LCON – The story so far

LCON was formed in 2011 and became a charity and a company limited by guarantee that year.  It was led by the founder chair, Sam Clarke. The timeline below describes our key milestones.

In 2011 we ran a major outreach project funded by a government Local Energy Action Fund grant, when we identified street champions, had stalls in Summertown, held a big open meeting and knocked on doors across our area to build engagement. We also launched ONCORE (Oxford North Community Renewables) which went on to instal solar power systems on two local schools, funded by the local community.

LCON holds Annual General Meetings – records of these are here.

Oncore board members explain how the investment scheme works

Oncore launch in 2012

2010First board meeting took place in February
Became a Community Action Group
First of monthly e-newsletters
Election hustings with other Oxford environmental groups
2011LEAF funded Community Outreach with street champions and meeting
Became a company
Registered as a charity
Open homes – to share retrofitting energy efficiency experiences
Oxford North Community Renewables (ONCORE) launched; over £150,000 raised from the local community; solar panels installed at the Cherwell School
400 trees planted in Cutteslowe Park
Award for best community project
2012First of five Carbon Conversations courses
First of four Low Carbon Living courses
Loan library created
Joint venture with Energy Saving Coop on home energy efficiency
2013Recruitment of paid coordinator, Lucy Dickinson
Launch of e-car club car in Diamond Place
600 trees planted in Cutteslowe Park
2014Thermal imaging programme launched
First print newsletter to all households in our area
Oxon EEK launched – a website giving advice on energy efficiency
Two meetings with architects and builders
ONCORE: Solar panels installed at Cherwell and St Barnabas schools
2015Food directory – first edition
Energy clinics trialled
Election hustings with other Oxford environmental groups
Summertown St Margarets Neighbourhood plan environment group
2016Food directory – second edition
Food campaign launched in partnership with Good Food Oxford
Food campaign, research, social media and website launch
2017Food campaign – Midsummer Supper at the Vaults
Sam Clarke steps down as chair after 7 years
ONCORE assets transferred to Low Carbon Hub
ONCORE2 set up as a subcommittee of LCON
LCON new strategy published
2018ONCORE2 starts work on air pollution in Oxford with other groups
Public events include former London Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan
Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel set up
LCON runs Big Clean Switch Oxford (green energy switching campaign)
LCON runs campaign on cutting single use plastic waste.
Cooperation with FairPlay Network to highlight Climate Justice issues
Climate Cafes launched
300 trees planted by 30 volunteers in Cutteslowe
2019700 trees planted in Cutteslowe Park and Sunnymead involving over 150 volunteers
Cosy Homes Oxfordshire retrofit pilot launched by Low Carbon Hub; Charlie Luxton and Russell Smith (RetrofitWorks) speak about Sustainable Homes at LCON AGM
As part of CoHSAT, LCON hosts workshop to engage with City and County councils on Connecting Oxford proposals; campaigns to raise awareness of air pollution and transport issues; arranged a visit for local stakeholders to Waltham Forest to see their
Mini-Holland developments; and runs Low Carbon Hub-funded projects to reduce private car traffic in Oxford
Consultation responses on: “Connecting Oxford”, the city and county councils’ proposal to reduce congestion in Oxford; Walton Street Closure (preliminary consultation); the
Oxfordshire 2050 Plan; plans for the Zero Emission Zones and the Botley Road improvement scheme.
ONCORE2 works with OxAir to test air pollution monitors; project handed over to OxAir.
Monthly Climate Cafes
Climate Conversations workshops launched
Participation in North Oxford Climate Change Eco Fair
2020LCON launches new Strategy
Communities for Zero Carbon event promotes increased collaboration and networking of Oxford environment groups on campaigning and events
Online speaker events on Sustainable Fashion, Divestment, Flying
Climate Cafes continue (online during Covid)
Online Climate Conversations workshops
Online Oxford 2040 event and panel discussion based on David Gameau’s film ‘2040’
Tree planting: LCON promotes a range of information on tree planting through social media channels; and helps local Cutteslowe Primary School secure 100 tree seeds for planting.
LCON publishes summary leaflet and information on Green Homes Grant
LCON submits responses to consultations on Walton Street closure, North Oxford University College development, and Connecting Oxford
LCON is part of Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (COHSAT) which delivers several projects:
Popup shop in the centre of Oxford to feature projects that improve active travel in Oxford eg car-free Broad Street
Research and guide on bike hangars
Assisting the development of active travel plans in six Oxfordshire market towns
Walkability index, to help identify additional amenities needed to encourage people to walk and cycle
LCON launches short film to mark 10 year anniversary
2021LCON partners with other community groups as part of Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford, to run series of online Spring Workshops covering tree planting, food and climate, waste and climate, and home energy
LCON continues to run monthly online climate cafes
Together with Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford, LCON runs local election survey of Oxford candidates covering a range of environmental issues
LCON carries out survey of local residents to assess the adequacy of local bus services in our area, to inform county council plans for additional bus services
LCON runs campaign to promote sustainable fashion, including support for a fashion photo shoot at the Natural History Museum with three north Oxford schools using second hand clothes from Oxfam
LCON responds to consultation on Jericho and Walton Manor Area Pilot scheme
LCON is part of Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (COHSAT) which delivers several projects:
Local election survey of Oxfordshire candidates on transport issues
15 Minute Neighbourhood survey
15 Minute Neighbourhood policy paper
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods introduction and guide
Research in support of School Streets
2022LCON continues climate cafes, now face to face again
LCON runs online sustainable fashion awareness campaign; and Oxfam’s Summertown store displays posters from 2021’s school second hand fashion shoot.
LCON launches Housewarming project, to help home owners cut down energy use and become ‘heat-pump ready’. The project includes the development of a series guides, and an engagement and support network for local residents
LCON and Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford (with a grant from the Low Carbon Hub) run Energy Saving Homes ‘Open Homes’ in person and online; Energy Saving Fair at the Town Hall; and launch of “Bite-size films” showcasing different eco-renovation strategies.
LCON partners with Cherwell School to offer prizes for projects conducted  by students in connection with their Science Fair
LCON establishes Oxon4Buses, a group representing the interests of bus users in Oxfordshire, including on two of the Enhanced Partnership working groups set up by the County Council and the bus companies. Oxon4Buses carries out a critical review of the Park & Ride sites for one of the working groups
LCON continues to be an active member of CoHSAT, in order to focus on better provision  for people walking and cycling.
LCON responds to Oxford City’s consultation on Oxford’s Economic Strategy.
2023In March 2023 LCON secures a small grant (£500) from the Low Carbon Hub to gather and  disseminate information on the benefits of, and opportunities for, active travel to and from  north Oxford private schools, working alongside local residents, the city and county  councils, local advocacy groups, and schools.
LCON continues its Housewarming Programme, publishing a 7th Guide on Electricity, Appliances, and Home Renewables.
LCON and Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford secure a second Large Grant from the Low Carbon Hub run Energy Saving Homes ‘open homes’ events, including as part of Oxford Open Doors.
LCON successfully raises over £20,000 to launch the “Oxford Car Free Challenge” project, designed to support individuals to try taking a break from their cars for a few weeks – and to use this experience to consider a longer-term move towards more active travel.