Our Environmental Stories: Tim Deveaux

This is the second time we’ve heard from our very own Tim Deveaux about his connections to the songs in our shows. Tim is kindly kicking off our singer stories this term for us. Even more fascinating connections with the theme of our show have been unearthed! Two shows of ‘Emergency Planet Earth’, will be performed on Saturday 21st March at the People’s Theatre – it’s going to be an exciting show, you won’t want to miss!

“I worked for Gateshead Council for 19 years and for 12 of those years I was responsible for developing Council Policy on Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

In 1998 I started to develop these council policies through a programme called Local Agenda 21 – Here Today, Here Tomorrow – the Council’s environmental policy for the 21st century. 

That was followed by a specific policy document called Coping with the effects of Climate Change in Gateshead in 2004.

The documents stated the Council’s policy on Adapting to Climate Change, Air Quality, Biodiversity, Energy Conservation, Green Purchasing, Sustainable Transport, Waste Management, Education and Community Involvement.

These policies resulted in a number of important projects. Here is a sample:

  • Red Kites introduced in the Derwent Valley
  • Purchase of Milkwellburn Woods and Lamelsey Pastures
  • Insulation of 20,000 houses through cavity wall insulation, draught proofing and loft insulation. The scheme was funded by Scottish Power and the Council. It took 10 years to complete the programme ending in 2007.
  • Building an energy centre to provide heat and power to major buildings in Central Gateshead including the Sage Gateshead, Baltic Arts Centre, Civic Centre, Town Centre development and many blocks of flats. This is to be extended to the Team Valley.
  • Installation of Photovoltaic panels on all suitable Council Buildings
  • Renewal of all Street Lighting with low energy LED lighting
  • Introduction of the Quaylink bus programme
  • Development of the bus link between the Metro Centre and Gateshead Town Centre
  • Development of a comprehensive waste recycling scheme for all houses in Gateshead

I left Gateshead Council in 2011. Then I worked for a roofing company to help them with their health and safety and environmental issues. Within 6 months they had a comprehensive recycling system in the warehouse yard saving them £1000’s on their previous bills. Within 4 years they had 100 photovoltaic panels on their warehouse roof and a fleet of 10 hybrid electric cars with charging points in their car park. 

My awareness of climate change started in the late 1970’s and my work life ended with a small contribution to it locally.

There are many ways of tackling climate change and we have ways of doing it. All we need is personal commitment and governments that take climate change seriously, but there must be radical change.”

Thank you so much Tim for sharing your personal connections to our show with us.

If you’d like to share your story, please get in touch

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