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Following his election as an MSP, he became SNP Business Convenor Chairman of the Party), responsible for chairing Conference, the National Executive and the management and administration of the party. Elected to Renfrewshire Council in 1999 at the age of 21 he was the youngest male Councillor in Scotland at the time. He was appointed Chief Planner in July 2012 following Jim Mackinnon’s retirement from Scottish Government. Duncan Maclennan is Director of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre and the Centre for Housing Research at the University of St Andrews.
He has an extensive record of advising public policymakers (advising OECD on Urban Affairs from 1984 to 1996, the World Bank between 1980and 2000 and the EU in the 1990’s).
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Scotland’s national academy) and was awarded a CBE for services to housing research and policy in Britain in 1997.
Ross Martin is SCDI’s 8th Chief Executive, with a wide and diverse background working across the Scottish economy in the public, private and social sectors. Ross has been driving the development and diversification of Scotland's economy for over a quarter of a century, through the transformation of public services, his support for a wide range of SMEs, or through his more recent policy work at the CSPP helping to create the conditions for sustainable growth. Ross is also an occasionally practicing high school teacher, an adviser to Adopt an Intern, which he helped to create, and previously an adviser to BIDS Scotland, the national network for the country's fastest growing local economic partnership, the Business Improvement District. Ross is a regular commentator on the politics of the economy in print, broadcast and of course social media, and has developed a reputation as an energetic and informative leader of mature and reflective policy debate.
Stephen Hagan is a councillor with Orkney Islands Council, representing the North Isles since 1994. He grew up in Northern Ireland and came to Scotland to attend university, graduating from Edinburgh as a civil engineer. Stephen has served on various boards including the North of Scotland Water Authority, Orkney Enterprise, Orkney Auction Mart and was the inaugural chair of Westray Development Trust. Currently he sits on the David MacBrayne Ltd and NHS Orkney boards as well as being the CoSLA spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability.
After qualifying as an engineer, Dave took two years out to do a wide variety of community work, before returning to do an Masters in Energy and Environmental Systems at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Dave held a variety of posts in local government including managing recycling for Dundee City Council and environmental strategy at Falkirk Council, before joining SEPA in 2000 where he was formerly Head of Environmental Strategy. After graduating from Glasgow School of Art, Dorothy took up employment as Leicester City Council’s first Cycle Planning Officer in 1995. In 1990, she joined Dumbarton District and took up main stream planning activities in Local Planning, Data and Research and Development Management staying with Dumbarton District through Local Government reorganisation. Joining East Renfrewshire Council in 2002, Dorothy has gained a further 10 years experience at a more senior level, in a range of Development Planning activities seeing two Plans through the majority of their life cycles including the Inquiry and Examination processes.
Between 1997 and 2003 Craig was Chief Executive of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF), the independent network promoting best practice in regeneration. Craig is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Institute of Economic Development and is an Academician of the Institute of Urbanism.
Craig was recently included in Planning Magazine’s Planning Power 100 list of people with the greatest influence over planning policy and decision-making in the UK. Jennifer Ramsay is Community Energy Scotland’s Community Benefit Officer, responsible for giving guidance and support to community groups and developers dealing with funds from commercial renewable energy developments. Pamela Ewen took up post in May 2009 as the Strategic Development Planning Authority Manager for the Dundee and Perth City Region, known as TAYplan. After graduating in the early 1990’s from Strathclyde University she commenced her career in Local Government in Ayr before moving to Central Region and then Clackmannanshire working across development management, project implementation and development planning.
I always come away from this conference with new ideas and enjoy the opportunity to network. The Ruckersville Branch employees, Randall Duncan and Bob Holtmann, have a combined 30 years of experience in the industry and are always willing to assist our customers with a variety of wants and needs.
Please stop in and introduce yourselves to Randall and Bob!  They are always willing to help you out with any questions you may have and look forward to doing business with you!
Two locations, same great service!We are located on Erickson Avenue in Harrisonburg, or you can come to our branch location in Ruckersville for full access to our products and advice from our knowledgeable staff.
Aquaponics can function at many scales, with different applications in a permaculture design. World’s largest aquaponics system developer – miniturises Aqua Biofilter technology, down, into an Aquaponics Kitchen Garden.
The worlds largest aquaponics installation has cleared up Lake Taihu’s horrific toxic algal bloom.
Lake Taihu experienced its worst ever algal bloom at the height of summer, pushing researchers to search for new solutions. The technology is part of the new wave of processes that biomimics nature, using biomaterials and recycled materials that can remediate and restore nature’s balance with non-toxic and sustainable processes.
Tom decided to take his experience from the large scale aquaponics system in Lake Taihu and other projects in Australia and Malaysia, and miniaturise the technology down into a tabletop system. The Aquaponics Kitchen Garden kit is not trying to be a veggie garden replacement, but living in small apartments in cities, people need a small garden that can grow some plants, and engage with biology in what otherwise is a dense urban polluted environment. Having a pet fish in the city can raise one’s spirit, and is a real alternative to cat or dog ownership which requires sufficient open space to exercise dogs, and also the required importation of meat to feed the animal.
On top of the grow tray which filters the fish waste water, is a permaculture keyhole pattern plate that holds the grow pots in the most space efficient design. Aquaponics Kitchen Garden, early prototype with permaculture keyhole pattern for 8 grow pots.
Tom hopes the crowdfunding campaign will bring aquaponics fans to his project and get it up off the ground.
Lake Taihu has extensive aquaculture industry that suffered mass die offs after toxic algal blooms took over the lake, threatening the future of the aquaculture industry, and also the drinking water for 30 million people.
The research team chose plant species that would beautify the lake, and also provide rapid root growth which serve as habitat for native fish to spawn and provide refuge from the toxic algal bloom. The emerging science of aquaponic floating wetlands suggests that floating wetlands are up to 5 or 10 times more effective at removing nutrients than sediment rooted open wetlands in terms of space requirements, because the larger biofilm surface area of the roots, compared to the leaf area in open sediment rooted wetlands is so different. Below are some of the research data published by Tom Duncan and the International Water Association from the Lake Taihu project.
Some 200 square foot of Aqua Biofilter provides a root biofilm surface area of approximately 1 acre of open wetlands, delivering incredible rates of nutrient and pollutant removal. I also heard about a simlar project in Shangai, where floating gardens were installed as pathways that simultaneously purified the heavily polluted water, to prevent disease , but also provide a pleasant walkway for riverboat inhabitants.
JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. We have our own concrete forming and finishing materials giving us a competetive advantage. Here is a picture of a concrete in Victoria BC of a form with several stairs approaching a front door being built and almost ready to pour the concrete.

Here is a picture of the upper front walkway to the prior concrete form work picture, also ready to pour and finish the concrete.You can see the existing concrete landing and stair which we poured and finished the day earlier and are now finishing up to. Here is a picture of the other side of the concrete landing after the forms were stripped and the garden was planted. This picture shows our crew directing the chute of the concrete truck to place the concrete in the concrete forms which will make a sidewalk and stairs both at once. Here we are screeding concrete which levels the concrete making it ready for troweling and finishing.
Here you can see our concrete crew finishing the placement of the concrete for the upper landing and the stairs and now working their way down with the concrete.
This is a picture of screeding concrete towards the end of the concrete form where there is one more stair.
Here is a picture of the finished concrete stairs and sidewalk with the forms stripped off. This picture shows a concrete form with steel mesh and ground seal ready to pour the concrete for a small work shop.
Here is a picture of our crew pouring and placing a concrete slab for a small work shop which we formed up earlier that day. This picture shows putting the finishing touches on the concrete slab poured and placed earlier. This picture shows a concrete foundation which has been poured with using a styrofoam insulation form which insulates both on the inside and outside of the wall. Here we are back filling a concrete foundation in 6" lifts and installing pipe as needed as we come up higher.
Here we are preparing a concrete driveway repair using rebar dowels which were epoxyed into the slab to hold the old and new concrete together. Here we are pouring, placing and finishing a concrete driveway repair on a commercial driveway after a water line had been replaced downtown Victoria BC. Here we used a diamond saw to cut the section of concrete to be removed by breaking with a jackhammer under a sundeck in Victoria BC. This picture shows the new concrete driveway we finished the day after all the prep work was complete including compacting the area first. Here we are installing a California Drain system at the bottom of the driveway in front of a garage to collect all the water before running into the garage.
In this picture we are pouring and finishing the concrete in the forms to create a new sidewalk. He won three successive ward elections, to become Leader of Renfrewshire Council in May 2007, taking the SNP from opposition to lead the administration for the first time. Ross chairs the Scottish Waterways Trust, which is working to bring this wonderful piece of our industrial heritage to life encouraging engagement across the canal network.
Ross lives in Larbert, in the heart of Scotland, and enjoys playing golf, walking and swimming as well as travelling to find inspiration for further change! She has substantial experience in delivering major housing proposals in Scotland, England and Australia.
Posts held during that time have included both chair of both Orkney Ferries and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He worked with the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland before relocating to Orkney to farm in Westray. This was an extremely enjoyable position, promoting improved facilities for cyclists under an inspirational Team Leader who identified the impending health and inactivity crisis as a potential challenge ahead.
In particular, she recently took the East Renfrewshire Council LDP through its MIR stage leaving just as the plan was progressing to its Proposed Plan Stage, as a result of a promotional opportunity.
The SCR supported people and organisations to become more effective at regeneration through helping them to identify, share and apply leading edge practice.
He is a Trustee of Built Environment Forum Scotland and of Resilient Scotland and was previously on the Board of Greenspace Scotland. Before moving to TAYplan she worked for 9 years as a planning manager with Fife Council leading strategic planning, economic policy, research and information, and the development of the 7 large strategic developments areas across Fife. For zone 4 & 5 lake wild areas it functioned as an earth repair design element stopping algal blooms and growing fodder. They decided to try a new technology, Aqua Biofilter, that is designed to remove nutrients that fuel algal blooms.
The concept was adapted from natural wetlands that process nutrients and pollutants with plants.
The concept was to try and provide a kit that anyone can assemble, and would be educational for school kids to learn about biomimicry, nutrient cycles and how ecosystems evolve in co-dependency, whilst for people living in apartments in can provide a small amount of herbs and greens, whilst bringing back a nature connection inside city living apartments.
Siamese Fighting Fish also known as Betta fish are well suited to a worm farm system if the worm is prepared appropriately as food. Careful consideration was given to how to best design the plant grow pots to make use of limited space with either 8 or 6 plants fitting comfortably within ? a square foot using the permaculture keyhole pattern. The fish tank is no different, as the root biofilm made up of complex bacteria and aglal bio-associate species slough off and nourish the skin of the fish as it rubs against the roots, swimming and darting through the rhizosphere. Further benefits were realized using Canna lily that can also be used as a fodder crop for livestock. Roots provide far greater surface area than leaves, and for that reason are recommended for inclusion in wetland treatment systems, living machine types of waste water treatment plants, and farm dams that accumulate too much nutrient and have algal blooms or excessive aquatic weeds. The lack of operational expenses makes the technology attractive to local governments and water managers who need quick results at an affordable price. WSP systems comprise a series of anaerobic and facultative ponds and sometimes maturation ponds.
We build forms for all your concrete needs and have the concrete finishing crew to give you the highest quality job.
This area is directly beside the the concrete landing and stair that we poured and finished the day earlier. The sides were planted with flowers and plants and low voltage wiring installed for lighting. The foundation needs to be filled with crushed rock in 6" lifts in preparation for the finished floor of the house. This is a very quick and efficient way concrete removal which also allows the concrete pieces to be loaded in a dump truck very quickly. This was done to replace an old cracked concrete sidewalk which sank badly and created an uneven surface. From 1999to 2003 he worked as full time policy adviser to the First Minister(s) of Scotland ( leading the transfer of Glasgow’s public housing stock to the third sector), as chief economist in the State of Victoria ( Australia (2003-5) and then as Chief Economist for Infrastructure and Cities in the Federal Government of Canada (2005-2008) before resuming his university career. In particular, she has delivered new villages, extensions to villages, masterplans and development briefs for private clients across Scotland.
This position led onto opportunities within Leicester City Council in Traffic Management and a return to Glasgow in 1987 to join a multi disciplinary Transportation Planning team in Strathclyde Regional Council.

During her time at East Renfrewshire Council, Dorothy was an active participant in the Structure Plan and Strategic Development Planning processes, contributing to her appointment as Assistant Manager at the GCVSDPA last June. Her background ensures she is well versed, both technically and practically, to the full range of social, political and economic issues surrounding a development project. In Zone 0 inside the home, it functions as a micro aquaponics kitchen garden and educational ecosystem.
Plants take up nutrients, but it is the biofilm on the roots that capture nutrients and accelerate de-nitrification, a natural process that usually occurs in the lake sludge.
Mature wetland ecosystems often develop self-sustaining floating wetlands that mop up pollutants. As Tom was working around the world developing floating wetlands projects, living in cities, dealing with city traffic and pollution, having a garden at home was a necessary item. Closing the loop in aquaponics enhances the overall environmental sustainability of the system. Designing the system to allow the fish to express it’s ‘fish-ness’, or the fish to express it’s inherent character and habits, is essential when designing a home for an animal and is a key part of the holistic management approach and biomimicry that people like Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm have demonstrated so effectively. The bacterial and algal root biofilm improves the skin condition of the Betta fish (and many other fish such as goldfish for that matter), preventing skin disease and gives the fish a brighter colour and relaxed demeanor. Three months after project implementation, the water cleared completely with no visible algae and water transparency improved by 250%. For example 200 square feet of aquaponic floating wetlands provides the same amount of biofilm surface area of approximately 1 acre of sediment rooted open wetlands.
Class V is very degraded & Class I China’s National Lake Water Quality Targets, similar to ANZECC guidelines, however, the values differ between countries and ecosystems, according to aquatic environment behaviour and ecological signals. The benefits of floating wetlands go beyond improving water quality, by also serving as habitat for diverse water fauna, enabling complete restoration of aquatic ecosystems. Rock filters can be used instead of maturation ponds and they can be aerated to remove ammonia and to improve biochemical oxygen demand and suspended solids removals. We do all standard type concrete forming and finishing but also offer other types of concrete finishings such as decorative, exposed aggregates, stamping, staining, counter tops, and architectural concrete finishes. He was also previously chair of the Paisley Vision Board and Renfrewshire's Fairtrade Steering Group. Sarah is a consenting expert and advises across the wide spectrum of the firm's public and private sector clients on contentious and non-contentious planning, compulsory purchase, environmental and roads matters for development projects such as wind farms, hydro-electric plant, power stations, retail, commercial, leisure and sport, residential, education, heavy railways, roads and motorways, waste treatment and biomass facilities (including EfW), regeneration & sustainable communities. Pamela is Junior Vice Convenor of RTPI in Scotland, sits on the Heads of Planning Scotland Executive, and a Board member of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre. An ambitious aspect of the project was to launch the world’s largest aquaponics system over 4 acres in size, using new technologies in combination with old world bamboo that is used in traditional Chinese building. Most lakes and urban wetlands are highly modified or recently built, with polluted inflows, making it necessary for earth repair specialists (often with the help of policy makers and Local Government engineers in the experience of Aqua Biofilter) to try and mimic nature and the symbiotic processes as part of a holistic management approach.
He decided to take his Aqua Biofilter experience with aquaponic floating wetlands and scale it down into an Aquaponics Kitchen Garden kit that could grow some herbs and greens. Tom decided to incorporate a moon gate facade that acts as a fish hide, in a design homage to the Feng-Shui approach that mimics the moon form, into the garden, to bring that awareness and presence into the living space, acknowledging that the moon influences the tides and water movements on earth.
If more fish tanks incorporated aquaponics on top, fish would be happier and have improved vigor and health. The plants had soaked up the excess nutrients, cutting off the nutrient supply that algal blooms require to grow.
As urban, industrial and rural run-off threatens river health and marine environments, more intensive methods such as aquaponic floating wetlands will be required to remove the nutrient levels. Company CEO Tom Duncan hopes to work further with communities and Local Governments that would like to develop biomimicry water solutions, and bring back living ecosystems to restore degraded catchment. Effluent quality is high, and properly designed and well maintained WSP systems produce effluents that can be safely used for both restricted and unrestricted crop irrigation. From a permaculture perspective, a multiplier benefit is that the Canna lily is a highly nutritious livestock fodder crop, and was a key species to integrate into this circular bio-economy approach. Taking the best of what nature has developed to tackle pollutants that run-off from urban, industrial and rural areas, Tom Duncan developed the Aqua Biofilter floating wetlands technology over the last 10 years working on projects around the world. Species that handle wet feet include mint, Vietnamese mint, basil, lettuce and variety of other species that grow well in hydroponics systems. Adding a small pump to recirculate water and waste also adds a dynamic element to the fish tank, boosting plant growth aquaponically and giving the fish a dynamic environment to swim within and be happy.
So the grow tray and grow pot plate was designed to have two plants growing directly down into the tank to provide habitat for the fish, whom enjoys sleeping in the plant root zone. In nature, fish regularly come into contact with the roots floating in the water, as the floating aquatic plants provide habitat and safety for fish to sleep within and feel safe.
Roots exert a strong biofilm that captures nutrients and pollutants, and de-nitrifies the water allowing natural balance to be restored. Australia’s great barrier reef and many other reefs around the world are under threat from nutrients running off unsustainable farming practices, sugar cane, industrial mono-cropping and unsustainable feedlot livestock operations.
For the purpose of nutrient management at the mega-river catchment scale of the Pearl river delta, working with individual landholders, will take several decades, to change the land management practices of the surrounding catchment. Whilst 4 grow pots are inside the grow tray and have roots contained, accessing more nutrients from the recirculating trickle pump system, such as herbs and greens. In the same way Joel Salatin provides pig homes in the forest at Polyface farm, with plenty of places for pigs to rub their backs against, and snout around in the soil, many fish species need plant roots to swim up against, sleep within and gain health improving beneficial microrganisms and algal bio-associates from. Whilst we would like these unsustainable land managers to change their practices, with Permaculture, Holistic Management and Regrarian processes, the Great Barrier Reef can’t wait for that, and intensive interventions that remove the nutrients before flowing out into the marine environment are necessary. The gut ecology and biome in humans, has a similar role to fish skin around the gills, because fish rely on gill absorption for fundamental sustenance.
The necessary nutrient removal is achievable at a low cost, and as simple as installing floating wetlands in dams adjacent to farm run-off zones. The permaculture approach taken was to understand where are the nutrients coming from, and where should they be going back to, whilst waiting for land owners to change their soil, water, plant and animal management practices. Betta fish are in some ways unique, in that they have evolved in South East Asia, in what many describe as small shallow ditches near rice paddies, and have evolved to be able to breath the air directly via gulping, instead of via gills, so are uniquely adapted to live in diverse human habitats, if appropriate care and habitat is provided. The Canna lily can be harvested and move the unwanted nutrients from the lake, into a form of starch and protein, that was needed by livestock nearby. It is recommended however to use a small pump in the aquaponics system – a 2 watt pump is sufficient for the Aquaponics Kitchen Garden.

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