The Inaugural Transition Wilmslow Lecture, 10th October 2016
We had a full house for our very first Transition Wilmslow Lecture!
We thought an Annual Lecture might be a way of appealing to a wider audience, demonstrating that Transition towns are not just about “green” issues but about sustainable communities in general. The Transition Network has set up a website “Reconomy” http://www.reconomy.org talking about different ways of thinking about the economy, and of course a number of Transition Towns (Lewes, Totnes, Brixton, Bristol, and even…at one point in history..Ambridge!) have their own currency. We invited Derek Whyte, Deputy CEO of Preston City Council, to talk about the work they have done with CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) in Manchester, and a European Consortium, to look at how they procure goods and services, and ways in which they can procure more locally. It was good to hear they have significantly increased their local procurement, with benefits for local businesses and jobs.
We were delighted to have an expert discussion panel, with Dominic Oakshott from CEC, Richard Jones who was Director of Social Services for Lancashire and now undertakes consultancy work in social care and the charitable sector, and Catherine Mackenzie, Chair of Wilmslow Business Group. Dominic told us that CEC have been working to get more local procurement, and are up to around 25%; Catherine pointed out the challenges for small businesses in negotiating procurement challenges (large companies may have groups of lawyers negotiating these which makes it difficult for small enterprises) and Richard pointed out the real problems in local authority funding at present which make any economic model difficult. There was a lively discussion with the audience which, as always, raised more questions than it answered, but we agreed that there is a tension between local procurement and having processes in place to ensure fair tendering. There were lots of positive comments from the audience so we’d like to organise another lecture for next year: any suggestions for speakers gratefully received!
What do you want Wilmslow to look like?
Transition Wilmslow is taking a part in this initiative
Help to make a difference – have your say!
You are encouraged to ‘think big’ and make some creative and innovative suggestions
Getting petitions distributed and signed is a piece of cake in comparison with 2012!
Hopefully attitudes have also come round with people realizing how important this is for our quality of life: we want our roads to be and feel a whole load safer in order to encourage more walking and cycling around our town.
So join us by signing this petition, which gives an example of just how dangerous even our smallest residential roads can be and how fearful we’ve become as a result… I should add that the events and people described here are real and have not been invented…
Cheshire East Council ran a consultation in April this year on their Local Plan Strategy Document submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Transition Wilmslow has participated in each consultation round and commented on updated versions of the Plan since its Vision for Wilmslow.
A summary of our latest comments can be found here.
Transition Wilmslow have submitted a response to the planning application by Croghan Peat Industries. From the point of view of Transition Wilmslow and the residents of Wilmslow there would appear to be no justification for any continuation of peat excavation on Lindow Moss. This represents the worst possible investment for local taxpayers. It is a poor business doing harm to the environment. The Moss has some unique features, in that it has well preserved field systems around it from the time of medieval peat extraction in addition to the ecological features of the moss itself. It is also one of the green lungs of Wilmslow and has been highlighted as one of the ‘hidden gems’ of Wilmslow in our on-going Landscape Character Assessment.
Read the full text here Response to Lindow Moss Planning Application
Transition Wilmslow has given full and considered responses to both the Cheshire East Local Plan and Development Strategy.
These can be viewed in detail together with the explanatory covering letter.
Click on the links below
CE Local Plan letter
Response CE Development Strategy
Response CE Local Plan
Come along to our Open Space meeting from 9.45am – 1pm with the aim of discussing “How can we make Wilmslow a more sustainable and beautiful place to live?” This is an ideal opportunity to let us know what changes you would like to see in Wilmslow and what our groups should be focusing on to make Wilmslow a more resilient community. The meeting will be held at the Quaker meeting house in Wilmslow.
Transition Wilmslow is holding a Landscape Strategy Workshop this Friday, 14th December from 7-9 pm in the Wilmslow leisure centre upstairs meeting room. We will be holding an interactive workshop to plan our future approach and work on this project.
We would like to get as many people as possible involved as we feel that the work could both impact on, and benefit from, contributions from a number of groups in the Wilmslow transition family. It is not an academic exercise as the applications from the work could help shape our views on proposals for furthering our Transition aims developing a sustainable town and lifestyle. This is well illustrated in an extract from a recent note from John Handley who was at a recent conference where Jonathan Porritt spoke:
Jonathan’s prescription for a sustainable 21st century town included:
1) Zero carbon;
2) “Incredible edible” with community supported agriculture and local sourcing of food;
3) Biodiversity rich;
4) Healthy living – planning actively for good health.
5) Sustainable transport.All of which fit well into the Transition model.
You may also have noticed from a two page spread the 6th December edition of the Wilmslow Express in an article about the Wilmslow Trust meeting on an alternative Wilmslow vision that Transition Wilmslow was mentioned as a possible partner group to support this work.There are a number of threats and opportunities out there for us to consider and to allow us to put a Transition shape on this agenda and identify the future work we want to do to further our aims for both the Transition agenda generally and the town. Part of the workshop will canvas opinions on what these opportunities and threats are and what we might want to do This is an opportunity for Transition Wilmslow members to have their input.
Please come along and give us your views.