What is…a circular economy?
Simply put, ‘the circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible.’
'Dare to Repair'
A recent series on Radio 4, Dare to Repair, highlighted our insatiable appetite for cheap, single-use, disposable electronic ‘gadgets, gizmos and appliances’. The series looks at our journey to this increasingly shameful state.
What is…flatpack democracy?
To most people, ‘democracy’ means voting for a candidate from their chosen political party every now and then. However, the UK electoral system is finding itself in an increasingly challenging situation and nowhere is this more apparent than at local level.
What is... (Natural) Carbon Capture?
So what’s natural carbon capture then? Natural carbon capture is a process that has been occurring for much of the Earth’s history! Natural sources of carbon dioxide (including the respiration of animals, plants, volcanic eruptions etc) were naturally kept in balance by carbon sinks – ecological systems which collect and store CO2 – mainly plants, soil, and oceans.
Meanwhile Use Leases (MULs) for pop-up businesses
Vacant shops present a problem to landlords for a variety of reasons not least due to the significant business rates they face paying on empty units and ongoing costs of insurance, maintenance and security. Meanwhile Use Leases (MULs) are a Government-backed means of filling vacant shops on a temporary basis developed in light of the recent economic downturn.
Community-led Housing Podcast
CAST was delighted to welcome Susan Tron from Community Homes on the Map to speak to us and take your questions. Community-led housing enables local people to come together, purchase, and refurbish homes as a community trust, then rent them on a non-profit basis.
What is... Divestment?
In July 2018, Ireland became the first country to announce that it would be divesting all money, €318 million of its investment portfolio, from fossil fuels. In the wake of this declaration, which received global attention, many organisations, companies and universities followed suit – the latest being New York City, which has recently divested its $4 billion pension fund away from fossil fuels and towards economic sectors more conducive to a healthy planet.
Communities can play an active role in solving local housing problems. Community-led housing (ClH) schemes (when residents organise to look at housing issues in their local area) explore the needs of their community, covering issues such as a lack of starter homes for people to buy, too many empty properties, or not enough affordable homes to rent.
What is... a freeport?
On 3rd March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the location of eight new ‘freeports’ - special economic zones with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business to boost the UK economy. But what exactly are they and what benefits do they offer? We’ve pulled together a quick overview for you to get you up to speed.
Affordable Food Schemes
Food surplus redistribution charity, The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) is currently working with Durham County Council as part of their planned expansion across the North East. For just £7.50, TBBT fills members’ shopping bags with a minimum of £35 worth of goods made up of quality fresh food and store cupboard staples from supermarkets.
Alison Benjamin Podcast
Urban bee expert, Guardian columnist, and author Alison Benjamin kicked off our 2021 AGM with ‘The Buzz about Bees'Alison explained the importance of bees and how we can do our bit to help them.
A potted history of sewage pollution in the North East
Asiatic cholera arrived first in Sunderland in 1831-2, the first such epidemic in Britain, bringing notoriety to the town. The outbreak killed 215 people locally, triggering a national calamity as it spread during 1832. Does this sound familiar?
A Universal Basic Income or citizen’s income is a system in which everyone in society, poor to rich, gets a regular payment, replacing means-testing of welfare and benefits.UBI Lab Network presenting their case to us for a Universal Basic Income
What is... A Flood Plain?
Each month, our section, 'What is...?' will take an unbiased look at terms often used but never really explained. This month, the 'big four' talking points...
Plastic Free – Why and How?
A walk through the supermarket aisles can sometimes feel like going plastic-free is just a distant fantasy, while recent images of COVID-19 related face masks and gloves washed up on beaches remind us of damage caused by single-use plastics.
Community Wealth Building
Each month, our section, 'What is...?' will take an unbiased look at terms often used but never really explained. This month, Communtiy Wealth Building.
A People’s Manifesto for South Tyneside
Citizens Assembly South Tyneside (CAST) is putting forward this draft People’s Manifesto, which is the result of several Zoom consultations and an online survey held in the summer of 2020, for discussion and amendment by the community as a whole.
Cybercrime and Online Fraud
The term ‘cybercrime’ refers to crime carried out online and usually involves stealing your confidential information. This can be done through your computer/laptop, tablet, smart TV, games console and/or smartphone – basically, anything connected to the internet.
Galsworthy Road & Tile Sheds Ln - £15 million apart
A petition set up by residents is calling for South Tyneside Council to install a safer pedestrian crossing on Galsworthy Road, South Shields. It comes after decades of repeated serious and fatal accidents; but why is it taking a petition to push for change?
Transparency and Accountability in our local NHS
Openness and transparency can help build trust but only if you are genuinely open to hearing what others have to say.In 2017, Phase 1 of ‘The Path to Excellence’ programme began its public consultation phase ‘to gather public views around the different ways NHS services could be arranged in South Tyneside and Sunderland’.
Council Breaks Silence Over Tilesheds Crossing Plans
South Tyneside Council for the first time have released thier intended plans to the public. Two options are on the table, full level crossing barriers that will replace the current 'half' barriers, or construct a £15 million bridge over the Network Rail owned line between Newcastle and Sunderland at Tilesheds and Boldon Lane level crossings.
New group will campaign for special needs children
Parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in South Tyneside have formed a new group called Arise South Tyneside to campaign on behalf of families in the area.
Tree action group makes its voice heard
South Tyneside Tree Action Group (STTAG) was formed in May 2018 by South Tyneside residents who feel extremely concerned with the mature tree felling happening across the area. Our aim is to save as many healthy, mature trees as possible.
72nd anniversary of the NHS
People speaking in their own name on this anniversary on our NHS and healthcare system with a physically distanced celebration along the lines of what the NHS means to you to keep the heartbeat going.
So, should you send your child back to school?
The government wants primary schools to start reopening from June 1 even though it is far from certain that the coronavirus pandemic is under control. You have to ask, why all the rush?
Allyson Pollock Podcast
As Director of the Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science, Prof. Pollock has spoken out about the corporate direction in which NHS Trust Boards are being driven, with mergers going hand-in-hand with reducing services and the establishment of private companies.
Citizens Assembly Casts Off
The Citizens Assembly of South Tyneside, or CAST for short, aims to “provide an independent, inclusive and democratic voice for the diverse community”.
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