Air pollution in Oxford – what we can do about it

We’re lucky to live in a beautiful city – but there’s no escaping the fact that transport has become a hot topic across Oxford, including in our community in north Oxford.

Air pollution from motor traffic is a major issue, particularly for children and older people: A 2019 study found that, in Oxford, roadside air pollution stunts lung growth in children by 14.1%. Another recent study found that hospital admissions for asthma in Oxford dropped by 41% as air pollution from traffic fell during Covid lockdown.

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We’re looking for a new Trustee / Secretary to join our friendly team

Are you worried about the climate crisis and looking for ways to contribute locally and make a difference?

Our current Secretary is stepping down at the end of the year and we’re looking for a new trustee to take on the role of Secretary in the new year.

Being a trustee is an opportunity to get involved in LCON’s projects in whatever ways suit your interests and other commitments. LCON is keen for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved: you don’t need masses of experience or knowledge about climate change. As LCON’s Secretary you would have responsibility for reporting to regulatory bodies (eg Charity Commission); regulatory requirements including registration of new and retiring trustees and paperwork for AGMs; and risk management and insurance.

If you think you might be interested or would like to find out more, you can read more here, or contact our Coordinator Julia Patrick (julia.patrick@lcon.org.uk) to arrange an informal chat with one of our current trustees.

We’re recruiting! Part-time Administrator, deadline 26 Nov

Are you worried about the climate crisis and keen to contribute and make a difference? Do you have great organisational skills? Are you looking for a part-time opportunity to join a small, friendly team and develop your knowledge and networks?

We are looking for an enthusiastic freelance Administrator to join us for a one year project to consolidate, streamline and future-proof LCON’s administrative and communications systems.

Working as an independent contractor with oversight from one of LCON’s trustees, the Administrator will also assist LCON’s Chair and Secretary in carrying out their functions, including the organisation of board meetings, the AGM and other events, and taking minutes.

The one-year contract will be for 19 days (or around 12 hours a month) at £150 a day. There will be some flexibility in how these hours are allocated over the year, and a possibility of extension after one year.The deadline for applications is 26 November. More details here.

Housewarming – new dates for 2024

We’re excited to announce our next round of Housewarming meetings, kicking off on 9 January 2024!

Each meeting will focus on one of the seven Housewarming guides providing a comprehensive overview of retrofitting for energy-efficiency. There is also time set aside for more personalised peer support. By the end of the course of meetings participants will have much better awareness of how to prepare their homes for the future and be able to engage confidently with professionals in discussing their options.

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Freelance role: Oxford Car-Free Challenge Project Officer

An opportunity to support residents in trying out sustainable travel for everyday journeys

Low Carbon Oxford North are looking for a talented freelance Project Officer to help in delivering our exciting new project. The Oxford Car-Free Challenge aims to help regular car drivers to give the car a break and try out sustainable travel for their everyday journeys. The Project Officer will provide individual support and travel advice to participants and will bring them together to share their experience and support other residents in doing the same. They will work in partnership with the national climate action group, Possible, which is overseeing this project.

The Project Officer is expected to work for at least 28 days, with the hours spread between November 2023 and July 2024. The time commitment is expected to be at its greatest around the time of the challenge itself, currently planned for February/March 2024. There may be potential for additional hours if funding allows us to extend the project. Please read the further details and information on how to apply. The closing date for applications is 25 October 2023 and we expect to hold interviews on 2 November 2023.

Energy Saving Homes is back!

**Update November 2023: Following the successful Oxford Open Doors events, Energy Saving Homes will be running further tours of open homes, both in-person and virtual:

  • 4 and 5 November;
  • 2 and 3 December.

Details are on the Energy Saving Homes website. **

This September, Energy Saving Homes is back in partnership with Oxford Preservation Trust. Visit an Energy Saving Home during the much-loved annual Oxford Open Doors. Find out how to make your home warmer in winter, cooler in summer, a healthier place to live and maybe even cheaper to run!

Energy Saving Homes are a bit different from the traditional Oxford Open Doors locations: they show how ordinary people have cut energy costs in their homes, through small, cheap measures, and through larger renovation projects – from draught proofing to wall and loft insulation, solar panels and battery storage, heat pumps, and double and triple glazing.

This is a chance to hear from householders how they navigated the often-confusing landscape of eco-renovation. Find out what went well and what was difficult, what they learned, and what further steps they are planning to take.  You will be able to speak directly to them and ask your questions.

Details are on the Energy Saving Homes website.

We are delighted once again to be working with Energy Saving Homes to showcase the amazing projects being undertaken by homeowners in Oxford to retrofit their homes to address the climate change emergency and to cut the costs of running their homes.  We do hope you will take the opportunity to visit the homes that will be open as part of the Oxford Open Doors weekend”.

Stephen Dawson – Operations Director – Oxford Preservation Trust

Could you open your home?  
20 homeowners have already agreed to take part in Energy Saving Homes this year. If you think you might like to join them and would like to find out more about opening your home, please contact Project Coordinator Karen, email karen.starr@energysavinghomes.org.

Energy Saving Homes is organised by Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford, a collective of community groups in Oxford working to take practical steps to address climate change, in partnership with Oxford Preservation Trust. This year’s events are funded by the Low Carbon Hub.

AGM and talk from Possible’s Director of Campaigns

We look forward to welcoming you to LCON’s meeting on the evening of Wednesday 5 July 2023 (19.00 – 20.45). As well as holding our formal Annual General Meeting, we will be introducing our proposed new project, the Oxford Car-Free Challenge. Come and hear from national climate charity Possible’s Director of Campaigns Hirra Khan Adeogun about how previous versions of this project worked. Taking a three-week break from their cars helped participants to see how they could move towards more active travel. We’d like to bring this successful approach to Oxford, and we need your support! Please come to the Jericho Community Centre and find out more about this exciting new initiative.

18.45 Doors open; registration

19.15 Annual General Meeting – the formal AGM business. Everyone is welcome; members can vote. Please see information and links to documents below.

19.45 The Oxford Car-Free Challenge: Carey Newson, LCON trustee, and Hirra Khan Adeogun, Director of Campaigns, Possible

20.15 Refreshments and informal discussions

20.45 Close

Annual General Meeting

Jericho Community Centre, Canal Street, Oxford OX2 6BQ

This is the formal notice of LCON’s Annual General Meeting. All LCON supporters are very welcome to attend the whole evening, but voting at the AGM is limited to LCON members. You can check whether you are a member by following the ‘Update my preferences’ link at the bottom of any of our mailings. If you don’t get mailings from us, sign up here!

The AGM agenda and papers can be found below. We can send a paper copy of the annual report and accounts to anyone who would like one (email us to request this).

Agenda for LCON AGM 2023

Draft minutes of the 2022 AGM

LCON trustees report and annual accounts 2022

Proxy form for members who cannot attend

If any members cannot attend the AGM, they can appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf. The proxy can be any member, including the chair. It helps us a lot if you do this, so if you can’t attend, please download and fill in the proxy form, and return it to Rebecca Nestor by 4 July. 

We will be delighted to welcome our new trustee Alun Evans to the AGM. He will be standing formally for election at the meeting. We still have vacancies for new trustees, so if you are interested, please get in touch to find out more or visit the post on our website. The AGM is not the only opportunity to join the board, as we can co-opt trustees at any time during the year. You don’t need specialist knowledge, though this is always welcome: we want people who live in our community and care about climate change. To find out what is involved and have an informal chat, please contact our chair Rebecca Nestor, or feel free to raise this in the informal discussion on the evening of the AGM. 

NEW! Housewarming Guide 7 on Electricity, Appliances and Home Renewables

We are excited to launch our seventh Housewarming Guide: Electricity, Appliances and Home Renewables.

Our first six Housewarming Guides focused on how to reduce heat loss and how best to heat your home to achieve the lowest carbon emissions and costs. This guide focuses on saving money and reducing carbon emissions from electricity use. Find out how you can:

  • use electricity more efficiently in your electrical appliances; and
  • generate electricity at home through renewable sources.
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Support the Oxford Car-Free Challenge: taking a break from our cars

***UPDATE OCTOBER 2023: We are pleased to announce that we have reached our original fundraising target.  A big thank you to everyone who has contributed. We welcome further donations; any additional funds raised will allow us to extend the scope of project. ***


We are seeking to raise £20,000 to enable a new project, the Oxford Car-Free Challenge, to be developed in partnership with the national climate action group Possible and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation (CAST) at Cardiff University. The Oxford Car-Free Challenge will 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 (by which we mean walking, cycling and using public transport).

What’s involved and how the project will benefit active travel in Oxford

The project will involve recruiting twelve volunteer regular car users and supporting them in taking a break from using their cars for three weeks. These individuals will  then act as exemplars or mentors to encourage others to take similar steps.

It can feel quite a challenge to reduce our car use, and we want to help people enjoy the experience. We think this project is useful because it will make a practical contribution to helping people make changes in their own lives. We’d like to help create a city where people can enjoy being out and about, and get to where they need to be, without always having to bother with the car. The volume of cars in our streets right now not only creates pollution and poor air quality and makes it difficult and unsafe to move around, but also puts us all at risk from the CO2 emissions created by so many private vehicles.  Measures to encourage active travel in the city have won majority support from residents, but have also generated fractious debate and misunderstandings. Residents with high car use are naturally concerned about the impact of changes on their everyday lives, even if they agree on the need for them. This project will help people identify realistic alternatives in a way that is sympathetic, supportive and positive.
 
The project builds on a successful initiative run by Possible in other UK cities in 2022. Most participants in that initiative found going car-free reduced their weekly travel costs, as well as their carbon emissions. There were other unexpected benefits for participants, such as being able to engage in more relaxed and enjoyable travel with family members. Our project in Oxford will support sustainable travel and reduce car dependency in Oxford – increasingly an issue for many residents in and outside Oxford as we prepare for the introduction of ambitious traffic reduction measures.  Further details on the LCON project can be found here, and you can also read the presentation at our AGM in July 2023 by Hirra Khan Adeogun of Possible.

How you can support the project

Possible has already raised part of the funding for the project, and we are now asking our members and supporters to help to fund the remainder.  LCON needs to raise £20,000. Donations from trustees and a commitment from our own reserves have raised £5,500, and generous supporters to date have increased this total to £8,260. Can you help us get to the target? Visit our Donate page for details of how to make a contribution.

Low Carbon Oxford North is looking for new trustees

Are you worried about the climate crisis and looking for ways to contribute locally and make a difference? Oxford charity Low Carbon Oxford North are seeking new trustees.

Being a trustee is an opportunity to get involved in LCON’s projects in whatever ways suit your interests and other commitments. LCON is keen for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved: you don’t need masses of experience or knowledge about climate change. Trustees meet once a month and they also – depending on availability and interests – step forward to lead or take part in projects. We have an experienced bookkeeper to deal with our modest financial transactions, and a brilliant co-ordinator who provides project management and keeps everything moving.  If you think you might be interested or would like to find out more, please contact our chair Rebecca by email to arrange an informal chat (chair@lcon.org.uk), or read this document.