Somerset — First Transition County
15 Sep 2008
Somerset County Council has voted unanimously to endorse a motion that they become the UK’s first “Transition Local Authority”.
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Transition Towns, founded in Kinsale, Ireland and Totnes, by environmentalist Rob Hopkins, is a grassroots movement applying strategies and methodologies to wean communities off oil-dependency. Now, the movement has gained its first endorsement from a County Council.
Somerset County Council has voted unanimously to endorse a motion that they become the UK’s first “Transition Local Authority”. This means that they could soon be putting peak oil and the issues of climate change at the heart of their forward planning. It may well also unlock funds for all the many Transition initiatives emerging across Somerset. The endorsed proposal ran as follows.
That this Council:
1) acknowledges all the work done by communities in Somerset on Transition Towns and that the independence of the Transition Movement is key to its grass roots appeal.
2) fully endorses the Transition Town Movement and subscribes to the principles and ethos of the organisation’s goals to reduce dependence on fuel oil and to create more sustainable communities.
3) commits to providing support and assistance to all towns in Somerset that wish to join this initiative to help them achieve the goals they set for themselves as local communities, as demonstrated under the Community Initiatives section of the Climate Change Strategy.
4) requests the Scrutiny and Executive Committees to consider the council’s strategic planning process; allocating funds to assist in achieving the outcomes of the Transition Towns Movement and requiring all directorates to engage with and provide support for Transition Initiatives.
5) through the work outlined [above], seeks to be the first Transition Authority in the UK. Agrees to undertake a review of its budgets and services to achieve a reduction in dependence on fuel oil and produce an energy descent action plan that is in line with the principles of the Transition Initiative.
Alex Malcolm of Transition Frome, welcomed the motion on behalf of a network of initiatives under the banner Transition Somerset. The focus will now shift to District and Town Councils in Somerset in order to carry things forward at a local level. Alex said: “We also need to raise awareness within the general public, build their enthusiasm for the transition ethos and create a groundswell of support to implement projects in earnest.”
Members of Transition Town group cycling from Glastonbury to Godney for afternoon tea. Photo: By Kevin Redpath
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