Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Global Challenges Think Tank meets

On Thursday the Business and Government group met in Nailsworth in Fi's home - here is a brief summary re the Think Tank, Sustainable Community Strategy and more...

Photo: Coffee break

We started off with feedback from Fi MacMillan from the first meeting of the Global Challenges Think Tank - two Transitioners are part of that group that was initiated by Transition Town - the District Council provide support and input - Nigel Riglar and Barry Wyatt - two top Directors of the Council were both there - it is to look at both climate change and Peak Oil and feed directly into the Local Strategic Partnership to create policy
(see previous blogs for more on this - and on the Council website here).

The first meeting of the Think Tank received submissions re 'Planning' - many issues were raised around mitigation, adaptation and Peak Oil - the main driver of policy in this area seems to be mitigation as that is where the Government focus is - less attention on adaptation and nothing on the Peak Oil nationally.

More detailed reports will be forth coming but it gave the opportunity to raise a whole host of questions - here are some Transition Stroud raised in response to what was apparently a very comprehensive presentation...enclosed just to give a flavour of some of the discussions...

• Regarding public assets that need to be preserved/developed in the face of global changes, would like to see the following added
o public transport network
o pedestrian/cycle networks
o car pooling/liftshare organisation

• The possibilites for planning and food production are important in the face of peak oil, where current food production/distribution is likely to breakdown.
o How to ring fence existing agricultural land
o How to increase estate of agricultural land
o Encouraging domestic growing space
o Encourage community growing space

• Decentralised water/waste processing and energy provision seem key in tackling issues of peak oil

• Close proximity of work/living space, and the development of non-road based transport will also be key. We support the development of more utility cycling routes.

Food is a big topic that often gets missed but it was good to see that Council officers had clearly grasped this is important - sadly it is not an area that Councils have much direct control - a good article into whether Britain can feed itself (via Rob Hopkin's blog) can be downloaded here:
http://transitionculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/CanBritain.pdf

There will be a special meeting to look at food but the next Think Tank topic will be housing so we looked briefly at some issues around that - but also looked at other areas where it would be important to engage with the Council....

Sustainable Community Strategy

One important area is the Sustainable Community Strategy - for more on that see here. It is easily laid out so that people can contribute - part of our discussion was to how to facilitate more people to get involved - this is after all a chance for embedding real change in Councils policies. It might be possible to make this strategy a part of the work for a Transition Stroud day that has been set aside for 3rd Feb? There is a Transition meeting on 3rd Jan that could look more at how best to input to this consultation. Certainly it would be good for TS to make a submission but also many other local individuals before 29th Feb when the consultation ends.

Apols but this blog has been a bit of a ramble and am now off to another meeting so do contact us via this blog if you have any queries...Finally check this short video out:
http://www.slide.com/r/xN4fBDutzj8kpOpIj2wP6hd8OWa7XooN

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