The AGM of Rother Environment Group (REG) took place in the Benson room of the George Hotel on Tuesday, November 22. There was a surprisingly good attendance which, hopefully, means that this is an issue more individuals are interested in and are prepared to take seriously. REG is back on the map, proving that it has a place in Rother after a lull in its life cycle. Bexhill has its own environmental group and some of the members attended, as both organisations feel a closer liaison would be useful. They had met earlier this year to discuss the housing strategy across Rother.
The usual business (welcome, apologies, and approval of minutes) was dealt with fairly quickly, the proposed committee being voted back en bloc. Nigel Jennings remained as chair and Stephen Clift as Secretary, as well as offering to deal with the membership. I was proposed as treasurer. The former treasurer, Sandy Rogers, wanted to stay on the committee but resigned as treasurer.
Nigel briefly told the audience about last year’s events and what was planned for 2017. Among various suggestions for next year were a tour of Dungeness Power Station, a talk on the return to Romney Marsh of the short-haired bee and an event in the Community garden in Love Lane. The accounts, which are in credit, were presented and approved.
There was a discussion of how to join and we were told this is possible through Localgiving which allows unregistered charities and community groups to claim gift aid and matched funding on the membership fee of £10. However, there are people, like me, who don’t particularly want to use the computer to pay money. In fact, five individuals paid cash then and there, which is, of course, much easier for those less computer literate, though not so profitable for REG
The committee will meet in January to look at the membership payment options. They will also look at a response to the Rother Development and Site Allocations Local Plan, which apparently is being opened out to the public for comments, to be endorsed by Rother in the new year.
The business part of the meeting being completed, Andy Dinsdale showed slides of marine pollution and the state of local beaches. It is frightening what we are doing to marine life. Andy told the audience that many fish think that plastic is food, eat it and think they are full. The plastic remains in their stomach and they die eventually from malnutrition because they don’t look for real food. At the same time as writing this, BBC Newsnight mentioned that the problem with throw away plastic bags has halved since the pay-for-a-bag initiative. That’s good news.
Andy also stressed that it is important to recycle as much as possible, but to be aware when rinsing tins or bottles to ensure no water is left inside, as it creates problems with the processing later.
Mike Pepler reminded everyone that there is a Swap Shop at Tilling Green Community Centre on November 26 from 9.30am – 12noon. You can bring unwanted items and if you see something you like, you can take it with you without paying for it. Please bring any items by 11am.
There is much more information to be found at the REG website
To find out more about the beach cleans go to www.strandliner.wordpress.com
Photo: Kenneth Bird