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!
Lindow Moss is a site of immense archeological and ecological significance, and Transition Wilmslow is at the centre of an exciting venture to restore it as a place of recreation, exercise and learning for local people. As part of a series of events to raise awareness of the importance of the Moss, we had a Dawn walk on the 2nd August led by John Handley. As well as evocative readings about the Moss and Lindow Man, we joined the Wildwood seed group in their moving celebration of our Bog Ancestors, the people who lived and died on the Moss.
Photographs from the Lindow Moss dawn walk taken by Chris Hill.
There’s more coverage of the anniversary of the discovery of Lindow Man (and our work) on wilmslow.co.uk. And also a piece on the BBC website.
Next up is our Day School at Wilmslow Guild on 18th October! If you are interested in helping with the Lindow Moss work, please contact us.
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.
The TEDx programs operate at local level giving communities, organizations and individuals a platform to promote their ideas and stimulate dialogue.
One of the speakers is Pam Warhurst cofounder of Incredible Edible, an initiative started in Todmorden, England dedicated to growing food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community, now gone global.
More about the event here Follow it on the day, online live
What is the world – wide TED forum about? Look here
This important document, Making the Transition: A Green Infrastructure Plan for Wilmslow and Handforth, was rolled out to the public at the Artisan Market on Saturday 18 May.
Despite it being a cold day, the interest displayed was encouraging and many people stopped at our stall to hear more. Transition Wilmslow’s Environment & Planning Group were especially pleased that the Manchester University students – Jake, Becky, Simon and Matt – who had researched and written the report for their MSc course, were on hand to explain their project.
The report highlights how important our gardens are in making the area a green and pleasant place and additionally underlines their role in protecting against climate change, so we handed out a leaflet Top Tips for Wildlife Gardening giving information on capitalising on this asset and encouraging wildlife in our gardens.
Click the link for more information and to read the full report http://wp.me/P2mX4O-dg
Visit us at Wilmslow Artisan Market Saturday 18th May. At our usual spot on Grove Avenue we will be launching ‘Making the Transition; a Green Infrastructure Plan for Wilmslow‘. Manchester University students have completed their audit of local green spaces and made recommendations on how we can capitalise on and develop our green infrastucture. This is a really important document that can make a significant impact on future plans for Wilmslow and Handforth. Come along and find out what it’s all about!