this interest in health, sport and active pursuits.

6. April 12th Science Festival event at The Royal Botanical Gardens

This event was attended by a small audience of 15, but was highly interactive, with lots of questions following the presentations by Alister Hamilton and Eva Schonveld.
It was suggested that this broad format of speakers presenting a problem and then a solution might be useful as a standard for future events.
All present agreed that it would be good for more members of TE to learn to talk and present to people on relevant topics. A workshop on public speaking should therefore be considered for the Sunday of Painting Edinburgh Green.
JI said that the DVD from Transition Training has lots of useful resources and presentation ideas which could be shared round.
ACTION: JI to go through this DVD to assess its contents
ACTION: Someone to suggest workshop on public speaking at next Painting Edinburgh Green meeting

7. Membership
Joe TV was to collate names and addresses of TE members.
ACTION: JP to chase up this action
The TE communication and inclusion group should liaise with the secretary about setting up a membership database
ACTION: JP to follow up this action

It was clarified that the current committee comprises:
Chair: Eva Schonveld
Secretary: John Ireson
Treasurer: Hamish Ross
Membership secretary: Joseph Thayaril Varghese (TV)
Questions were raised as to who (if anyone) has a list of the 15 members of the TE management committee
ACTION: JP to enquire around about this
There was general agreement that we should look to instal a new chair in time for the next AGM in October, to relieve pressure on Eva.

8. Local groups update
Deep South (JC)
Numbers of people involved have dropped rather low.
5 people were present for an energy saving workshop with Sitar Ramsay from Changeworks. This has led a plan for a pilot  study of 50 or 60 people completing household energy surveys. It is hoped that the local library (who have offered a room for free) can be used to operate a drop-in session for people to complete the surveys, rather than going round knocking on doors at this stage, which would require identification.
They have been in contact with the police about door-knocking, and the accompanying issues of safety.
Their next meeting (on 23rd June) will concentrate on locally produced food and discussing constitutions

North Central (BOH)
They have produced a ‘Community Forest Garden Proposal’ in colour and it is soon to be presented to RBS who own the land on which they hope to initiate it. They have already presented to their Neighbourhood Partnerships and are seeking letters of support in advance of the RBS meeting.
BOH commented that the group has been so caught up with this project that it doesn’t really feel like a Transition group. About 20 people are on the email list, and attendance at meeting is usually around 5.
ACTION: BOH to circulate PDF of Proposal for others to comment.

South (MH)
A constitution has been adopted, with 5 office bearers and a co-ordinating group including members from each working group.
MH noted that the constitution-making process had been difficult, but a lot had been learnt. She suggested that TE and TSS might provide support for local group going through such processes.
A party is planned for June 22nd to give working groups a chance to feedback on their activities and progress.
The Switching on to Switching Off project had a training session on Community engagement from Jamie Auld-Smith (of SEAD) and is planning two community events as part of the prelude to its work in the two streets in Morningside and Southside. There is also energy saving and motivational interviewing training to come. 5 extra volunteers have now been recruited, mainly through Edinburgh University.
The Food, Gardening and Tree group is carrying out Guerrilla Gardening (which got them in the Edinburgh Evening News) mapping of  fruit trees and is looking at growing ‘herbal remedies’ in Greyfriars Kirkyard
An exciting opportunity has come up in Astlie Ainsley hospital in Grove, where the occupational therapist is looking for people to use and develop a plot of land.
TES now has an external website,, as well as NearBuyMe for its internal communication. Information leaflets have been produced.

University (JP)
TEU is recruiting three interns to work over the summer on finding ways for members of the university community to reduce their carbon footprint, in order to launch a ‘carbon crash’ programme in the new academic year.

9. AOB
•    JC said that Braidburn Park are cutting down cherry trees and that some of the timber is available to interested parties, to use for carving, wood-burning stoves, etc.
•    The Big Lunch ( is encouraging people nationwide to have lunch in their street with their neighbours on 19th July
•    The stunning new film ‘Home’, which premiered recently for World Environment Day, is still available to view in its (93-minute) entirety online at, for an unspecified length of time

10. Meeting arrangements
No room had been booked at City Chambers for this meeting. It was understood that Maggie Chapman is likely to have been very busy with the recent elections, but it was agreed that this should not happen again and, therefore, that it should be the Secretary’s responsibility to ensure that the Business Centre is booked in future. (An alternative contact at the Council is Eric Barry, Councillor for Fairmilehead.)
Thanks were offered to the City Chambers staff for letting us use an alternative room at very short notice.
It was agreed to continue the system of one meeting’s minute-taker to be responsible for the next meeting’s facilitation (even if by proxy). This involves drawing up a suggested agenda in advance and circulating it to the group for amendments/additions.

The next meeting was set for Sunday 5th July.