Wednesday, June 29

HBC 'Serving You' says support local independent shops

The latest Havant Borough Council Serving You magazine has a small article about supporting our local independent shops.

My views about this have been clearly voiced previously. But why is the council only now realising that these shops need support when things are going badly in town centres?

For years councillors have approved and even actively encouraged the building of out of town retail parks, supermarkets and other huge retail units, knowing that these units undermine small retailers.
So what is going on here?

Either there is a conflict between Havant Borough Councillors in that some champion small retailers whilst others don't care, or all councillors have no long term idea of what is needed.

Can it all be blamed on central government??
Hardly, when some councillors are keen to get supermarkets set up and to 'create' jobs. Many councillors are keen to see Sainsburys build a store in Waterlooville, which conflicts with the idea of supporting small independent shops.

HBC say that Quicks in Stakes Hill Road is a good example of a small independent local shop.
Well for a start, it is hardly small and it is only local in that the headquarters are in Waterlooville!
There are 3 other Quicks shops nationally. The needs of the archery community nationally is served by a small number of such businesses. The majority of people in Waterlooville will never use Quicks and most people that do visit the shop will be travelling by car from many miles away.

What help is HBC giving small local independent retailers??
Massively reduced council tax rates maybe??

Well if that were the case, why didn't they reduce the rates for some small Waterlooville retail start ups a few years ago, when things were booming? They might be still here now.

Saturday, June 25

Checked out the Portsmouth Summer Fair and Picnic

Yep, needed to go into Portsmouth today so decided to have a look around the Summer Fair in Victoria Park. Although often the regular stalls appear at these events, you do get the occasional gems that are new to the scene.

I found two today...

Newlife Paints
This company is based in Sussex and takes unused paint from various sources and creates new paint products from it. The new paint is tested to make sure it is as good or better than the original. The range includes emulsion, masonry paint and other types and is packaged in paint cans as one would expect. It's great that someone is doing this and they are a relatively new company.

Sempatap Thermal solid wall insulation
The other product was an insulation material for old houses that have solid walls. Cavity wall insulation can not be used on such properties. The product comes in rolls and is glued to the internal walls of the house, it also improves sound insulation. The rolls do seem expensive, but I guess you would save on energy costs and reduce mould problems.

Thursday, June 16

Hover and Cycle

Hovertravel have a new scheme now that lets you book a hovercraft trip across to the Isle of Wight, which includes the hire of electric bikes to get around the island. Charging points are available at various pubs and cafes.

Hovertravel Hover Cycle

Wednesday, June 15

Portsmouth Summer Fair and Picnic

The fifth Portsmouth Summer (green) Fair takes place on the 25th June this year, with an added extra of a picnic. Last year they had a pedal powered hovercraft, not sure if that will be at this years, however as usual there will be food, crafts, solar powered stuff and music. A full list is available at the PCAN web page.

Monday, June 13

Wild garden

A part of the garden, that looks wild. Actually it is 'planned' and includes fruit (small apple trees), veg and flowers. The bees and other insects love it.  There are stepping stones amongst all that vegetation.
Compare this with the sterile blocks and concrete that many people call gardens these days and we wonder why we have unhealthy children and declining populations of insects and birds.

Sunday, June 12

Rain! lovely rain

Thank goodness that we have had a day of rain after some two months of dry weather. But is this the end? Very unlikely, the last two months should have been wet and now we are heading for the dry season, so things are somewhat screwed.

What about the future?
New research from Stanford University predicts a serious increase in the frequency of higher temperatures over the next few decades as the climate warms. This flies in the face of the lunatic deniers of anthropogenic global warming. Here Noah Diffenbaugh explains what they found if Carbon Dioxide emissions are not cut:

Saturday, June 11

Keep fortnightly bin collection

In Havant Borough the council have added to and improved the waste and recycling collection services over many years. There is a long way to go because we need to reduce waste and increase recycling.

Earlier today it was suggested on various news sources that the arch enemy of any progress in environmental sustainability, Eric Pickles, had made a U turn on the issue. However the government have been quick to deny that a U turn is being made, this is bad news, we can't have a weekly waste collection, such a move increases the capacity to increase waste and the only place for that stream is either incineration (increasing carbon emissions and particulates) or increased landfill, neither are acceptable.

There are plenty of opportunities to cut waste, especially food waste, which is a major problem in itself. If you waste a lot of food, maybe you deserve the bad smells of rotting meat and veg!
Either cut waste, or put up with the smell. It's your choice, but don't screw the environment up for the majority.

If you need ideas to cut waste, Superscrimpers is a good start:

Tuesday, June 7

Waterlooville cosmetics company installs massive solar array

Hampshire Cosmetics, a local Waterlooville company producing cosmetics for various brands, is installing a huge solar PV panel array that will supply 20% of the companies energy needs. The project has been reported in The News and on Hampshire Cosmetics web site. The company report that it is the largest 'zero capital' solar energy project in the country, which basically means it is the biggest leasing project involving solar panels. The company itself will not be investing money, instead it will I assume be purchasing the electricity from the companies that are providing the panels and capital. The array is rated at 277 kilo Watts.

Hampshire Cosmetics

Friday, June 3

Isentropic set up shop in Fareham?

Whilst scanning Monster for jobs in the local area I came across a very interesting job with a company developing a unique energy storage technology. Isentropic have their main office in Cambridge, but the advert is for a vacancy in Fareham.

I did a double take when I saw the name and the location. You can bet that the mainstream media will miss this story completely or ignore it.

To quote the company:
Isentropic is a small company developing a solution to large-scale energy storage and has developed the answer with a ground breaking reciprocating heat engine /​ heat pump of unprecedented efficiency and low cost.​  Isentropic is working in an exclusive, new and exciting market sector that will lead to enormous career potential.​
With the potential to store large amounts of energy cheaply from renewable energy sources, the company has a lot of potential. It's good to have them in Hampshire.

For more information about the technology, visit the Isentropic web site.