St.Briavels and Brockweir Zero Waste Village Initiative (ZWVI)
The aim of the St.Briavels and Brockweir Zero Waste Village Initiative is to work with all interested sections of the St.Briavels and Brockweir community to explore in empowering and creative ways how to reduce our waste, to inspire and support each other to take action to actually reduce our waste. In addition and through the act of attempting to reduce our waste to undertake research in order to understand the barriers to reducing waste and then to raise awareness and work with relevant and appropriate bodies to create change which overcomes these barriers.
It is fundamental to the initiative that:
- People and actions are not judged, but rather we aim to relentlessly support each other; to stay positive in the face of possible ‘overwhelm’ around the issue of waste;
- to share good ideas;
- to encourage each other at all times and
- to celebrate every bit of waste reduction that we achieve.
Once established the initiative aims to become partners with other communities and organisations with similar aims to mutually share learning and success. To work together to achieve the broader aim of unlocking the barriers at an infrastructure level (i.e. manufacturers, waste industry, policy makers) to reducing our waste as a wider community. This will include campaign work which aims to create change to facilitate the successful reduction of waste on a macro as well as micro level.
The Personal Story of – Where did it all start?
Several years ago I was asked by a friend of to give her a lift to a meeting in Newport, she does not like motorways and was nervous of the drive. I credit myself with being a reasonably good friend and so said yes. The meeting concerned was called ‘Be The Change’. This particular event was being run by some nuns at a convent in Newport. I have nothing against Nuns however I am robustly atheist and I thought that at best I was in for a boring day and at worst, having to endure being told what I ought to believe about life the universe and indeed the afterlife. I was very wrong, there was not one word said about God or the afterlife all day. What was said beautifully, sensitively, and unavoidably was that we as a species are using up the worlds resources at a rate way beyond any concept of sustainability and not only are we doing that but many many people continue to live in abject poverty, fear and a feeling of disconnection from each other. It was a day that I will never forget. Its’ headline message having unrelentingly put the stark facts before you is to ‘Be the Change you Want to See in the World’.
This initiative is the combination of a frustrated woman who suddenly woke up one day to the enormity of her own footprint on the planet, let alone the footprint of her offspring combined with the encouragement of a waste expert, campaigner and activist who has spent 30 years plus working for change to reduce our waste.
3 years ago, once awake to the enormity of it all and looking for an action that might as a first step be me ‘ Being the Change I Wanted to See in the World’, I decided to keep all my non recyclable plastic for a period of 6 months. I persuaded my loyal and loving friends to the do the same. We washed it all and stored it in my garage for a grand plan as yet un-evolved. At that time Andy the waste specialist, campaigner and activist had worked out that it is the householder who has the voice, who can make change happen if only they take back the power – who informed, supported and encouraged me to keep exploring my waste and keep on recruiting other’s in my community to do the same. Why was he so interested in my pile of plastic? ….. He had witnessed a meeting with all sorts of ‘big wigs’; supermarket big wigs, Friends of the Earth big wigs, Waste Co’ big wigs and a woman from the Chepstow WI, who had led an ‘unwrap’ campaign at the local Tesco’s. What he saw, was that the woman from the WI had the floor, all eyes on her! Hence his delight at my fledgling plans to keep my rubbish and encourage my friends to do the same. This was 2012 –
Meanwhile life intervened and I got 100% distracted by an all-consuming project which finally came to resolution in November 2015. I found that my mind kept returning to my piles of plastic, and each time I saw Andy he made encouraging noises, in the end he said and I quote ‘why don’t you start a Zero Waste Village Initiative’? – why indeed.
Well: Time, money, expertise, …… pathetic excuses really so
In the end it seemed like the right thing to do, one small manageable step at a time to see if we as a community can encourage and support each other and more others and more and more others into action that reduces our waste and by being in positive action gives us a voice and a platform from which to demand change on a macro scale as well us making change at our village micro scale.
So watch this space or….. all the better jump into this space with us!!
Organisational Aspects of the Constitution.
- Any property or funds raised will all and only be used for the project, this does allow for limited volunteer expenses to be paid from funds.
- No committee member will be paid or benefit financially from being a committee member (CM). If there is a conflict of interest the CM or CM’s with the conflict should leave the meeting for that particular discussion, or stay and not take part in the discussion or be part of a final decision.
- The Project does not intend to employ any people but rather intends that all tasks will be completed voluntarily by members of the committee and community including small scale day to day maintenance.
Any skilled tasks or large works will be commissioned from appropriate contractors and the contractors will be chosen by the CM’s via a range of quotes being obtained to give choice of price and service. These works will only be commissioned if and when appropriate and adequate funds have been raised for the specific purpose the task or works aims to achieve, which in turn will support the aims of this organisation.
- In the event of the Project being closed any property or funds raised will be given away to a similar project chosen by the Management Committee i.e a vote by the committee members within a formal meeting.
- Any part of this constitution can be amended as part of the AGM process. Any proposed changes will be made public at least 3 weeks prior to the AGM and will be voted on at the AGM.
- A representative of any partner organisations will be kept informed via email of all decisions made. Management Committee meetings will be open to these representatives to attend as non-voting interested parties. As partners join the initiative their interest will be listed below. For example
The Parish Council
The Parish Council in view of their democratic responsibilities need to be kept informed of all ZWVI news and concerns.
- An Annual General Meeting will be held each year in April. Public notice of the AGM its time and venue will be given via the local notice boards at least 3 weeks prior and no more than 5 weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
- The Management Committee can call a special meeting over and above regular scheduled meetings if need arises. This will be done with the agreement of the chair; treasurer and secretary of the Management Committee and notice will be given to all CM’s of at least 7 days.
- Management Committee meetings and AGMs must be quorate. The definition of quorate will be that there needs to be at least 3 of the CM’s to be present at Management Committee meetings and for the AGM there will need to be at least 4 of CM’s present for the meeting to proceed.
- If the chair of the Management Committee is unable to attend a meeting those present will agree at the beginning of the meeting who will be acting chair.
- Any decision to send representatives from the Management Committee to other groups will by default mean that they are representing the St.Briavels and Brockweir Zero Waste Village Initiative and not any other group they may be members of and the views to be expressed will be those of the Management Committee at the time.
- The officers are elected from committee members who are made up of residents of the local community of Brockweir, Hewelsfield or St Briavels.
- The officer posts are Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.
- Officers can serve for 3 years with annual re election or election. If numbers of committee members allow, it is advisable that officers stand for no more than 3 years, however if numbers are short the constitution allows for re-election of current officers as long as due process is followed.
- Officers have the following powers: fundraising, managing bank accounts and financial decisions, choosing and managing contractors, recruiting and supporting volunteers, current and relevant decision making, carrying out consultation, liaison and communication with relevant other parties. Two committee members will be signatures on the bank account, and both signatures will be necessary for all payments made.
- Committee Members will become disqualified from the Management Committee if they resign, non attendance of more than 50% of meetings in a year, any acts of gross misconduct such as any illegal activity pertaining to the activity of the project.
- The Management Committee can set up sub groups to carry out specific tasks, these tasks will be clearly defined and documented by the whole Management Committee and once defined the sub committee will have delegated powers to complete the set task, unless it is specifically requested that a draft be submitted to the full committee before an action is carried out.
- Minutes must be kept of all meetings. They need to include a record of who attended the meeting, apologies sent, and who was absent. What decision were made and the main points of debate Where a decision is reached via a vote a record of for, against and abstentions will be made.
- Accounts must be kept. The Treasurer to give a financial report at each meeting. Accounts need to be agreed by at least 2 committee officers (or an auditor where funds reach the required level) before each AGM. The body who does this is agreed/accepted by those at the AGM
- Property and equipment will be adequately insured and where appropriate public liability insurance will be in place. Along with relevant Health and Safety requirements being met.