28 Sep 2009

Transition Stroud becomes incorporated

Saturday from 2pm to 8m Transition Stroud members came together to share where the project has got to, the appointment of Directors as we are now a not-for-profit company and shared food and two bands.

In this blog there are loads of photos of folk involved with the day - by no means all - and my brief bits do no justice to tell of the wealth of stuff going on - it was a privilege to be amongst so much wonderful energy.

Anyhow first pic is of Helen Royal, Coordinator, introducing the day - she also coordinated the Open Homes event and has been great at keeping us all communicating - regular emails - plus helping new groups get up and running - plus dealing with the numerous requests from other Transition groups and more for info etc.

Lots more info can be found at the Transition website - see here.

The second pic is Eric who introduced his plans for a skill share scheme - he has already been in touch with various others about how this might work.

Next pic is Dave Cockcroft, Green party Town councillor who spoke with Fiona about the Transition Energy group - he mentioned the Open Homes and also plans for a community run wind turbine - lots of research done but stuck finding a site. I chipped in too mention the Energy Monitors project in Glos libraries - see blog tomorrow about that!

We also heard from Molly, an Economist, in this pic about the Livelihoods group and of course the launch of the Stroud Pound - a hugely exciting development locally.

Nigel Westaway, pictured with her was chair of the event and helps run an exciting informal wood fuel project at Hawkwood - more of that comng soon as I am exploring possibilities for one locally here in Randwick area.

Nick weir spoke about the food group and the latest on the Community Supported Agriculture projects and numerous other developments re food - perhaps one of the most exciting new ones is the food hub - see here for details.

Simon Allen, is the next pic and he presented stuff about the work of the Business and Government group - one of the highlights was their report to the LSP on food security - this led to Simon and Fi going to a conference to present their report - see here. It also got covered by the Sunday Times - I copied the article onto my blog here.

The next pic is of James Beecher who spoke in several roles but here with his proposal of a 'Protest and Survive' working group looking at how protest and campaigning can help the Transition process - to me this is a positive development as I think we need to integrate all these ways of working to maximise our impact. Apparently such a role has been controversial in other Transition groups and not been adopted - however in Stroud all the indications were that it would gain support and be formally established.

Another big area of discussion was how to move forward - we are very fortunate to have new member Gail Bradbrook - she has lots of fund raising experience and is immediately putting it to very good use.

All this led to much discussion as more 'radical' members of the group wanted to ensure we were not repeating the mistakes of current ways of working - see Molly's very personal discussion about the meeting here.

Isabelle Ellis-Cockcroft was one of the next speakers - she shared the exciting developments of her role as part of the UK Youth Climate Coalition - she will be part of the official delegation to the UN Copenhagen meeting and have access to the chamber and to ask questions - other negotiators have said how powerful it is to have young people present who really make them think about what they are doing.

Clare Sheriden, who chairs the largest Transition Group - Textiles - some 50 members - shared their many successes like the Trashon Show - and some frustrations like the not so great hemp crop.

Carol Matthews and John Meadley below both shared stuff re the Transport group - their new website is great stuff - see it here: www.changinggear.org.uk

They have done some brilliant work with schools and are now exploring where next to go to.

John Meadley also shared the EDAP - the Energy Descent Action Plan - this is just at the beginning stages - I've mentioned before it was Kinsale's plan - the first one that inspired work on a local Parish Plan...

....anyhow this one from the City of San Buenaventure looks brilliant - a couple of slides below with great chapter headings like 'Energy: passive is massive" - see more about it here.

Meanwhile I learn that Maribyrnong City Council have made history by becoming the first-ever local government organisation in Australia to complete a Peak Oil Contingency Plan, which is now available for download here. See here Rob Hopkins on other plans.

Also of interest is the publication this August of the second All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil (APPGOPO) report, 'Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs): A Policy Framework for Peak Oil and Climate Change' co-written with The Lean Economy Connection. The report urges the government to begin planning for the introduction of a system of energy rationing to mitigate against oil price increases, fuel poverty and fuel scarcity, and to reduce carbon emissions. John Hemming MP, Chairman of APPGOPO, said that the UK government remains unprepared for peak oil. "The evidence is now strong that peak oil is either upon us or just over the horizon. Even the International Energy Agency accepts that an oil supply crunch seems to be on its way. The UK government should urgently consider the TEQs system, as I believe it's the only comprehensive and fair way to tackle climate change and the coming oil crisis. The alternative to rationing by tradeable quotas is to hold back consumption through massive price increases. This gives economic instability, unemployment and fuel poverty. We need to plan for a system to give some stability in what will soon be a sellers market for fossil fuels rather than a buyers market. It is important that we plan for the technology required soon. To work effectively this will need some international agreement to reduce demand across the world. It is, therefore, important that the technology is put in place to track fossil fuel usage together with cash payments. It is entirely possible for people to do this using credit and debit cards, but only if the technology is planned for soon." Read the report here.

Fiona reported on the Transition Tales group - and finished the meeting with a wonderful story about how precious our earth is....

...then it was time for wonderful food and two bands - great stuff - huge thanks to all who made this possible.

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