Tony Haslam from Transition City Lancaster invited us to vision a sustainable community, asked us to share ideas on that vision and question what makes it difficult. Whilst community energy, efficient transport systems, food growing, public recreation, creative and education spaces are perhaps things we all work towards daily, Tony and his absent co presenter reminded us about “actualising a lifestyle change” sacred connection, mindfulness, self awareness, empathic listening, and dialoguing rather than debating are all personal transitions we must aspire to to become robust communities.
Following this he shared his research and posed the question. Is this act useful for Transition Initiatives? His enthusiasm and belief is that it may well be.
Here are a few points:
- The act is split into four main sections which overlap: Environmental/Local Economies/Social Inclusion/Democratic.
- It is a funding mechanism.
- There is a pot of money which awards up to £220,000 over two years. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government provides grants (currently Eric Pickles).
- Since 2010 Parish and Town Councils can forward proposals.
- Anyone can put in a proposal from a new portal website: www.barrierbusting.communities.gov.uk
- Local Authority may choose to use the act but only in consultation with local people.
- The “reaching agreement” stage is a new process of governance and is the first time that non elected people are given the right to drive the agenda of what the government does.
The report that documents the last tranche of proposals shows that 39 proposals were successful out of 200.
There was some questioning of the relationship of this act with planning policy and its possible detrimental, negative potential. However the question remained: Can Transition Use it?
Fiona from Totnes has offered to plough through the report and post on the RECONOMY blog.
See localworks.org campaigning to implement the sustainable communities act
Gwen Sanderson – between Transitions